Stefaniy Martynenko

How to unlock categories on Amazon? Closed categories on Amazon are not a problem

In this article, we would like to address a very specific topic and tell you what closed categories are on Amazon, why they still exist, and how to get into the “niches for the elite”.

At the outset, it is important to note that “closed categories” are not the same as “prohibited goods”. That is, we are not talking about the sale of alcohol, tobacco or weapons. Goods that violate the law, are harmful to health, pose a threat to safety, and a priori cannot be sold under any “sauce”.

Closed categories are rather specific niches that can be unlocked by obtaining official permission from the platform.

Which product categories on Amazon are closed and why

If it were possible to fit the entire policy of the trading platform into 2 slogans, we think it would be this:

  1. We need more money!
  2. Protecting customer safety as a top priority.

In fact, following the second point, Amazon does not allow you to sell automotive products, fine art, collectible coins, jewellery, watches, food, and some products from the Health niche.

Important! The marketplace’s “ban” policy is very dynamic. For example, during the Covid times, the marketplace restricted trading in PERSONAL SAFETY and HOUSEHOLD PRODUCTS. In this way, the administration tried to fight against speculators and counteract the chaos.

Therefore, it makes no sense to provide a complete list of closed categories (not today, it may change tomorrow). It is better to check the banned brands on Amazon in the moment. You can do this through Seller Central at this link (information is available only to registered users).

Also, as an Amazon seller, you can view a list of niches and subdivisions that are not available to you personally. To do this, go to the Control Centre and select Catalogue -> Add Product. Next, click on the “I’m adding a product not sold on Amazon” option – this will take you to the full list of categories and subcategories. Closed locks indicate those that are not available at the moment and need to be unlocked.

Why does Amazon close categories for sellers?

It’s simple: the platform makes sure that customers are as protected as possible from counterfeits, fakes and low-quality goods.

For example, assessing the authenticity and value of a collectible coin is a rather difficult task, so it is easier for Amazon to deny you access from the outset than to figure out what kind of product has an existing listing.

Or let’s take car parts: the low quality of such a product can lead to tragic consequences. And the platform absolutely does not want to receive lawsuits if the buyer has installed a (conventionally) low-quality brake hose that broke during operation, which led to an accident.

How to unlock closed categories on Amazon

In order to get into the “niches for the elite”, you need to:

  1. Have a healthy account with good metrics. That is, you will not be able to unlock if you have a high bounce rate/cancellation rate, low rating, and complaints about delivery speed.
  2. Be ready to provide a package of documents (guarantees from the manufacturer, certificates of authenticity from an independent board of experts, invoices from suppliers, etc.)

In general, getting an Amazon category unlock is not that difficult if you have a good seller reputation. It can even be done automatically according to the following scheme:

  • go to Inventory and add the product;
  • select Show limitations for it to see the restrictions;
  • click on Apply to sell;
  • fill in the form (provided that the blocking is not by brand).

If you have not achieved a positive result using this scheme, you should attach an invoice from the supplier at the stage of filling out the form.

Conclusion. We advise beginners in e-commerce to choose only open categories on Amazon.

If you’ve decided to get into closed niches and are getting rejected after rejection, our team can help you with this issue. We know how to convince Amazon to give you access to any of the blocked categories.

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