While many Etsy sellers are unhappy about the coming fee hike and recent policy changes, some sellers say they are going on strike next week to protest - and they are urging buyers to boycott the site as well.
The strike and boycott are scheduled to take place the week of April 11, which is the runup to Mother's Day (May 8) when many shoppers turn to Etsy for gift ideas.
interviewed the seller behind the grassroots effort to protest the coming fee hike, Kristi Cassidy, who started a petition that has garnered nearly 30,000 signatures.
"We're going on strike on April 11 to call on Etsy to hold itself accountable to sellers and buyers," she wrote in the petition. "Sellers will put their shops on vacation mode in protest. Buyers can show support by agreeing to boycott Etsy from April 11-18."
The petition lists numerous problems sellers have complained about, including the Offsite Ads program, the Star Seller program, and a lack of adequate customer support: "Etsy can't bill itself as a folksy, handmade utopia while AI bots terrorize sellers whose livelihood depends on reaching buyers on the platform."
1) Cancel the fee increase
2) Crack down on Resellers
3) "Golden" Support Tickets
4) End the Star Seller program
5) Let All sellers opt out of Offsite Ads
Not all sellers are on board with the idea of shutting down next week, as this thread
from last week indicates. It's unclear how much sellers who do not strike might be impacted by a buyer boycott.
While Etsy is sure to weather any economic consequences, the damage may be more reputational given the attention the petition has received online. In her petition, Cassidy said that unlike employees or tenants in traditional retail marketplace settings, "Etsy can fire or evict us at any time, for any reason, with no recourse."
And, Cassidy claimed, the company patronizes sellers.
That's a PR problem for a company that crafts its image as lifting women up.
Data Etsy published
last week showed 79% of its sellers identify as women; 84% are businesses of one; 95% operate their businesses from their homes; and 1 in 4 live in rural areas.
Let us know what you think of the effort to reign in Etsy's changes impacting sellers and if you'll be participating in next week's actions as a buyer or seller.