Eyeliah, who is so far my unique reader as I've kept this blog secret, asked me some time ago for some tips so as to find good vintage on etsy. I really don't know what's the difference between searching on etsy or on ebay, but I will try to tell her (you) my experience.
When I search for something on etsy, first of all I select 'vintage: tags, titles'. Then I feel at home, let's vintage anita! (that's what I say to myself, LOL).
Secondly, I try to be less restrictive than in an ebay search: I don't look for '50s vintage dress full', I write just 'dress' instead. Don't worry, on etsy there won't be 160,000 results if you write dress without any adjective.
Thirdly, I don't select sort by price, as there is no bidding and the most interesting things available will probably be the latest listed.
After that, whenever I see an interesting item, I link to the shop/seller in order to see everything he/she has available, just in the same way I would do on ebay.
I really love etsy because I don't have to bid or wake up at 4 am to win a bid in the last minute! No more stress, that is the goal. Besides, people is much more friendly and prices could be (not always) more reasonable.
Just with these rules I have recently found amazing items like this doctor bag:
Any question, darling? ;)