If you have recently started selling on Amazon or you are planning to, you’ve probably heard the phrase “ungating” on Amazon. The eCommerce giant has tons of rules and restrictions to protect its customer base. One of them is the restriction it puts on certain categories and products which is called gating.
So, if you want to sell, for example, Legos or groceries on Amazon, you need to get ungated in these categories.To do that, you need to prepare certain documents and send an application to Amazon.Follow this article to find out how you can get ungated on Amazon!
What does Ungating Mean on Amazon?
As mentioned, certain products and categories are restricted on Amazon and sellers need to get approved to be able to sell them. Since customer satisfaction is very important for Amazon, it tries to prevent dishonest sellers from selling cheap and fake products instead of the original ones.
Before starting to sell products that Amazon has restricted, sellers must meet a series of requirements and request permissions to get ungated in these restricted categories.
Although Amazon’s approval criteria vary depending on the category, it usually requires the seller to provide the UPC (Universal Product Code) and the corresponding certificates of authenticity in each case.
What Categories are Gated on Amazon FBA?
The eCommerce giant understands that there are very specific products that should only be sold by specialists. These are items that are aimed at a niche market or a very specific demographic group and are characterized by being more expensive, security-related, sensitive in nature, or collector’s items.
Closed categories include industrial and scientific products, those related to the automotive industry and motorsports, collectible coins, sports collectibles, videos, DVDs and Blu-rays, jewelry, fine art, groceries, gourmet food, luggage and travel, shoes, bags and sunglasses, watches and B2B commercial products.
Here’s a list of all the categories and products restricted by Amazon:
- Collectible coins
- Products for home and personal security
- Entertainment collectibles
- Fine art
- Christmas toys and games
- Made in Italy
- Music, Video, DVD, and Blu-ray
- Automotive and motorsports
- Sports collectibles
- Streaming Media Players
If a product is restricted, it may only be because of the brand and not because of the category, that’s why it’s important to study the product we want to sell well.
How does Ungating Work on Amazon?
If aproduct is gated, then it is not possible to sell it. Ungating on Amazon allows you to sell these products, which gives you a huge competitive advantage.
All Amazon sellers are subject to these restrictions, regardless of whether they ship directly on Amazon or sell through Amazon FBA. Furthermore, ungating allows you to expand your sales opportunities, especially in less competitive categories.
There may be fewer sellers competing in some categories as not all of them have the time or energy to put into the ungating process. A low level of competition increases your chances of capturing online buyers!
Why Does Amazon Restrict Products and Categories?
You might be wondering why Amazon puts these restrictions on certain products and categories in the first place. Amazon imposes its restrictions for a variety of reasons, including:
Ensuring that a product is safe to consume.
Protects the consumer, the seller, and even Amazon from any legal or health problem.
Maintaining the integrity of a brand and controlling the supply chain.
guarantee high-quality standards and a positive user experience (UX).
Protects consumers in times of product shortages or extraordinary circumstances from unscrupulous sellers.
These two reasons tend to cause the strictest restrictions: security and liability. If products are mishandled or mislabeled, they can be dangerous to consumers. For example, Health and Personal Care fall into this category.
In addition, frequently counterfeited brands are often subject to brand integrity restrictions or consumer trust restrictions. Unfortunately, there is no shortage of dishonest sellers who buy fake products and then resell them as originalones. Most commonly, counterfeit electronics and clothing are sold.
Therefore, Amazon puts restrictions on these categories, subcategories, or brands. Selling these items requires you to “prove” that you are a responsible, trustworthy, and legitimate seller.
How do I Get Category Ungating on Amazon?
Fortunately, Amazon’s ungating process is fairly straightforward. These are the basic steps to follow.
- Set up an Amazon Professional Seller Account, which costs $39.99 per month.
- Select Add a product under Inventory in Seller Central.
- Search for a product in a category, subcategory, or brand that you want to sell. You can search for products by their names, brands, or ASINs (Amazon Standard Identification Numbers).
- Clicklist limitations appear next to the search result.
- Click the Request Approval button. There are certain subcategories for which Amazon does not accept opt-out requests.
- It depends on the category or subcategory you are trying to get ungated in. Although most of them will require additional documentation, some are more complicated than others.
The required documents are:
- An itemized bill (with your provider’s contact information)
- If you are buying in bulk, ask the manufacturer/brand owner to send you a letter.
- There is a monetary fee
- Documentation or additional information
There may be additional requirements as well. For example, getting ungated in the Fine Arts category requires three years of experience. Medical products must be approved by the FDA and strict sales guidelines must be followed.
Depending on the conditions, ungating on Amazon can take anywhere from a few hours to a few days. Some categories are easier to get ungated in than others. Also, if you are an experienced provider with a good track record, it will speed up the approval process.
Remember that not all ungating applications get accepted by Amazon. If this happens to you, try to stay calm and find out the exact reason you got rejected by calling Amazon seller support. Try to work on the issue to fix it and send another application. Even if you get rejected again, don’t worry because you can reapply again.
That’s it for ungating on Amazon! It might sound complex, but it is a fairly straightforward process. We wish you the best on your ungating journey.