New sellers are flocking to Amazon to start selling in an attempt to earn extra money working from home. At first glance, Amazon seems like a great way to make extra cash but once you create an account and get approved, you realize that there are a lot of items you can't sell. New sellers are gated in a lot of big categories such as topicals, grocery and toys, as well as sub categories and some brands. This can be problematic and frustrating for sellers because it's hard to find items you are able to sell. When I was a new seller I ran into this exact problem. I was having trouble figuring out exactly how to get ungated and what reputable sites to use that Amazon would accept. I turned to the internet and YouTube videos to figure it out but unfortunately, a lot of people charge for this information. I don't agree with having to pay $200+ just to learn how to get ungated in different categories. I found courses ranging in prices from $200 per category up to $800 per category. I didn't want to pay that so I had to figure it out for myself which took a lot of time, effort and trial & error. Once I figured it out and successfully got ungated, I decided that I should share what I learned without charging for it. So here is my guide to get ungated in the Topicals and the Grocery categories. I will post a separate guide for toys and then one for big brands like Nike & Under Armour so check my profile for those guides.
Okay so let's start! The good news for topicals and grocery is that you don't need a resellers certificate or tax ID number to get ungated which you need for the toys category. When you go to get ungated, you will see that you need to be approved for that category by having an invoice for an item in the category and pictures of the item/packaging. An invoice is obtained by purchasing directly from a distributor or manufacturer. Retail stores such as Target and Walmart do not count as distributors or manufacturers. The distributor I used is called Frontier Co-Op.
1. Go to the Frontier Co-Op website at https://wholesale.frontiercoop.com/
Once you are on the site you will have to create an account in order to view prices and place an order. Click on Join Us in the top right corner of the page. This will bring you to a page with 2 different membership options. I personally did the free non-membership option but you can do the $10 membership if you want but it's not necessary. In order to create an account you will have to fill out a form that asks for the type of business, your business billing address and then an email and password. Make sure the name you put in for your account is the same name you have listed on your Amazon account because they will need to match when you get your invoice. Once you enter in all of your information click the submit for approval button at the bottom. You should be automatically approved but if not check your email because it might take a few minutes or hours.
2. Next you will find an item to buy
First, you are going to decide whether you want to start with grocery or topical first. I recommend starting with grocery. You will need to find an item that is sold on Amazon and that is gated in grocery. On the Frontier website, click on shop by category and then click on grocery. Then you can try any item you like and just make sure it comes up on the Amazon seller app as an item currently on amazon. Also make sure that on the Amazon seller app when you click get approval for the item that an invoice or an invoice and item picture are the only 2 items you need for approval for that item. If you need anything else for approval you will want to pick a different item. I recommend picking a cheaper item because you do need to purchase at least 10 of the item. I chose a Yum Earth candy item that cost less than $2 each so my total with tax & shipping came out to be under $50. Tea is another cheap item that will work as long as it comes up on the Amazon Seller app.
3. Next you obtain the invoice and send to Amazon for approval
You will receive your invoice when you get your order. Shipping times vary based on which shipping method you choose. Take a clear picture of your invoice and multiple clear pictures of the item and the packaging. Then open the Amazon seller app and search for the item. Click on request approval and then make sure you have all of the information needed and check off the boxes as you go. Then, just upload the pictures of the invoice and items and submit them to Amazon. If you get rejected just close the case, redo the application and resend the same pictures in because you might have just gotten a newer associate who doesn't know the requirements. Closing the case and redoing the application will send the case to a different Amazon associate who can approve it.
4. Repeat the above steps with a topical item
Now that you did grocery, you can do topicals. Just make sure to do the topical purchase separate from the grocery purchase so that you get 2 separate invoices. I recommend going with a lip balm for this purchase because they are cheap. I went with a Burts Bees lip balm that was $2.60 so that when I purchased 10 of them my total was under $50 again. This was also a good item for me because I will use them or give them away as part of gifts so it's not a waste of money. You can also choose an item that you use or will be able to resell on Amazon and make a profit but that can take a while to find an item that will make a profit after fees. After you complete this purchase, wait to get your invoice again and then send it in to Amazon with pictures of the item like with the grocery item.
Now you should be ungated in both grocery & topicals. This will open up a lot of items that you will now be able to sell and help increase your profits. If you want to get ungated in toys or specific brands like Nike, Under Armour and Adidas check out my profile because I will be posting articles on those topics soon. Good luck and happy selling!