Etsy sellers strike over company’s fee and policy changes 2022



Synopsis of the Event

On Monday, more than 17,000 Etsy sellers paused their businesses in order to voice their dissatisfaction with the firm.

Etsy began charging sellers a 6.5% transaction charge instead of the previous 5% beginning on Monday.

Etsy stated in a statement that the additional price would provide resources that would be allocated toward the pain points experienced by merchants.

As a form of protest against a number of the e-commerce company’s policies, thousands of Etsy sellers switched their stores to vacation mode on Monday. This action constitutes a de facto strike that will last until April 18 and has the objective of forming a union in order to negotiate with management.

Kristi Cassidy, the strike’s organizer and an Etsy seller since 2006, told USA TODAY that “the zoomed-out picture of the situation is just people losing their ability to generate a living doing something creative.”

Over 17,000 merchants halted operations of their online stores on Monday in a move that is the conclusion of weeks of organizing by sellers who are upset about changes to seller policies that the firm has implemented over the course of the last four years.

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The Chief Executive Officer of Etsy, Josh Silverman, recently disclosed to investors that the company would be increasing its seller transaction charge from 5% to 6.5%, effective the following Monday. According to The Verge, the fee that is charged by Etsy is calculated as a percentage of the overall cost of the order.

According to the report, the business stated that they intend to invest the majority of the increased revenue that they get from the fee increase in marketing, seller tools, and the development of world-class customer experiences.

According to the petition that Cassidy spearheaded, the fee increase comes at a time when the corporation is experiencing economic gains that are at an all-time high.

Cassidy was already irritated by a number of the changes, but the fee was the straw that broke the camel’s back. About a month and a half ago, she posted the message “We need an Etsy sellers union” on the subreddit dedicated to Etsy vendors.

Contemporaries who shared her frustrations supported her concept. Sellers started organizing on Reddit, developed a Discord server and website to help one another work, and Cassidy released a petition in support of the campaign that had over 45,000 signatures as of Monday. Sellers were able to collaborate more effectively as a result of their efforts.

The organizers handed over a letter to Silverman on Monday morning that detailed their requests, which included putting a stop to the fee hike, cracking down on resellers, doing away with a seller reward scheme, and addressing other concerns including offsite marketing and support tickets.

Amazon employees in Staten Island have a vote to decide whether or not to form a union, marking a national first.

An Etsy spokesman noted that the success of sellers is a “top priority” in an email statement sent to USA TODAY. The spokesperson also stated that the additional price will produce resources that would be allocated toward addressing sellers’ pain points. The revised pricing structure will make it possible for us to boost our investments in the areas that are stated in the petition. These areas include marketing, customer assistance, and eliminating items that do not comply with our regulations.

Etsy making ‘change after change’

Cassidy, age 39, a homemaker who creates unique Victorian wedding dresses and costumes, stated that she has witnessed Etsy make “change after change,” moving away from the company’s original focus on assisting creatives in generating a sustainable livelihood for themselves. Since 2019, she has seen a drop in income of more than two-thirds as a result of changes at the company as well as the widespread COVID-19 pandemic. Etsy contributes approximately ninety percent of her annual revenue, and while she is able to keep her business afloat in spite of the changes, she is well aware that this course of action is not open to all sellers.

The organizer of the Etsy sellers strike is Kristi Cassidy, who is 39 years old and lives in Westerly, Rhode Island.

The organizer of the Etsy sellers strike is Kristi Cassidy, who is 39 years old and lives in Westerly, Rhode Island.


Etsy’s Star Seller program, which was launched in July 2021 as a means to “celebrate shops that consistently deliver outstanding customer experience,” is one of the most aggravating developments, according to her. The program was designed to “reward businesses that consistently offer excellent customer experience.”

However, the metrics that allow someone to qualify for the program are more easily met by sellers who aren’t hand-making their items, according to Cassidy. This punishes sellers like herself who make one-of-a-kind or made-to-order products because the metrics are easier to meet by sellers who aren’t hand-making their items.

Star sellers are selected in part because of their capacity to fulfill orders in a timely manner. However, according to Cassidy, it is not uncommon for a consumer to make a purchase and then request that the item be personalized. This increases a seller’s service time, but they are penalized for the fact that it now takes them longer to create a one-of-a-kind item.

According to Joseph Fells, a vendor based in London, who spoke with USA TODAY, “These are not things people anticipate from independent stores; rather, these are things they expect from Amazon.” Bleached Bones is the name of Fells’ Etsy shop where he sells hand-painted t-shirts, enamel pins, and art prints. Fells has been a member of Etsy for more than ten years.

It was noticed by Fells that Etsy does not make it apparent how the lack of Star Seller status affects sales. In addition, during the course of the previous year, one of his stores was required to maintain a payment reserve for a period of three months due to an error in the company’s copyright system. During that period, he had to continue to keep his business open despite the fact that he was not producing a revenue to pay for his materials.

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According to Cassidy, one of the major issues is the closing down of resellers, which are individuals who sell mass-produced things that they themselves have not designed.

“Sellers are having to compete with those [resell] pricing… customers will buy those products and then they’ll see it put on Amazon for like half the price,” she added. “Sellers are having to compete with those [resell] prices.” “The fact that those purchasers do not return to the platform is extremely detrimental to its health.”

Cassidy noted that computer-driven choices were also harmful to Etsy sellers. She said that Etsy sellers should have an accessible way via the company’s support system to avoid holds on their stores, which prevent people from earning cash.

Etsy’s representative stated that a portion of the additional revenue that will be generated as a result of the fee increase will be invested in technology to address problems of this nature.

According to Cassidy, it is not feasible for all vendors to stage a strike in which they take a weeklong break from their enterprises because the circumstances of each seller are unique.

Adding $1,000 to Etsy listings

Courtney Gamble, who lives in Brooklyn and operates a business on Etsy under the name MessQueen New York, manufactures colorful spandex clothing by hand in her flat there. She made the decision to make a move by increasing the price of each of her Etsy listings, which were previously priced at less than $90. Her message in the shop points customers in the direction of her official website, where they may receive a discount of 15% off their whole purchase while the strike is in effect.

Gamble joined Etsy in 2010, and she claims that her shop has been “at the bottom of the pile” ever since she forgot her Department of State registration number while she was out of town, which caused Etsy to automatically put her store in vacation mode. Gamble has been selling items on Etsy since 2010. She is now increasing the amount of money spent on her daily ad budget and renewing the listings for her most popular styles and most popular items in her shop. She is also adding listings for new styles. All of this is done in the hopes that customers will be more likely to come across her business.

Frequently Asked Questions on Etsy

Q. How much does it cost to start Etsy?

ANS : free Joining and starting a shop on Etsy is free. There are three basic selling fees: a listing fee, a transaction fee, and a payment processing fee. There’s also an advertising fee for sales that come from Offsite Ads. It costs $0.20 to publish a listing to the marketplace.

Q. How much does it cost to use Etsy to sell?

ANS : You will be charged a listing fee of $0.20 USD for each item that you list for sale on or Etsy’s mobile apps. For items already listed on your Etsy shop, there are no additional listing fees to list items on your Pattern site.

Q. Is selling on Etsy worth it?

ANS : Selling on Etsy is worth it in 2022 because it’s one of the quickest, cheapest, and easiest ways to get your handmade products online and hooked up with a shopping cart function. It’s also a low-risk option when compared to building a website.

Q. Does Etsy have a US site?

ANS :Etsy, Inc. is an American e-commerce company focused on handmade or vintage items and craft supplies.

Q. How do I search only USA on Etsy?

ANS : Click the You. Click Account settings. In the Region section, select your preferred region.

Q. Is Etsy safe to order from?

ANS :Yes, Etsy is safe to buy from because of its secure payment system, the protection Etsy offers buyers, and its review system. Etsy has been around since 2005 and has processed billions of dollars in transactions. There are millions of sellers on Etsy, most of whom are trustworthy.

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