When you want to stay ahead of the competition on Amazon, clever product research can be your golden ticket to success. You uncover a product idea that seems like a million-dollar opportunity and are eager to list it. But hold on, not so fast…
It's crucial to understand that not all products can be freely bought and sold on Amazon. In fact, certain products and categories are either entirely prohibited or restricted, meaning you can only sell them after obtaining Amazon's approval – an extra step you'll need to take.
However, selling restricted products on Amazon can be a strategic cornerstone of your marketing plan. The competition within these categories tends to be significantly lower, potentially resulting in higher profit margins for savvy sellers.
Therefore, as you delve into product research, one essential step is to check whether the item is restricted or not. Skipping this crucial step could lead to the suspension or even a ban on your Amazon account. If you list a product in a gated category without the necessary approval, Amazon is likely to remove your product page or revoke your selling privileges.
So, what do you do if you're researching numerous products daily in search of your golden opportunity? The process of individually verifying each product's status can be endless. However, there's an optimal solution for this.
Our comprehensive guide provides everything you need to know about restricted products on Amazon and how to gain approval to sell them.
Understanding Restricted Products on Amazon
Restricted products are the products that Amazon either prohibits from sale or necessitates seller approval to list. These restrictions can take various forms, such as legal limitations, safety and quality requirements, and specific claim compliance criteria. It's important to note that these restrictions can differ from one Amazon marketplace to another, and the list of restricted products can change over time.
Why Does Amazon Restrict Products?
Amazon's motivation for imposing restrictions is twofold. First and foremost, the company aims to protect its customers from illegal, unsafe, and subpar products. Amazon's Terms of Service require sellers to ensure their products comply with industry standards, safety regulations, and possess all necessary permissions and warranties. This applies to items like health and beauty products, toys, and more.
The second reason is to maintain a positive shopping experience for customers by minimizing the risk of negative claims. Hazardous or substandard products increase this risk. To achieve this, Amazon enforces restrictions on trademarked items and products subject to intellectual property rights. Sellers cannot list such items without proper authorization from both the brand and Amazon.
Product Categories Restricted for Sale on Amazon
For select restricted categories and subcategories, Amazon mandates seller approval before listing products. In the United States, these categories include:
- Postage stamps
- Collectible Coins
- Fine Art
- Holiday Selling Requirements in Toys & Games
- Join Amazon Subscription Boxes
- Made in Italy
- Music & DVD
- Sports Collectibles
- Streaming Media Players
- Video, DVD, & Blu-ray
- Sony PlayStation Requirements in Video Games
Products Restricted for Sale on Amazon
Certain types of restricted products require pre-approval from Amazon, while others demand supplemental information or additional guarantees. Amazon FBA sellers must also consult the FBA list of restricted products. Some products may not be allowed for sale at all. In the United States, restricted products include:
- Animals & Animal-Related Products
- Art - Fine Art
- Art - Home Decor
- Automotive and Powersports
- Composite Wood Products
- Cosmetics & Skin/Hair Care
- CPAP Cleaning and Disinfecting Devices
- Currency, Coins, Cash Equivalents, and Gift Cards
- Dietary Supplements
- Drugs & Drug Paraphernalia
- Explosives, Weapons, and related items
- Export Controls
- Food & Beverage
- Gambling & Lottery
- Hazardous and prohibited items
- Human Parts & Burial Artifacts
- Jewelry & Precious Gems
- Laser products
- Lock Picking & Theft Devices
- Medical devices and accessories
- Pesticides and pesticide devices
- Plant and Seed Products
- Postage meters 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
Amazon Listing Restrictions
General listing restrictions pertain to the information you provide on your product detail page. For instance, if you claim that your product is antimicrobial or antibacterial, you must be able to substantiate this claim with documents. Amazon does not offer sellers any automatic restriction checker tools, so it's the seller's responsibility to comply with these regulations.
Dealing with Restricted Brands on Amazon
Amazon restricts many brands for various reasons, including exclusive agreements or a high prevalence of counterfeits. However, brand restrictions do not necessarily extend to every item within a brand.
Tip. Read how to go around Amazon brand restrictions.
How to Check Product Restrictions on Amazon
It's vital to check whether a product is restricted during your product research. Failing to do so may result in your listing being removed, and your account potentially suspended. While Amazon doesn't offer a built-in restriction checker, there are seller tools available to bridge this gap. With the Seller Assistant's Restriction Checker, you can see product restrictions both on Amazon Search Pages and Product Pages. This tool also allows for bulk checking, making your research more efficient.
Steps to Check Amazon Product Restrictions:
Step 1: Begin by connecting the Seller Assistant App to your Amazon Seller Account.
Step 2: Ensure that your Seller account meets the following criteria:
- It is active.
- You are on the Professional plan.
- Your account is fully configured.
Step 3: Log in to your Amazon Seller Account with your primary email.
Step 4: Navigate to the "Integration" section in Seller Assistant App's Account Settings.
Step 5: Select the specific marketplace on which you are currently selling.
Step 6: Click on the "Connect Amazon Account" button. This action will redirect you to Seller Central, where you can choose your desired marketplace.
Step 7: At the bottom of the page, mark the access authorization checkbox and click the "Confirm" button.
Step 8: Authorize the app, and you will get redirected back to your Seller Assistant App account. At this point, your Amazon Seller Account is successfully connected.
Step 9: To verify product restrictions, visit the Amazon Search Pages or Amazon Product pages. A green open lock symbolizes that you have the freedom to sell a product, while a red closed lock indicates that you require approval or are ineligible to sell the product.
Steps to Check Amazon Product Restrictions in Bulk:
Step 1: Log in to your Seller Assistant App or link it to your Amazon Seller Account using the steps described earlier.
Step 2: Upload a batch of up to 1000 ASINs to Seller Assistant's Bulk restriction checker.
Step 3: Download and review the report, which will provide the results of the restriction check in your email inbox and within the notification panel of your Seller Assistant App account.
How to Sell Restricted Products on Amazon
Selling in restricted categories or offering restricted products involves a time-consuming approval process that may come with additional fees. However, the potential for reduced competition often makes the effort worthwhile. The specific requirements for approval vary depending on the category. Generally, a professional seller account with strong performance metrics and the ability to provide requested documentation are necessary.
Steps to Get Approval for Restricted Products on Amazon:
Step 1: Begin by logging in to your Seller Central account.
Step 2: Navigate to the 'Inventory' section.
Step 3: Click on 'Add a Product'.
Step 4: Locate the product you intend to sell.
Step 5: If the product is flagged as restricted, choose 'Listing Limitations Apply'.
Step 6: Click 'Request Approval'.
If you are granted immediate approval, consider yourself fortunate. However, if approval is not immediate, be prepared for Amazon to request additional information or invoices.
As you conduct product research, always remember to check if a product is allowed for sale on Amazon. Failing to do so can lead to wasted time and effort, as Amazon may remove your listing and suspend your account. If you're sifting through numerous products daily, manually verifying each one is impractical and time-consuming. To ease this burden, consider using a restriction checker like the Seller Assistant App Restriction Checker. This tool provides real-time information on product restrictions, allowing you to make informed decisions and navigate the Amazon marketplace successfully. Additionally, the Seller Assistant App offers a suite of valuable features, including product research, FBM&FBA profit calculator, Advanced IP Alerts, Quick View, Stock Checker, and Restrictions Checker, all in one comprehensive tool.