Pros & Cons, Alternatives, and More


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bigcartel logo

If you’re looking for a free platform to introduce your work to the market, Big Cartel is surely worth it. You also don’t have to worry about a lot of configurations when you set up your online store. Big Cartel made it possible to open your online store in minutes. This option is especially helpful if you’re looking to sell individual pieces, not items that are mass-produced.

Pros

  • Free plan includes essential features
  • User-friendly and clean interface
  • Perfect for selling individual art pieces
  • It’s easy to set up

Cons

  • Theme designs may be too basic
  • Coding is required for customizations

Zyro

Zyro logo

100+ custom templates that you can edit to suit the style of your brand

Best for small businesses – subscriptions start from just $2.90 per month

Every plan comes with free hosting and live chat support available 24/7

Jimdo

Jimdo logo

Suitable for people with no designing and HTML knowledge (100+ templates)

Free plan availabe with basic features. Paid plans: $7.50 – $40 per month

Free image library included with flexible layouts and optimized for phones

Weebly

Weebly logo

Free custom domain for one year (with annual plans) + free website hosting

Free plan available with free SSL security. Paid plans: $6 – $26 per month

40+ different themes to select from and over 56 free apps for your website

What is Big Cartel?


Big Cartel is an e-commerce website builder that you can use to create an online store. The platform launched in the United States in 2005. Since then, it has helped independent artists sell over $2.5 billion of their work globally.

There are more than 140,000 BigCartel websites on the world wide web. With such market share, the platform continues to live by its mission to help artists sell their works. 

How Does Big Cartel Work? 


Through Big Cartel, you can build a simple website where you can post products or artworks you want to sell. It operates via cloud technology so you can access your online store on any device that’s connected to the internet. 

Like other e-commerce websites, Big Cartel also lets you add essential functionalities to run your online store. Besides posting images of your products, you can also set up payment and shipping options. 

As it’s a simple e-commerce website builder, Big Cartel is relatively easy to use. After signing up, you can start adding your products and choosing a theme for your store. 

You can use the platform even without any coding knowledge. Although, it can help with customizations if you know a bit of HTML coding. Otherwise, you can just enjoy the drag and drop feature that lets you see the changes on the preview window.

Who is Big Cartel Best For?


Big Cartel is incredibly useful for those looking to set up an online store to sell individual arts and crafts pieces. Say, you enjoy working with jewelry and would like to sell some of your work. In that case, using Big Cartel to create an online shop is a quick option. 

The platform advertises that artists are their target market, providing them an easy platform to sell their work. This purpose also helps artists share their talent out with the world and reach a wider audience. 

Finally, Big Cartel has a limit to the number of items you can sell. They want to ensure that it’s actually your work you’re selling, and not something mass-produced for consumption.

So suppose you’re looking to set up an online store for a hobby. Or, it could be something that you won’t be stressing about selling in the near future. Then, Big Cartel is for you. 

What Kind of Website Can You Build with Big Cartel?


Blog

Big Cartel may be an e-commerce website builder but don’t let that stop you from using it as a blog platform. After all, creating blog content on your online store can help you with SEO and marketing.  

how to start a blog

Online Store

Being an online store is the ultimate purpose of Big Cartel. Most of its features are directed towards running a small, yet fully-functioning online shop for your products. 

You can easily upload images of your products to your store and offer three payment options to your customers. Once your customer checks out, Big Cartel also includes a customized confirmation email that shows your store branding. 

Of course, running an online store means you need an order section to monitor your transactions. Big Cartel offers this, along with a mobile app, so you can run your store wherever you are.   

online business ideas

Portfolio

Since you’ll be selling your work, your online store also serves as your portfolio. Your online store basically showcases your talent while letting you earn money from it. 

For this purpose, make sure to post high-quality pictures of your work. This way, people can appreciate and enjoy your talent and you can convert their appreciation to actual cash. Talk about a win-win situation. 

Big Cartel Features: What Does Big Cartel Offer? 


Before starting your online store using Big Cartel, make sure to check out the features that you can use. There are some that you can get for free, while others go with premium plans. 

For now, here are the features that you can enjoy, free of charge.

Order Management

Big Cartel provides access to a dashboard where you can send confirmation emails to your customers after they buy your products. These emails are even customized to show your store name and branding. 

The dashboard also lets you print shipping labels, track orders, and export your order history through a CSV file. 

Mobile App

You can download the Big Cartel mobile app through your smartphone. If you’re using an Android phone, you can find it on the Google Playstore. For iOS users, the app is available at the Apple App Store. 

Search Engine Optimization

When you create an online store using Big Cartel, your product pages are automatically optimized for search engines. This way, customers can look for your products online using targeted keywords.

Additionally, Big Cartel provides some tips to improve your online store’s ranking on search engines, like Google. Some of these tips include in-depth product descriptions and link building. 

Security

Big Cartel websites automatically include SSL encryption. This provides security to all information coming and going from your website. 

Does Big Cartel Offer Free Plan? 


Big Cartel offers a free plan if you’re looking to test out its features with some products. This plan comes with the following:

  • Post up to 5 products
  • One image per product
  • Free customizable themes
  • Real-time stats
  • Custom domain use
  • Shipment tracking
  • Product option groups
  • Sales tax autopilot
  • Offer discounts and promos

Big Cartel Pricing Plans: How Much Big Cartel Cost?


Some features are included in the paid plans, and here are the two options you can choose from:

Plan Pricing Per Month Features
Platinum $9.99 – Post up to 50 products- No listing fees- Everything on the free plan- Theme code editing- Google Analytics- Inventory Analytics- Bulk editing- Five images per product
Diamond $19.99 – Post up to 500 products- Everything on Platinum Plan

Big Cartel Reviews: Is Big Cartel Reliable?


Selling your artwork online demands a reliable and legitimate website where you can safely transact with your patrons. Fortunately, Big Cartel offers you the option to build that kind of website. 

According to customer reviews, Big Cartel serves them well by not charging per-item fees. Unlike other e-commerce platforms, it charges a monthly fee that already covers those costs. 

Others like how the platform is easy to use and requires no coding. At the same time, you can still use some coding skills to customize your storefront. 

On the other hand, some customers expressed issues about the lack of some crucial features. Still, the platform managed to get an average rating of 4.2 at G2 and 2.3 at Trustpilot

What are the Big Cartel Pros & Cons? 


Big Cartel Pros

  • The free plan includes essential features to start your online store
  • User-friendly and clean interface
  • Perfect for selling individual art pieces
  • It’s easy to set up

Big Cartel Cons

  • Theme designs may be too basic
  • Coding is necessary if you want to maximize theme customizations

How Good Is Big Cartel Help and Support?


Big Cartel offers a Help section on their website where you can find most answers to how-to questions. The topics are also sectioned based on the categories and functions so you can easily find what you’re looking for. 

There’s also a search field at the top right section of the web page. Noticeably, the website quickly generates search results.

As for reaching support, Big Cartel offers an email option. However, the support team is only available between 8 AM to 6 PM EST Mondays through Fridays. 

Big Cartel Review Verdict: Is Big Cartel Worth it?


If you’re looking for a free platform to introduce your work to the market, Big Cartel is surely worth it. You also don’t have to worry about a lot of configurations when you set up your online store. Big Cartel made it possible to open your online store in minutes. 

This option is especially helpful if you’re looking to sell individual pieces, not items that are mass-produced. Say, you made a beautiful piece of jewelry or printed a t-shirt with unique art. You can easily post these on your Big Cartel website. 

You can even add more items to your online store. With a Diamond plan subscription, Big Cartel lets you post up to 500 unique products. 

How to Sign Up with Big Cartel?


To create your online store with Big Cartel, here are the steps to follow:

  1. Choose a Big Cartel plan 
  2. Click on “Sign up free” or “Sign up now”
  3. Provide your email, password, shop name, and URL
  4. Read and confirm the Merchant User Agreement
  5. Click on Sign up and provide your billing details if you chose a paid plan

Sites Like Big Cartel


While Big Cartel already offers valuable features to start your online store, it’s still reasonable to check out other platforms. Here are some great alternatives to Big Cartel:

Site Builder Price Range
Big Cartel $0 – $19.99 per month
Jimdo $0 – $40 per month
Weebly  $0 – $26 per month
Wix $0 – $23 per month

Big Cartel vs. Jimdo

Jimdo Summary

  • Suitable for people with no designing and HTML knowledge
  • Modern and clean-looking Jimdo templates
  • Provides unlimited storage in some plans
  • No Jimdo ads on your website

Similar to Big Cartel, Jimdo provides you the option to start your business online by creating your e-commerce website. This platform, though, may work best with you if you’re more of a business person than an artist. 

It’s because Jimdo has features that offer more functions for running an online business. Yet, these take away the simplicity that you can otherwise enjoy with Big Cartel.

Big Cartel vs. Weebly

Weebly Summary

  • Create your website completely free
  • Affordable pricing plans from $5 per month
  • Get a free domain and $100 ad credit
  • Sell products through your online store

Compared to Weebly, Big Cartel may come out as a limited e-commerce website builder. After all, Weebly boasts of features that not only show you can add and run an online store. It also aims to maximize your store’s profit potential. 

That may sound like a good thing if you’re starting an e-commerce site for money. After all, you can sell whatever products you want to sell. However, it’s easy to lose your unique branding and business stability in a setup like this.

Big Cartel vs. Wix

Wix Summary

  • Flexible pricing plans – from free to enterprise solutions
  • The Wix Editor shows how your edits will affect your store’s design
  • Intuitive and easy-to-use interface with a drag-and-drop editor and responsive templates for mobile devices
  • Integrate Wix’s built-in Instagram selling feature to sell your products on Instagram

Like Big Cartel, Wix is another platform that you can use for free to create a website. But the latter is more extensive, as it allows you to create various types of websites, besides e-commerce.

Other Sites Like Big Cartel

Big Cartel Website Builder FAQ


Is Big Cartel Good for Beginners?

Yes, Big Cartel is good for beginners because of its easy setup and configurations. The clean interface also makes it straightforward to add products and explore other features. 

How Safe and Secure is a Big Cartel Website?

Big Cartel websites automatically have SSL encryption that ensures the security of user data and safety from external threats.   

How to Contact Big Cartel Customer Service?

You can contact their customer service through email at support@bigcartel.com. Their team answers query every Monday through Friday, 8 AM to 6 PM EST.



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