Why Amazon Restricts Brands & Categories

Being an Amazon 3rd party seller is a great way to reach millions of loyal customers.  There are currently 150 million Prime members which is a 50% increase from April 2018.  That level of customer acquisition is remarkable and a major reason why most of us sellers deal with the more frustrating aspects of doing business with Amazon.  For new sellers the most frustrating part is finding a product only to be “restricted” in the brand or category.  Why does Amazon have these restrictions in place.  It boils down to why customers are so loyal to Amazon.  Trust.  Consumers go to Amazon to shop because they have trust in Amazon.  In their own words

            We want customers to be able to shop with confidence on Amazon. For certain products, brands, categories, and sub-categories, Amazon requires sellers to obtain approval before listing products for sale. The approval process may include document requests, performance checks, and other qualifications.

 

As a 3rd party seller, you must find a authorized wholesale source, purchase 10 or more of a single item, receive an “Invoice” and submit that documentation to become, what is commonly known as “ungated”, with a brand.  For categories, pictures of the product are an additional requirement.  Documentation is where most sellers get held up.  You can’t get in invoice from Walmart although we’re sure a few have tried.  With limited purchasing capital, gambling on a company providing the right document and being approved by Amazon is a risky gamble many do not want to take.  Not only is Amazon meticulous about verifying the documents; they’ve been known to call the distributor to confirm authenticity, if you are caught violating their Terms of Service your account can be suspended.  If you don’t have a legal service on retainer, hiring one after the fact can cost upwards of $5,000. 

The key to successful ungating is utilizing trusted, legitimate sources to purchase products they are authorized to redistribute.  When I became a seller I researched different services that would help with getting ungated in the major brands and categories that are restricted to new sellers.  Most of these services want access to your seller account so submit documents and handle cases for you.  They either don’t want you to see the document or they don’t want to expose the source.  The only way for you to not know that is if you don’t receive product.  That is a violation of Amazon’s Terms of Service.  I chose to go with a more expensive option and they did a great job and I was approved to sell.  But had I continued to pay thousands of dollars for each brand or category I wouldn’t have had any capitol left to source product. 

We founded UngateAMZ with the mission to provide trustworty ungating services to sellers for a fair fee.  We hope you continue to use us going forward because of the ease of our process.  But we also believe in the old adage that if you teach a man to fish you feed him for life.