Amazon Restricted Brands for 3rd Party Sellers: All You Need to Know

 

Since Jeff Bezos originally created Amazon in 1995 as a company that exclusively sold books (a crazy world to imagine, for consumers, brick-and-mortar business owners, and e-commerce business owners alike), Amazon has since gone on to establish itself as the number one online retailer in the world. It sells practically everything on its marketplace, from smart devices to groceries, totalling a mind-boggling 3 billion products worldwide in over 11 marketplaces, to 30 million customers.

 

Moreover, with 53 percent of online sales on the Amazon Marketplace coming from third-party sellers as of the second quarter of 2018, Amazon seems like a Promised Land for e-commerce businesses (a crowded Promised Land with more than one million sellers, but a Promised Land nonetheless for those e-commerce businesses who utilize Amazon tools, and professional solutions for selling on Amazon, to their best advantage). 

 

However, third-party sellers find that that there are a number of restrictions when it comes to selling on Amazon. This is nothing new, but keeping up to date on the often ill-explained Amazon restricted brands and products is imperative for Amazon sellers who want to make the most out of selling their products on Amazon, while avoiding administrative trouble and potential legal trouble with a number of brands.

 

Restricted brands on Amazon Seller's Choice

 

Why Were the Restrictions Put in Place?  

It is integral to Amazon’s brand image that it is viewed as a safe place for consumers to buy products from its marketplace with confidence. However, in 2016, there were a plethora of reported counterfeit items being sold on its platform. The problem got so bad that consumers were starting to lose confidence in Amazon as a safe platform from which they can buy their products.

 

In order to address the issue, Amazon released a new program called the Amazon Brand Registry, and re-released a new and improved version of the Registry, in May 2017. The purpose of the Brand Registry is to provide Amazon sellers with a number of tools to combat and report possible cases of counterfeiting, as well as provide its own preventative measures against such infractions. Moreover, the Brand Registry means that brand owners can go through a process to register a product as theirs, and say they don’t want others to sell it. So, now Amazon is allowing brands to register and restrict sales by third-party sellers on the Amazon platform.

 

It should be noted that placing restrictions on certain products was already a practice before 2016. For example, Amazon has had restricted product lists that placed certain restrictions (depending on the items) on the sale of certain products, such as firearms, jewelry, and fine art. However, 2016 was the first time that we saw the number of Amazon restricted brands grow in such large proportions.

 

Moreover, the processes do not show any signs of slowing down. This is because the counterfeiting problem is not going away, and has the potential for legal ramifications for Amazon itself. In fact, the issue is serious enough that in 2018, Amazon officially acknowledged to shareholders that the company’s online sales platforms face the risk of being found liable for fraudulent or unlawful activities of sellers on those platforms. 

 

Can Third-Party Sellers Still Sell Amazon Restricted Brands, And If So, What is the Process like? 

Another way to rephrase the title question is, “What exactly does it mean for a brand to be restricted for third-party sellers?” Well, unfortunately for those who wish to sell products from Amazon restricted brands rather than sell Amazon restricted products, the process is far less clear. 

 

As it stands, there is a more clear cut process for being approved to sell Amazon restricted products than there is for selling products from Amazon restricted brands. 

 

Through Amazon’s Seller Central, you can make a request to get approval to sell a product in one of Amazon's restricted categories by:

 

  1. Selecting “Add a Product” from the inventory menu
  2. Searching for the item or items that you wish to sell 
  3. Clicking on the link that says “Listing Limitations Apply” in the search results
  4. Clicking on the “Request Approval” button to begin the application process.

 

You will then be taken to an application form, which you must complete in order to be approved to sell in the gated category of your choice. You must also meet some general criteria, such as being on the professional seller plan, possessing ideal performance metrics, or having an adequate company website. 

 

Moreover, there are a number of “ungating” services, such as Category Ungating, which can help you along with the process. 

 

Unfortunately, it is not so clear cut for Amazon sellers hoping to get approval to sell from Amazon restricted brands, and it is important to remain wary of these murky areas, since some brand owners are very aggressive in trying to keep counterfeit copies of their products from reaching the market. Some businesses are even trying to prevent sellers from selling their products by taking legal actions against sellers who infringe upon these rights.

 

One of the unclear areas is the fact that, even if a brand is on this list, it does not mean that every single one of the brand's items is restricted. Sometimes the whole brand is restricted, and sometimes, it is just a certain product or product line within the brand that is restricted. Moreover, it is sometimes the case that brands are restricted to certain demographics of sellers, such as new sellers.

 

If you are interested in selling products from Amazon restricted brands but wish to avoid the potential legal and administrative pitfalls, it is important to remember that restrictions differ between brands, but that you can take measures to ensure that you are in the clear. 

 

The number one step is to speak to your suppliers, and review your wholesale agreements. Are they an authorized reseller? Will your documentation hold up to Amazon scrutiny? If you are unsure of the requirements for a particular brand, make sure that you check with the brand, since some will require that you obtain letters of authorization or invoices from the brand owner. 

 

Admittedly, doing your due diligence on brands can be easier said than done, and there are a number of issues that arise. The number one hurdle is that, although Amazon has gated products lists, they do not have a comprehensive list of Amazon restricted brands and their requirements. This can be incredibly frustrating, especially since simply not knowing that a certain brand is restricted does not qualify as a valid excuse.

 

Luckily, if you are a third-party seller on Amazon, you are not completely left out to dry. Below, we have compiled a large list of some of the major Amazon restricted brands from some of the major product categories, to help you out (beware—The list is extensive).

 

Amazon restrictions for third party sellers Seller's Choice

 

List of Amazon Restricted Brands

Clothing, Footwear, and Accessories 

 

  • Adidas
  • Armani
  • Bali
  • Brooks
  • Burberry
  • Calvin Klein
  • Canada Goose
  • Carhartt
  • Champion
  • Chanel
  • Coach
  • Dockers
  • Ferragamo
  • Fruit of the Loom
  • Hanes
  • Harley-Davidson
  • Harry Potter
  • Herschel Supply Co.
  • Icebreaker
  • Kate Spade
  • Levi’s
  • Lucky Brand
  • Michael Kors 
  • Mountain Hardwear
  • Nautica
  • New Balance Shoes
  • Nike
  • Nintendo
  • North Face
  • Original Penguin
  • Patagonia
  • Playtex
  • Polo Ralph Lauren 
  • Puma
  • Quicksilver
  • Ray-Ban
  • Rothco
  • Speedo
  • Timberland
  • Tommy Bahama
  • Tommy Hilfiger
  • Tory Burch 
  • True Religion
  • Uggs
  • Under Armour 
  • Volcom

 

Electronics

 

  • “Beats” by Dre
  • Apple
  • Audio-Technica
  • Belkin
  • BodyGuardz
  • Bose
  • Canon Cameras
  • Cobra
  • Franklin Electronic
  • Hp 
  • Klipsch
  • Lg 
  • Lifeproof Phone cases
  • Logitech
  • Microsoft
  • Motorola
  • Native Union
  • Nikon Cameras
  • Ninja Blenders
  • OtterBox
  • Skullcandy
  • Solio
  • Sony Cameras
  • Speck iPad/iPhone
  • Spigen
  • T3

 

Media 

 

  • Adobe software
  • Beach Body / P-90X
  • Disney DVD
  • HBO
  • Microsoft
  • Rosetta Stone Language
  • Showtime
  • Sony 
  • Warner Brothers

 

Home Goods and Tools

 

  • Amco
  • Avalon Bay
  • Belkin
  • Bentology
  • Big Mouth Mugs
  • Black & Decker
  • Bogzon
  • Breville
  • Calphalon
  • Char-Broil
  • Cuisinart
  • Cupture
  • Dewalt 
  • Dyson
  • Farberware
  • Fred & Friends
  • Hamilton Beach
  • Harley-Davidson
  • Honeywell
  • Joseph Joseph
  • Keku
  • Keurig 
  • Kilner
  • KitchenAid
  • Lasko
  • Le Creuset
  • LED Lenser
  • Lodge

  • New Metro Design
  • Norpro
  • Oxo Good Grips
  • Palais Glassware
  • Plow & Hearth
  • Proctor Silex
  • Progressive
  • Pyrex
  • Qooltek
  • Richards Homewares
  • Roommates
  • Rtic
  • S'ip by Swell
  • Simplehuman
  • Spark Innovators
  • Stanley
  • TCP
  • Tide
  • Weber
  • Wilton
  • Work Sharp
  • Wusthof
  • Yankee Candle
  • Yumco

 

Health and Beauty

 

  • 1 Body
  • Ahava
  • Aidance Skincare
  • Algenist
  • Amope
  • ANSR
  • Babyliss
  • Baire Bottles
  • Balm Cosmetics
  • Bare Essentials cosmetics
  • Baxter
  • Benefiber
  • Billy Jealousy
  • Bioderma
  • Blinc
  • Bliss
  • Borghese
  • Burberry
  • Burt's Bees
  • Butter London
  • Calvin Klein
  • Cane + Austin
  • Cargo
  • Catrice
  • Chanel
  • CHI
  • Clarins
  • Clarisonic
  • Claritin
  • Comfort Zone
  • COOLA
  • Crabtree & Evelyn
  • Crest
  • Cult Cosmetics
  • DDF
  • Dermalogica
  • Dolce & Gabbana
  • Dr Tobias
  • Elizabeth Arden
  • Eminence
  • Enfamil
  • Epicuren Discovery
  • Erno Laszlo
  • Escada
  • Essie
  • Eyeko
  • Fitbit
  • Georgio Armani
  • Gianna Rose
  • Gillette
  • Glad
  • GNC
  • GrandeLashMD
  • Greens First Boost
  • Gucci
  • Hot Tools
  • HydroPeptide
  • Jack Black
  • Jane Iredale
  • Japonesque
  • Jouer
  • Juice Beauty
  • Juicy Couture
  • Julep
  • Kiehl’s
  • Korres
  • L' Occitane
  • Lancome
  • Lorac
  • LVX
  • MAC cosmetics
  • Melaleuca
  • Mario Badescu
  • Marvis
  • Maybelline
  • MDSolarSciences
  • Menaji Cosmetics
  • Michelle Phan
  • Molton Brown
  • Mustela
  • Nature's Bounty
  • Nature’s Sunshine
  • Neutrogena
  • Nia 24
  • Nivea
  • Norelco
  • Now Foods
  • NuBrilliance Skin Care
  • NuFace
  • Nuxe
  • Olay
  • Optimum Nutrition
  • Oral B
  • Oribe
  • Orlane
  • Ortho Molecular
  • Oscar Blandi
  • Pampers
  • Paraso
  • Patchology
  • Perfume samples
  • Perfume testers
  • Perricone
  • Peter Thomas Roth
  • Phyto
  • PMD – Personal Microdermabrasion Device
  • Prevagen
  • Proactive
  • Pureology
  • Reserveage Nutrition
  • Rodial
  • Sachajuan
  • Sara Happ
  • Sheer Strength Labs
  • Skinceuticals
  • Skyn Iceland
  • Somme Institute
  • St. Tropez
  • Standard Process
  • Starwest Botanicals
  • Stila
  • StriVectin
  • T3
  • Tarte
  • The Art of Shaving
  • The Body Shop
  • Urban Decay
  • Vimerson Health
  • Vincent Longo
  • Wen by Chaz Dean
  • Zirh

 

Wrapping Up

As we said, the list of Amazon restricted brands is large, and it is only likely that the list will continue to grow. But, although Amazon restricted brands do present some hurdles for the third-party seller on Amazon, you should not lose hope. 

 

Amazon is still one of the most lucrative online marketplaces for e-commerce businesses and online sellers who play their cards right. As long as you are mindful of a brand’s status as restricted, there are still many routes that you can take to get approved for selling their products. amazon listing optimization ebook

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