Why You Should Boycott Etsy

Why You Should Boycott Etsy

Table of Contents:

  1. Introduction
  2. The Rise of Etsy during the Pandemic
  3. Executive Compensation at Etsy
  4. Increased Transaction Fees
  5. Off-Site Ads Program
  6. Impact on Sellers
  7. Dropshippers on Etsy
  8. The Star Seller Program
  9. The Etsy Sellers' Strike
  10. Conclusion


In this article, we will explore the dark side of corporate greed and how it affects our lives. Our focus will be on Etsy, an e-commerce company that experienced immense growth during the pandemic. We will delve into the executive compensation at Etsy, the increase in transaction fees, the implementation of the off-site ads program, and its impact on sellers. Furthermore, we will discuss the prevalence of dropshippers on Etsy and the disparity between artisans and mass-produced goods. Lastly, we will examine the sellers' strike and its repercussions.

The Rise of Etsy during the Pandemic

During the global lockdown, Etsy capitalized on the surge in online shopping for vintage and handcrafted goods. The company's stock price skyrocketed, making significant profits for its shareholders. However, this growth came at a cost to both buyers and sellers on the platform.

Executive Compensation at Etsy

While Etsy executives enjoyed record-high profits, their compensation increased disproportionately. The CEO, CFO, and CTO saw substantial raises between 2018 and 2020. This discrepancy raises questions about the fairness and ethics of executive compensation at Etsy.

Increased Transaction Fees

Instead of sharing the wealth with the buyers and sellers who contributed to its success, Etsy decided to raise its transaction fees by 30%. This forced sellers to increase their prices and potentially alienated price-sensitive buyers.

Off-Site Ads Program

Etsy introduced the off-site ads program, which automatically enrolls all sellers and places ads for their products on different websites. Sellers are then charged a percentage fee whenever an item is sold through these ads. This program, though seemingly beneficial, disproportionately affects sellers with already thin profit margins.

Impact on Sellers

The off-site ads program and increased transaction fees have had a significant impact on Etsy sellers, particularly artisans who rely on the platform to turn their hobby into a side hustle. Many sellers have been forced to take losses or raise prices, potentially pushing away elastic buyers. The policy creates a dilemma for sellers, as disabling the off-site ads involves a complicated process.

Dropshippers on Etsy

Etsy, originally intended for artisans, has attracted a growing number of dropshippers who sell mass-produced wholesale goods. This influx has created a divide within the platform, as dropshippers benefit from standardized manufacturing procedures and lower operating costs.

The Star Seller Program

Etsy implemented the Star Seller program, which provides visual distinctions and perks to sellers who consistently respond to customers, receive five-star ratings, and provide order tracking. This program inadvertently supports dropshippers over artisans, as dropshippers can meet these criteria more easily due to their business model.

The Etsy Sellers' Strike

In response to the unjust practices and lack of support from Etsy, many sellers organized a strike. They voluntarily shut down their stores for a week, highlighting their grievances and demanding fair treatment from the company. The impact and outcomes of this strike remain to be seen.


Etsy's success during the pandemic came at the expense of its buyers and sellers. The company's executive compensation and policies, such as increased transaction fees and the off-site ads program, have disproportionately affected sellers, particularly artisans. The rise of dropshippers on the platform has further exacerbated the disparity. The Etsy sellers' strike serves as a powerful message against corporate greed and a call for fair treatment. It remains to be seen whether Etsy will address these concerns and take steps towards a more equitable platform.

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