Apr 11, 2022 - Economy

Etsy sellers close shops in protest of new fees

Illustration of hand-held shopping cart with “Sorry We’re Closed” sign

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Artisan marketplace Etsy is facing backlash from sellers on its platform as the company raises fees.

Why it matters: Independent sellers have organized virtual strikes and boycotts in protest of what they see as “a giant corporation” taking advantage of small businesses, a petition reads.

Catch up quick: Etsy started charging a 6.5% commission on each transaction today — up from 5%.

  • It’s the first increase since 2018, according to the Wall Street Journal
  • More than 15,000 sellers have signed the petition, some have also opted to close their stores temporarily, and an online account, Etsy Strike, on Instagram is asking shoppers to refrain from buying on the platform for a week.

What they're saying: "We are always receptive to seller feedback," Etsy said in a statement.

  • The new fees will be reinvested in marketing and customer support — key to staying competitive as the e-commerce platform has seen a slowdown in sales as pandemic habits fade, CEO Josh Silverman has said.

The big picture: Strike organizer Kristi Cassidy told Yahoo Finance that sellers started to organize through Reddit.

  • The Etsy effort, though just a small fraction of the 5.3 million seller base, is another piece of evidence that workers are now more emboldened to organize against large corporations.
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