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14,000 Etsy Sellers Are on Strike—Here’s Why


Over the years, Etsy has grown into one of the internet’s go-to marketplaces for handmade items from an array of artisans, amateur and professional alike. But for the next week, some of its digital storefronts are closing shop.

Through Monday, April 18, an estimated 14,000 Etsy sellers have pledged to participate in a one-week protest that hopes to draw attention to policies and unresolved issues that organizers say have made it harder to sustain their businesses on the platform. As of Tuesday, nearly 65,000 people have signed a petition calling on Etsy to cancel a transaction fee increase from 5 to 6.5% that took effect on Monday, April 11.

Some 14,000 Etsy sellers (of the marketplace’s 5 million active sellers) plan to be on strike for one week, beginning today. 

Photo: Gabby Jones/Bloomberg via Getty Images

While the fees have garnered the most vocal criticism, organizers of the unconventional strike outlined further demands that they hope to see resolved. Beyond the fee increase, the prevalence of resellers and knockoffs on the platforms is an ongoing issue, with participants who spoke to NPR insisting that the company has been unresponsive to their complaints. Furthermore, they’re calling for an end to Etsy’s Star Seller program. as well as the ability to opt out of off-site advertising, the cost of which is passed onto sellers when such an ad leads to a purchase.

When it came time to communicate their grievances to Etsy, organizers of the strike—who are technically customers of the platform rather than employees—did not mince words.

“Etsy has become a downright hostile place for authentic small businesses to operate. For both full-time and part-time sellers alike, the changes on Etsy have brought many of us to the brink of financial ruin,” they said in a letter to CEO Josh Silverman, according to NPR. “After giving Etsy two years of record profits under the most difficult circumstances imaginable, we’re tired, frustrated, and ready to fight for our seat at the table.”


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