HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY, Fla. — Thousands of Etsy sellers are on strike this week. The website features artisans from all over the world, many selling unique, custom gift items. This all started when the website CEO announced an increase in transaction fees. This is after a couple of years of record profits for the company, so more than 5,000 sellers went dark this week to protest.
Lindsey Eberhard understands how they feel. She owns Time Flys Clothing and makes custom t-shirts out of her Hillsborough County home. She has an Etsy shop.
While she decided not to take part in the strike, she knows firsthand how difficult the last few months have been for many small businesses.
"A lot of people are just getting discouraged. Inflation, the products that we bring in are going up. Shipping is going up. Everything is going up. So on our end, it's frustrating," she said.
She says they are rolling with the challenges, doing what they can to keep prices reasonable for customers so they can stay competitive. Despite the increase in fees, she also appreciates Etsy for bringing in customers that she normally wouldn't be able to get on her own. But they are working on getting on other platforms like Amazon and revamping their own website so they can avoid those fees altogether.
Etsy has defended its fee increase saying it will help them do better marketing and customer support for the millions of active sellers using their website.