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Tue Feb 19 2008 20:03:45 Category Restrictions

By: Ina Steiner

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The AuctionBytes interview with's Matt Williams generated quite a bit of email from sellers who said they were unable to list items in the jewelry category. I checked in with the company's PR department to get some clarification and was directed to the FAQs that outline which categories are open to individual and ProMerchant sellers.

What products can I sell
You can sell items in the following categories: Automotive, Baby, Camera and Photo, Electronics, Everything Else, Health and Personal Care, Home and Garden, Musical Instruments, Office Products, Software, Sports & Outdoors, Tools and Hardware, Toys & Games and Video Games

What type of products can I not sell on
These include: Apparel and Accessories (including shoes), Beauty, Gourmet Food, Industrial and Scientific, Jewelry & Watches, Personal Computer, Cell Phones, Service Magazines and Newspapers, Grocery, Adult Toys, Gift Cards and Gift Certificates, Guns and Ammunition, Photo Processing, Prescription Medication, and Tobacco and Alcohol.

I know from talking to sellers that opens up some restricted categories to certain Gold and Platinum level sellers (members of what many refer to as Amazon Merchants@ program).

I asked why the restrictions in categories such as Apparel and Accessories (including shoes), Beauty, Industrial and Scientific, Jewelry & Watches, Personal Computer and Cell Phones, and here's Amazon's response:

These are relatively new categories for and we are still refining the customer experience. As we refine the customer experience for these categories, we want to be even more particular than normal as to the sellers we bring onto the platform to sell types of products.

Marketplaces like and seem eager to have high-quality, high-volume sellers and reward them with added exposure on their sites. Overstock just expanded its agreement with ChannelAdvisor to let its merchants list on its Shopping platform.

This may be a good place to remind readers that Amazon retains tight control even in "open" categories: for example, each year, restricts third-party sales in the Toys and Games category to pre-approved sellers during the holiday shopping season.

And another caveat: during the ChannelAdvisor conference last year, an analyst warned sellers of the dangers of listing on a marketplace that could turn around and compete with them, specifically pointing to But from what I've seen, that advice isn't stopping high-volume eBay sellers from jumping in with both feet.

Comments (11) | Permalink

Readers Comments

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by: Deanna

Tue Feb 19 20:55:34 2008

I'm kind of confused as to why an eBay seller would want to sell on Amazon. eBay sellers are looking for other venues mainly because of the final value fee increases, including eBay Store items whose final value fee is being raised to 12%.  But doesn't Amazon charge 15%???? I sell jewelry, which is not even allowed on Amazon, but if it were, I wouldn't sell there, anyway, as their final value fees are so high, higher than eBay. I haven't figured out why people are considering this as a better alternative to eBay, when they are more expensive. I realize they have a flat fee to list unlimited items per month, but their 15% final value fee seems very high to me.

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by: Deanna

Tue Feb 19 20:59:32 2008

Afterthought.... purchases are paid directly to Amazon, who then issues payments to the seller once or twice a month or something like that, so you are saving the Paypal fees.  I guess this makes Amazon's fees comparable to the new higher eBay store listing fees of 12%. eBay's auction fv fees will be considerably lower than Amazon.

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by: Susie

Wed Feb 20 07:53:12 2008

Ina, I was one of your readers who asked if you could clarify this.  Thank you!   Why would I like to sell on Amazon?  The key word is SELL.  I could write a very lengthy diatribe regarding eBay.  Suffice to say I am a former silver powerseller since Feb 1999 who began putting eggs in several baskets last spring due to all the eBay changes, the direction I saw them going in and the negative impact on my STR and bottom line.

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by: jsicolts

Wed Feb 20 10:46:33 2008

the question We would ask is : after almost THREE years, how does one get back on selling books on amazon? we were cut off because of illness. We tried but all we get is lip service.

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by: Beady Eye Guy

Wed Feb 20 15:57:39 2008

Keep in mind folks, Amazon is higher than 15%.  I've done the math and I'd say they take closer to 18% on most media items.  BTW, I am a high volume seller doing about 4-6K/month on Amazon and 2-3K on Ebay.

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by: Beady Eye Guy

Wed Feb 20 15:59:24 2008


Not true.  Amazon payments allows you to make daily deposits in your account.  The only wait is when you sign up and there is a 14 day wait period before any money can be deposited to your account.

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by: Beady Eye Guy

Wed Feb 20 16:00:51 2008

For those interested, you can use Amazon's system (I believe) for a "webstore" offered by them.  I wonder if they will let you open your own webstore and sell jewelry (for example) there?

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by: Steve

Thu Feb 21 20:35:17 2008

One reason why sellers like Amazon is because most items sell for a higher price than they do on eBay. Even though we have almost 150K total feedback on eBay we have no chance of selling on Amazon because the jewelry categories will never be opened up.

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by: Trish

Sun Feb 24 16:04:07 2008

I wasted 3 days writing back and forth to some brain dead rep there, desperately trying to explain that I was interested in WEBSTORES BY AMAZON and NOT a pro-merchant account. Ultimately, she forced me to submit payment just to be told that I wasn't eligle for even a webstore because I sell jewelry!! What a farce!

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by: jul567

Fri May 9 11:47:37 2008

I can not sell all my new products (on Amazon) not just Electronics or Photo as they say.
Guess what? I know why they are doing this.
They just want to sell their own things first at a higher price than I sold and priced mine before.
Well, I am not going to buy from them now until they allow third-parties

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by: Bruce

Mon May 11 21:57:48 2009

You can download an excel sheet that calculates your Amazon selling price by GP dollars or GP percentage with all the fees. Download the

Amazon Pricing Calculator Excel sheet.

Great fre tool for Amazon Marketplace sellers

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