When it comes to what you can sell on Amazon, there are a lot of rules and regulations in place.
You need to be ungated in order to sell certain restricted products, and even then you may still require approval from Amazon before those products can hit the marketplace.
However, there are some products that you can sell without having to go through all of that hassle.
In this article we’ll cover what a gated category is, which categories aren’t gated and also how to get ungated on Amazon should you wish to do so.
What is a gated category on Amazon?
Gated categories are those that require approval from Amazon in order to sell. This is usually because they are higher-risk items, such as food or cosmetics, which need extra safety measures in place.
Amazon is a company that has built itself on a reputation of creating a top-tier customer buying experience and as such places restrictions on certain categories to maintain high standards.
To get ungated in a restricted category, you will need to provide Amazon with some additional information about your business, such as your business license.
Once you have been ungated, you will be able to sell products in that category and won’t require approval for each individual item.
Which categories are gated on Amazon?
There are a number of restricted categories on Amazon. The list includes:
- Postage stamps
- Collectible Coins
- Fine Art
- Holiday Selling Requirements in Toys & Games
- Join Amazon Subscription Boxes
- Made in Italy
- Music & DVD
- Sports Collectibles
- Streaming Media Players
- Video, DVD, & Blu-ray
If you want to sell in these restricted categories it’s likely you’ll require approval.
We’ll cover more on the ungating process later in this article, but for now, let’s take a look at product categories you can sell in without getting ungated so you can get up and running when selling on Amazon as quickly as possible.
What can I sell on Amazon without approval?
There are a number of product categories that you can sell in that don’t require approval from Amazon.
Of course, there are still rules and regulations in place for these categories. For example, you will need to ensure that your products are safe and comply with any relevant safety regulations.
In some cases, you may still need to be ungated in order to sell certain items within these broader categories.
For example, the beauty category isn’t entirely gated but if you want to sell products like oils, creams and serums on Amazon, you will need to be ungated in the topicals category.
However, there are still plenty of categories on Amazon that you can sell without being ungated.
- Amazon Kindle: By using Kindle Direct Publishing you can publish your own books, journals, and themed notepads and take advantage of Amazon’s print-on-demand service enabling you to start selling with very little investment.
- Arts, Crafts & Sewing: Home businesses and crafters can sell a huge variety of products in this category that don’t require approval from Amazon.
- Beauty & Personal Care: You can sell products like beauty accessories without being ungated. However, as we mentioned before, if you want to sell topicals like oils and serums, you will need to get ungated in the topicals category.
- Books: Reselling books is a very popular method of getting started with selling on Amazon as it is not a restricted category and you can get started with a very low budget. Note: in order to sell collectible or rare books you will require approval from Amazon.
- Cell Phones & Accessories: Home businesses and online retailers can take advantage of the growing cell phone market by selling accessories without having to get approval from Amazon.
- Electronics: This is one of the most popular categories to sell in on Amazon. You can sell items like cameras, headphones and gadgets and not require approval from Amazon.
- Grocery & Gourmet Foods: Whilst it can be more difficult to source, the Grocery and Gourmet Foods category overall is not one of Amazon’s restricted categories.
- Garden & Outdoor: People all over the world love their gardens and there are a lot of opportunities to sell popular products in this category – another one that doesn’t require approval to sell in.
- Home & Kitchen: Accessories to use in the home and kitchen are among the most popular products on Amazon and thankfully do not fall into Amazon’s gated categories and are perfect for new sellers.
- Industrial & Scientific: This category includes products like lab equipment, industrial hardware and science education supplies.
- Office Products: A popular category with the rise of working from home culture. Products include desk furniture, accessories and storage for pens, paper and other stationery.
- Pet Supplies: Always a top category, here you’ll find a range of Amazon’s best-selling products including accessories like leads, bowls and toys along with consumables like pet foods and treats.
- Smart Home: The rise in smart home adoption presents a range of opportunities in this category with products like smart bulbs, light switches, and home automation devices that don’t require approval to start selling.
- Sports & Outdoors: Products like gym equipment, running accessories, and fitness gadgets are all up for grabs for new sellers and seasoned sellers alike. Note: selling sports collectibles will require approval.
- Tools & Home Improvement: DIY enthusiasts all over the world buy products like paint brushes, ladders and power tools in this lucrative category that does not have an application process to sell in.
So, if you’ve been asking what can I sell on Amazon without approval? The answer is actually quite a lot!
There are a wide range of Amazon categories that do not require approval to sell in and that present a great opportunity to get your Amazon business up and running in next to no time.
What are the best ungated Amazon categories to sell in?
If you want to get started selling on Amazon as quickly as possible, then we recommend choosing a category that you can sell in without needing to be ungated.
The best ungated Amazon categories to sell in are those where there is high demand but low competition. This will give you the best chance of success when starting out.
Some of the best ungated categories on Amazon to sell in include books, home and garden items and office supplies.
These are all categories where there is a lot of demand from buyers and also have lots of sub-category niches to target that may have less competition from other sellers and that don’t require approval to sell in.
This gives you the perfect opportunity to get quickly started selling on Amazon in a particular category and make a success of your business.
How do you get ungated on Amazon?
There comes a time in most Amazon sellers’ journey when you do look to explore options beyond the easy entry points.
Any time there is a restriction in place it raises the barrier to entry and presents a possible opportunity for those who are willing to overcome the associated hurdles.
So, if you have maximized your opportunities in categories that don’t require approval and want to turn to selling in Amazon’s restricted categories, here’s a brief overview of how you can get ungated on Amazon.
Step 1: Access Seller Central
The first step is to create an Amazon Seller Central account, or log into your existing professional seller account and access Seller Central.
Step 2: Add A Product
Next, navigate to the Manage Inventory section and click ‘Add a Product’.
Step 3: Request Approval
Search for the product you want to sell, and if the results show the item is restricted you will require approval. Click ‘Listing Limitations Apply’ and then the ‘Request Approval’ button.
Step 4: Submit Documentation
Depending on the category you are applying for, you may get instant approval, or you may also have to submit additional information such as safety documentation or invoices from your suppliers of similar products.
Pro Tip: if you don’t currently have an invoice that lines up with what Amazon is requesting, simply create an account with a wholesaler in the relevant niche and place an order for at least 10 units of an item that will produce the necessary invoice.
You can then even sell these products on Amazon to make some extra profit for your troubles!
Amazon will check the documentation you’ve provided and along with your account health metrics will make a decision on your application, usually within 48 hours.
If you are approved, you will be able to sell products in that category and won’t require approval for each individual item.
What if my application is rejected by Amazon?
If your application is rejected, you will need to wait 30 days before you can reapply.
When reapplying, it’s important to address any concerns that Amazon may have had with your original application. For example, if your product was considered unsafe, you will need to provide additional safety documentation.
You may also need to provide additional invoices that evidence the sourcing of products that are a closer match to the product type you require approval for.
Are there other gated products that require approval?
Along with gated categories, there are also specific brands that require approval to sell – for example, Nike.
The process to check which brands require approval to sell and which don’t is very similar to categories.
Simply take the ASIN of branded product you’d like to sell and attempt to add the product as shown above.
If Amazon prompts you to apply to sell that product then you know it will require approval and you should ensure you can pass this approval process before investing in large volumes of stock.
In conclusion: gated categories or ungated categories?
When it comes to selling on Amazon, there are two main ways to do it: through gated or ungated categories. Gated or restricted categories are those where you require approval from Amazon in order to sell your product, while ungated categories don’t require approval.
Generally speaking, gated categories offer more opportunity for success as there is less competition. However, it can be more difficult to get approved to sell in these categories. Ungated categories, on the other hand, are easier to get into but have more competition.
So which is better? The answer really depends on what you’re selling and your overall goals for your Amazon business.
If you’re just starting out, we recommend selling in ungated categories on Amazon as it’s easier to get started as you don’t require approval. However, if you’re looking for more opportunities for success, then gated categories may be a better option.
Either way there are an enormous amount of opportunities when looking to sell on Amazon and the key to success is taking action. So, whether you require approval for a category or not – keep taking steps forward, listing products to sell, and build your dream business!
About the Author:
Ben Donovan is the founder of Brand Builder University and has a passion for helping normal everyday people create financial freedom by building their own businesses. He operates brands selling in 9 different Amazon marketplaces and generating upwards of $2million dollars per year and loves to share what is working from the trenches of eCommerce.