I am doing an iOS app that shows recommended products to identified customers in a brick and mortar store. The customer can tell an associate, "Oh, I bought that already", the the associate can so note that fact so the customer isn't presented with the same items in the future (think: they bought a TV after searching for one, or a dress, or some jewelry).

I've gone through thousands of icons online (and in my collection), but alas - I just cannot find one that immediately conveys the concept of "this items was already purchased".

Right now I'm using a "Shopping Bag" icon, but it looks like a weak choice.

Ideas most welcome!

EDIT: I'm amazed at all the attention this post has gotten here! Thanks to all! Let me add a bit more detail:

  • the icon can only be around 40x40 points
  • the use is an iOS app, so the icon should be consistent with current iOS icons [meaning it will be thin lined, not heavy, and of a single color]

EDIT2: I messaged the author of the Glyphish icon set, and he suggested one other different icon - a shopping bag with the "Backwards in Time" icon (a clock face with a arc around it pointing counter clockwise).


6 Answers 6


As promised:

One idea is to use a bag with a checkmark on it. This conveys both the 'buy' context and the 'OK' message. For use online you could even use an SVG, or a combined Icon Font icon.


bag with checkmark


I mean from a UX standpoint I'd rather just not see the Product at all unless I enter some section for "Already Purchased." Or have it "grayed out" in some fashion.

However for icon as requested I think just about any shopping element with a checkmark is appropriate.

Not sure if this is only on Lollipop or all Android phones but here's what my Google Play Store shows me, I think its a nice solution:

Purchased Icon on Google Playstore

  • 2
    I like the idea of both the icon and text. The two tend to reinforce each other.
    – John
    Commented Aug 5, 2015 at 17:50
  • In a table cell, the icon and text work well. I've got a Collection View with square cells, and the top left where this icon goes chews into the space for the object title, so it has to be small. But the icon works well along (IMHO)
    – David H
    Commented Aug 5, 2015 at 19:06

I was thinking you write out the words "Purchased" or "Already Purchased". You could design a graphic or just use CSS to make the design.

Example: https://jsfiddle.net/cnhkagp4/

You could make the purchased tag themed to the layout of the site.

adding a purchased tag to the items

  • I don't have the space to write it out. Also, I might need something in German, that would make the text much longer :-)
    – David H
    Commented Aug 5, 2015 at 14:51
  • Keep AndrewH's idea but instead of adding a word, add a checkmark icon in the corner only. Just an "internationally-friendly" suggestion. I like the example of AndrewH, very easy to understand and notice.
    – go-junta
    Commented Aug 6, 2015 at 8:22

How about the concept of dim the product and make the opacity about 50% in this way you will give the user the feeling of lost or something not exist in this way you can then mark it with small indicator (icon) that when the user hover over it display already purchased


you can make the border of the layout red or a shade of red :)

i hope this will help you :)

  • Not a bad idea. I have a grid of cells, each showing products. Each one can have an annotation in the top left - an icon that shows a grayed out pencil (meaning, tap here to annotate), then the "was purchased" indication, then a third star that indicates that the customer really likes this item. I don't really want to have the various product cells look significantly different. I'm also planning to color the icon, so that its red for past purchase, green for "I like this one", and gray for the "nothing" indication.
    – David H
    Commented Aug 5, 2015 at 19:04

A gold coin with a green tick (possibly rotating)? Unlike dollar signs or other currency symbols, gold coins aren't confined to just the Mushroom Kingdom, they have been used almost everywhere at some point in time.

  • torn receipt icon
  • check mark with a dollar sign next to it
  • the word purchased itself (as has been proposed before by AndrewH)
  • 2
    I'm not convinced a receipt icon would be easily identified, much less a torn one. I don't want a dollar sign as this app needs to be used outside the USA.
    – David H
    Commented Aug 5, 2015 at 19:08
  • As hard is a receipt icon might be to intuitively identify, it would be a great way to actually get to your invoice and date of purchase information while reinforcing the fact that you did already buy this.
    – Dominic
    Commented Aug 6, 2015 at 6:48
  • 1
    @Dominic I should have been more specific in my question, which I'll update. I only have an area of 40x40 pixels to work with.
    – David H
    Commented Aug 6, 2015 at 15:03

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