When you’re coming up with new Amazon product ideas while exploring items you’re less-than-satisfied with in your own home, or when you’re using an Amazon product research tool, you might have come across a great new idea only to find that it is in a restricted category.
There are over a dozen different restricted categories that Amazon only permits certain sellers to offer products in, and there are even more restricted products outside of these categories.
In this post, we detail the categories that are restricted, how you can increase your chances of selling in them, and what products are restricted as well.
Why does Amazon restrict some categories?
Amazon restricts certain categories to only experienced sellers. Likely, the strategy behind this is to ensure the quality of those products and make sure that there are no fakes, bad ingredients, or other undesirable items being sold on their site.
It all comes down to Amazon needing to protect their brand in the eyes of consumers. Any Amazon shopper has seen reviews stating that a personal care product wasn’t “the real thing.” Just imagine how much worse the level of fraud would be if Amazon didn’t restrict certain categories like collectibles, fine art, and DVDs.
Amazon gated categories list
The following categories require approval from Amazon to sell in.
- Automotive & Powersports
- Collectible Coins
- Entertainment Collectibles
- Fine Art
- Toys & Games During the Holidays
- Amazon Handmade
- Amazon Subscription Boxes
- Made in Italy
- Music & DVD
- Personal Safety and Household Products
- Sports Collectibles
- Streaming Media Players
- Video, DVD, & Blu-ray
How to get approved to sell in gated categories on Amazon
If you’re a new Amazon seller, you should avoid this list of gated categories. You’ll be less likely to get approved, and the extra layer of difficulty is just one more thing keeping you from the business you want to build.
But if you’re already an established seller, you might be ready to try your hand in one of these categories. On the whole, gated categories are not less likely to be competitive than ungated categories and some of them may have less purchase volume. However, there are absolutely opportunities to be found in gated categories, so don’t rule them out.
In general, to get ungated you’ll need…
- The right account health stats
- A professional selling account
- A certain level of experience selling on Amazon
- A certain level of annual revenue
- Off-Amazon selling experience and presence if required (see below)
- Other category-specific requirements (see bellow)
Automotive & Powersports
When selling automotive and powersports products, you need to have a separate brand website that features your product images. Meaning, you can’t only sell on Amazon and you must have your own site too. You also need to have warranties for certified refurbished products from the manufacturer.
Learn more by viewing this gated category in Amazon Seller Central: Automotive & Powersports
To sell collectable coins, you need to be either selling 100% government mint coins, or be part of an organization like Professional Numismatist Guild or the Professional Coin Grading Service.
Learn more by viewing this gated category in Amazon Seller Central: Collectible Coins
In addition to some basic requirements like being on the professional selling plan and ensuring that every part of the order can be completed on the Amazon website, sellers of products in this gated category must also keep their order defect rate below 1% and their pre-fulfillment cancellation rate below 2.5% to remain eligible to sell.
Learn more by viewing this gated category in Amazon Seller Central: Entertainment Collectibles
Seller beware! Since expensive products come with higher expectations, they’re more likely to receive one-star reviews. To play in this category, sellers need to have been selling fine art for at least 3 years on other channels, and they need to have a website and online presence.
Learn more by viewing this gated category in Amazon Seller Central: Fine Art
Toys & Games During the Holidays
To sell toys and games during the holiday season, you need to have processed a certain number of orders in the most recent quarter. Also, in the month before the start of the holiday season, your order defect rate needs to be no more than 1% and your pre-fulfillment cancel rates can’t exceed 1.75%.
Learn more by viewing this gated category in Amazon Seller Central: Toys & Games During the Holidays
Among other requirements, to sell jewelry on Amazon you need to have 12 months experience selling on Amazon and hit at least $50k in revenue per year.
Learn more by viewing this gated category in Amazon Seller Central: Jewelry
The hardest part of selling handmade goods on Amazon is proving that your items are truly handmade. You’ll need to submit very detailed images and high quality close-ups to show that you’re not pretending that something from Alibaba was handcrafted.
Learn more by viewing this gated category in Amazon Seller Central: Amazon Handmade
Amazon Subscription Boxes
To be eligible to sell subscription boxes on Amazon you need to already have a successful subscription box business that you are selling on another channel, such as CrateJoy or your own Shopify store.
Learn more by viewing this gated category in Amazon Seller Central: Amazon Subscription Boxes
Made in Italy
To sell a “Made in Italy” product you must comply with the Italian government’s usage of this phrase. You might be more likely to get approved if you also have a regional or local certification from one of Italy’s regions.
Learn more by viewing this gated category in Amazon Seller Central: Made in Italy
Music & DVD
To get ungated in this category, you need to have direct relationships with suppliers in the music or entertainment industry.
Learn more by viewing this gated category in Amazon Seller Central: Music & DVD
Personal Safety and Household Products
The requirements for selling personal safety and household products are likely to change or be applied in stricter ways due to global trends. For example, during the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, many sellers had a hard time getting face masks approved despite following guidelines because Amazon was trying to clamp down on price gouging.
Previously, this category only required a good account standing and legitimate invoices from wholesalers, but now this category is less certain.
Learn more by viewing this gated category in Amazon Seller Central: Personal Safety and Household Products
As for services such as installation and repair, Amazon is looking for businesses with a proven track record of having already sold services in their local market. They don’t want newbies, but rather they want to help you sell your existing service on their channel. Currently applications for selling services are closed.
Learn more by viewing this gated category in Amazon Seller Central: Services
The most frequent items sold in this category are professionally graded cards, which of course need validation. You might also succeed in selling old programs and memorabilia, but very high priced items will be subject to more scrutiny.
Learn more by viewing this gated category in Amazon Seller Central: Sports Collectibles
Streaming Media Players
This category requires a certain volume of sales and length of experience selling on Amazon, as well as good account health, and a direct relationship with distributors which allows you to present a legitimate invoice when requesting approval.
Learn more by viewing this gated category in Amazon Seller Central: Streaming Media Players
Video, DVD, & Blu-ray
Similar to the above category, you’ll need your account in good standing and you’ll need an invoice from a wholesaler or distributor. With this and the above category, Amazon is looking to shut down on theft, illegal reselling, and other black market activity.
Learn more by viewing this gated category in Amazon Seller Central: Video, DVD, & Blu-ray
For this category, you’ll need to show legitimate invoices from the supplier. You will have an easier time getting approved if you are selling watches under your own brand which has a presence elsewhere, such as on social media and your own ecommerce site.
Learn more by viewing this gated category in Amazon Seller Central: Watches
What about restricted products?
All products in the above categories are restricted and require approval. In addition, the following products are either restricted and require approval or are restricted and cannot be sold on Amazon in any capacity:
- Animals & Animal-Related Products
- Art – Fine Art
- Art – Home Decor
- Automotive and Powersports
- Composite Wood Products
- Cosmetics & Skin/Hair Care
- Currency, Coins, Cash Equivalents, and Gift Cards
- Dietary Supplements
- Drugs & drug paraphernalia
- Explosives, Weapons, and Related Items
- Export Controls
- Food & Beverage
- Gambling & Lottery
- Hazardous and Dangerous Items
- Human Parts & Burial Artifacts
- Jewelry & Precious Gems
- Laser products
- 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
- Refrigerants: Ozone-Depleting Substances and Substitutes
- Subscriptions and Periodicals
- Surveillance Equipment
- Tobacco & Tobacco-Related Products
- Warranties, Service Plans, Contracts, and Guarantees
While selling restricted products and those in restricted categories can take require some elbow grease to get approved in, the benefit is that there are fewer entrepreneurs who are able to qualify, potentially giving you access to a great new opportunity.
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