Is The Etsy Strike Really Having An Impact?

Liz Morton
Liz Morton


The Etsy Seller Strike kicked off yesterday with a whirlwind of social media activity and major media attention!

The strike organizers sent an open letter to CEO Josh Silverman as well as several other executives and board members.

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…

The letter reads, in part:

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...

...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

No response has been forthcoming, yet.

The Etsy Strike Petition has over 81,000 signatures!

Etsy: Cancel the fee increase. Work with sellers, not against us!
Etsy was founded with a vision of “keeping commerce human” by “democratizing access to entrepreneurship.” As a result, people who have been marginalized in traditional retail economies -- women, people of color, LGBTQ people, neurodivergent people, etc. -- make up a significant proportion of Etsy’s…

Media coverage is too numerous to list them all, but notable mentions are the Wall Street Journal, Time, USA Today, NPR, and Fortune. 😲

For those who say this group of determined sellers represents a small fraction and is hardly a blip on the radar to Etsy HQ....I wouldn't be so sure about that. While the strike itself may not financially impact the platform in a big way, the media attention and public scrutiny just might.

Etsy seller and blogger Cindy Lou Who has done some very interesting analysis showing the total number of listings on the platform shipping to the US has dropped at a greater rate this week than previously averaged.

There could be multiple reasons for this of course (some sellers may simply be on vacation with kids on Spring break or closed for the upcoming Easter holiday) but even accounting for normal fluctuations, it's an interesting figure to track and definitely one to keep an eye on throughout the week.

And what better way to measure the impact this movement is having than a tweet from Etsy founder Rob Kalin showing his support?

The strike will be running through April 18th - you can get details and follow the action on their website and across their various social media channels.

Etsy Strike
We are striking to protest Etsy’s treatment of sellers. We will put our shops on vacation mode April 11-18. Those of us who can will strike for the whole week, and some of us are striking only for…

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Liz Morton is a seasoned ecommerce pro with 17 years of experience in online sales & marketplaces, providing expert commentary, analysis & news about eBay, Amazon, Etsy & more at Value Added Resource!