Did you know that Toys is a restricted category during Q4?
Amazon wants to ensure customers are getting their orders in time for the holiday season. Gating the category ensures that Amazon can manage the huge influx of orders.
Are you trying to take advantage of the high demand? Don’t worry!
This blog post will cover how to get ungated in Toys on Amazon so you don’t miss out on all the sales opportunities!
Stick around until the end to read my personal tips on how you can get ungated on Amazon!
Disclaimer: Do your research and seek business advice for Toy Safety requirements for your marketplace on Amazon. Sourcing Monster is not responsible for any issues that may arise from attempting to sell a toy that does not meet Amazon’s regulations for Toy Safety.
Why Are Toys a Gated Category?
Toys are a gated category on Amazon for FBM sellers because they are one of the most popular items during the holiday season.
The demand during the holiday season is a lot for Amazon to deal with, and customers purchase gifts that often get directly sent to their loved ones. Customers often wait until the last minute to order gifts, so Amazon wants to ensure that sellers deliver their orders to customers on time.
Gating the category prevents sellers from listing toys until they have been verified and approved by Amazon. The process will help ensure that the products are high quality and authentic because the Toys category is one of the most common categories for counterfeit items.
By controlling which merchants can sell toys during this busy season, Amazon is able to prevent any problems from happening with deliveries or product quality.
A disappointed customer may not put blame on the seller, but on Amazon. That’s why a positive customer experience is crucial.
Requirements to Sell Toys on Amazon
Toy Safety Regulations
First, be aware of the Toy Safety Regulations set in place by Amazon that are required by law. To sell toys on Amazon in the United States, read about federal safety standards here.
If you sell on other Amazon marketplaces, like in Europe, you can read about their policies here. For other countries, search on Seller Central Help for more information.
Seller Fulfillment Requirements
Next, sellers who fulfill their own orders (FBM) need to know that they are required to meet certain criteria to be eligible to sell Toys on Amazon.
Learn about the seller fulfillment (FBM) Holiday Selling Requirements in the Toys & Games category that Amazon placed for the 2020 Holiday Season:
- “Your first sale on Amazon must be prior to September 1, 2020 and does not need to be specific to Toys & Games.”
- “You must have processed and shipped at least 25 seller-fulfilled orders from August 15, 2020 through October 14, 2020.”
- “Your pre-fulfillment cancel rate must be no greater than 1.75% from September 15, 2020 through October 14, 2020.”
- “Your late shipment rate must be no greater than 4% from September 15, 2020 through October 14, 2020.”
- “Your order defect rate must be no greater than 1% as of October 14, 2020.”
If you meet the criteria, you can proceed and list your product or apply to sell the product.
IMPORTANT NOTE: This criteria only applies to FBM (Fulfilled by Merchant) sellers on Amazon. Orders that use FBA (Fulfillment by Amazon) are not subject to the holiday selling requirements. This is subject to change for each year. Always check Seller Central’s Help page for the latest updates.
There was no update regarding these requirements for the 2021 Holiday Season, so it may be best to contact Seller Support for clarifications if you are preparing in advance for next Q4.
Read Amazon’s full notice for Holiday Selling Requirements in Toys & Games here, which includes a F.A.Q section.
How to Apply to Get Ungated (Step-by-Step)
Although there are seller requirements for just FBM sellers, FBA sellers may also need to apply to get ungated.
Toys are gated for resellers of popular toy brands because they will be required to search for the existing product in Amazon’s catalog.
To check if a product is gated, do the following:
An example of an ASIN that requires an application to be sold
- On Seller Central, under Catalog, choose Add Products.
- Search for the product name or the ASIN, UPC, EAN, or ISBN if you already know it.
- Once the correct product appears, choose the condition of the product you want to sell. (New, Collectible, Refurbished, Used)
- Click on the Show Limitations dropdown to see Amazon’s limitations for the product.
- If the blue “Apply to Sell” button appears, it means that the product is gated and you will have to send in an application to sell this particular product and/or the particular brand.
If you own a private label brand, there is actually no need for Amazon to gate your toys because you will be creating your own ASINs for them.
Just make sure that your brand is approved on Amazon’s Brand Registry.
If you will be selling through FBA, you are free to create your ASIN and listing as a private label owner.
If you will be fulfilling your own orders, that is the scenario that has some seller requirements. Read the previous section to learn about FBM Holiday Selling Requirements.
Tips to Create an Effective Toy Listing
Now that you are ready to create a listing, you may be wondering what the best way to do so is.
There are a few things you should keep in mind when creating your listing:
- Product images are key. Make sure that your product images are high quality, show all angles of the product, and are compliant with Amazon’s Product Image Requirements.
- Include a video demonstration if possible. This helps encourage parents and children to purchase because they can see other children enjoying the toy.
- Incorporate proper keywords into your title, bullets, and descriptions. This will help your product rank higher in Amazon’s search results. I use Helium 10 to do my keyword research!
- Create effective A+ Content for your listings to entice customers
Read my article on How To Create Amazon Listing Properly for a thorough guide, including where to get bar codes and how to optimize your listing!
I even created a video tutorial on How to Properly Create an Amazon Listing.
What If I Don’t Get Approved?
If the notice you receive when getting rejected is vague, you can feel free to ask Seller Support what went wrong during your application process. It may be something that can be easily fixed, then you can re-apply.
To avoid getting rejected, it may be best to apply as early as you can before the Holiday Season rush. It has been reported that it can take between 2 to 12 weeks for sellers to get approved for a gated category.
Anticipate a long wait and prepare to apply early so that you have a higher chance of getting approved way before Q4 even starts.
My Tips to Get Ungated
- Include all possible details about your product in the provided fields so there is no room for confusion on what you are selling.
- During the application process, provide as much information as possible in your documents. Amazon Seller Support may not request for additional information and just decide to reject your application, so it’s best to provide everything they may need upfront.
- Provide as much information as you can about your product supplier, and be aware that Amazon may contact them to verify your business relationship.
- Provide Amazon with a finalized invoice. I use these invoice generator tools.
- Ensure a high quality of customer service, especially if you are an FBM seller. Amazon may consider this during your application.
- Keep healthy inventory levels for all products that you sell in case Amazon will consider this during your application to sell toys.
- Keep your cancel/defect rates low.
- Your overall Seller Performance Health will have an impact on your application, make sure you take good care of it.
If you’ve been looking to take advantage of the high demand selling toys on Amazon, then I hope this blog post helped you understand why the category is gated and requires approval.
Keep my tips in mind when requesting to get ungated for the best chance at success!
I’d love nothing more than to see you become successful with me. Are you part of my exclusive Facebook Group where we share tips & tricks as Amazon sellers?
What kind of toy are you thinking of selling? Let me know in the comments below!