Knowing what can and cannot be sold on Amazon can be troubled for new sellers from time to time. In this article, we will discuss in detail which categories are open to each user and which are subject to approval. Even if you need approval, you don’t have to worry because we will tell you how to get approval.
Have you ever found yourself asking “What can I sell on Amazon”? Or you are already selling on Amazon, but are you confused about which categories you can sell? These are very basic questions that come to mind of every seller who starts selling on Amazon.
In this article, we will talk about what you can sell on Amazon by category. Some categories are closed to new sellers, while others are open from the start.
If you want to sell in one of the limited categories on Amazon, you need to get approval from Amazon first. This approval process may differ from category to category. Going through the approval process will not only allow you as an Amazon dealer to expand your inventory opportunities, but will also offer a lower competitive environment as there are fewer sellers in limited categories.
New vendors say that FBA sales are difficult at first because there are too many limited categories and brands, so finding inventory is difficult at first. So they tend to categories that are not limited to speed up the process.
We think there are many products that can be sold in categories that are not limited. If the boundaries of the products you want to sell are not very sharp, we suggest that you wait to open the locked categories, experience a considerable amount of time and spend enough time and money.
Categories Open to All Sellers on Amazon
Before describing the process of getting approval from Amazon to enter limited categories on Amazon, it is useful to check out the categories that are open to all. There are many categories that are open to everyone, including new vendors.
New & Used Books
Camera & Photo
Consumer Electronics **
Health & Personal Care ***
Home & Garden
Tools & Home Improvement
Video Games **
* Some restrictions may apply during holiday periods.
** Some products may require approval.
*** Some sub-categories may require approval and application fees.
Health & Personal Care Category is not Locked on Amazon?
For a while, the Health & Personal Care and Beauty categories were completely closed to new sellers. The good news is that these categories are no longer locked on Amazon, so you don’t need permission to sell in these categories.
However, you may still need approval to sell in some subcategories, such as topicals or over-the-counter medication, and Amazon may charge you a serious fee to grant you approval in some categories.
In other cases, you may need permission from the brand, and the brand may charge you. These permissions can be very expensive (like thousands of dollars), so new vendors may not want to try this method.
In addition, many brands or individual ASINs are still limited in these two categories, you may encounter such an obstacle. Don’t be confused because of a brand name restriction, and don’t think the entire category is closed.
What about Toys? Toys aren’t locked categories on Amazon?
As in the two categories above, there is quite a lot of misinformation about the Toys category. The only period in which the toy category is locked is the fourth, that is, the last quarter of the year.
In this time period, the category is locked only when you want to sell it as an individual seller and do not meet the 4th Quarter toy criteria. If you are selling using the FBA program, it does not matter whether you are a new or experienced seller, you are ready to sell.
Categories That are Restricted on Amazon
Now you have an idea of which categories are open to all sellers on Amazon and which ones can be closed from time to time. Now we can look at the limited categories.
Automotive & Powersports
Clothing & Accessories *
Grocery & Gourmet Foods
Industrial & Scientific
Luggage & Travel Accessories *
Shoes, Handbags & Sunglasses *
* These categories are listed as restricted in some parts of Amazon, but they are actually open, only some brands require approval.
Restrictions by product status
Used products in the following categories cannot be sold:
Clothing, Accessories & Luggage
Grocery & Gourmet Food
Health & Personal Care
Shoes, Handbags & Sunglasses
Toys & Games *
* Amazon has forbidden the sale of toys that have been in use for a long time, but it allows sellers to sell toys that are considered as collections. This is seen as a legitimate way to sell used toys.
Why Are Some Categories Closed on Amazon?
Understanding why Amazon closes some categories will help you understand the entire system. The risk of having counterfeit products in the generally closed categories is very high and Amazon wants to reduce the risk by closing these categories. Consider pirate DVDs, imitation jewelery, branded bags or contract beauty products. Such fake products are everywhere. They are sold in flea markets and even in e-Bay.
In order not to be mentioned as a platform that Amazon hackers use easily, it wants to make sure that you are selling legally honestly before giving you permission to sell in these risky categories.
There are other types of restrictions
When you look at the restrictions, you see that they are in three main areas: categories, brands and product status.
All of the categories we define as restricted are restricted, such as the Grocery category, and Amazon strictly protects these categories. In order to sell in these categories, you need to get approval by applying directly to Amazon.
In any category, you will find that there are some product and brand limitations, whether closed or not. Companies such as Disney or Black & Decker (or smaller companies) will collaborate with Amazon to protect their brands.
This means you, as the seller, get permission from that brand to sell on Amazon. You will first apply for permission to the brand, and then you will present its proof to Amazon.
Finally, there are rules about product status. Like in the Toys category. You cannot sell used products in this category.
The basic process to open restricted categories on Amazon
In some cases, you will request to sell in a limited category and your application will be automatically approved. This is a very rare and unaware situation. Amazon does not say for which brands or categories this situation occurs.
Except in exceptional circumstances, you will start the approval process for restricted categories by following these steps:
- Click on the inventory link in Seller Central and select Add a Product.
- Search for the product you want to sell, or search for any product in the restricted category you want to sell.
- In the search results that appear, click Apply Listing Limitations opposite the product.
- Click the Request Approval button to start the application process.
To check the status of your application, go back to the Add a Product section and click the Sales application status link at the top of the page.
The process after you start the confirmation request button may differ slightly depending on the category you want to approve.
How will you sell in the Grocery category?
Among the restricted categories, one of the categories that new sellers are most interested in is the Grocery & Gourmet Food category. There are many products in this category that are easy to supply, familiar and that you can sell with little investment.
It tells you which steps you need to follow to open the Grocery & Gourmet Food category at Amazon Seller Central. But sellers say they have different experience with this process.
The first and most important thing you must have to open this category is to have good seller criteria. You will need invoices indicating that you have purchased the products, and possibly some other paperwork.
Merchant criteria include:
Become a professional seller – this is your Amazon account must have a professional account, which means you have to pay $ 39.00 per month for your Amazon seller account.
Order defect rate: <1%
Cancellation rate before preparation: <2.5%
Late shipping rate: <4%
The only reason you fall below these rates is to prepare the product as an individual seller. If you sell products using the FBA method, you will have no problem meeting the above criteria.
Documents required to open the Grocery (Market) category
You have to buy the products listed in the Grocery category, then submit them to Amazon with appropriate invoices. Make sure that the information on the invoice is compatible with the information on your Amazon account. In other words, if your company name and business address don’t match those on Amazon, Amazon will most likely reject your application.
Situations such as rejection are encountered because the information in the documents that the vendors provide only with the name and address in their Amazon account does not match. Therefore, it makes sure to include your official company information on your invoice.
Also keep in mind that the invoice is not a receipt from a wholesaler store. Invoice is a special document provided by the company or distributor, where you have detailed information about your company information and order on letterhead paper.
The invoice should contain the supplier’s company information: Name, Address, Telephone Number and Website.
If no website address is found on the invoice, the invoice you submitted may not be valid.
Note: The supplier’s website should also contain all the information mentioned above. In other words, it should be easily understood that your supplier is a legal supplier. If you are considering using a wholesaler, keep this information in mind. If the mentioned contact information is not on the first page, forget the trail; It will not review your Amazon supplier’s website. If the website is similar to the websites of suppliers that sell discounted products, the subject of permission can still be bogged down.
It is also known that Amazon requests an up-to-date tax license or business license with the invoice, although the Reseller Panel does not say this beforehand. This is not the case for all vendors, but when applying for approval in this category, be aware that these documents are likely to be requested.
It requests an application of 10 products for the Amazon Grocery category. So take at least 10 of a product, have a proper invoice, and submit the invoice to Amazon with a copy of your business license.
Make sure the products you order are already listed on Amazon
It is important that you are selling products that have already been on sale on Amazon. These products must be listed in the category for which you want to get approval.
See which category the products you want to sell by going to Seller Central> Add a Product.
When looking at the product to buy, it doesn’t matter whether you make a profit or not. You will probably not profit from these products (or even send them to Amazon). Buy 10 from just one product and have a valid invoice.
Place your order and then wait for the actual invoices to arrive
When you apply for the selected category, you will need the official invoice that will come in the box (not just a copy of the email sent to you after purchase).
You can take a picture of this invoice by phone and send it to Amazon.
Add the necessary information to your invoices
Write the ASIN of each of the products you will send to Amazon handwritten on your invoice.
If there is a confusion about how many products you purchased, mention this on your bill. For example, you ordered 3 boxes of a product and there are 10 units of products in each box. Add this information on the invoice, 3 boxes = 30 units.
You can also add your notes with a computer program if you wish. Just be sure to take a picture of the invoice that comes with your order.
The best way to check product restrictions on Amazon
It’s no secret that Amazon has changed restrictions more frequently than expected. It is an indisputable fact that the vendors force all their energy and attention to what they do. One day you can see that the category is closed while you can see that it is open the next day. Just like the shoes, clothing and luggage categories. They may appear to be restricted in some parts of the Amazon, while in some parts they may be open.
For this reason, you may be worried to know what you can not sell or sell all the time.
The undisputed best way to achieve this is to scan the product with The Amazon Seller App. This app checks whether you are eligible to sell the product. If you are using a computer, go to Add a Product from Seller Central and see if there are any restrictions for the product you are looking for.
Still, have questions about the approval process? Below are the most frequently asked questions and answers on this topic.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I get approval as a new seller?
There are times when new sellers can get approval as well as when they are rejected. For this reason, it is important to have some experience before you start the approval process and to show that you are a business established in Amazon.
Can I sell the products I purchased for approval?
Of course. Don’t expect to get all your money back by selling these products, but try to get as much money as you can.
Can I only sell the products of the wholesaler I use on the invoices?
No. Amazon does not check your bills after going through the approval process. In the next step, you can buy products from any legitimate supplier.
Will invoices from places such as Target be valid?
No, retail slips are not sufficient for category approval.
Do I need a business license?
Some vendors are asked for the operating license during the approval application process, while others are not.
Do I get final approval?
I wish it was a guarantee of this work. Even some of the vendors who follow the instructions cannot get the permissions immediately. Sometimes you have to apply more than once to get approval.
If I pay someone money, can’t he get my approval?
It is recommended not to take this route. If Amazon asks you for invoices, you really need to buy these products. If the person you paid for is not the person who fulfills your orders, you will probably receive a fake document. If we were at your place, we wouldn’t upload them to Amazon because it is known that vendors suspended because of counterfeit documents. So avoid using this path.
While you may encounter many restrictions when selling on Amazon, there are many things you can sell without worrying about the restrictions.
You have seen that even limited categories on Amazon are not completely restricted to many sellers. With the exception of the Grocery (Market) category. You can also open the restrictions of this category by following the steps mentioned above.