Etsy sellers are going on strike next month in protest of the company’s transaction fee, which recently jumped from 5% to 6.5%, a 30% increase. Sellers plan to suspend sales for a little over a week beginning April 11, the first day the fee hike takes effect.
“The strike is just action number one,” Etsy seller Kristi Cassidy told The Verge. Cassidy said more than 5,000 people already plan to participate in the protest.
“What we want to really do for the future is form a solidarity support movement — peer support, artisans supporting each other," Cassidy said.
Sellers also launched a campaign that includes a set of five demands for Etsy and urges customers to boycott the platform. As of Wednesday morning, more than 16,300 people have signed onto the campaign.
One demand calls on the company to cancel the transaction fee increase, while another asks that Etsy allow sellers to decide whether they want the company to advertise their products. Etsy started automatically advertising its sellers’ goods and took a fee from those profits in early 2020, frustrating sellers. “We should be in control of which listings to advertise, how much we spend on ads, and whether to advertise at all,” the campaign states.
Sellers are also urging Etsy to stop resellers who have taken to the platform with mass-produced products, which was made possible when Esty changed its policy in 2013 to allow for people to sell items made by “manufacturing partners.” They’re also demanding that Etsy stop its Star Seller program, which gives them a badge for achieving good metrics but has been a source of unnecessary pressure.
Etsy stood by its fee increase, saying it’ll help the company better support sellers. “Our revised fee structure will enable us to increase our investments in each of these key areas so that we can better serve our community and keep Etsy a beloved, trusted, and thriving marketplace,” Kelly Clausen, Etsy’s head of Corporate Communications, told The Verge.