Etsy strike blamed on fee increase

Mattie Boyd is the owner of the Etsy shop Toxic Femme. Recently, Etsy sent a message to sellers about fees.

"It said, Hey, congratulations, we just had a second year in a row of record profits. And also we're going to jack your fees up," Boyd said.

Boyd is just starting a strike against the e-commerce platform. All Etsy sellers got a letter at the end of February stating that the online company, which is known for showcasing work from artists and small businesses, will now take a 6.5% transaction fee from their sellers, which is up from the 5% fee they've been paying since 2018.

"It really feels like we can't afford not to push back," Boyd said.

Boyd sells for Etsy full-time, designing graphic T-shirts for people in the queer and trans communities. Boyd is saddened that the customers may now have to be the ones to shell out more money to make up for the rising fees.

Get breaking news alerts in the free FOX5NY News app!  |  Sign up for FOX 5 email newsletters

Boyd and about two dozen other Etsy sellers started a petition, which already has more than 53,000 signatures. About 19,000 Etsy sellers have agreed to strike and put their shops in vacation mode for different lengths of time.

"It's going to be tough. It's a sacrifice, but it's a sacrifice," Boyd said. "Either way, not doing anything and just letting them continue to, you know, make these decisions that harm us without any representation is also a sacrifice."

An Etsy spokesperson sent FOX 5 NY this statement:

"Our sellers’ success is a top priority for Etsy. We are always receptive to seller feedback and, in fact, the new fee structure will enable us to increase our investments in areas outlined in the petition, including marketing, customer support, and removing listings that don't meet our policies," Etsy said. "We are committed to providing great value for our 5.3 million sellers so they are able to grow their businesses while keeping Etsy a beloved, trusted, and thriving marketplace."

Boyd said Toxic Femme will be closed for a full week and hopes the thousands of sellers on strike will influence Etsy to reverse course but the new Etsy fees are already in effect as of Monday, April 11.