Etsy Jam

Etsy Jam Episode 30: Tara from MarketingArtfully

In this episode, we talk with Tara from MarketingArtfully. Tara is a total SEO guru so we’re super excited to chat with her this week. She talks about pinterest, category pages, knowing your customer and how she uses Marmalead to plan for estate sales. Stick around till the end when Tara shares her Vintage Seller eBook with everyone! Enjoy!

Meet Tara

I have been doing Marketing since 2001 in Web SEO. There was almost no Google then, it was Yahoo! I have done marketing for realtors, authors, and Etsy people for years. A year and a half ago, I had the idea that I should sell digital products and the easiest way to do that right at the time was through Etsy. That’s my PaperlyPeople shop. Hopefully by the end of this season, I get to top that 1k sales mark which is the goal for me. Selling digital is awesome. It’s very low maintenance and I think Etsy does an amazing job with it.

What brought you into selling vintage?

I just like the fact that each one is a different item. I personally love that because then every one is a different marketing thing. Figure out who would buy this and what can you say that would make somebody buy it.

The thing I sold today for $16.50 was a vintage pewter chalice and I tried to figure out who would buy pewter chalices. I found out that people who attend renaissance festivals and people who play Dungeons & Dragons are interested in these things. For me, that’s kind of interesting! I love marketing and so each one is a little marketing opportunity.

Tips for Vintage Sellers?

You have so many opportunities for people to find your store. I think as a vintage seller, your store matters a lot. Your categories matter a lot. How you hook your stuff together matters a lot.

What people who are selling vintage have to realize is that people who buy vintage is buying an experience. They’re not buying a product. They’re not buying a pair of 40 year old scissors because they think it is going to work well.

Another thing vintage sellers have to do is make sure that they know what is selling in their store. Because if you don’t, you can get way out of sync with that.

Dealing with OOAK items

One of the things that people have the most trouble with SEO is one of a kind items. I have lots of things in my store that I’m able to find lots of. Switch plate covers for example. Everywhere I go, I look for switch plate covers. I dig around in ratty old sheds and find switch plate covers because they’re not that OOAK. I already have a listing, I don’t have to look it up, and I’ve done the research. So it is possible as a vintage seller to do multiple things – they’re not just going to be exactly the same.

How do you list multiple OOAK listings?

What I tend to do is I have 8 row of switch plates. I have a big stack of them and so I tend to copy the description (not re-list) of the ones that have sold. I figured that if it sold, it was good enough to be found in Etsy search so why not copy that one?

I also like to have my switch plates done in all different SEO and this is where Marmalead comes in. I’m from Pennsylvania and we call them ‘switch plate covers’ – I couldn’t think of anything else you would call it except ‘switch plate covers’ – then I came to find out everybody else in America calls them ‘light switch covers’!

So when I use Marmalead, I started changing some of those listings and including light switch covers as keywords. I started selling a lot more of them. My store is highly ranked even for ones that I just put up because I have lots of them.

MORE Tips for Vintage Sellers!

I use Marmalead every time I go to the auction. Today at the auction, I have a list of around 40 things that I would be willing to buy. Then what I do is I go to Marmalead and go to Keyword Comparison tool. For example, ‘salt cellars’ average at around $29, 14 views per week, and there’s almost 4,000 competing listings. Marmalead said that it’s okay but the competition is too high.

Because I already have some, I’ll probably get more but I wouldn’t necessarily pay up too much for it. I would buy them at $10 for 10 of them but if I can’t get them for that amount, I am not going to pay $50 for 10 of them because I know I can’t make my money back.

Then there are duck decoys. To my surprise, looking at Marmalead, they’re all green all the way down! So I bought the duck decoys! They average $65, and get 4.4 views per week. It might not look like much but that’s okay because there’s only 1,900 competing products for them.

I also hear all the time from other seller to be on the lookout for belows. I think that there is some valuable lows, if you have nothing else to do, sit there and search for vintage stuffs and see if you could find things that Marmalead says it’s good. Do your research ahead of time and when you get there, you’re already armed with all the data that you need to be able to make a decision based on price.


As a vintage person, you need to start looking at Pinterest and figuring out what human beings are pinning. It would tell you how to categorize stuff in Etsy. What I did was I went and searched ‘bathroom’ and underneath ‘bathroom’, they have a whole bunch of little categories like ‘decor’. Then they had ‘storage’ under bathroom and ‘organization’ under ‘storage’. When you’re sourcing, ask yourself things like: “Is this something that I could put into ‘bathroom storage’?” Because you can simply share all those pins on Pinterest and have a whole another sales channel just pulling in to your store.

The other cool thing is when you do that search on Pinterest, you can check your pins and other people’s pins as well. So I went in and did that today and I was horrified because I don’t have my stuff done well enough to show up on search. That’s one of the ways that you could see how you’re doing! I know that it’s a marketing channel because Pinterest has a metric ton of data that tells you how you as a person categorizes things.

I sell Vintage, how do I find my target audience?

First off, my God given talent is that I can figure out who’s going to buy what. Let’s take a knob for example. This isn’t a vintage knob but it looks like something you’d see in Alice in Wonderland. So you have to figure out who would like something that’s a little whimsical. It could be for a child, or nursery, or it could be for somebody who has a craft room, or an art room. So what you want to do is you would sit down and think about that person. Think of the adjectives that you can use to describe it because I do think that we need to have really heavy SEO on the front end of your listing so that they can easily find it. Think about that person and what he/she might be looking for.

How do you write descriptions for Vintage items with a broad target audience?

People who buy vintage – they’re not buying anything practical. If you need a sandpaper, you’re not going to buy a 40 year old sander; you’re going to go to Home Depot. So when I write my descriptions, I’m not trying to attract any of those people. I’m trying to attract the people who want something different.

I’m not trying to convince anybody that it has a value, I’m just trying to tell them what I feel the value is and why I loved it first. If you’re selling a necklace, a ring, or something that you’re making – you are trying to compete against millions of other people and you’re trying to make something that they want. Vintage is already made and it’s already been loved by somebody else who obviously cared about it enough to have it in their house and keep it for 40 years. You kinda have to find the person who feels the same way you do!

  • One of the things in my description is that I tell a story. They might ask “Do you know the history of this item?” and I say “Yes, I got it on a home of a lady who is a huge collector of bunnies. And she have the neatest etc..” I tell a story about her. Then I state the dimensions of it and also the condition of it. And I always tell them exactly the condition of it.

Shop Sales Momentum has been confirmed!

Etsy confirmed it in one of their discussions and they said that there is a performance factor in ranking. They didn’t say what exactly it was but performance factor = engagement. From what we’ve heard from various shops – if you have a listing that has been selling; it will get bumped up!

The Vintage Seller eBook

Tara is offering up a free book for vintage sellers! If you’re interested in picking up this ebook, you can do so by going to MarketingArtfully. For anyone who’s interested, go check it out. It’s a really nice book that Tara put together. She put a lot of thought into it and a lot of her expertise goes into this book so if you are a vintage seller, it’s a fantastic asset to have! Plus, it’s FREE!

Get Your eBook Here!

In this episode, we talk with Tara from MarketingArtfully. Tara is a total SEO guru so we're super excited to chat with her this week. She talks about pinterest, category pages, knowing your customer and how she uses Marmalead to plan for estate sales. Stick around till the end when Tara shares her Vintage Seller eBook with everyone! Enjoy!

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