Avoid Common Pitfalls People Run Into With Restricted And Gated Products And Categories On Amazon

Restricted products on Amazon are something every Amazon seller needs to know about. 

You’ll notice a potentially good product opportunity and you just want to get in on it, but you need to make sure to look into the product you’re considering promoting to ensure it’s not a restricted product. 

Gated products are sellable, but there’s going to be some risk or some rules. You may need to obtain a certification in order to sell the product or you need to get approval from Amazon to sell it. 

First, we’re going to start out with restricted products and then we’ll go on to gated products. 

Restricted Products And Categories On Amazon

Here is the official page about restricted products on Amazon. I suggest that every Amazon seller reads this in detail before selling products on Amazon.

I’m big advocate for what Mark Cuban always says… “RTFM”.

RTFM = “Read The F*** Manual”!

That’s one of his main principles and one of the reasons he’s now a billionaire.

Go and read all the rules about selling on Amazon. This is your contract, your agreement with Amazon. Learn it to a tee. I’ve learned so many things about selling on Amazon simply from ‘reading the manual’ and it’s paid me back literally into the millions. 

Really, I sell more and sell faster than other sellers because I know all the rules. I just follow them.

I know which rules I can bend, which ones I can’t, and which ones you shouldn’t break. I’ve read a bunch of other books about Amazon too and have spoken to people that work at Amazon. 

My advice is to not attempt to sell restricted products. It’s a good way to get your account banned.

In certain categories, you can get approved to sell restricted products, but you have to get pre-approval from Amazon. 

Types of Restricted Products On Amazon

Alcohol

Only approved sellers can sell alcohol on Amazon.

Amazon themselves have a liquor license through the purchase of Whole Foods in every single state. 

You can get alcohol related products on Amazon such as wine racks, but only approved sellers can sell actual wine on Amazon. 

Eclipse Glasses And Filters For Solar Viewing

The restriction on selling solar eclipse glasses on Amazon is probably thanks to me. It would have happened regardless, but I was a big part of making this happening. 

Some products are restricted unless you have a Certification of some kind. Some products you just flat out, can’t sell. Some of them you can sell, but you have to have your product Certified.

With eclipse glasses, there’s potential health issues as someone could become physically blind.

Whenever products could create such serious health issues the product becomes restricted and then there’s further rules in order to gain approval from Amazon to sell the product.

Organic Products

To quote Amazon directly regarding selling Organic products on Amazon

In the United States, use of the term “organic” is regulated by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (“USDA”). Any agricultural product that claims to be “organic” or uses the USDA organic seal on its packaging must comply with the USDA organic regulations.”

Basically, if you’re going to sell anything with a claim of some kind, particularly in the Health Category, you’ll likely need Certification.

This is because there are so many fake sellers that just go out there and say they have a certification when they don’t. It happens everywhere, all the time.

This is where the world is going. This is why it’s really, really important.

Getting your Certification and actually making sure that you have certified products from a legitimate company are essential if you’re to be approved to sell by Amazon, let alone create a reputable, sustainable business. You’re going to need it to even sell in a lot of categories. 

You need it to protect yourself legally in case of a lawsuit as well as looking after your customers. 

Gambling And Lottery

Selling gambling and lottery related products on Amazon is prohibited due to the high potential for fraud. 

You can however sell non-functional toys related to gambling. I guess this one is just common sense!

Lock Picking And Theft Devices

Amazon doesn’t want any liability at all for obvious reasons so they’re not going to allow you to sell stuff that’s used to break the law.

Items such as lock picking and theft devices are prohibited on Amazon. These can include digital decoders, tension bars, training locks, lock-picking cards etc.

Again, another obvious one to stay away from.

Drugs and Drug Paraphernalia

Selling drugs on Amazon is an obvious no-no, and certain drug paraphernalia is also prohibited or restricted.

Drug paraphernalia includes products primarily intended or designed for use in making, preparing, or using a controlled substance.

Pharmaceutical drugs are in some cases allowed but there’s a whole checklist on what’s allowed and what’s required in order to sell them. Make sure you review this list before selling pharmaceuticals to avoid listing removal or account shutdown.

Sex And Sensuality Products

Selling sex products on Amazon is allowed by approval but there are some strict rules surrounding the Sex and Sensuality Category on Amazon.

You can’t run ads on Amazon for sex products so it’s very hard to sell sex products and rank them.

Having said that, someone’s making money from it, so if it’s your niche, then simply find out what the rules are and apply the principles I talk about on my blog as well as in my Amazon FBA Course

Getting Approval From Amazon

As I’ve mentioned, for some products you’ll need to get approval from Amazon to sell

Once you apply to Amazon they’ll get back to you with either approval or denial to sell your proposed product.

It’s best if you get it in writing from Amazon so you have email proof so that if something were to happen to your account because of the product, you can supply Amazon with your proof of approval. There’s still no guarantee but it could help keep your listing alive.

Always ask for permission from Amazon if you’re going to do something that you think could be risky to your Amazon seller account. It’s just not worth the risk to your business to not obtain permission upfront.

Here’s the full list of Restricted Products on Amazon.

Gated Categories And Gated Products

Some Categories on Amazon are completely ‘gated’ for everyone, and you need approval from Amazon to sell within these Categories.

These Gated Categories and Products are listed on Amazon’s website so it’s best to head over and read more about each category along with explanations as to why Categories are gated.

As Mark Cuban says… RTFM!

Categories and Products requiring approval by Amazon:

  • Selling toys and games in holiday season
  • Amazon watches with the warranties,
  • Videos, DVDs, Blu-rays
  • Collectible coins
  • Streaming media players

Now that you know about restricted and gated categories and products, keep learning about Amazon and how to source products in the US…

Checkout my article on how to source products from the USA to sell on Amazon…