If you’ve never heard of the word ‘un-gating’ on Amazon, prepare for us at RepricerExpress to blow your minds. It’s an Amazon status that’s the ecommerce equivalent of a magic wand, and you want to do almost everything in your power to earn it.
Amazon Un-Gating Decoded
Amazon has different categories in their catalogue, but something smart merchants pay attention to is the ‘Gated’ categories. These are restricted categories that comprise about a third of Amazon’s marketplace, and they’ve recently just lifted the restrictions on these categories. So, if you can get in, you stand to get a lot more visibility on your items!
If you’re a third-party seller on Amazon, then getting un-gated matters (for regular Amazon sellers, not so much). But there’s a catch — you have to get approved by Amazon. And to do so, you have to meet these requirements:
- Business Selling Account: There’s a $39.99/month charge for a Business Selling Account, so this is a pretty good way of seeing if you initially qualify.
- Good Standing: How’s your reputation and metrics? If they look really good on all accounts, then you’ve just boosted your chances of becoming approved. Amazon takes their sellers’ reputations very seriously and won’t approve you if your performance is only so-so. The numbers you want to remember are: less than 4% (late shipment rate), less than 1% (order defect rate), and less than 2.5% (pre-fulfilment cancel rate).
- Invoices: Amazon will want to see invoices of your sales (in the categories of Beauty, Health and Personal Care, and Grocery and Gourmet Food), so make sure you’re not sending them receipts. If you do that, you’ll just get denied each time. Don’t waste your time and make sure it’s invoices you’re sending over.
- Images: Let’s say you’re selling products in the categories of Shoes, Clothing and Accessories, Luggage and Travel, or Handbags and Sunglasses. You don’t have to worry about invoices because in this case, Amazon wants images instead.
- Questionnaire: If you’re selling an item that falls under Sexual Wellness, Jewellery or Watches, then not only do you have to hand over images to Amazon, but fill out a questionnaire as well. The upside? You don’t actually have to buy these products or have them currently in your inventory.
Un-Gating Services: Worth It or Not?
If you do a quick Google search, you’ll come upon sites that swear they’ll be able to get you un-gated. We’re not really recommending you try them because there’s too much risk that they won’t do things exactly according to Amazon guidelines, such as sending receipts instead of invoices.
A word of advice, though. Going your own way on this one is definitely the smarter approach, but make sure to budget the right number of hours. You don’t want to mess up your chance of getting un-gated, so things like preparing images and organising your invoices, can take up the better part of an afternoon. Having a beer nearby can definitely help!
Revise, Revise, Revise – and Then Revise Some More
The neat thing about applying to become un-gated is an Amazon rep will work with you to make sure you meet their standards. While they won’t sit with you and coach you through the process, you will receive feedback on the types of revisions you’ll need to make before sending it in again.
Again, we’d recommend to really figure out timing and scheduling. If you submit a ticket and Amazon calls you, budget the time to do the revisions right then and there and send them in immediately. Otherwise, you run the risk of talking to another Amazon rep whose requirements may slightly differ, causing your revisions to be sent back with more feedback.
Once you get approved to move past the Gated categories, your next step will be making sure your prices are competitive enough to battle with sellers who’ve been there longer. And when it comes to this, the answer is really easy and quick: sign up for your RepricerExpress 15-day free trial. That’s it, really.