August 15, 2023

Is Entering A Gated Category On Amazon A Big No?

It is somewhat like entering a no go area. You may succeed in clearing the area but not without checkposts and even land mines. Unless you have the protection to survive, it is like sucide.

On Amazon, there are some categories that are restricted. Entering those categories will make Amazon do all kinds of performance checks, additional fees, and a lot more documentation in order to get the approval. Among the many gated categories, one of the most populous is the medical category.

Keeping this category in mind, I will discuss the many reasons why you should be avoiding it.

1. First, it is gated. Amazon doesn’t allow everyone to sell masks, sanitizers, and medical equipment unless you have a valid certification which is sometimes also known as an EPA.

2. The Medical Category is extremely saturated. Unless you are coming with a new innovation, it is quite inevitable to succeed. Here is why?

  • You will fight against competitors with more than 5000 reviews. This is all over the medical category.
  • Price game is overwhelming. You will find competitors with a lot of variations who would be selling them at insanely ridiculous pricing. Apparently, it seems like the manufacturers have become the retailers in this particular category.
  • You will find many sellers in the medical niche doing FBM. So if you don’t have a warehouse of your own, you will find yourself spending thousands in the third party warehouse.

If you have the certification, a big budget, a warehouse, and above all the stamina to enter this competitive market, don’t take my words. Do it. Side by side, focus on Listing Optimization for Amazon and other areas that could help attain customer satisfaction.

A Bad Perception: Most people when they define Amazon PL Or Wholesale say ‘ You can sell any product or brand’. This is an ugly statement because it isn’t complete. The right thing to say is that you can sell almost anything as long as you have the documentation and permission to sell them.

A Mistake to Avoid: Remember, there are 2 types of gated category on Amazon.

  1. Either a brand can be gated
  2. OR
  3. The whole category can be gated.

There is a difference between these 2. In most cases, the category in general is not allowed for new sellers. However, there can be a case where a brand doesn’t allow its product to be sold by third party sellers due to whatsoever reason. In this case, all you need is an approval from Amazon.

So how do I find out about these restrictions?

Clearly, there is a very simple way of doing it. I will first write down the 3 steps to find out the product limitations and will then talk a little bit about their types.

In other way, this question could be rephrased as ‘ How do I ungate a Category on Amazon. Simply by knowing the listing limitations; here is how to do it:

  1. Head to your seller central
  2. Click on Add to Product
  3. Select the category you want to sell
  4. You will find a link that says ‘Listing Limitation’
  5. Request approval

If you are an existing seller on Amazon with a lower defect rate, the chances of rejections are low. You know the vice versa.

Does it have to be complicated?

Not really as long as you do the basics right. However, you must know that there are different kinds of restrictions on Amazon and so does their solution.

  1. A Category may not be restricted but a subcategory can be. This is for real. Amazon may allow you to sell in the toy category but may not allow you to sell in the learning toys sub category. Because it is gated.

  2. ASIN Restriction: This is a totally different kind of restriction which usually happens due to product quality & IP Infringement issues. In easier words, you either have to copy someone's content, imagery, or any of their assets to get your ASIN restricted on Amazon.

  3. Some restrictions can be temporary. On holidays, Amazon might restrict certain categories for the ones doing FBM. However, FBA Sellers are out of this restriction.

If you have come this far, I will write the requirements for most of the categories for you:

Your family is in the jewelry business and you are thinking of entering Amazon. Good, but read out these first.

  1. You must be an established brand with at least 50,000 yearly revenue. Otherwise, work on establishing your brand first before thinking to enter Amazon.

  2. There is a $5000 entry fee in the jewelry category. Now if you are finding this harsh, understand this: Bigger entry fees means less competition and more chances of success.

  3. You might want to submit your products to Amazon for quality inspection. Even if you fulfil the above two criteria, this remains the most crucial one. Unfortunately, at this particular point, you don’t have much to do. Amazon may or may not approve you.

Fine Art:
I often hear many enthusiastic females inquiring about selling home made art items on Amazon. Here is the answer for them:

  1. If you are a dealer, you need to be registered and have at least 3 years of experience. Otherwise, you can’t sell fine art on Amazon.

  2. Having said that, you need to have a website of your own. Not just a website, but a working website with traffic and conversions. Newbies are a no in the fine art category on Amazon.

You need to have the sales privileges in order to sell in the category of wine. Doesn’t matter if you are a retailer or a wholesaler, having sales privileges is a must.

Automotive Category:
Anything from batteries to power sports is a gated category. In order to ungate it, you need to fulfill the following requirements:

  1. You must have your own professional website with a working add to cart.

  2. Your product must be warranted by the manufacturer. The manufacturer itself should be registered.

  3. Fitment Data Page and Part Finder is compulsory to sell in this category.

Now, here is what you might be wondering:

Is Entering a Gated Category worth it?

If you are a new seller looking to make a fresh start, the answer is NO.

If you are an experienced Amazon seller and are already selling products, it shouldn’t be a problem to you as long as you play your cards efficiently. The answer in this case is ‘it is possible’.

That’s all for today. No matter where you are in your Amazon business or even if you are starting off, I wish you all the very best of luck.

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