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Etsy Sellers Go on Strike After Company Announced It’s Taking Larger Cut of Their Money

More than 14,000 Etsy sellers are going on strike.

In February, the e-commerce company, known for selling handmade and vintage items, announced that it would be increasing its transaction fees from 5% to 6.5% starting on April 11, in turn, taking a bigger cut from sellers.

“We plan to make significant investments in marketing, seller tools, and creating a world-class customer experience so we can continue this tremendous growth,” Etsy’s CEO Josh Silverman said in a message to users, noting active sellers increased their sales by 23% on average compared to 2019.

As a result, many sellers, including Kristi Cassidy, the organizer of the strike, have decided to boycott the platform today through April 18. Sellers will put their shops on vacation mode in protest. Cassidy also started a petition, with the headline “Etsy: Cancel the fee increase. Work with sellers, not against us!” It has received nearly 50,000 signatures.

“As individual crafters, makers and small businesspeople, we may be easy for a giant corporation like Etsy to take advantage of. But as an organized front of people, determined to use our diverse skills and boundless creativity to win ourselves a fairer deal, Etsy won’t have such an easy time shoving us around,” Cassidy wrote in the petition.

In addition to the jump in transaction fee, Cassidy referenced Etsy’s advertising policy that took effect in February 2020, which opted all sellers into an advertising program taking at least 12% of every sale it refers. Sellers making less than $10,000 per year are able to opt out, however, it is required for shops doing more than $10,000 in sales each year.

“Thanks to Offsite Ads, Etsy fees are an unpredictable expense that can take more than 20% of each transaction. We have no control over how these ads are administered, or how much of our money is spent,” Cassidy wrote, adding, “Increasing seller fees by 30% after two years of record sales is nothing short of pandemic profiteering. After the planned increase, our fees as sellers will have more than doubled in less than 4 years.”

With this strike also came a list of demands, such as cancelling the fee increase and letting all sellers opt out of Offsite Ads.

In Etsy’s February earnings call, the company reported a 16.5% increase in consolidated fourth quarter year-over-year GMS growth with a record $4.2 billion and 16.2% year-over-year revenue growth.

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