Here is our December Newsletter!
As we end 2023, we wanted to take a moment to reflect on our victories for the year. Truly, it has been an incredible ride, with far more success than we could have hoped for.
- Lobbying with the US Senate: We worked with Senator Baldwin’s office to help the COOL Online Act (a bill to crack down on dishonest resellers) pass committee. Read our analysis of the bill here.
- Fighting Etsy’s Reserve Payment Policy: Our work, combined with the heroic efforts of UK sellers and the media, pressured Etsy to reduce or lift their devastating payment reserve policy for many sellers. Samantha Vass, a prominent UK seller who spoke out, had her Etsy shop suspended, learn more and support her business here.
- Feedback to the FTC: An US Federal Trade Commission lawyer reached out to us for feedback on a new FTC rule against unfair and deceptive business practices around online platform fees. Learn more here.
- Presentation to UK Small Business Commissioner: We were able to discuss the issue of online platforms messing with indie sellers’ money in a series of meetings with UK Small Business Commissioner Liz Barclay. Watch a video of the presentation here.
- Marketplace Research Project: We had over 1,000 participants in our research survey on what creative indie sellers and their customers want from an online marketplace. Read more about how we will use that data to hold marketplaces accountable here.
In the works:
The first annual ISG virtual convention will be April 13-14, 2024!
We will launch our Marketplace Accreditation Program, unveil our new membership site, and discuss how we can continue to fight the exploitation of creative indie sellers by big tech platforms.
Panels will include:
What to do if you get screwed by a tech platform. – with Katharine from the Electronic Frontier Foundation
Etsy Alternatives: Data and tools to help you find the best marketplaces for your business
How to use your Etsy shop to direct traffic to your own site (without breaking Etsy’s rules) – with Kristi Cassidy, ISG President
Results from our Marketplace Research Project: What do sellers and customers really want from an online marketplace – with Samantha Close, Ph.D.
Interview with Racheal from Mayfli marketplace in the UK
Interview with Jon from goimagine marketplace in the US
Get your ticket now to reserve your spot! Tickets only cost $1 to help cover the costs of the convention.
Share your story!
The FTC is seeking public comment on their proposed “Rule on Unfair or Deceptive Fees”. After our meeting with the FTC, we are excited about the rule because it will also protect creative indie sellers from unfair and deceptive fees from marketplaces. If the rule goes through, we hope to use it to combat Etsy’s forced off-site ads and other unfair practices.
We heard you:
We know that the seller member directory, and members-only parts of the website in general are a bit difficult to navigate. One of our first goals in 2024 is to update our membership with new software and far more features. Stay tuned for information on how to set up your profile on the new site!
What ISG needs right now:
While we’ve managed some amazing things with a very small budget, thanks to our amazing volunteers and open source software, we need more funding for 2024 to continue to grow and advocate on your behalf.
Please consider making a small donation to the Indie Sellers Guild. If half of our members donate just $5, we will raise enough funding for the next 6 months. Or you can buy one of our awesome merch items so you can represent the Guild and show off the work of your fellow artists. The Guild receives $5 from every merch purchase.