Etsy sellers propose boycott, call company’s new fee hike ‘pandemic profiteering’

Over 8,000 people have signed a petition urging Etsy to call off plans to raise fees for sellers on its platform, with some merchants also threatening to go on strike.

The proposed fee increase is set to begin on April 11, 2022 and will raise transaction fees from 5% per order to 6.5% per order, according to the company’s annual report.

The petition, posted by Etsy seller Kristi Cassidy, is addressed to the marketplace’s chief executive Josh Silverman and refers to the increased fees as “pandemic profiteering.”

“They plan to increase our transaction fees by 30%,” the petition says.

“We’re going on strike on April 11 to call on Etsy to hold itself accountable to sellers and buyers.

“Sellers will put their shops on vacation mode in protest. Buyers can show support by agreeing to boycott Etsy from April 11-18.”

The petition also outlines other desired changes from Etsy sellers, such as cracking down on resellers, described as “people selling mass produced goods that they have not even designed themselves.”

READ MORE: Etsy waives $4 million in fees owed by Ukrainian sellers

However, Etsy said the raised fees will help them restrict these resellers.

“We’re committed to supporting our community of 5.3 million sellers around the world by helping them grow their businesses,” an Etsy spokesperson told MarketWatch.

“Sellers have consistently told us they want us to expand our efforts around marketing, customer support, and removing listings that don’t meet our policies.

“Our revised fee structure will enable us to increase our investments in each of these key areas so that we can better serve our community and keep Etsy a beloved, trusted, and thriving marketplace.”

In February, Etsy reported fourth-quarter gross merchandise sales of $4.2 billion, a 16% increase year over year. Etsy’s stock has also surged since the pandemic, with shares up 246.6% over the last two years.

The “Cancel the fee increase” petition says that, “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.”

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