How To Ungate Your Amazon Account To Sell in Canada
Ungating refers to Amazon’s approval process that allows its community of retailers to list and sell inventory in gated categories. These restricted categories are vital to Amazon’s business model which prioritizes customer protection, brand value, and marketplace integrity.
Whether you are a Canada-based Amazon FBA seller looking to expand your inventory, or a startup looking to cash in on its vast marketplace, ungating its restricted categories can open up floodgates to wider profit margins.
For starters, sellers with access to gated (restricted) categories get to choose from a wide range of inventory, and secondly, they enjoy more profits as a consequence of offering more product listings in less competitive marketplaces.
However, getting ungated, for most sellers, may be easier said than done. That is down to Amazon’s tedious standards that require fulfillment of safety guidelines to the latter.
Are you looking to break into Amazon’s restricted categories? While the process can be tedious and frustrating, using an ungating service for Canada can make it fairly simple.
There are two ways how to get ungated in Canada for Amazon.ca. You can either do the heavy lifting by yourself or enlist the services of a third-party ungating company that will do all the legwork in terms of requisite documentation, invoices, necessary files, etc.
Regulatory Hurdles to Getting Ungated on Amazon in Canada
Selling on Amazon can be quite profitable. However, the e-commerce giant has set out regulatory guidelines that sellers wanting to list their products in gated categories must fulfill.
If you are a Canadian Citizen looking to sell on Amazon, there are three ways you can go about it, namely;
- List your products on the Canadian version of the marketplace (amazon.ca)
- Use the American version of the marketplace (amazon.com)
- List your inventory on both marketplaces.
Whichever website you choose, there are strict laws outlined by regulatory bodies in both countries that you must adhere to.
The guidelines can differ from one product to another or a category to the other. Despite the slight differences, these rules represent Amazon’s standards that new sellers have to fulfill to be approved to list and sell.
Amazon seeks to make its e-commerce platform safe, trusted, and secure, which is why more attention is paid to categories such as Topicals, Beauty, Toys, and Grocery.
For that reason, the regulatory bodies in the US and Canada have set even stricter guidelines to ensure they only authorize new sellers whose products protect the health and welfare of end users.
In the US, for instance, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is the agency responsible for advancing the laws that govern public safety regarding food and medical products.
In Canada, however, new sellers on Amazon’s specific gated categories would require licensing by the Food and Drugs Act (FDA) – an agency mandated by the Food and Drug Regulations (FDR) and responsible for establishing safety standards regarding biological products, medicine, cosmetics, and food.
All Canadian residents looking to get ungated in Amazon’s Food and Beverages category will also need approval from Health and Welfare Canada (Health Canada, a department with the Government of Canada).
This is the agency that oversees all nutritional and safety regulations concerning ingredients, packaging, product labeling, and expiry dates of all consumables.
To ensure homogeneity in regulatory practices for both countries, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) and the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have an agreement in place indicating that both countries’ regulatory practices are comparable when it comes to safety, and can be applied to any aspiring seller looking to list on Amazon.
The two signatories have consequently mandated a Joint Committee that oversees safety standards for all goods. What that means is you will hardly find any loophole when exporting or importing food products for sale on either platform (amazon.com or amazon.ca).
In the same breath, sellers using Amazon will have to fulfill more or less the same requirements as those of a US resident.
What Are Most Profitable Sections to Ungate in Canada?
Is FBA profitable in Canada?
Well, according to Amazon Canada, the platform receives more than 16 million unique visitors every month (from Canada alone). Other metrics announced in 2021 indicated that:
- On average, Canada-based Small and Medium-sized Businesses (SMBs) sell more than 110 products per minute from Amazon.ca stores.
- Over 30,000 Canadian SMBs scattered across the country collectively exceeded $1 billion in sales from Amazon.ca stores in 2020 alone.
- Over 45% of Canadian SMBs who list on Amazon’s stores exported their products mainly to Europe and the US.
If you are looking to break into Amazon’s more restrictive categories to unlock more profits, no time is as opportune as now. The above listed are indicators of the limitless opportunities you can take advantage of to scale your e-commerce business by selling on Amazon.
What products are customers looking for on the Amazon.ca platform?
Here is a timely insight into a metric-generated list of the most profitable categories and subcategories to ungate in Canada.
- Clothing, Shoes & Jewelry
- Health & Personal Care
- Baby, Toddler and Infant
- Beauty & Personal Care
- Office Products
- Grocery & Gourmet Foods
- Toys & Games
- Pet Supplies
- Patio, Lawn & Garden
- Sports & Outdoors
- Home & Kitchen
- Tools & Home Improvement
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 for Amazon to let them in.
Also, enlisting the services of third-party ungating companies is another way on how to get ungated in Canada for Amazon.ca. This section will cover aspiring sellers’ pressing questions, including, how do I get ungated on Amazon Canada? How ungating music Amazon Canada works, Amazon Canada toy ungating guide on, and whether you can get ungated in toys and the big toy brands on Amazon.
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 Canada in categories such as Food & Gourmet products requires sellers to show authorization and necessary documentation from Health Canada – the agency that oversees all the nutritional and safety standards concerning ingredients, 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.
Compliance to Health Canada Regulations
Many items require the approval of Health Canada to sell in the Amazon marketplace. No retail platform, website, or other selling venue is permitted to offer any product that is not previously rubber-stamped by the official Health Canada department.
CA Health & Personal Care Ungating Service, for instance, requires that personal care products that come in direct contact with the skin be risk-free and void of banned substances as stipulated by Health Canada.
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 Canada
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 Canada
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 Canada? And is FBA profitable in Canada?
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
Professional Amazon Seller Account 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 Account Health 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
Selling specific categories goes a long way in understanding what each category entails and how to ungate it on Amazon. For instance, the CA Grocery & Gourmet Ungating Service requires sellers to have authorization from regulatory bodies like Health Canada, while Amazon Canada Beauty Ungating service requires the business to have an annual revenue of at least $50,000. On the other hand, some categories require sellers to have more years of selling experience and a good online presence.
Final Thoughts on Ungating Service for Canada
Amazon restricts its community of sellers from listing their products in gated categories, products, and brands. That, however, does not mean you can’t sell in the said categories.
Instead, you will need to navigate a few hoops before you can be approved as a seller. The process of getting ungated in the Amazon.ca or Amazon.com marketplaces is more or less the same.
In the CA marketplace, for instance, to use an ungating service for Canada, you will need to sign up for a professional seller account, maintain account health, provide all the necessary documentation, and request approval.
Once you have been ungated in whichever product or category, you can list your inventory, do Amazon FBA from Canada, and widen your profit margins.
That being said, new sellers looking to get ungated in the two marketplaces should recognize that both require different setups. One of the reasons for that is that Canadian packaging uses French and English, while the US inventory uses English and mostly Spanish.
Additionally, the two marketplaces differ in terms of measurements, with the Canadian system using the Metric System, while the US market is still Imperial measure.