Etsy sellers call for boycott after money held

Etsy sellers call for boycott after money held

Online marketplace Etsy is facing growing calls for sellers to boycott the site for withholding their money.

A reserve system meant some sellers had 75% of their takings frozen for 45 days, leaving them struggling to trade.

Furniture seller Stephen James is one of the hundreds who have joined social media groups calling for other sellers to come off the platform in protest.

It is not clear how many would join in any boycott. Etsy said it would continue to review its reserve system.

It added that it took seller feedback seriously and that payment reserves were used to “keep the marketplace safe” and cover any potential refunds.

Small Business Commissioner Liz Barclay told the BBC her team were receiving a rising number of complaints about Etsy.

They had also noticed a growing number of people joining social media groups to discuss a strike or boycott.

On Facebook, the Etsy Reserve Strike group has more than 800 members and many are sharing tips on moving to other online platforms to sell their goods.

On Reddit, a thread known as a sub-Reddit, has been set up called r/EtsyStrike. The online group Not on Amazon has also become a place where Etsy sellers are airing their complaints.

A strike or boycott of Etsy would mean a seller would put their store on holiday mode, effectively stopping people from buying from them.

It is not clear how many people in these social media groups are sellers and how many of them would join a strike.

But with just under a million users in the UK, a boycott could dent the amount of commission and fees which Etsy received from each sale. Etsy told the BBC it had six million sellers worldwide and that only 2% of those active had reserves on their accounts.

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