Unlike other marketplaces, sellers don’t need approval from Amazon to list most products. However, some products do require registration, licensing or pre-authorization to sell on Amazon. This comprehensive guide covers what products you can and can’t sell on Amazon without seeking special approval.
Table of Contents
Registering as an Amazon Seller
The first step to sell on Amazon is creating a seller account:
- Go to Amazon Services Seller Central and register for an Individual or Professional account
- You’ll need to provide identity, contact, tax, and banking details
- Individual accounts can list up to 40 products per month for $0.99 fee per item
- Professional accounts cost $39.99 per month but allow unlimited listings
Some categories require additional registration even with a seller account like books, DVDs, and games which need approval demonstrating your reseller status from authorized brands.
But the majority of products simply require setting up this basic seller account to get started. Let’s look at what you can and can’t sell without additional authorization next.
What Can You Sell on Amazon Without Approval?
These popular products can be listed on Amazon by any seller without needing additional application or authorization:
- Books, music CDs, DVDs, video games – As long as following requirements like providing a UPC, not selling bootlegs etc. Don’t need publisher approvals.
- Electronics – Listing consumer electronics doesn’t require manufacturer authorization, again assuming following Amazon’s category-specific rules.
- Kitchenware, home goods – No approval needed for everyday household items, cooking utensils, decorative pieces etc.
- Toys and games – Regular toys without batteries or electronics don’t need any licenses or waivers to sell.
- Arts, crafts, sewing materials – DIY supplies and hobbyist tools don’t have registration requirements.
- Pet supplies – As long as not prescription medications which do require approval.
- Office supplies, school and art supplies – Everyday stationery, organizational, classroom products are fine.
- Sporting goods and equipment – No waivers needed for listing typical sports accessories and gear.
For these mainstream goods without excessive regulation, you can list them for sale on Amazon by simply creating a seller account and following Amazon’s standard rules and listing guidelines.
Next let’s look at categories needing extra registration or approval before selling on Amazon.
Products Requiring Brand Approval on Amazon
Certain brands restrict who can sell items on Amazon. You must gain preapproval before listing:
- Apple – Must apply to become an Apple Authorized Reseller to list Apple products legally.
- Nike – Have to be an authorized Nike dealer to list brand name shoes and apparel.
- Lego – Need documented approval from Lego to sell Lego sets.
- Fisher-Price & Mattel – Require distributor authorization to list brand toys.
- Under Armour – Must be an authorized retailer selling official Under Armour gear.
- Hasbro – Resellers have to apply for approval to list household name toy brands.
If attempting to sell recognizable name brand products, research first if reseller authorization or distributorship documentation is mandatory for that label.
Amazon Gated Categories Requiring Approval
Beyond brand restrictions, these types of products need approval:
Prescription Drugs, OTC Health Products
Selling medications requires pharmacy licensing and oversight.
Firearms and Ammunition
Guns and ammo mandates federal licenses like an FFL.
Jewelry including Fine, Costume, Plated
Jewelry sellers have to provide documentation like invoices from authorized distributors or wholesalers.
Clothing, Shoes, Bags and Accessories
Clothing resellers need to apply for approval providing licensing proof.
Digital Media – Movies, TV, Music
Listing DVDs. Blu-Rays etc requires authorization from studios and publishers.
Selling PC parts needs approval validating authorized supply channels.
Financial Payment Devices
Selling items like credit card readers requires registration and compliance.
Listing locksmith tools and machines mandates locksmith business licensing.
If attempting to list in one of these restricted categories, Amazon will prompt you to submit the required waivers, permits or licenses first before allowing you to sell those items.
Why Approval is Required for Certain Products
Amazon requires registration and approval for categories like:
- Legal compliance – To meet regulations around controlled or age-restricted products.
- Risk and liability – High-risk items like medications that require oversight.
- Brand control – Companies wanting to limit sales channels for brand management.
- Fraud prevention – Categories like jewelry prone to counterfeits.
- Enhanced qualifications – Complex products needing additional seller vetting.
- Consumer protection – Guarding against unsafe products like electronics with improper electrical testing.
Amazon aims to keep prohibited or dangerous products off the site. Extra steps also protect brands and prevent counterfeiting.
How Selling Approval Differs from Merchandising Approval
In addition to category selling approval, Amazon may also limit products for merchandising programs:
- Applies after initial selling approval granted
- Additional scrutiny for promotions like Deals, Lightning Deals
- Review business documents, inventory levels, history
- Assess appeal and readiness for high visibility
- Needed upfront before any listings
- Requires permits, licenses, distributor docs
- Checks legal compliance to sell category
Merchandising approval enables promotional placements – not necessary just to list compliant inventory you source properly.
Alternatives for Selling Restricted Products on Amazon
If unable to gain approval to sell products in locked categories on Amazon, options include:
- Selling on other platforms – eBay, Walmart, Shopify, social platforms etc.
- Selling through Multichannel Fulfillment – Use Amazon’s warehouses and shipping but sell on your own site.
- Becoming the Brand Owner – Secure distribution rights, customize products
- Selling Business Instead of Products – Build brand then broker sales vs direct fulfillment.
- Focusing on Other Categories – Find less restricted products aligned with your strengths.
Seek your own distribution channels and partnerships if Amazon’s category vetting blocks listings.
Requirements to Sell Textbooks on Amazon
Listing textbooks on Amazon necessitates:
- Establishing yourself as an authorized textbook reseller
- Providing invoices from publishers, wholesalers or institutions
- Include ISBNs and accurate edition information in listings
- Still must gain brand approval to sell titles like McGraw Hill textbooks
Textbook arbitrage can be lucrative but requires diligent paperwork – you can’t just find used books and list them. Work directly with publishers and schools as an authorized reseller.
Requirements to Sell Books on Amazon
Selling books on Amazon mandates:
- Having an Invoice from an approved book distributor like Ingram when listing
- Providing ISBNs matching edition listed
- Enrolling in Brand Registry if publishing own books
- Using Amazon Catalog Identifiers to map products correctly
Booksellers need to carefully source verifiable inventory from distributors. Self-published authors should claim Brand Registry benefits.
Requirements to Sell Music & Movies on Amazon
Registering as an authorized media reseller enables listing CDs, DVDs, Blu-Rays and video games:
- Provide invoices from wholesalers showing you purchased from licensed suppliers
- List UPCs and other Amazon Catalog identifiers
- Research brand restrictions – some limit media sales channels
- Follow Amazon prohibited content policies
Media resellers have to thoroughly track sourcing paperwork and adhere to copyright requirements.
Requirements to Sell Auto Parts on Amazon
Selling automotive parts legally involves:
- Having invoices from brand approved suppliers like K&N, Bosch, Pioneer etc. Generic unbranded parts don’t need invoices.
- For branded items, expect greater scrutiny proving authentic authorized source chain.
- Follow Amazon’s catalog listing requirements like UPCs, compatibility info etc.
Auto parts arbitrage has major potential but branded items invite tighter validations to avoid counterfeits.
Requirements to Sell Pet Supplies on Amazon
Listing pet products necessitates:
- Avoiding prescription medications – require dispensary licensing
- Sourcing legally from authorized brands if selling brand name foods, meds etc.
- Following Amazon’s pet supply listing policies
- Properly labeling items like chew toys to indicate choking hazards if applicable
Standard pet supplies ship easily for profitable sales. Just steer clear of medications and treatments requiring veterinary oversight.
Requirements to Sell Electronics on Amazon
Electronics resellers must:
- Source inventory from authorized distributors and wholesalers – provide invoices
- Adhere to Amazon’s policies like listing batteries properly
- Describe items accurately including model numbers, specs etc
- Follow category rules like special waste recycling programs
Consumer electronics offer a lucrative market but invoices legitimizing inventory are essential for brand name items along with conscientious cataloging.
Requirements to Sell Jewelry on Amazon
Listing jewelry products mandates:
- Providing invoices from authorized distributors verifying authentic supply chains
- For precious metals and gemstones, may need appraisal documentation
- Following jewelry category requirements like weights and measures
- Highlighting certifications like GIA ratings as applicable
Jewelry selling has extensive oversight to verify sourcing and guard against fraud. Expect greater scrutiny compared to everyday goods.
Requirements to Sell Groceries on Amazon
Selling food and beverages on Amazon requires:
- Providing any required state licensing for handling and distributing consumable goods in your locale.
- Following Amazon Grocery policies for product dating, labeling, storage etc.
- Ensuring food items meet shelf life requirements – no short dated perishables.
- Carefully packaging containers and bottling sealing food properly
Consumables invite tighter regulations – get familiar with specifics for your product types.
Selling Internationally on Amazon
Expanding globally involves:
- Researching import and export regulations market-by-market
- Ensuring products compliant with overseas safety standards
- Listing items available to ship internationally
- Providing invoices validating authorized distribution channels
- Translating listings into local language
- Specifying compatible plugs and power outputs
Selling beyond your home country requires investigating additional rules and localization.
Considerations Selling Handmade or Used Products on Amazon
For handmade, vintage, or secondhand sources:
- Handmade artisans must apply for Amazon Handmade
- Detail item origins and process in descriptions
- Vintage items still need authorized supplier invoices
- Disclose used condition prominently
- Follow Amazon policies like no liquidations of mystery boxes
Special care labeling authenticity and origin helps avoid brand rights issues.
Key Takeaways for Selling Products on Amazon Without Approval
- Wide range of popular products can be listed without preapproval once registered as a seller
- Research brand and category restrictions carefully before sourcing inventory
- Have invoices and documentation ready if selling branded or regulated items
- If denied approval, consider alternative sales channels and partnerships
- Follow all catalog requirements like UPCs, item specifics etc thoroughly
- Describe items accurately and provide complete details
With preparation understanding category nuances, sellers can successfully list compliant inventory acquired through approved supplier channels.
Selling on Amazon Without Approval – FAQs
Do I need a business license or EIN to sell on Amazon?
No. You can register as an individual seller with just your SSN. Amazon does not require proof of business registration to open a seller account.
What is the most restricted product category on Amazon?
Prescription medications and firearms have the tightest listing requirements given legal sensitivities. Expect extensive proof of licensing and documentation.
What products are easiest to sell on Amazon without approval?
Media like books, games and movies; smaller household items; consumer electronics; toys; and crafts involve minimal restrictions outside having a basic seller account.
Can I sell used products on Amazon?
Yes, you can resell used items in acceptable condition. Just follow Amazon’s seller policies and detail item condition clearly in listings. Used electronics, textbooks and media have greater verification requirements.
Can I sell homemade products on Amazon?
Selling handcrafted products on Amazon is allowed only through Amazon Handmade after undergoing application and approval. Traditional Amazon requires commercially produced goods meeting policies.
The Bottom Line
While Amazon offers an expansive catalog of goods available for sellers to list without extensive oversight, be sure to thoroughly research category and brand requirements to ensure full compliance. Listing approved products in authorized supply channels protects your business while opening opportunities tapping into Amazon’s vast reach.