A Sale and a Strike

So, how about the good news first?

As of right now, everything in my Etsy shop is 20% off. This includes finished jewelry and patterns and you don’t need a coupon code for it at all – the discount will be automatically applied. Please enjoy!

The sale will end on April 11th because I will be participating in the Etsy Seller’s Strike. My shop will be closed from April 11th until the 18th in solidarity with the strike. My patterns and finished jewelry will not be available during that week.

So, why the strike?

Mostly, because I ain’t no scab.

But seriously, if you want a more eloquent explanation, Mashable has a pretty good article here that ends with a bunch of testimonials from Etsy sellers and this petition has a fantastic breakdown of changes that sellers would like to see. It’s specific and accurately reflects my feelings and I would love if you would sign it.

For me personally, my exasperation with Etsy has been steadily building over the last few years, but the recent straw that broke the camel’s back was an announcement that they were going to hike our transaction fee from 5% to 6.5% in the same email that they bragged about their record breaking profits. In 2020, they more than doubled their gross marketplace sales. In 2021, they kept those pandemic sales gains and broke their 2020 record by $3.2 billion dollars. To then turn around and raise our fees by 30% when they are already making us offer free shipping and paying for mandatory offsite ads is honestly insulting.

I really want to believe in Etsy as a marketplace. I’ve made over 15,000 sales since I opened my shop in 2013 and my experiences have largely been good. But the fees are getting ridiculous (.20 per listing plus 6.5% transaction fee plus %12 advertising fee that I can’t opt out of). I don’t like being punished for not being Amazon with a timer counting down when a customer messages me or being punished for four star reviews. I want to be able to reach out to Etsy and talk to a human representative, not an AI chat robot that runs me in circles. I want the resellers and non-handmade items actually policed and removed from the marketplace. I want the choice to opt out of Etsy’s offsite ad program. Basically, I want Etsy the way it was five years ago before it went public and started putting lining shareholder’s pockets above creating the space for small creators and artists it claims to care about.

I really don’t want to move off of Etsy like so many of my friends have. Pattern sales in particular flourish in a marketplace setup. But I’m tired of feeling powerless and bullied by a mega-corporation that claims to be supporting me. So I will be participating in the strike and when it ends on the 18th and nothing changes, I will probably be raising my prices. Between that and my expectiation that Etsy will surpress my listings after being in vacation mode for a week, I am suspecting that this is going to be a bit of a lean month. So, please, enjoy the sale while it’s going! And if you can, avoid shopping on Etsy from April 11th to 18th. We really want them to see that their marketplace is nothing without the creators and artists who have been making them money this entire time.

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4 Responses to A Sale and a Strike

  1. Thank you Sammy for a thorough explanation of the Etsy strike. They are tone deaf to the needs of sellers in discontinuing live seller assistance and increasing the transaction fee while announcing record profits is the height of hypocrisy.

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    • samwescott says:

      I just can’t get over who told them it would be ok to announce a fee hike and record profits in the same email. Like, guys?? Did you not send any of that profit on a PR team???

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  2. Laura B. says:

    Sam, This is such a great post and I can only hope that lots of people read it and understand. When Etsy was started it was pretty revolutionary for sellers and buyers alike. To see that it has gone the way of so many things that grow large and lose site of what the initial vision was is incredibly sad and disheartening. BTW, I signed the petition and whether Etsy pays attention or not, I think the movement is great and won’t be buying during that week. All the best.

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    • samwescott says:

      Thank you for your support, Laura! I feel like the folks who shop on Etsy are there because they want unique, handmade items and services made by small creators and they want what’s best for us too! But Etsy doesn’t exactly advertise these harmful policies, so I’m hopeful the strike will help let people know what’s going on. <3

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