Amazon Ungating Step-By-Step Guide
This is a guide that we put together to help you navigate getting Ungated on Amazon; which is a highly confusing, tedious and frustrating process for MOST people (trust me, we get thousands of questions a month about Amazon from potential buyers who are completely unsure of how the process works!)
Amazon has tons of categories and millions of products that are NOT gated; you are welcome to sell in these categories any time. Amazon also offers "instant ungating" for boatloads of merchandise. SO, what we know for a fact: YOU CAN sell on Amazon, But, if you choose to sell big brands you have to go through the full "ungating" process.
THE ULTIMATE DECISION
You have to decide your end game based on where you are now (this is VERY important because it determines what steps you must take to get ungated):
- OPTION A: BEGINNER - I am new at selling online. I want to make extra money every week to improve my life.
- OPTION B: INTERMEDIATE - I have sold a bit of stuff online on sites like ebay and selling on Amazon seems like a good idea. I am testing the waters to see if I can get ungated.
- OPTION C: ADVANCED - I have sold online regularly for many years. I am ready to take my business to the next level but I am new to Amazon Selling
- OPTION D: EXPERT - I have been selling on Amazon for a long time. I just need to get Ungated.
STEP 1: VERY IMPORTANT! if you are a NEW AMAZON SELLER with little seller history (Beginner, Intermediate or Advanced according to our chart above), you will NOT be able to be ungated until you work hard to build your Amazon seller profile history. Because the purpose of gating is to limit sellers to established businesses in the gated category with established, authorized wholesale sources. As far as Amazon is concerned, this means you will want to successfully sell other merchandise on Amazon for at least 3-6 months before you apply for any kind of ungating. This also means that no matter what you do you will NOT BE UNGATED until you have successfully built up your seller history; even if you meet all of the other requirements to be ungated you will still be REJECTED if you are Beginner, Intermediate or Advanced according to our chart! Here's a totally fantastic video about this exact issue:
UNGATING BASICS - CONSIDER THE EXPENSE!!!!
STEP 2: After you have built up your selling history you are getting closer to being Ungated because you are now no longer Beginner, Intermediate or Advanced; you now fall into the "Expert" category. Now it is time to make sure you meet the basic ungating requirements.
You MUST have an actual business. Amazon does not ungate individual sellers. This means, AT A MINIMUM, you will need:
- A Resellers Certificate - Check out our article to Learn About Resellers Certificates and How to Get One
- An EIN (Tax Identification Number). Need an EIN? Check out our How to Get an EIN Guide
- An LLC. Need an LLC? Check out our article: How to Get an LLC & 5 LLC Secrets Nobody Tells You!
- These are just the BASIC BUSINESS REQUIREMENTS. There are MANY more additional requirements. We will discuss several of the additional in this guide. If you have a strong selling history an Amazon but you do NOT have an EIN, you will NOT be ungated!
SUPER IMPORTANT Notes:
- A LLC costs money. You must renew your LLC every year which will cost more money with each renewal. Make sure this is an expense you want to incur just to *possibly* be ungated on Amazon to sell a certain brand.
- Keep in mind that when you apply for an EIN with the government, you will now have to file and pay taxes for your company. This means you will have to keep thorough records. Even if you make no sales you will still have to file that you did not make sales. This is going to cost money AND time.
- You will have to track inventory and inventory cost. This must be reported to the government accurately. This means you will HAVE TO invest in inventory tracking software, scanners, etc. This is also going to cost TIME.
- Most businesses have to hire an accountant. We have been in business since 2005 and I can assure you that without an accountant you run a VERY high risk of being audited simply due to not understanding all of the forms you have to submit or making errors on the forms, inaccurately declaring inventory, etc. Personal taxes can be filed using programs like TurboTax but business taxes are much more complex.
I would very strongly suggest selling online for at least 1 year to make sure this is a long term commitment you want to make BEFORE you jump into forming a legal entity and so on because once you form your company legally you can't just "quit" because you changed your mind. You have to go through the actual closing process with the government.
OBTAINING MERCHANDISE FOR UNGATING
STEP 3: Once you have met ALL of the above steps, now you can buy the merchandise you hope to become ungated to sell. This is another full process that a lot of people are confused about.
- (As of 2.2.20) Amazon requires at least 10 identical duplicates of an item in order to apply for ungating. This number could change, so be sure to stay up-to-date with Amazon's requirements before buying products.
- A Distributor, wholesaler and a Liquidator are different things although similar. A Distributor typically works with the factory. Wholesalers typically buy through a Distributor. A Liquidator (such as us, BigBrandWholesale) buys extra stock directly from designer stores, their warehouses.
- This means, a liquidator IS allowed to resell all of the merchandise we carry, however this does not mean you are guaranteed to be ungated on Amazon using Liquidated merchandise in the category you want to sell in. This means you may have to buy directly from the distributor at a much high price, get ungated THEN come back to us and buy that same brand at a much lower price.
- An invoice is not a purchase order (Also known as "PO"). The PO is prepared by the buyer (YOU) when they order goods or services, while an invoice is created by the seller regarding payment for the goods sold. Both the PO and the invoice include details about the order and shipping specifics, but the invoice also includes the invoice number and PO number (if provided). This means YOU will have to create a PO for the merchandise you wish to order. You will then add your PO number onto your invoice from our site by simply type it into the "Comments Box" at checkout:
- You can learn more about PO creation here or learn about our invoices here. If you need OUR address for YOUR PO, our address is: 3441 Filbert, Wayne MI 48184. Our email is Support@BigBrandWholesale.com. Our text support number is 734 707 9878.
- On YOUR purchase order, If you need to ADD BARCODES / UPCs to a database you can do so fairly easily using your cell phone camera and Microsoft Excel. There are tons of super cool, low cost (or even free) cell phone apps that allow you to scan the product packaging or paper store tag and it will instantly log it into excel. To see these apps, simply visit the Google Play Store or Apple Store and search for "Inventory Barcode Scanner". Next you will open your UPC / Barcode list in Excel. Now you can fill in the rest of the data you need; Brand, Quantity, etc. If you are buying only duplicate merchandise, this is a super simple task. If you are buying Mixed Lots from our site, this is going to take you much more time. NOTE: If the scanner program only downloads in CSV format, you will have to convert to Excel to open it as a database spreadsheet. Here are step by step instructions on converting a CSV to Excel.
- Don't forget that you need to create YOUR purchase order to meet all of Amazons PO requirements. In general a PO contains: company logo, information (name etc.) and shipping details (address), vendor information (name and address), order information (product, price, and quantity), as well as additional details. There are lots of "Free Purchase Order Generators" available online.
- I strongly encourage you NOT to attempt to rush through all of these steps because you will be rejected over and over. If you create a history of rejections with Amazon you will likely never be approved to sell in that gated category. Take your time and do everything correctly even though it is an utter pain in the a**. OR, if you do not want to invest time and frustration, just sell somewhere else. There are TONS of places to sell and alternate selling methods that do not include Amazon.
STEP 4: Now that you have your purchase order, your invoice and your merchandise, you need to REPEAT the process at least 4 more times BEFORE tying to get Ungated. This is because Amazon wants to see "PURCHASE HISTORY". History means more than 1 purchase. If you are attempting to get ungated with only 1 purchase you WILL be rejected, regardless of the quantity of merchandise you buy or the dollar amount you spent on it.
STEP 5: Amazon Photo Requirements. Amazon has VERY SPECIFIC photo requirements! If you meet other criteria but fail on photography you will not be able to list the item on Amazon. We wrote a 2-part guide about Amazon Product Photo Requirements - be sure to check your photos and make sure they meet the guidelines!
ARE YOU STILL GETTING REJECTED FOR UNGATING AND YOU HAVE MET ALL THESE STEPS? Check out our article Top 5 Reasons Why You Aren't Getting Ungated on Amazon.
STEP 6: If you have questions along the way, the BEST way to get help is to use the Amazon Seller Central Forums in addition to investing time in watching YouTube videos about the ungating process. Wholesalers, like our company or any other wholesale company, cannot help you with the ungating process because it is a lengthy, complex process that involves a lot of paperwork on your end and too many variables. Remember that it is always possible that Amazon will deny ungating in a category even IF you feel you meet all of the requirements.
STEP 7: Learn About Our Invoices
Are you cofused about certain words? Check out our Amazon Ungating Terminology Guide.
or, check out our other Amazon & eCommerce detailed guides:
- Top 5 Reasons You Aren't Getting Ungated on Amazon
- What is a BOL and How to Find Yours
- Amazon Ungating: What are Terms? How to Find them
- What is a PRO Number and How to Find Yours
- How to Get a Resellers Permit / Resale Certificate
- What is an EIN and How to Get One
- What is an LLC and How to Get One
- How to Create an Awesome Company Logo FAST and FREE
- Help! My Inventory is Priced Super Low and Still Isn't Selling!