Becoming an Amazon seller is a great way to make significant profits, but it might not be as straightforward as it seems to some. There are plenty of different processes and requirements that sellers need to maneuver when they decide to become an Amazon Seller. One such hurdle you will need to overcome is the Amazon restricted product lists.
On Amazon, no matter where you are in the world, there are a range of products and product categories that are restricted. They are subject to restrictions for a variety of reasons and differ per country. Make sure you're looking at the specific restricted categories list for your country before you start!
In this article, we're going to explore what the restricted categories are for Amazon US, why Amazon restricts products, and what you should be doing if you want to sell products from Amazon's restricted product categories.
What is the Restricted Products List on Amazon?
The Amazon restricted categories are put into place by Amazon to ensure that all customers can 'buy with confidence.' Amazon uses this list to ensure that you're not selling illegal, unsafe, or dangerous products through their website. As you can imagine, it would end up being a rather significant legal and liability issue for Amazon were this to happen, which is why they have created these restrictions.
There isn't one specific product or category that can define a restricted product for the simple fact that the restrictions vary from product to product. If you are an FBA seller, you must understand which products you can and cannot sell through Amazon.
In most cases, a restricted product can be sold, provided you apply through Amazon to sell it. This ensures that sellers have a positive history and a certain level of credibility, and it limits the number of new sellers offering specific products.
While it might be tempting to ignore these lists, failure to take them seriously can mean facing consequences like listing cancellations, reduction of listing privileges, suspension, and, in some cases, the outright removal of your listing privileges.
Amazon Restricted Categories
- Animals and animal-related products
- Art (fine art and home decor)
- Automotive and Powersports
- Composite wood products
- Cosmetics and skin/hair care
- CPAP cleaning and disinfecting devices
- Currency, coins, cash equivalents, and gift cards
- Dietary supplements
- Drugs and drug paraphernalia
- Explosives, weapons, and other related items
- Export controls
- Food & beverage
- Gambling & lottery
- Hazardous and dangerous items
- Human parts & burial artifacts
- Jewelry & precious gems
- Laser products
- Lock-picking & theft devices
- Medical devices & accessories
- Offensive and controversial materials
- Pesticides and pesticide devices
- Plant and seed products
- Postage meters and stamps
- Recalled products
- Recycling electronics
- Strike anywhere matches
- Surveillance equipment
- Tobacco and tobacco-related products
- Warranties guarantees
- Upholstered furniture, bedding, and other quilted products
- Federal emissions (products requiring EPA Certificate of Conformity)
- Children's footwear
- Children's apparel
- Other restricted products
And though the following items are not on the current Amazon restricted products lists, they do also have restrictions of their own.
- Ink and toner cartridges
Further Restricted Products on Amazon
Including the above lists of Amazon restricted categories, restrictions also apply to products if:
- A category requires Amazon's approval before you can list it
- You need to include additional information or supplemental guarantee information before you can list the product
- Any product including images of the FDA logo or claiming to be FDA approved or cleared
Note: Certain products are subject to further regulations in California, and if your store ships internationally, you must be aware of any restrictions in other countries, too.
Why Do Some Products Require Approval on Amazon?
If you have an Amazon seller account, you're probably wondering why you're not able to sell whatever you want without jumping through lots of hoops to do so. The reason Amazon restricts certain products and product categories is to ensure that they keep customer's trust. So, it is in your best interests to follow guidelines on restricted products. After all, if customers don't trust Amazon as a whole, then you're unlikely to make much selling through FBA!
In general, restrictions are in place to ensure that products are authentic, safe, and in concurrence with local and regional regulations. For many of the restricted categories, those with a seller account may apply through Seller Central to be approved to sell restricted items. In some cases, your application through Seller Central may be denied, and Amazon may not currently be taking applications for the category you're applying for. So don't be too downhearted if you get a rejection!
You can find out if a product you want to sell requires approval when you enter it in the Add Product search. Click on 'Show Limitations' to find out which approvals the product will need before you list it.
What Selling Restrictions Are Common on Amazon Restricted Categories?
Selling restrictions may be applied to restricted categories at large or to individual products (and groups of related individual products, like products from the same brand). Attribute restrictions you may encounter include:
- Individual ASINs
- Brands within a specific category
Be aware that some products may fall into a number of these attributes, which could mean you need to submit separate applications to be approved. This could mean submitting applications for the brand as well as the subcategory the product is listed in for one single product.
How to Sell in Restricted Categories on Amazon
If you're looking to begin selling restricted products on Amazon, then we've created a step-by-step guide to make the process a little simpler. Take a look now to find a brief overview of how to sell restricted products on Amazon.
- To get access to the Amazon gated categories, you will need to access your Seller Central account (you will have one of these whether you have an individual or professional seller account). Login into your Seller account and navigate to Add Products.
- Once you have found the item you want to sell, click on the Show Limitations button in the product info.
- From here, you can click on Request Approval and begin the application process for whichever restricted item you want to sell.
It is important to be aware that the application process for many products can be long and arduous. Some have many different evidential requirements before you can be approved to ensure that Amazon customers can trust the product. However, if you follow through with these applications, you are likely to access substantial profit margins and great success.
Additional Information on Amazon Restricted Categories
In some cases, you may find that you were already selling an item, and suddenly, you're not able to. Amazon has explained this by saying that they constantly make changes and determine new restrictions based on their growing catalog. In this case, you can apply for approval, but you may be denied.
Amazon will also notify you that you are no longer able to sell a product if you've received a performance notification relating to the product. In this case, you must provide additional information before you're allowed to sell it again.
How to Avoid Accidentally Selling Restricted Products on Amazon
You may have come to this article specifically looking for support with restricted items, or you may be concerned you're already selling an item that is restricted. If that is the case, then we've collated our top tips below on how to avoid selling restricted products on Amazon by accident.
1. Get to Know the Regulations in Your Product Areas
The easiest way to be sure that you're not selling anything that is restricted is to be up to date on rules and regulations in your product areas. This means industry regulations as well as restrictions imposed by Amazon. When uploading new product sub-categories or items you haven't sold before, just be sure to gather as much information about selling them on Amazon as possible. Knowledge is power!
2. Stay on Top of Any Product Recalls in Your Industry
Product recalls are on Amazon's restricted categories lists. It is actually unlawful to sell product recalls anywhere, so to avoid messy legal disputes, Amazon does not allow its sellers to sell them through FBA. Product recalls are often carried out because of dangers to public health or safety, so it's simple to understand why you shouldn’t sell them.
As mentioned above, knowledge is the key to this situation. Staying on top of product recalls in your industry can keep you abreast of any changes and ensure that you don't accidentally end up listing a recalled product!
3. Get Amazon Product Leads in Your Inbox
If you're looking for a way of boosting profits while avoiding the revocation of listing privileges, then purchasing Amazon FBA product leads, like those offered by OA Cheddar, could be a great choice.
OA Cheddar offers leads in gated and ungated categories (so if you already have approval for specific gated categories, it will benefit you, too!) and uses innovative research tools to ensure the product leads will help you reap the rewards of being an FBA seller.
Unlike many other product lead distributors, OA has a vested interest in giving out profitable leads. Owned by an Amazon seller, they use their own tools and information to continue to make huge profits by selling using FBA.
Check out the range of lead lists offered by OA Cheddar to boost your FBA sales today.
After reading this article, you might be wondering what the benefit of selling restricted products is; after all, it takes a long time to apply and get approved for some categories. However, for those selling in gated categories, profits can soar.
If you're looking to make impressive products using FBA, then looking into restricted categories is the answer.
For more FBA selling support, check out our YouTube Channel now!