ALAMANCE COUNTY, N.C. — Thousands of Etsy sellers are on strike this week after the company announced Monday it was increasing its transaction fee. The website, used to sell homemade goods, is increasing its transaction fee from 5 to 6.5 percent.
Kiarria Waston lives in Alamance County and is the owner of Crafted by Alston. She uses Etsy to sell her customized stainless-steel tumblers and ink pens. She said news about the increased fee is disheartening for small business owners like herself.
“I'm not on strike, but I do realize how hard we work and how much time goes into creating our projects or items and it's super difficult knowing that you don't get your full compensation off of the items that you make,” Watson said. “Knowing that you spend tons and tons of dollars on products, equipment."
Etsy's CEO says the increase will fund improvements in seller tools, marketing, and other changes, but sellers like Watson said it will dramatically impact their profits.
“As soon as I got the email from them, I was like, well that's my confirmation I need to switch,” Watson said. “So, I am in the process of rebranding and finding another platform to sell my tumblers as we speak."
An Esty spokesperson sent WFMY a statement in response to the sellers going on strike:
“Our sellers’ success is a top priority for Etsy. We are always receptive to seller feedback and, in fact, the new fee structure will enable us to increase our investments in areas outlined in the petition, including marketing, customer support, and removing listings that don't meet our policies. We are committed to providing great value for our 5.3 million sellers, so they are able to grow their businesses while keeping Etsy a beloved, trusted, and thriving marketplace.” – Etsy Spokesperson
There is a petition circulating online for Esty's CEO to cancel the fee increase among other policy changes. It's already garnered more than 73,000 signatures.