PENNSYLVANIA, USA — Days before Easter and weeks before Mother's Day, sellers on one of the most popular websites for personalized items are going on strike.
FOX43 Finds Out why the sellers say the recent changes are unfair and where you may need to shop in the meantime.
Kristi Cassidy has been selling handmade dresses on Etsy since 2006. She said, "My business is officially unsustainable. I can't price my items anymore because I don't know how much money I'm earning on each one of them."
Cassidy says over the past couple of years, certain fees have increased and the way sales are done has changed too. Then, Etsy's CEO released this report earlier this year announcing the seller transaction fee would increase from 5 to 6.5%, which is about a 30% increase.
For someone like Cassidy, this takes about $30 to $120 out of her pocket and into Etsy's every month. That could also be passed on to the buyer.
"I basically asked the question, 'When does this end?' Because I don't believe it does end," Cassidy said.
She and other sellers started posting their frustrations and eventually came up with a plan to go on strike on April 11, the day the fee increase is set to begin. They plan to not sell any items on Etsy for a week and are encouraging customers to boycott the website too.
"If you have a shop that you love to shop with on Etsy, search for us on Google," Cassidy said. "A lot of us have websites now because a lot of these platform changes have kind of forced us to figure out how to do it on our own."
More than 30,000 people have signed a petition so far, asking for changes to Etsy's policies.
FOX43 Finds Out reached out to the company about the strike and complaints.
We were sent a statement that reads: “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.”
Cassidy knows that the thousands of people who have signed up in support of the strike are only a small fraction of the sellers on the site, but she hopes it's a message to online platforms to remember who is at the core of their business.
"I think the only way how changes do come out of this is if Etsy feels like their bottom line is hurt because I really think that their bottom line is all that they care about anymore," Cassidy said.
If you do want something delivered on time for Easter or Mother's Day, sellers say your best bet is to order this weekend or find the seller on another platform.