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Amazon Approval Needed — A Seller’s Guide To Compliance & Successful Confirmation

Updated: Apr 29



Exploring Amazon selling reveals the potential to reach a global audience. However, before opening your virtual storefront and showcasing your offerings, a big obstacle may arise: obtaining Amazon's consent. When you see 'Amazon Approval Needed,' don't worry. It's your signal to provide more information or comply with specific requirements. 


Today we’re exploring the approval procedure, giving you the necessary insights to unlock your selling capabilities on Amazon.



What Happens When “Amazon Approval Needed” Message Comes?



Amazon seller handling the Amazon Approval Needed situation


When a seller encounters an 'Amazon approval needed' message, the most common reasons revolve around the product being in one of the three categories: 


  1. large or hazardous items - Special handling and storage requirements necessitate additional scrutiny.

  2. used goods - Amazon ensures these items meet quality standards to protect buyers.

  3. products within restricted categories - Items like dietary supplements, beauty products, or electronics fall under closer inspection to uphold safety and authenticity standards.

When dealing with large or hazardous items category, special attention is brought to handling, labeling and packaging, palletizing, and shipping the products, ensuring a streamlined shopping experience for customers and safety as a priority. 


When selling used goods, it’s all about classification of the item condition and honest & precise categorization. There’re four different condition levels to adhere to: Used – Like New, Used – Very Good, Used – Good, and Used – Acceptable. Follow these guidelines.


Amazon's restricted categories encompass a range of products subject to stricter regulations to combat counterfeit issues and ensure customer safety. 


The list is as follows:


  • Alcohol

  • Animals & Animal-Related Products

  • Art – Fine Art

  • Art – Home Decor

  • Automotive and Powersports

  • Composite Wood Products

  • Cosmetics & Skin/Hair Care

  • Currency, Coins, Cash Equivalents, and Gift Cards

  • Dietary Supplements

  • Drugs & drug paraphernalia

  • Electronics

  • Explosives, Weapons, and Related Items

  • Export Controls

  • Food & Beverage

  • Gambling & Lottery

  • Hazardous and Dangerous Items

  • Human Parts & Burial Artifacts

  • Jewelry & Precious Gems

  • Laser products

  • Lighting

  • Lock Picking & Theft Devices

  • Medical devices and accessories

  • Offensive and Controversial Materials

  • Pesticides and Pesticide Devices

  • Plant and Seed Products

  • Postage Meters & Stamps

  • Recalled Products

  • Recycling electronics

  • Subscriptions and Periodicals

  • Surveillance Equipment

  • Tobacco & Tobacco-Related Products

  • Warranties, Service Plans, Contracts, and Guarantees

  • Other Restricted Products

  • Refrigerants: Ozone-Depleting Substances and Substitutes


To gain approval, sellers must provide documentation such as invoices, certifications, or safety testing results, depending on the category. This stringent process is Amazon's way of safeguarding a secure marketplace.


It’s important to mention that there are two different restricted lists - categories and products. 


The second list is as follows:


  • Alcohol

  • Animals & Animal-Related Products

  • Art – Fine Art

  • Art – Home Decor

  • Automotive and Power sports

  • 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 Dangerous Items

  • Human Parts & Burial Artifacts

  • Jewelry & Precious Gems

  • Laser products

  • Lock Picking & Theft Devices

  • Offensive and Controversial Materials

  • Other Restricted Products

  • Pesticides and Pesticide Devices

  • Plant and Seed Products

  • Postage meters and stamps

  • Recalled Products

  • Recycling electronics

  • Refrigerants: Ozone-Depleting Substances and Substitutes

  • Subscriptions and Periodicals

  • Surveillance Equipment

  • Tobacco & Tobacco-Related Products

  • Warranties, Service Plans, Contracts, and Guarantees

  • Upholstered Furniture, Bedding, & Other Quilted Products


It’s important to be aware of these lists and properly familiarize yourself with them to be able to select a winning product for selling and avoid trouble in the future.


Going Through Approval Requests



Working on getting a product approved by Amazon


To sell certain brands or list products in specific Amazon categories, sellers must meet predefined qualifications. To apply for approval:


  1. Go to Seller Central, choose the inventory option, and click on ‘Add a Product'.

  2. Search for the item you intend to sell.

  3. In the search results, click on ‘Listing limitations apply' for the relevant item.

  4. Choose ‘Request Approval' to start the approval process for selling on Amazon. This may involve providing additional information about your products or business, such as invoices or safety certifications for items that contain hazardous materials.



Adding a product for approval on Amazon


To check the status of your application, go back to ‘Add a Product' and select ‘Selling application status' located at the top of the page.


When managing approval through Amazon Seller Central, it's important to know that some categories, brands, and products with hazardous materials need authorization. This guarantees that product quality and safety standards are met. Provide accurate, detailed product information, including clear images, thorough descriptions, and precise specifications, to facilitate approval.



Ways to Avoid Approval Delays


Sellers often get stressed out when approval processes are delayed or there are long waiting times. These are avoidable and can be prevented by adhering to Amazon’s rules. 


  • Maintain a good standing seller account by regularly checking your performance metrics on Amazon, as high performance reduces the risk of order approval delays. 

  • Guarantee your product listings are accurate and detailed, aiding customer decision-making and aligning with Amazon's transparency objectives to minimize approval requirements. 

  • Adherence to Amazon's policies and guidelines is crucial; familiarize yourself with these rules to avoid complications. 

  • Participate in Amazon's brand registry to add credibility and protection to your brand, valued by Amazon. 

If discrepancies arise, contact Amazon immediately with the necessary documentation for quick resolution, keeping your operations smooth.



Amazon Category Approval Services



For sellers facing difficulties, the idea of using an ungating service may seem attractive. Nevertheless, completing the application on your own is entirely feasible. Given the varied feedback on third-party ungating services, it is advisable to try to complete the application independently whenever possible.


Here's what you need to weigh:


  • Assistance vs. Independence: Ungating services can aid, but they're not part of Amazon. You're capable of completing the application on your own.

  • Uncertain Outcomes: These services can't ensure your application's success.

  • Varied Experiences: Feedback on ungating services is mixed, so proceed with caution.

Completing the application by yourself is doable, and many sellers find success this way. It's essential to evaluate the situation carefully, considering the mixed reviews and lack of guarantees associated with using third-party services. Ultimately, you're in control, and piloting your own course might be the best approach.



What happens if my product/s violates Amazon category restrictions?



Violating Amazon's category restrictions can result in severe consequences. If you're considering ignoring their rules, be aware of what might happen:


  • Your listings might be canceled.

  • Amazon could limit your listing privileges.

  • Your listing privileges might be suspended.

  • Amazon might remove your listing privileges entirely.

  • Getting reinstated after disciplinary action from Amazon can be challenging.

It's always best to adhere to all of Amazon's policies.



Is it possible to sell on Amazon without approval?



 Is it possible to sell on Amazon without approval?


To sell on Amazon without approval is feasible, but certain products are restricted and necessitate special permission - ungating. 


Here are streamlined steps to gain access to these categories:


  1. Professional Seller Account: Begin by creating a professional seller account. Individual accounts don't qualify for ungating in categories like Fine Jewelry, Collectable Coins, Major Appliances, and Collectible Books.

  2. Wholesale Account Setup: Establish a wholesale account with the same address as your regular account. Include both your LLC name and Amazon name if they differ.

  3. Initial Order History: Purchase ten products from three different categories you wish to sell in. This could include groceries, collectible books, and major appliances. You may keep or resell these items, but focus on using them to facilitate the ungating process.

  4. Invoice Management: Keep original invoices and make high-resolution copies, marking only on the copies. Confirm your seller name, the ASIN, UPC, and item model number for each product are clearly listed. Include images for categories like Luggage and Travel, Clothing and Accessories, Shoes, or Handbags and Sunglasses.

  5. Application Submission: Amazon provides a link for applications to sell in restricted categories. Submit your application during regular business hours for a faster response, which may vary from a few hours to a few days.

Upon approval, you're allowed to create listings and sell in the specific category. If denied, Amazon will provide feedback to help improve your application for future approval.



Why bother with Amazon gated categories?



True, there's a bunch of hoops to jump through for these restricted areas on Amazon. However, if you're ready to put in the work, these categories can be goldmines.

And don't forget: Seeking opportunities where others don't is your secret weapon on Amazon.


Here's why you should consider diving into gated categories:


  1. Unique Opportunities: A significant statistic that illustrates the potential of gated categories is that sellers in these areas often see less competition and higher profit margins. For example, in some gated categories, sellers can experience up to a 50% increase in profit margins compared to more saturated markets.

  2. Less Competition: Since not everyone is willing to meet the stringent requirements, you'll face fewer competitors. This means you've got a better shot at standing out.

  3. Higher Standards Mean Higher Quality: The extra requirements help maintain a high standard of quality, which can increase customer trust and loyalty in your brand.

  4. Access to Niche Markets: Gated categories often cater to specific interests or needs, allowing you to tap into dedicated customer bases looking for exactly what you're offering.

Considering these factors, you'll see that the effort to get into Amazon's gated categories isn't just a hurdle; it's an opportunity to find a niche where you can truly shine. Remember, it's about finding where you belong in the vast Amazon marketplace and making that space your own. 


And don't forget: Seeking opportunities where others don't is your secret weapon on Amazon.


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Frequently Asked Questions


What do I do when Amazon says “Approval Needed”?

When Amazon says "approval needed," you'll want to log into your account, check your order history, review any recent address or credit card changes, adjust your approval settings if necessary, and then confirm your changes.

Why does everything on Amazon require approval?

How does Amazon approval work?

How do I approve a package on Amazon?



Amazon Approval Needed - Summing Up



Mastering Amazon's approval process can seem challenging, but it's an essential step toward ensuring a trustworthy shopping environment.


By grasping the reasons for approval requests, you're better equipped to address them efficiently.


Achieving product category approval and utilizing strategies to avoid delays are crucial.

Harnessing Amazon Growth Lab services can further streamline this process, turning potential obstacles into opportunities for growth.


Remember, it's about progressing with confidence and securing a seamless experience for both you and your customers.

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