Selling on Amazon is a popular way to start an online business, but it requires a lot of research that takes a lot of time and effort. So after hours of hard work researching profitable products, imagine being disappointed if you find that your high-end, low-competition, low-value product falls into the same category. ‘to make a restricted version of Amazon.
You may think that it is best in this case to leave the restricted Amazon section and avoid the problem, however, if you are an Amazon seller who is willing to go the extra mile, the opportunities for sales are huge!
Keep in mind that third-party sellers may be deterred by the notion of additional services required to obtain approval for restricted models from Amazon.
The reason for this is that you have to go through some pretty big steps if you want to sell in a restricted category on Amazon, which will prevent many sellers – but honestly, that’s the point. You can take advantage of the opportunity for success here where many others will not want to know!
What is an Amazon restricted categories?
One restricted Amazon is that. All groups have Amazon “gatekeepers”.
Commonly called “closed categories”, Amazon determines the restricted category for the difference between each category, and as you can imagine, only Amazon itself knows what these decisions are.
The good news is that Amazon is not blocking all domains, which is what it has done in the past, but it is restricting only certain domains and small niches. That is why, if you look at the restricted list, you will see what appears to be a short list of restricted articles, but a long list of restricted products.
It is important not to confuse prohibited types with prohibited products. You can list a product that appears to be in a restricted category, but if the product itself is really not good, you can list your product in another category with a little imagination and creativity!
If you think about it, products can often be more than one category. For example, a hula hoop may fall under the category of toys and games which is a restricted category at the time, but it can be sold through games and outdoors, which is not restricted! So this is the first consideration you should make because you may not need to get approval for one when another option will work better for your product.
The bad news is that if there is no other model that can work for your product, you will be selling in a restricted section, until you search and get approval directly from the powers that be at Amazon you cannot enter. !
What categories are banned from Amazon?
To give you an overview and idea of what you might be up against before you start your product search, here are Amazon’s current closed categories, as listed by Amazon.com:
- A collection
- Personal Care & Home Appliances, Entertainment Collections
- technical skills
- Toys and games (holiday shopping rules apply)
- Follow Amazon’s Handmade
- Join the Amazon subscription box
- Made in Italy
- Music on DVD
- Cars and Motorsports
- A mix of games
- Stream media players
- Video, DVD and Blu-ray
If you would like to see which articles you are authorized to sell, simply log into your Seller Central account and follow these steps:
- Click on “Product Overview”
- Select “Add Product”
- Click “Sell App Status”
This will show you all the categories you are allowed to sell.
Why does Amazon restrict or close domains?
You will find that all of the restricted areas listed above are all potentially profitable niches. This is exactly why Amazon wants to make sure that sellers are qualified before listing products.
As the number of Amazon sellers increases, so does the risk of unauthorized sellers and substandard products. Therefore, by applying brand restrictions, Amazon can monitor standards and ensure that trustworthy sellers are selling good products.
This protects customers so they can shop with confidence, and Amazon avoids reputational risk from selling fake or substandard products.
How to Get Amazon Category Approval
Amazon-style support requests aren’t usually complicated, but they can take a little time to process. In some cases, when you submit an approval request, you may be approved immediately. This can happen if you have been selling on Amazon for some time and have a good reputation rather than being a complete newbie.
So, your first step is to go to your Amazon Seller Central account, check product restrictions, and request approval:
- Go to your Seller Central account and click on the product
- Select “Add Product”
- Find the products you want to sell
- If it comes back as Restricted, click “Add Limit List”
- Click the “Request Confirmation” button.
If you get an immediate response that your request is approved, these days are happy days for you, yes, it can really happen!
Otherwise, you will be asked to provide additional information which may be a bit confusing. You will need to submit a detailed invoice and information about your business and products. Amazon uses the invoices you provide along with other criteria to make an informed decision on whether to reach you for a restricted category.
Other methods may include:
- System cost is less than 1%
- Pro-Seller Package
- Good account
- At least 3 months of marketing history
- Return address in the country where you sell or arrange for free delivery
- Local language customer service
If you are asked to provide an invoice, it is only to allow Amazon to verify that you are a legitimate seller and therefore you will need to obtain a wholesale invoice for products that fall under the category restrictions.
If you sell products that fit into a restricted category elsewhere, you must have this information available to you. But if you are going to buy a new product and you are worried that you have to buy the product before you know whether you have been granted permission in the closed sector, don’t worry because there is an easy way around it.
Tip: your invoices don’t have to be for products you eventually want to sell, just get bulk invoices for each product in the restricted section.
Here’s what you can do in three simple steps:
Step 1: Create an account with the seller
You’ll want to make sure the address you registered with your seller matches your Amazon account details.
Step 2: Enter the amount and get the transaction invoice
In the restricted Amazon category you want to sell in, select three different products that have sold in that category. Order 10 of each at your dealer. When you purchase these products, you will receive an invoice. You may not end up selling these products on Amazon, it’s just an exercise in providing qualified invoices.
Tip: Your business invoice should contain the following information:
Supplier information including name, phone number, address and website.
Your business information must match your Amazon seller account information.
Step 3: Review and copy the invoice
You now have proof of purchase and product authenticity and can provide original invoice details to Amazon. The easiest way to do this is to take a photo and submit it through the provided form. Do not make any additions to the invoice. For added credibility, take pictures of the products as they arrive to show Amazon that you have products ready to sell.
Then it’s just a waiting game for Amazon’s response which can take a few hours to a few days.
It should be noted that it is not unusual for Amazon to deny access to restricted models with little or no explanation. If this happens to you, don’t give up, but keep trying. You can persevere and keep trying different vendors or trying to increase your vendor metrics until you are approved.
Getting support in Amazon’s Restricted Categories: FAQs
I receive goods from China, can I use these invoices?
You can try this. However, Amazon will not accept invoices from Chinese sellers, so it is best to avoid this if possible.
Once I receive approval, can I only sell products from the vendor I invoiced for in the non-approved category?
No, Amazon will not review your invoice after your initial confirmation. You can buy products for sale from any good seller.
I am a new seller. Can I get support in a restricted section?
You can only try! Unfortunately, without a name or track record, it may be difficult to get approval, but the process will be the same, so it’s still worth trying.
Can I provide a receipt instead of an invoice?
No. You must provide an official commercial invoice.
Am I likely to get approved?
No guarantees, unfortunately. Some Amazon sellers will submit requests multiple times before they receive approval, and it’s often unclear why approval was not granted, so it’s worth keeping trying.
What is the difference between restricted section, type and
- A restricted group is all types of products, sellers need approval to sell any product in the category.
- Restricted brands are brands (often called Adidas for example) that other sellers are not allowed to sell on Amazon.
- Restricted products are specific types of products such as certain toys that Amazon sellers will need additional permission to sell.
You may be wondering if getting approved for Amazon Restricted Categories is worth all the effort since it seems like a complicated process. In fact, group restrictions can be frustrating, confusing, and time-consuming to manage. However, getting approval will give you different opportunities than other Amazon sellers who do not raise barriers or even try to enter the closed sector.
Selling in a restricted format can be a powerful strategy to differentiate yourself from other Amazon sellers and meet less competition in the process. So the rewards are high if you are willing to step out of your comfort zone and challenge yourself.
A wide audience is waiting for you in the form you manage to get, and by using this wide opportunity, your visibility will increase. Ultimately, more visibility means more sales and more profit, so the rewards are worth it when you finally get approved for Amazon Restricted Versions.