You may soon have to get your handmade rings, bracelets and quirky homewares elsewhere, because Etsy sellers are on strike.
More than 70,000 Etsy sellers — including independent crafters, artists and collectors, who sell vintage or handmade jewellery, clothing, home décor and art on the site — have pledged to join a strike against the commission increase. Many have even temporarily closed their online stores.
Etsy CEO Josh Silverman recently announced that effective Monday, April 11, Etsy would be taking 6.5% of the sale as commission, up from its usual 5%, meaning less money in the sellers’ pockets.
Etsy officials say the fee increase is necessary to fund its planned activity. In an emailed statement to Time, a company spokesperson said: “Our sellers’ success is a top priority for Etsy. 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.”
Strike organiser Kristi Cassidy, who sells handmade wedding dresses on Etsy, said the platform can charge sellers more than 20% on items sold with hidden charges.
“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.”
The petition calls on Etsy shoppers to also support them, by boycotting Etsy from April 11–18.
“What began as an experiment in marketplace democracy has come to resemble a dictatorial relationship between a faceless tech empire and millions of exploited, majority-women craftspeople,” the petition reads.
“Even though it’s the hard work of Etsy’s sellers who’ve made it the massively successful company it is today, we have fewer rights and less of a voice in our workplaces than ever.”
You can sign the Etsy fee increase petition here.