EcommerceBytes-Update, Number 399 - February 12, 2017 - ISSN 1528-6703     10 of 12

Sellers Choice 2017 Marketplace Ratings: Pinterest

By Ina & David Steiner

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In January 2017, EcommerceBytes surveyed over 10,000 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 10 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 eighth place again in the 2017 Sellers Choice Awards for Online Marketplaces. This is the fourth year we opened up nominations to social networking platforms to see if sellers are using them as an ecommerce channel.

In general, sellers say they use Pinterest to get traffic rather than for direct sales. "I don't sell directly off Pinterest, just have links to my website or online selling venues," said one respondent.

It can be very effective to drive traffic to ecommerce listings. One respondent wrote, "90% of my website sales are from Pinterest."

Another wrote, "While I don't know if any sales have come directly from Pinterest, I do know that I get a lot of visitors from Pinterest, however, and many pins and likes, so I find much value in it as a site to get brand awareness and recognition."

Others also said they were able to track visits, but not sales. "It is hard to track how many sales have actually come from Pinterest but I have conducted tests to see if it has increased traffic to my items and it does. For this reason alone, it is worth the effort."

While many sellers use Pinterest to post items for organic traffic, sellers can also pay for traffic using Pinterest advertising.

In 2015, Pinterest introduced Buyable Pins and partnered with a couple of ecommerce platforms to allow small sellers to participate. As we previously reported, the program got off to a rocky start for some, and apparently some sellers remain shut out:

"As a promotional site it is fair but there is no means to really sell unless you have buyable pins through Shopify," one respondent wrote. "I was wrongly disqualified from this and Shopify would not back me up and Pinterest was impossible to contact personally."

Another seller said they didn't like that only certain people, like those with Shopify, can use the "sell on Pinterest" feature. "It should be open to people who sell on any venue with standard pricing, not just certain ones."

They suggested Pinterest partner with Etsy - "As big as Etsy is, it would be extremely nice if they partnered with them to allow the price tagging feature."

Pinterest received a 4.18 in Profitability; a 4.29 in Customer Service; a 4.17 in Communication; and a 5.06 in Ease of Use. It received a 4.5 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

Pinterest is the ultimate marketing tool. If you're actively marketing you can greatly increase sales and traffic to your website or selling platform.

I post to Pinterest the items for sale in my Etsy, Bonanza, or eBay shops. It's used more for advertising and to draw people to one of the shops for purchase. I do have a few followers which is nice, Pinterest sends too many "We found a board you might like". I've never spoken to customer service so can't rate their service. I like Pinterest and once you get the hang of it, it's fun.

I dream of the day they let everyone have buyable pins. Why hasn't Etsy hooked up with Pinterest to have buyable pins?

Easy to use and I don't need to put in much effort to make sales.

Pinning seems to generate sales.

No sales from buy buttons thru Shopify, but does generate good traffic to website.

Have not used it as a complete selling venue. When we post some of our items we do see a little boost in sales on our other sites.

Excellent FREE tool that creates traffic and sales for me.

Pinterest brings us more traffic than any other social media site.

We regularly generate sales off of our Pinterest placements although it is harder than it used to be. Have yet to try paid ads.

Pinterest is a great place to advertise your business and merchandise.

Another good free advertising venue, however improvements are still needed for the paid products advertising area to make it worth the cost.

I have not sold too much directly from this site. I use it more to gain visibility in google search.

Nice site, fun to use but a huge sea of items makes it a 5 out of 10 for sales or exposure.

I use Pinterest to promote my eBay listings. I do not use it directly as a selling venue.

I promote some of my items on Pinterest but have no idea if it brings sales to me. Did not know you could sell on there.

I have no idea how effective Pinterest is. I list on other selling venues, then will post that to Pinterest. I get a lot of hits through Pinterest however I cannot tell if any of my sales are a direct result of showing my photos there. It is an excellent way to advertise your listings, I find it works especially well linking back to Etsy.

Don't like Pinterest as selling venue.

I had a campaign with Pinterest for over 2 months and not one sale.

After 2- 3 years. NO SALES. Very Expensive to advertise. It's a NO show.

I like that I don't have to regularly login to website for my account to stay active.

Doesn't get me much traffic at all. Can't "pin" a single sale on them.

Since the new and endless changes pinterest has made in the last year I am not using it. They have ruined the site!

I have used Pinterest for years, but have seen no change in the amount of sales we had. Best option that we have used and saw best results from is Twitter.

I have tried to list things on Pinterest or I have listed them-I really don't know. Pinterest operates in a different world with a different language and it is EXCEEDINGLY too much trouble to try to figure it all out. Not for me at all.

Pinterest has become a joke with their constant forced ads for things I never search for or never want to see. When there is a massive bug, unlike in the past, there is no way to find information if it's being fixed.

Since I have a store in an online venue, not my own website, I am prevented from utilizing their BUSINESS services. What a JOKE. My experience with Pinterest is most of the users are window shoppers. They collect PICTURES, not the items shown in the pictures!!! like kids with scrapbooks. I do get items shown via business via the venue I subscribe to - and so far as I can tell, NOT ONE SALE from Pinterest. It seems to be a waste of my time.

It's hard to get anyone to get back to you if the item in question was not a promoted pin. And if you are attacked by someone that does not like you, and they have reported your pin as pornography when it obviously is a piece of jewelry, they simply take the pin down without looking and expect YOU to contact them to set it right. These people don't have eyes? It is a wonderful place to be seen however, and easy to upload pins to. I like that I can organize as I want.

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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