Amazon is an online retail site that draws in an average of over 200 million unique visitors per month worldwide. There is no better online marketplace in terms of traffic, customer base, and potential volume of sales than Amazon. However, the Automotive & Powersports category on this website is restricted – sellers need to get Amazon’s approval to offer their products to the public. So, how do you get approved to sell auto parts and accessories on Amazon?
Amazon indeed has a slew of requirements in place for its future retailers. These requirements have the purpose of providing the best possible customer experience while at the same time ensuring that no one tries to sell stolen car parts or other illegal equipment (such as tools for modifying odometer readings or picking and deactivating car locks).
Here is what you should know about Amazon’s strict requirements for the Automotive & Powersports category and how you can breeze past them to open your Amazon store.
There are dozens of conditions that future sellers must fulfill to qualify for a space in Amazon’s gated categories. Here are some of the most important ones:
- The seller must have an independent website for their auto parts business for review or be a Professional Seller on Amazon. The Professional Selling plan costs about $39.99 per month.
- Products must be listed using the universal product code (UPC) if the manufacturer uses them. (All major vehicle brands do.)
- The fitment data and listings must comply with local, state, federal, and international laws and regulations.
- If you’re selling refurbished products, they must come with a warranty either by the manufacturer or the remanufacturer. Sellers for these products must disclose whether the warranty is of the manufacturer or their own.
- All product images must be in line with Amazon’s criteria and demands.
- Suppose you’re selling products and accessories only for specific vehicles, such as floor mats, seat covers, brake pads, seat belts, interior accessories, etc. In that case, you should review Amazon’s Part Finder and Fitment Data page. (You should check it anyway, just in case.)
On Amazon, you cannot simply upload any images for your products. They must be compliant product images; otherwise, Amazon won’t accept your items. Furthermore, customers like to see clear, high-resolution photos of products from different angles, so they know they are investing their money in the right aftermarket parts.
There are several things to keep in mind when obtaining images for your inventory.
- The files need to be in the .tif/.tiff, .jpeg/.jpg, .gif, or .png format.
- Their color mode should be either sRGB or CMYK.
- The dimensions of either the height or the width should be at least 1000 pixels.
- The filename for each image should contain a product identifier (such as the UPC, JAN, ASIN, EAN, or 13-digit ISBN). It shouldn’t have any dashes, spaces, or additional characters; otherwise, the filename cannot make it online.
- No illustrations or product drawings. The image should be a professional photo of the product or cover art. You must not include any additional objects in the picture that may be confusing for the visitor.
- A pure white background is crucial.
You can either take the product pictures yourself or choose to hire a professional photographer. Whatever you decide, make sure that the product is in focus and taking up at least 85% of the image frame. Natural lighting is your best option, as is avoiding color filters or photo edits of any kind. You want the images to represent the products as realistically as possible. That also means staying away from graphics, inset images, or text that could overlap with the product image.
Refurbished or Pre-Owned Parts
Amazon doesn’t have a ‘used parts’ category. Instead, you are selling refurbished automotive parts. Getting into this Amazon subcategory is extremely difficult and comes with its own set of standards and rules.
To be approved for selling refurbished vehicle parts, you need to supply invoices totaling at least $50,000 in refurbished purchases in the last 180 days. Don’t forget that a warranty is essential, even (or especially for) a refurbished product!
The Automotive category on Amazon is not the only restricted area. This online sales channel requires separate approval for sellers who want to sell specific brand parts. For example, if you’re going to sell genuine parts from BMW, you need to provide extensive documentation, such as supplier invoices and maybe even a letter of authorization from the manufacturer.
So if you wish to sell genuine brand parts, you first need to obtain approval for the Automotive & Powersports category and then a separate authorization for specific car brand’s products.
A big part of Amazon’s appeal is that it offers customers a wide range of compatible components. As an auto parts seller, you must provide a list of vehicles that your parts are compatible with so that customers can cross-reference them against their own vehicles.
However, here is the tricky part: you have a limited number of compatible vehicles you can include in your product listings. Even if your product can fit into 10,000 vehicles of different make and model, you need to prioritize which ones you will put in your parts catalog. This requires research – finding out which vehicles are the most common – and fine-tuning until you’re happy with your compatibility selection.
Additionally, you could also mention with what vehicles your parts are not compatible. This will discourage buyers from taking chances if they don’t see the car they’re interested in in your data.
In the automotive aftermarket industry, online retailers aren’t focused only on one sales channel. For your business to truly thrive, you need to invest in many different avenues. Consider selling spare parts not only on Amazon but also on eBay, Walmart, and through your business website!
In fact, a website will go a long way in helping you get approved for Amazon. It is additional confirmation that you are running a legitimate business – especially if you are successfully closing sales through the website.
So don’t be hesitant to share the URL of your store website with Amazon! It will benefit both you and your customers, who will be able to read more about the parts and accessories they’re after on your site. You can also offer better customer service through your website and connect with your buyers on a deeper level.
The Process of Getting Approved
Once you’ve read through all of Amazon’s requirements, guidelines, and instructions, and you’re confident that you’ve gathered all the relevant information, listings, and images, you can start the process of getting approved.
To do this, you have to fill in a Contact Us form on Seller Central. Supply all the important data and files you have, including any significant invoices or the URL of your business website. Typically, it doesn’t take longer than three business days for Amazon to respond via email. They will either approve your request or ask for additional documentation.
It happens rarely, but there is a chance that they might reject your application if you’ve failed to meet their standards.
Establishing an Amazon auto accessories and parts store is a multistep process. One of the first steps is to get approval from Amazon to access the Automotive & Powersports category. Without that, you cannot become one of the auto parts retailers on this platform.
To acquire Amazon’s approval, you need to meet their standards, such as using UPCs for products, issuing warranties, making sure your fitment data is according to the law, and that you are subscribed to Amazon’s Professional Selling plan. Your images need to be of the right size and quality, and there are strict rules to the edits you can make.
A second approval is required if you want to trade in parts made by specific brands. Furthermore, if you’re selling refurbished parts, you need to prove to Amazon that you had at least $50,000 in total sales over the last 180 days.
Finally, having a separate business website where you potentially already made some sales will significantly aid your approval process. Amazon likes to help legitimate businesses branch out and increase their revenue, and your website will convince them that you are not a scammer in any way.
MyFitment is here to assist you with getting through this seemingly daunting process. Reach out to us if you have any questions, and we’d love to lend a hand in expanding your business to Amazon as well!