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Amazon FBA
October 13, 2021

Amazon FBA Restricted Categories: How To Get Access In 2021

Amazon is currently the most popular online platform. Finding new profitable things to sell on Amazon can be challenging at times. You eliminate competition from sellers who don't want to deal with the effort of unrestricting a product by selling things that require you to be ungated.


Some markets are saturated, and you may find that one or more of your listings has attracted more competition than you anticipated. In most cases, having more sellers on a listing means lower profits for you.


You can instantly access multiple markets with significantly less competition after you learn how to un-restrict your account.


Why Does Amazon Gate Certain Categories?

Amazon takes a very customer-centric approach, with the protection of its consumers being its top priority. Amazon limits and verifies the sellers of specific products to retain its reputation.


It can reduce the possibility of counterfeit goods being sold on their site by doing this.


This technique benefits everyone because customers are more willing to buy things on Amazon without hesitation.


Consider eBay or other online marketplaces: you would typically double-check before buying an expensive item and only deal with top-rated, history-proven sellers.


Here Is The List Of Restricted Categories On Amazon FBA For 2021:


There are two types: 


  • Brand gates 


  • Category gates


Brand Gates


Brand gates can be more challenging because different brands do not want their products sold on Amazon. It can include, but is not limited to:


  • Their products are frequently imitated.


  • Retail shops are easy targets for theft.


  • The brand does not want its perceived value to drop.


  • The brand is only available in other countries.


Un-gating specific brands are frequently more challenging. It often requires direct contact with the brand, as well as a monetary payment.


Most of the time, Amazon requires you to prove that you have formal permission from the brands to sell their products. 


You can look through the list of Gated Brands here.


Gated Brands Category

List of Amazon Gated Categories for 2021:


  • Automotive & Power sports


  • Collectible Coins


  • Entertainment Collectibles


  • Fine Art


  • Gift Cards


  • Jewelry


  • Music & DVD


  • Major Appliances


  • Sports Collectibles


  • Streaming Media Players


  • Video, DVD, & Blu-ray


  • Watches


One rookie mistake to avoid is assuming that the brand rather than the category restricts a product. It's always a good idea to double-check.


Additionally, here is a list of prohibited categories.

Related article: Top Amazon Categories 2021

More Types Of Restrictions: Subcategory Restrictions


Subcategory restrictions are uncommon. These limits differ from regular category restrictions in a few ways.


Amazon frequently leaves some categories unrestricted, although a few subcategories require ungated before selling those products.


Amazon, for example, allows the Toys category to be unrestricted while restricting the sale of learning games and building block toys.


Amazon FBA lists restricted categories that you may experience subcategory restrictions are:


  • Beauty


  • Health & Personal Care


  • Toys


ASIN Restrictions

ASIN restrictions are another form of restriction that Amazon imposes on vendors. Due to this, some products may not be able to get sold. This is done by Amazon owing to concerns about IP infringement, product quality, or product safety.


Holiday Restrictions

Amazon imposes additional restrictions during the busy holiday season. Anything in the Toys and Games category is subject to these restrictions.


The good news is that these restrictions only apply to merchant fulfillment sellers who fail to reach the Holiday Selling Guidelines. If you sell through Amazon's FBA program, you won't have to worry about anything. This is done to reduce the chance of new sellers being late with orders.


Nobody wants their Christmas gifts to come the day after Christmas! 

However, it should not be a problem if you have a record of success in merchant delivery performance.


Product Condition Restrictions


Amazon has restrictions on specific product conditions in a variety of categories. The sale of used things is restricted in the following categories:


  • Baby Products


  • Beauty Clothing, Accessories & Luggage


  • Grocery & Gourmet Food


  • Health & Personal Care


  • Jewelry Shoes, Handbags & Sunglasses


  • Toys & Games


  • Watches


How Do I Un-gate My Account?


The Process to apply for approval is:


  1. Log in to Seller Central and Begin Doing this by selecting "Add A Product" in the inventory link.


  1. Find the Application Form Search for the item you want to sell and click the "Listing limitations" link next to the article.


  1. Request Approval


  1. Click on the Request Approval button, and that will quickly begin the application process.


Un-gating your account doesn't have to be complicated; many times, it's far from it. If you are already a seasoned seller, chances are if you request approval for an Amazon restricted category FBA, you may automatically be approved.


Amazon mostly looks for you to be performing within their required targets.


These targets include a defect rate of less than 1%, a pre-fulfillment cancellation rate of less than 2.5%, and a late shipment rate of less than 4%. Different categories have different requirements to be met that need to be satisfied.


Depending on the category, Amazon may ask for confirmation of where your goods are produced. An invoice from a wholesaler or distributor is often used as documented proof.


The order must be for ten or more units of the specific product you're trying to ungate to meet Amazon's requirements. A letter of approval to sell from the manufacturer or brand owner and a monetary charge and various documentation may be requested by Amazon (LLC, Tax ID, Address, etc.).


Suppose you applied and were denied, especially if you're a new seller. Wait three to six months before applying again. It's usually because you're "too new," but Amazon will accept you when you've made a few more sales.



What Special Requirements By Category? 

Most category applications will only require you to produce specific business data, an invoice, or achieve Amazon's Required Performance Targets.


Other categories, on the other hand, become more challenging. The most difficult types and their requirements are shown below.


1: FINE ART

Have a professional working website of your brand with an established presence


2: FINE JEWELRY

Pay Amazon's Fine Jewelry $5000 entry fee


Submit your products for Amazon's Quality Assurance Testing


3: WINE

Register yourself as a domestic winery, importer, or wholesaler with retail sales privileges.


4: WATCHES

Must List all Watches with manufacturer's UPC


Have methods for testing pre-owned watch accuracy and water resistance


5: KINDLE ACCESSORIES


Be prepared to pay 45% sales fees on Kindle products. This may not necessarily be bad; more extensive fees = less competition.


6: COLLECTIBLE COINS


Maintain Proper Memberships with one of the Coin Collecting Organizations: PNG, ICTA, PCGS, or NCC/PMG


Have at least 70% of your coins graded. Any coin valued at $1500 or greater must be graded.


  • Must set up an Anti-Money Laundering Program


  • Must have a website


  • Automotive and Power sports


  • Use Compliant Product Images


  • List with Proper UPC Codes


  • The manufacturer must warrant all Certified Refurbished product parts.


  • Must have reviewed Part Finder and Fitment Data page


Categories Amazon isn't accepting any more applications.


  • Textbook Rentals


  • Gift cards 


  • Categories that are incredibly easy to Un-gate


  • Sexual Wellness


  • Collectible Books


  • Clothes, Accessories & Luggage




Auto-Approval

Amazon's trust in you will grow as your Seller Central account "ages." As a result, you'll find that you're auto-approved on several categories and brands moving ahead after requesting the un-gating.


This starts after about six months and above $100,000 in annual sales, according to some sellers' experience.


The "Prohibited Product Claims" Policy

When it comes to managing customer expectations, Amazon is stringent. Prohibited Product Claims Policy protects them against sellers who set false expectations.


For example, a featured listing may show a 3-pack, but the actual product only comprises a single unit.


Amazon's approach followed the Federal Trade Commission's requirements as a best practice. It explicitly targets advertising that is "unfair or deceptive."


In addition to the apparent issues, Amazon's Restricted Product Claims Policy indicates that products that claim to "cure, mitigate, treat, or prevent diseases in people or animals without FBA approval" are prohibited.


It's highly suggested that you read and understand the FTC's "Green Guides" further details.


Consequences Of Violating Amazon's Restrictions


You might be tempted to break the rules or use "grey hat" techniques and get around them. Please don't do it since these strategies could ruin your business.


Amazon has a vast variety of responses, but the following are the most common:


  • Your listings may be deleted or canceled by Amazon.


  • Amazon may impose additional restrictions on what you can list.


  • Amazon may take away your ability to list new products in your store.


  • They can suspend your Seller account entirely.



Tip Talk!

One of the most difficult challenges you'll face as a vendor is dealing with restrictions. Even though some of these restrictions will always exist, others can be removed through un-gating. Un-gating your Amazon account gives you access to a larger audience and, potentially, more sales.

Next article: 3 Critical Steps to Successful Amazon FBA Product Research