Amazon Restricted Brands & Category Approval

Restricted Brands

Whether an Amazon category is open or gated, being approved to sell does not necessarily mean that you can sell every item that is listed in that category. There are many gated brands on Amazon and they are restricted for many different reasons. Some companies may have exclusive agreements with Amazon or with one or more Amazon sellers. Some brands are counterfeited so heavily that they require sellers to obtain their goods directly through the manufacturer, and you will need to be approved by them as an authorized reseller before you can list their items. Some items can be listed, but only in Used condition.

If your business model includes Retail Arbitrage (RA), it’s always a good idea to have the Amazon Seller app downloaded on your phone or tablet so you can check if a product is restricted when you are out sourcing for items. When you scan an item, it will indicate whether you can sell the item, and if so, in what condition(s) you can sell it (New or Used).

If you are sourcing for products to resell online (OA, or Online Arbitrage), try adding the product to your inventory in Amazon Seller Central through the “Add a Product” feature under the Inventory tab at the top left side of your screen . You will get an error message if you are restricted, or it may say “Listing Limitations Apply”, indicating that you may need to request approval, either from Amazon or from the manufacturer.

Category Approval

Amazon desires that their customers can shop with confidence, and so they require that sellers meet the requirements and receive approval to sell in certain categories. The methods of obtaining the approval varies, but you can begin the process from your Seller Central screen.
Amazon approvel category image
1. In Seller Central, click the inventory link and select Add a Product.
2. Run a search for the item you wish to sell.
3. In the search results, click the Listing limitations apply link across from the item.
4. Click the Request Approval button to begin the application process.
To check the status of an application, return to the Add a Product tool and click the Selling application status link located toward the top of the page.
The longer you maintain your Amazon account in Good Standing, the better your account metrics will be and the easier it will be to become approved by just “asking”. In these cases you will click “request approval”, and a message will pop up congratulating you for your approval. This works for Categories, Sub-categories,Brands, and individual ASINs. It’s really that easy.

Sometimes you will need to provide documentation showing where and when you bought the products, in order to prove to Amazon that you are selling authentic items. Sometimes you will need authorization from a distributor or the manufacturer. Provide Amazon with what they are asking, gain approval, and you can begin selling in that category.

If you are just an “occasional” seller or a hobbyist, you may not want to go through the process to gain approval for categories and brands. But if you are a professional business-person who needs the approval in order to move your business forward, GET APPROVED! Don’t get stuck here. There are plenty of resources to help you with this. Below you will find a list of Category and Brand Approval Services who, for a fee, can get you ungated. They know what Amazon wants to see. They are the professionals – Let them help you.