What You Should Know about Ungating Amazon
Amazon is undoubtedly one of the e-commerce giants that commands around 6.2 billion suppliers. That means the company records massive sales every day, with millions of buyers flocking it in search of lucrative deals.
However, with the increased market share, come the buying and selling restrictions that limit only authorized parties to access the platform. While the restrictions may seem hard to new sellers planning to join the market, they have numerous benefits to those that meet the needed criteria.
For instance, sellers in restricted categories and products can enjoy increased profits, low competition, and safe shopping and selling experience. The restrictions, commonly known as gating, also prevent third-party sellers from exploiting unsuspecting buyers.
Therefore, anyone planning to sell their products on Amazon may be forced to ungate the category or product before Amazon allows them to sell.
So, what is ungating Amazon? Are you stranded on how to get your products to sell on Amazon or you are afraid of strict state, national, and international regulatory bodies?
This article offers a nice summary and common quick facts on ungating Amazon, as well as everything you need to know about gated Amazon.
Understanding Amazon Ungating
Before you go into ungating, you first need to understand why Amazon gates its sellers. Whether you are a new reseller or FBA seller, you will always face strict limitations requiring you to verify your products before selling them.
The restrictions vary based on local, state, and federal laws, and some products or categories may be completely banned at all levels. Some sellers also face FBA product restrictions, especially those dealing with temperature-sensitive products. Amazon gating, therefore, is a program that limits unauthorized resellers from selling products or categories on Amazon.
It also helps both Amazon and brands to protect their reputations by allowing only safe and high-quality products to reach the market.
Gated brands, categories, or products need resellers to prove that they are permitted to sell on Amazon through special Amazon Standard Identification Numbers (ASINs) linked to the product catalogs and the brand’s product listing on Amazon.
This helps to determine if third-party sellers have to prove their reselling permission.
Generally, ungating means resellers have Amazon’s and brand’s approval to sell their products. This opens third-party sellers to more opportunities and customers’ trust. Hence, since not all resellers can go the extra mile to provide proof when listing their products, little space is enjoyed by those allowed to sell products on behalf of brands. That said, here are some of the major gated categories and products:
Examples of Gated Categories:
- Postage Stamps
- Coins and Collectibles
- Personal Safety & Major Household Appliances
- Fine Art & Antiques
- Groceries and Gourmet Food
- Beauty Products
- Holiday Selling Requirements
- Toys and Games
- Streaming Media Players
- Music, Video, DVD, and Blue-Ray
- Automotive and Powersports
- Sports Collectibles
- Join Amazon Subscription Boxes
Examples of Gated Products:
- Alcohol, Food, and Beverages
- Animals and Animal-Related Products
- Fine Art and Home Décor
- Composite Wood Products
- Skin and Hair Care
- Cars and Recreational Vehicles
- CPAP Cleaning & Disinfecting Devices
- Currency, Coins, Cash Equivalents & Gift Cards
- Dietary Supplements, Drugs, and drug paraphernalia
- Explosives, Weapons, and Related Items
- Export Controls
- Gambling and Lottery
How To Get Ungated on Amazon
It is wise to note that there is no one-size-fits-all rule on how to get ungated on Amazon as a reseller. That is because different products and categories require defined documentation and approval procedures for third-party sellers to be allowed to sell on Amazon. Moreover, sellers need to understand a distinct difference between brand ungating and category ungating. While most people refer to them as the same thing, the truth is that these are two different terms with varied ungating criteria. Therefore, if you intend to get started with ungating Amazon, here are the general tips to consider:
1. Getting Yourself A Profession Amazon Seller Account
Being a global and professional e-commerce body, Amazon requires everyone carrying out selling activities on it to be strictly professional. That means every seller needs a verified account before being allowed to sell products. The account allows resellers to sell both gated and ungated products and categories without much hustle.
2. Analyzing Your Amazon Account Health
Amazon will always check the health of the account before approving any seller. Therefore, you need to maintain the health of your selling account by sticking to only high-quality products and highly rated customer satisfaction. You can also analyze the state of the account in the Seller Central Account section.
3. Understanding and Following Specific Category Instructions
Each category has specific ungating instructions. For instance, the sellers in the fine arts category need to have at least three years of experience and a fully functional website. Thus, you need to follow specific category instructions to get selling approval.
You should also note that being approved to sell something in one country does not mean you can automatically sell in another. For example if you sell on Amazon.com, you cannot just up and list your restricted items on Amazon.ca, which is the marketplace for Canada. Approval is needed for both countries.
4. Submitting Your Approval Request
Before sending your approval request, you should know that Amazon does not allow scanned and unauthorized invoices from suppliers. The documents must be PDFs and must be from real suppliers, not retailers.
Further, the vetting department takes necessary measures to ensure all documents and invoices are valid before approving the account. After submitting verified invoices from brands, you can proceed to request approval.
How To Ungate Specific Brands on Amazon
Generally, you need a written approval document from the specific company or manufacturer and an invoice recorded within the last 90 days to ungate brands on Amazon. You also need to pay a non-refundable fee of around $1,500 to get approved. However, each brand has specified ungating rules as discussed below:
How To Ungate Nike
Just like Amazon, Nike is also a huge brand that requires its third-party sellers to have approved documents and meet proper criteria to allow them to sell their products on Amazon. Once you get the required approval from Nike, you can sell both new and old products such as shoes, clothes, balls, and socks on Amazon. That said, you need the following to sell Nike products on Amazon.
- An approval letter from Nike Official.
- Latest purchase invoice, dated within the last 180 days and verified by Amazon.
How To Ungate Toys and Games on Amazon
Toys and Games remain gated on Amazon every Q4 of every year. This prevents third-party sellers from selling counterfeit toys to kids during the holiday season. However, you can ungate the category by fulfilling these requirements:
- Provide the latest purchase invoice from the manufacturer of the toys. The invoice should also be approved by Amazon.
- Provide a brand authorization letter, which certifies that the company allows you to sell its products.
- Provide a child product certificate to prove that you comply with local child product safety guidelines.
How To Ungate Grocery
There is a higher chance to get direct approval to sell grocery and gourmet food on Amazon if you have been an Amazon FBA seller for a long time. However, as a new seller, you need to follow some steps and fulfill certain requirements to get Amazon approval. The requirements include:
- Getting an approved invoice from the food manufacturers. The invoice helps Amazon to verify that the manufacturer permits you to sell their food products.
- Avoid making false dietary claims. Amazon will demand to back up your dietary claims such as being allergen-free with reputable bodies such as Food and Drug Administration.
- Complying with safety measures and avoiding selling defective food products.
How To Ungate Beauty
The beauty industry is fast-growing, though it also faces strict safety precautions from both manufacturers and selling platforms. That means all beauty products sold on Amazon go through stringent quality assessment procedures to ensure they are skin-safe. For instance, sellers are required to sell beauty and skincare products in original manufacturers’ packaging. Besides, anyone planning to ungate the beauty category on Amazon should;
- Have pro-merchant status.
- Have a lower order defect rate of less than 1%.
- Have a lower pre-fulfillment cancel rate of less than 2.5%.
- Avoid late shipment or ensure the late shipment rate is not more than 4%.
Final Note on Our Summary to Ungating Amazon
Ungating Amazon may seem a cast and unwelcoming topic for new sellers due to the strict rules involved. The process also comes in varying levels depending on local, state, and federal laws.
While this helps keep off those who want to exploit buyers and sell low-quality products, it allows approved sellers to enjoy higher profits, reduced competition, and more selling opportunities.
However, before beginning the ungating Amazon process, you need to understand all the basics involved, including the category and product ungating.