Amazon Restricted Categories: How To Get Approved In 2023

  • #Scale Insights Team
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Are you looking to expand your product offerings and boost sales on the world's largest online marketplace? If so, it's crucial to understand the concept of Amazon-restricted categories and seller restrictions. These restricted categories can significantly impact your ability to sell certain types of products on Amazon, making it essential to navigate them effectively. Understanding the nuances of these restrictions is crucial for successful selling on Amazon. 

Amazon Restricted Categories: An Overview


Restricted categories in Amazon refer to an exclusive list of product categories that Amazon exercises control over, establishing a unique set of rules for each. These categories are available but require sellers to gain Amazon's approval before products within them can be listed. 

This measure is part of Amazon's rigorous approach to ensure a consistently high standard across products and sellers, less competition, and thus upholding buyers' fewer sellers' trust and confidence in their marketplace.

Let's delve a little deeper. Restricted categories refer to various products:

  • Automotive parts

  • Personal care items 

  • Jewellery

  • Shoes

  • Timepieces

  • Dietary supplements, 

  • Medical devices and accessories

  • Pesticides and pesticide devices

  • Plant and Seed Products

  • Postage metres and stamps

  • Recalled products

  • Recycling electronics

  • Refrigerants: Ozone-Depleting Substances and Substitutes

  • Strike anywhere matches

  • Subscriptions and Periodicals

  • Surveillance Equipment

  • Tobacco & Tobacco-Related Products

  • Warranties, Service Plans, Contracts, and Guarantees

  • Upholstered Furniture, Bedding, & Other Quilted Products.

The diversity of this list reflects Amazon's extensive marketplace. While these regulations may initially seem like a hurdle, they ultimately ensure that the products you buy from Amazon are of high quality and authenticity. As a result, this enhances your selling experience, giving you peace of mind with every sale that you make.

The Challenge Of Restricted Categories On Amazon

For new sellers embarking on their Amazon journey, understanding and navigating the realm of restricted categories can be challenging. It's a scenario that unfolds frequently: sellers, brimming with enthusiasm, carefully source a product, only to discover later that strict restrictions hinder their plans. This revelation brings forth a multitude of challenges that must be addressed.

One of the primary challenges lies in the process of determining restricted categories. It can be a headache-inducing task that requires careful research and thorough comprehension of Amazon's guidelines. 

The intricate nature of these categories, coupled with the ever-evolving nature of the marketplace, demands a keen eye for detail to ensure compliance and avoid potential pitfalls.

Yet, this situation is far from a dead-end. These seemingly locked gates can be opened with the proper knowledge and guidance. By comprehending Amazon's restrictions and requirements, you can broaden your horizon of product offerings, expanding your potential customer base and business growth. 

How To Request Approval For Amazon Restricted Categories

Requesting approval for the Amazon category can be a relatively straightforward process, though it may require some time for processing. In some instances, if you have an established selling history and a good reputation on Amazon, your approval request may be automatically approved, bypassing a lengthier review process typically experienced by new sellers. 

Here’s a step-by-step guide:

  • Step 1: Log in to your Amazon Seller Central account: Sign into your Amazon Seller Central account with your username and password.

  • Step 2: Navigate to the inventory section: Once logged in, find and click on the "Inventory" option on your dashboard.

  • Step 3: Click 'Add a Product': From the inventory section, look for the 'Add a Product' option and click on it.

  • Step 4: Search for the product you want to sell: Enter the name or details of the product you wish to sell in the search bar.

  • Step 5: Check for listing limitations: If the product falls under a restricted category, the search results will display a message that says 'Listing Limitations Apply.'

  • Step 6: Initiate the approval process: If you encounter the 'Listing Limitations Apply' message, there should be a 'Request Approval' button next to it. Click on this button to start the approval process for selling that product.

  • Step 7: Wait for approval: After clicking the 'Request Approval' button, you may receive an instant response if your seller account has a strong reputation and history. This response will either confirm the approval of your request, allowing you to start selling immediately, or it may take some time for Amazon to process your request.

Amazon Seller Restrictions: What Does It Mean For Sellers?

Amazon seller restrictions cover  a vast spectrum, presenting category-specific regulations and those tied to individual products. While these rules may initially seem daunting, they're designed with an integral purpose in mind: to safeguard both buyers and sellers. They uphold fair and transparent practices across Amazon's extensive marketplace, fortifying trust and reliability.

To list items within these guarded categories, sellers must meet specific prerequisites Amazon sets, such as:

  • Providing additional details about the product or the seller

  • Undergoing performance checks, or 

  • Paying a fee 

  • Meeting specific product or seller requirements

  • Obtaining necessary certifications or approvals

  • Complying with legal and safety regulations

  • Adhering to intellectual property rights and trademarks

  • Meeting inventory and storage limitations

  • Demonstrating reliable shipping and delivery capabilities

While these may seem like hoops to jump through, they're intended to ensure that every product sold on Amazon adheres to high-quality standards. Consequently, this promotes a harmonious and secure shopping environment where the authenticity and quality of products are ensured, amplifying buyers' confidence and satisfaction in their Amazon shopping experience.

FBA Restricted Categories: Specifics In The FBA Program

As an Amazon seller, participating in the Fulfilment by Amazon (FBA) programme introduces you to a distinct facet of the platform: FBA restricted categories.

What sets these categories apart from other restrictions is the inclusion of specific considerations tied to Amazon's capabilities in managing, storing, and shipping particular products. This crucial insight is vital in the decision-making process when selecting products to include within your FBA business model.

FBA-restricted categories refer specifically to items sellers are not allowed to send to Amazon's fulfillment centers as part of the FBA program. These restrictions could be due to storage requirements, the potential for damage or harm, or Amazon's inability to legally or safely handle the product in their facilities.

In other words, an item could be unrestricted for selling on Amazon generally but still be restricted from the FBA program due to storage or handling requirements. Sellers would then need to handle the fulfillment of these items themselves or use another third-party fulfillment service. Therefore, sellers must understand both restriction types when deciding on which products to sell and fulfilling customer orders.

Products Restricted On Amazon FBA

Here are some products specific to the FBA program restricted on the platform. Note that restrictions can change over time as Amazon updates its policies, so it's always a good idea to check the most recent information directly from Amazon Seller Central:

  • Alcoholic Beverages: Alcohol is generally not allowed to be sold via FBA, with some exceptions.

  • Sky Lanterns or Related Products: These are not allowed due to safety concerns.

  • Vehicle Tires: Tires are not accepted by Amazon FBA.

  • Gift Cards, Gift Certificates, and Other Stored Value Instruments: Amazon does not accept these for FBA.

  • Dangerous Goods (Hazmat): These include items that are flammable, pressurized, corrosive, or otherwise hazardous.

  • Products that require refrigeration or other perishables: Amazon FBA doesn't generally accept perishable or temperature-sensitive products.

  • Loose Packaged Batteries: Only batteries properly packaged by the manufacturer are allowed.

  • Products with Expiration Dates: Items that have less than 105 days of shelf life from the time of receipt by Amazon.

  • Certain Tobacco Products: Most cannot be sold via Amazon FBA.

  • Certain Offensive and Controversial Materials: Items that promote hatred, intolerance, or discrimination are restricted.

Determining If The Amazon Product Is Gated Or Ungated

You can swiftly identify the status of your product and whether it is gated or ungated. Here’s how to do a quick check:

  1. Log in to your Amazon Seller account.

  2. Click "Inventory" in the top menu, then select "Add a Product".

  3. In the search box, enter the name, UPC, EAN, ISBN, or ASIN of the product you want to sell, then click "Search".

  4. Find the product in the search results.

  5. Next to the product, under the "Status" column, you'll see one of three statuses:

  6. "Sell Yours" means the product is in an ungated category, and you can sell it without further approval.

  7. "Listing limitations apply" means the product is in a gated category, and you'll need to request approval to sell it.

  8. "You need approval to list in this brand means the product is from a brand that requires approval.

By mastering this process, you can optimise your product listings on Amazon.

Conclusion About Amazon Restricted Categories

Venturing into Amazon's restricted product categories might seem daunting, but remember, every challenge is an opportunity in disguise. By overcoming these hurdles, you can unlock profitable niches, access exclusive product categories, and stand out in Amazon's extensive marketplace.

Yet, understanding and adhering to Amazon's guidelines is of paramount importance. Whether about gated Amazon categories, FBA-restricted categories, or other seller restrictions, each rule ensures a seamless, high-quality marketplace that benefits sellers and buyers.

We at Scale Insights are committed to illuminating your path in this journey. With our team of seasoned Amazon experts and a treasure trove of resources, we provide tailored guidance to navigate Amazon's complexities. So, why wait? Reach out to us, and let's unlock the potential of your Amazon selling journey together.

By leveraging our expertise and tools, you can streamline your efforts, optimize your strategies, and achieve your business goals on Amazon with confidence and clarity. Let Scale Insights be your guide to success in the Amazon marketplace.

Frequently Asked Questions On Amazon Restricted Categories

What Is Not Restricted On Amazon?

On Amazon, numerous product categories are not subject to restrictions, allowing sellers to list items freely without the need for special approval. 

These unrestricted categories typically include popular consumer goods like books, electronics, home and kitchen products, beauty and personal care items, sports and outdoor equipment, and clothing and accessories. 

These categories offer ample opportunities for sellers to explore and expand their product offerings on Amazon, as the limitations imposed by restricted categories do not bind them. Sellers can leverage the broad customer base and high demand in these unrestricted categories to reach a larger audience and drive sales.

What's The Difference Between Gated And Ungated On Amazon?

The distinction between gated and ungated categories on Amazon is essential for sellers to understand. Gated categories require sellers to obtain approval from Amazon before they can list products within them. 

These categories often have additional requirements, such as providing detailed product information, meeting specific performance criteria, or even paying a fee. 

Gating aims to ensure that products listed in these categories meet particular quality standards and comply with applicable regulations. Non-gated categories, on the other hand, are open to all sellers without the need for prior approval. Sellers can list products within non-gated categories without encountering these additional requirements. 

How Do Amazon Seller Restrictions Affect Me As A Seller?

Amazon seller restrictions refer to the stringent checks put in place by Amazon before sellers can list products within certain categories. Sellers must meet specific performance criteria and might also need to provide additional information about their products or business. These measures ensure that every product within these restricted or 'gated' categories aligns with Amazon's comprehensive quality and safety standards, thus cultivating a reliable and high-quality shopping platform for all users.

Can All Amazon Restricted Categories Be Ungated?

While many restricted products and categories on Amazon can be ungated or unlocked, the process often demands adherence to stricter standards, depending on the specific product or type. 

In some instances, certain categories might not be available for 'ungating', mainly due to constraints related to the seller's geographical location. 

Amazon's emphasis on quality and customer experience is central to these regulations, ensuring every product on its platform meets the high standards its customers have come to expect.

What Products Are Restricted On Amazon SG?

Amazon Singapore, similar to other Amazon marketplaces, has its own set of no-sell restricted products or categories that require pre-approval from Amazon before a seller can list the restricted products on Amazon. Some of these no-sell toys or types include, but are not limited to:

  • Automotive and Powersports

  • Collectible Coins

  • Dietary Supplements

  • Fine Art

  • Made in Italy Watches

  • Personal Safety and Household products

  • Watches

This is a partial list, and Amazon SG continuously updates the categories based on local laws, regulations, and customer feedback. Always check the latest updates on Amazon Seller Central or Amazon SG's official page.