Amazon encountered a problem a few years ago after realizing that there were sellers who were selling counterfeit or “off label” items. The issue came to a turning point in 2016 when Birkenstock decided it would stop selling directly to Amazon because of the many counterfeit versions being sold of their shoes. Over the course of the next few years, Amazon attempted to fix this problem. The solution that they created was called gating, or as it’s better known as Brand Gating. So what is Amazon Brand Gating?
Amazon Brand Gating is the way in which Amazon blocks unauthorized sellers from selling brand name products. A seller needs to verify that they have been authorized by the manufacturer to sell these products. If a third-party seller wants to sell Birkenstocks on Amazon, the seller needs to showcase they are authorized to do so by Birkenstock. The main goal of this is to eventually remove those selling counterfeit items under the same ASIN (Amazon Standard Identification Number) as the real item and disassociate them from the real brand.
There are also gated categories and ASINs within Amazon. If you are a long-standing Amazon seller, it is easier to sell these items because you have a good standing with Amazon central.
How to Become a Gated Brand on Amazon:
In order to become Brand Gated, you need to first join the Amazon Brand Registry. Once you are part of the registry, Amazon will go through a verification process to ensure that you have the proper trademarks and qualifications. You will need to provide the registered trademark for every Amazon marketplace that you wish to sell on. You will need to provide Amazon with ASINs that you want to be gated and provide ways you have handled issues surrounding counterfeit versions of your items. Amazon may want a detailed explanation of how you have attempted to thwart counterfeiters from your brand, as this is the goal of Amazon’s Brand Gating. For Amazon brand registry search, CLICK HERE.
How to be an Amazon Gated Seller:
If you want to be a seller on a Brand Gated item or a restricted item, you will need to provide documentation. This documentation can be your wholesale invoices (ideally from the last 90 days), monetary fees, a letter from the manufacturer that states approval for you to sell on Amazon’s platform, or of course other forms of documentation.
Your seller rating will be taken into consideration when Amazon is deciding to give you an approval or not. To become an authorized third-party seller you will need to request the approval first, which can be done through Amazon Seller Central. If you are denied, you are able to reapply every few months and ideally during that time your seller rating may likely improve. And that is how to get brand gated on Amazon in 2020.
If you do decide to sell a gated item without approval, there is a chance that Amazon will suspend your account while they investigate. For smaller labels that do not have the same pull as huge brand names, you may receive an email from them specifically threatening legal action. Again, the main goal of Amazon’s gated items is to put an end to the counterfeit items.
Amazon Gated Categories
Amazon has gated a variety of brands, categories, and subcategories and there are also some ASINs that are restricted as well.
According to Amazon’s Seller Central, there are a few categories that require approval to sell, but within those categories, there are massive amounts of items which can then be sold. The categories are as follows:
- Holiday Selling Requirements in Toys & Games
- Amazon Watch Warranty FAQs
- Made in Italy
- Video, DVD, & Blu-ray
- Collectible Coins
- Streaming Media Players
Also some subcategories within Beauty and Health. There are instances when you could be approved for a category but then not have approval for certain subcategories. Amazon does not have a list of every single category, subcategory and ASIN that is gated. The way to find the restricted items is by simply trying to sell it and Amazon will show you if it is restricted to your seller account or not.
There are also products that require approval that are not within specific categories. You would be required to have approval for these items:
Certain items in the Software category:
So, now you have the approval to sell one of these gated products, your next move should be ensuring your pricing is competitive and the best way to do that is to use a repricer like Seller Snap.