Avalara > Blog > Ecommerce > The Cheapskate’s Guide to Ecommerce: Big Cartel

The Cheapskate’s Guide to Ecommerce: Big Cartel

  • Jun 25, 2016 | Laura McCamy

Everyone wants something for nothing on the Internet, and that includes you -- don’t try to deny it! Even if you are an ecommerce seller in the business of trying to get people to spend money online, you probably want to pay as little as possible for your online store. That’s where Big Cartel comes in.

Cheap Beats Free at Big Cartel

Big Cartel, which specializes in providing striking online stores for makers and artists, offers a free option for your starter business (the platform calls this version Gold, but you might think of it as the starving artist edition). You can post just five products in this version, which comes with limited (but still pretty awesome) features. If you just want to test the waters or play around, Gold could be a good way to get started.

If you’re serious about selling your work online, however, you might want to step up to one of the paid plans. Big Cartel offers plans that start at $9.99 per month and max out at $29.99 per month. For a small investment, you get the full features of the platform.

With the ten buck Gold plan, you can post up to 25 products with up to five images of each. The standard domain is yourshopname.bigcartel.com, but you can also use Big Cartel with your own custom URL.

Whether you are an artist who wants to try selling a few paintings online or a budding crafter with crocheted hats that you can only make so fast (for now -- until you build your crocheted hat empire!), this baseline package can be a great way to test the waters without investing a ton of time or money. You could end up with a sweet little business selling those 25 items.

Code, Code, and Code

If you are allergic to code, Big Cartel has you covered. The site offers a simple interface that makes it easy for makers of all kinds to put together a beautiful sales platform.

On the other hand, if you like to dip your hands into a little HTML (or CSS or JavaScript), Big Cartel lets you customize your site.

And let’s not forget another kind of code altogether: discount codes. Big Cartel lets you offer promotions to jumpstart your ecommerce sales.

Big Cartel and Taxes

Big Cartel is a great option for the brand new online seller. It offers lots of basic background information in easily digestible bites, such as their backgrounder on filing estimated quarterly taxes. The Big Cartel classroom is a great place for artists to get small business advice on a range of topics.

Big Cartel also does its part to make it easier for its sellers to charge the correct sales taxes, though it doesn’t allow as much fine detail in setting US tax rates as some competing platforms.

Fortunately, Avalara TrustFile works well with Big Cartel to help you collect and pay the right taxes to the right place at the right time. For all you cheapskates and the starving artists, the price is right, too: It’s free to sign up for your TrustFile account.

Sales tax rates, rules, and regulations change frequently. Although we hope you'll find this information helpful, this blog is for informational purposes only and does not provide legal or tax advice.
Avalara Author
Laura McCamy
Avalara Author Laura McCamy