Beginner’s guide to Fulfillment by Amazon: Ungating Product Categories

I refer to Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) a lot, because it is my number one outlet for reselling in the pursuit of points. Chatting with a friend, I realized that I’ve never actually put together anything basic about how to get started with FBA. This is a continuation of my attempt at that.

Read Also:

  • Beginner’s Guide to Fulfillment by Amazon: Setting up an account
  • Beginner’s Guide to Fulfillment by Amazon: Analyzing and adding a product
  • Beginner’s Guide to Fulfillment by Amazon: Shipping 101
  • Beginner’s Guide to Fulfillment by Amazon: Shipping 201
  • Beginner’s Guide to Fulfillment by Amazon: Ungating Product Categories
  • Beginner’s Guide to Fulfillment by Amazon: Amazon Seller App
  • Beginner’s Guide to Fulfillment by Amazon: Amazon Seller App Part 2
  • Expert Guide to Fulfillment by Amazon: Dealing with Returns
  • Product Categories

    Sometimes you find a great product, but you can’t sell it

    First, it is important to review the categories that you can sell right off the start:

    If you want to sell in any of the above categories, then you may not need this post. But there are many lucrative options, and in many cases, better margins, if you sell in categories that require further Amazon Approval. Those categories are below:

    So your first question may be: why does Amazon restrict some categories, rather than others? Amazon has reasonable concerns for this, some may be because of legal or regulatory reasons, and others are to ensure consistency of products. You wouldn’t want to buy a box of Keurig K-Cups, only to find that they are expired, after all, right? Here is Amazon’s answer:

    Amazon Seller Center Category, Product, and Listing Restrictions.

    Amazon Seller Center Category, Product, and Listing Restrictions.

    Ungating Product Categories

    Some product categories are easier to ungate than others. In researching for this post, I found that most of those categories that are still restricted to me, are virtually impossible to get ungated. These are categories like shoes, sunglasses, luggage, etc. Despite being saddened to learn that I won’t be able to maximize the next eBags shopping portal bonus, I’m moving on. But you shouldn’t. There are some great product categories that you can ungate, depending on what you are looking to sell.

    Example: Ungating Health and Personal Care

    The Health and Personal Care category covers a bunch of stuff, so it makes sense to try to ungate it. It’s also one of the easier categories to ungate.

    1 - Health & Personal Care

    Note that most of those seller performance targets matter, but not as much if you sell via FBA, because you won’t have pre-fulfillment cancellations, nor late shipment rates, since FBA is doing that.

    Moving on to the requesting approval stage, which will vary depending on which category you are looking to ungate:

    Obviously here, you’ll want to answer honestly, but, treat the selections as recommendations, other than the “how many products do you intend to sell” – I don’t know that there is a wrong answer there, but I haven’t tried the over 1000 option yet.

    So far so good here, now you get to the harder parts, this is where Amazon wants to see evidence that you can procure products in the category, from reputable vendors. Here you’ve got plenty of choices, but, the answer to this test is option 1, providing 3 receipts.

    3c - Health & Personal Care

    Once you provide the receipts, you’ll get a confirmation e-mail from Amazon, and then you pretty much sit and wait. This is always the hardest part, because Amazon may come back and say “you didn’t provide a receipt with sufficient resellable quantities of products” for example… I’d normally ask what a sufficient quantity is, but, its kind’ve subjective. As far me, I think I did a dozen of an Olay moisturizer, a dozen of Blistex lip medex, and something from Kohls.

    Wrapping Up

    Ungating can really open up a lot more opportunities. The added benefit of ungating product categories is that there is a little bit of a barrier to entry, so competition may not be as fierce. Although there are some that it seems like barely a difference.

    I also want to give a special thanks to PDXDealsGuy for help with the screenshots; once you ungate, you don’t get the same views.