Have you wanted to get into gated categories on Amazon for a while now?
What separates these sellers from the others?
More importantly, how do you get “ungated” and should you apply for one of these categories?
We’re going to talk about all this and more throughout this blog post, so be sure to keep reading for my recommendations and important tips to keep in mind when deciding to sell in the ‘gated categories'.
So, what does ungated mean?
You can not just sell anything on Amazon, which is why they have several policies around listings, products, and categories.
While some products are completely restricted such as things that are illegal or have regulatory requirements, others are put aside into special categories or “gated” as we refer to it.
To sell these products, sellers need the approval to start selling in these categories, and you might even need prior approval to sell a specific product even if the category isn't gated.
So what are these categories you ask?
Well, at the time of writing this there are between 15 – 20 gated categories that have requirements.
These categories include categories such as Grocery & Gourmet Foods, Major Appliances, Wine, and Gift Cards. Requirements to sell in each of these categories differ and Amazon has been known to change specific categories and requirements throughout the year.
If you want to read the most current requirements, check out this link.
Why is Amazon so strict?
As with all products sold on the site, Amazon wants customers to trust they’re buying quality products from reputable sellers.
To do this, Amazon maintains high standards and makes sure that customers are not receiving counterfeit or low-quality products.
How Being “Ungated” Benefits Your Store
Because of the strict requirements to sell products in gated categories, there is far less competition. Not many sellers want to go through the trouble of meeting Amazon's strict standards so if you do, you’ll stand out to buyers.
Getting into the Gated Categories: 4 Tips
1. You Can’t Do Only the Bare Minimum
One mistake that some Amazon sellers make is assuming they will get ungated in a category as long as they meet all the minimum approval requirements. That’s not the case—the process is a bit more subjective and depends on some factors that are out of a seller’s control.
You must put your BEST foot forward for Amazon to approve you. If you were interviewing for a job, you wouldn’t just meet the minimum requirements and expect to be immediately hired. The same is true for being “ungated”.
Meeting these requirements is just the minimum needed to get your foot in the gate so to speak. Amazon will need more from you to consider your approval so make sure that your seller account is impeccable.
2. Requirements Are Subject to Change
Amazon will be more stringent during certain periods, and sometimes they'll relax their rules some.
It all depends on the timing and how many sellers are applying for gated categories.
If tons of sellers are applying and they're having issues with their quality, the category manager is going to be more selective, and will only accept really high-quality applications or experienced sellers.
3. Get Some Experience First
If you’re a relatively new Amazon seller, I’d hold off on applying for a bit. To be ungated, you need to have a history of fulfilling your orders with excellent customer service and high-quality products.
Even if you meet the minimum requirements, you probably don’t have the experience they’re looking for, and even if you barely do, you might not get approved right away.
4. There Are No Shortcuts
Even successful and established Amazon sellers still have to follow all of the same rules to get ungated in a category. It can be a tedious process, and it is never simple. Don’t get frustrated and look for shortcuts, just trust the process!
If you really want to be “ungated”, you just need to stick with your goals and give it some time—eventually, you'll get there!
Remember that everyone goes through the same process, and many of your competitors will give up along the way.
If you’re persistent, you will get there eventually and be able to enjoy all of the rewards!
To your success!
~ The AMZ Insiders Team
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P.s.s. You might also enjoy this related article about selling products on Amazon.