Pin sale etiquette

Today we’re talking pin sale etiquette, that is, how to properly behave when taking part in or conducting a pin sale!

Now, this post comes with a big caveat that not everyone will share these opinions, and if you’re taking part in a pin sale that has specific rules or guidelines, you should 100% follow them, but we like to think of this article as an excellent place to start.
What is a pin sale?

First, what do we even mean by pin sale? A pin sale is when someone sells pins for a fixed price, so we aren’t talking about a pin opp or a game like Pingo. This is a straight-up “I have these pins, they cost this much, who wants them?”.

Pin sales often take place on social media, on places like Instagram or Facebook.

They can take the form of;

  • Live sales, where someone is selling pins live to the first person who claims them
  • Feed sales, where someone adds pictures to their feed and people can comment or message to claim
  • Story sales, where someone adds a story which you can reply to claim

Regardless of the form, there is some basic etiquette that is good to follow.

If you put on pin sales or attend regular ones and want to see more people at them, be sure to add them to our pin events page, it is entirely free, and it will help more people in the community know about the sale!

Pin sale etiquette for the buyer

If you are buying pins from someone, here is our advice to be a good member of the community;

What you see on your screen is not what the seller sees. Because of the way the websites work, your comment might appear to show up first. However, the seller can only go by what they see, which may be different. Try and understand that you may lose pins you thought you had.

Only claim what you can afford to buy. It is not up to the seller to keep tabs on how much money you are spending. If you have a budget, it is up to you to make sure you don’t go over it.

Don’t claim for other people. If you see a pin that someone else would want, you can certainly buy it for them! But don’t claim assuming that they are going to pay.

Only claim what you want. Often called putbacks, some people will change their minds and decide not to buy something. During feed sales, where there can be multiple comments claiming a pin, the next person might be able to win it, but during a live sale, the seller can’t find the “next” person if you decide you don’t want it after. Make sure you really want the pin you’re buying.

Try to keep comments relevant. The comments sections of a sale can get busy very quickly. Having conversations in the comments section can clutter up the view for everyone, including the seller who is trying to see who wants to buy something.

Don’t spam comments. There is often a delay between you posting a comment and the seller seeing it. Repeating your comment over and over again will clutter the feed. If you can see your comment wasn’t seen after a few minutes during a live, posting it one more time should suffice.

Be descriptive. Some sellers will have numbers or letters beside each pin. If they do, use that; if not, try and be descriptive. Typing “sold Minnie” can be confusing when there are several pins containing Minnie, usually calling out a couple of features is enough “Sold Minnie and Figaro dancing”.

Pay quickly. Once the seller has contacted you with the final price, you should pay them as soon as possible. Most sellers aren’t selling enough to justify daily post runs, so the sooner everyone pays, the sooner we get our pins!

Pin sale etiquette for the seller

If you are selling pins on your social media, here is some advice to ensure a fair sale enjoyed by as many people as possible.

Be fair. If your rule is first to comment, you should go by what is on your screen and not just pick someone you know who commented later.

Clearly describe the pins. If what you’re selling is a fantasy pin, it should clearly say that in the description or next to the pin.

Be prepared to answer questions multiple times. People joining a sale late might not know the postage you offer or the rules of the sale. Either display these somewhere people can easily find (in a comment or on-screen) or be prepared to answer the same question multiple times.

Not everyone will read your instructions. Often people will share the rules of a sale beforehand in their stories. Not everyone will see your story for multiple reasons, so don’t assume everyone taking part is fully aware and plan accordingly.

Follow up with people quickly. Once the sale has ended, try and give people their final figures as soon as possible. Everyone understands there is a lot of work in this, but the sooner everyone has their price, the sooner everyone can pay.

Be clear on when things are happening. Setting the expectations upfront that you will be invoicing on Friday and posting on Monday helps people plan and will ultimately improve everyone’s experience.

Thank you to our lovely Instagram community

As I was writing this article, I put up a story on Instagram asking for people’s recommendations on what makes good pin sale etiquette, and you were all very helpful with suggestions! Thank you!

Have we missed something? Let us know in the comments below!

Written by tosbourn - Tuesday 17 August 2021

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