In April, thousands of Etsy sellers staged a week-long strike (placing their Etsy shops in vacation mode), protesting the 30% fee increase the marketplace implemented that week, among a number of other issues that they felt needed to be changed.
Striking sellers have demanded the company roll back the free raise (it hasn’t), crack down on resellers (a problem dating back to Etsy’s early days), improve customer service customer support (a problem the company had already planned to fix), to end the Featured Seller Programand allow sellers to opt out of off-site advertisements.
Etsy did not give in to the increased fees, saying it plans to use the additional revenue to bolster previously announced customer support enhancements in addition to other platform enhancements it says will be positive for sellers.
The company has also not responded to the grudge of off-site ads that forces most active sellers to participate in the program and forces them to pay higher referral fees on sales generated by these ads.
The Star Seller program was another issue that many sellers found difficult to achieve or maintain for many small businesses, as it often required them to offer fast and free shipping, easy customer returns, and prompt responses to customer questions. .
Ironically, Etsy requires its sellers to provide excellent customer interaction to enter the Star Seller program while the marketplace itself has a reputation for slow customer support.
Striking sellers felt they should be allowed to run their stores on terms they feel comfortable with and not be lumped into an Amazon-like experience when they don’t have the scale or the margins to offer these solutions.
While striking sellers wanted the Star Seller program eliminated, the company took a different direction by announcing changes to the program that may address some of the complaints.
Changes to the Etsy Star Seller Program
So what’s changing with the Etsy Star Seller program?
Simplify scoring criteria
Etsy is changing the way it calculates the rating metric for Star Sellers. They update the criteria to an average rating of 4.8 so that 4-star ratings count more positively towards a seller’s eligibility for Star Seller.
This month, Etsy will introduce a new and improved messaging experience that will begin combining messages from the same buyer.
In order to earn the Star Seller badge, sellers are required to respond to initial buyer messages within 24 hours on fewer threads, making it easier to stay on top of customer messages.
Lower the minimum order
In July, Etsy shops will need to have at least five orders (instead of 10) during the three-month review period to qualify for the Star Seller program. These orders will still need to total $300 before shipping and taxes. This change helps low-volume sellers who provide excellent customer service earn the Star Seller badge.
The program is not going away, but the company has listened somewhat to the complaints and is trying to improve the program. This should make it easier for sellers to get into the program and stay there.
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