How to get Ungated on Amazon Categories & Brands

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How to get Ungated on Amazon Categories & Brands

Ever wondered why you can't sell certain items on Amazon? It's likely because they're part of Amazon's gated categories. These are specific categories that require sellers to obtain approval before they can list and sell their products.

Amazon's gated categories are a part of the platform's quality control mechanism. They're designed to ensure that only authorised and trusted sellers can offer products in these categories. This helps maintain a high standard of product quality and customer trust.

So, if you're planning to sell on Amazon, it's crucial to understand these categories. Not only will it help you navigate the platform better, but it'll also ensure you're playing by Amazon's rules. Let's dive deeper into what these gated categories are and why they exist.

What are Amazon Gated Categories?

When I talk about Amazon's gated categories, what I'm referring to is specific niches wherein Amazon has in place a requirement for seller approval prior to listing. This process forms an integral role in Amazon's stringent quality control protocols. It's their way of weeding out the scammers and low-quality sellers - ensuring that only authorised and trustworthy sellers reign supreme within these categories.

Now you might be wondering why Amazon feels the need to gate some categories and not others. It's a question many sellers pose and the simplest answer lies in protecting consumer trust. For some categories, the risk of fraud or counterfeit goods is higher, the return frequency is more common, or the quality expectation from customers is particularly high. In these situations, Amazon takes the extra step to vet sellers seeking to list products in that category.

Perhaps the best way to contextualise this is by looking at subcategories in electronics or beauty where cheap and counterfeit items are rampant. Gating these categories ensures that consumers are purchasing goods from legitimate, reputable sellers - preserving Amazon's reputation and maintaining customer's trust.

Let's look at a few commonly gated categories:

  • Grocery and Gourmet food:

    • This niche has strict regulations, owing to the perishable and sensitive nature of the products.
  • Automotive and Powersports:

    • Motor vehicles and their accessories can be both expensive and subject to counterfeiting.
  • Collectible Coins:

    • A niche which inherently presents enhanced risk due to the high possibility of counterfeiting and fraud.

Amazon periodically reviews categories and might change the gated status as they see fit. That means categories could be added or removed from the gated list any time.

Listing on Amazon is a strategic game and understanding these gated categories is part of it. It's not just about complying with Amazon's rules but navigating this e-commerce behemoth to emerge successful.

Why are Certain Items Restricted on Amazon?

Amazon is anything but carefree when it comes to ensuring the integrity, authenticity, and high standard of product listings on its platform. This approach, in part, explains the existence of gated categories. That is, the e-commerce giant works relentlessly to combat fraudulent and impersonated listings; hence, some items end up being restricted.

On Amazon, the restriction of items within particular categories isn't arbitrary. It's a deliberate, calculated move designed to protect both the seller's and shopper's interests. To add context, think of items such as high-end electronics, branded beauty products, or limited-edition collectibles. Such items are typically more prone to being counterfeited, and thus, affect the overall shopping experience. It would be wrong for a customer to pay for an original Gucci purse, only to receive a knock-off. Scenarios like these can damage consumer trust and Amazon's credibility.

That said, let's illuminate some critical points about why certain commodities are restricted.

  1. Brand Piracy: This fraudulent activity has grown at an alarming rate worldwide. On Amazon, duplication of renowned brands is rife which puts the reputation of these brands at stake. Restricting these high-value categories is Amazon's way of taking action against this widespread issue.

  2. Product Authenticity: When a customer buys a product from Amazon, they expect it to be genuine. Gating prevents unscrupulous sellers from listing counterfeit products, thereby ensuring a user gets the real deal.

  3. Safety Concerns: The safety regulations regarding toys and food are a lot stricter than for other categories. As such, Amazon takes extra measures to ensure that these products meet all safety guidelines. Gating provides Amazon the ability to vet the sellers who list these types of products.

  4. Legal Obligations: Certain products like pesticides, hazardous materials, or medical devices come with a set of legal obligations that sellers must abide by. Amazon places these items under restricted categories to maintain compliance with the law.

This strategic move underscores Amazon's commitment to maintaining a secure and reliable platform. By keeping these groups under constant vigilance, Amazon is not only maintaining its reputation for quality and authenticity but also respecting existing legal norms and customer expectations. It's a crucial point that showcases the careful strategy Amazon employs to preserve its market leader position while offering seamless, trustworthy shopping experiences.

The Role of Gated Categories in Amazon's Quality Control

Moving on, the role of gated categories in Amazon's quality control becomes clear when delving deeper into the mechanism. Quality control is a mainstay of Amazon's operational model — it's central to maintaining a robust, customer-centric platform. It's where Amazon’s gated categories come into play.

These specially outlined categories act as a barrier to keep off sellers who want to list inauthentic or poor-quality items. They offer an added layer of verification for sellers. As it happens, these layers of verification mean more than just a couple of additional legal hoops for sellers. Rather, it ensures that only products fitting Amazon's higher quality criteria are sold. An indirect but significant effect of these measures is deterrence of opportunistic sellers hoping to peddle subpar products.

Let's take a look at some hard, bold data to better understand the benefits of these restricted categories.


Counterfeit Listings Removed

Verified Sellers Acc.


2 billion+

10 million+

This shows that as many as two billion counterfeit listings were removed by Amazon in 2020 alone and over ten million new selling partners were accosted, following rigorous checks and balances.

Gated Categories also address product safety concerns with an extra layer of scrutiny. For instance, items under 'Baby Products' need to adhere to strict safety regulations and necessities. A simple toy could pose choking hazards; a non-standard stroller could risk instability or mechanical failure. By controlling access to list these products, Amazon exercises due diligence in ensuring safe and trustworthy products get to their customers.

Hence, gated categories are integral components of Amazon’s Quality Control strategy. Harping on this importance ensures Amazon maintains its reputation as a trusted e-commerce platform, affirmatively addressing customer shopping experiences and expectations.

How to Obtain Approval for Gated Categories

Now with a clearer understanding of what gated categories are and their role in assuring product quality and safety on Amazon, you may wonder how you can obtain approval to sell within these categories. Well, I'm going to walk you through it. It isn't as daunting a task as it may initially seem, and while the complexity can vary depending on the category, it's a process that's certainly attainable.

The first thing you'll need to do is identify which category your product falls under. Be it Automotive, Fine Art, Clothing or another, knowing your category is key. Once you’ve identified it, head over to Amazon's Seller Central and select 'inventory', then 'Add a Product'. From here, search for your category and follow Amazon's prompts to request approval.

Next up is providing the important documentation. This includes invoices from your suppliers showing that you purchased items related to your category within the last 180 days. Amazon also requires a list of your product’s unique identification numbers, like UPCs or EANs.

In some cases, you may be required to undertake product testing or provide safety compliances. So, be prepared. If needed, you’ll be asked to submit your product for independent testing or share safety compliance certificates. Please remember, not all categories require testing or compliance, so don't let this step deter you.

A word of warning though, don't expect your approval to be instantaneous. It can take up to 12 weeks for Amazon to review all your application. It's important to be patient and use this time to perfect your selling strategy.

Benefits of Selling in Gated Categories

Gated Categories can seem intimidating at first, as there's a rigorous process to gain approval. However, these categories do offer a number of benefits to the sellers who manage to make it through.

One of the main benefits is the fact that less competition exists in gated categories. As there's a barrier to entry, fewer sellers are represented in these categories. This reduces the amount of competition you'll face, potentially creating a higher demand for your products.

Additionally, as gated categories require approval from Amazon, there's a level of trust that comes with selling within them. Shoppers perceive gated categories as more reliable and believe products to be more authentic and of higher quality. This can directly influence your sales and customer satisfaction.

Selling in these categories also offers protection from counterfeit products and sellers. Due to the documentation required to gain approval such as invoices and compliance certificates, it's less likely that sellers of counterfeit products will gain entry. This, in turn, reassures customers about the authenticity of your products and improves your overall sales numbers.

While getting approval in these categories may take up longer than anticipated (up to 12 weeks in certain cases), remember this - the longer the wait, the bigger the pay-off. It provides an edge to your Amazon sales strategy, offering a unique competitive advantage.

Let's turn towards how we can actually get approved to sell within these gated categories. From identifying the right category for your product to navigating through Amazon's Seller Central - there's a definitive process one needs to follow.


Navigating Amazon's gated categories isn't always a walk in the park. But the potential rewards are worth the effort. The reduced competition and enhanced customer trust can give your business a significant boost. Plus, you're shielded from counterfeit products and sellers. While the approval process may test your patience, remember it's a necessary step towards achieving higher product demand and perceived quality. So, keep your eye on the prize and follow the approval process diligently. With time, you'll find that selling in Amazon's gated categories is a game-changer for your online business.