Look around at Etsy this week, you’re likely to notice a lot of shops seem to be on vacation. But, rather than spending time soaking up rays or sipping tropical drinks, vendors are making their voices heard.
Let’s back up to earlier this year when the popular shopping platform announced some service restructuring, deciding to up their transaction fee for sellers from 5% to 6.5% beginning April 11th, 2022. This fee follows two years of record profits generated by their approximately 5.3 million sellers.
Stretched thin by existing fees, a global pandemic, and a platform that is already asking much of its vendors; over 5,000 shops decided to protest this latest increase by putting their storefronts into vacation mode from April 11th to April 18th. Considering many shops account for people’s livelihood, choosing to sacrifice a potential week’s worth of sales is no small show of action.
So why don’t vendors just abandon the platform altogether?
Unfortunately, Etsy is one of the few players in the space that has a fairly low barrier to entry, is easy to navigate, and already has a large, established audience of buyers (around 90 million in total) looking to purchase a wide array of bespoke crafts, vintage items, and more. It has served as a home for so many independent artisans looking to support themselves and seek the well-earned rewards of their labor and skill.
It’s unclear if the protest will result in policy changes, but if you’re interested in getting involved, the strike organizers have an official site with additional information and an active petition listing their demands.