Not sure if the product you’re interested in selling falls under Amazon restricted products? It can be frustrating to spend hours on product research, only to discover that your chosen product is restricted on Amazon.
While Amazon is home to millions of different merchandise sold by third-party sellers, there are some items that Amazon prohibits selling or would need approval first.
In this article, I will explain why Amazon restricts some products for sale on Amazon and their list of restricted products and categories. I will also discuss getting approval to sell restricted products on Amazon and what will happen to your account if you fail to comply with Amazon policy.
Lastly, this article will guide you on how to resolve restricted product violations.
Read until the end to learn some tips on how you can avoid restricted product violations to prevent issues on your Amazon account.
Why Does Amazon Restrict Some Products?
Amazon gives high importance to the safety of its customers and ensures that buyers can purchase with confidence in their marketplace. Due to this practice, some products may not be sold or listed on Amazon, while some items may need approval from Amazon first before you can sell or list them.
But what qualifies as a restricted product? Amazon does not provide a specific definition of what accounts for a restricted product. However, they have established guidelines that sellers should consider when performing product research.
Their guidelines also vary from country to country, and for this article, we will only focus on restricted products in the U.S.
Amazon restricts products if they are unsafe, illegal, and are only available by prescription. For FBA (Fulfillment by Amazon) sellers, they should also check the FBA product restrictions page to see which are restricted in the FBA program. To learn more about becoming an FBA seller, read my article about the complete Amazon FBA guide.
For products that are purchased internationally, Amazon sellers are responsible for doing their own research to make sure that their products are in compliance with Amazon regulations and applicable laws.
To be safe, make it a habit to review Amazon’s product restrictions policy to find out which products cannot be sold or would require approval first.
List of Restricted Products
- Animals and any animal-related products
- Art (Fine art and home decor)
- Automotive and power sports
- Children’s footwear and apparel
- Composite wood products
- Cosmetics, including hair and skin care products
- Currency (Coins, gift cards, and cash equivalents)
- Dietary Supplements
- Drugs (paraphernalia)
- Explosives and weapons
- Export controls
- Food and Beverage
- Lottery and Gambling
- Hazardous items
- Burial artifacts and human parts
- Precious gems and jewelry
- Lighting and laser products
- Theft devices (lock picking)
- Controversial and offensive materials
- Pesticides, including pesticide devices
- Postage stamps and meters
- Recalled products
- Recycled electronics
- Subscriptions and periodicals
- Strike anywhere matches
- Surveillance equipment
- Tobacco and related products
- Service plans, warranties, contracts, and guarantees
- Upholstered furniture (bedding and quilted products)
- Products requiring an EPA certificate
However, aside from restricted products, there are some brands and categories that are also restricted on Amazon. So, you have to be careful when choosing a product to sell.
List of Products and Categories that Require Approval
- Collectible Coins
- Fine Art
- Music and DVD
- Products made in Italy
- Postage Stamps
- Sports Collectibles
- Streaming Media Players
- Toys and Games
- Video, DVD, and Blu-ray
As for Amazon restricted brands, you have to be more vigilant since Amazon does not provide an official list for their restricted brands.
However, you can also check if the brand is restricted when you log in to Seller Central and click on Inventory. Choose Add a Product and then type in the brand name under List a New Product and click search.
A list of products from that specific brand will be displayed. If you’re restricted from selling their brand, you’ll find “Listing Limitations Apply.” You can click on that to ask for approval first.
The reason why some brands are restricted is to prevent counterfeit products from well-known brands from being sold in their marketplace.
However, similar to restricted products, there’s a way to still sell them on Amazon. One way to sell products from restricted brands is by providing an invoice from the brand manufacturer to confirm the authenticity of your item.
How to Get Approval to Sell Amazon Restricted Products
If your product falls under Amazon restricted products and is already an existing product on Amazon’s catalog, here’s how you can apply to get approval to sell.
- On your Seller Central, click on Catalog, then select Add a Product.
- Search for the item you wish to sell.
- From the search results, click on Show limitations beside the item you wish to list.
- Click on Apply to sell.
Amazon will review your application. Sometimes they may require additional documents such as invoices and perform performance checks.
It is also important to note that not all applications will be approved. Although, sellers who have good performance history have a higher chance of getting approved.
Related Reading: How to Get Ungated in Toys on Amazon: A Comprehensive Guide
What Can Happen If You Fail to Comply with Amazon Restricted Products policy?
Failure to comply with Amazon’s restricted products policy may lead to serious consequences. Depending on how grave your non-compliance is, here are some of the consequences that you might face.
Cancellation of Listing
All your listings will be canceled or removed if you accidentally listed a restricted product before getting approval from Amazon. Even if you already applied for approval to list the product but haven’t received a confirmation from Amazon, your listing will still be removed.
Amazon is continuously making adjustments to its systems to improve how they detect restricted products on its marketplace.
If you have a history of frequently listing restricted products without approval to sell them, Amazon has the right to suspend your account. If your Amazon account is suspended, you won’t be able to sell on Amazon.
Of course, there’s always a way to reinstate your Amazon account, but it would require a lot of work, and you might even need to hire an Amazon seller lawyer.
Banned from Amazon
If you think getting your account suspended is already a grave consequence, don’t wait until Amazon bans you from its marketplace. This means you can no longer sell and buy products from Amazon.
This may happen if you repeatedly violate their guidelines or if you sell a restricted product that is harmful even after previous warnings from Amazon.
How to Resolve Restricted Product Violations
If you fail to comply with Amazon restricted product policy, which leads to account suspension, there’s a way to resolve the issue.
You can submit a plan of action to help reactivate your account. In your plan of action, it is important that you explain the issues that caused the deactivation of your account and the steps you took to resolve the issue. Apart from that, you should also include preventative actions to ensure that you won’t make the same mistake again.
Here’s a guide on how you can create a viable plan of action.
- Pinpoint your violation
Point out and describe the violation you committed by including the policy you violated and the particular type of product.
Best to avoid a simplified explanation which may lead to denial of your appeal.
- Determine the cause of your violation
Determine and describe the root cause of your violation. Clearly specify why you have violated their policy.
- Provide necessary steps or resolutions to resolve the restricted product violation
Describe the steps you took to resolve the issue, like deleting your restricted product listing or providing additional information or documents to show compliance.
- Include preventive actions to avoid committing the same violation
Describe in your plan of action how you can avoid making the same violation in the future.
These may include the following:
- Seeking legal advice on Amazon policies and laws.
- Making it a habit to review Amazon restricted product policy and informing your employees as well.
- Conducting a thorough review of all of your Amazon listings and removing all listings that are non-compliance.
- Review and submit the plan of action
Once you’re done creating your plan of action, take time to read it again. Check if all important details are included and to see if you miss out on anything that may lead to denial of your Amazon appeal letter.
Once you’re satisfied with your plan of action, you can submit it to Amazon.
Best Practices to Ensure Compliance with Amazon Restricted Products Policy
Here are some tips to avoid non-compliance with Amazon restricted products policy.
- Contact Selling Partner Support first if you’re unsure if the product is restricted or not before listing it on Amazon.
- Never assume that a product is allowed just because it has an existing ASIN or is not included in Amazon’s “Examples of Prohibited Listings.”
- Regularly review Amazon’s Restricted Product Policy and your product catalog to check if all your listings are in compliance.
- Appoint a dedicated employee to be in charge of reviewing all products you plan to sell. This person should be knowledgeable on laws applicable to your products.
- Before selling supplements or drugs (medicine), carefully review the ingredients and perform thorough research if they are permitted or not.
- When purchasing inventory from another source besides the manufacturer or authorized distributor, make sure to find out where the product originated and other legal frameworks.
Product research is a tedious process, and it can be disappointing to find out in the end that your item is under Amazon restricted products. Although there’s still a way to sell your item, there’s no guarantee that your application will be approved.
This is why it is important that you familiarize yourself with categories, products, and brands while doing product research to avoid disappointments in the end. Do you have the same experience? What did you do to resolve the issue? Please share it in the comments section so others may apply it too.