Value Based Marketing vs. Misleading Pricing with ADP



Since we launched our Discount and Promotional Price Guidelines for items in ADP categories last month, a few authors have asked us to clarify how this impacts the way authors promote the value of components in their items.

We’ve been assessing likely scenarios as well as taking into account what our historical position has been and how ADP might impact author marketing. As a result of these discussions with our legal team, today we’re rolling out some updates to our guidelines.


  1. You cannot display an item price that your item has never had (e.g. “other items are listed at $65 but ours is only $43”)
  2. While you may generally market the value of your item (including using dollar value amounts), you cannot display or represent the value of any included components or features as part of your item’s price or in a way it could be perceived as a promotional price (e.g. “Our price $60 + $200 added value = $260 = Now only $49")
  3. Any item that bundles other components should include an easy-to-find “disclaimer” or reference to the following help article so that customers can fully understand what they are receiving as part of their purchase. (

If you have items that are referencing bundled components and marketing their value, please ensure that your marketing graphics and item descriptions reflect these updated guidelines.

We’re happy to answer any questions about these updates and will be actively monitoring this thread for the next seven days.

Misleading Pricing with ADP
Finally first WordPress theme got approved
Video on Elements

Why are there still many items on top sellers page that do not follow these rules? And how do you plan to enforce them? :slight_smile:



Hey @MNKY,

You’re right, there are a number of authors who are presently doing this. As with any update or clarification we make, our first action is to inform authors of the guidelines and give them the opportunity to update their item pages.

Our experience has been that nearly all authors, when informed of something like this are incredibly responsive and quick to adjust.


Thank you for the answer! Great to hear that.

Just wanted to know if Envato staff is monitoring the situation and contacting authors or it relies on community reports only.


@MNKY it’s usually both. We ask our reviewers at the item level to keep an eye out for these types of things and we also ask our community to point out anything they see which we then follow up on. Anyone can submit a ticket (staff included) and ask that Envato look into something. It does happen all the time and we follow up as quickly as we can.


Most Of Top Selling Items Using This Method $200+ Worth just for $49


@Muse-Master thanks for the post.

Advertising the value of plugins included as $200 or something like that is allowed as long as it doesn’t appear to be part of the price.

Here’s just one example of what you CAN do (this is only an example, not a template for all item preview images):

Here’s just one example of what you CANNOT do:

The difference may seem subtle but if you look closely, the first example clearly shows the price as $49. In the second example, it appears that the price is $1100 on sale for $49.

This is an example of misleading pricing because while the value of the bundled components (if someone bought them all) is $1000, the actual price of the item is only $49.


I doubt it as I opened a ticket for more than month ago with list of themes which broke this and also previous price promotion rules.

Support replied that you guys have team to take a look at that and month ago now, Nothing change. I doubt this rules will get applied to.

The easiest way to check it, if you @jamesgiroux open Weekly popular WordPress page . You will see some of them.


The best thing to avoid such abuses is to roll back ADP completely. When the community had fixed price model, none abuse happened. But as always, all ThemeForest decisions are done in favor of the company only, rather than company and authors. Everybody warned such things would happen, but nobody listened and moved to silly and valueless decision as always!


@jamesgiroux the example you posted is a direct reference to multiple items right at the top of the popular sellers list. They’re not hard to find, they’ve been there for months, authors like @ThemeGoods have gone out of their way to try and inform support about these and nothing has been done.


Good new rules.

  * waves hands * us moderators don’t really have much to do any more now that we’re not handling item comments. If you need community item monitoring there’s a resource here ready to be used.


@tommusrhodus @ThemeGoods

Thanks for the work you’ve done pointing out the inconsistencies. We are enforcing the guidelines but these are still relatively new and with anything new comes training and working out the kinks in our systems. Feel free to submit a ticket for anything you discover.

I took a quick look at the popular items page on TF and found only one (as of that moment) that was breaking the guidelines around misleading pricing.


Uhm… “Hey, this is Envato, please update your preview as it doesn’t follow our ADP Guidelines or we will disable your item. Thank you” < Training complete.

I don’t see why this is put on hold. Authors and the entire market is suffering because of these sort of things, now, the fact that there are some rules, that’s great but if no one applies them, it’s like there weren’t any to being with.


@Enabled there is a little more that goes into it than that but I appreciate your enthusiasm. This is not on hold, our team is currently working with authors to change their item preview images and item page copy to ensure they’re following the guidelines.


Thank you for your information.

Speaking about rules, there are rules you guys roles out about a month ago for pricing promotion.

It’s because you guys don’t take any actions or too little actions I am not sure. So you can see for example on new WordPress themes page here

There are multiple items price at $19, most of them don’t show clearly when promotion price will end and there are many rules you can check there.

The same as popular items list, some themes are running promotion forever! there is no ended date. This is one of the reason why items price is going down.

I am not against all pricing promotion or reducing price, it’s author right to do that but there should be some limitation or at least make it clear for customers when it will ends or if they are sure they want to sell their theme for $19 forever and survive. That’s fine. I can wait and see.


I’m sorry @jamesgiroux but given that users can change the price and their own conditions as often as they like - even after your intervention - such a team, no matter how big won’t change anything.


I’ll have to agree with @jamesgiroux on this though! Since, if you strike once, Envato can watch for changes on any of your items, so doing it more than once can result in more sever consequences than a just a friendly request.


Maybe more authors will find out about this if you make this thread pinned.
Or if the title would contain “Important announcement for themeforest and codecanyon authors”.
Or if you display a link to this in Author Dashboard…Just saying…

The title of the thread is a bit misleading, you don’t know from the beginning what it means.



It’s great that you are clearing things out, but currently there is no control over authors following the rules. We are constantly seeing new items being sold on a discounted price which is against the rules. From the guidelines: “For newly published items - The item may not be advertised as having a “discounted” price within the first thirty days after launch.” Here and here are examples from themes approved in the last week, in only one WordPress category. This is getting out of hand pretty fast and you should take measures to stop this, as this is harmful for the market in the long run.

I also think that most of the authors don’t bother reading the forum or the new guidelines and most of them are maybe not even familiar with all the rules. But also why should they? There hasn’t been any measures taken against such practices - no items hidden or removed from the market or any other penalty.

Finally relying on honesty and good intentions on the authors side to raise the price after the initial introductory period is ridiculous. Currently nothing is keeping track on the prices and everyone can make whatever promotions they want - no matter what the price of an item was, is or is going to be. Nothing is making it mandatory to follow the rules and keeping your word about some promotional period that you have announced earlier or any other price change.