How to Gain Approval to Sell Restricted Brands on Amazon
Updated: Oct 15, 2019
Restrictions for selling certain items can happen to any Amazon Seller no matter how long you have been trading for - and can be hugely frustrating.
You might think you’ve come across the perfect product to reap instant rewards, only to be informed that you’re restricted from selling it. But that doesn’t mean that you can never sell those items, as Thompson and Holt’s managing partner Craig Gedey explains.
Gedey says: “There are ways of reversing Amazon’s initial stance on restricting brands, which are completely above board. But they can take patience over several months, alongside consistency in building up your sales metrics and having proof of a good selling record.
“You also need an element of discipline to continue to check your status on restricted items, but if you’re prepared to do that then you can effectively overturn the initial Amazon stance on certain products by following a particular formula.”
Before moving onto that, it is important to understand the four main types of restrictions when selling on Amazon. They come under the following headings:
1. Category restrictions - You can be restricted from selling an entire category of products by Amazon - it might be shoes, clothes or beauty products.
2. Subcategory restrictions - You may have had an overall category approved to sell (or ungated as Amazon would say) but still be prevented from selling certain products within that. For example you could be approved to sell shoes, but not sporting trainers.
3. Brand restrictions - At times an entire brand can be out of bounds for your Amazon business, such as Nike. It could be that the brand owner has decided their product needs to be protected on the site, meaning you require approval to sell it.
4. ASIN restrictions - This refers to the unique letter-number combination on each product page on each product page on Amazon. Again, some products can require approval to sell.
So how can thee restrictions be overturned? Thompson and Holt managing partner Gedey explains.
He says: “First of all you should check if you are restricted from selling anything, which is relatively straight forward. You can use the Amazon Seller app to scan the barcode of a product (and the Scoutify app), or the “Add a Product” link on the Seller Central website to enter an ASIN or UPC to check your restrictions. A button saying “Sell Yours” means that you’re not restricted.
“However if you have been restricted, you can still apply for approval to sell the product, again within the Seller Central website. Sometimes that can be straight-forward and immediate, at other times Amazon will ask you for more information as part of their approval process.
“That could include a letter from a manufacturer or brand owner, a monetary fee or wholesale invoices. We wouldn’t recommend that you pay a large fee for approval unless you have an on-going relationship with a reputable supplier and are completely confident that you would have a long-term source of high-quality, profitable products.
“You could apply this way and still be rejected, but that isn’t the end of your options - it certainly isn’t a permanent rejection. The longer you sell on Amazon the better your seller metrics should become, and once they have built up to a certain level that can automatically lead to restrictions being unlocked because Amazon will see you as a dependable seller.
“So keep applying. It might be three or six months down the line that you are approached, but I’ve come across several instances where that has happened much quicker. It can actually be a case of continuing to click a few times if you have solid seller metrics for your company.
“You can check your active approval applications by logging into Seller Central, going to ‘Inventory’ and clicking ‘Add a Product’. Scroll down to where it says ‘To manage your selling applications click here’ and follow that link. That should show you applications in draft form and you can click on those to receive either a notification of your approval, or a request for more information.
“We recommend putting reminders on your calendar to keep checking back in your drafts to see if you have been given auto-approval as your metrics improve.”
If you want to find out more information about the requirements for each of the Amazon categories, you can read through them on this link: https://sellercentral.amazon.com/gp/help/external/200332540?language=en-US&ref=efph_200332540_cont_200333160.
This link will take you directly to the Seller Central page with an overview of categories, which ones require approval, what the requirements for approval are, and a link to start the application process.
Thompson and Holt specialise in helping Amazon Sellers who have been suspended through a breach of Amazons Terms of Service. If your Amazon account or ASIN is suspended you should contact Thompson and Holt to see if they can help.