Many Etsy sellers are upset over a change to the way the marketplace displays listings, and a petition on Change.org is gaining steam, gathering over 2,700 supporters as of Saturday evening.
The angst that Etsy sellers feel about this change is reminiscent of how eBay sellers felt when that marketplace changed the default search from time ending soonest to "best match."
Sellers expend enormous energy trying to get exposure on search results, whether it's a search engine like Google or on a marketplace like eBay or Amazon. And when a host changes the algorithm that determines which listings to show ahead of others, it's a very big deal.
Etsy announced a change a week ago
that made items from local sellers more prominent in two of its markets - the UK and Australia. Not only is now the default search, there's no option for shoppers to search without the local bias.
"Sellers all over the world are affected by this change and we are outraged," a reader told EcommerceBytes. "A petition has been started with over 1k signatures in less than 48hrs."
Another reader said the petition is asking Etsy to "stop manipulating search and visibility."
One French seller who signed the online petition wrote, " If Etsy is not Global anymore i will close my shop and try something else. 80% of my buyers are from foreign countries. I can't get why Etsy is doing this!"
The petition on Change.org explains the issue and states:
"While we agree that we would like more local exposure, we feel that ultimately shoppers should have the right to make their own choices regarding their shopping experience. This could be improved by adding a localized search option button on the search bar rather than manipulating the sellers and buyers into buying and selling locally."
calls on Etsy "to remove the new local search preference algorithm and make Etsy once again a fair global marketplace."
Etsy responded to our questions about the changes in Tuesday's Newsflash, which you can read here