Amazon Gated Categories List and Advice
Would You Like to Gain Category Approval the Easy Way?
What Are Amazon Ungated and Restricted Categories?
If you are an eCommerce owner, then chances are you have heard, at least on the surface level, about Amazon restricted/gated categories.
Though Amazon might be referred to as “the everything store” because buyers can find just about anything they need on that platform, it is not exactly that simple for sellers like yourself.
The fact of the matter is that you can sell on there, but sometimes you need Amazon’s permission to do so for specific products.
In a nutshell, Amazon can sell whatever product it wants. Still, sellers themselves might not have the ability to partake in the action, and it all boils down to the Amazon restricted categories and the regulations set in place.
Now, before you get discouraged that some of your products might not make the cut in these rules.
Below you will find a comprehensive overview of the system, why there are restricted categories to begin, with, and why gaining approval to access the less competitive and highly profitable marketplace to advance your business is essential.
Defining the Types of Category Under Restriction
If you are new to the concept of gating and ungated ones, then knowing the difference between the two sectors is vital.
For starters, a gated category within Amazon is a particular area where you must get approved by Amazon before selling your product(s) on there.
Some things they look for could include performance checks, seeing if your product meets certain qualifications, and perhaps even additional fees for listing them.
This marketplace was designed for quality assurance to protect both sellers and customers.
Amazon locks this and has rigorous requirements because they want to give their customers the best products and experiences possible and be confident that the seller is specialized to deliver that mission.
Think of it as an elite, vetted marketplace to ensure legitimacy. Say your product(s) pass the screening test.
If this is the case, you are not gated, meaning you are approved to sell in the respected category.
Remember that there are still some ungated categories, which means that you do not need permission before selling.
What Categories are Gated on Amazon?
Note – Click here if you want an easy and fast way of getting ungated.
Amazon has tightened its grip on its gated categories throughout the years, valuing the drive to ensure customer satisfaction and seller authenticity.
It is what holds up their reputation so well in the grand scheme of things. Though not all are gated on the platform, the current 2020 list of them include:
- Audio Visual
- Baby Activity Gear
- Baby Diapers
- Baby Feeding
- Baby Stroller And Carrier
- Baby Topical
- Candle And Aromatherapy
- Chargers And Batteries
- Dietary Supplements
- DVD And Blu Ray Medias (Please contact first!)
- Feminine Hygiene
- Gardening And Watering
- Grocery And Gourmet Food
- Hair Care And Beauty Appliances
- Home Electronics
- Kids Baby Furniture
- Medical Supplies
- Otc Medications
- Personal Safety And Household
- Pet Care
- Pet Food
- Pet Supplies
- Popular DVDs (Please contact first!)
- Popular Music (Please contact first!)
- Power Tools
- Topical (AKA Beauty)
- Wireless Accessories
Looking at this list, there are tons of different reasons why Amazon decided to restrict these particular categories and associated products.
For example, categories like fine art, watches, and collectible coins are gated because of the in-depth expertise needed to produce and sell such products.
They want to nail down that the seller can prove that they are an expert in their field and capable of holding up the high standards. In another light, categories like DVD, video, and Blu-ray are gated because there were many counterfeits and fakes involving these products in the past, and Amazon wants to avoid that from occurring again.
They want their customers to get real copies of the movies they order. If a distributor cannot showcase that they are obtaining their inventory from a reliable source, they will be restricted from those gated sub categories.
(You might also want to check out this post if you are interested in Amazon brand approval)
Why is Category and Brand Ungating So Important?
Why should you care about being ungated?
Because with the ecommerce market being as flooded as it is, this is a fundamental way for you to reduce the harsh competition from sellers who are not bothering to become unrestricted on a particular product.
It makes you stand out from the saturated items listings, look more genuine and quality-driven, and gain more sales conversions as a result.
Think about it; the more sellers there are, the less money you will have in your pocket.
By giving yourself a leg up in this area with fewer third-party sellers, you are allowing your business to gain more exposure and rise above your smaller pool of competitors.
Fun Fact: categories which are gated are blocked from new sellers right off the bat, which means there is an added level of exclusivity to those areas.
Not only does this mean fewer competitors, but it can very well scare many sellers away from even trying to become ungated and sell there.
Need to Get Going on the Approval Process Right Away?
What Happens if You Try to Violate Amazon’s Rules?
Amazon’s seller code of conduct is a strict one. Even if you did not intentionally mean to violate a policy, it could lead to some pretty adverse side effects to your business if you are caught breaking any of the rules.
Depending on the violation, you could either be restricted from selling on your once ungated category, have a total account suspension, or even ban you from the platform entirely.
This can be devastating for a seller, especially one who has already built up a solid foundation.
The best way for you to avoid getting your account red flagged is to read through Amazon’s policies and carefully follow them.
As long as you are honest, transparent, not selling restricted products, and understand/follow the regulations, you should be just fine.
Always remember that sellers might have a prestigious set of rules to follow, so do the buyers.
Though the buyers are a large part of the business and keep the platform running, Amazon has done its due diligence to optimize sellers’ safety from fraud customers and address buyers who violate Amazon’s rules in general to keep the platform a dignified, valued place.
Prohibited Product Claims Policy
Another buzz term that you may be aware of is Amazon’s prohibited product claims policy. This is a policy in place by Amazon that prohibits selling any products that claim to treat, cure, prevent, or mitigate diseases in both humans and animals without proper FDA approval.
This means that if you have something that can help with things like Cancer, COVID-19, Alzheimer’s, Autism, and even obesity, you cannot state as such unless the FDA has approved it.
If you are caught marketing your product items without the right approvals, it is seen as untrustworthy and misleading.
Amazon will halt your account for violating the policy, leading to either suspension or banning unless you can provide them with the FDA cleared data backing it up.
Being able to prove that your product is up to par with the strict requirements might sound challenging.
And the reality is that it should be, they have to make sure that the seller they allow in will uphold their customer service reputation, provide quality, authentic products, and follow the regulations while doing so.
It is a way for them to scope out the legitimate sellers with excellent products and pedestal them to their target market above the sellers who are not are sharpened enough to get in.
Going back to you, if you genuinely want to advance your business, then applying to get approval to your particular gated category is a sure-fire way for you to gain more exposure and sales.
The process itself is not very complicated to get started, and as long as you have a top product(s) to back up your request, you should get the approval you are after.
However, if Amazon comes back and needs more information or proof, don’t get discouraged.
Provide them with the items that they need and be confident that the effort you do now to get approved will certainly be worth it in the end.