Why My Etsy Store is on Strike

April 10, 2022

Why My Etsy Store is on Strike

The Short Version: Etsy seller fees are increasing 30% on April 11 and this is the last straw. I'm taking down my Etsy site from April 11-18 and urge you to #BoycottEtsy and support the #EtsyStrike.

(Oh but feel free to buy from me on this website, AlternateHistories.com! I run it and pay for it myself through Shopify)

The Longer Version: I've been selling with Etsy since August, 2010. Initially I loved it; sales on Etsy allowed me to start a new life in Pittsburgh and later let me quit my full-time job. I bought stock when Etsy went public in 2015. In 2016 I was selected to be on a panel of artists to create the (now-defunct) idea of Etsy Maker Cities; I even went to the headquarters in Brooklyn for meetings and workshops about the concept. I was all in and appreciated the personal support I got from the company.

Then in 2017 things started to change. The new CEO (Josh Silverman) and management team began changing metrics of how things appear in searches. You had to pay to appear in their ad searches and fees were still going up. More and more fees were being passed to the sellers while Etsy made more and more money for its stockholders. Etsy Wholesale, a big chunk of income for a lot of people, was closed with no explanation or fanfare. And what had been a small problem, overseas companies producing ripoffs of work in China and selling them on Etsy under the guise of being "handmade," was becoming a huge problem.

I sold my stock in protest somewhere around this point, after repeatedly being denied the opportunity to voice my discontent, even as a shareholder and seller. And things got even worse. Etsy essentially forced sellers to offer free shipping or be relegated to the bottom of search results. I've slowly been relying more and more on selling through my own website, AlternateHistories.com

February 24th was the last straw. In an email from CEO Josh Silverman, we were told two things:

  • 1. Active sellers on Etsy increased sales more than 23% last year and yet...
  • 2. Starting April 11, the Etsy fee is changing from 5% to 6.5%. That's a 30% increase on top of free shipping, on top of paying for ads, on top of being screwed by a company that now operates in clear disdain for the artists & vintage sellers who actually keep the company running.

So I'm closing my Etsy shop from April 11-18. I may have to reopen, as Etsy is still a large part of my revenue, but I'm hoping this action sends a message. I hope you'll join me and help #boycottEtsy. Click the link here to learn more and sign the petition. Thank you.

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