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Etsy sellers band together to form Indie Sellers Guild union to fight policies

Etsy sellers band together to form Indie Sellers Guild union to fight policies

Etsy sellers are taking on the company’s unfavourable policies by forming an Indie Sellers Guild union. If there is one thing tech companies have come to fear, it is unions.

You’ll recall Apple and Amazon’s consistent battle to stop their workers from forming such organisations with threats and even gifts. 

Etsy sellers decided that this was the way forward after a week-long strike earlier this year failed to yield desirable results. The merchants closed their shops on the platform for a week in protest in March 2022.

Now, the Indie Sellers Guild is set to serve as a non-profit organisation representing the interest of handmade, vintage, and craft goods online sellers.

The guild will launch on September 5, and it estimates that about 30,000 Etsy shop owners will join it, although it only had 2,000 members when this article was published.

“We are modeling ourselves after a union as much as possible, with the same goals as a more traditional union and other organized labor movements. We are very bottom-up, member-driven — we don’t have a board of directors making the decisions and sending them down,” Chiarra Lohr, interim secretary-treasurer of the guild, said.

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There are analysts who believe that more shop owners and sellers could join the union if Etsy does not do something about the log-existing problems. Some of the issues that sellers face on the platform include increased transaction fees, invasion by dropshipping merchants, lack of seller support, and more.

Coordinated pushbacks are the main aim of all unions, as it would be easier for Etsy to ignore or take sellers on if they fight back individually.

For sellers who had joined the platform as a way to make some passive income from their crafting skills many years ago, Etsy no longer looks the same to them. The company has gone from an alternative to selling your craft to an online marketplace that prioritises growth over the sellers that made it what it is today.

Lohr insists that the goal is not to bring down the platform but to make it look favourably at sellers. “We’re not trying to be immediately antagonistic, but sellers haven’t had any recourse for a long time,” Lohr, who is a former Etsy seller, said.

Resellers and drop shippers are not allowed to join the guild, which is meant for only crafters, and to qualify, a shop owner has to send behind the scene photos of them contributing to the making of their goods.

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Onwuasoanya Obinna

A reader of books and stringer of words. Passionate about Science and Tech. When not writing or reading he is surfing the web and Tweeting.