Etsy merchants claim high fees and inflation are hurting sales

Etsy merchants are complaining that high fees and inflation are hurting sales of the festive period.

In April, the handmade goods platform raised its transaction fees from 5% per sale to 6.5%, marking a 30% increase for sellers on its platform.

The changes prompted uproar amongst the selling community and culminated in a strike in the Spring.

According to Etsy, Black Friday marked the company’s largest ever sales event, prompting its shares to pop after the Thanksgiving weekend.

However, a number of merchants on the site claim they’ve had to resort to heavily discounting items and cross-promoting their shops in order to record sales during the holiday season traffic spike.

Inflation was heavily cited as the main reason for the slowing number of sales, however higher fees and fulfilment costs were said to not have helped.

Etsy played down the situation, creating a handbook of pricing and promotional tools to support sellers during the busy season.

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“We also launched a new Etsy Seller app with more tools and features to make it even easier for sellers to run their businesses on the go,” a company spokesperson told Modern Retail.

Indiana-based Etsy store owner Fawn S. told Modern Retail that the company’s April changes “have definitely negatively affected my sales and exposure as a whole.

“Traffic has been down as well, but I do in-person events and then cross-promote on multiple social media to push it back up.”

Fawn said it’s become harder for shops selling low-margin products to turn a profit.

“I know the economy is not helping either, but it was easier and more successful before Etsy implemented its changes that focus more on profits,” she added.

Another sellers, Jessica Jewett said: “It’s been rough for about six or seven months. I’m either going to have to stop offering free shipping or I’m going to have to raise my prices soon.”



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