The Definitive Guide to Amazon Restricted Products

Amazon restricted products are no joke. You can inadvertently risk your online business and account by listing restricted products for sale across the platform. Learning as much as possible about Amazon restricted products is crucial to keep your business compliant with Amazon’s Code of Conduct.

While having a selection of products can help establish authority and increase ROI, restricted products and outdated catalogs can mean account violations you didn’t see coming. Mitigating risks requires a proactive approach and is vital to your success.

Read the complete guide to learn about Amazon restricted products and keep your account in good standing.

What does Amazon restricted products mean?

Amazon Restricted Products

An Amazon restricted product is an item that Amazon places limitations on, either by disallowing sellers from listing it all together or requiring sellers to seek approval beforehand. These limitations help ensure legal compliance, uphold customer safety, and foster the platform’s integrity.

Amazon restricted products can arise from concerns related to legal regulations, safety issues, and the protection of intellectual property rights. For example, products that violate local or international laws, pose safety hazards, or infringe on trademarks, copyrights, or patents may be categorized as restricted on Amazon.

Amazon may impose restrictions or completely prohibit specific product categories, such as prescription medications, firearms, and other sensitive items, requiring sellers to meet particular criteria or provide additional documentation.
You must be aware of and adhere to restricted product compliance to prevent consequences such as having your Amazon account suspended. Staying informed regarding Amazon policy is essential.

Why does Amazon restrict and remove products?

It’s not enough to simply remove a product from Amazon search. To ensure the safety of its customers and that sellers comply with its Code of Conduct, Amazon monitors all listings and blocks restricted products that don’t comply with its rigorous standards.

Restricting and removing products helps Amazon ensure millions of shoppers can trust the platform and keeps customers returning year after year.

What’s the difference between a listing restriction, a brand restriction, and Amazon restricted products?

Distinguishing between listing restrictions, brand restrictions, and Amazon-restricted products reveals different layers of control and compliance within the platform.

A listing restriction is a focused limitation applied to a specific product on Amazon. Triggered by policy violations, customer concerns, or quality issues, it temporarily or permanently prevents sellers from actively listing and selling that particular product. It’s important to note that a listing restriction may not extend to the entire seller account.

On the other hand, a brand restriction, commonly known as brand gating, is a proactive maneuver by a brand to regulate the distribution of its products on Amazon. Brands can request restrictions on unauthorized third-party sellers, safeguarding their image, preventing counterfeiting, and maintaining quality standards. This strategic move is initiated by the brand, irrespective of listing performance.

Amazon restricted products fall into a broader category. Restricted products encompass items subjected to platform-wide restrictions dictated by Amazon. These restrictions are not necessarily brand-driven or prompted by the performance of a specific listing. Products in this category require approval to ensure adherence to regulations, protect consumers, and uphold the integrity of the Amazon marketplace.

Understanding these differences highlights the balance between control, compliance, and integrity within the Amazon ecosystem.

How do you know your ASIN was removed due to the restricted product policy?

Finding out your product was restricted and removed means receiving a dreaded email from Amazon. This email notification is Amazon’s way of informing you that your product is no longer available.

If you receive this notification from Amazon and take no action, you’re putting your account at immediate risk.

What products are not allowed on Amazon?

The Definitive Guide to Amazon Restricted Products

Amazon restricted products are considered products that threaten legal standards and are restricted from sale on the marketplace. Safety concerns also play a pivotal role in shaping the Amazon restricted products list. Amazon bars the sale of hazardous materials, explosives, or items that don’t adhere to safety standards.

Specific product categories, like prescription medications and firearms, undergo rigorous scrutiny, necessitating compliance with stringent criteria and documentation requirements. Amazon will also suspend defective, expired, or flawed products without question and at their discretion.

Essentially, Amazon will do whatever it can to protect customers and avoid legal repercussions from unsafe products.

Amazon restricted products include but are not limited to:

  • Illegal and/or potentially illegal products (like guns and ammunition, prescription medication)
  • Sexual materials (like adult toys)
  • Harmful products (like tobacco, alcohol)
  • Intellectual properties
  • Restricted media (like recopied, promotional, movies, software, etc.).

View the list of Amazon restricted product categories here:

  • Alcohol
  • Animals & Animal-Related Products
  • Art – Fine Art
  • Art – Home Decor
  • Automotive and powersports
  • Composite Wood Products
  • Cosmetics and Skin and hair care
  • CPAP Cleaning and Disinfecting Devices
  • Currency, Coins, Cash Equivalents, and Gift Cards
  • Dietary supplements
  • Drugs and drug paraphernalia
  • Electronics
  • Explosives, weapons, and related items
  • Export Controls
  • Food & Beverage
  • Gambling & Lottery
  • Hazardous and prohibited items
  • Human Parts & Burial Artifacts
  • Jewelry & Precious Gems
  • Laser products
  • Lighting
  • Lock Picking & Theft Devices
  • Medical devices and accessories
  • Offensive and Controversial Materials
  • Other restricted products
  • Pest control products and pesticides
  • Plant and Seed Products
  • Postage meters and stamps
  • Prohibited Product Claims
  • Recalled products
  • Recycling electronics
  • Refrigerants: Ozone-Depleting Substances and Substitutes
  • Strike anywhere matches
  • Surveillance Equipment
  • Tobacco & Tobacco-Related Products
  • Warranties, Service Plans, Contracts, and Guarantees
  • Upholstered Furniture, Bedding, & Other Quilted Products
  • Federal Emissions – Products requiring EPA Certificate of Conformity
  • Children’s footwear
  • Children’s apparel
  • Automotive tires, wheels, and rims

How can I sell Amazon restricted products?

The Definitive Guide to Amazon Restricted Products

To sell restricted products, you must prove you have the necessary license from the appropriate authorities or a label allowing you to sell the product in the United States.

Brands can also request restrictions on unauthorized third-party sellers, a practice commonly known as brand gating. By implementing brand gating, a brand seeks to maintain a tighter grip on its products, ensuring that only authorized and approved sellers can offer them on the Amazon marketplace. This practice safeguards a brand’s reputation, prevents counterfeit sales, and maintains quality assurance.

Here are 8 steps to apply to sell Amazon restricted products:

Step 1 Research Restrictions: Thoroughly research and identify specific restrictions associated with the product category you intend to sell.

Step 2 Create an Amazon Seller Account: Set up an Amazon Seller Account if you haven’t already.

Step 3 Log in to Seller Central: Navigate to the “Inventory Tab” and select “Add a Product.”

Step 4 Choose Restricted Category: Select the restricted product category you wish to apply for.

Step 5 Submit Documentation: Follow the prompts and submit the required documentation or information Amazon requests.

Step 6 Wait for Review: Wait for Amazon to review your application. This process may take time. Be patient.

Step 7 Address Feedback: If necessary, address any feedback or additional requirements provided by Amazon during the review process.

Step 8 Receive Approval: Upon successful review, you will receive approval to list and sell the restricted product. Begin listing and selling the approved product within the specified category.

There is no guarantee that Amazon will approve your request, so it’s best to employ Amazon consultation services to help you navigate the approval process.

Can you continue selling other ASINs with the same Amazon restricted products issue?

When Amazon restricts an ASIN for violating its policy, you must cease selling this product and other ASINs like it. When Amazon blocks a product, it’s best to check your catalog and remove similar ASINs before Amazon removes them.

For example, Amazon may restrict and remove a supplement product from your seller catalog because of an ingredient not approved by the FDA. Deleting other product listings containing the same ingredient is vital, even if the other ASINs are still live.

The same rule applies to categories Amazon describes as drug paraphernalia or products with pornographic and or inappropriate images. Once an ASIN is blocked, determine why and perform due diligence on all similar ASINs.

Tips for Amazon ungating

If you want to sell restricted products on Amazon, you must meet specific criteria. Whether you’re selling beauty and personal care products, baby products, jewelry, etc, there are requirements you must fulfill.

#1 Be a legitimate business: Consider establishing an LLC and creating a company website to prove you’re a legitimate seller and business.

#2 Prove product authenticity: Amazon wants to ensure your product is genuine. Show that your supplier is the manufacturer or a licensed dealer.

#3 Be a Professional seller: Only professional sellers can apply to sell restricted products. If you’re an individual seller, you must upgrade your account, which costs $39.99 monthly.

#4 Prove positive account metrics: Show that you have good performance metrics, like a low order defect rate, a low pre-fulfillment cancellation rate, and a low late shipment rate.

#5 Be a legitimate business: Consider establishing an LLC and creating a company website to prove you’re a legitimate seller and business.

#6 Provide invoices: Share invoices that meet specific criteria, including being dated within the last 90 days, legible, typed, and containing your company and supplier’s information.

Meet these requirements for a better chance of achieving Amazon ungating.

What should you do if Amazon removes an ASIN?

It’s usually a warning when Amazon removes an ASIN for the first time. Unfortunately, it also means your account may be under further scrutiny. If you experience an ASIN removal, discover why and clean out your catalog of related or similar products before Amazon does.

If you don’t, Amazon will likely find more offending products you may have forgotten about. Repeating the same violation can affect your seller account health and potentially land you in legal trouble if Amazon Safety or Seller Performance is engaged.

4 steps to Amazon account reinstatement

Before you can reinstate Amazon restricted products, there are a few things you need to do.

Step 1 Close/Archive the affected listing: Ensure that all your products and listings comply with Amazon’s policies and the applicable state and federal regulations. Once you realize you have some products not up to the expected standards, you must close, archive, or delete their listings from your seller catalog.

Step 2 Check notifications: After pulling down the affected listing, ensure you understand the issue by reviewing the original performance notification. By doing so, you will appreciate the changes you need to make to your listing.

Step 3 Review your ASINs: Evaluate the ASINs removed for Amazon Restricted Products Policy Violations and compile a single, holistic appeal for all of them. This will help you save time rather than going back and forth with the Amazon Seller Performance team– we know how challenging that can be!

Step 4 State your reason(s) for appeal: If you believe your product is compliant and should be available for sale, or you’ve addressed the issues with your listing, you can appeal the restricted products removal decision. Provide evidence and documents like an Amazon POA. The Amazon performance team will review the appeal and let you know their decision within seven days. You can always enlist the help of an expert Amazon suspension appeal service, like Riverbend Consulting.

Avoid products listed in Amazon’s restricted products policy

Amazon Restricted Products

Amazon is a global marketplace big on customer trust and fairness. They want shoppers to have the best experience and to remain safe long after purchase.

Like any business and mega-corporation, there are laws guiding Amazon’s operations. As a result, Amazon continually carries out compliance checks to take down products they believe violate their policies.

As a seller, having your product listings pulled by Amazon’s compliance team for restricted product violations is frustrating. This is especially true if you’ve done everything right or are a newbie seller. Prevent an Amazon restricted products violation by avoiding products on Amazon’s restricted product policy list.

If your listing still gets hit by a notification of a restricted product, an appeal is possible. Always clear your catalog of any product you believe Amazon may consider restricted. This will help you protect your account from warnings, provide customers with a safe and trusted shopping experience, and build a reputable Amazon business that can look attractive for growth in retail or an exit.

Questions about challenges related to Amazon restricted products or Amazon account reinstatement? Drop your Qs in the comments below.

As always, we’re here to help.

Amazon. Solved.


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