Wondering how to sell supplements on Amazon? The ecommerce sales on this platform topped $400 billion in 2020, a number that continues to grow at a breakneck pace due to the pandemic.
In fact, the pandemic has increased the interest in supplements in the last two years. In the midst of challenging times, consumers are more conscious about health supplements and vitamins.
The supplement category on Amazon is quite versatile. It ranges from medical supplies to essential oils to beauty products. The category named “immunity supplements” reached $623 million in 2020 alone. The way things are going, it seems like this is the best time to sell supplements on Amazon.
Now that you know all this, you’re probably tempted to start selling. But, don’t rush into it. There is a process and rules for selling supplements on Amazon, set for security and safety of consumers. You need Amazon’s dietary supplements approval and approval for a gated category.
If you want to learn how to sell supplements on Amazon – and fast, keep reading this article.
Things You Should Know about Selling Supplements on Amazon
Amazon has tens of thousands of listings for supplements, which makes for an incredibly competitive environment for sellers.
There are tons of brands that launch their products in this category after they receive Amazon’s dietary supplements approval. If you do it right, you can enjoy tremendous success due to the high traffic on the website and consumer’s trust in Amazon.
Can You Make Money Selling Supplements?
Many predictions point to this as a brilliant opportunity to earn some money. According to eMarketer, the ecommerce sale of supplements online is projected to top an incredible sum of $85 billion by the end of this year!
This might not all happen on Amazon’s pages, but with massive supplement search volume already on Amazon, plus the ability to acquire external traffic using tools like Amazon Attribution, it’s safe to say there’s some money to be made.
Is It Legal To Sell Supplements Online?
While it isn’t necessarily illegal to sell supplements on Amazon, these usually fall into what Amazon considers a gated category. Seeing how there are plenty of products in this category that are unsafe to use, unapproved, and counterfeited, Amazon works hard to reduce the risks for its users.
It’s only expected – with all the fake jewelry, pirated Blu-rays, knockoff watches, and creams that are untested, it’s hard to know what option is safe for you. This is why Amazon is so popular – because they put a great deal of effort into ensuring that the things sold there are legitimate.
Gated vs Ungated Categories on Amazon
There are three categories for restrictions on Amazon: brand, condition, and category.
The most stringent restrictions are set on entire categories. It’s just like it sounds – Amazon will only allow you to sell in a restricted category if you apply and get their approval to do so. These categories are gated categories.
Ungated categories, on the other hand, are open for all sellers and don’t require any approval. However, they can still come with some brand and product restrictions. For example, Disney and Nike will have their brands protected, and people who want to sell their things online will need approval.
If you’re selling something from a brand and Amazon requires permission, you need one from the brand and after that – one from Amazon.
Finally, there are the restrictions that refer to the product’s condition. In the Toys category, for example, it is not allowed to sell used toys.
At this point, you should know that Supplements are a gated category which means that, no matter what you plan to sell within its range, you need approval from Amazon.
The Complete Guide on How to Sell Supplements on Amazon
Now we’ve come to the most important thing – learning how to get approved to sell supplements on Amazon. In order to get approval, you need to learn about the requirements the platform has for sellers, as well as the necessary documentation that will get you approved.
Amazon Requirements for Gated Category Approval: How to Ask for It
If you are reading this, you’ve come across some restrictions or simply want to be prepared. Getting an Amazon dietary supplements approval is not hard if you know what is asked of you.
In some cases, this will be automatically approved, which happens without notice and randomly. Amazon hasn’t shared details about when this applies and for which categories it will work.
But we have a pretty good idea what can boost your chances at getting an approval.
Your success with the Automatic Approvals system is most likely based on your seller metrics and the age of your account. If Amazon already trusts you as an honest and safe seller, they might be willing to give you a chance without asking you to jump through hoops for an approval.
Still, you first need to try to see if you’ll get an automatic approval. Getting an approval is easy if you follow these steps:
1. Click on “Add a product”
You’ll find this in Seller Central under the inventory link. When you get there, search for the item you want to sell. If you are unsure, pick any product that you know is listed in the gated category.
2. Find the Limitations
When you find an item that has restrictions, you’ll see this mentioned under the Limitations. Click the Show Limitations link that appears across from the item.
3. Request Approval
At this point, you should see a button for “Request Approval”. Just click on it to begin the application process.
Once you do this, the process of approval will begin. This can differ depending on the category and products you are trying to sell. If you got it right away, you’ll receive a positive response from Amazon.
What Do You Need to Sell Supplements on Amazon?
Unless you’ve spent a lot of time selling on Amazon, chances are you’ll still need to provide some information to get the supplements approval. You can check the status of the application at any moment, and you’ll receive a notification on e-mail when you are approved.
Dietary supplements is a gated category with strict requirements for approvals. The Terms of Service in this category has changed tremendously over the past few months due to the growth of sales and the pandemic.
We cannot emphasize enough how important it is to keep your seller account up to date with the changing policies since these are expected to change even more in the months that follow.
But, let’s get you started for now.
To be able to sell supplements on Amazon, make sure you have the following:
- Professional seller account
If you don’t have one already, create a new seller account as soon as possible.
- Clean track record
If the account you’ve been using has canceled orders and many late deliveries, you might want to consider opening a new one. This can seriously harm your chances at getting an approval.
- Qualified invoice
Amazon will want to know where you’re getting your supplements from. The best way to prove this is to obtain a copy of an invoice from your suppliers. The invoice must include the exact same name and address from your Amazon seller account, and not be older than 180 days from the date you applied to sell supplements on Amazon. Also, make sure that the name and address of the supplier is included in the invoice.
- Photos of the product
Amazon will ask you for photos of your dietary supplements on sale. You’ll need quality images of all sides of the container. Don’t grab them from the Internet – this will make it much harder for you to get the approval. Make sure that the images are clear and show the product name, trademark, model number, and manufacturer name.
- Other documents
Finally, Amazon will require some additional documents to give you the approval. Here is a full list of them:
- National Labeling of Dietary Supplements (21 CFR 101.36)
- Current Good Manufacturing Practice or cGMP for dietary supplements (21 CFR 111)
- Current Good Manufacturing Practice, Hazard Analysis, and Risk Based Preventative Controls for Human Food (21 CFR 117)
Before November 2021, sellers could use their old CoAs to get approval, but this has changed. You’ll need to order new ones to send to Amazon, and you’ll need certificates on all ingredients in proprietary blends.
As a result of the new changes in the approval requirements, it is safe to say that most herbal supplement products will have new labels in the months that follow to meet these requirements. If you plan to sell weight loss, sexual enhancement products, and products for weight management, you’ll need additional CoAs for some controlled substances, too.
How to Get Approved to Sell Supplements on Amazon: Short Checklist
The best thing you can do to simplify the process is collect all the documents you need at once. To make your process easier, we’ve created a complete list of all the required documentation you will need to get Amazon’s dietary supplements approval:
Documents for All the Dietary Supplements
For every dietary supplement you want to sell, you need to submit the following:
- The product is sealed in the original packaging from the manufacturer
- All supplements are unused and new
- Every supplement image displays the identifying codes on the packaging such as lot numbers, matrix codes, and serial numbers
Labeling and detail pages
- Every label and detail page is in English and includes: the name of the supplement, the total quantity in the package, a “Supplement Facts” panel, the list of ingredients, and the name and address of the manufacturer, distributor, and/or packer
- Detail pages do not include any disease name
- The label does not claim that the product has the same effect as prescription drugs or controlled substances
- The label and detail pages do not state that the product will treat, cure, prevent, or mitigate a disease unless this is FDA approved
- The label and detail pages do not claim that the product is FDA approved or use the FDA logo if this is not the case
- The label does not state: “ not for retail sale”, “tester” and/or “not intended for resale”
- Detail pages do not claim that the product has a similar effect to that of legal steroids or anabolic steroids
Supplement name and ingredients
- Supplements must not be named in a safety alert or an FDA recall
- Supplements must not contain FDA-prohibited ingredients
- Supplements must not be identified as adulterated or/and misbranded
- Supplements must be safe to use and cannot be FDA-restricted as an unreasonable risk, or named by the FTC for making untrue marketing claims
- Supplements must not contain any controlled substances such as cannabidiol, List I chemicals as designated by the DEA, etc.
- Products must not contain ingredients derived from whales, sharks, porpoises, and/or dolphins
- Products must not contain more than 12% hydrogen peroxide
- Sellers cannot market or sell patches marked as detox or dietary products
The lists in this article might seem lengthy, but following them gives you a great chance to earn high revenue by selling supplements on Amazon. Seeing how this is one of the most-visited, most-trusted platform by millions of users worldwide, it gives you an opportunity for a wide reach and amazing lead generation.
You should definitely try your luck and see if you’ll get an Automated Approval by Amazon, but even if you don’t, there’s no need to worry. If you follow the detailed steps here, you’ll easily learn how to sell supplements on Amazon –and get an approval fast. Good luck!