Amazon Gated Categories Guide

Customer experience is always on the top of Amazon’s values, so they do everything to provide the best quality to shoppers. To achieve this goal, Amazon may require additional checks, fees, and different qualifications.

That’s why certain categories, subcategories, and products require additional approval. You might have heard that not anyone can sell baby toys, car accessories, beauty products, jewelry, medical supplies, and other things on Amazon.

 

Amazon Gated Categories and Products: What Are They?

Sometimes, Amazon needs to approve your products before listing them in specific categories. What’s more, they can restrict individual selling in some categories, so you’ll need to upgrade your plan to a Professional one. Besides that, Amazon has some related policies:

  • You must pass the pre-approval procedure on Amazon before being listed in some categories.
  • In some Amazon gated categories, you will have to provide additional information about your products or provide a supplemental guarantee.
  • There are certain restrictions for FBA sellers. We will tell you about them in a separate part of this article.
  • California has additional regulations for certain products.
  • If you are selling internationally, make sure you are acting along with the laws of the countries your products are sold in.

 

Categories and Products that Require approval

Once you are approved for one of these categories, you can add your listing to them:

 

Restricted Products

These are products that ALWAYS require approval from Amazon. For example, you need to pass additional qualifications to sell animal products, fine art, automotive parts, cosmetics, electronics, weapons, food, jewelry, plants and other things that may require having a certificate or a license.

You will find the full list of these products here. Some of the products are completely prohibited on Amazon, so please check this list carefully and make sure that you won’t face troubles with your business. We are going to explore the most popular gated categories and restricted products at the end of our article, so if you want to learn more about them right now, skip directly to that part called “Popular Gated Categories on Amazon: Details”.

 

Other Restrictions

The fact that a certain category is gated or some products are prohibited doesn’t mean that there are no other restrictions. What else can be gated/restricted on Amazon?

  1. Subcategories. For example, if you don’t need to pass a difficult approval procedure to sell in the Health & Beauty category, this doesn’t mean that your products are eligible for all subcategories. So we recommend double-checking your category and subcategory prior to ordering goods from your manufacturer.
  2. Brands. Everything is clear with this point. You won’t be approved for selling Adidas, Apple, Levi’s and other branded products. However, there are situations when these limitations apply only to certain products, not to an entire assortment of a brand.

There may also be conditional restrictions, as some goods can be sold only in certain conditions (for instance, used or new). For example, only new products can be sold in Baby products, Accessories, Watches.

NOTE! The list of restricted categories and products is constantly changing, so better check twice whether your goods can be sold in a certain category prior to submitting your listing there.

 

FBA Product Restrictions

If your products are not suitable for Amazon’s fulfillment process, they can’t be accepted to a fulfillment center. What’s more, along with the refusal, return or disposal of such inventory, your future shipments to warehouses may be blocked, you may be charged for the noncompliance, your selling privileges may be suspended, and you may get a fine from Amazon.

Keep in mind that while some items can be sold on Amazon by FBM sellers, they are prohibited for FBA participants. These are products which have an expiration date or are temperature-sensitive:

Hazardous materials and dangerous products are also restricted. They can’t be processed by Amazon fulfillment centers due to the regulations of the U.S. Department of Transportation. Here is the official guide on these dangerous goods.

 

How to Request Approval

Once Amazon approves your products, you will be able to sell them in gated categories. Here is how to apply for their approval:

  1. Go to ‘Inventory’.
  2. Click ‘Add a Product’.
  3. Find the product you want to submit.
  4. Select ‘Listing limitations apply’. This link is placed next to the product.
  5. Click ‘Request approval’, it will start the application process.

So, you have to wait until Amazon informs you about their decision.

After we have decided what to do when applying to a gated category, still, you might be interested in the details about the most popular restricted categories. We suggest to explore them more thoroughly.

 

Popular Gated Categories on Amazon: Details

1. Automotive and Powersports

This is the category for car parts, wheels, equipment, tools, accessories, fluids for cars, and so on. Here are Amazon’s requirements for selling in this category:

  • Sellers must sell on Amazon’s Professional plan.
  • Product images have to be compliant to Amazon TOS and be reviewed somewhere, for example, on another independent website.
  • Products must have a warranty from a manufacturer.
  • Check Fit data and Part finder pages to sell car parts that suit only specific models.

Sellers also advise having own website, as this means much to Amazon. Resellers are not usually allowed to list products in this category, so you’ll need to prove that your parts are original and high-quality.

 

2. Clothing, luggage, accessories

We call this category ‘Fashion’. It usually contains all wearable things - closing, shoes, coats, hats, purses, not fine jewelry, and so on.

Amazon has the following requirements for this category:

  • Sellers must have the Professional plan.
  • Sellers have to submit the approval form.

According to what many sellers say, selling clothes somewhere outside Amazon will be an advantage. Amazon is likely to approve such products.

 

3. Collectible books

Amazon allows selling used books and they have become a great part of their library. However, not all books are collectible. They are limited first editions, signed books, or have other unique qualities that make them valuable for collectors.

Amazon has lots of requirements for collectible books:

  • These books have to include ISBN-10 or, optionally, ISBN-13.
  • If there is no ISBN, sellers have to create listings with the information about the author, publisher, title, publication date and place.
  • Only sellers with high performance and low order defect rates are approved to sell in this category.
  • There must be a 30-day refund for all items from this category.
  • All items sold in this category must have value for collectors and this fact must be proven.
  • These books have to be authentic, not replicas or counterfeit.
  • Products must follow the safety standards of North America.
  • All data and images in the listing must be appropriate for the global community and suitable for all ages.

The list of requirements may seem huge but Amazon sellers say that this is one of the easiest categories to enroll.

 

4. Collectible coins

These are a special edition and rare coins that have value for collectors. Amazon requires the following things:

  • Sellers have to have a membership in one of these organizations:
    • PCGS
    • NGC/PMG
    • PNG
    • CTA
  • 70%+ of inventory must be recognized by PCGS or NGC, or come from a government mint.
  • In some cases, sellers must provide Amazon copies of their anti-money laundering program. This is not obligatory for everyone but Amazon might request this.
  • Professionally authenticated coins can be accepted from PCGS and NGS only.
  • Coins which cost exceeds $1500 have to be graded by PCGS or NGS.
  • Ungraded coins must be registered as ‘Graded by seller’ unless they come in government packages.
  • Sellers should provide links to their websites with the products.

 

5. Collectibles in Entertainment

Like collectibles from the previous points, entertainment ones should have value for collectors as well. Here is what Amazon says about them:

  • Sellers must have the Pro seller plan.
  • Customer metrics of these sellers have to be below or at the required levels.
  • Listings must be as it is required by the category rules.
  • Customers must complete their orders on Amazon without leaving the site.

 

6. Fine art

This category is about no mass produces art pieces. Amazon’s requirements are the following:

  • Sellers must have at least 3 years of experience of working with fine art.
  • Online presence is crucial for sellers who want to sell in this category.
  • Other must-haves are essays on art topics, exhibitions, published catalogs, and so on.
  • Artists that represent themselves can’t sell their art.

Mass-produced pieces of art can be sold on Amazon either but in other categories. Check Home and Kitchen. What’s more, take advantage of selling on eBay or Etsy - these are perfect marketplaces for selling own art.

 

7. Fine jewelry

Amazon has their Jewelry Quality Assurance Standards, so before enrolling to this category, make sure your products fit.

  • Sellers must work with the Professional plan and must not be new Amazon sellers. At least 12-month experience with over $50000 annual revenue is required.
  • The description of products must be very accurate.
  • All products have to be set up according to Amazon guidelines which define the differences between fine and fashion jewelry.
  • Product must be original, not fake.
  • Items that cost over $300000 are not allowed to the Fine Jewelry category.
  • Sellers have to run a successful business outside Amazon, which revenue has to exceed $50000 per year.
  • Sellers must have high-performance rates:
    • Order-Defect Rate - 1% or less
    • Late Shipment Rate - 4% or less
    • Cancellation Rate - 2.5% or less
  • Amazon sellers say that they are charged a $5000 entry fee to sell in this gated category.
  • Sellers have to provide Amazon with test products for quality testing. They can test your products once in a year or even a half a year.

This category is the strictest one on Amazon.

 

8. Gift cards

Only companies selling gift cards are allowed to ungate this category. So, if your company does not provide any gift cards, pass to the next point.

 

9. Grocery and Gourmet Food

These are consumable food products. Amazon has the following requirements:

  • The category is open only to Professional sellers.
  • You have to meet the following targets:
    • Late shipment rate - < 4%
    • Order defect rate - < 1%
    • Pre-fulfillment cancel rate - < 2.5%
  • Sellers must have all the necessary documentation about their products. Invoices have to be detailed, and it is very hard to pass through Amazon’s inspections.
  • Having own website is helpful, as it helps Amazon to process the query faster, but not obligatory.

 

10. Kindle accessories

As you might have understood, these are products tied to Amazon’s products - Kindle, Echo, Fire.

 

11. Major appliances

This category includes large machines for the business and household - refrigerators, vacuum cleaners, dishwashers, washing machines, etc.

  • Amazon doesn’t provide sellers with specific requirements until they apply for approval.
  • Be ready to provide invoices, documents for the products, warranties and other papers.
  • There may be some regulatory problems.

 

12. Sexual wellness

This point includes lubricants, toys, and other bedroom items.

  • Amazon requires sellers to apply to this category, though ungating it is not difficult.

 

13. Sports collectibles

These may be items with signatures of sports players, limited editions products, and other collectibles. Here is what Amazon says about this category:

  • The category if open only to Pro sellers.
  • Seller’s order defect rate must be lower than 0.75%.
  • There are no requirements for UPCs for products from this category.

Still, such things are better sold on eBay and niche sites rather than on Amazon.

 

14. Textbook rentals

This category allows users to borrow textbooks and save money.

However, Amazon is not currently accepting products to this category.

 

15. Video, DVDs, and Blu Ray

Amazon accepts individual sellers to this category, but they must upgrade their plans in 30 days after approval.

Here are their requirements to the performance rates:

  • Order defect rate -  1% or less
  • Cancellation rate - 2.5% or less
  • Late shipment rate -  4% or less

They also want to know what is the primary source of products, an estimated number of sold items, at least 3 invoices from your sources.

Amazon doesn’t appreciate fake products and can ban for this. Selling used DVDs is too hard too.

 

16. Toys and games (in the holidays season)

During the holidays, sales of toys and games are limited by Amazon. However, here are their rules for it:

  • Sellers must have a high activity level before applying to this category. The orders can be from various categories, not only from Toys.
  • Pre-fulfillment cancel rate has to be 1.75% or more while late shipment rate must be 4% or less and order defect rate - no more than 1% in one month prior to the holiday season.

 

17. Watches

These are not no-name watches but ones from well-known manufacturers like Tag Heuer or Rolex.

  • Sellers must have certificates of quality.
  • The professional account is obligatory. The performance of a seller has to be high.
  • Seller metrics have to be the same as in point 15.
  • Products have to be listed with original manufacturer’s UPCs.

 

18. Wine

For selling wine, a businessperson has to provide a license. However, this category is the most prohibited and it is hard to ungate it. Moreover, Amazon has huge limits and not everyone is able to sell wines in this marketplace.