If you are an artist, crafter, designer, or anyone who sells physical products online, then you should definitely check out Big Cartel. It is a platform that is created specifically for artists and small business owners who want to sell their products without having to deal with the hassles of setting up a website and managing payments and shipping. In this Big Cartel review, we will take a closer look at what Big Cartel is, how it works, and the features that make it stand out from the competition.
We will also discuss the pricing plans and benefits of using Big Cartel, as well as the disadvantages of using this platform. So, let’s get started!
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Big Cartel Review: What is Big Cartel?
Big Cartel is a platform that encourages artists and small business owner’s set up an e-store to sell their products online.
It is one of the most popular platforms for selling physical products, and it offers a wide range of features that make it easy to set up an online store and manage your sales.
Big Cartel was launched in 2005 by Matt Wigham, a Musician by profession. The platform has since then grown potentially helping thousands of creators build their online business.
How does Big Cartel work?
Big Cartel makes it easy to set up an online store and start selling your products. You can create a free account on the platform and choose from a variety of themes and designs for your store.
Big Cartel is a SaaS-based platform and you just need to create an account to access it from anywhere.
Once you have created your store, you can add products and start accepting payments. Big Cartel also offers a wide range of features that make it easy to manage your sales and shipping.
Features of Big Cartel
Big Cartel offers some of the useful features including:
Store themes and designs: There is a wide range of themes and designs for your store, so you can create a professional-looking website without having to hire a web designer.
Big Cartel offers free themes to its users which is great. However, the number is very limited (close to 18) which restricts your imagination.
On the plus side, the themes are quite responsive and fast-loading. The look and design of these themes are inclined towards creativity and it certainly gives a feeling of artistic minds working behind the store.
Product management: You can add products to your store, specify the prices, and set up shipping rates. Adding products to your store is a breeze. You can import the products or upload the file in CSV format. Big Cartel also allows uploading product videos if you want to.
Big Cartel also allows you to create discount codes and offer free shipping on orders over a certain amount.
Payment processing: Big Cartel makes it easy to accept payments from customers. You can choose to accept payments through PayPal or Stripe, and there are no transaction charges applied by Big Cartel.
The downside is you have to integrate with third-party apps such as Stripe, PayPal, Square, etc. to accept payments as there is no built-in payment gateway for Big Cartel.
You can also set up automatic tax calculations with the help of a Big Cartel tax tool called Sales Tax Autopilot. The tool works specifically for customers residing in the US.
Shipping: Big Cartel offers a wide range of shipping options, so you can choose the best way to ship your products. You can offer free delivery, flat rate shipping, and in-store pickup using Big Cartel.
You can also set up automatic shipping calculations and create shipping labels directly from the platform.
Integrations: Big Cartel provides integration with more than 20 apps under different categories. You can connect with apps or platforms for email marketing, shipping, payments, etc.
Customer support: Big Cartel supportive resources have a large number of high-quality aid articles and videos to assist you in setting up and running your online business.
Disappointingly, it offers customer support only through email between Monday-Friday.
Big Cartel Pricing
Big Cartel has a variety of pricing plans that fit the needs of artists and small business owners. There are a total of 3 plans that include:
Gold plan – Cost $0/month
The basic plan is free and can be used indefinitely. The plan is described as a ‘Gold’ plan which is true to its name. It allows you to create a store with up to five products with some limitations but is an ideal package for starters.
Platinum plan – Cost $9.99/month
The Platinum plan is worth selling 50 products. It offers additional features such as custom domain names, inventory tracking, marketing tools, and Google Analytics linking.
Diamond plan – Cost $19.99/month
The Diamond plan allows the selling of 500 products with access to all other features and benefits available in the Platinum plan.
Overall, the Big Cartel pricing plans are really attractive and I should say it is one of the most affordable platforms in the e-commerce segment.
Can you make money with Big Cartel?
Yes and no. Big Cartel does not have any affiliate or partner program as of now so if you are looking to make direct money by promoting Big Cartel to others then it’s a no.
Yes, you can make money with Big Cartel if you fall into the creative categories supported by the platform. Big Cartel is an ideal solution for artists, musicians, illustrators, etc. who can start their own online store and earn money.
Big Cartel helps such people set up their online business with ease, it is affordable, plus it offers valuable tools and support to promote and market the art/creativity for its users to generate profits.
With your own creativity, hard work, and Big Cartel support, expect to make anywhere between 3-4 figure monthly income from your online store.
Here are some of the artist examples shared by Big Cartel.
Is Big Cartel a scam?
Big Cartel is a tested and trusted platform since 2005. The company has helped more than 70000 people sell their art and creativity generating $2.5 billion worth of sales.
Big Cartel is not a scam. There are many users on independent review platforms giving it an average rating of 4-stars which is good. Big Cartel is praised for ease-of-use, pricing, and quality tools.
- Easy setup: It is easy to set up an online store on Big Cartel and start selling your products. The menu, dashboard, and navigation are simple. You don’t need any technical knowledge and skills using Big Cartel.
- Extremely affordable – Big Cartel pricing plans are very cheap. The free plan works forever with limited features and products but can be ideal for many freshers who want to start an online store. The paid plans end up with just $19.99/month which is affordable for anyone.
- Decent features: Big Cartel offers features that make it easy to manage your sales and shipping. There are free templates, smooth integrations with different third-party apps, multilingual options, multiple currency selling, mobile app, payments, and more.
- Limited customization: While you can choose from a variety of themes and designs for your store, you may not be able to customize your store as much as you would like. The number of templates is few, drag-&-drop features lack versatility, and defining product category is restricted. It may not bode well for people looking to expand their product range and sales.
- Limited customer support: Big Cartel offers customer support through email and this is the only option to remain in touch with the support team. To make matters worse, the email functionality works only on weekdays. This is unlike the standard support provided by many other platforms in the same segment.
Conclusion: Is Big Cartel recommended?
Big Cartel is a good platform for artists and small business owners who want to sell products online. It is easy to set up an online store on Big Cartel, and the platform offers a wide range of features that make it easy to manage your sales and shipping.
However, there are a few disadvantages to using Big Cartel, such as limited customization and limited customer support.
Big Cartel’s pricing makes it one of the cheapest and most affordable online store providers. If you are looking for a platform to jumpstart your online store with limited products and features, then Big Cartel is a good option to consider.
However, Big Cartel lacks the edge and efficiency provided by some of its competitors such as BigCommerce, Shopify, etc. These platforms offer more robust and powerful features at reasonable pricing. I recommend trying these options if you are looking for more established and advanced e-commerce solutions.