How To Ungate Your Way To Greater Profits

by | Dec 13, 2016 | All Posts, Beginners, Uncategorized |

approved
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter

Ungating your way to more profits is perhaps one of the easiest ways to make more money selling on Amazon as an Arbitrage seller. I mean who doesn’t want to make easy money? So why not start with the easy wins first?

Ungating  is an easy avenue to greater profits because the benefits of selling in gated categories means that you experience less competition (new sellers are generally not eligible to sell in gated categories).

Another primary advantage of being able to sell in restricted categories is the increased choice when being able to source inventory.

But first, let’s rewind.

How To Tell If You Are Restricted From Selling In Certain Categories

There are two ways. The first way is to log into Seller central and when you try to list a restricted product on seller central a request approval button will appear next to the restricted item similar to the picture below:

seller central gated picture
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter

However, another easy way to tell (say when you’re out sourcing) is through using the Seller central app by scanning an item.

The three most common reasons for being ineligible to sell products on FBA are:

Because the product is considered Hazardous material. Should this be the case, your Amazon seller central app will display images similar to this:

  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter

The product is only eligible for fulfilment through the Amazon Pantry system. Should this be the case, your Amazon seller central app will display images similar to this:

  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter

You need to be ungated in this category. Should this be the case, your Amazon seller central app will display images similar to this:

  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter

The main gated categories everyone wants to unlock include:
 Beauty;
  Heath & Personal; and
➤ Grocery

There are other additional categories that can be ungated (watches, jewellery, clothing etc.) although the above three are the main categories.

How to lodge/monitor an application

As mentioned earlier, if you want to go ahead and sell a restricted product you will need to lodge a category ungating application request by clicking on the request approval button.

require approval picture
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter

Once you’ve lodged an application you can check the status by going to Amazon Seller Central → Inventory → Add A Product. Below Add A Product is a link titled “Selling application status” button that you will need to click.

Application Status
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter

It will then shows your outstanding application statuses:

ungated successful
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter

What You Need To Ungate

Before you madly rush off to purchase inventory, start lodging receipts and ungating applications, there are several criteria that need to be met before you can apply to ungate. These are:

Order defect rate <1%;
 Professional seller plan;
Account be in good standing;
3-4 months or more of selling history;
You must have an inventory of more than one product in this category;
You must have a return delivery address in the local country or provide free delivery; and
You must be able to provide local language support for customer service in the marketplace in which the sale is intended.

Your performance metrics can be check in Seller central → Performance → Account health.

Account health
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter

The Process of Ungating

AMZ will require 3 different commercial invoices which MUST be from a wholesaler;

Every commercial invoice needs to have at least 30 items from a category that you want to be ungated from. (Remember Amazon advises that you should have inventory of more than one product to sell in the chosen category);

The same commercial invoices may be used in various categories if they crossed over from one category to the next. For example, I used toothpaste to get ungated in both grocery and health categories. 

Before making any purchases I suggest that you check with your intended wholesaler that they will provide you with commercial invoices.

Commercial invoices should contain the following pieces of information;

The supplier company’s information such as the Name, Phone Number, Address and Website.

Your company’s information namely the Company name the way it appears on the Amazon seller account and the address Amazon hold for you on file.

It’s also my personal philosophy, that since you are effectively asking Amazon for a favour in granting your ungating request, it will increase your chance of successfully being ungated if you make their life easier. 

In order to make the Amazon rep who will be reviewing my application life’s easier, I ensured that I listed the product ASIN number next to each purchased item.

Armed with this new information I went to Makro wholesalers and opened an account and bought all my items from there. I’ve heard other sellers have also used wholesalers such as Bookers Wholesalers to get ungated.

After scanning for a little while at Makro I couldn’t actually find any items that would make me a profit. So I ended up buying items like toothpaste which I could keep for myself instead of reselling on Amazon for a loss.

After purchasing my items I then went home and ensured that the all the items on the invoice had corresponding ASIN numbers listed.

I figured that this would also prevent Amazon from turning around and saying that they couldn’t find the product, or throwing other excuses my way. Here’s what my submitted Invoice looked like:

ungating invoice
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter

Now I know some of you at this point are probably wondering why would he buy products to sell at a loss? The answer is two-fold the first part being that I look at the cost of ungating as being an investment which will pay for itself.

But here’s a cheeky thing, if you don’t want to sell your products at a loss. Once you have the invoices alls you need to do is scan them and send them off to Amazon.

Once you’re approved you don’t even need to keep the items. If you’re like me and some of the products that you used have no use to you, just simply return them back to the wholesaler 🙂

Recap

Before applying to sell in restricted categories make sure you meet the following criteria:

Order defect rate <1%;
Professional seller plan;
Account be in good standing;
3-4 months or more of selling history;
You must have an inventory of more than one product in this category;
You must have a return delivery address in the local country or provide free delivery;
You must be able to provide local language support for customer service in the marketplace in which the sale is intended; and
You are able to supply commercial invoices.

For me, ungating was a simple hassle free procedure. Was I one of the lucky ones? Perhaps? Who knows.

From my experience selling and seeing what other people say on the forums, I know ungating has been a totally different story for others.

One thing I have come to learn from dealing with Amazon though is if you have done your research and you know you are correct, often you are correct.

Amazon as a company, are constantly trying to innovate, change systems and rules. A downside of this is that it seems that often their staff do not always seem to be aware of the latest change in the rules.

For me, I know for me I have often done battle with Amazon over other issues such as reimbursements and lost inventory.

The lessons that can be taken from interacting with Amazon that apply to ungating is that perseverance is king. If you get knocked back ask for an explanation and keep trying. Experiment with using different wholesalers and different invoice inventory quantities until you get a result.

If you get stuck speaking to Philippine-based Amazon workers with poor knowledge or poor English, simply escalate the matter and keep escalating till you get to speak to a UK representative. These representatives tend to have a bit more sense and authority. Often they usually have more common sense and power to get the job done.

Remember: “Dare to be bold for to the Victor goes the spoils” and believe you me you don’t want to miss out on selling in the restricted categories as they are an easy place to source extra inventory.

Found this article useful? Join my mailing list and not only will I keep you up to date with the latest Amazon money-making and time-saving tips, but you’ll also get a complimentary enrollment into my Four Day Fast Starter Mini Course where you’ll learn the following:

 Four Day Email Course:

Day 1 – The Amazon money making system;

Day 2 – What to buy;

Day 3 – Where to buy; and

 Day 4 – Scaling & Growing.

Fast Starter Training Videos:

Video 1 – How to make money selling on Amazon;

Video 2 – How to register your seller account;

 Video 3 – How to list inventory on Seller Central; and

 Video 4 – How to prepare Amazon inventory shipments.

 

Share This