A number of independent sellers on Etsy have gone on strike this week, closing their online stores in protest of the platform’s hike in transaction fees.
The strike follows an announcement by the marketplace’s CEO Josh Silverman in April, who stated the company was to increase its five percent transaction fee for its sellers to 6.5 percent. In his letter, published on Esty’s forum site, Silverman said the changes were being put in place to help fund marketing efforts, additional seller support and technology.
Following the announcement, a vast number of Etsy sellers, who own independent stores on the platform, spoke out against the changes, causing the launch of a petition which, as of writing, has garnered over 61,500 signatures so far.
In the petition’s description, which was started by Etsy seller Kristi Cassidy, the creator said: “Rather than rewarding the sellers whose hard work has enabled Etsy to become one of the most profitable tech companies in the world, Etsy gouges us, ignores us and patronises us.”
The description continued: “As individual crafters, makers and small businesspeople, we may be easy for a giant corporation like Etsy to take advantage of. But as an organised 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.”
Those going on strike are demanding the cancellation of the fee increase, a crackdown on mass-produced resellers, an option to opt out of offsite ads and improvements made to the platform’s “infamously slow support system”.
The petition is also calling on Etsy to end its Star Seller programme, which it described as a “passive aggressive” attempt to influence seller behaviour.