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Thousand of Etsy Products May Be Removed by Sellers on April 11

You will be unable to purchase items from this popular website for at least a week.

Online shopping has a whole host of benefits. You can browse for birthday gifts, order groceries, or simply treat yourself to something new from the comfort of your home. We've all grown accustomed to clicking and buying, especially following the COVID-19 pandemic when we all stayed home to help stop the spread of the virus. As we are hopefully seeing a light at the end of that tunnel, you may have been revisiting brick-and-mortar stores. But for those who still prefer to shop from the couch, come April 11, you may face barriers when visiting one popular retailer. Read on to learn more about why items could be disappearing from this e-commerce company starting April 11.

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Etsy sellers are boycotting the platform between April 11 and April 18.

Etsy logo on phone screen with mini packages and shopping card
Sergei Elagin / Shutterstock

Etsy is your one-stop shop for creative and thoughtful products, offering a platform where creators, designers, and artists can peddle their wares to customers looking for unique options. In recent years, however, the new advertising fees and policy changes that have accompanied Etsy's growth have generated issues for sellers. The announcement of a transaction fee increase, slated to take effect on April 11, is just the latest blow.

The CEO of Etsy, Josh Silverman, announced in February that transaction fees (the percentage of the order amount that the seller owes to Etsy when a sale is made) will move from 5 percent to 6.5 percent. The 30 percent increase has outraged sellers, and many have decided to take action.

Between April 11 and April 18, sellers have called for a boycott of the Etsy platform. For that week, thousands of sellers will put their shops on vacation mode, meaning you won't be able to purchase any of their items during that period. A petition to cancel the transaction fee has made its way around the web, acquiring over 21,000 signatures and nearing its goal of 25,000.

Sellers are asking Etsy shoppers to participate in the boycott.

young man with glasses shopping with credit card on his phone

Just as creative minds were drawn to sell on Etsy, so were buyers who were looking for creative products. As part of the strike, sellers are asking shoppers to refrain from using the site between April 11 and April 18. Buyers seem eager to stand in solidarity and have been vocal about their support via comments on the petition page.

"As a buyer, I am frustrated with having to sort through obviously mass-producing sellers. I want to support small businesses in a sustainable model for them," one customer wrote as a reason for signing the petition.

In a statement to Best Life, a spokesperson for Etsy wrote, "We're committed to supporting our community of 5.3 million sellers around the world by helping them grow their businesses. 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."

The petition makes additional demands, including "cracking down" on resellers.

Etsy mobile app on the display of tablet
Sharaf Maksumov / Shutterstock

Sellers feel that the platform has moved from its founding vision of "keeping commerce human" by "democratizing access to entrepreneurship." Aside from the primary demand to cancel the fee increase, Etsy sellers are also calling for the platform to combat resellers who mass produce goods to sell on the site that they have not designed, as well as ending the Star Seller program, which rewards sellers with a star badge in the event they meet certain metrics. According to the petition, these are "passive-aggressive efforts to influence seller behavior."

The option to opt-out of a costly mandatory advertising program and a better way to access Etsy's slow support system are the remaining demands.

"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," the petitioners wrote, many of whom use the platform as their primary source of income.

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As a result of recent changes, sellers are considering leaving Etsy.

A female tailor stitching velvet pieces for a victorian chair reupholstery, home based business
Kat Om / Shutterstock

Etsy seller and one of the petition creators, Kristi Cassidy, told The Verge that nearly 5,000 sellers have agreed to participate in the strike. Sellers are invited to participate in the weeklong strike for however long they can afford, she said, adding that this is just the first step. "What we want to really do for the future is form a solidarity support movement—peer support, artisans supporting each other."

Frustration is palpable for those who use the site to market their goods, and some have decided to take a stance by leaving the platform altogether.

"Etsy is going to lose me as a seller, and about 13 of my other friends who use the app are leaving as well," Ashley L. wrote on the petition site. "We are opening up our own websites, as Etsy practically made us unprofitable."

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Abby Reinhard
Abby Reinhard is a Senior Editor at Best Life, covering daily news and keeping readers up to date on the latest style advice, travel destinations, and Hollywood happenings. Read more
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