Getting Ungated on Amazon in 2023

Amazon places many restrictions on new sellers, until through time and sales, they become vetted on the Seller Central platform. By doing so, Amazon hopes to maintain integrity of products purchased by consumers and reduce counterfeits. One such restriction new sellers will encounter is category gating.

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You did it! You put in the work and were approved for an Amazon Seller account! Congratulations on taking that first big leap into selling on Amazon, the biggest ecommerce platform in the world as of 2021. I know you are primed to go find those amazing deals on the clearance racks of your local retail stores, but before you pay, literally and figuratively, you better first check to make sure you’re ungated.

What is Amazon Gating?

Amazon places many restrictions on new sellers, until through time and sales, they become vetted on the Seller Central platform. By doing so, Amazon hopes to maintain integrity of products purchased by consumers and reduce counterfeits. One such restriction new sellers will encounter is category gating.

Category Gating

Gated categories can be a real constraint for new sellers, who often feel like everything they scan is beyond their reach.

2021 Restricted Categories on Amazon

  • Collectible Coins
  • Personal Safety and Household products
  • Entertainment Collectibles
  • Fine Art
  • Jewelry
  • Made in Italy
  • Music & DVD
  • Automotive & Powersports
  • Services
  • Sports Collectibles
  • Streaming Media Players
  • Video, DVD, & Blue-ray
  • Watches

Getting ungated in restricted Amazon categories is beneficial as a seller because you can sell a larger variety of profitable items. Sourcing becomes a breeze when nearly everything you scan is eligible to sell.

You have also effectively eliminated the bulk of your competition on Amazon, since the majority of sellers don’t have access to the gated categories and brands.

Brand Gating

Brands that don’t want random people selling their products on Amazon can also implement brand gates. These are more of a challenge for sellers to overcome and may require reaching out directly to brands and possibly paying a distribution fee. Amazon will require written permission in the form of a letter from the manufacturer for ungating.

Subcategory Gates

While you may be ungated in one of the broader categories, you may come across certain specific subniches within those categories that are gated, common within Toys, Beauty, and Health & Personal Care categories.

Not Out of The Woods Yet

Additionally, Amazon gates certain categories during Quarter 4, specifically the Toy Category with additional Holiday Selling Guidelines. ASIN restrictions and product condition restrictions are also challenges you may come across as you are out sourcing.

Now, let’s look at a couple proven Amazon ungating methods commonly used.

Auto Ungating

By being an active seller, eventually you may be auto approved in gated categories. A general rule of thumb seems to be reaching about 6 months of selling and/or 100k in gross annual revenue before the gates open on many categories. Many sellers opt to speed up the process using ungating methods.

Getting Ungated With Wholesale

There are several approaches to getting ungated, depending on the category and product, but one proven ungating method many sellers at Ecommerce Empowerment use is wholesale invoicing. Generally, to take advantage of this ungating method, you find a wholesale supplier who can supply you with an invoice that you submit as part of your ungating application.

Find a Supplier

Find a supplier who sells a product in the gated category or brand. This supplier needs to be a wholesale supplier who can issue an invoice, not just a retail receipt. This is key because you will need that invoice later when you submit your request to Amazon.

Create a Wholesale Account

The wholesale account you create needs to have a shipping address that matches your Amazon Seller account. If you have a business name different from your Amazon name, be sure to put both.

Buy Products

Buy a minimum of 10 products (be sure to check that it is currently in the Amazon catalog and has an ASIN). Once you get the wholesale invoice, be sure it includes your seller name at the top. If not, have wholesaler edit the invoice or you can add it in yourself.

Send in Selling Application for Gated Category or Brand

Depending on the category you’re trying to get ungated in, you will need to attach photos of the wholesale invoice, and possibly product photos. Be sure to take clear, brightly lit, high resolution photos of the products on all sides (top, bottom, sides). You can always go back and edit your photos to make them brighter and easier to read after you take them. It’s very important that the products you photographed are easy to see and and that you read the product labels within the photos.

Getting Ungated Using An Ungating Service

Ungating services are third party companies that promise to help you get ungated in the Amazon category or categories of your choosing, for a fee. Reviews for using such services are mixed, and some ungating services use tactics that violate Amazon Terms of Service (TOS). Tread carefully here, its not worth losing your Amazon account over a seemingly quick, and expensive fix.

Ungating Resources Available

Want to delve into some deeper research on proven Amazon ungating methods?

Getting Ungated in Topicals covers the Topicals Category, which includes products that are applied to the skin such as creams, serums, sunscreen and cosmetics.

Getting Ungated in Grocery While the larger grocery category, which used to be fully gated is technically now ungated, subcategories and brands still require ungating.

Getting Ungated in Activeware – Nike, Adidas, Under Armour Getting ungated in big brands will open the doors to fast moving inventory. Use this guide to learn how to be successful in BIG brand ungating.

Getting Ungated in the Toy Category and Big Brand Toys is the holy grail resource for every seller who dreams of having their inventory stocked with the hottest trending toys for Christmas in Q4.

I hope this article gives you some food for thought as you continue on your path to creating income on Amazon. Never stop learning and happy selling!


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