The Etsy Strike; what is it and why is it happening?

Thousands of Etsy sellers are going on strike between the 11th and 18th of April to boycott corporate greed. A decision that was made not long after Etsy announced its second-largest profit year to date, whilst simultaneously announcing that there would be a seller fee increase of 30%.

For thousands, if not millions, of sellers, this was “the final straw” after Etsy have made multiple changes over the past year that have “degraded the platform” and made it harder for them to run their businesses.

Now, with a petition signed by over 39,000 people, as well as the growing strike, Etsy Sellers are demanding the respect they deserve.

“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 patronizes us. As individual crafters, makers and small businesspeople, we may be easy for a giant corporation like Etsy to take advantage of. But as an organized 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.” - Etsy Strike Petition

And we couldn’t agree more. We truly hope that Etsy sellers finally get the respect they deserve.

A laptop placed neatly on a desk alongside some notebooks. The screen of the laptop is displaying the website Etsy, with a strike logo placed ontop to represent the Etsy strike. Designed by E-commerce Artisans.

Etsy fees explained

Many people already know the extortionate fee’s that Etsy demands of their users, but if you’re reading about them for the first time here’s a breakdown of the costs for you.

  • Listing fee: $0.20 / 16p charged every time a listing is created or to update the inventory
  • Auto-renew listing fee: $0.20 / 16p at the end of the four-month listing period
  • Transaction fee: 6.5% of the listing price charged every time a sale is made
  • Offsite ads fee: 12-15% of the listing price charged every time a sale is made from the ad - these ads cannot be opted-out from if you make over $10,000 in a 365 day period

The total?

  • 12% (offsite ad fee) + 6.5% (transaction fee) = Etsy takes 18.5% of each sale + $0.20 / 16p (listing fee)
  • 15% (offsite ad fee) + 6.5% (transaction fee) = Etsy takes 21.5% of each sale + $0.20 / 16p (listing fee)

And that’s not even factoring in the additional fees Etsy charges if sellers charge their customers for postage.

The impact on sellers and customers

So what’s the result of these extortionate, verging on disgusting, fees?

  • Sellers are being forced into increasing their costs to cover the fees, otherwise selling on Etsy will quickly become unsustainable.
  • Customers will be hit hard, faced with the decision of whether they can afford to support their favourite small businesses anymore.
  • Etsy will see less and less quality businesses using their marketplace to sell their products. Sellers are already suffering from inflation, shipping increases, and supply issues. They won’t be able to stay on a platform that forces them to sacrifice such a large portion of their profits on top of this.
  • Etsy customers will be overwhelmed with resellers and drop shippers, meaning they will no longer be able to find the top quality products they are searching for, left with low-quality products that damage the authentic businesses and original creators.

It’s clear that the Etsy Sellers fighting for the respect they deserve are not the ones in the wrong here. Etsy has been on a downward spiral, once the platform that “put small businesses first” has now become a platform that puts its stockholders first, no longer caring about the implications it has on their users.

A tablet placed on top of a coffee table, looking down at the screen you see a website titled: Etsy: Cancel the fee increase. Work with sellers, not against us! Which is the petition running alongside the Etsy strike. Image designed by E-commerce Artisans.

How you can help

If you want to read more about how you can help the small businesses that use Etsy to sell their products, and rely on it as their source of income, you can do so by clicking here.

And for the small businesses going on strike, we hope that you are given the respect that you deserve, and, even more importantly, that your demands are met and fulfilled.

Jess McLean

Co-founder of E-commerce Artisans. Experienced in web design. Passionate about cats, books and living a vegan and eco-friendly lifestyle.

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