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Reviews and expert opinion Big Cartel

Ana Marković
Ana Marković
Website Development Expert

Big Cartel is a convenient, all-in-one tool that allows you to set up, manage, and run an e-commerce store. It works great for small businesses that are just starting out, but it may not be the best choice for large online stores looking to scale up. If you’re just looking for a simple web builder that can do it all, I’d recommend Wix.

Overview

Big Cartel is made for creative individuals looking to sell their products online. It offers a basic set of sales and marketing features to help you get your store up and running.

From my experience, Big Cartel works best on a small scale because of its simple set of features. There is no built-in tool that lets you change the language of your shop, but you can integrate translation apps such as Weglot, which display your site in several languages.

Big Cartel keeps it simple, but is it too simple to meet your e-commerce building needs? Read on to find out!

Features and Ease of Use

Getting started with Big Cartel is extremely easy and there are many prompts and reminders to lead you through the process.

Templates

Big Cartel offers 19 templates, which isn’t a lot, but all of them are neat-looking, professional, and mobile responsive. 

Big Cartel Theme Designs
Big Cartel offers high-quality themes, but little creative control.

The downside of these templates is that they come with a narrow scope of customizing options. You can try on different fonts and add images, but the only way to edit images is to use code. Also, only users on paid plans get access to CSS/HTML editing, so if you’re on a free plan, what you see is what you get.

On the plus side, you can switch themes whenever you want, and the products will be automatically reformatted to fit the new theme.

Dashboard

Big Cartel’s dashboard is well-organized and everything is presented clearly. You can easily add products, manage orders, and see details of shipping, tax, and payments.

Apps and Integrations

Big Cartel offers a basic set of SEO and marketing apps, free and paid. Some of the free apps include Google Analytics to track your site’s performance and Mailchimp to boost your email marketing efforts. You can also sell products on Facebook and tag them on Instagram.

Big Cartel App Market
Live Chat for shoppers and Lucky Orange for site statistics are paid apps.

If you want to sell digital products, you can do it through paid app Pulley, and if you want custom printing, you can use paid apps Art of Where or Printful.

You can receive payments via PayPal and Stripe, and Big Cartel doesn’t charge any transaction fees.

Pricing and Support

The biggest perk of Big Cartel is its free plan. You can add only five products, but you also get some useful features, such as custom domain, shipment tracking, and a chance to offer discounts and run promos.

There are three paid plans: Platinum, Diamond, and Titanium. Compared to the free plan, paid plans offer some additional features, such as the ability to edit theme code, Google Analytics, and bulk editing of products on sales. However, all paid plans provide the same features, the only difference being the amount of products you can host, which is 50, 250, and 500 products, respectively.

Big Cartel offers email support only, but it has a pretty extensive Help section that covers all aspects of running an online store with them. Their support team is friendly, but it took almost 24 hours before I received an answer to my question about the video size limit.

Big Cartel Email Support
Big Cartel support team gave a helpful answer to my question.

Comparison

How does Big Cartel match up to the competition?

WixCompare 4.9 Compare
SquarespaceCompare 4.8 Compare
Big CartelCompare 4.4 Compare
SimpleSiteCompare 2.5 Compare

User reviews

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Bottom line on Big Cartel

Big Cartel is a great option for anyone with a limited number of items to sell. If you are a local artist, it is definitely worth a look. That said, its basic set of features makes it less suitable for larger, growth-oriented online stores.

ProsCons
  • Free plan available
  • Easy to use
  • Professional-looking templates
  • Great for small stores
  • Basic set of features
  • Limited template customization

If you’re unsure whether Big Cartel is the right choice, take a look at our list of the best website builders to help you make a decision.

FAQ

Is Big Cartel free to use?
Big Cartel has a free plan, but you can sell only five products if you’re on it. You also get to have a custom domain and the ability to advertise promos and offer discounts on your products, among other things. For more choices, check out our list of the best (completely free) website builders.
What percentage does Big Cartel take?
Big Cartel doesn’t charge transaction fees. However, it gives you two options for payment processing – via PayPal or Stripe, and both of these companies charge their own processing fees.
Is Big Cartel good?
Big Cartel is a solid web building option that works great for smaller-size businesses. It’s a good option for anyone who has a limited number of items to sell online.

However, if you want more customization options, WordPress might be better. Or, if you want better looking templates, check out Squarespace. For more choices, take a look at our list of the best website builders in 2020.

Which is better, Shopify or Big Cartel?
While both website builders provide efficient e-commerce solutions, Shopify is more suited for large companies looking to scale up because it offers a wider selection of features. Big Cartel comes at more affordable prices, but it offers a limited number of features compared to Shopify, which makes it more suitable for smaller online stores.

Regardless of which store builder you choose, make sure you take advantage of any current discounts or coupons.

Ana Marković
Ana Marković
Ana Marković is a freelance writer and an English teacher. She writes on everything from pet care and healthy lifestyle to environmental issues and product reviews. In her downtime, you’ll find her at the movies or hiking with friends.

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