We often see headlines like “Big Cartel vs. Etsy” or people asking “Should I use Big Cartel or Etsy?” It’s a good question.
To tell you the truth, we’re fans of Etsy as well. They’ve done a lot for the handmade world and provide a great tool to help you make money following your passions. We’ve even heard from many sellers who use and enjoy both services, and anyone who supports artists is good by us. But there might be some things you need as you grow, so here are a few reasons Big Cartel can be great for your store.
Don't get lost in the crowd
A community marketplace like Etsy is essentially one giant shopping cart, with products from hundreds of thousands of sellers all under one umbrella. It can be a great way to get your products thrown in the mix, but it’s very difficult to market your own unique brand, and very easy to get lost in the crowd.
Or put another way: When someone buys your goods, you want them telling friends they bought it from you, not Etsy.
So, while a marketplace might be great for limited-run handmade goods and craft supplies, it may not be where you want to establish your online home.
Your own store
Big Cartel is all about each individual artist, and we give you the keys to your own store. Setup is a breeze, and you're free to customize it any way you'd like, from colors, to graphics, and even your own custom domain name. Think of it as having your own brick and mortar shop versus a booth at a craft fair.
Keep in mind that it can take a little longer to build your traffic and customer base away from a community marketplace, but once you do you’re no longer sharing them with your competition or getting lost in the crowd.
Sell (almost) anything
You can sell almost anything with Big Cartel. From handmade to vintage, digital products to rare vinyl toys - Big Cartel supports artists and DIY entrepreneurs making money doing whatever it is they love doing.
We keep things simple
This is the easy part - one flat monthly fee. We won't ever take a cut of your sales. Your listings never expire, no matter how much you sell. Just pick the number of products you want, and you can always move up or down if needed. No surprises. With a marketplace, you could be paying both to list each individual product and a percentage of your sales.
Heads up: Stripe, PayPal, and Square - your options for handling payments - do charge a percentage of each transaction they process. These are the same fees you'll find anywhere, and they're unavoidable for the service they provide. If you're new to Square, you can sign up to get your first $1,000 in sales processed for free.
Another benefit is that we never ask your customers to sign up to become a member to shop in your store. With Big Cartel, your shoppers can buy your product directly from your store and go about their day. This also keeps their order history private, as it should be.
Shoppers can message you directly through your store’s contact form. No separate inbox, no forwarded conversations - questions and compliments go straight to you. And you can respond directly to customers from any device. Easy!
You're in good company
We have a growing community - a million artists and entrepenuers making it on their own have called Big Cartel home. If your end goal is to build a unique brand that allows you to make money doing what you love, at some point you’ll need a personal storefront to help you step confidently onto that stage.
Just like you, the Big Cartel team is made up of musicians, crafters, photographers, and more. Sleep easy knowing we'll always have artists' best interests at heart.
All the tools you need
Big Cartel gives you all the tools you’ll need to build your store and track your progress along the way. We have built-in tools for product management, promotion, search engine optimization, customization, and more.
You also have the option to integrate with a bunch of third-party apps to make your life even easier! Some apps we love include:
- Zapier for automating everything from email marketing to social media.
- ShipStation for getting all of your detailed shipping needs sorted.
- Printful and Art of Where for custom product manufacturing and shipping.
Plus, with our friendly support team and a vibrant help area, Big Cartel gives you everything you need to get out there and do it on your own.
Ready for the next step
If you’re ready to take your business to the next level and establish your own unique presence online, why not take Big Cartel for a spin? You can sign up for a free Gold account and kick the tires for as long as you’d like. After that, upgrading is simple if you think we’re right for you. Start your store today.
Dan Christofferson and Lauren Rose contributed to this article.