Etsy sellers plan to go on strike over fee increases

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If you like shopping Etsy for everything from gifts to Knitting and Crochet Patternsyou may be struggling to find some of your favorite sellers on this online artisan marketplace for the next month.

Esty shop owners are upset over an increase in seller transaction fees, which are set to rise from 5% to 6.5% on April 11. This 30 percent increase in the fees Etsy charges was announced as part of this in late 2021 Etsy’s fourth-quarter financial report. Etsy said it intends to “invest most of the additional revenue from this fee increase into marketing, seller tools, and creating superior customer experiences.

However, many Etsy sellers are skeptical, saying the company has crossed the line with such a large increase in transaction fees, especially since the site just had a record year for sale.

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In response to the higher fees eating into their profits, many Etsy shop owners, led by Kristi Cassidy, are saying enough is enough. Cassidy has organized a mass shutdown of Etsy shops, starting the day the new fees go live. More than 16,500 people (out of a target of 20,000 people) have signed the online petition so far, calling on Etsy shop owners to put their shops on vacation mode and customers to boycott Etsy from April 11-18.

“The strike is just action number one” Cassidy narrated The Vergine. “What we really want to do for the future is to start a solidarity support movement – peer support, artisans supporting each other.”

Among the petition’s demands is that Etsy drop the proposed 30% increase in transaction fees.

“The 30% increase in seller fees after two years of record sales is nothing short of pandemic profit.” it says in the petition. “After the planned increase, our fees as sellers will have more than doubled in less than four years.”

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Other calls include a crackdown on people using Etsy to resell bulk products, improving the process for support tickets, which currently restricts sellers’ access to account features and even earnings, overhauling the product ratings system, and opting out of offsite ads.

Another Etsy seller who will join the strike told The Verge the fee increase is the last straw for the platform after more than 16% of total sales were paid to Etsy.

“I’d like to leave Etsy completely.” said the anonymous seller. “And after I got this email from [Etsy CEO Josh Silverman, which announced the fee increase], I gave myself a year for that. I can’t really afford it [the strike]but I’m just fed up.”

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