To sell...you have to be been seen! When I started on Etsy, search results were based on the most freshly listed. About a year ago, it changed to most relevant, and having spot-on titles and tags ruled.
Etsy keeps messing with search in experiments that are only discovered via sellers paying obsessive attention to where their items rank in a search.
For instance, in my pet and people portraits shop, there are thousands of portrait samples. A search for "pet portraits" show the same exact item out of tens of thousand similar ones in the prime top 3 spots. And the first page shows mostly the same items week after week. Since Etsy refuses to disclose their algorithm, the rest of us are just out of luck.
Even more disturbing, Etsy is experimenting with eliminating categories from its front page. Vintage was one of the first go, hidden as a subcategory. A hue and cry by Vinties restored it for now, to one of the 7 "main" categories. (BTW, as of this writing, ART is hidden under Home and Garden, while Halloween is a main category!
This is the latest experiment in search. The constant experiments resulted in low views during experiments, which means lost sales. An etsy seller is consistently subject to being a guinea pig. The idea that buying is social has made it increasingly difficult to sell there for many vintage sellers.
I find the ebay search to be more straightforward.
And the traffic, have I mentioned that? Everyone knows about Ebay. Etsy is growing by leaps and bounds, but it seems like it is trying to herd away sellers who do not fit its unknown direction.
Ebay seems to want listings and sales, period.
My experience is more weighted on Etsy goings on, so I'd be interested in hearing what primarily Ebayers say. All that said, both of them are working for me. More important than anything, I think, is that I have to use them as tools, not online "homes". What do you think?