EcommerceBytes-Update, Number 375 - February 08, 2015 - ISSN 1528-6703     11 of 14

Sellers Choice 2015 Marketplace Ratings: Pinterest

By Ina & David Steiner

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In January 2015, EcommerceBytes surveyed over 12,000 online sellers and asked them to rate the marketplaces on which they had experience selling. An introduction to the Sellers Choice survey along with a summary of the overall ratings can be found here, along with links to results for each of the 12 online marketplaces included in the survey.


Customer Service:


Ease of Use:

Would you recommend:

Year Established: 2009
Description: Social networking site that visually organize things people like
More Info

Pinterest came in ninth place in the 2015 Sellers Choice Awards for Online Marketplaces, up from 11th place. This was the second year we opened up nominations to social networking platforms to see if sellers were using them as an ecommerce channel, and just as last year, Pinterest and Facebook received enough nominations from readers to make it into the final list.

However, Pinterest is not a sales channel and may never become one - rather, sellers use it as a marketing tool. While some can measure the effect of pinning their listings on their Pinterest boards, many remain in the dark about how effective it really is.

Generally seen as a fun tool to try and advertise and get traffic to product listings that are hosted elsewhere. "Pinterest is becoming my number one way of marketing my products and store," wrote one seller. "Great way to get your items viewed by many!!! Only downfall, there is no way to actually purchase an item without leaving their website and being directed to another."

Several respondents said they wished they could verify their sales venues with Pinterest the way they can with listings on their own hosted websites. As with Facebook, you can pay to promote your pins (Promoted Pins).

Pinterest received a 4.42 in Profitability; a 4.81 in Customer Service; a 4.79 in Communication; and a 5.49 in Ease of Use. It received a 4.99 from sellers when asked, "How likely are you to recommend Pinterest as a selling venue to a friend or colleague?"

Reader Comments:The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

Somewhat profitable. I get several re-pins a day and many buyers come to my view by clicking on an item that I pinned but only a small handful of them make a purchase. On a newly listed item, my views will be around 5 within the first few hours, when I pin that item those views jump to around 41, so it's great for getting your items seen, but I only make like 6 sales a year from there.

It is a very good platform to promote items and link it to webstore. It helps build traffic.

Great for advertising and traffic.

75% of the sales in my shop are directly traced back to Pinterest. People look at Pinterest.

Can't actually attribute any sales from Pinterest, although pins are getting repined and hits to Etsy / Ruby Lane from items pinned there. Minimal hits at best.

Pinterest drives a lot of traffic to us.

I have picked up a lot of business from Pinterest with very little effort. It was a pleasant surprise.

Pinterest hasn't been great for sales just another tool to put my business out there.

I do not sell on Pinterest but I use the site to advertise my goods.

I have my crafts listed on Pinterest, but haven't sold anything yet. I really like Pinterest because it gives me great ideas from others' boards for my crafts. Hope to sell something soon, but I know I will probably list it on Bonanza and then pin it on my board to re-direct people to my Bonanza page.

I PIN most of my items to my Pinterest boards but I don't know how much traffic it creates.

Great to show off items and direct to selling sites but not to sell from.

Use Pinterest to promote items I have listed on other sites. I wouldn't consider it a selling venue but a promoting tool. Until they add a SELL feature it is an awesome promotional tool THE BEST.

Pinterest as a selling venue is a relatively new concept. However, I HAVE had direct sales via my Pinterest boards, and many other Pinterest pins have led to a sale either eBay or my own website. It is easy to use, easy to maintain, and fairly logical (that matters in a busy day!)

Pinterest is really working hard to educate businesses on the best way to use their site for sales. I'm still in learning mode here, but I'm encouraged by early results.

My Google analytics show nearly 10 times more hits due to pins than from any other medium.

Don't use Pinterest for actual selling, but I do pin my eBid listings to my own eBid board.

Just getting started, but took a training class to learn how to optimize. It is easy, somewhat time consuming because it is easy to get side tracked with all the neat postings, but I think we may already to seeing results after only a couple months.

Pinterest has been an incredible sales tool that drives traffic to all of my sales platforms. Is it my number one social networking site. Hope to see it expand to offer more to sellers. Customer service.....not so good.

Not a good selling venue although there is the aura of it having that potential thus I have many boards and listings and many followers, none of which have resulted in revenue.

I still find information and instructions on the pinning process and the use of icons on my web site to be confusing.

I would not consider Pinterest a selling venue. I do pin my items but have never sold anything because of that. People are looking more for items they can make themselves rather than buy with this venue.

I get far more impressions, shares hits on Pinterest than any other site. Do they have customer service? lol. I'm mostly linking my items by pinning.

If it wasn't for Pinterest interactive tools and availability thru sites like eBay, I wouldn't be able to advertise over the internet. THANK YOU PINTEREST, for helping me with my small and humble business. 10 stars all the way.

Massive traffic. However, I don't think it produces many sales conversions.

Pinterest is a great way to get your product seen. Not sure how much biz I get off it, but I will continue for a while longer and see if it picks up. I personally love Pinterest for my personal use!!!

I'm a fairly new user, but all things point to great future marketing benefits and results.

I don't know if using Pinterest has resulted in a sale. I'm not religious about posting items as they can turn quickly. I like Pinterest and would recommend but I personally get tired of logging in to so many sites!

Pinterest is generally useless. I don't think that it has generated me a single sale, despite me concentrating efforts on posting my items there. It's seems to really just be a site for dreamers and window shoppers when it comes to retail.

Since I do not own my own website (my site is a Ruby Lane shop) I cannot use Pinterest's "Verify" process that will give me business benefits despite the fact that my business is a registered Limited Liability Corporation and I file business tax returns. Since I can't use their business advantages, Pinterest in my case is a joke. Actually I have found, researching my items that I did pin, that Pinners really are not interested in buying. They seem to be more interested in collecting pictures - they are not actually looking to buy (and I got this same response asking several seller friends about their experiences). However, the site makes it nearly impossible to find the actual beginning page where the initial item can be found for purchase. When I did do pins I would put my website page right into the listing. I have not gotten ONE sale out of Pinterest, and frankly don't waste my time there any more. I have better luck with Google+.

It is hard to answer this one, when I post on Etsy I automatically post on Pinterest. Pinterest has the potential to drive lookers to my Etsy shop however I cannot say that I have had direct or indirect sales from Pinterest, I feel that more exposure can not hurt.

It is an up and coming possibility for use as a selling point.

It's difficult to rate profitability on Pinterest because it's not a direct sales medium - more for driving people to my Etsy and Ruby Lane shops.

I find Pinterest a good way to draw attention to my stand alone.

I like Pinterest , I'm still learning the site but it has been successful for me and getting my items and things seen to a lot of people. I enjoy Pinterest and I am starting to use it more and it's been helping with my selling of items.

Pinterest is a good way to show others your items for sale and that can lead to more sales.

I have a few boards on Pinterest but have not concentrated on selling there so am not real familiar with their system. I see people re-pin my items so I assume that put my items in front of more potential buyers.

Love Pinterest, but as a seller, it seemed to mess with my sales in other venues, so I quit using it as a selling venue

Too saturated and too "noisy". Get lost in the mess and get very bored sifting through mountains of images, some of which are very offensive. Now that they have paid advertising it's worse than ever for a little seller.

Poorly set up. More of a hobby site than a selling site.

I have a business account with Pinterest, but have no idea if I've ever sold anything through that venue.

I like Pinterest but do not know if my sales or views come from them. I will continue to pin as people are very visual today and it is also a lot of fun.

We have our business on Pinterest and actively participate but only to drive business to our website.

They do not give you much information on how to sell unless you agree to pay and set up business sites. Used to be easy to send items to twitter and other web sites, but that changed. I list here, but do not know if any of my sales over the last year originated from Pinterest. Wish they would offer more help to sellers.

Despite setting up on there, it is just a dumb photo sharing network that has provided us with no sales. Just another pointless gimmick site.

Pinterest will soon be a great selling site...unfortunately they are just not there yet. I am waiting a bit for them to get the "kinks" out of their system. It's a well known site, name recognition is terrific.... But as a direct selling site..not yet.

Love love love Pinterest for many many reasons. I have many followers and this assists in sales.

This is an indirect way to show inventory so it's too hard to tell if any sales come directly from here.

I use Pinterest as a showcase for items available on eBay for example. So far no complaints, although it is difficult to gauge which impact Pinterest has on my sales.

For visual products it can be used effectively. The ability to target relevant custom is the key. To be effective I use it in conjunction with my eBid listings and that has delivered sales. As a standalone venue though it would be largely ineffective.

Great venue for exposure, but definitely not a place that is exclusively a selling venue. More of an advertising venue from my point of view.

It's easy to pin to Pinterest and lots of folk follow, but I am unaware if any of it translates into sales or not.

Would like to use but also find "help" very hard to find and then understand. Days to hear back from anyone is customer service.

Like the fact that almost anywhere you go anymore you can pin an item right to your Pinterest account. You have to manually delete items as they sell because there is no way to update and synch them. You also have to go to each separate listing and click to link it to Pinterest would be nice if you could do this as a bulk upload.

While a heavy duty user of Pinterest with lots of followers, to me Pinterest is not a selling venue. I have made sales on eCrater that came by way of Pinterest. I do spend time and effort using Pinterest to be part of my marketing for my eCrater store.

I love Pinterest but not for selling. I have tried, but have not sold one thing there. But still love the site for pinning.

I do not know of any sales as a result of Pinterest, but it's possible. I just can't tell. It's free, however, so certainly doesn't hurt anything.

I do not see Pinterest as a selling sites but customers do find me through my posts of inventory to my Pinterest boards.

Sellers Choice Awards:
We thank all readers who took the time to rate the marketplaces. If you have comments about the survey results or the survey itself, please feel free to post them in the EcommerceBytes Blog.

About the author:

Ina and David Steiner are publishers of and have been writing about ecommerce since 1999.

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