Online communities dedicated to peer support for Etsy Sellers are not supportive spaces. At least, not if you’re having problems with Etsy. I hang out in the Reddit communities r/Etsy and r/EtsySellers from time to time. If I see something people need that no one has responded to, I comment. But I don’t post. At least, never to complain about Etsy.
I know better.
I broke that rule early in the morning on February 25th, 2022. I had just finished reading the email that made most Etsy sellers lose it. I had lost it. And I really wondered if anyone else felt the same way.
Here is the post that started it all — at least, my involvement in the strike.
Originally the last line wasn’t there. I added that in response to a comment telling me about the Etsy Strike project, in its infancy at that point.
The mods of r/EtsySellers were shutting down all posts about the fee increase and redirecting them into a megathread. For some reason mine didn’t get shut down — possibly because I barely mentioned the fee increase.
I was talking about everything else Etsy had done to hurt our businesses over time. Really, the fee increase was just the final straw.
I honestly expected people to be rude or argumentative on my post, like they are with so many others.
Instead, I mostly got resounding agreement. Other people, not just me, wanted to engage in some kind of collective action to stop Etsy from continuing to destroy our livelihoods.
That weekend, about 100 people gathered in r/EtsyStrike to try to figure out how to plan a strike. It was really slow going, because we had no idea what we were doing.
No plan, no petition, and no clue really, how to move forward.
We are artists and crafters, not activists.
The early part was the hardest part. I still don’t know how I managed. I was the only one who had both the skills and the time to put into the project. Running an Etsy shop is often a fulltime job with a bunch of unpaid overtime.
For the first time in my life, I was grateful to still be living in this shitty apartment that’s about 4 sizes too small for my family. I was grateful to have the time to be able to just donate to the project, with no need to worry about income loss, since my income is the money we’ve been saving for a house.
The housing market is awful where my family lives. Houses that went for 200 and something thousand just a couple to three years ago are being sold for 400 and something thousand today. If we tried to buy a house right now, I feel like we would lose our shirts.
I could put my life on hold. I could throw myself into this project. I could see where it went.
So that is what I decided to do.
This post is part of a series telling the story behind the 2022 Etsy Strike. Click here to start at the beginning.