Press "Enter" to skip to content

A Copy of a Letter Sent to Etsy

Yesterday was an utter whirlwind of media interview request after media interview request! My last interview personally was BBC, around 7PM last night.

We sent this letter yesterday morning, and I intended to tell you about it yesterday afternoon, but there was simply no time to do anything other than grab a random image from the /join-us page and share that!

Too many media requests is a good problem to have! So I’m quite happy to be a day late sharing this with you, all things considered.

We haven’t heard back yet from Etsy, at least not as of posting this today.

Here is our letter:

We are Etsy sellers, both large and small, from around the world. Some of us have been on the platform since the very beginning, others have joined more recently. We have come together to organize the Etsy Strike, because we care about the Etsy platform, and we’re beyond frustrated at the direction it’s been heading. We hope that you take the time to read through our letter and consider our voices, and we invite you to engage in a good faith dialogue with us.

Over the past few years, our perception as members of Etsy’s seller community is that Etsy is shifting away from its handmade, vintage and small business roots. From the flood of illicit drop-shippers and resellers onto the market, to recent policy changes and fee increases, Etsy has become a downright hostile place for authentic small businesses to operate. For both full-time and part-time sellers alike, the changes on Etsy have brought many of us to the brink of financial ruin.

We realize that Etsy has to generate a profit, and that Etsy provides a service to sellers for which it is entitled to seek a payment. But, without sellers, Etsy couldn’t even exist! After giving Etsy two years of record profits under the most difficult circumstances imaginable, we’re tired, frustrated and ready to fight for our seat at the table.

Our demands are not unreasonable. In fact, we believe they’re the best way forward to get Etsy back on track towards fulfilling the promise of “Keeping commerce human.” We are confident that Etsy sellers and management can work together to make the platform live up to its potential.

These are our demands:

1: Cancel the fee increase.
Increasing seller fees by 30% after two years of record sales is nothing short of pandemic profiteering. After the planned increase, our fees as sellers will have more than doubled in less than 4 years, with a large decrease in quality of service. Etsy sellers’ income shouldn’t go down after Etsy’s income has climbed as high as it has.

2: Crack down on Resellers
Etsy needs to provide a comprehensive plan for tackling resellers (people selling mass produced goods that they have not even designed themselves) on the platform. This plan must be transparent – not just platitudes – so that sellers can hold Etsy accountable.

3: “Golden” Support Tickets
People are waiting months to appeal computer-made decisions that stop them from accessing their own earnings, or running their business entirely. These people should have an automatic fast track through Etsy’s infamously slow support system. Etsy can’t bill itself as a folksy, handmade utopia while AI bots terrorize sellers whose livelihood depends on reaching buyers on the platform.

4: End the Star Seller program
Efforts to influence seller behavior are counter-productive and result in a worse customer experience. Rather than making us feel incredibly discouraged by buyers who leave glowing 4-Star reviews, or making us feel that we can no longer offer letter class shipping on items like cards and stickers, Etsy should leave us to individually do the best we can for each and every customer in each and every situation.

5: Let All sellers opt out of Offsite Ads
We should be in control of which listings to advertise, how much we spend on ads, and whether to advertise at all. There should be no level of “success” that forces sellers to foot Etsy’s advertising costs, unless we choose to. That “success” level being well below the federal poverty line only adds insult to injury.

We invite you to speak with us – really speak with us personally, not through an anonymous spokesperson in the media – in good faith about helping Etsy fulfill its promise to sellers and buyers. We don’t want a long, drawn out struggle, but our movement will only continue to grow unless these issues are addressed.

Thank you for reading our letter,

The Etsy Strike Team & the growing thousands and thousands of sellers who stand with us

We hope Etsy will respond. The blanket statement they keep releasing to media does not actually address our demands, and we plan to post about that tomorrow.

Comments are closed, but trackbacks and pingbacks are open.