Etsy Sellers Are Planning To Strike Over Fee Increase

If you love shopping on Etsy for everything from gifts to knit and crochet patterns, you might have trouble finding some of your favorite sellers on that online artisan’s marketplace next month.

Esty shop owners are upset about an increase in transaction fees for sellers, which will jump from 5% to 6.5%, on April 11. This 30% hike in fees that Etsy is taking was announced at the end of 2021 as part of Etsy’s fourth-quarter financial report. Etsy said it intends “to invest most of the incremental revenue from this fee increase in marketing, seller tools and creating world-class customer experiences.

However, many Etsy sellers are skeptical and said the company has crossed the line with such a large jump in transaction fees, especially since the site just came off a record-setting year for sales.

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In response to the higher fees cutting 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 beginning on the day the new fees are activated. More than 16,500 people (of a 20,000-person goal) have signed the online petition so far, which calls for Etsy shop owners to put their shops on vacation mode and asks customers to boycott Etsy from April 11-18.

“The strike is just action number one,” Cassidy told The Verge. “What we want to really do for the future is form a solidarity support movement — peer support, artisans supporting each other.”

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

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

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Other demands include a crackdown on people who use Etsy to resell mass-produced goods, improving the process for support tickets which currently limits sellers’ access to account features and even earnings, revising the product-review system, and opting out of off-site ads.

Another Etsy seller who will participate in the strike told The Verge the fee increase is the final straw with the platform after paying more than 16% of total sales to Etsy.

“My preference would be to get off Etsy completely,” the anonymous seller said. “And after getting that email from [Etsy CEO Josh Silverman, which announced the fee increase], I gave myself a year to do that. I can’t really afford [the strike], but I’m just that fed up.”