Artisans who sell their products on the e-commerce platform Etsy launched a week-long strike on Monday after the company announced it was raising transaction fees from five percent to 6.5 percent, The Verge reports.
According to The Verge, over 5,000 sellers have pledged to set their stores to "vacation mode" for the next week. Over 46,000 people have signed a petition opposing the 30-percent fee hike.
Etsy saw massive increases in revenue during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic and is attempting to transform the platform from a niche marketplace for handcrafted goods into a power player capable of, as CEO Josh Silverman said in February, "competing against the biggest names in e-commerce and all of retail."
Not all of Etsy's 5.3 million sellers are happy about the proposed shift. "It's like they're trying to be Amazon, and there's a reason why I don't sell my products on Amazon," Kristi Cassidy, a seamstress who sells gothic Victorian costumes on Etsy, told The Wall Street Journal. Amazon launched "Handmade at Amazon" in 2015 as a direct competitor to Etsy.
Sellers are also irate over Etsy's "Star Seller" program, The Verge explains. To maintain Star Seller status, users must "maintain certain customer metrics, like a 24-hour response time, consistent five-star ratings, and fast shipping," expectations sellers say privilege corporate stores selling mass-produced junk over mom-and-pop (or just mom) operations.