This week, thousands of people selling goods on Etsy are going on strike in protest of the company’s climbing fees. And the battle that seems to be taking place in a small corner of the Internet is indeed one of the most enduring battles in our digital world.
Etsy is one of the Zillian internet businesses that brings together people with something to sell and those who are interested in taking them on offer. For their role in linking the two parties, these intermediaries charge a fee of 15 to 30 percent of each sale. (Etsy charges a lot less.)
Technologies call these markets, and they are everywhere. Most of Amazon’s e-commerce sales fees come from what the company charges from independent merchants whose cat toys and phone chargers we find and buy on Amazon. Apple’s App Store, Airbnb, Restaurant Delivery Apps and Uber are also marketplaces that match people who offer customers apps, rental homes, meals at restaurants or rides to airports.
It is a constant in the digital world that these intermediaries are hated by the people and businesses that depend on them. Almost always, at least some app developers, restaurants, Etsy Dog portrait creators, substack newsletter writers and other marketplace vendors believe that the fees are too high, the rules are not fair, they are being abused – or above all
It is possible that these conflicts are inevitable. In 2022, running your own business means leaning on tech intermediaries that make your business possible, but can also make it more difficult.
See, I want to acknowledge that this is an issue for both parties in this Etsy controversy – such as Apple developers ‘resentment at the company and Amazon merchants’ displeasure with the sale at the huge digital mall.
It is undeniable that Etsy, Amazon and Apple do a lot for the people who sell content through them. Without Etsy, people who create dog portraits will have to try to set up their own websites or stores and find customers on their own, and deal with tasks such as processing credit cards and providing customer service.
Etsy does all this for them, for a fee of 6.5 cents on every 5 cents sold. Traders fighting Etsy also have other differences with the company, in which it effectively penalizes business owners alone if they cannot respond immediately to potential customers, and the company needs to pay sellers to advertise their products, such as Google, Pinterest. And Facebook which further increases their revenue.
Etsy said some of the company’s approaches may be unpleasant right now, but it will benefit sellers in the long run.
Sometimes those grips seem vague or abstract to us, but put yourself in the shoes of those etsy vendors, restaurants that sell food through the Grubhub app, or businesses that make apps for iPhones.
They like to be able to find a group of customers in one place, but Etsy, Grubhub and Apple can be annoyed at how much they point to how they run their business, take a big chunk of their money and become more powerful by their work. Is.
These differences resonate with the prices we pay, and it is a high stakes for millions of people trying to make a living doing what they love.
One question that has always been asked about controversies in the marketplace is what is the reasonable charge for those who offer Uber rides or sell dog portraits. But I also wonder if the imaginative technology industry is not imaginative enough to hunt down alternative ways of making money.
Almost all marketplace charges commissions and often other fees when we buy something. Even in metavars, apparently, companies will still make money by charging commissions from people selling virtual reality dudes. Is there another way, and it will be better?
A few years ago, an investment analyst with Goldman Sachs suggested that instead of fighting developers who might be reluctant to pay up to 30 percent on the sale of digital weapons in the iPhone game, Apple could recoup its costs to support the app’s economy. Differently. Analyst Rod Hall proposed that developers pay for some or all of the Apple technology used to create and distribute iPhone apps.
That approach will definitely create a whole new set of problems. And it does not address the grievances of iPhone developers or protesting Etsy vendors who prefer a central position to sell their content, but rather the ways in which they have so much power over how they run their businesses in the marketplace.
There is no magic bullet for the permanent battle of the internet on intermediaries like Apple and Etsy. But I appreciate Hall’s attempt to re-imagine how the marketplace generates revenue. It seems as if we could use more experiments to try to bring peace to one of the most enduring controversies on the Internet.
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Before we go
Ukraine says it has thwarted a Russian cyber-attack attempt on the country’s power grid. My colleague Kate Conger writes that the revelation of a sophisticated cyber attack raises new concerns that the Russian government may increase its use of digital weapons in Ukraine and possibly the United States.
Related: Russia’s tech industry is facing a dilemma as thousands of workers flee the country. And Wise writes that Twitch video streamers in Ukraine are bringing images of the war to Russian viewers.
The highest earners in the United States are: Tech billionaires, including Bill Gates and WhatsApp co-founder Jane Com, are among the top 10 earners in the top 15 earners from 2013 to 2018, according to the latest reporting from PropBallica’s Internal Revenue Service data. And because of the design of the US tax system, tech billionaires tend to pay lower rates than other extremely wealthy people.
Bribes for office work: My co-workers have a fun article that tech companies are throwing at workers – including Lizo concerts, window seats for everyone, free fried chicken and terrarium making classes – to get them back to the office.
This The dog knows he was naughty to eat all the things in the house(Although, he will completely do it again.)
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