Am I approved to sell on clothing ?

I am a new seller and planning to sell a Private Label product under Clothing category. Some places mention that Clothing is under restricted. When I go to Add Product I can go to listing creation under the category my product belongs. And I see some other categories have lock icons which I cannot go into listing creation. Does that mean that I am allowed/approved for the category I am interested if I can go into product creation ? How can I make sure I wont run into problems in the future ?

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:wave: Hi @jonc and welcome to SAS! These are great questions…

Amazon is inconsistent in how it alerts Sellers to possible category and product restrictions. As you have seen, sometimes a category will be locked with a :lock: icon–but sometimes it won’t be.

  • Just because you can create a listing in a category does not necessarily mean that you are approved for that category, so you will have to make an attempt and see what happens.
  • Sometimes you are approved widely for a category but not specifically for all product types (or brands) within that category.
  • Sometimes you create a listing, make an offer, and even make a sale, before Amazon alerts you to any possible restrictions.

You can’t, really, but you can prepare yourself for handling them efficiently and effectively. A few quick tips:

  1. Since you’re going to private label, set up your company legally, register your trademarks, and secure Amazon Brand Registry before actually purchasing any product. And do extensive product research through multiple resources, not just one “do it all for you” company.

  2. Source your products from legitimate suppliers with legal clearance (per USA laws) to the product patent to resell to you for the purpose of private labeling. Just because someone sells it on Alibaba doesn’t mean they have legal rights to the design or product.

  3. Have all products sent directly to you from the supplier/manufacturer, for inspection and quality assurance, before shipping to customers or to FBA. When you private label generic products, you assume all risk and liability, becoming the de facto manufacturer. You limit your risk by in-person inspection and QA.

  4. If you’re going to use FBA, then only send a small stock of your inventory to Amazon at the beginning, while also selling FBM. This way, you’ll get a gauge of sales rate, how much you should send to FBA, and how much your FBA and storage fees might be. Plus, if there are any account or inventory problems, you limit the damage that FBA can do to your business.

  5. Save all documentation regarding all supplier, supply chain, quality assurance, and legal rights–including invoices, receipts, bills of sale, shipping information, trademark/copyright/patent documentation, product storage and packaging details, packing slips, contact information, testing, compliance, and more–and store it so that it will be easy to access and provide to Amazon when they ask for it…because they will ask for it.


Thank you very much. This is all very useful information. What kind of questions should I ask suppliers, quality inspection and shipping company ? Is there any good guidelines that I can follow ?

After all the information you gave, I guess it is always better to start with a small shipment and if gets delisted or run into problems i can write it off as a learning experience

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This is very true. Excellent statement.


Have you had any experience running a business before? Selling on Amazon is the ‘big leagues,’ and you only get one chance at an account.

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so I was able to created an inactive FBA listing without issues. I guess it is a positive step. Should I create an FBM listing ( with high price and late shipment so it would not sell ) to test if it would go active ? would there be any downsides doing an experiment like this ? would it be a good next step ?

meanwhile i will communicate with my quality assurance agent in China to find out what we could do to ensure we wont run into any problems with this product


You should never create an offer which you cannot deliver, on time. There are too many things which can go wrong.

You should also never assume because you were able to make a listing go active, that you will still be able to offer that item at the time your shipment arrives at an Amazon Fulfillment Center.

Many sellers discover they may need additional approvals by the time their item makes it to an FC to be received.

New businesses who do not already sell the items which they wish to offer on Amazon, find a much higher level of risk than many can tolerate. This site has a bias which makes it much safer for products which already exist in the marketplace and are expanding to include Amazon. And their existing sales channels allow them to avoid major losses when something goes wrong in this bureaucratic environment.

Deciding to sell private label clothing is a high risk strategy, which you should probably already know.

Not only is the competition fierce, selling products which rely on design and patterns is poorly suited for a search driven marketplace. A large advertising budget is a requirement.


I mean I can full fill if anyones buys but I am not sure why would anyone buy a horrible listing with 1 foto using late delivery with FBM. Also I am not planning to keep it up more than a few hours maybe. Just want to see if it will trigger anything from amazon ? Could it have any negative effect on my account ?

You have NOTHING TO GAIN by doing this.


Needs one of those Dogtamer nail-hammer gifs.


Thanks for the replies everyone . So I found a company that provides compliance service

According to this list my product looks fine. But I will investigate more. Has anyone used such a service to verify compliance ? Any other resources I can benefit from ?

This list is from 2020 and therefore an unreliable resource, I’m sorry to say.

I have no personal experience but vividly recollect that another (former) Amazon Seller who used a compliance service which submitted forged ungating documents on the Seller’s behalf, resulting in permanent deactivation with no chance to recover lost FBA inventory. Amazon would not accept the POA explaining that the Seller had severed all ties with the company and was even pursuing legal action against them. :grimacing:

That situation has made me wary.

Thank you very much papy

So as far as I can see I can never be sure till I start selling. So sending small inventory and see how it goes is the best solution. Asking amazon support would help in any way ? How should I phrase my questions to get the best answer ?

Your conclusion is accurate, as far as it goes.

But you might awaken any morning to find a message in your inbox telling you that you may not sell any specific item or any item on Amazon.

That is a reality of the Selling on Amazon program.

And there may or may not be a path to regain the ability to sell on Amazon.

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Nunca es tarde:



Set up two SKU’s, do NOT make them active. Set the launch date in the future and set them to “0” available.


Do not send any items to FBA. When you have samples in hand, turn on your FBM SKU by moving the launch date up, and setting the quantity to what you have in hand.

See how they sell. If it takes off, then order (or manufacture) more units and send a few to FBA.

Understand, I am giving you the mechanics, not the very good long term 10,000 foot view given by many above.

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In my 10+ year experience it would not help in any way.

In less than 5% of the time I have asked them questions they have provided the correct answer. This based on research and advice of many that you have talked to here on this forum.

Less than 20% of seller support members have actually helped us solve a problem. That number is high since Amazon Brand support, way back had a good staff and helped.

As it relates to contacting Amazon Seller Support, we have generally stopped doing so.

Said it before and will say it again.

I am tired of kissing frogs :frog: and never getting a prince :prince:.


Along with all the great advice above from seasoned Amazon sellers, be advised clothing/apparel will most likely have a 20% or higher return rate if you don’t already know. This is a very risky category for someone new. I don’t have experience in that line, but I have read hundreds of horror stories about it.



Bunch of good advice from others here.

To add to this, if this is gonna be a real business for you, you need to have your own web site, Have product in hand and take your own images of your product. Make sure your “Brand” is Unique enough not to run afoul of existing brands registered or NOT. You want to establish your Brand before you have any live listings on marketplaces. Your web site will be your repository for your images and descriptions of your products and this should make it easier to upload flat files to amazon to create your listings because you will already have the URL for your images live on the internet.

Also, you don’t want to put all your eggs in the Amazon Basket. Plan on setting up sales from your own web site, ebay, whatever other marketplace makes sense for your particular products. Amazon accounts can easily get suspended.

Before you make any listings live on Amazon you need to have product in hand. Have you gotten samples set to you yet? Do you have your GS1 barcodes?

I definitely recommend making the FBM listings first and then you can duplicate them to create your FBA listings. Don’t delete your original listings since that seems to strip the duplicates of a bunch of attributes in my experience (at least if the original and duplicate listings were created in the web interface rather than from flat file upload.)

Once you have a small quantity in hand, you can make the FBM listing active and see if any problems crop up. If everything goes smooth and you have enough product, then you could send a small quantity (like a box full) to FBA to see how it sells. If it goes well then make a bigger order.

I don’t have any experience with apparel sales. I don’t have any experience with ordering product from China. I do know when starting out, if you don’t trust your inspector over seas with your livelihood, don’t have things shipped direct to FBA, especially if you are new. You probably want to have all products shipped to YOU so that you, or your employees being supervised directly by you personally, can label and prep and package everything before sending small quantities to Amazon FBA. Also you want to have product on hand for FBM or to sell on other channels.

Take note that returns are not necessarily well inspected at FBA and almost everything seems to get returned to inventory even when Amazon claims it was customer damaged when it came back so I often worry that some customer complaints or returns could be because of items that amazon returned to my inventory that were not even the things I sell (since I have gotten FBA items returned to me that were not my products and I have as an Amazon customer received items with an LPN number on them so it was obvious it was a customer return that had been returned to inventory and not even had the LPN sticker removed or covered up.)

These are all things to take into account. Getting started on Amazon is Not nearly as quick or easy as many people like to make it seem (they are trying to sell their “courses” or advertising on YouTube or where ever.) Starting up a new business is NEVER going to be FAST/EASY. There are also never going to be Guarantees of success.

And asking Seller Support to give you an answer is also definitely not a guarantee. Seller Support doesn’t know, they usually don’t speak the language well and are just doing their best to figure out what search term to enter into their database search to find an answer they can cut and paste that will maybe make you go away and let them mark the case as closed.
If something goes wrong, claiming that Seller Support told you it was OK is not going to help you, even if you get it in writing, the seller support personnel don’t have any real authority and are mostly employees of 3rd party subcontractors. To get Seller Support to solve a problem for you, you generally need to figure out what keyword you need to use to get them to escalate to a team/party that can actually act on the instructions you give for how to fix the problem.