Q: I’m looking for more ways to sell my work online and wanted to start by selling through Etsy.com. But when I mentioned this to a few of my craft artist friends who sell higher-end work, they basically scoffed at the notion, telling me to stick to selling off my own website. I really don’t have the time to put into it right now, and would rather go with Etsy. Is it really looked at like that across the industry? I’ve heard really great things about it.

just-ask-october-2008-2A: Having their own website is no doubt the ideal for many craft artists. You certainly are correct that maintaining a website takes a lot of time, not to mention money. I always tell the people I work with that it is another business and has to be treated as such. Offering your work on a group site is certainly a viable and acceptable way to avoid this new business responsibility. There are several sites you might consider. Your choice will be determined by the kind of business you want to do and by the nature of the product you make. In addition to Etsy.com, you might look at Wholesalecrafts.com and Guild.com (group sites each serving a different audience). You have to determine which is most likely to reach your prospective customers. HB