Your Amazon seller account just got verified.
You’ve started selling.
You made some pretty decent sales for starters.
Two to three months into selling, you visit a local store to purchase an item on sale, which you know is selling well on Amazon.
Issue is you are GATED!
This will continue to be an issue until you take the correct steps to ungating yourself and unlocking your ability to sell a wider range of products and categories.
On a positive note, you’re not the only one who's experienced this. A lot of Amazon sellers commit this rookie mistake, wherein sellers purchase items and try to list it, only to find out that they are still gated within that category or brand.
Luckily, this article will guide you how to get on with the art of Amazon ungating.
Ungated vs. Gated
First, let’s define Ungated and Gated, as these words might sound jargon to new sellers. Ungated categories are categories wherein a seller can already sell some to most items within it, without the need to undergo any approval. Operative phrase is some to most items.
This is because there are some categories which not all items within it are sellable right away. These products might be under sub-categories or brands that need a separate approval to sell in.
On the other hand, Gated categories are restricted ones. You have to undergo an approval process for you to be able to sell from these categories. Our Top Tips to Ungating will give you additional insights which will be very helpful on your ungating journey.
If you’re a new seller, or even a seasoned one, and you’re not sure which categories are unrestricted for you to sell from, then read on this list to know them:
Baby - some restrictions may apply during holiday season
Beauty - sub-categories may apply
Camera & Photo
Clothing & Accessories
Grocery & Gourmet Foods
Health & Personal Care - sub-categories may apply
Home & Garden
Industrial & Scientific (BISS)
Luggage & Travel Accessories
Shoes, Handbags, & Sunglasses
Tools & Home Improvement
Toys - some restrictions may apply during holiday season; sub-categories may apply
Needless to say, the categories mentioned above are the ones wherein sellers, new and seasoned, can sell from without the need to undergo any approval process. However, it is worth noting that some of these categories may have slight restriction changes during the holiday season (for FBM sellers especially). Also, as mentioned before, some of these categories have sub-categories which require a separate approval.
Gated categories, as mentioned before, are categories which require you to undergo an approval process first before you can sell from these. You might be wondering, if Amazon is an ecommerce site, then why is there a need to restrict some categories? Why can’t they just ungate all categories and let sellers sell from them freely?
Amazon’s goal is to give the best experience to all their customers. In order to attain this goal, part of it is to make sure that all items sold within their platform are legitimate. If you’ll notice from the list of restricted categories below, products from these categories are the most common ones that get counterfeited. Amazon wants to make sure that you are a legitimate and honest seller. They also want to be sure that you will be selling authentic, and non-counterfeit products, hence the restrictions.
Here’s the list of restricted categories:
Automotive & Powersports
Music & DVD
Streaming Media Players
Video, DVD, & Blu-ray
Also, apart from restricted categories, there are specific brands and sub-categories which you usually need approval first. Here’s the list of unrestricted main categories with their corresponding restricted sub-categories:
Main Category: Baby
Baby Activity Gear
Baby Car Seats
Baby Food & Formula
Baby Strollers & Carriers
Main Category: Health & Personal Care
Hair Care & Beauty Appliances
Main Category: Toys & Games
Lastly, there are some brands, big or small like Nike or Clarins which come to an agreement with Amazon to protect themselves. These brands could either be from restricted or unrestricted categories. The bottom line is, as a seller, you need to request for direct approval for these brands, which can often prove difficult to achieve.
Getting ungated in certain categories can literally boost your sales drastically. This is because you will have more options to choose from. You will have tons of profitable products that you can select to sell.
The ungating process on Amazon is not as complicated as it seems. You just have to know what to do to do it right the first time.
Before we delve into the process of getting ungated, there’s a process called “Auto-Ungating” on Amazon. “Auto-Ungating” is when you request for approval and get approved automatically and instantly. If this happens, thank the Amazon gods because you do not have to go through the whole process of manually applying to become ungated. The catch is, Amazon does not give a list of which categories, sub-categories and brands you get auto-ungated from and over our many years of experience Amazon only allows auto ungating approvals after your account has manually been through the ungating process and has a good sales history. Also, the categories, sub-categories and brands differ from one seller to another. Seller A’s auto-ungated category may differ from Seller B’s. Within the Arbitrage Experts Academy, we keep a list of categories that our members get auto-ungated from which is regularly updated and we also provide 1-2-1 assistance with the ungating process, in terms of which verified suppliers to use and what products to select for the ungating process.
Here’s our easy-to-follow process to get ungated within restricted brands or categories:
On your Seller Central account go to “Catalog”
Then click “Add Products”
Enter ASIN within the search bar, you will either see “Sell Yours” or “Request Approval”
If it says “Request Approval”, you are gated and need to follow the steps required to get ungated
These steps are different for every category
Source a verified supplier to purchase your goods from
Purchase in the quantity requested by Amazon
Obtain an invoice from the supplier
Submit invoice(s) from verified supplier within your ungating application
Submit photos of the actual products and supporting documentation (if requested)
Wait approx 12 hours for a response to your application.
Have you recently gotten yourself successfully ungated in a category on Amazon? We’d love to hear from you! And if you haven’t, follow our steps above and let us know how you get on.
Whether you are a seasoned seller, or a new one, getting ungated with as many categories as you can is essential to your business’s growth. With getting ungated to multiple categories or brands, comes having wider product selections. With this, you potentially have the opportunity to increase your sales faster, and in turn, making your business more successful.
The ungating process as mentioned is never complicated. You just have to follow all the necessary steps Amazon has instructed you to do. Doing this will help you do it right the first time. Our Top Tips to Ungating has helped a lot of sellers get ungated within categories they thought they wouldn’t get approved on. Also, if you do not get ungated the first time you try, do not get discouraged. Instead, use this as your motivation to try again.
Lastly, just a few months from now will be Q4. The busiest months of the year for any Amazon seller. What better time to get ungated within restricted categories than now!
Have you already thought about which gated category you want to unlock? Which categories are you planning to get ungated from?
Need More Help? Here Are Some Additional Resources
Get Coaching: Want our help growing your eCom business? Apply for our Arbitrage Experts Academy Programme Here.
Free Training: How to start, systemise and scale your online business. Register Here.
Book a FREE Strategy Call: Get 1-2-1 support from the OSC Team to devise a tailor made plan you can follow to achieve scale. Click Here.
Get Expert Virtual Assistants: Want to build your team of transformational VAs and free your time? Learn more here.