Pinterest Merchants and Product Guidelines: What Products Are Allowed on Pinterest?

If you’re going to use any online platform to market or sell your products, you’re going to have to abide by that platform’s rules and regulations. Pinterest is no different! 

That’s why it’s a good idea to fully understand Pinterest’s guidelines for its merchants. Having a clear picture of the rules will help you structure and design your Pinterest ads, promoted Pins, and other marketing materials so that you don’t waste time, money, or energy on strategies that break the rules.

When you abide by the rules, Pinterest rewards you — and that means more organic traffic, increased audience engagement, and, of course, more sales!

Breaking Down the Fine Print

Pinterest has published a clear set of merchant guidelines to help guide and regulate those using Pinterest for business. Pinterest expects merchants to not only follow these guidelines, but also adhere to the community guidelines and their terms of service, so check those out if you’re not familiar already.

Pinterest isn’t a shopping platform. That just isn’t what they do. But, they do know that people use Pinterest to discover new products to buy and so Pinterest’s merchant guidelines are there to make sure everyone — both buyers and sellers — have a good experience.

That means, as the merchant, it’s your job to:

  • Offer the best customer service possible
  • Set clear expectations for your customers about product quality, price, delivery times, and returns
  • Follow all laws, regulations, and industry codes
  • Handle and respond to all purchases, deliveries, customer service questions, complaints, problems, and disputes.

In general, you have to operate like a reliable, trustworthy, and upstanding business — or Pinterest reserves the right to remove your product pins, promoted pins, or even revoke access to your account completely. If you’re going to use Pinterest for marketing purposes, you need to ensure that you have the time, resources, and money to meet or exceed these expectations.

Not every business has the means to provide perfect customer service right away or offer lightning fast delivery as soon as they launch. That’s ok! The important thing with Pinterest is to be transparent, honest, and provide clear expectations for your interested customers so that everyone has the best shopping experience possible.

Pinterest makes it easy to identify and understand the exact requirements for merchants. You can find the list of requirements under “Requirements for Merchants” on their merchant guidelines page.

Prohibited Products on Pinterest

In addition to following the expectations and rules laid out for merchants, you also can’t sell just anything on Pinterest. Prohibited product Pins include a wide range of items encompassing anything from adult products to illegal, or unsafe products.

Other prohibited product Pins include:

  • Alcohol
  • Financial products like cryptocurrency
  • Counterfeit products
  • Drugs or drug related products
  • Weapons or explosives
  • Anything else prohibited under Pinterest’s Advertising Guidelines

These items are just a few, but not all, of Pinterest’s prohibited products, so be sure to check out the full list before investing time in a platform that doesn’t fit your needs if you’re trying to do something like market your own brand of wine or sell antique swords.

The Verified Merchant Program

If you follow all of those rules, meet Pinterest’s expectations, and don’t try to market anything that’s not allowed, you get access to a special benefit: The Verified Merchant Program.

It’s free to sign up and helps shoppers discover and buy from vetted merchants. It makes your brand stand out and, most importantly, establishes you as trustworthy.

You’ll get a special badge on your profile that designates you as a “Verified Merchant” and you’ll become more likely to show up across the Pinterest shopping experience. You’ll also have access to special features like the Shop Tab and the Conversions Insight Tool.

The Shop Tab lets you directly link your product catalog to your Pinterest profile so that users can shop directly from your profile. 

The Conversions Insight Tool lets you measure the total sales impact of your paid and organic Pins.

Each of these makes it easier to manage and optimize your Pinterest marketing strategy, ensuring you’re attracting new customers, generating new sales, and maximizing your time spent on Pinterest as a place to do business.

Start With the Basics

Just like you might respect the rules at a friend’s house or want to learn the local customs in a new travel destination, familiarizing yourself with the rules of any new platform you intend to conduct business on is of paramount importance. This should be step number one. 

In this way, you establish clear expectations and a firm agreement with Pinterest that you’ll conduct business according to their standard. If that’s something you can’t or are unwilling to do, then Pinterest might not be the platform for you! Either way, reading the rules is a great place to get started.

Pinterest is an amazing place to grow your business. If you follow the rules, you’ll ensure successful and uninhibited access to a truly transformative online platform.

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