Behind the Scenes of Etsy - The 2022 Strike and Resellers

Behind the Scenes of Etsy - The 2022 Strike and Resellers

Table of Contents:

  1. Introduction
  2. The Etsy Strike: An Overview
    • Letter from the CEO
    • The Strike Demand and Purpose
  3. Pricing Challenges for Etsy Sellers
    • Transaction Fee Increase
    • Impacts on Pricing Strategies
  4. Etsy's Efforts to "Clean Up" the Marketplace
    • Violations and Lack of Enforcement
  5. Addressing Frustrations with Etsy
  6. The Truth about Etsy and its Ownership
  7. The Author's Point of View
    • Impact of the Strike
    • Personal Opinions on Etsy's Policies
  8. Exploring Alternative Platforms for Selling
  9. Conclusion

The Etsy Strike: An Overlook

Etsy, the popular online marketplace for handmade and vintage items, recently faced a strike initiated by its sellers. In this article, we will delve into the details of this strike, analyzing its causes, demands, and potential outcomes. We will explore the various challenges faced by Etsy sellers, particularly in terms of pricing their products due to increasing fees. Furthermore, we will scrutinize Etsy's efforts to improve the marketplace's integrity and address the frustrations experienced by both sellers and buyers. Alongside that, we will offer our perspective on the strike and its potential impact on Etsy's future. Finally, we will discuss alternative platforms for selling and conclude with some final thoughts on the matter.


Etsy, a renowned online marketplace for handmade and vintage items, has become a go-to platform for creative individuals looking to sell their unique products. However, recent changes and decisions made by Etsy's management have sparked controversy among sellers, resulting in an organized strike. This strike aims to address the challenges faced by Etsy sellers, particularly concerning pricing strategies and the platform's commitment to maintaining its integrity.

In this article, we will examine the letter shared by Etsy's CEO, highlighting the reasons behind the strike and its demands. We will also delve into the pricing challenges faced by sellers due to increasing transaction fees. Additionally, we will analyze Etsy's efforts to "clean up" the marketplace and the frustrations experienced by sellers. Throughout the article, we will offer our own perspective on the matter and discuss the potential impact of the strike on Etsy's future.

The Etsy Strike: An Overview

The Etsy strike, initiated by its sellers, aims to shed light on the treatment of sellers by Etsy's management. The strike demands a cancellation of the proposed transaction fee increase and increased accountability for resellers. Participating sellers plan to put their shops on vacation mode or strike for a designated period. Buyers are also encouraged to support the strike by boycotting Etsy and exploring alternative ways to support sellers.

The strike exposes the frustrations felt by sellers, particularly regarding Etsy's policies and fee structure. These concerns, alongside the prevalence of resellers violating Etsy's guidelines, have fueled dissatisfaction and prompted sellers to take collective action.

Pricing Challenges for Etsy Sellers

One of the main challenges faced by Etsy sellers is determining how to price their products, especially in light of the proposed transaction fee increase. The fee increase, from 5% to 6.5%, represents a significant cost for sellers and influences their pricing strategies. Balancing profitability with competitive pricing becomes increasingly complex, particularly for sellers of handmade and unique items.

Etsy's decision to introduce off-site advertising fees further complicates pricing decisions. Sellers must factor in the additional costs associated with off-site ads, potentially impacting their profit margins. This fee, coupled with the rising transaction fees, creates uncertainty and places financial pressure on sellers, leading to frustration and disillusionment.

Etsy's Efforts to "Clean Up" the Marketplace

Etsy claims to prioritize maintaining a safe and secure marketplace, supporting handmade, vintage, and unique items. However, an examination of the marketplace reveals many violations, including selling copyrighted or mass-produced items. This discrepancy between Etsy's stated policies and the reality of the marketplace has contributed to seller frustrations.

While Etsy has invested in technology and teams to improve marketplace integrity, violations persist. The prevalence of resellers, offering generic and non-unique products, undermines the core principles on which Etsy was founded. This disconnect is problematic for sellers who abide by the rules and strive to offer genuinely handmade or vintage items.

Addressing Frustrations with Etsy

Understanding the frustrations experienced by Etsy sellers is crucial in comprehending the motivation behind the strike. Sellers feel disillusioned by Etsy's perceived failure to enforce its policies consistently and effectively. Issues such as customer support and lack of assistance with technical problems have added to seller dissatisfaction.

The discrepancies between Etsy's promises of a supportive and transparent platform and the reality experienced by sellers have amplified frustrations. Sellers have a deep-rooted desire to succeed but feel overlooked and undervalued by the platform they rely on for business. This frustration is a driving force behind the strike and the calls for change within Etsy's system.

The Truth about Etsy and its Ownership

It is essential to acknowledge that ultimately, Etsy is a privately owned company. While sellers and buyers rely on the platform, it is the decisions of the shareholders and management that shape its policies and direction. Sellers should recognize that Etsy has the authority to dictate the rules and fee structures within the marketplace.

Etsy's recent decisions regarding fee increases and policy enforcement have ignited controversy. However, it is crucial to approach the situation with a realistic understanding of the platform's ownership and their prerogative to prioritize certain business goals. Evaluating alternative platforms or considering independent business ventures may provide some sellers with greater control and autonomy.

The Author's Point of View

As an observer of the Etsy strike and the surrounding discussions, it is evident that the strike will unlikely impact Etsy's overall operation significantly. While it raises awareness and highlights some issues within the platform, it is unlikely to result in drastic changes. Etsy's response to the strike is an opportunity to demonstrate their commitment to sellers and potentially alleviate some concerns.

However, it is crucial to recognize the limitations of the strike and consider alternative strategies for addressing seller frustrations. Exploring alternative platforms or establishing independent online stores can provide sellers with greater control and autonomy over their businesses. Such diversification can reduce dependence on a single marketplace and mitigate the impact of policy changes.

Exploring Alternative Platforms for Selling

While Etsy has been a popular choice for sellers, it is not the only platform available for selling handmade and unique items. Exploring alternative platforms can offer sellers increased flexibility and control over their businesses. Platforms like Shopify, WooCommerce, and various print-on-demand websites provide alternative avenues for reaching customers and establishing brand identity.

By expanding their presence beyond Etsy, sellers can tap into new markets and diversify their income streams. This approach not only offers greater independence but also reduces vulnerability to policy changes and fee increases imposed by a single platform.


The Etsy strike has drawn attention to the challenges faced by sellers, particularly concerning pricing strategies and policy enforcement. While the strike may not yield immediate transformative change, it serves as a reminder of the frustrations felt by sellers within the marketplace. Exploring alternative platforms and reducing dependence on a single marketplace can empower sellers to maintain greater control over their businesses. Ultimately, finding a balance between online marketplaces and establishing independent stores may offer sellers a more stable and flexible future.

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