August 5, 2012

Pinterest: The Price Tag Dilemma

Whether you're a Pinterest newbie or a Pinterest junkie, you probably follow someone who pins products to their boards. When you see an item with a price banner in the upper left corner, you can click through to a page where you can purchase that item. Perfect! Maybe you assumed that items without price tags were free, but I'll bet it only took a few minutes of clicking through on unlabeled pins to find out that not all products are marked with price tags. So what's the deal?

Pinterest is a fairly new social network, and it's a work in progress just like other social networks. When I first started, the accepted Pinterest etiquette was to put a price tag on an item if your pin linked to a product page. I also learned that it's not polite to use Pinterest as a huge online advertising billboard for your products, but that you should pin lots of free content, too. I've religiously tried to follow both of those Pinterest guidelines, and maybe that's why I have accumulated over 10,000 followers in less than a year. All of my boards are school-themed, so if you like to see teacher materials in your Pinterest feed, feel free to check out my Pinterest boards!

The Dilemma
However, as much as followers like price tags, Pinterest users have recently begun to realize that putting price tags on pins is a flawed system. Why? Well, when someone repins that item to their own board, the price tag is permanent while the actual price of the item may change. Imagine that next month I revise one of my ebooks, add a lot of new content, and raise the price. But the 200 people who already repinned that item to their own board are going to see the old price, and they might be disappointed when they click through later and realize it now costs more.

Because of this problem, I'm adopting a new policy regarding how I let my followers know that one of my items has a price. Instead of adding the exact price to the description which automatically generates a price banner, I'm just going to put a plain $ sign in the description to let you know that it's not free. No, I'm not trying to be tricky! However, I don't want you to be disappointed later if my prices change.

One thing I will not be changing, though, is that I'll still be posting a lot of free content from my website and blog on my boards, and I'll be repinning other great free content from teachers I follow on Pinterest. If you don't already follow my boards, click this link to get started! What are your thoughts on the price tag dilemma?


  1. Thank you for the information! I didn't realize that the price stayed the same on repins even if adjusted later. Your solution seems like a good idea.

    Mrs. Allen’s 5th Grade Files

  2. Good thoughts, Laura... I've gone back and forth on this myself. I do like the idea of at least indicating that an item is priced. Your solution has the added benefit of no banner blocking the product image!

    Linda Nelson
    Primary Inspiration

  3. Go Laura! You have a great solution to this problem. Thanks for sharing. I'm heading to Pinterest right now to change as many pins as I can.

    1. Thanks, Barb! Unfortunately you won't be able to revise your pins. You have to delete them and start from scratch. I found that out the hard way!

  4. I didn't know it was proper etiquette to indicate that your pin had a cost associated with it. Thank you for letting me know that!


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