4 EASY Methods to Getting Ungated on Amazon
February 14, 2022
If you sell on Amazon, then seeing the dreaded “Access Restricted- You Must Apply for Approval” message is something that you are probably all too familiar with. This can serve as a huge barrier when you’re ready to start diversifying the products, categories, and brands that you want to sell.
But the good news is, getting ungated (approved without restrictions) to sell in new categories and subcategories is actually pretty easy to accomplish. Let’s cover exactly how to easily do this! OR if you’d just like to watch the video, click the link below to head to our new YouTube channel.
Why does Amazon gate certain categories, subcategories, brands, and products?
Amazon started this process of gating and ungating in August of 2016. Really, this is Amazon’s way to protect their platform from having counterfeit items being sold and purchased. Many large brands (like Nike, Adidas, and Under Armour) will be gated to protect the quality of the products,and ensure only select and respectable sellers are able to sell these brands. Essentially sellers have to go through this hassle of ungating to prove themselves as a good seller, and to protect customers from the potential of purchasing fraudulent products.
You’ll know if you are gated because when you look up an item with your Amazon Seller Central App or using your PC, it will come up as “restricted” or “request approval”.
How can I get ungated?
There are 4 simple methods that you can use to easily get ungated. The simplest method is absolutely free, but does require some time and patience on your part; and that is the method of being auto ungated.
Method 1: Auto Ungated
You’ll notice that as a new seller, there will not be a large variety of categories and brands that are not available for you to sell in. But as you prove yourself as a respectable seller, you will be auto ungated more and more!
Whenever you are prompted to “request approval” to sell an item, ALWAYS click the request button! If the next screen pops up and says “Congratulations! Your application has been approved based on your performance history”, then you have just been auto ungated! This means that you do not have to do any additional steps to sell in this category or brand.
The more that you sell and build up good seller metrics (have less than <2% in negative reviews, returns, and late shipments if you’re a fulfilled by merchant seller) then the more likely that you will be auto ungated!
However, if your application is not auto approved, then the next screen will bring up a selling application, similar to the one that you see below.
And this brings us to the second method of getting ungated, making purchases.
Method 2: Making Purchases
For this method your first obstacle will be finding a good wholesale distributor to work with. It is super important that you order the items from a wholesale distributor, rather than a store name like Target or Walmart. The difference is, the wholesale distributor will provide you with a detailed and finalized invoice (this is crucial to getting ungated). ProfitGuru makes it super easy to find thousands of wholesale distributors that are willing to work with Amazon sellers!
The other crucial component to this method is ordering the right quantity. The secret number is ten. After you find a category, subcategory, brand, or product that you want to get ungated in, and you’ve also found a wholesale supplier to purchase the items from, you will need to order ten of that same item.
Once you have the items in hand and the finalized invoice, then it’s smooth sailing from here. Take clear photographs of all ten items together (from all side angles, front and back), and save the invoice as an uncustomizable PDF file. Upload the documents and submit for approval.
Method 3: Opening an Amazon Business Account
Another option is to open up an Amazon business account. Now this is separate from your regular purchasing account, or your selling account. This is a specific business account. Once you’ve opened up a business account, you can then go on Amazon and follow the same steps as the method above! Find a product that falls into the brand or category that you want to get ungated in, and then order at least 10 of that product from Amazon. Once you’ve received the items, take the pictures and upload the invoice!
Method 4: Hiring an Ungating Service
If all else fails, you can indeed pay an ungating service to get you ungated. But be careful here, not all services are created equal. We would definitely recommend that you do your research before you invest in hiring a service. Be sure to read reviews, and ensure that they are a respectable ungating service provider before you hire them!
How Long Will it Take for my Application to be Approved?
This question is difficult to answer with certainty. It could take as little as a few hours, upward to a few weeks. It really depends on the time of year that you are submitting the application. If it is a busy time for Amazon, it will take longer for them to fully review the application and make a decision.
The Entire Umbrella of a Category Will NOT be Unrestricted
Once you become approved to sell within a category, you’ve only removed one layer of chains. For example, if you get approved in “health and beauty” there will still be subcategories like “topicals”, and brands like “Burts Bees” that will still be gated for you. In this case, you will have to repeat the ungating steps for each subcategory and brand within the original category that you got ungated in.
Extra Tips to Getting your Application Approved:
- Be sure that the invoice is a finalized invoice, and that it shows that the goods have been paid for! The invoice must also be saved as a version that cannot be edited.
- Down in the “optional comments” field at the bottom of the application, include your distributor’s contact information. It’s also helpful to type something like, “ I purchased ________ from _________ who is an authorized distributor of __________. I have included their contact information. Please feel free to reach out to them to verify.”
- If your application is not approved on the first try, keep reapplying! Sometimes the application may be received by a bot. This bot may overlook something, and reject the application. If there are any suggestions as to what you need to fix on the application, then do so. Otherwise, just keep resubmitting the application in hopes that it goes to an actual person who will then approve it.
- Get ungated in several categories or brands on the same invoice! You can purchase, for example, ten of a food item in the “grocery and gourmet food” category as well as ten toy items in the “toys” category. Use this same invoice and submit it to get ungated in both categories!