The best advice anyone can give regarding business (or most situations, I suppose) is:
Don’t put all your eggs in one basket.
So why oh why do so many of us only sell our stuff through Etsy?
It’s not just the only online venue I use, it’s usually the only venue. Most years I don’t even hit a single craft show. I used to have a website but it was such a pain to drive traffic there that I abandoned that idea. eBay is no longer friendly to the kind of business I’m trying to run. Consignment is both sort of scary and not really conductive to selling items that need to be displayed just so in order for the concept to come across.
I am aware that this business model is dumb. But Etsy is convenient. There are a lot of people looking at it. I’m pretty good at tagging and my photos don’t usually suck. Even though they keep changing everything around (my cynical side suspects that this is to justify paying the programmers more than anything else) I’m familiar with how things work and can get listings up efficiently. I actually sell almost everything I put up, even if I have to renew the listings a couple times before the right buyer comes along.
Probably I stick with Etsy for the same reason that I don’t have enough merch to stock multiple online venues: there are not enough hours in the day to run my business.
First one must allow for sleep. I know it’s only for the weak but if I don’t do it in my bed it happens while I’m driving and that’s no good. Then there’s the little matter of keeping a job. I’d be perfectly happy to stop going to work but I need the money and health benefits and my boss says she won’t pretend I’m there when I’m not. I am also a single mother of a 13 year old son. And it turns out that he takes more looking after now than he did as a toddler. He is in gifted programs. Reads at a college level. Grasps algebra and geometry. Made me come home from work on Monday morning because he had missed the bus and didn’t know where his shoes were.
I have accounts at Zibbet and Artfire. I actually sell tons of my hats at anime conventions when I get space in the Artists’ Alley. One of my aunts runs a music festival with a well regarded juried show that she’s asked me to participate in since I sell stuff kids would like and pretty much everyone else sells crap for hippies.
But I can barely keep things organized as it is. I know I should try to improve the way I handle scheduling and prioritizing… but somehow I always end up working overtime or running to the supermarket or Google-ing the inventor of the electric clothes iron. Or running home from work to look for shoes.