Hi, I’m an Etsy seller.
I say that, and I feel the import of the words, and I realize something. It might not mean the same thing to you as it does to me. I should explain to you what I actually mean when I say that phrase…
Hi, I identify as an Etsy seller.
I guess it makes sense. When you tell people “Hi, I’m an Etsy seller” for more than 15 years, it starts to become a part of your identity.
15 years ago, I would have told you those words, and then I would have said, “Have you heard of Etsy?”
Most likely, you would tell me no. In return, I would say, “Oh my gosh! You should check it out!”
I would explain to you how Etsy is this amazing online shopping site kind of like Ebay but for artists and craftspeople! You can also get supplies on there, and they allow vintage too – which is totally cool, since vintage items are so fun and unique.
Really, it’s kind of an ecosystem for creative types! In addition to the shopping, there are forums where you can connect with likeminded people. And oh! The stuff you can find on there is so amazing! It’s people – actual real people – making stuff, and sharing it with the world!
Would you smile? Would you engage? If so, then I would babble on excitedly about Etsy for quite a while to you. It’s hard to overstate just how enthusiastic I would have been. If there were a choir devoted to singing Etsy’s praises, I would have been a lead soloist.
But that was then.
This is now.
Today, when I tell you, “Hi, I’m an Etsy seller,” I no longer feel any excitement. Mostly, I feel tired. And I feel frustrated. Discouraged. Betrayed.
Etsy is still a part of my identity, but it doesn’t feel like a healthy part. I need to stop introducing myself that way. Etsy is my master, and I am the abused dog that keeps coming back to them every time they call me. I need to leave the platform. I really could, if only I could stop believing in them.
And the phrase “Hi, I’m an Etsy seller” means so many other things to me too each time that I say it.
It means, “Hi, I’m so creative that I fail at life half the time, but holy crap, you should see the things I make!”
It means, “Hi, I’m an outside the box thinker who figured out how to build an online business from the ground up, with no training whatsoever!”
It means, “Hi, would you like to see my soul? It’s on the internet. Hang on, I’ll show you!”
This is the story of the death of my Etsy business. I poured my heart and soul into my shop, and it is true that the first decade I spent with them was amazing.
Since about 2018, however, they have done everything they possibly can to kill businesses like mine.
February 24th, 2022, was the final nail in the coffin of my belief in Etsy. They reported a second year of record breaking profits to their investors, and at the same time, reached out to all of us, their sellers, to let us know they would be raising our fees… again.
At that moment, I realized I was done taking all of these horrible platform changes lying down.
I wouldn’t let Etsy kill my business.
This post is part of a series telling the story behind the 2022 Etsy Strike. To support us, please sign and share our petition.
Next: The Lie Etsy Told Me