Big Cartel Review: Is This The Best Platform For You?

The world has a lot of creators who are not known. Just as the same, they deserve recognition, and they need to make a living out of their art. The founder of Big Cartel knows this, and this is why Matt Wigham created the platform back in 2005. It is an online marketplace, but it is targeting a specific group of buyers and sellers. This site is dedicated to artists and creators, and for buyers who want to collect artworks.

What Is Big Cartel?

Big Cartel is an e-commerce platform. With this, you can build your own store and then sell your products. However, it is not your typical online store platform because you can only sell something you created. No, manufactured goods are not allowed here. The things you can find in Big Cartel are handcrafted items such as paintings, decorative items made by hands, shirts, jewelry, and others.

On this platform, you can build your website with your own domain name, add products with images, and then charge your customers for their purchases. After a purchase is made, you have to ship your item to the buyer. Big Cartel is not a platform for large online retail stores. It was specifically created for small businesses and individuals.

The Main Big Cartel Features

Big Cartel is not a big site, so the features you will find here are only those that are really important to be able to run a functional sales channel for your artwork.

Here are the features of Big Cartel:

Custom Shop

With Big Cartel, you can choose from several themes that are ready for online publication. These themes are templates where you just need to upload your product photos, their prices, and their descriptions.

If you select a theme, you can customize it with the click of a button, and you can change the colors if you want. If you want to do more, you need computer coding knowledge so you can edit the theme to your preferred look and style.

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App Integration

On this platform, you can take advantage of adding apps that can help you drive more sales. You can also integrate it into your Facebook Shop to make it easier to get traffic.

Here are the apps you can integrate to your Big Cartel store:

  • Facebook Store
  • Google Analytics
  • MailChimp
  • ShipStation
  • ShipRobot
  • ShipRush
  • GetScorecard
  • Zapier

If you are selling digital goods, you need to add an app called Pulley. This is the app that makes it possible for your customers to download your digital products.

Shipping

After creating your site and uploading your products, the next step is to set the shipping rates if you are selling physical goods lie painting, ceramics, or others. With Big Cartel, you can set a flat rate shipping cost, which a customer will see upon checkout, or you can create different rates based on destination.

Apart from this, you can also customize shipping prices if some conditions are met. For example, you can create only one shipping rate if a customer buys three items. This makes the shipping more affordable and will encourage your buyers to buy more products from your store.

Domain and Hosting

The price you pay monthly already includes a custom domain and web hosting. You can upload images, and all the details of your website will be stored in the servers of the platform. The free domain has the .bigcartel.com extension, and you can only remove this if you buy a real custom domain.

Discounts

You can create discount coupons if you want to run a promotion. You can publish the discount code on your social media channels, which your customers will use upon checkout. Once they type this code, the discount amount will be applied to the total cost. The discount feature is not available on the free Gold Plan, so you must upgrade to at least the Platinum Plan so you can create one.

Inventory Management

As you upload your products, you need to type or enter into the system how many are available. As you make sales, the platform will know how many more are left, and this will prevent customers from ordering if the product is already out of stock.

Big Cartel Pricing

Big Cartel comes in three price points. These plans are called Platinum, Diamond, and Titanium. For less than 10$ per month, you can sign-up for an account and start selling your creations.

  • Platinum – this is the most basic plan, and it costs $9.99 per month. If you subscribe to it, you can only upload a maximum of 25 products. This plan also includes customizable themes, a website, discounts, bulk editing, and shipment tracking.
  • Diamond – this one costs $19.99 a month, and you will get everything in the Platinum Plan. The only difference is that you can upload up to 100 products.
  • Titanium – this plan costs $29.99, and you will also get everything from the first two plans, and your limit is 300 products.

On all three plans, you will have access to a real-time dashboard to show you how your store is performing, and you can also edit the code of the themes if you know how to do it. All packages use Google Analytics, inventory tracking, and an application where you can sell online or in-person.

If you want to try it free, you can sign-up for the Gold Plan, which is free for life. However, the features of this plan are very limited, and you can only upload a maximum of five products.

For the paid three plans, the only real difference is the number of products you can upload. All the features you get are the same. If you are selling only a few items, your best option is the Platinum Plan. There is no reason to upgrade to Diamond or Titanium unless you are selling shirts or clothing that can reach up to 300 designs.

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Who Is Big Cartel Right for?

Big Cartel is not a platform for the casual retailer or dropshipper. It is a platform for artists, and the themes were designed to give artists the capability to display their artwork online properly. Since many platforms are costly, Big Cartel is a great option for those who are just starting out in selling their artworks online. For less than $10, an artist can build a fully-functional store and then start selling his work.

Big Cartel Pros And Cons

Like many other platforms, Big Cartel has several good things to offer, and yet there are also some things that it can improve on.

Pros:

  • Affordable plans
  • Easy to use
  • Has a free-forever package called the Gold Plan
  • No transaction fees
  • Customizable theme codes

Cons:

  • Does not have advanced features
  • No app marketplace
  • No search function for customers to make browsing easy
  • Limited payment options

Big Cartel has a long way to go. It is not marketed for big retail stores, and the features are limited if compared to e-commerce platform giants. The thing is that it was made for individuals who only need a simple website to display their products, which they can use to advertise to friends and other art enthusiasts, but not really to sell in massive amounts like online retailers do.

Big Cartel Payment Options

There are only four payment options in Big Cartel. These are PayPal, Apple Pay, Square, and Stripe. These payment options are the methods that a seller can use to charge his customers. As you can see, there is no credit card option here, so your customers will be forced to sign up for an account with any of these four online payment processors.

Big Cartel Customer Support Review

Regardless of the plan you subscribe to, you will receive the same kind of support. Big Cartel only offers email support, and their employees only respond from Monday to Friday between 9 Am and 6 PM Eastern Standard Time. Big Cartel does not offer phone or live chat support.

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Final Review Thoughts

Big Cartel is a small company, with the smallest number of apps available for the seller to use. This is understandable, as the platform was made for artists, so there really is no need to have flashy websites or other features like complicated dashboards. Use Big Cartel if you want a simple website where you can post photos of your artwork, or if you want to sell your digital creations at a low-cost monthly fee.

Also, Big Cartel has no blog. What this means is that you cannot really use SEO to drive traffic to your site. To market your products, you have to use Facebook and MailChimp, both of which can be integrated into your website. Big cartel is a great platform for selling clothing and art online.

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