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Exactly how to deal with Amazon Restricted Categories

unlock photo Amazon restricts sellers from selling in various categories (e.g. Grocery, Health and Beauty, Clothing, Watches, Shoes, etc.)

I believe Amazon made those restrictions because the categories were getting flooded with fly-by-night sellers. Now Amazon requires an application process (which can be rather lengthy for some categories) that can help reduce (or eliminate) their number of illegitimate sellers.

Everyone who wants to sell in those categories, naturally, has to apply for approval (or 'ungating').

The first thing is: don't panic.

Second (Free): Read EACH of these blog posts from a seasoned selling expert (much smarter than me) (direct links, no opt-in required):

1.) Find out what categories you're approved/not approved to sell in, here

2.) Mega-seller Jessica Larrew gives free step-by-step help for getting ungated here

3.) Mega-seller Skip McGrath posts free step-by-step help for getting ungated in jewelry here (look for #3 on that page).

My additional advice:  if you are restricted from a category you were/want to sell in AND you can't get approved in that category, there are still opportunities in the 'default' categories you are not restricted from (used/new: Toys and Games (Amazon calls most used ones 'collectible'), books, CDs, Tools & Home improvement, Baby, Electronics, Kitchen & Household, etc.)

Good luck, and keep me posted!

-Jordan

{ 16 comments… add one }
  • Mike G October 11, 2014, 5:51 pm

    Any advice on DVDs above MSRP $25? Seems like a lot of people have failed to get approval here and Amazon is not being completely honest about what they require for approval.

    • Jordan Malik October 13, 2014, 7:53 am

      I haven’t found a service that helps with DVD approvals

      • Cesar Carranza May 24, 2016, 12:41 pm

        I read where you must be a huge authorized DVD distributor to sell DVD’s because too many Amazon power sellers have accidentally listed and sold counterfeit DVDs which makes Amazon.com look as they participated because they charge the seller their selling fees, making Amazon.com look as if they turned the blink eye.

        • Jordan Malik May 24, 2016, 12:44 pm

          Yes getting approved to sell DVDs today is nearly impossible because of the counterfeit problem.

  • Debra Conrad November 5, 2014, 1:07 pm

    Thanks so much for sharing Jordan!

    I haven’t been through the gated category process until now. The Jewelry category became an option for a brief time this week, so I did as Charlene recommended in my podcast, and immediately contacted Karen Locker.

    Jewelry (and the Clothing category) approval process is more about the pictures than needed receipts or invoices. Of course, the first set of images I sent to Amazon were not approved.

    It’s a relief that I don’t have to worry about it… I’ll just let Karen take care of it. :)

    Thanks again for all you do,

    Debra

    • Jordan Malik November 5, 2014, 1:11 pm

      Thanks for sharing your experience Debra. You are Ms ‘Busy Bee’ these days, so I do appreciate you writing in and telling us about getting ungated.!

  • Ricardo October 25, 2015, 9:36 pm

    Jordan you are a great teacher. I listen to all your podcast episodes before I started selling on amazon (FBA) three months ago. All your advice on Yard sales and Estate sales are solid. I have been doing very good in a Sales. I just want to get ungated for 2 of the gated categories and I will be great(DVD and Industrial). Thank you so much for helping out us newbies.

    Ric in NY

    • Jordan Malik October 26, 2015, 6:41 am

      Thanks Ric! Just an FYI getting ungated in DVD is (I have heard) nearly impossible, Amazon is very reluctant to approve sellers like us due to the history of counterfeit DVDs being sold on Amazon.

      • Ricardo November 24, 2015, 1:53 am

        Ok thanks Jordan.

  • Phil Dunn January 18, 2016, 1:09 am

    Great advice, Jordan. Much thanks.

  • Donna B March 1, 2016, 2:27 pm

    How can I find out specifically which categories are gated vs. not gated? I am not ready to register for a selling account yet (do not have a DBA yet), but have been exploring selling various items via the FBA program, and finding that to start out it would be better for us to sell in an unrestricted category.

    • Jordan Malik March 1, 2016, 2:46 pm

      You should sign up for a seller account first then go here. The major categories you’re allowed to sell in by default (partial list): books, CDs, toys, baby, electronics, home and kitchen, Sports, pet supplies, video games.

      • Donna B March 2, 2016, 1:36 am

        Thank you.

  • Tony February 7, 2017, 12:04 am

    Can you list any resources for people who specialize in getting sellers ungated for grocery and beauty? Those are the hardest.

    Also, have you had experience with just listing your product in an ungated category, like for example a food product in “home and kitchen” as opposed to the gated grocery one. Any pitfalls to this strategy?

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