How To Ungate Your Amazon Account To Sell in France
The global e-commerce industry is becoming more robust, and those countries that were once deemed challenging to invest in are now easily accessible. For instance, while the lingual and cultural differences remain visible, online marketplaces such as Amazon have broken down many barriers, and e-commerce sellers can now sell in non-English countries.
One country that has seen a massive influx of Amazon sellers is France. But the question remains, Can anyone sell on Amazon.fr? Is the Amazon France Prime feature the same as other countries?
Talking about Amazon France, the company has, for more than 20 years, been at the forefront of revolutionizing the country’s economy and buying habits. From the records, almost 94% of French customers now prefer Amazon to other online marketplaces like Cdiscount, Veepee, Apple, Auchan, and Fnac. Amazon also invested more than €11 billion between 2010 and 2021 in the French economy, a move that created more than 10,000 job opportunities across France for the past five years.
These, combined with the favorable selling guidelines, make Amazon France the best place for small, medium, and established businesses to grow their online presence. But how do they achieve this considering how strict Amazon is regarding its standards? This article gives a comprehensive guide on how to become an Amazon seller in France.
How To Become an Amazon Seller France
Amazon has become a household name in France, making more sellers interested in investing in it to reach more buyers. Considering how more people have now become accustomed to online shopping, there is no doubt that anybody who succeeds in mastering Amazon’s selling secrets will eventually make a fortune.
However, like any other selling platform whose customers’ safety and satisfaction matter, Amazon has a set of strict rules that restrict anybody from joining and listing their products.
That means anyone who aspires to become an Amazon seller France must check all the requirements before getting started. Selling through the Amazon platform comes with numerous merits, including increased sales, international outreach, and low marketing costs.
Amazon sellers also do not have to worry about stocking and shipping their products to customers.
Instead, they can utilize the Amazon fulfillment or distribution centers scattered across France and the whole of Europe to ensure their customers receive their products on time.
However, with all these advantages, the obstacle remains on how to get started with the Amazon selling journey.
That said, here is a summary of the steps every seller has to pass to become an Amazon seller France.
Create An Amazon Seller Account in France
The initial step of becoming a successful Amazon seller is to analyze the French market and understand how it operates. This starts with understanding your competitors, what they sell, their target market, and their strengths as well as their weaknesses, both locally and internationally. Once you get valuable insights into your potential customers and their preferences, it is time to establish a good online presence through Amazon seller account France. Remember, the French version of Amazon is almost the same in the entire European region hence, you will find some requirements that cut across the vast e-commerce space. These include:
- A valid French address and local phone number
- A valid VAT number
- Identification documents such as a passport or national identification card
- A valid bank account
- A proof of payment accepted by Amazon
Aspiring Amazon sellers must also be above 18 years old and agree to the Amazon Service Business, Solutions Agreement, and the Amazon Seller Code of Conduct before they are allowed to open an Amazon seller account in France.
Choose A Suitable Selling Plan for France
Amazon France is a single space that fits all types of sellers, from newbies who struggle to sell even a single product in a day to reasoned sellers who sell hundreds of products in a month. The platform also allows individual brands and third-party resellers to benefit from its floodgates of opportunities. This allows sellers to decide which selling approach to pick and which account type to start with.
The two selling plans available on Amazon.fr are Individual and Professional plans. The Individual plan is ideal for those selling fewer than 40 items per month with no advanced selling tools. It costs €0.99 per item with additional referral fees. Professional plan, on the other hand, costs a flat charge of €39 per month, regardless of how many items are sold. It is suitable for sellers who sell more than 40 items a month and would want to access APIs and other selling tools and reports. Professional sellers can also utilize other programs like Launchpad and Handmade.
Learn About Amazon Seller Central France
Effectively streamlining and managing an online business depends on the available marketing tools and how one uses them. One such tool that all professional French Amazon sellers need is the Amazon Seller Central France.
Amazon Seller Central is the online portal that allows sellers to manage their accounts, and sales, and connect with customers. It also makes the account’s navigation easier since it allows sellers to access all selling tools from one dashboard. With Seller Central, Amazon sellers can:
- Keep track of their inventory and update their listings from the inventory tab.
- Download custom business reports and bookmark site templates.
- Get customer insights and use them to improve their performance.
- Manage daily sales.
- Contact Seller Support and open help tickets using the Case Log.
How Seller Central Amazon France Works
The primary function of Seller Central Amazon France is to allow French sellers to manage their selling accounts and connect with customers. However, besides that, Seller Central gives sellers more power over their accounts once they register through Amazon.fr. These powers include:
- Customizing their dashboard using the drop-down menu.
- Deciding on how to track, source, store, and process products before selling them.
- Managing fulfillment options like Merchant Fulfillment (MFN or FBM), Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA), and third-party fulfillment services.
- Manage advertising and campaigns.
- Set and automate pricing from the pricing dashboard.
Check All the VAT Requirements for Selling in France
Aspiring Amazon sellers should also understand the European Value Added Tax (VAT) landscape before they kickstart their journey. For instance, Amazon France sellers are required to register for VAT and comply with all the regulations before they are allowed to sell in France or within the European market. Even after getting registered, they still need to show the VAT rates charged on the invoices for customers to know which products have VAT imposed on them.
While Amazon.fr has a dedicated VAT page for all new and established sellers, what pops out is that sellers only need to register for VAT if:
- They store their goods in France.
- Sell their products to French-based consumers.
- Their sales exceed the French distance selling VAT threshold of €35,000.
Create Product Listings for the French Marketplace
With all the requirements in place, sellers can list their products on Amazon by matching the existing products or creating new product listings. The product listing process also depends on the type of selling plan. For instance, an Individual plan allows sellers to list one product at a time, while a Professional plan allows sellers to list products in large quantities using bulk uploading or manage their inventory using third-party systems.
Generally, Amazon France sellers need the following to create product listings on Amazon.fr:
- A Global Trade Item Number (GTIN) such as UPC, ISBN, or EAN
- Stock Keeping Unit (SKU)
- Product titles
- Product descriptions and bullet points
- Product images
- Search items and relevant keywords
The good thing about Amazon.fr is that sellers can use their accounts to create and manage their product listings and inventory and sell across all European marketplaces. This allows them to reach millions of potential customers across European borders and utilize translation services to overcome language barriers.
Sell And Fulfill with Amazon Seller Central France
Are you ungated and ready to sell on Amazon France? The next question to ask yourself is, how do you intend to sell or deliver products to your customers?
Amazon offers two main ways for its sellers to handle orders and deliver products to customers; Fulfillment by Merchant (FBM) and Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA). With Fulfillment by Merchant or Merchant Fulfilled, sellers do all the legwork themselves, including shipping products to their warehouses, packaging, and labeling, and shipping them to customers.
They also manage their inventory themselves, although they miss vital inventory management tools and other exciting offers provided by Amazon.
Fulfillment by Amazon, on the other hand, relieves sellers of the stress of handling orders and inventory management by dedicating all the responsibilities to Amazon.
Amazon offers various FBA options across Europe, including Pan-European FBA, European Fulfillment Network (EFN), and Multi-Country Inventory FBA. All the options allow French sellers to enjoy fulfillment benefits available in over 175 fulfillment centers.
Amazon Prime in France
Amazon launched its Prime program in France in 2008 as Amazon Premium. The program allows its Prime members to access additional services such as same, one-, or two-day delivery, music and video streaming, library content, gaming, and other exclusive shopping services. The giant e-commerce also allows its members to choose their subscription plans based on how often they use Amazon Prime in France and their budget.
While Amazon Prime in France has seen a tremendous subscription over the past years, it is also faced with challenges such as slowing e-commerce activities and the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. This has led the company to hike its subscription fees from €49 to €69.90 for an annual subscription, and from €5.99 to €6.99 for monthly memberships.
What Is the Difference Between Amazon France Prime Membership and Prime Video?
While both services are offered by Amazon, they are significantly different based on their accessibility. Amazon France Prime membership is a mother program that covers all the exclusive benefits available to Prime members. That means anyone with a Prime subscription can access Prime Video and other streaming services.
Prime Video, on the other hand, is an Amazon streaming service that allows its subscribers to access unlimited movies and TV shows. Although it is part of the Prime membership, members can also access Prime Video without a Prime subscription. However, they cannot access other Prime benefits available to Prime members.
Key Features of Amazon Prime France
As an Amazon exclusive feature, Amazon Prime France lets its select members enjoy amazing selling and shopping deals, entertainment, and other benefits that non-subscribers cannot access. These include:
1. Prime Delivery:
Same, Next or 2-Day Delivery. Prime members can get their purchases delivered within 24 or 48 hours.
2. Deliveroo Plus:
Deliveroo fans can get free deliveries for orders above €25.
3. Prime Video:
Access unlimited videos and TV shows throughout the month or year.
4. Prime Reading:
Enjoy reading e-books, comics, and magazines on Kindle devices or apps. 5. Amazon Music:
Enjoy over 2 million ad-free songs and over 7 million songs around the world, including some from popular podcasts.
6. Lightening Deals:
Enjoy exciting discounts on products only available for a short time.
7. Prime Day Deals:
Enjoy massive discounts on a wide range of products and save more money.
What Are Amazon Restricted Or Gated Categories?
Amazon gated or restricted categories are those with strict selling rules that no seller is allowed to sell freely. These categories, brands, and ASINs have specific approval guidelines, and any seller who meets the standards can enjoy a vast market with less competition.
That means Amazon only has the power to draw the rules and open gates for more sellers to access the categories. The good news, however, is that Amazon does not always restrict the entire category, like in the previous gating practices.
Instead, it gates subcategories, leaving some products open, even though they might be under gated categories. This explains why there is a short list of gated categories and a long list of restricted products or subcategories.
Generally, any seller who wants to sell within a gated category must apply to sell on Amazon.fr.
Why Does Amazon Gate Its Categories?
Most multi-million investments are built on trust, customer satisfaction, and a healthy working environment, and Amazon is no exception. Being a huge marketplace with millions of users globally, Amazon strives to maintain a good relationship with both buyers and sellers by ensuring only high-quality products are in circulation.
It achieves this by gating some categories, brands, and ASINs. Therefore, among others, here are the main reasons why Amazon gates its categories:
To Be Able To Monitor Product Standards
One of the first missions of the company is to ensure buyers are offered both high-quality and safe products. It does this by allowing only sellers whose products have undergone stringent quality assessment steps to access highly-demanded categories.
Since the platform is home to millions of brands and buyers, there are high chances of buyers getting counterfeit products.
Hence, it is Amazon’s responsibility to block such products by setting up strict selling rules. That is why ungating service for France requires sellers to show authorization and necessary documentation from agencies that oversee all safety standards concerning ingredients or raw materials, packaging, product labeling, and expiry dates.
For the Protection of Every Brand’s Reputation
Amazon also works jointly with big brands to ensure that only authorized resellers can list products from certain brands.
Therefore, to protect the brand’s reputation, Amazon asks sellers to provide legit documentation from these brands to show they are allowed to list their products.
Resellers who do not provide proof of authorization are locked out of certain categories. Many large and well-known brands require pre-approval with them directly, before even applying to Amazon.
This is true for both seasoned sellers, and individuals new to the platform.
To Enhance Customer Satisfaction
Besides ensuring buyers can get high-quality products, Amazon also restricts some categories to prevent sellers from exploiting buyers. That means only sellers with a positive track record can access the categories and reach buyers.
This enhances customer satisfaction and a positive rating. The company may also limit or dictate maximum pricing to ensure buyers are not being fleeced.
Adherence to the ANSES and ANSM Regulations
Many items require the approval of the French Agency for Food, Environmental and Occupational Health, and Safety (ANSES), and the French National Agency of Medicine and Health Products Safety (ANSM) before they sell on the French marketplace. No retail platform, website, or other selling venue is permitted to offer any product that is not previously rubber-stamped by the ANSES or ANSM.
The obvious reason for this is safety because specific laws exist to ensure that end users are not harmed. Further, items from foreign countries may not be permitted, as they do not meet standard codes from other regulatory bodies.
Categories And Products That Require Amazon Approval in France
As stated earlier, Amazon has a long list of gated products and a short list of restricted categories. That is because one category can have more subcategories, which can add up to tens of products.
Therefore, when applying for approval, sellers need to consider three ungating levels; category, brand, and product ungating. They should also differentiate between category and product unlocking.
General Guidelines to Get Ungated on Amazon France
Whether you are a new reseller or an established FBA seller, utilizing the vast market space offered by Amazon should never be a challenge again.
Two of the most common questions new sellers seek answers to are; can you do Amazon FBA from France? And is FBA profitable in France?
The answer to both is yes. You can create an account, get ungated, scale your business, and enjoy the benefits that come with Fulfillment by Amazon such as storage spaces, returns, and world-class customer service. Amazon’s mission is to see its users grow, and thus, increase sales and profitability. And this does not matter if you are listing your products in a locked or unrestricted category.
As a result, if you want to expand your selling portfolio by accessing restricted categories, here are the general guidelines to get ungated on Amazon:
Sign Up for A Professional Amazon Seller Account France
Professional Amazon Seller account France is the backbone of any seller as it records all the activities conducted by the seller on the platform. It is through this account that Amazon can tell your business position and determine whether you meet all the quality standards or not.
Analyze And Verify Your Account Health
Creating a professional Seller Account is not enough. You still need to maintain its health to maximize your chances of getting approved. Maintaining a healthy account includes meeting your customers’ expectations and adhering to Amazon’s business code. That means you should have a timely shipping record, good customer relations, competitive pricing, and avoid violating Amazon’s policies. To check your account health, go to the Amazon Seller Central France Account section on the Seller Central Account and click on the Performance menu.
Check Specific Category Ungating Guidelines
Each category has specific ungating instructions, and you need to check them before requesting approval. Some categories are complicated, while others have simple instructions that even new sellers can unlock easily. For example, some categories like CA Grocery & Gourmet ungating service may require sellers to have at least three years of selling experience and running websites.
Choose A Reputable Supplier
Getting a reliable supplier is also a vital step, especially as your demand curve grows. Amazon will also ask you to provide legitimate invoices from trusted suppliers whose products fall under gated categories. After choosing a supplier, you need to place at least three orders, with each order having at least ten pieces of the restricted product. Retailers are not considered suppliers. You cannot go down to your local store and purchase a bunch of items for resale. The products need to come from verified wholesalers and distributors.
Prepare All Documents
Before submitting your approval request, you need to prepare your documents, which include recent purchase invoices from reputable wholesalers. These scanned copies of individual invoices should have all the ASINs written next to the product name. Price and other confidential information should be locked for wholesaler privacy.
With all the documents and other requirements ready, you can proceed to request approval from Amazon.
Guidelines To Ungate Specific Categories on Amazon France
Selling specific categories goes a long way in understanding what each category entails and how to ungate it on Amazon.fr. For instance, the Grocery and Gourmet Food category requires sellers to have authorization from regulatory bodies like ANSES and ANSM.
On the other hand, some categories require sellers to have more years of selling experience and a good online presence. Therefore, if you intend to sell in any gated category, you need to consider the following best tips to maximize your chances of getting ungated:
Final Thoughts on Ungating Amazon France
Expanding your clientele and tapping into the vast audience that Amazon.fr offers can be a lucrative step. That is because Amazon has a unique consumer base, more product categories, favorable selling costs, and healthy competition that allows you to decide what to sell based on your budget. However, for you to start selling on Amazon, you must fulfill certain requirements as discussed in the guide.