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Pinterest For Etsy Vintage Sellers

how to use pinterest to get more sales for etsy vintage sellers

Have you ever wondered how to make more sales for your Etsy vintage shop with Pinterest?

Most Etsy vintage sellers recognize Pinterest as a tool to help with sales but aren’t really sure how to use it effectively.

Spoiler alert: consistency is key.  Isn’t that ALWAYS the case? 🙂

But before you get the consistency part going, you want to be building on something solid…so let’s start with that.

Today I’m breaking down the basics of what you should set up in your Pinterest account and how to use the platform in a very straight forward way to get more sales.

First, here’s what you should understand about Pinterest:

  • It’s a search engine
  • When people are searching Pinterest, they are getting ideas for something they are planning for in the near to distant future
  • Pinterest is a long-term strategy
Pinterest Is A Search Engine

Unlike other social media platforms like Instagram and Facebook, Pinterest is actually considered a search engine.  That means it doesn’t matter how many followers or comments you have as much as it matters having good, relevant & searchable content.

To make your content searchable, you need to be using keywords.

Pro Tip: When you pin directly from your Etsy vintage shop, your item description pulls into your rich pin automatically.  That means, when you use keywords in your Etsy item description, they are doing double duty once pinned to Pinterest.

Pinterest is an ideas platform

People on Pinterest are usually doing things like planning a wedding, planning a party, or figuring out how they want to decorate their bathroom.  When people are planning something they are more inclined to buy something either then or a little later.

Imagine you are planning a baby shower for your best friend who loves to read and is making her nursery centered around books.  You are searching Pinterest and see some beautiful photos of a baby shower given for Joanna Gaines with stacks and stacks of vintage books all in neutral colors.

Joanna Gaines vintage book themed baby shower

You then start searching “neutral vintage books” and “baby shower book theme”.  Jane, who sells vintage books on Etsy, saw that Joanna Gaines had this shower recently.  So she starts using those keywords both in her Etsy shop and on Pinterest >>> super smart, Jane!

Because Jane did that, the vintage books that she pinned to Pinterest show up in your search.  They draw you in because they are beautiful pictures of vintage books and a few even have a baby prop in them- perfect!  You head over to Jane’s Etsy shop and take a look.

You aren’t quite ready to buy…but you come back a couple of weeks later because her shop wowed you as it was simply stunning and she had nothing but great reviews (You’re sure the odd negative reviews were just grumpy people)…and you buy the books…and also a green stack for your own bookshelves – so cute!

See how that works?

Pinterest is a long term strategy

Pinterest is a long term strategy because it can take the search engine bots up to six months to truly “find” you. That means, the sooner you get started the better…just don’t expect overnight results…which sadly is pretty much the case with all things.

There are five things you can start doing right now to optimize your Pinterest account & start getting more sales.

{ONE} set your account up as a business account 

Follow these instructions to set your account up as a business account.

This will give you access to things like analytics which will come in handy as you learn to use Pinterest for your business.

What if you already have a personal account?  You have two choices.  You can either set up a brand new account as a business account.  Or, you can switch your existing personal account to a business account.

It’s a personal choice, but whichever you choose make sure that the content you are showing on your account is for your target market, NOT for you.  Hide any content that is for you, by pinning any such content to secret boards

How to make boards private on Pinterest

To make a board secret, edit the board by clicking on the pencil icon as shown in the center of the photo, above.  Next, toggle the type to “keep board secret” as shown in the right of the photo, above.  You will know it’s secret when you see the lock icon next to the board name as shown in the far left of the photo.

As you can see, I did this on my business account with a Punta Cana board I added for planning one of my trips.  Nobody can see that board except for me.

If you start with a personal account…you will want to go through and clean it up by using private boards and hiding content that doesn’t serve the audience you are trying to attract.

Once you have your business account, fill everything out in your Pinterest profile and include a link to your website if you have one or your Etsy shop if you don’t.

Include keywords in pinterest profile

Add a profile picture and Include keywords in your profile to let Pinterest know what you are about.  In my Etsy vintage shop Pinterest account for Rustic Eye, since I have a website and an email list, I entice people to sign up for my email by offering them 10% off their first purchase.  If you don’t yet have an email list or website, you can send them directly to your Etsy shop.

{two} claim your etsy shop

This is a newer feature, but a no-brainer and simple to do.  Add your Etsy shop to your Pinterest account by “claiming” it.

Follow these steps:

  1. Log into your Pinterest account
  2. In the top right-hand corner, click the three dots (…)
  3. Go to settings and click on “claim” from the menu
  4. Under “claim other accounts”, click the red “claim” button next to Etsy and follow the instructions

When you claim your Etsy shop, your shop name and profile will show up on any pins from your Etsy shop that you or someone else pins.  This lets people know where they can see more from you.  You’ll also get access to analytics on those pins as long as you are using a business account.

{three} create boards that your followers will love

Wondering what boards to create?  Always think of your target market when deciding what boards to create and pins to pin.

If you sell vintage housewares you might want a board called “How to Decorate with Vintage Housewares”.  If you sell vintage clothing for men, you may want boards like “How to pair vintage ties and shoes”.

Boards should contain a mixture of your stuff and stuff you repin.  It could be a “how to” blog post of someone in your niche, a photo of a model wearing similar clothing, or your types of products looking beautiful in someone’s home.

You should also create one personal board that is titled with your Etsy shop name.  In that board only, pin just your items for sale, blog posts and any other content that is just yours.

Pro Tip: When you are pinning your item for the very first time, pin it to your board that most closely relates to what it is.  In doing that, you will help Pinterest know what your pin is all about and who they should offer it up to.  After that, you can repin it to another board…like your personal board.  Make sure to space out repins- you don’t want the same pin showing up five times in a row, for example.

{four} pin content strategically

When you pin, you will want to be somewhat strategic about how and when you pin.  I’m going to recommend a doable strategy you can manually manage that doesn’t require any tools.  More on that in number {FIVE}.

When you are ready to “up your game”…be sure to check out Tailwind which is a Pinterest approved scheduling tool for Pinterest.

To pin your items for sale in your Etsy vintage shop, you will need a photo to use.  You can choose the best existing photo on your listing or even better yet, make a Pinterest friendly pin using the free tool Canva.

Once signed into your free account on Canva, select “Pinterest Graphic” to get the perfectly sized template for Pinterest and design your pin from there.

Pro Tip: You should always use a 2:3 ratio with your pins you create & Canva automatically takes care of this for you.  Another rule of thumb for a size you can use is 735 px X 1102 px.

Here’s an example of a pin I created using the Pinterest Graphic template in Canva:

Example of Pinterest graphic created in Canva

Not too long, not too short…just right…kinda like Goldilocks!

You can see that I also chose a photo that not only showcases my vintage stamps…but shows how they can be utilized and used the title “Easter Egg Decorating Ideas” to attract a particular market.

Use more than just straight product pins. Think of what your followers want to know & how you can help give them that.  Your products then will be something you sprinkle in as suggestions.  I always pin four pins that aren’t mine, and then one of mine.  Try not to pin things that are your direct competition.

Video is another strategy you can try for Pinterest.  You could post a video showing you out picking in a barn, for example, and link it to the thing you found.  Learn all about how to post videos on Pinterest here.

Here’s how to pin your items from your Etsy vintage shop to Pinterest:

  1. Choose your photo and/or create your pin on Canva
  2. Best way from your desktop:
    1. Add pins from your shop with the Pinterest browser button or by using the Pin button in the listing tools box on your item listing (you must be logged in to see it)
  3. Best way from your smartphone:
    1. Create a pin straight from your photos (also choose this if you have created a pin with Canva)
  4. Add a description
    1. When you pin directly from Etsy or use the Pinterest browser button, it should automatically be a rich pin- but sometimes it is glitchy.  If it’s a rich pin it pulls in the price and also your Etsy item description
    2. You have another “description field” on Pinterest…Use your top keywords to describe what it is and also include general hashtags like #vintage and #homedecor – things people would search for on Pinterest
    3. Make sure to write your descriptions for humans in a natural conversational way
{five} pin consistently

Pinterest has said that adding pins daily and consistently is better than adding a bunch of pins at once.

I can absolutely testify with two separate business accounts, that consistency is key.  When I pin just five pins a day, every day, my views grow significantly over time.  Conversely, when I stop doing that…my monthly view traffic plummets.

In the chart, below, I tracked my monthly views for my Traci Hugelmaier Pinterest account over time.  Between 2/19/19 and 4/18/19 I was pinning 5 times a day, pretty much every day.  My strategy was 4 pins of other people’s content and then one of mine.  I added in new content as much as possible, but I also repinned my content when I didn’t have new content.

Pinterest views tracking Traci Hugelmaier

After 4/18/19, life happened and I stopped being consistent.  You can see that my monthly views plummeted as a result, from 5.9K monthly views to 1.4K monthly views.

The good news is, with consistency it doesn’t take long to increase your monthly views.  As you can see in my tracking chart, it only took a couple of months to get to 5.9K views.

I had a similar experience with my vintage shop business account for Rustic Eye.

My simple strategy: Once a day, post 4 pins of someone else’s content then pin one of your pins.  A repin of one of your pins is fine if you don’t have new content.  When in doubt, when pinning someone else’s content, choose content that Pinterest recommends to you in your home feed as long as it is something your target market will like.

Pro Tip: Always remember quality over quantity when it comes to pins. Click all the way through before you repin something to make sure you are re-pinning quality, helpful content that matters to your followers. This is what Pinterest will ultimately reward.  If it’s a dead link, don’t repin it.

what’s next?

Get out there and give Pinterest a try and be as consistent as you can.  However, if you fall off the wagon like I do from time to time, just pick yourself up and keep going.

Make sure your Etsy shop is in tip-top shape so when you do get that new traffic from Pinterest you can convert more of those visits and views to sales…take my FREE training 5 Key Steps to Having a Profitable Vintage Shop on Etsy (click here to get the training)!

What do you struggle with most when it comes to Pinterest?  Comment below and let me know…I’d love to hear from you!

-Traci 🙂


How to use pinterest to get more sales for etsy vintage sellers

Where applicable, I’ve included my personal affiliate link.  I only recommend products I believe in wholeheartedly, usually because I’ve personally used and have had success with them :).


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