Amazon is the go-to shopping place for millions as it offers a wide range of products. From needles to Nintendo and matchboxes to motion sensors, you can buy everything on Amazon. Due to years of excellence and quality services, Amazon has created a strong base of loyal customers, with millions of new visitors every month.
This makes Amazon a lucrative market for sellers as well. With millions of potential buyers, it gives your product great exposure. However, regarding selling on Amazon, it’s important to understand the concept of gated and ungated product categories. Certain categories of products require sellers to obtain approval from Amazon before they can be listed for sale, known as gated categories. On the contrary, ungated categories do not require Amazon approval to list products and are easier to list.
This article will highlight products that can be sold on Amazon without requiring approval. Additionally, we will explore both gated and ungated categories to determine which may be more advantageous for sellers.
Why do you need Amazon’s Approval to Sell certain products?
Amazon imposes restrictions on certain products primarily to enhance the shopping experience for customers, which involves maintaining product quality, safety, and integrity. Let’s explore how Amazon implements these measures.
1. Genuine Products
The primary reason why Amazon wants you to get approval is to prevent counterfeit products from being sold on the marketplace.
Online business is very competitive, and fake products can deteriorate Amazon’s reputation in customers’ eyes. Also, such products can harm consumers as well as legitimate businesses by undermining their brand reputation.
By requiring approval for certain products, Amazon verifies the authenticity of the products, performs quality and performance checks, and protects consumers and legitimate sellers from the negative effects of counterfeits.
2. Safety Standards
Furthermore, safety standards are also a reason for restrictions on certain products. Some products listed on Amazon may pose a risk to consumers if they do not meet safety requirements.
The company is committed to upholding its reputation and, therefore, employs an approval process to scrutinize each product to ensure the safety of consumers carefully.
3. Controlling the Supply
The approval process also safeguards the brand’s integrity and its authorized sellers. Certain brands may only allow reputable and authorized sellers to sell their products to ensure customers receive genuine, high-quality products, not replicas.
For instance, collectible items like coins are easily replicated, and the average consumer may not be able to distinguish between genuine and fake ones. Similarly, music DVDs, and videos are also vulnerable to piracy, thereby infringing on the original creator’s copyright.
Gated and Ungated Product Categories
The primary distinction between the Gated and Ungated categories is the authorization required to sell products on the marketplace. For Gated categories, approval must be sought before listing products, and during the process, the products are subjected to various checks to ensure their authenticity and quality.
For many years, Amazon had a relatively relaxed approach to product quality and selling regulations. This meant sellers were free to sell whatever they wanted without any permission.
Unfortunately, this created an opportunity for some sellers to offer counterfeit products at low prices, which proved popular with customers. Over time, this practice began to harm Amazon’s reputation as the number of return orders and negative reviews increased significantly.
Clever vendors could visit outlet malls, purchase branded products, and resell them at a reduced price without any agreement with the manufacturer and without verification that the merchandise they were vending was authentic.
To avoid such scenarios, Amazon implemented new seller policies in 2016, requiring permission to sell certain products. The company has since been continually adding products to the gated category each year to ensure customers receive the high-quality and genuine products for which Amazon is known.
According to 2023 Amazon seller guidelines, here are the products that fall under the gated category:
- Entertainment Sports and entertainment collectible items
- Collectible coins
- Postage Stamps
- Music & DVDs, Videos, Blu-Ray
- Streaming Media Players
- Major Appliances
- Streaming Media Players and set-top boxes
- Branded wrist Watches
- Jewelry and accessories
- Music videos, Blu-Ray, DVDs
- Gift Cards
- Fine Art Products
The ungated category, on the other hand, is less restrictive when it comes to selling. You can list products from the ungated category without needing any prior approval. If you’re a beginner, your main focus should be on selling ungated products, as it can be challenging for new sellers to obtain approval for gated products. A smart approach would be to start with ungated products, establish a positive reputation, and then apply for approval to sell gated products.
How Many Ungated Product Categories Does Amazon Have?
As of March 2023, Amazon offers 33 product categories, 13 of which are completely ungated, including home decor, sports, beauty, and sports products. Also, it’s important to note that approval requirements for some gated categories may vary for their sub-category items.
What Can You Sell Without Approval?
The ungated category comprises items that are less susceptible to counterfeiting. Cameras, home appliances, industrial tools, automotive products, books, sports items, and other similar products are some good examples of such products. Although the company is committed to offering high-quality goods and continues to expand the gated category, some products can still be sold under the ungated category without approval.
- Fully Ungated
Under this category, there is no requirement for the authorization or proof documents to commence the sale of your products. These products can help you with the easy business establishment and enable you to reach a broader audience.
Nonetheless, it is essential to note that selling in the ungated category may pose tough competition as the majority of new sellers follow the same route. To overpower your competitors, you should use a product research tool and identify the most lucrative products in the category.
Here are the products:
- Beauty products
- Amazon Kindle and Amazon device accessories
- Musical instruments
- Home and industrial tools
- Major home appliances
- Amazon fire accessories
- Scientific products
- Home Decor
- Garden accessories
- Camera and photos
- Mobile phones and accessories
- Partially Ungated
Similarly, partially ungated products do not require approval; however, some products and brands may demand certain essential documents to ensure the validity of the product.
Let us examine the products falling under this category:
- Office supplied
- Health & personal care
- Pet supplies
- Games and toys
- Video games
- Outdoor products
- Consumer electronics
- Baby products (not apparel)
- Best Amazon PPC Software
- Best Products To Sell Online
- Best Accounting Software For Amazon Sellers
- Top Amazon Chrome Extensions
Gated Vs Ungated: Which One Should You Go for?
The choice between the two categories is not straightforward and is not always within your control. Obtaining approval for some products can be quite challenging, and you may face multiple rejections. Nevertheless, selling goods from the gated category provides a substantial advantage over others.
As previously mentioned, many newcomers tend to opt for the ungated category to avoid the hassle and wait time for approval. This implies that there will be less competition while selling gated products. Nonetheless, you may still have to compete with some experienced players and employ all your business tactics to stay competitive.
Another benefit of selling gated products is that it allows you to establish yourself as a trustworthy and authentic vendor on the Amazon platform. Gating serves as an indication that a seller adheres to specific quality and compliance standards, which can enhance your reputation among customers and other sellers on the Amazon marketplace.
In addition, selling gated products provides access to premium features like sponsored products and advertising. However, getting approval can be challenging, taking months on several occasions, which can lead to frustration. Moreover, encountering multiple rejections as a beginner can lead to complete demotivation.
In contrast, With ungated products, you can start selling within a few minutes. However, the competition is incredibly intense, and you may require extensive market and product research to identify profitable products to sell.