January 5, 2010

Big Cartel – Helping Artists Sells Products Online

For artists and designers, one of the biggest barriers to setting up a shop and selling products online can be technology. After all, creating a secure way for customers to place orders and pay online is no simple task. Unless you’re using Big Cartel, the website developed to give individuals an easier way to set up shop on the web. The easy-to-use, customizable system gives users a way to sell their wares through their own domain or a unique URL within the Big Cartel site.

Rather than taking a percentage of the profits from each sale, Big Cartel lets users choose between free and paid pricing plans that can be cancelled or changed at any time. After choosing a theme and customizing the color scheme to match your own product website, get started uploading images and pricing each product. Big Cartel runs its orders through your PayPal account and helps keep you on track with proper taxes and shipping rates.

In addition to its functionality as an online shopping cart, Big Cartel can also help you keep track of inventory and notifies your customers when a particular product is sold out. The site can also create unique discount codes that you can distribute to repeat customers after they’ve checked out and paid for their purchases. Whether you’re a professional artist, an amateur jewelry designer, or a hobby crafter, Big Cartel is an online shopping cart system that will make it easier to sell your products online.

Practical Uses:

  • Sell your artwork from your own website
  • Keep track of inventory and always know what you have in stock
  • Set up a site within the Big Cartel domain to promote your products
  • Give discount coupons to loyal customers to encourage repeat visits

Insider Tips:

  • You must have a PayPal Business or Premier account to use Big Cartel’s services
  • Turn on maintenance mode to make changes to your store
  • Customers can pay with a credit card or through their own PayPal account
  • View your dashboard to get an instant look at how your online store is doing at any given time

What we liked:

  • Customize your online store as much, or as little, as you’d like
  • Easy to let customers buy gift certificates to your online store
  • Dashboard lists referral sites so you know where your customers are coming from
  • Ability to organize products by most and least viewed

What we didn’t like:

  • Users cannot offer more than 100 products for sale at any given time
  • We would like to see more payment options such as Google Checkout, Amazon Payments, or possibly


Company Info:

  • Privately Held
  • Headquarters: Salt Lake City, Utah
  • Founded by: Matt Wigham and Eric Turner
  • Web site:


  • Gold plan is free
  • Platinum plan is $9.99/month
  • Diamond plan is $19.99/month


  1. TashTash

    This review has been very helpful in helping me make a choice in selling items on-line. I hope big cartel came make this experience worth my while.

  2. They have a new option of 300 items for $29.99 now. So it’s not so limited, but they keep it small for a very good reason. They even explain it on their site.

  3. Hi! Can anybody give me a tip on how to make gift cards in your shop ??
    In the “discount options” you can set a percentage as high as 99% but you kinda need it to be 100% to function right.. :-/
    – Joanna

  4. lolita

    I don’t feel like reading this whole thing. Can I pay with an amazon giftcard or no

  5. Matthew Seed

    I manage two stores, one within Ecwid and the other via Big Cartel. I don’t really understand any analytics but I started crosspromoting both stores via Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram and Twitter and need to see results, some data, ideally in connection to one another (revenue, visits, likes, shares, clicks, etc.) Any tips? Google Analytics’ way too complicated for me, something simple, clear…

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