amazon selling advice guide rules cosmetics lotions

Top Tips for Selling Cosmetics on Amazon

Written by: | December 4, 2017 | 2 responses


Selling through Amazon

Amazon is arguably the world’s largest online marketplace. According to Statistica, in September 2017, 187M shoppers visited Amazon online websites. Who wouldn’t want to be part of that marketplace?  However… being successful on Amazon, like any other retail channel, takes some know-how, perseverance, and adaptability. Amazon’s rules of engagement change–often without clear instructions on how you can work with them.

Getting your products approved

While we cannot guarantee Amazon will approve your products, we can help you by sharing what we and our customers have learned. First and foremost, when you list your products on Amazon, you’ll need to provide them with a number of documents about your products and business. Correctly listing your cosmetic products as ‘cosmetic’ rather than over-the-counter, will also increase your success rate in securing an approval from Amazon.  Note: As of Dec 8, 2017, Amazon categorizes all products going onto the skin as ‘topicals,’ and therefore is requiring additional documentation.


Essential Wholesale & Labs is an FDA registered cosmetic facility (Reg. No. E1002151). This means products purchased from us qualify for Amazon’s Cosmetic product category.  Essential Wholesale & Labs products do not qualify for over-the-counter (OTC), nutraceuticals, or drugs.

If you purchase from our website 

Upon request, we will provide you with the following documents you’ll need to submit to Amazon.  There is no cost for these documents.  When you contact us please provide both the order number and the lot code for the products you need documentation for. If your order is more than 180 days old, Amazon will not accept documentation and you will need to place a new order or use a more current order already in the systems.  Please allow 48 to 72 hours for us to provide documents.  You can download a couple of them from our website (see links below) to speed up your response to their request for documentation.


Most often, you will be asked to provide one of the following documents:

  • Essential’s FDA Registration Certificate  This often is all one needs to get ungated.  Download here
  • Essential’s GMP compliance statement.
  • A signed Certificate of Analysis for your product, including the lot number, ingredients, and date
  • A Safety Data Sheet for stock products and ingredients
  • A detailed invoice for each purchase, including your company, name as registered in our system, shipping address, products purchased and date of purchase

Private Label and Contract Manufacturing Customers

If you work with our custom  manufacturing and private label team, either having us develop a unique product or simply filling our stock product, you will need the following information. This is similar to what you need if you purchase from our website, however there can be a cost for one or more of these documents.


Most often, you will be asked to provide one of the following documents. Your Account Executive will work with you to provide the following documentation, as well as kitting services (if needed) for Amazon:

  • Essential’s FDA Registration Certificate (available to download here)
  • Essential’s GMP compliance statement
  • A signed Certificate of Analysis for your product, including the lot number, ingredients, and date.
  • A Safety Data Sheet for stock products and ingredients. For semi-custom or custom products, we’ll send out to a 3rd party for a custom Safety Data Sheet. Please discuss costs with your Account Executive.
  • A detailed invoice for each purchase, including your company, name as registered in our system, shipping address, products purchased and date of purchase

Kitting Services for Products Filled by Essential Wholesale & Labs through Private Label & Contract Manufacturing

Amazon has very specific requirements for products sent to their warehouse. In addition to reducing the chance of breakage and leakage, your products will need tacking stickers and be packed in specific quantities for shipment. Ask your Account Executive about Kitting for Amazon. We can wrap your glass bottles, put your finished goods into plastic bags to contain any leakage from breaks or failed seal, and we can even insert marketing materials.



Power Tip 1:  Register for the cosmetic category when selling products manufactured by Essential.

Power Tip 2: Amazon will drop your product to see if it breaks! If you’re using glass, be sure to wrap it carefully. Leaking product will be rejected, so you also want to consider adding a pressure or heat seal, shrink bands and an outer poly bag.

Power Tip 3: If Amazon asks for an FDA Orange Sheet, this means they think you are requesting to list an over-the-counter, topical or drug. This includes sunscreens.  Essential is NOT an over-the-counter manufacturer and can’t provide an Orange Sheet.

Power Tip 4: Amazon requires three invoices within a specific time frame (maximum of 180 days old) to bring new products on to their platform. Please review their most current rules and plan your purchases to meet them.

Power Tip 5:  If you include marketing material in your product packaging, be sure to review Amazon’s cross-marketing requirements. Sending customers to your website for additional products and offers is not allowed.

Power Tip 6: Be persistent. Amazon wants to provide their — and your — customers with a great experience. The rules evolve and can seem random at times.  Review Amazon Seller Forums for other people’s experiences. Get involved in the conversation, watch Amazon-provided videos and keep positive. Amazon’s rules evolve and if you’re engaged in the conversation, you won’t be caught off guard.

Power Tip 7: Talk with your tax accountant! When you ship to Amazon warehouses, you’re creating a tax nexus in each state where your products are stored.  This has potential tax implications for your entire business.  Check out this Wall Street Journal ( article for additional information.

Power Tip 8: Amazon has added PRIME to their Seller Fulfilled service. So, if you want to manage the shipping, and not send your inventory to Amazon, you can now still offer Prime.  Check out their videos and info in your Seller Central account.

Power Tip 9: Know the cut-off dates!  Amazon has cut off dates each year for participating in Prime Day, the holiday season, and other special events. Plan ahead getting your product and ingredients ordered as the weeks before these cut-off dates get busy for your manufacturer, packaging and label suppliers.

Power Tip 10: Communicate with your customers through Seller Central. Reviews are powerful on Amazon and if your customer has a good, or bad experience, you’ll want to be sure you are in the know, and getting the right comments on your page.



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