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How To Get Approved In The Restricted Categories On AmazonAs a brand new Amazon seller, you may be asking “What can I sell on Amazon?” or “What categories are restricted on Amazon?”

The good news is, you are automatically approved to sell in the following categories:

  • Baby *
  • New & Used Books
  • Camera & Photo
  • Home & Garden
  • Kindle Accessories
  • Musical Instruments
  • Office Products
  • Outdoors
  • Personal Computers
  • Pet Supplies
  • Software **
  • Sports
  • Tools & Home Improvement
  • Toys *
  • Video Games **

* Some restrictions apply during the holiday season.

**Specific products may still require approval.

That’s quite a few categories for when you are just getting started selling on Amazon!  

It’s actually plenty to keep you busy for awhile, while you are still learning the business.

Since you are reading this post, you are wanting to know how you can get approval in the categories that are not automatically open to new sellers, and require getting approval to sell in the categories on Amazon, right?

Many sellers want to get approved in these restricted categories because there is less competition in them.  Because not all sellers go through the trouble of getting ungated in these restricted categories.

If you are willing to take a few extra steps, you can find yourself one step ahead of the competition!

These Categories Require Special Approval From Amazon In Order To Sell In Them:

  • Automotive
  • Beauty
  • Collectible Books
  • Cell Phones & Accessories
  • Clothing & Accessories
  • Collectible Coins
  • Entertainment Collectibles
  • Grocery & Gourmet Foods
  • Health & Personal Care
  • Industry & Scientific
  • Jewelry
  • Luggage & Travel Accessories
  • Major Appliances
  • Watches
  • Wine

A few of these restricted categories are more appealing to a majority of sellers than others.

Some of the categories are really easy to get into, and others require a much more thorough process in order to get approved to sell in them.

For today’s post, we are going to concentrate on getting you approved to sell in the following categories:

Simple Application Process

  • Clothing & Accessories
  • Jewelry
  • Luggage & Travel Accessories
  • Watches

Invoices & Proof Of Purchase Required

  • Beauty
  • Grocery & Gourmet Foods
  • Health & Personal Care

Before You Start The Ungating Process For These Restricted Categories

In order to request approval to sell in all of the above restricted categories you must meet the following criteria as an Amazon seller:

  • Be a PRO MERCHANT – this means you are paying the $39.00 a month for your seller account.
  • Order defect rate:                 < 1%
  • Pre-fulfillment cancel rate:   < 2.5%
  • Late shipment rate:              < 4%

The only reason you would fall below these as a brand new seller is if you were doing Merchant Fulfilling.  Since you are most likely just getting started, you will meet the above requirements no problem :) 

Getting Approval In Beauty, Health & Personal Care Or Groceries  

**Added 04/25, Amazon is no longer requiring approval in the main category of Health and Personal Care. Please be aware that many of the subcategories are still restricted, and some require large fees to apply in them.**

Three of the categories that are restricted on Amazon and seem to be the MOST desired for approval, are Beauty, Health & Personal Care and Grocery.

These also happen to be the hardest of the restricted categories to get approval in 🙁

The reason why it is so hard, is because Amazon requires that a seller have multiple invoices from an approved wholesaler, and sometimes they require proof of having a legal business.

You Need 3 Commercial Invoices PER CATEGORY To Request Approval

Amazon wants to see that you are purchasing sellable quantities, not just stuff that you are going to be using around your house.

You can have multiple categories represented on each invoice.  Just make sure each one has a SELLABLE quantity of 10 or more!

Meaning if you are using the ASIN that is a 3 pack of chapstick, you need to be purchasing 30 units of that chapstick.  This will make the total sellable units 10.  

(3 units per pack X 10 sellable units = 30 individual pieces)

Amazon wants to see 36+ sellable units of each product (this can be across the 3 invoices).

The invoice needs to include the following information:

  • The suppliers company information:  Name, Address, Phone Number and Website

Note: The suppliers website should have all of this information on the first page as well.  So they are easy to identify as a “legitimate supplier”.  Keep this in mind when you are looking for a wholesale company to use!  If you can’t find all of their contact info on page one, Amazon won’t search further than that.

  • Your company information: Company name as it appears on your Amazon seller account, Address you have on file

IMPORTANT:  We have seen sellers denied simply because the name/address used wasn’t an exact match as what is shown on their Amazon account.  So make sure to include your “Official” business contact information.

Where To Get Invoices From

Many of the members in our Amazon Boot Camp group have successfully used Price Masters to purchase products and use the invoices for approval.  

They have a minimum order amount of $200.  This means that you should anticipate spending at least $600+ shipping, on products in order to request approval in these restricted categories.

What To Buy

It is important to make sure you are purchasing products that are ALREADY listed on Amazon!

They need to be listed in the category that you are wanting to get approval in.

I suggest looking the products up through Seller Central > Add A Product to find out what category they are in.

Here are some examples of items our members have purchased and the category they were listed in:

Before placing any orders, please make sure to look for items on your own.  These are just examples.  You do not want to order the exact same things as thousands of other sellers 🙂

Product

ID #

ASIN

Category

Royal King Diet Green Tea

2951

B002BFE1EI

Health & Personal Care

Royal King Organic Green Tea

4811

B0074AF3XI

Grocery

haribo sour spaghett

4569

b001CTLMFA

Grocery

Dental Care Kit

3396

B002C02HZW

Beauty

Dental close up flossed pick

1907

B013GXZKVQ

Health & Personal Care

Haribo Gold Bears

1453

B00BWXBO2M

Grocery

Carmex .25 oz Jars

6755

B00BNG3OI0

Health & Personal Care

Carmex .25 oz Jars

6755

B0001EL7YS

Beauty

Don’t forget, you need to have 3 invoices per category and a minimum of 36 sellable units per product ordered.

Place Your Orders and Then WAIT For The Actual Invoices

When you apply for the selected category, you will need to have the official invoice that comes inside of the box.  Not just a printed copy of what gets emailed to you after the purchase.

You can use your phone to take a picture of the invoice.

Mark Your Invoices With Appropriate Information

Handwrite onto the invoice the ASIN of each item that you are submitting to Amazon.  

If there is any confusion on how many units you purchased, annotate that on the invoice as well.

For example:  You ordered 3 cases of a product, and there are 10 units per case.  Mark that on the invoice, that 3 cases = 30 units.

You can use a computer program to make the annotations if you prefer, just make sure to be taking a picture of the invoice that came with your order.

Download This PDF For Invoice Examples And All The Steps For Approval To Access At Any Time

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Make Sure You Actually NEED Approval Before Requesting It

I’ve seen a lot of sellers go through the hassle, and the expense of getting approved in these 3 restricted categories, only to find out they didn’t find much to sell in the categories to actually sell!

It isn’t a right of passage to have approval in Grocery, Health & Beauty!

You can run your Amazon business without these categories.

Main Category Approval May Not Fully Ungate You!

There are some subcategories within these categories that require ADDITIONAL APPROVAL.  Not just an application process, but a hefty fee that goes along with it.

Topicals & Ingestibles are both subcategories that require further approval.  So look into this before you buy products to sell in these categories.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I get approval if I am a brand new seller?

I’ve seen brand new sellers get approved, as well as get denied.  I recommend having some experience under your belt to show Amazon that you are established in your business.  

I am private labeling from China, can’t I use my invoices?

Unfortunately, Amazon rarely accepts invoices from China to grant approval into these categories.  You are better off going about it as we have instructed above.

Can I sell the products I purchase for approval?

Of course!  I wouldn’t expect to make all of your money back, but I would get as much as you can for them!

Can I only sell products from the wholesaler I used in the invoices?

No, Amazon is not checking your invoices once you have gotten approval.  At that point, you can purchase from any legitimate supplier.

Will receipts work from places like Target?

Nope, retail receipts will NOT work for category approval!

Do I need a business license?

Some seller are asked for a business license during the application process, and some are not.

Will I get approved for sure?

I wish there was a guarantee!  But even some people who have followed the instructions provided, still don’t get approval right away.  Sometimes it takes submitting your application multiple times in order to get approval.

Can I just pay someone to get me approved?

I would highly advise AGAINST doing this!  If Amazon is requesting invoices, you need to actually be purchasing products.  Unless the person you are paying is placing actual orders for you, then you are most likely getting forged documents, and I wouldn’t be submitting forged documents to Amazon in my account!


 

Getting Approval In Shoes & Handbags, Clothing & Accessories, Watches Or Jewelry

Recently Amazon has changed the process for gaining approval into the categories of Shoes, Clothing, Watches & Jewelry.  

Sellers no longer need to provide images or flat files for these categories.  There is an application process where you answer multiple choice type of questions and then get an instant approval (or denial) based on your answers.

For the application, Amazon will ask you questions about the products that you intend to sell. questions about your business model and what your intentions are for the category you are applying in.  The questions are pretty basic and are about your plans as a seller.  

One important note is that when you are requesting approval in these categories, Amazon wants you to be purchasing direct from the manufacturer, or be the brand owner.  If you say no to both of these questions, you will get an automatic decline and not be able to move forward in the application process.

Grab our downloadable guides that you can use to help you with the application questions:

Sign Up To Get The Step By Step Instructions With Invoice Examples In A Downloadable PDF

We used to charge for these guides, now you can get it just by signing up for our newsletter 🙂

Thanks for subscribing! Enjoy the tutorial.

The questions for the other categories are very similar, so once you go through these categories, you can answer those questions the same way.

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