Understanding Amazon Brand Approval
Once you have created your seller account and have it approved by Amazon, one of the biggest sticking points when listing your inventory is Amazon restricting you from selling certain products. This happens a lot and can be frustrating, especially for new sellers. However, this concept isn’t new and is 100% necessary to safeguard Amazon’s business model.
Amazon – in their bid to protect customers, enhance marketplace integrity, and maintain brand value by blockading counterfeiters – vets new sellers into restricted categories via a process called “Ungating.”
In doing so, Amazon requires sellers to get approval for restricted brands and categories before they can be allowed to list their inventory. Amazon conducts two types of gating, namely; brand gating and category gating.
For brand ungating, broadly speaking, you are required to first and foremost get approved by the brand in question Amazon and, and pay the requisite brand fees before you can list and sell your product.
Wondering how to get ungated in restricted brands on Amazon? Read on to learn more about ungating brands on Amazon, and why restricted brands and categories exist in the first place.
What is Amazon Restricted Brands?
Amazon restricted brands is a group of brands or their products that Amazon has placed conditions on for sale by third-party sellers on its platform.
These barriers have been implemented by Amazon to maintain brand integrity, ensure product authenticity, and protect consumers from counterfeit items.
Brands may become restricted for a variety of reasons, such as when they enter into exclusive agreements with Amazon or due to their own stipulations regarding distribution and resale. Sellers interested in offering products from these restricted brands must go through an approval process which often involves providing invoices from legitimate suppliers, demonstrating a history of successful selling, and complying with additional performance metrics.
The list of Amazon’s restricted brands can vary over time, influenced by both Amazon’s policies and the brands’ decisions. In fact, the brand may require a seller get a proper letter and get approved by them before the seller can apply to Amazon direct.
What Are the Advantages of Applying to Unlock Amazon Restricted Brands?
Getting approval to sell restricted brands on Amazon offers several advantages for sellers:
- Access to high-demand products:
Restricted brands often include popular and high-demand products. Being able to sell these brands can open up significant sales opportunities and can be a profitable venture.
- Less competition:
Since selling restricted brands requires approval, it naturally limits the number of sellers for those products. This decreased competition can lead to better visibility for your listings and potentially higher profit margins.
- Building trust with customers:
Amazon’s restrictions aim to ensure authenticity and maintain brand integrity. As an approved seller of restricted brands, customers are more likely to trust your listings, knowing that Amazon has vetted and approved you.
- Compliance with Amazon’s policies:
By securing approval to sell restricted brands, you’re adhering to Amazon’s policies, which can help maintain your account’s good standing and prevent potential listing removals or account suspensions.
- Long-term business growth:
Gaining approval can be a significant milestone, as it may indicate your business is mature and reliable. It can also open up more opportunities to sell other restricted or gated categories on Amazon, leading to long-term growth.
However, remember that selling restricted brands comes with responsibilities. You must ensure that the products are authentic, sourced from legitimate suppliers, and meet all the quality standards of both Amazon and the brand itself.
What Are the Main Types of Gating on Amazon?
Amazon’s marketplace is vast, but the e-commerce giant imposes restrictions on certain products to keep them off from third-party sellers. Products with which restrictions are imposed are referred to as gated products. Conversely, products without any form of restrictions are referred to as ungated products. That said, Amazon’s two main types of gating include:
This type of gating prevents third-party sellers from listing branded products unless they are ungated. According to Amazon, a brand is any name representing a product or cluster of products. A brand is characterized by the following:
- A product or a set of products with a common logo, common name, or any other similarities regarding the packaging.
- A product or set of products that are distinguishable from others in the same category, and anyone can easily tell they don’t belong to the brand.
Examples of restricted brands with which third-party sellers aren’t allowed to deal products on Amazon include Nestle, Oral B, Calvin Klein, etc.
This type of gating prevents third parties from selling products in specific categories unless they are ungated. Examples of gated categories on Amazon include Collectible Coins, Fine Arts, DVD, Blu-Ray, Jewelry, etc.
Ungating Restricted Brands on Amazon
Amazon is a giant e-commerce marketplace where sellers have access to hundreds of different categories to list and sell their items. If you are a new seller, getting ungated on Amazon means you get the approval to sell without worrying about restrictions imposed on brands, categories, or items. In the Amazon marketplace, some categories are restricted and new sellers can’t list a product under such categories without applying for and getting approved or ungated.
Barriers to Ungating Restricted Brands On Amazon
The retail community on Amazon with restricted (gated) status enjoys more profits because of working in a less competitive space.
Ungating is one of the best ways to unlock more profits on Amazon as an Arbitrage seller.
Additionally, sellers in restricted categories enjoy an increased choice of inventory. However, the process of getting approved for restricted categories is easier said than done for most new sellers (who are generally ineligible to list in gated categories).
Understandably so because ungating a brand on Amazon is a tedious and frustrating process, and for the following reasons:
- You need a direct and good working relationship with the brand in question.
- Sometimes, you may have to pay a steep upfront monetary fee (non-refundable) to the brand, usually between $1000 to $5000.
- Third-party sellers need written approval from the brand to sell their product on Amazon’s marketplace.
- New sellers are required to send a few distributors or purchase invoices from the manufacturer, usually in a restricted time frame.
- Because of Amazon’s internal rules requiring them not to divulge details of their approval process, they don’t bend backward to assist the applicant. Instead, unsuccessful applicants receive a generic response as opposed to detailed step-by-step feedback explaining what went wrong or how to fix the problem.
Why Does Amazon Restrict Certain Brands?
In its effort to protect consumers, protect the integrity of its e-commerce platform, and fend off low-quality or counterfeiting problems, Amazon has resorted to Gating as a countermeasure.
The company, therefore, requires new sellers to show proof of authorization to sell certain brands.
Regardless of the measures taken, Amazon restricts many brands and categories to make their marketplace safer and more satisfactory for consumers.
Once a brand has been gated, Amazon limits the number of sellers dealing with their products or label. This way, brands maintain their value and reputation because counterfeiters are unable to sell low-quality, fake, or potentially harmful products that could undermine brand value. Among others, here is why Amazon gates specific brands:
- Fraudulent sellers can damage Amazon’s reputation, so imposing restrictions makes total sense.
- Certain products are regulated by state or federal guidelines, so imposing restrictions isn’t always at Amazon’s discretion.
The Criteria for Ungating a Restricted Brand on Amazon
This process of getting approved on Amazon varies for each brand, product, and category, with some being easier than others. Before you rush to purchase inventory, certain criteria must be met before you can apply to ungate a brand. You must have:
- A professional seller plan.
- An order defect rate of < 1%.
- A seller account in good standing.
- Between 3 to 4 months or more of selling history.
- A local return delivery address or offer free deliveries.
- The ability to supply commercial invoices.
Frequently Asked Questions for Amazon Restricted Brands
What do sellers most ask about restricted Amazon brands?
How Do I Get Ungated for Nike?
Nike is an iconic brand with a huge market share, and it is understandable why an individual or third-party sellers would jump on the opportunity to sell with this brand. Like most popular brands, Nike enjoys an established global market. However, the company has a restricted status, which means new sellers can’t list and sell their products on Amazon. Luckily, all third parties can apply to get ungated and sell Nike products, as long as you meet the requisite criteria.
Am I Allowed To Sell Apple Products?
Apple is a popular brand with gated status on Amazon and, sometimes, you can sell its products once you fulfill their requirements, whose underpinnings is to essentially offer better customer service by fending off counterfeit products.
Will Estee Lauder Let Me Sell Their Products?
As a multinational cosmetic franchise, Estee Lauder deals with health, beauty, and skincare product categories under which some subcategories have restrictions on Amazon. So, it is necessary to meet their criteria and get their approval before you can list their inventory on Amazon.
Can I Sell Disney Products?
Yes, but not until you meet the brand’s ungating requirements because the company’s products have a restricted status on Amazon.
Final Note on Ungating and Selling Restricted Brands on Amazon
The process of ungating restricted brands on Amazon involves comes with a handful of challenges but it is still doable. If you are a new seller looking to get ungated with a specific brand, get approved by the brand first and foremost, show proof of authorization to Amazon, fulfill all their documentation, and be ready to part with the rather steep non-refundable monetary fee required by the brand.