What is Ungating Process in Amazon?
Amazon vendors have coined the term “gated” – which essentially means that some products are restricted from being sold under certain categories, brands, or sub-categories. To potentially increase returns from heightened sales, you need to have your products be approved to be listed under such categories. This is what is mostly referred to as “ungating”.
To go past these restrictions, you need to apply for approval. Some goods need just a few hours or days to clear. However, some categories could take longer to be ungated. Here, we provide you with a comprehensive breakdown process for your benefit in implementing your best ungating strategies on Amazon.
Essentially, you can sell anything on amazon if your products are ungated. For an enhanced user experience, Amazon imposes certain rules such that if you satisfy all, you can then be allowed to list your products in the category you signed up for.
Let’s look at those top strategies for getting ungated on Amazon in 2023.
How Do You Get Ungated on Amazon?
As we earlier noted, the process of validating the goods provided for scrutiny may take some time. This could mean that the approval process could take longer. Typically, most categories take lesser time. For some, the application process could be slightly different. However, there are some universal steps you need to follow while presenting your case for ungating. Herein, are these steps from scratch, however, you will be guided by Amazon for each category you seek approval.
Step 1. Sign Up for A Professional Seller Account
Firstly, you need a professional seller account with Amazon which can cost you roughly less than $50 a month. You need to sign up for this account which with all permissions, you can sell both restricted and unrestricted products. Therefore, if you haven’t signed up yet, proceed and do so.
Step 2. Check Your Amazon Account Health Status
To check your account health status, go to Seller Central and click on Performance. Then, click on the Customer Satisfaction and Account Health buttons. The Seller Central is your account’s nerve center and gives you access to your account’s health status.
Step 3. Follow The Instructions Given for Each Category
Every category on the listing board has specific instructions on how to apply to get your products on the listing. Go through the brands and how Amazon categorizes them. Now read through the requirements for your goods to be allowed on the board. For instance, Amazon requires that art sellers and dealers prove that they have a 3-year experience dealing with fine art.
Step 4. Choose A Supplier
If you haven’t already, you need to select a reliable wholesaler who will be supplying you with the products. This supplier should also be able to meet market dynamics in terms of growing demand and quality. Amazon’s proof of a supplier is an invoice from the said wholesaler this brings me to the next step.
Step 5. Submit Invoices
Amazon pays particular attention to seller invoices primarily because these are the proof documents of the existence of your shop which Amazon can easily validate. To approve your seller account, Amazon requires that you submit the most recent invoices (at most 90 days old) proving that you bought the commodities you intend to sell from the restricted products category. Also, the said invoices should be in a good condition. Preferably in the original state. Note that the invoices should match the details you provided in your Amazon Seller Central account.
Step 6. Proceed To Approval
Here is where you request approval of your application. Follow these four steps;
- 1. Click on Inventory, then Add a Product.
- 2. Proceed to type and search the product categories you intend to enlist.
- 3. Go to Listing Limitations Apply.
- 4. Click on the Request Approval button.
Now, sit back and wait. If you receive an email from Amazon to furnish them with additional information, ensure you respond as soon as possible.
Which Categories on Amazon Are Restricted?
Not all categories on Amazon are restricted. Therefore, it is not compulsory that, for you to sell on Amazon, you have to apply. Similarly, gated categories have different ungating processes. That is why it is necessary to first go through the category of brands you seek to sell. Most popular categories on the eCommerce giant’s platform are ungated. However, those that are restricted require you to follow a certain process to be allowed to list under them.
Here are a few gated categories you can consider for unlocking and selling.
1. Fine Arts
This category is exclusively reserved for art dealers. Hence the reason for the restriction. For you to be allowed in, you need to prove that you have at least a 3-year experience in dealing with fine arts. Additionally, you need to have an established website registered on the brand name and an active Amazon seller account.
2. Wine or Other Alcohol
The approval process for wines and alcohol is a straightforward one. You must follow the regulations as provided under this category on the listing board, adhere to shipping requirements, and be a registered importer or have a winery.
3. Collectible Books
The collectible books category is perfect for beginners as the ungating procedure is not as complicated. You need collectible books and list the book in the standard internationally recognized book number.
4. Automotive and Powersports
For those who wish to deal in automotive the requirements for ungating are easily manageable. You need a registered website, compliant automotive or power sports images, UPCs, warranties, and a review of the products.
5. Accessories, Clothes, And Luggage
Approval into this category can be achieved. A prospective seller of clothes, accessories, and luggage will need to provide their store details and then fill out a form to complete the application. The good news is that even newly created stores can apply to this category.
6. Sexual Wellness
It is considerably easy to get approved for this category. You only need to fill out a form and then wait, unlike others where you have to provide documents.
7. Toys and Games
To unlock this category, you need to have shipped a certain number of products in performance target requirements and follow holiday selling guidelines.
We have extensive guides on getting approved for the Toys and Games categories. Check out the topic that applies to you.
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8. Entertainment Collectibles
Getting ungated here requires you to have met performance targets and follow entertainment collectibles listing requirements.
9. WatchesThis category will require stringent review of application. Mostly because luxury, upper end priced watches are easy to counterfeit so be prepared to show lots of documentation and brand approval. You may also be required to test the watches for accuracy, have a UPC manufacturer’s code, and meet severe performance targets.
10. Major Appliance Products
Proving proper safety and warranty information is key here. The appliances will have to meet all US regulatory rules and laws. You may also need documentation to prove your supply source.
11. Grocery and Gourmet Foods
This category is strict. Understandably since people are eating these products. Here are the requirements; create an account and add reliable suppliers, establish a thriving order, meet the performance targets as stipulated on the listing board, establish a thriving order, scan and submit the latest invoice, and complete the application process.
12. Kindle Accessories
You have to observe Amazon’s accessories’ fair use and compatibility guidelines. Under this category, Amazon takes 45% of your profits. Only enroll if you are ready to share your profit margins considerably.
13. Collectible Coins
You will probably need to be a legitimate dealer to get accepted into this category. Further, if you want to run a collectible coins business on Amazon, you will need; a well-maintained membership with PNG, PCGS, ICTA, and NGC/PMG, an anti-money laundering commitment, at least 70 percent of gained coins, and an established company website. You also need ready documentation for submission.
14. Fine Jewelry
The jewelry business has a string of restrictions on Amazon. It is one of the most difficult to have your application approved. You will need the following to get ungated; meet the quality assurance standards of the Amazon eCommerce listing board, have an established business that earns over $50,000 annually in profits, pay an initial entry fee of $5000, and have an order defect rate less than 1%. Also, your pre-fulfillment cancel rate must be less than 2.5 %.
15. Sports Collectibles
This category’s requirements are similar to those needed to sell jewelry. You need an entry fee of $5000 paid, meet performance targets, and have an order defect rate of less than 1%. You also need your products to be authenticated and a pre-fulfillment cancel rate of less than 2.5 %.
8 Tips To Boost Your Chances of Getting Ungated on Amazon
Depending on the category you wish to apply to sell your products, the approval process could vary. However, not all the easy applications go through as well, this is mainly because you may have had a slight infraction, an error of omission, or commission during application that is keeping you out.
Here are eight tips for you to consider when applying for unlocking categories and brands on Amazon:
- Providing your contact details: This allows Amazon to reach you whenever you are required to give additional information. Also, you should provide your supplier’s contact information to give credibility to your application information provided.
- Send an invoice: Most applications require you to attach a copy of an invoice as proof of payment. The said invoice should be in the same state as before and should be unformatted.
- Whenever required, send your billing and shipping addresses which match those you put on file on the Amazon seller account.
- When your application is declined, try a different agent. Alternatively, you can withdraw the application and lodge with another agent after some time. This is necessary since whenever an application is denied, no reason is given by the Amazon team.
- Positive customer reviews will play a significant role in your application consideration. Those with higher performance merits command a higher chance of approval.
- Choose reliable brands to sell. Products from a renowned company are likely to be approved more than those from unknown or unpopular brands.
- Sellers are required to convert product model numbers i.e., ISBN, UPC, and EAN into ASIN. This makes it easier for Amazon to reference the products.
- Consider applying during US working hours.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Is it worth it to get ungated on Amazon?
Yes. Of course, joining a restricted category means less competition hence potentially more sales. Besides, it allows you to vend products or brands approved for a select fewer number of people. Nevertheless, the process can sometimes be tedious and with massive frustrations. Besides, applying the additional fees means it is costly and you could be required to apply for several products if you wish to sell items from different categories.
2. What are new Amazon sellers allowed to sell?
New sellers can choose from any category of products to vend. However, for you to be allowed to start listing, you must apply for approval. The process of application can be daunting depending on the chosen category. However, some categories such as clothes and automotive are pretty easy to maneuver and apply for.
3. How long does approval to sell on Amazon take?
The time will depend on the accuracy of the documents provided and whether the potential seller has met all requirements of the category or brand.
4. Can I apply for un-gating again once my application form gets rejected?
Yes, you can resubmit your application days after rejection. Withdraw it, revise it, then resend it. If you get a different Amazon agent, your application might just get a yes.
Concluding Thoughts on Top Strategies for Ungating Amazon in 2023
From our detailed discussion above, it is clear that Amazon categorizes the products on the listing. The category may be restricted or unrestricted.
Restricted categories are what many people refer to as gated. For you to list your goods under these categories, you will need to undergo an approval process which begins with you applying for consideration.
Amazon can approve or decline your application which you can resubmit after a few revisions.
Amazon is particularly keen on honesty, reliability, and credibility when assessing these applications. Only submit the information that does not have inconsistencies.
Because of the potential difficulties in applying, it is best to understand the top strategies for getting ungated on Amazon.