By Si Martin
Restricted Categories & How to get Approved for them
There’s no doubt that Amazon is rapidly becoming the go to place to source all sorts of products. With Amazon Marketplace, anyone can register to sell products through the e-commerce giant.
Finding products that will sell quickly and for a decent margin can be a tricky first step (incidentally, ProfitSourcery can help you with that!) but some product categories are restricted – so bear this in mind when you’re sourcing products.
While some categories are restricted, so that they can be monitored and controlled, applying to sell them is a relatively straightforward process. There are also certain brands that are restricted, and unfortunately, you can’t apply for permission to sell them. Desirable brands like Apple or Beats By Dre, which are commonly counterfeited, are strictly regulated.
Restricted categories on Amazon are:
• Health and Personal Care
• Toys & Games (around Christmas)
These categories are restricted, but not completely off limits. Restricting who can sell certain brands and in certain categories protects both buyers from ending up getting something that’s not what they’ve paid for and sellers from selling inferior or counterfeit products (whether on purpose or without even realising).
How do I apply to sell in the restricted categories?
Amazon has got to where it is now by putting its customer satisfaction as its top priority, so Amazon will be looking for sellers to provide the best shopping experience for their customers.
To actually apply to sell in restricted categories, you can request permission to sell new products in any of the categories by contacting seller support through the link at the bottom of any page in Seller Central.
By selecting an individual restricted category, Amazon will take you through each of the steps required for registering to sell in that category.
At ProfitSourcery, we’ve put together a step-by-step guide to help our members through the entire process.
Some things to remember:
- Each of the categories will have its own requirements for selling within it (for example, groceries that could have expiry dates on will have different standards to meet, compared to clothing). You can find the requirements for each category on the application page.
- Keep your receipts. Amazon might get in touch before allowing you to sell in these categories, and will want to see proof that you’ve sourced your products from a reputable source. If you’re asked for receipts, you’ll be expected to produce at least three receipts for each category you’re applying to sell in.Each of these receipts will need to show an order of at least five of each item you’re planning on selling, and have an ASIN (Amazon Standard Identification Number) connected to each product you’ve got a receipt for. The receipts also need to have the suppliers name and address. If they don’t have this information, you can add it yourself.
To read more about sourcing products safely, you can read our blog post about it here.
- You’ll need to have a Pro-Merchant account (Amazon’s monthly subscription plan for sellers) to sell in restricted categories.
- You’ll need to have pictures of the products you plan to sell, and they’ll need to conform to the Amazon guidelines for pictures.
- Stay on top of your customer metrics. It’s a good idea to be meeting Amazon’s standards in terms of customer metrics anyway, but you’ll be more likely to be accepted to sell in restricted categories if you keep to the following:
– Order Defect Rate <1%
– Pre-Fulfillment Cancelation Rate <2.5%
– Late Shipment Rate <4%
You can read more about all the customer metrics and how to meet them in our blog post here .
At ProfitSourcery, we help you find products that you can sell for a profit on Amazon. We flag up opportunities that are within restricted categories so you know what you’re getting into, and we’ve prepared a heap of guides and training material to help take you through the process of getting permission to sell in the restricted categories. If you’re ready to bump up your trading activities, but you’re not quite sure how, then sign up now.