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Amazon Product Category Guidelines

Amazon Product Category Guidelines

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A few decades ago, anyone could sell anything online when it became possible and popular. However, this does not imply you should sell any product on Amazon in recent times. The massive e-commerce retailer actively works to safeguard its customers against hazardous or fraudulent products. 

Amazon has a number of categories that are restricted to most sellers. They are known as “Restricted Categories” or “Ungated Categories.” There are still some product categories that you may sell on Amazon without getting approval. To guarantee that buyers are receiving high-quality products for the money they are spending, that list gets shorter every year.

So let us discuss the essential information concerning Amazon’s category and product restrictions, gated categories, and how to get ungated.

Table Of Contents

  • Categories you can sell on Amazon without approval
  • Gated categories on Amazon
  • Gated products on Amazon
  • Getting Approval In Amazon Gated Categories
  • Consequences of violating listing restrictions
  • Final thoughts

Categories You Can Sell On Amazon Without Approval

Most e-commerce businesses search for product categories that do not require approval by Amazon so that they can start selling straight away. Fortunately, there are a number of profitable ungated Amazon categories that you may sell in without having to get clearance. 

The majority of the most popular product categories, including books, toys, groceries, and home and kitchen supplies, are not restricted. Any registered Amazon seller is permitted to start selling products in these open categories. 13 of the 33 main Amazon seller categories are entirely unrestricted. Ten others from the remaining are unrestricted but may have subcategories or certain products that need pre-authorization.

Starting off as a seller of unrestricted products allows you to open a store and run straight immediately. Additionally, if you want to sell in gated categories in the future, your success as an ungated seller may have an influence on your potential to get approved. The following Amazon categories are completely unrestricted and do not need prior approval to sell in:

  • Amazon Device Accessories
  • Automotive & Powersports
  • Beauty
  • Books (Non-Collectibles)
  • Camera & Photo
  • Cell Phones & Accessories
  • Home & Garden
  • Industrial & Scientific
  • Major Appliances
  • Musical Instruments
  • Sports
  • Tools & Home Improvement

Gated Categories On Amazon

In order to safeguard customers, Amazon has labeled certain categories as “restricted.” Before selling any items in these categories, Amazon sellers must acquire approval. Amazon has a distinct list of restricted categories and restricted products depending on the marketplace and local laws. While Amazon US will be the main emphasis here, many of the procedures for receiving approval are universal. 

The following is a list of restricted categories in the USA:

  • Holiday Selling Requirements in Toys & Games
  • Amazon Watch Warranty FAQs
  • Made in Italy
  • Video, DVD, & Blu-ray
  • Collectible Coins
  • Streaming Media Players
  • Personal Safety and Household products
  • Grocery & Gourmet Foods
  • Music Category
  • Lighting Category
  • Beauty Topical
  • Sports & Nutrition
  • Watches
  • Gardening & Watering
  • Automotive
  • OTC Medication
  • Haircare & Beauty Appliances
  • Baby Topicals
  • Toys
  • Pet supplies
  • Medical supplies & Equipment
  • Pet Care
  • Pet Food
  • Candles & Aroma Therapy
  • Power Tools
  • Home Environment Electronics
  • Wireless Accessories
  • Baby Feeding
  • Feminine Hygiene
  • Baby Activity Gear
  • Baby Strollers and Carriers
  • Audio Visual

Gated Products On Amazon

There are restricted products as well as categories that need approval to sell. Additionally, the platform can forbid certain of these items. Amazon also controls the usage of branding as well, so make sure you have the authorization to sell a product from a popular brand if you want to do so. 

The following is a list of restricted products in the USA:

  • Alcohol
  • Animals & Animal-Related Products
  • Art – Fine Art
  • Art – Home Decor
  • Automotive and Powersports
  • Composite Wood Products
  • Cosmetics & Skin/Hair Care
  • COVID-19 Supplies
  • Currency, Coins, Cash Equivalents, and Gift Cards
  • Dietary Supplements
  • Drugs & drug paraphernalia
  • Electronics
  • Explosives, Weapons, and Related Items
  • Export Controls
  • Food & Beverage
  • Gambling & Lottery
  • Hazardous and Dangerous Items
  • Human Parts & Burial Artifacts
  • Jewelry & Precious Gems
  • Laser products
  • Lighting
  • Lock Picking & Theft Devices
  • Medical devices and accessories
  • Offensive and Controversial Materials
  • Pesticides and Pesticide Devices
  • Plant and Seed Products
  • Postage Meters & Stamps
  • Recalled Products
  • Recycling electronics
  • Subscriptions and Periodicals
  • Surveillance Equipment
  • Tobacco & Tobacco-Related Products
  • Warranties, Service Plans, Contracts, and Guarantees
  • Other Restricted Products
  • Refrigerants: Ozone-Depleting Substances and Substitutes
  • Upholstered Furniture, Bedding, & Other Quilted Products
  • CPAP Cleaning and Disinfecting Devices

The list of restricted items is continuously updated, much like the list of restricted categories. At Amazon Seller Central, you can keep track of any modification.  

Getting Approval In Amazon Gated Categories

It is not necessary to give up and start over just because your product falls under an Amazon restricted category. Most of the time, requests for Amazon category approval are simple but time-consuming. You may sometimes receive automatic approval after submitting a request. This usually happens after some time of successful selling on the platform. 

If you are trying to list your products but see a “Listing Limitations Apply” message, try the following in Seller Central:

1. Log in to your Seller account, then click “Inventory.”

2. Select “Add a Product” within your Inventory menu.

3. Look for the products you want to sell.

4. If it returns as restricted, click “Listing Limitations Apply” next to that item.

5. Click “Request Approval” to start the approval procedure.

It is possible that you will receive a response right away stating that your request has been granted. Otherwise, you will be asked by the system to provide further information. A bit more complexity may come with the additional details. You may be required to submit detailed wholesale invoices and information about your current business and products. 

Amazon takes into account the invoices you supply in addition to other factors when deciding whether or not to grant you access to the restricted category. Prior to making a final decision, Amazon might want to review the following points again:

  • An order defect rate of less than 1%
  • A plan for pro-sellers
  • A good-standing account
  • A minimum of three months’ worth of sales history
  • A return address in the country where you’re selling OR a guarantee of free delivery
  • Support for customer assistance in the local language

Consequences Of Violating Listing Restrictions

Violations of Amazon listing policies may result in actions such as:

  • Cancellation of listings
  • Limits on listing privileges
  • Suspension of listing privileges
  • Removal of listing privileges

Amazon reserves the right to make judgments in its sole discretion about whether or not a listing is appropriate.

Final Thoughts

Your experience as an Amazon seller is entirely up to you. You can get a lot of expertise and establish a solid seller reputation on Amazon. After doing that, you may decide if you want to start selling in one of Amazon’s restricted categories.

Although getting approval to sell products in gated categories is challenging, it is often worthwhile. Many of these categories possess tremendous sales potential for those sellers who are ready to go that “extra mile.”

Restricted categories have less competition since they are less saturated. The secret to your success on Amazon is to look for opportunities where others will not.

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