Amazon Category Approvals
In order to sell certain items on Amazon, Amazon requires approval. These items are bunched into categories and can be located on the Amazon page. However, obtaining approval is not as black and white as it may seem. Sellers have been kicked off their own listings due to theses restrictions. If you are suspended as a result of selling an item that requires approval, there are several steps that you will need to follow.
First and foremost, before listing any items Amazon sellers should check to see if that item falls within a category that requires approval. Yes, even if you make your own authentic original product, you still need to check.
At Amazon Sellers Lawyer, we have personally seen sellers get kicked off for items that they themselves were manufacturing. Once you file for approval, if you are granted, you will be able to sell that product.
However, if you were unaware that the product you are selling requires approval and are suspended, you will need to draft and submit an Amazon suspended sellers Plan of Action. Your Plan of Action should include all of the proper certifications for your particular category.
Send these documents in addition to a thorough, concise and persuasive Plan of Action explaining how you are improving your business to avoid this issue in the future. Also, submit the appropriate documentation via email if you are using a live Amazon Appeal button or, if emailing the Plan of Action, attach the supporting documents to the email.
Once Amazon is provided a persuasive Plan of Action and proper supporting documentation, then they will likely reinstate your account. If Amazon requests additional information, add that information, nothing more and nothing less. If it is needed, your second Plan of Action should be concise so as to quickly and effectively answer the remaining questions or issues posed to you by Amazon.
Only mention in your supplemental Plan of Action what is asked of you.
Finally, if your appeal is outright denied, you are not stuck. You will still be able to write a Amazon’s Policy Teams and the Jeff Bezos Escalation Team.
When Amazon reinstates your account, you will still need to go through the process of being approved. While time consuming and at times frustrating, this is a necessary task for many products. Fortunately, you will already have all of the necessary documentation needed to be approved for your specific category.
As a seller on Amazon, it is important to routinely check Amazon’s policies for any updates. When writing your POA, incorporate into your preventative measures that you will hold monthly or bi-weekly meetings with your entire staff to ensure every member of your team is updated on all of Amazon’s policies. Be vigilant when it comes to your business. We have seen sellers invest their time and money into products, have them shipped to Amazon, only to find that they now require category approval. Always check first.
Amazon has made numerous changes in its gating program. Beauty products are now ungated and sellers are able to take advantage of this opportunity however there are several sub-categories of Health and Beauty that are gated. As always, Amazon sellers must work with and/or around never-ending changes on the platform.
Here is your warning: Amazon sellers need to check before they post. Put your business first, and expect the unexpected when working with Amazon because what is ungated today may be gated tomorrow.
Author: Nicole Kulaga, Third Year Law Student and Co-Author of our book: Your Guide to Selling Fashion on Amazon.