Today, the Amazon Marketplace sells more than 600 million products, but there is definitely a lengthy list of restrictions on what you can and can’t sell to consumers.
Some products are banned for obvious reasons like endangered animals, explosive devices, or human remains (gross!)
But what about baby formula, antique coins, or surveillance equipment?
It gets even more complicated when we start talking about selling in categories such as makeup or dietary supplements (the list of restrictions is pretty astonishing in these verticals).
If you’ve ever had to ask yourself – can I sell this on Amazon? We’ve got the ultimate list of what you are restricted to sell on the Marketplace today.
List of Products You Can’t Sell on Amazon:
Amazon doesn’t necessarily restrict all types of alcohol (for example, there’s some exceptions for wine) but keep in mind if you supply alcoholic products for sale on Amazon, you must comply with all federal, state, and local laws and Amazon policies applicable to those products and product listings.
Permitted Listings include:
- Wine sold by pre-approved sellers
- Wine and beer making kits and products that do not contain alcohol
- Alcohol-related accessories and products, including corkscrews, decanters and containers
- Alcohol-related memorabilia and collectibles that do not contain alcohol
Prohibited Listings include:
- Alcoholic beverages (except from pre-approved wine sellers)
- Liquor licenses
- Any product marketed for customers over 21 years of age
- Any product that encapsulates raw alcohol
Animals & Animal Products
- Live shellfish and crustaceans
- Live insects and worms used for agricultural purposes, bait, or pet food
- Products made to resemble prohibited animal parts or products, but which are not made from those animals. If the listing includes a clear title and description that the item is not genuine; for example, faux tortoise shell is permitted if the listing states the item is fake or artificial.
- Animal parts or products that are not otherwise restricted, such as:
- Shark teeth jewelry
- Animal feces
- Most live creatures, such as: pets, livestock, or marine mammals
- Illegal wildlife products
- Fish or wildlife that are taken, possessed, transported, or sold in violation of the Lacey Act
- Insects or other creatures designated as “plant pests”
- Parts or products, including fur and feathers, from federally endangered or threatened species – click here to learn more.
Art – Fine Art
According to Amazon, whether you’re selling an edition of lithographs, 18th century oil paintings, or contemporary mixed media work, accurate data is crucial to discoverability and sales in Amazon Fine Art.
Providing a clear and concise listing while following a consistent format will better inform customers and enhance discoverability of your art.
For this category in particular, sellers are required to obtain approval from Amazon before listing in this category. For more information, see: Categories and Products Requiring Approval
- One of a kind paintings, watercolors, drawings, and two-dimensional mixed media
- A print or photograph in a limited edition with the following requirements:
- In an edition of 200 or less
- The only edition of the work published in that size (the same image can also have editions of up to 200 in other sizes)
- The prints should be numbered (X/XX) and signed, or accompanied by a certificate of authenticity signed by the artist and stating the number of the print (X/XX)
- Artist proofs or color test proofs (CTP) are allowed for editions of less than 200
- Secondary-sale works (artwork with a sales history): Works must be authenticated by the seller; the seller must have proof of purchase or title for the work and provide it to the buyer; listings should include provenance (with sales history) where applicable.
- Ex-libris prints are qualified for the site, but they must have a named artist, be hand-signed or numbered and from an edition of less than 200.
- Three dimensional artwork, such as sculptures
- Textile or anthropological or archaeological-based art (for example, Navajo blankets or Arts and Crafts textiles )
The following types of artworks do not qualify for the Amazon Fine Art category:
- Artwork without a named artist
- Artwork that is a mass-produced or commercial work that has been hand-painted (also called “brush to canvas”)
- Artwork that was created as a reproduction of an existing work; the artist did not deliberately make more than one version of the same artwork (such as artist Edvard Munch did with The Scream) even if there is a named artist or the artwork otherwise meets the requirements above.
- Giclée print on canvas
- Promotional posters or advertisements even if they otherwise meet the requirements above
- Artwork in a limited edition that consists of any of the following:
- Estate signed or estate editions
- Plate signed editions
- Creative Commons images or editions: CC
- An edition of over 200, even if numbered and hand signed or otherwise meeting the requirements above
- Open editions, even if hand signed or otherwise meeting the requirements above
- Products related to art, but that are not artworks themselves (for example, books about or containing art, posters of artwork, artwork printed on clothing, and decorative mousepads)
Art – Home Decor
- Exact replicas or reproductions of artwork if the listing includes the word “reproduction” in the title and the description
- Genuine artwork for which the seller has and can provide evidence of authenticity
- Artwork for which the seller clearly and prominently discloses its condition, alterations and conservation or repairs in the listing description
- Unauthorized copies or reproductions of artwork that violate any copyright or trademark
Automotive and Powersports
- New catalytic converters that are certified to conform to the Clean Air Act standards
- New tires
- Automotive batteries
- Portable fuel containers certified by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
- Motor vehicles that are required to be registered
- Photo blocker sprays or license plate covers designed to block detection by red light cameras, toll both systems, police cameras, or other photo detection sources
- Products intended to defeat, bypass, or shut down emission control devices, including oxygen simulators and CAT, DPF or EGR delete kits
- Products intended to override malfunction indicator lights
- High-intensity discharge (HID) conversion kits
- Used tires
- Products intended to affect traffics signals
- Products designed to intentionally block, jam, or interfere with licensed or authorized radio communications, such as:
- Cell jammers
- GPS jammers
- Laser jammers
- PCS jammers
- Radar jammers
- Wi-Fi jammers
- Products intended to alter odometers
- and more.
Composite Wood Products
Products containing certain types of composite wood—hardwood plywood, medium-density fiberboard (including thin-MDF), or particleboard (together, “regulated composite wood”)—are subject regulation, including by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
Composite Wood Products Permitted Listings:
- Products containing regulated composite wood that comply with EPA formaldehyde emissions standards and labeling requirements.
Composite Wood Products Prohibited Listings:
- Products containing regulated composite wood that do not comply with EPA formaldehyde emissions standards.
- Products containing regulated composite wood that are not individually labeled in accordance with EPA regulation.
Cosmetics & Skin/Hair Care
Cosmetics and skin or hair care products must be correctly described and labeled, and they must not be otherwise prohibited by Amazon policies. You can use this handy checklist provided by Amazon to be sure your product can be sold on the Marketplace.
Amazon specifically prohibits the following cosmetic products*
*Keep in mine this list does not include all cosmetic products prohibited by Amazon. Check for updates here.
- Corrective and cosmetic contact lenses
- Obagi Nu-Derm Sunfader
- Obagi Nu-Derm Clear
- Obagi Nu-Derm Blender
- Obagi Elastiderm Decolletage Skin Lightening Complex
- Obagi C-Therapy Nightcream
- Obagi RX System Clarifying Serum
- Products that contain minoxidil in excess of 5%
- Brazilian Blowout Acai Professional Smoothing Solution
- Halogenated salicylanilides
- Methylene chloride
- Vinyl chloride in aerosol products
- Zirconium-containing complexes in aerosol products
- Synthol, Synthrol, or Swethol posing oil
Currency, Coins, Cash Equivalents, and Gift Cards
Sellers are required to obtain approval from Amazon before listing in the Collectible Coins category. For more information, see this seller Help page: Collectible Coins.
- Collectible Coins
- Monetized Bullion: Coins or other forms of money manufactured of gold, silver, or other precious metal and used now or hereafter used as a medium of exchange under the laws of a U.S. state, the United States, or any foreign nation. The medium of exchange must have had a legal status equivalent to legal tender that include relevant information known about the items:
- Numismatic preservation
- Country of circulation of a coin
- Clear image of the item
- Grader and Grade
- Date of issue
- Metal composition
- Purity of the metal if the item is monetized bullion
- Restrikes produced or authorized by the issuing government
- Collectible coins or monetized bullion that are reproductions, replicas, or copies and satisfy the following conditions as well as comply with the Counterfeit Deterrence Act of 1992:
- Marked as such on the item
- Contain a clear image of the mark
- State that the item is a reproduction, replica, or copy in the title and the description
The following are never permitted for sale on Amazon:
- Items considered legal tender that have been altered outside of numismatic preservation.
- This includes holograms, overlays, cladding, plating, or colorizing
- Paper money, including uncut sheets, bank notes, money orders, bricks, and certificates
- Imitation and prop money that is not conspicuously marked “Copy” including:
- Paper money
- Commemorative medals
- Rounds made primarily of precious metal
- “Unsearched” bags, rolls, tubes, jars, or hoards where the buyers cannot identify clearly the items they will receive
- Counterfeit coins and paper money such as bank notes, bonds, money orders, silver certificates, and gold certificates
- Stocks and securities
- Equipment designed to create counterfeit items
- Cash or cash equivalent instruments, including money orders, traveler’s checks, stored value products like retail or open loop gift cards or electronic stored-value redemption codes (except for retail gift cards listed by pre-approved sellers)
- Gift cards, including:
- Gift cards, except retail gift cards listed by pre-approved sellers
- Retail gift cards that exceed $2,000 in value
View all restrictions on Coins, Cash, & Gift Cards.
Dietary supplements are vitamins, minerals, herbs, or other substances (like amino acids or fatty acids) eaten to supplement the diet. They often come in forms like tablets, capsules, softgels, gelcaps, powders, and liquids.
Supplements must be correctly described and labeled, and they must not be prohibited by Amazon policies. Amazon provides a checklist to be sure your product can be sold on Amazon. You can also find the lengthy list of permitted and prohibited supplements listed here.
Drugs & drug paraphernalia
- Drugs approved for over-the-counter purchase that are not otherwise prohibited by Amazon policies and are appropriately described and labeled.
- Illegal drugs and narcotics, such as:
- Gamma hydroxybutyrate (GHB)
- Products that simulate the effects of any illegal drug, such as marijuana, hallucinogens, and opium-based drugs.
View all restrictions on drugs & drug paraphernalia
- Radar detectors certified by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC)
- Scanning receivers and radios certified by the FCC
- Low-power radio transmitters
- Extended coverage high frequency transceivers
- Cordless telephones certified by the FCC
- Class I lasers (such as CD players), Class IM lasers (such as DVD players), Class II lasers (e.g. bar code scanners – limited to 1 mW), and Non-handheld Class 3R lasers (for example, certain laser light show projectors limited to 5 mW and under and bore sights and gun sight lasers)
- Video game controllers that modify rather than replace existing technology in a video game
- Products intended to affect traffic signals
- Products where the serial number has been removed or altered
- Power amplifiers used with CB radios
Explosives, Weapons, Export Controls and Related Items
The following examples of permitted and prohibited listings are not exhaustive, but should be instructive in evaluating products for listing and sale.
See here for more information on export controls per Amazon regulations.
Food & Beverage
- Properly prepared and sealed foods and beverages that are appropriately packaged and labeled. Products need to be shipped appropriately to protect the quality and safety of the food, to avoid spoilage, melting, damage, and so on.
- All food packaging must include the following:
- Product name
- Name and address of the packaging company
- Expiration date
- Net content quantity and weight (the weight of the contents, not including any packaging)
- Lot-controlled products with a shelf-life of greater than 90 days.
- Perishable products must be removed from inventory 50 days before the expiration date.
- For Amazon-fulfilled orders (FBA), units within 50 days of expiration will be removed for disposal and will not be available for return.
- Unregistered infant formula
- Goat’s milk infant formula
- HIPP formula and milk products
- Products containing any meat imported from China
- Betel nut products or products containing betel nut flavoring
- Kaffir lime leaves imported from Thailand
- See Selling Custom Variety Packs of Single-Serve Hot Beverage Products for additional Grocery & Gourmet Food guidelines.
You can also find a full list of requirements for chilled and frozen foods here.
Gambling & Lottery
- Non-functional slot machines created solely for display or as toys
- Lottery tickets
- Coin-operated slot machines
- Slot machines that can be converted to use coins or currency
Hazardous and Dangerous Items
If listing a permitted but hazardous item, sellers must ensure they are shipping the item in compliance with Department of Transportation requirements and applicable laws.
- Batteries that do not contain mercury
- Rechargeable batteries
- Portable fuel containers certified by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
- Products containing Bisphenol A (BPA)
- Items containing Carbon Tetrachloride, such as:
- Fire extinguishers
- Cleaning agents
- Any chemical substance or compound that is intended for commercial, industrial, or professional use only and is not available for general consumer purchase
- Explosives, such as:
- Black powder
- Caps for toy guns
- Explosive fuses
- Exploding rifle targets
- and more
Human Parts & Burial Artifacts
- Human skulls, bones, and skeletons that are for medical purposes and are permitted for sale in the area that the product is sold
Human hair, such as wigs.
- Human body parts, such as:
- Human remains
- Human waste and bodily fluids
- Historical grave markers or tombstones
- Native American burial items
- Artifacts removed from Native American land, federal or state land, or a battlefield site
Jewelry & Precious Gems
- Gold or silver products that are not stamped in compliance with applicable laws
- Products that do not comply with the FTC’s Guides for the Jewelry, Precious Metals, and Pewter Industries
- Irradiated gemstones, unless sale has been authorized by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission
- Diamonds that do not comply with the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme
- Clarity-enhanced white diamonds
- Glass-filled rubies
Amazon’s policies require that certain laser products sold through the Amazon website meet specified certification standards. In order to sell these products on Amazon, you must apply by sending the following information to [email protected]
- Company name
- Seller ID
- Email address
- Phone number
- A list of laser products ASINs you are applying to sell
- Documentation of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) accession number for each of the ASINs you are applying to sell
- A document from a nationally recognized testing laboratory (NRTL) that shows evidence that your product was tested according to the standard listed in the table below
- Lighting products that comply with all applicable federal, state, and local laws and are not otherwise prohibited by Amazon policy.
- Incandescent light bulbs that violate applicable energy efficiency standards.
Lock Picking & Theft Devices
- Blank keys
- Lock picking or locksmithing devices, such as:
- Autolock bypass keys or jigglers
- Concealed handcuff keys
- Digital decoders
- Lock picking cards and lock picking guns
- Lock picking sets
- Tension bars
- Training locks
- Try-out keys
- Tubular lock picks
- Devices designed to duplicate a key
- Shoplifting devices, including sensormatic detachers
- Card skimming devices
- Code grabbing devices
- Master keys or skeleton keys
Medical devices and accessories
- Medical devices that are authorized by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for over-the-counter purchase that are not otherwise restricted and are appropriately described and labeled
- Eyeglass frames
- Tanning devices
- Ionized or ionic bracelets
- Personal Sound Amplification Products (PSAPs)
Products that require a prescription or a medical professional’s supervision or direction are considered “restricted” by Amazon and may only be sold to appropriately licensed healthcare customers who have Amazon Business accounts.
If you are interested in selling your product in this way, please email [email protected] to request more information about Amazon’s Professional Health Care Program.
The following listings are prohibited for any seller not authorized to sell restricted medical products through the Professional Health Care Program.
More Amazon Restricted Items:
Offensive and Controversial Materials
Plants, Plant Products, and Seeds
Postage Meters & Stamps
FBA Prohibited Products exceptions
Sex & Sensuality
Subscriptions and Periodicals
Tobacco & Tobacco-Related Products
Warranties, Service Plans, Contracts, and Guarantees
More Restricted Products
To learn more about what you can’t sell on Amazon, email [email protected]