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Etsy sellers plan week-long strike

Etsy visual
Sergai Elagin

Some thirteen thousand vendors on Etsy plan to begin a week-long strike on Monday in protest of a 30% increase in fees the site charges them.

Etsy is raising its transaction fee from 5% to 6.5%. The last increase before this one was in 2018 when the 3.5% was raised to the current 5%.

As of last week, a petition created by organizers of the strike has already collected around 35,000 signatures. They say a third of those includes sellers nationwide. The rest are buyers and Etsy employees who support the strike.

Melonia Vincent is an Ohio-based seller participating in the strike. She says their goal is not to shut the platform down but restore it to its original roots of "keeping commerce human."

Melonia Vincent
Ohio-based Etsy seller participating in the strike
Etsy Strike

"I think at this point, we’re realizing we don’t really feel like we have much of a voice because Etsy now has…they’re the big company. They get to make these calls and we just want to be able to say, okay but we don’t want to do that.”

Etsy declined an interview request but released the following statement:

"Our sellers’ success is a top priority for Etsy. We are always receptive to seller feedback and, in fact, the new fee structure will enable us to increase our investments in areas outlined in the petition, including marketing, customer support, and removing listings that don't meet our policies. We are committed to providing great value for our 5.3 million sellers so they are able to grow their businesses while keeping Etsy a beloved, trusted, and thriving marketplace.”

A spokesperson from Etsy sent two blog posts, outlining the investments listed in their statement. One states the company is investing $50 million in improving their customer support and the other states an investment of $40 million in improving their policy enforcement.

Organizers plan on holding a community meeting after the strike to decide their next steps.

In a statement, Kristi Cassidy, a main organizer for the strike, wrote that, "We're carrying this forward into a solidarity organization, the equivalent of a union for Etsy sellers. We aren't sure yet what form that will take, as we navigate uncharted territory trying to organize users of a tech platform!"