Community Statements on Changes to Values at Etsy
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How do changes to values at Etsy matter to you? Relationship to Etsy (check all that apply)Name (optional) Etsy Shop URL (optional)Anything else?
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unfairSellerAndre Legaretheadorablesboutique
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Etsy was a place to find small, local crafters.
Every move Etsy has done has pushed these people out and opened the floodgates of east-asian mass manufacturers masquerading as small crafters.
It has killed the crafter market
Seller, Shopper
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The proposed changes have made me seriously rethink my business plan on opening an etsy store. I am really wondering if it would be worthwhile to me now with the massive increase in fees.potential seller
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It’s hard enough as a handmade seller to keep costs down and this won’t help. And to take 5% off shipping?!? Why? How does that make sense?Seller, ShopperLisa
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it used to be about helping handmade but now it's just about lining the pockets of the shareholders.Seller, Shopperditch the charges on the shipping costs as no-one should profit from that.
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In spite of paying more attention to my shop, using Instagram to promote new items, attending a local Etsy event, and posting new items more often, my sales have tanked over the last year - ever since the last Canada Post strike in fact. To have Etsy add extra fees, and in particular, a new fee on shipping, could be the nail in the coffin for my shop. I have no control over what I pay for shipping. Some of my items are large and heavy. I will post items with a reduced price (compared to like items on Etsy) in order to try to offset the "what the hell?" response when customers see my shipping estimate. In Canada, we have to estimate a shipping cost that will cover potential buyers from coast to coast, because Canada Post charges us by destination, not just weight and size. And Etsy wants to charge me an extra 5% because they think I'm tempted to gouge customers by adding to my shipping charges? How does that make ANY sense? I am scrupulous about refunding shipping overages, and I'm upfront about my policies about that. I've appreciated the Etsy platform and the opportunity to have my own shop, but I've stopped buying new stock, and will join the Etsy strike and shutter my shop the day the new fees come into play. SellerSusan Brownhttps://www.etsy.com/ca/shop/OddDucksVintage
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I was disappointed when Etsy gave up its BCorp status last November. But hey, BCorp doesn't define values, it assesses them. I had hoped that the values that make Etsy, well...Etsy, would still remain. That value is a steadfast commitment to handmade and the hands that make. I can't help but feel that the current strategies are falling a bit flat, and I believe that they aren't working because there is a noticeable disconnect between changes/actions and the values that made us fall in love in the first place. For me, Etsy is the anti-Amazon. The anti cheap plastic crap delivered at your door before anyone has a chance to second guess another soul-less buy. There's a heart in my Etsy, and I'm worried they are drifting further away from its connection to sellers. I am both a buyer and a seller. And I am ok with changes to fees/structure IF they are connected to meaningful marketing that attracts more buyers. Greater transparency would go a long way in making me feel better about the changes.Seller, ShopperLaurie Dolhanhttps://www.etsy.com/ca/shop/HookLineTinker?ref=seller-platform-mcnav
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I've been a seller and buyer on Etsy since 2007 and while I understand things change, and change can be a good thing, Etsy values matter to me. Etsy has changed over the years, in my opinion, and not for the better. Years ago, Etsy was inspirational, it was a supportive community and it made dreams happen! Now, not so much. Etsy doesn't have that same community feeling that handmade sellers and small businesses are drawn to, it's more corporate. And that's discouraging and sad.Seller, ShopperTara Reidhttp://starletta.etsy.com
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I no longer feel confident that Etsy is building for the long term, to keep this site autonomous. It's almost certain that as Etsy grows, they're preparing to sell to a larger corporation, and if I wanted to be on Amazon, I would be on Amazon. Etsy is supposed to be an alternative for shoppers looking for the normal, boring and mundane — where we can still be ever so slightly against the grain in a world where commodification and effectiveness reign supreme. While I'm ok with growth, and am not really in opposition to the raise in fees (as a seller), I'm not ok with the fact that the home for my products is turning into West Elm meets Amazon meets EVERYTHING ELSE. The company is quickly losing the personal touches that made it feel great to be a part of, in the first place.Seller, Shopper, EmployeeI wish to remain anonymous because these are hard opinions to express! I hope that enough of us raise our voices and that those voices are taken seriously.
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YesSeller, ShopperMorganI actually left Etsy a few years ago because I saw the tides changing. I have a love for Etsy because of everything they taught me as a young business owner. I never would have the understanding of how to run a handmade business if it were not for their free information and open community. But as they became more corporate the information and sense of community disappeared... so I disappeared from Etsy!
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As a business that makes time consuming crafts I already have to charge less than I should be for time spent on a project. Taking more of a percentage from my listings, especially on shipping which I do not profit from means that I’ll be loosing even more money. I have remained loyal to Etsy, rather than abandoning it for another website that will do the same thing for less money, but these changing policies make it hard to want to stay.Seller, ShopperEtsy seriously needs to reconsider the percentages it takes from artists. Especially in shipping.
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I first stumbled upon Etsy as a shopper in the early days of the company starting up. The company values were front and centre, and I was drawn to what made Etsy different. I opened my own shop in 2014 and became a team captain the following year. In those early days I remember attending a maker cities education event in Victoria and feeling so inspired valued as an artist. At that time my business was very small but bit was filling gaps that my paid job didn't cover. Little did I know that a few years later one of the presenters and I would cross paths again unrelated to Etsy and it would lead to a union organizing drive which would be career changing for me for the better. The leadership skills I developed as an Etsy captain played a role in having the confidence to stand by my integrity and leave that job when I could no longer ignore the actions of the management. Now my creative business is still small but is essential to our family finances.

At the first Captain's Summit I attended the Etsy staff, presenters and other captains all exuded the values I'd read about. Even down to the cutlery and plates small choices were made that aligned with sustainability, and environmental responsibility. I sat at my first Eastsy lunch with a staff member from the New York office and he thanked me for all the work I was doing in my community for makers. This year at the summit, guests from the New York office flew in to deliver their presentations and didn't stay to mingle with the summit participants.

The first Etsy Made in Canada that we organized in our small City drew drew a crowd of 3000 shoppers. We had identified the gap in our community was for a craft show that was well attended but affordable and accessible to makers. Our grass roots event was (and still is) totally run by a team of sellers who volunteer their own time. One of the Etsy Canada staff flew out to attend the event and represent the company. She set to work as an extra volunteer for the day. Later we met for dinner and I was able to give honest feedback about what was working well and where I could see improvements both at the national level and company wide. She unfortunately is no longer working for Etsy and neither is the staff member who spearheaded the Etsy MIC movement. I worry about how much longer Etsy will support the Made in Canada events. This year at the summit I was discouraged to continue on running the event using a non profit model and felt really pushed to switch it to a for profit event. This caused some big tension among our team leadership and we eventually decided to split and run two separate events in our community.

On the application forms for Etsy sponsorship dollars for the first two years we hosted the Etsy Made in Canada, we needed to demonstrate how our event aligned with the company values. This year we decided to offer the sponsorship dollars back to the maker community in the form of bursaries to reduce the entrance fees for those who could otherwise not afford to participate. I was excited to put this on our Etsy sponsorship documents, however there was nowhere to include it. The values question was not there, and there was nowhere to put this information.

This past year since the change in CEO of Etsy, there has been a drift away from the core company values. Sellers are pushed to offer frequent sales and free shipping at their own cost in order to participate in site wide events that are said to boost traffic. My own shop's views and sales are down 80% compared to last year and have been since January of this year. I've been particularly hit hard by changs to that have regionalized search. I live I a part of the country that has a very small population and expensive shipping options. Most of my US sales are now a faint memory. The increase in fees was a tipping point (not the crux of the issue). At this rate I'm wondering how long I will be able to continue to run my Etsy shop. Luckily I have other sales channels in place.

Seller, Shopper, Organizer (Team leader/captain)Taryn SilverThank you for standing up
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I was sad when Etsy announced their IPO. I knew it was the beginning of the end - shareholders profits become the decision maker and when profit rules the bottom line, values become fluid for a lot of folks. Compromises once thouhgt to be unhinkable, suddenly don't seem to be that big of a deal. Etsy will survive, but it will never be the same. Seller
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Changes to the values at Etsy are extremely important to me as a maker/seller and a shopper. I have been selling my handmade goods on Etsy since 2009 and have gone through many iterations of my products and shop. I have seen a lot of changes happen over the years, many of which have consistently impacted my business, many in a negative way. When I first began on Etsy, I was getting consistent sales and views to my shop, but as the homepage changed and new policies took place, my views and sales declined drastically. It feels like many of the community aspects that first drew me to Etsy have slowly declined and been removed altogether (remember Treasuries?). The Etsy of today is very different from the one that existed when I started selling there.

I chose to sell on Etsy because of the community aspect, the support, the beautiful interface, and the robust search engine. I choose to make purchases on Etsy because I can buy handmade and socially responsible goods that were made with love and without unfair and unjust manufacturing practices. I don't want to have to worry about whether I am indeed getting something handmade (which is now a concern when shopping on Easy). I’m committed to supporting small businesses that support families and are socially and environmentally conscious. Changes in the values of Easy would determine whether or not I decide to continue selling that platform and shopping there as well. I believe that at it’s very core, Etsy should be represented by the makers - all of us who create the foundation upon which it is built. That is why it is mandatory that sellers be represented at the highest level of decision making and that senior staff be accountable directly to makers. This should be top priority. I also believe the following demands should be met:

*Commit to a triple bottom line mandate that makes people, places, and process of equal value to profit.

*Develop policies that commit to doing business as unusual and working collaboratively with makers and Etsy sellers to define the future of the company collectively from now on. Fundamental changes to platform fees and functions must be decided by referendum or public vote, we are not simply users we are the makers of your success.

*Open elections for a community selected board of advisors from within the handmade community to act as independent advocates that can represent the interests of fellow makers at the negotiating table. Make good on promises to “build for the long term” by valuing relationships with long term sellers and advocates within the community and honouring the work done by Etsy champions and teams across the world.

*Account for the projects that Etsy has terminated without transparency such as Etsy Wholesale, Etsy Studio, Etsy Maker Cities, Indigenous Seller Handbook and values aligned projects.

*Renew B-Corp certification or commit to equally stringent corporate policies ensuring the company continues standing for more than profit.
Allocate funds from any fee increase or tiered pricing plans to establishing a robust health benefits program, life insurance policy, and mental health supports for Etsy sellers. Allow makers who do not sell on Etsy the ability to purchase these policies and ensure the health of our community.

*Implement profit sharing or dividends for active sellers in good standing so that they benefit from any company growth.

*Create inclusive policy for Indigenous nations in accordance with the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. Ensure policies that protect the intellectual property of Indigenous people and prevent items being tagged or represented as Native American made unless the sellers are Indigenous. Provide a mechanism for an Indigenous Seller banner to be displayed on shops that choose to participate along with a designation for “Authentic Indigenous Made” and a marketing campaign to raise awareness.

*Remove the recently added prohibition on class action suits by Etsy sellers from the Terms of Service and be willing to negotiate collectively with us in good faith.

*Build voting capacity into new forums and team platforms so that communities can organize and provide feedback efficiently.

*Stop reinventing the wheel and hiring new staff who have no context or connection to the maker movement and our ethics. Many programs and pilots have already been tried, the experts on these successes and failures are the sellers who have participated in them. Senior staff and decision makers should be consulting with leaders within the community who can advise them on what has worked in the past and what should be supported in the future.
Seller, ShopperKimberly Klinghttp://www.joyfulroots.etsy.com
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Because things are sacred and some values do matter above and beyond profitShopper
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What matters to me the most is the general direction Etsy has been heading in over the years. I refer to mass produced Ali Express items that have flooded the Etsy site. They are cheapening the entire Etsy experience. Many times they are featured as a item on a main sale page. ( really ? Etsy my god ! )
I see shops with 15K sales just buying in bulk and reselling the items for a large markup. People buy, say it is a pair of stud earrings, they are happy until the "stone" falls off the first time they wear them. They have already written a positive review. Not many people will even bother to go back and amend a review so all 5 stars pile up.
Why do I care ? I care because as these items sell over and over again they dominate searches. True silversmiths, seamstresses, good hardworking artists that make a CHOICE to follow Etsy's policies are not even being seen by the customer.
This trickle down will ,and has, resulted in a different customer base.
Etsy needs to be ETSY, not Ali-baba, not Amazon.
I fear Etsy has lost it's identity. The one on one between the shopper and a crafter, artist, etc.... that is what made Etsy SPECIAL.
I hope a balance between profit and selling your soul can be reached. This is not to be taken lightly. The new AI search WILL continue to rate these items as great, and handmade is going to die a slow , no wait,, a quick death. It is barely breathing now.
One other point. PUSHING free shipping is not giving Etsy an identity. I think you want to sell this company to one of the big boys.
Before I get angry, I'll stop my futile rant.
Etsy lover since 2009.
Seller, ShopperAnne
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I actually had a back seat view what I consider a hostile takeover of the world's sweetheart maker market. 

In November 2017 I was flown to New York to interview for an executive level position at Etsy for a newly created position, Director of Values Alignment. As you can imagine, this was a dream job where I could have helped indie makers and the side hustle economy from a very high profile position.  However, they never filled the role because the board began ousting the sitting CEO & champion of business as kindness, Chad Dickerson, that same month. (Reference: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/11/25/business/etsy-josh-silverman.html)

When my interview took place, Etsy had recently instituted one of the most progressive paid-family leave policies in America, making headlines around the world. I speculate that the position I interviewed for may have caused the board to have a major fit because they have since shown they could care less by virtually eliminating the entire values team, dropping the Benefit Corp designation along the way. I was interviewed by eight executives who appear to no longer be working there. These people were authentic and brilliant humans with incredibly forward-thinking strategies around government policymaking for gig workers, the environment and social equity. During the interview, I asked if they were creating this position in response to some threat, and was flatly told no, but there was noticeable tension when I asked the question.

The new CEO installed by the board, a former eBay executive, has nonchalantly gutted the core values of Etsy - throwing the baby out with the bathwater - instead of protecting the doing good aspect that brought the brand so much value. Instead of gaining incredible (free) PR from good-doing activities and making the world a better place, Etsy's new path is to raise the selling fees, ostensibly in order to advertise the platform. Both ways attract new customers and cost money, just from different departments: the first is win-win-win, the other is win-lose-lose, and you can guess who's winning.  

This inside glimpse of old school vulture capital devouring a shining example of corporate responsibility made me realize it was time to diversify my market channels. It's likely that Etsy is going to dilute its brand value and I no longer have warm and fuzzies when I think about being an Etsian. While I still maintain my shop on their marketplace, I do not drive any traffic there. My Etsy sales channel remained the same YOY, but immediately my new Shopify store (www.spiralspectrum.com) outperformed my Etsy shop, more than doubling my business.

As a serial social entrepreneur who has actually built a business based on ethics and succeeded. As co-founder and former co-owner of a triple bottom line organic cafe in Central Florida that reached over $1.5m in annual revenue from a single footprint the year of my exit, I know you can make money, do good and do right by your people. I'm a proud localist and co-founder of my city's original local first movement. I hosted an FM dial radio talk show for a decade centered around local economies and social equity. As the almost Values Alignment Director of Etsy, this takeover felt personal and I wept for the tremendous loss of opportunity that has been cancelled by the installation of this new CEO.
Seller, Almost Employee - Was Interviewed for a newly forming Director of Values Alignment - a position that they never hired for due to the hostile takeover underway.Julie Wilderhttps://www.etsy.com/shop/yestermorrowshopThank you for your work! Would love to see what I can do to help facilitate this conversation.
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Money grab listing fee needs to go. I sell 10 items at once sometimes, being charged listing fee for each individual item is a scam Seller, Shopper
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It takes away from my Bottom line as entrepreneur, I do not trust them anymore and do not feel that they have the makers' best interest at heart. It is all about the $ that they can make. This market started out as a way to support and provide a forum where we could sell our product as individual and independent artists. I do not feel it is that anymore.SellerTeri Hallhttps://www.etsy.com/ca/shop/FireWaterCreations?ref=seller-platform-mcnavAll about big businesses which I am not. Lets get back to why Etsy was created in the first place.
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Etsy presents itself as a global platform but this is no longer true. International sellers pay the same fees as US based sellers but we are being marginalized and left out in the cold by ill concieved strategies which impact out visibility. These are:-

Localization which badly affects our visibility to US buyers. Many countries have small populations few of whom have heard of Etsy.

Sneaky search manipulation by use of filters which default to a searchers own country when they choose "ships in 1-2 days". This again blocks out international shops from search despite the fact that many international sellers ship in 1-3 days.

A 5% increase in fees on shipping which badly impacts international sellers as a group. International shipping is more expensive that US domestic and yet no concession is being made to alleviate this for shops based outside the USA.

We all pay the same fees so we should be given fair treatment and a level playing field.
Seller
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Bottom line - invisibility, less sales, less income when response came from my inquiry regarding - even though through forums/conversations many many shops were affected, it was put back on me - need to add this, change this, consider advertising- which I've done and recently increased with very little change. I don't claim to know all that has happened with Etsy since the CEO/Staff change, but I do know that my little shop did much better prior to and now an increase in fees coming and going? Ouch.Seller, ShopperTeresa L Mercerhttps://www.etsy.com/shop/ThereAndBackVintage?ref=seller-platform-mcnav
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They do not!!!Seller, Shopper, Organizer (Team leader/captain)
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I am disappointed that Etsy has taken this route, which makes it more difficult for me, an Etsy Vintage seller, and others like me and totally deviates from the type of company that Etsy used to be. I respectfully request that you go back to your roots and make this a great selling environment again for all the home based sellers like myself and not just for "big business". Thank you.SellerMonica Gessner
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As an independent maker, I feel that the integration and allowance of more mass-produced items will directly effect the value and longevity of my business. Etsy has supported me well for a number of years but in the past 24 months due to algorithm changes, there has been a noticeable decline in sales. I have attempted to adapt to the changes but find the only way to really get out there is to pay for more promotional spotlights. This, paired with the increase of commission taken by Etsy, starts to make this an unsuitable platform for my budget.
The ease of use with the Etsy platform has a great deal of advantages but I do feel that with the competition becoming more in favour of the "little guy", there may be more options out there for sellers online.
Seller, ShopperNet neutrality is important and this is why. Keeping the balance between consumer and cooperations will help the longevity of the consumer and the economy. By deregulating e-commers platforms this gives way to price gouging.

I would like to know what exactly the money increase in commission will go towards. If its the new "tiered price plan" does the shop owner already not pay for this by signing up for a monthly bill?
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I believe that socially responsible business practices are the only viable future for our economy - stakeholders before shareholders. We all win when we have a common goal and are informed by common valuesSeller, Shoppermiss hickorymisshickory.etsy.com
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It influences wether or not I will continue to use the website to sell my products.Seller, ShopperLindsayListen to your makers!
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It matters in many ways, I've been with etsy for months now and I have only earned less than 10 sales. I've done promoting and everyhhing. I know the competition, but as someone just starting, changing and increasing the fees will greatly affect my tiny business. How can I pay the bills if I my earnings are not enough? I tought etsy is better than eBay, but I'm guessing they're just now the same greedy company. They are not helping artisans, sellers, small businesses to sell and establish themselves, they are only helping their own. I was impressed but now I'm disappointed.SellerMaureen Janemaureenjane.comPlease stop the increase and changes. Let's help each other.
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The philosophy of ‘community’ has been increasingly eroded. The site views are manipulated so sales are also. Seller, Shopper
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I loose money people buying from me will be charged more then needed SellerDont change etsy's pricing thats the wrong thing to do. You have more then enough money coming out of makers accounts now. raising the pricing has already caused makers to leave. More will leave an you will have nothing then. So leave things as they are
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A lot!!!Seller
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I chose to leave the corporate world to build a business that is my own. I am not a stupid person, I have a Mechanical Engineering degree and 20 years of corporate sales experience. When I discovered Etsy in 2015 I believed it to be a website that cultivated a symbiotic relationship which was different than any other corporate website available. I felt it honestly respected my choice to slow down, be available for my family and change my focus from a big paycheck to one that just pays the bills. Now Etsy has insulted me and the female majority of sellers on Etsy by catering to shareholders, treating us like minimum wage employees without a voice and rewarding it's male CEO with millions in compensation on our backs. We are not your employees, we are your customers, what we want maters and what we want is the Etsy that cared.
SellerSusan Butler3DKamotion
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As a vendor of magnetic boards made from old frames, doors and windows, i will be extremely penalized. It will cost me a lot of money to pay a 5% fee on shipping. I always put the right amount for the shipping fees, i get penalized for people who don't follow the rules :( When the seller is shipping heavy and large products, he shouldn't have to pay a fee to Etsy...how can i make a profit?! very angry at Etsy
Seller, Shopper
At least, if Canada post was really helpful with the small business maybe i wouldn't be this angry and looking for another to sell my handmade products.
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It was once a huge portion of my business, I loved Etsy, loved the people I met and my customers. It’s not what it once was and that’s sad.
Seller, ShopperMelissa Tyson
Etsy.com/melissatysondesigns
Etsy sales used to be around 50% of my annual income. When the search algorithm changed two years ago it dropped down to around 10% and now it’s approximately 5 to 10%. So disappointing in so many ways. But now when people search for a handmade engagement ring a bunch of crap machine made production pieces pop up that are nowhere near handmade! I have contacted at C. numerous times about this as you make money off of me just as much as I do you off the platform. But it doesn’t seem to make any difference the suggestions that I’ve got a things that I’ve already done and continue to do. My annual sales went from $70,000 down to 6000 For absolutely no reason. My sales thankfully I have grown stronger through my own website and marketing on Instagram. I still keep my Etsy store open just in case somebody pops around but it’s not worth my time or effort anymore. I wish I could say something more positive but it’s just not
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It matters to me because Etsy felt like a “safe place” for hard-working Creatives/women like me, who just want to provide for their family with the resources we have.
Seller, Shopper
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I feel like all of etsy's statements are prettied up to detract from how negative the changes are. These changes affect my small shop and leave me struggling to get sales.
Seller, ShopperRaven FeatherStitchedCraft
Reverse the fee charge on shipping! Instead consider renovating the way shipping costs are calculated and input by sellers. Shipping prices as set by the country's postal system are not hard to find as they're public. Sellers with unusual shipping prices can be asked to provide a breakdown of weight/price, plus receipts on their boxes and packaging. Etsy is punishing all of us while trying to catch the few that do overcharge.
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Etsy is now profit driven, and no longer values the creators. Seller, ShopperDave
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