MMore than 18,000 Etsy sellers pledged to take part in a strike against a 30 percent increase in fees. This action took effect today.
Nearly 50,000 have signed the petition demanding Etsy CEO Josh Silverman revoke the increase in Etsy fees from 5% to 6.5%. The petition was signed by nearly 50,000 people as of Monday afternoon. They identify themselves as sellers and use this method to keep track of participants. From April 11-18, they are asking buyers and sellers to refrain from visiting the website.
According to Etsy’s website, sellers can start a shop for free but must pay fees for listing, transactions and payment processing. Last year, the company raised transaction fees from 3.5% to 5%. Meanwhile, Etsy’s shares have quadrupled in the last four years, closing at $116.58 on April 8 in New York.
Kristi Cassidy is a strike organizer and sells handmade wedding gowns on Etsy. However, sellers may be subject to hidden costs of more than 20%.
“It’s been one thing after another on the Etsy platform that just gradually makes it a worse and worse place to try to run a unique business,” Cassidy said. “The fee increase was the final straw.”
Etsy says it’s using the fees to make improvements for its 5.3 million sellers.
“Our sellers’ success is a top priority for Etsy,” a company spokesperson said in an emailed statement. “We are always receptive to seller feedback and, in fact, the new fee structure will enable us to increase our investments in areas outlined in the petition, including marketing, customer support, and removing listings that don’t meet our policies.”
Several of Etsy’s competitors use monthly rates to charge sellers. Amazon charges sellers $39.99 per month for selling on its site. However, it also offers a plan that costs $0.99 per sale. Shopify’s monthly rates can vary from the $29 basic plan, which is recommended for smaller businesses, to the $299 premium offer.
Read More From Time