Ina Steiner EcommerceBytes Blog
News and insight focusing on ecommerce.
by Ina Steiner, Editor of EcommerceBytes.com
Sun Apr 3 2022 20:06:29

Etsy Boycott Scheduled in Runup to Mother's Day

By: Ina Steiner

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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.

BuzzFeed News 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."

The petition lays out the following five seller demands in the petition posted on Coworker.org (see the petition for details):

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.



Comments (16) | Leave Comment | Permalink

Readers Comments

Perminate Link for Etsy Boycott Scheduled in Runup to Mother's Day   Etsy Boycott Scheduled in Runup to Mother's Day

by: goin broke This user has validated their user name.

Sun Apr 3 23:54:22 2022

Just a drop in the bucket of approximately 5.7 million members. What will come from this boycott? - absolutely nothing except lost sales and revenue of those boycotting Etsy. It may also effect a few others but will never cause much of a problem for Etsy. Financial loss to Etsy can easily be overcome by another increase in fees in a few months so you are basically hurting yourself. The CEO and major problem is an Ebay reject trying to make a name for himself, why did he leave Ebay in the first place and if he was worth keeping why did they let him leave?  

Perminate Link for Etsy Boycott Scheduled in Runup to Mother's Day   Etsy Boycott Scheduled in Runup to Mother's Day

by: Chicago48 This user has validated their user name.

Mon Apr 4 04:49:15 2022

This would be a good time for a major developer to design/create a website space for hand-mades.

Perminate Link for Etsy Boycott Scheduled in Runup to Mother's Day   Etsy Boycott Scheduled in Runup to Mother's Day

This user has validated their user name. by: The End

Mon Apr 4 05:58:40 2022

Stomp Etsy.

Perminate Link for Etsy Boycott Scheduled in Runup to Mother's Day   Etsy Boycott Scheduled in Runup to Mother's Day

by: Marty2020 This user has validated their user name.

Mon Apr 4 06:16:32 2022

I have been selling on Etsy a number of years (much longer on ebay).  Not that I like fee increases, but everything is going up. Boycott the current administration instead.

Perminate Link for Etsy Boycott Scheduled in Runup to Mother's Day   Etsy Boycott Scheduled in Runup to Mother's Day

by: Whatever This user has validated their user name.

Mon Apr 4 07:25:03 2022

And just what is the fee hike for? nothing - just a bigger paycheck for the boys at the top because we all know enough is never enough for the elite corporate execs

Perminate Link for Etsy Boycott Scheduled in Runup to Mother's Day   Etsy Boycott Scheduled in Runup to Mother's Day

by: I_Fix_Dolls This user has validated their user name.

Mon Apr 4 08:13:29 2022

@Chicago48
The IS a site for handmade items, it's called GoImagine.com
Not surprised you haven't heard of it. Not many buyers have either, which is the problem with moving off an established site like Etsy.
Personally I don't put all my eggs in one basket. I have booths on two other sites and have accounts set up in at least half a dozen more. Too bad more casual shoppers don't use Google to find supplies and gifts.

Perminate Link for Etsy Boycott Scheduled in Runup to Mother's Day   Etsy Boycott Scheduled in Runup to Mother's Day

by: LDWCallsOut This user has validated their user name.

Mon Apr 4 09:04:43 2022

Etsy is not going to ''crack down'' on reselling.  The majority of Etsy shops active on the site are currently reselling stuff no one involved with the shop designed and/or crafted as handmade or listing items nowhere near 20 years old as vintage.  Etsy ceased removing listings, or entire shops, for reselling in Summer 2015.  Where were the boycotts then?  Actually, the reaction was crickets.  I still read Etsy Forums posts every week (at least) where long time shop owners proclaim that ''reselling is not allowed''.  Yeah, sure.

The Star Seller program is nonsense since it awards the star to resellers, including shops that are selling illegal merchandise (not items that are just ''against the House Rules'' on Etsy.  I have found Star Sellers who earned their icon exclusively selling weapons (items that get confiscated at airports, and are illegal to ship to some US states and countries outside the USA).  As well as counterfeit luxury brand items.  The Star Seller icon does NOT tell shoppers that the seller is trustworthy or professional.  I see recent posts whining about Star Seller unfairness every time I visit the Etsy Forums.  Star Seller status does not give a shop's listing priority in searches, which might lead to increased sales.  It's a meaningless contest apparently intended to distract the sillier members of the seller community.  And it's working!!!

I don't know if the Etsy seller community remembers the time before the Offsite Ad requirement.  Back then a lot of Etsy ads displayed counterfeit products and other IP infringement.  These items are super-popular with the shopper Etsy corporate targets, so images of these products are click bait.  While infringing shops often make a lot of sales very quickly, being popular while they remain open. the most successful infringer shops are usually closed (by legal demand from the brand owner) before they shop reaches $10K in sales (usually within 30 days).  Etsy corporate doesn't want to deal with issues like counterfeit products, so the mandatory outside ad program was created, in my view, to help hide the amount of infringement happening on the site.  Which helps the infringing shops stay open longer since they are less obvious to the brands they infringe.

The fee increase is a bogus issue.  Who hasn't seen increases in the super market or at the gas pump?   Big increases, to most shoppers.  Etsy sellers should raise their prices.


What Etsy corporate needs to do is get some real customer service, find a way to incorporate resellers without having them pretend their sweatshop wares are ''handmade'', and get rid to stoopid programs like Star Seller.

I am planning a blog post outlining my ideas for incorporating resellers while protecting the integrity of handmade and authentic vintage more effectively than what Etsy is doing now.  It's not that difficult.

Perminate Link for Etsy Boycott Scheduled in Runup to Mother's Day   Etsy Boycott Scheduled in Runup to Mother's Day

This user has validated their user name. by: The End

Mon Apr 4 10:03:18 2022

Or keep your Etsy shop open and just cancel ALL sales.

Perminate Link for Etsy Boycott Scheduled in Runup to Mother's Day   Etsy Boycott Scheduled in Runup to Mother's Day

This user has validated their user name. by: COVID-19

Mon Apr 4 15:57:54 2022

Etsy is Oopsy, bro.

Perminate Link for Etsy Boycott Scheduled in Runup to Mother's Day   Etsy Boycott Scheduled in Runup to Mother's Day

This user has validated their user name. by: iheartjacksparrow

Mon Apr 4 16:48:14 2022

I remember when sellers were trying to organize boycotts for eBay and they didn't work. You'd need close to every seller to boycott before it would be effective in changing anything.

Perminate Link for Etsy Boycott Scheduled in Runup to Mother's Day   Etsy Boycott Scheduled in Runup to Mother's Day

by: ThebigR This user has validated their user name.

Mon Apr 4 17:30:48 2022

Couple weeks ago I needed some 3D printing done etsy has 100s of sellers doing 3D custom printing. I emailed 9 different sellers about doing the work over a week long period. As of today not one single reply to my emails so they really do need to send some folks packing..  

Perminate Link for Etsy Boycott Scheduled in Runup to Mother's Day   Etsy Boycott Scheduled in Runup to Mother's Day

by: Sierra This user has validated their user name.

Wed Apr 6 07:10:32 2022

Y'all can strike if you want to. My Etsy shop will remain open.  

Perminate Link for Etsy Boycott Scheduled in Runup to Mother's Day   Etsy Boycott Scheduled in Runup to Mother's Day

by: WaLK-aWAY This user has validated their user name.

Wed Apr 6 23:47:42 2022

@ Sierra
The illustrated embodiment of conformity.
"Please Sir... May I have another?"  Exactly what the agents and sentinels demand of you. Absolutely fabulous that you have decided to tow the line and obey.
Remember to NEVER question what you are told!  hahaha

Perminate Link for Etsy Boycott Scheduled in Runup to Mother's Day   Etsy Boycott Scheduled in Runup to Mother's Day

by: Sierra This user has validated their user name.

Wed Apr 6 23:58:03 2022

@walk, ROTFLMAO!

Perminate Link for Etsy Boycott Scheduled in Runup to Mother's Day   Etsy Boycott Scheduled in Runup to Mother's Day

by: tigerlily This user has validated their user name.

Sat Apr 9 19:27:35 2022

I'd be all for a boycott if it would work.. It won't...only sellers  that follow the rules and have reason to be fed up will boycott and those will be the ones that will lose sales to resellers.  

Perminate Link for Etsy Boycott Scheduled in Runup to Mother's Day   Etsy Boycott Scheduled in Runup to Mother's Day

by: Sierra This user has validated their user name.

Sat Apr 9 19:40:57 2022

@tigerlily - I follow Etsy's rules, but I'm not fed up. Annoyed from time to time, yes, but not enough to put my shop on vacation for a week!  



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