Etsy sellers go on strike after the company says it’s taking a bigger cut of their money

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More than 14,000 Etsy sellers go on strike.

In February, the e-commerce company, known for selling handmade and vintage items, announced it would raise transaction fees by 5% to 6.5% from April 11, in turn taking a largest share of sellers.

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

As a result, many sellers, including Kristi Cassidy, the strike organizer, decided to boycott the platform today until April 18. Sellers will put their stores on vacation mode in protest. Cassidy also started a petition, with the title “Etsy: Reverse Fee Increase. Work with sellers, not against us! It collected nearly 50,000 signatures.

“As individual artisans, makers and small entrepreneurs, it can be easy for a giant corporation like Etsy to take advantage of us. But as an organized front of people, determined to use our diverse skills and boundless creativity to win a fairer deal, Etsy won’t have such a hard time jostling us,” Cassidy wrote in the petition.

In addition to the higher transaction fees, Cassidy referenced Etsy advertising policy that came into effect in February 2020, which enrolled all sellers in an advertising program taking at least 12% of each sale to which it refers. Sellers earning less than $10,000 a year can opt out, but it is mandatory for stores making more than $10,000 in sales each year.

“Thanks to offsite ads, Etsy fees are an unpredictable expense that can add up to more than 20% of every transaction. We have no control over how these ads are administered, or how much of our money is spent,” Cassidy wrote, adding, “To increase selling fees by 30% after two years of record sales is nothing. less than a profit related to the pandemic. After the planned increase, our fees as sellers will have more than doubled in less than 4 years.

With this strike too came a list of requestslike canceling the fee increase and letting everything sellers are opting out of off-site advertisements.

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

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