Why the Etsy Boycott is Making Headlines

Why the Etsy Boycott is Making Headlines

Table of Contents:

  1. Introduction
  2. Background of the Etsy Boycott
  3. The Petition and its Demands
    1. Cancel the fee increase
    2. Crack down on resellers
    3. Improve support ticket system
    4. End the star seller program
    5. Allow sellers to opt out of offsite ads
  4. The Impact on Sellers
  5. Personal Thoughts on the Petition
  6. Choosing the Right Business Platform
  7. Conclusion


The Etsy Boycott: Understanding the Petition and its Impact on Sellers


The recent Etsy boycott has garnered significant attention as sellers protest against the platform's decision to increase transaction fees. With thousands of signatures on the petition, it is evident that many individuals are rallying behind the cause. In this article, we will delve into the demands outlined in the petition, providing an analysis of the various points and sharing personal thoughts on the matter. Additionally, we will explore the impact of these changes on sellers and discuss the importance of choosing the right business platform.

Background of the Etsy Boycott

Etsy, established in 2005, began as a platform founded by a maker, Robert Kalin, aiming to provide a space for artisans to sell their unique creations. However, over the years, the company has transitioned into a publicly listed corporation. The recent decision to increase transaction fees has sparked outrage among sellers, leading to the organization of a boycott to bring attention to their concerns.

The Petition and its Demands

The petition put forth by sellers encompasses five main demands, each addressing distinct issues that impact their experience on the platform. The first demand calls for the cancellation of the fee increase, highlighting the significant rise in fees over just four years. While some sellers express discontent about the increase, others argue that if the fee amount poses a significant concern, it may be indicative of underpricing their products.

The second demand focuses on cracking down on resellers, individuals who sell mass-produced goods they did not design, thus posing competition to genuine artisans. Resellers have been a longstanding problem on Etsy, with previous discussions and articles highlighting the issue. Though combating resellers is crucial, the challenge is immense given the platform's vast number of sellers. Reporting resellers and holding Etsy accountable are suggested solutions, but implementing stricter approval processes, similar to Amazon Handmade, could be a potential long-term strategy.

The third demand addresses the support ticket system, which presents significant challenges for sellers. Delays in addressing appeals and relying on AI bots instead of human support have hindered the resolution of critical issues for sellers. Etsy has acknowledged the need for improvement in this area, and the fee increase is intended to bolster efforts to enhance their support system. However, it is crucial for sellers to remain vigilant and ensure that Etsy follows through on their promises.

The fourth demand revolves around the star seller program, which some sellers believe negatively impacts their ability to provide personalized service and maintain a satisfactory customer experience. While Etsy has implemented this program, it has faced criticism from sellers who feel it does not align with their business values. However, the impact of the program on individual businesses and overall sales remains uncertain, as Etsy continually experiments with various initiatives. It is essential to monitor its effectiveness and advocate for changes when necessary.

The fifth and final demand relates to the offsite ads policy, where sellers are automatically enrolled once their sales surpass a specific threshold. While some sellers appreciate the value and affordability of this advertising opportunity, others express frustration, particularly if they engage in separate advertising efforts for their independent websites. Allowing sellers to opt out of this program completely would provide more control over their advertising choices, preventing potential conflicts and duplication.

The Impact on Sellers

As with any significant platform change, the Etsy boycott and petition have brought considerable implications for sellers. While some may find the fee increase burdensome, it is essential to revisit pricing strategies to ensure sustainability and profitability. Moreover, addressing reseller issues, improving support systems, reconsidering the star seller program, and refining offsite ads policies can significantly benefit the overall selling experience. Evaluating these changes through the lens of individual business goals and values is crucial when identifying the extent of their impact.

Personal Thoughts on the Petition

While there are varying opinions on the petition demands, it is important to recognize the complexities surrounding these issues. As an established seller on Etsy, I have experienced several platform changes and understand the frustration stemming from certain policies. However, it is critical to make informed decisions based on individual circumstances and the long-term goals of one's business. Each seller must assess whether the benefits of Etsy, such as its extensive marketplace and potential customer reach, outweigh the concerns outlined in the petition.

Choosing the Right Business Platform

The Etsy boycott raises broader questions about the platforms we choose to do business with. Etsy is undoubtedly not the only option available, as other platforms like Shopify, Amazon, and independent websites offer viable alternatives. Every business owner must evaluate the values and practices of potential platforms and determine which align best with their own ethos. By supporting platforms that prioritize the handmade industry and value the uniqueness of artisan products, we can collectively uplift the entire community.


The Etsy boycott and the associated petition shed light on the concerns shared by sellers regarding the recent fee increase and other platform issues. By understanding the demands put forth in the petition and considering personal perspectives on these matters, sellers can make informed decisions about their ongoing business relationship with Etsy. It is important to engage in dialogue, actively participate in platform improvements, and continue advocating for the betterment of the handmade industry as a whole.


  • The recent Etsy boycott is a response to the increased transaction fees on the platform.
  • The petition encompasses five demands, including the cancellation of the fee increase and cracking down on resellers.
  • Sellers are concerned about the support ticket system, the star seller program, and the offsite ads policy.
  • The impact of the boycott varies for individual sellers, requiring businesses to assess their pricing strategies and goals.
  • Choosing the right business platform involves evaluating the values and practices of potential options.
  • Engaging in dialogue and advocating for the handmade industry's improvement is crucial for sellers.


Q: How can sellers address the issue of resellers on Etsy?

A: Sellers can report resellers they come across on the platform to Etsy, helping the company identify and take action against such individuals. However, given the vast number of sellers on Etsy, completely eradicating resellers may pose challenges. Implementing stricter approval processes, similar to Amazon Handmade, could be a potential long-term solution.

Q: What impact does the star seller program have on Etsy sellers?

A: The star seller program has generated mixed reactions among Etsy sellers. While some appreciate the program's recognition, others feel it interferes with their ability to provide personalized service and maintain optimal flexibility in conducting their businesses. Assessing its impact on individual sales and customer experiences is essential to determine if it aligns with one's business values.

Q: Can sellers opt out of the offsite ads program on Etsy?

A: Sellers are automatically enrolled in the offsite ads program on Etsy if their sales surpass a specific threshold. However, some sellers may prefer to engage in separate advertising efforts, such as promoting their independent websites. Allowing sellers to opt out completely would provide more control over their advertising choices and prevent potential conflicts with duplicate advertisements.

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