Big Cartel vs Etsy: The Ultimate Comparison

Big Cartel vs Etsy: The Ultimate Comparison

Table of Contents:

  1. Introduction
  2. What is Big Cartel?
  3. What is Etsy?
  4. Pricing Comparison
  5. Features and Customization Options
  6. Pros and Cons of Big Cartel
  7. Pros and Cons of Etsy
  8. Examples of Big Cartel Stores
  9. Examples of Etsy Listings
  10. Selling Your Business: Considerations
  11. Conclusion

Big Cartel vs Etsy: Which E-Commerce Platform is Best for You?


In today's digital age, selling handcrafted goods online has become more accessible than ever. Two popular e-commerce platforms that cater to artists, designers, and creative entrepreneurs are Big Cartel and Etsy. Both platforms offer unique features and advantages, but which one is the better choice for you? In this article, we will compare Big Cartel and Etsy, looking at their features, pricing, customization options, and more. By the end, you'll have a better understanding of which platform suits your needs and goals.

What is Big Cartel?

Big Cartel is an e-commerce platform designed specifically for artists and makers. It allows users to build their own online store and sell their handcrafted products directly to customers. With Big Cartel, you have the freedom to create your own website and brand, giving you complete control over your online presence. The platform offers different pricing plans, including a free option, making it a budget-friendly choice for small businesses and individuals starting their entrepreneurial journey.

What is Etsy?

Etsy, on the other hand, is a well-established online marketplace that caters to a wide range of handcrafted products. It acts as a platform where individuals can list and sell their unique creations, such as handmade goods, vintage items, and craft supplies. Unlike Big Cartel, Etsy provides a ready-made audience and optimization for getting discovered by potential customers. It offers various tools and resources to help sellers grow their businesses within the Etsy ecosystem.

Pricing Comparison

When it comes to pricing, both Big Cartel and Etsy offer free options to start selling your products. However, there are some differences to consider. With Big Cartel, you can list up to five products for free on their gold plan, and they offer additional plans with varying features and product limits. On the other hand, Etsy also has a free plan, but there is a listing fee for each product. Additionally, Etsy charges transaction fees and payment processing fees, which can impact your overall costs. It's important to carefully evaluate the pricing structure of each platform based on your expected sales volume and budget.

Features and Customization Options

One aspect that sets Big Cartel apart is the ability to create your own unique website and brand. You have full control over the design and customization options, allowing you to showcase your products in a way that aligns with your vision. Big Cartel offers various themes and templates to choose from, enabling you to create a professional-looking online store. Furthermore, you own the customer data, giving you the flexibility to market and remarket to your customers as you see fit.

Etsy, on the other hand, provides a ready-made marketplace with built-in traffic and discoverability. While you have limited customization options compared to Big Cartel, Etsy offers extensive category listings, SEO optimization, and remarketing campaigns to help increase your products' visibility. If you're just starting out or don't have a significant following, Etsy's marketplace can be advantageous in attracting potential customers who are already browsing for unique and handcrafted products.

Pros and Cons of Big Cartel


  • Ability to build your own brand and website
  • Complete control over design and customization
  • Budget-friendly pricing options
  • Ownership of customer data


  • Limited built-in traffic and discoverability
  • Requires self-promotion and marketing efforts
  • May require additional learning curve for website setup and management

Pros and Cons of Etsy


  • Established marketplace with a large customer base
  • Category listings and SEO optimization for better discoverability
  • Built-in traffic and targeted audience
  • Seamless payment processing and transaction management


  • Limited customization options for branding
  • Transaction fees and listing fees can impact profitability
  • Limited control over customer data and email marketing

Examples of Big Cartel Stores

Here are a few examples of successful Big Cartel stores:

  1. Artistic Haven: A store specializing in unique paintings and art pieces.
  2. Crafty Creations: Handcrafted jewelry and accessories for fashion-forward individuals.
  3. Studio Supplies: A store dedicated to selling art supplies and materials.

Examples of Etsy Listings

Take a look at these impressive listings on Etsy:

  1. Handmade Leather Wallet: A beautifully crafted wallet made from genuine leather.
  2. Vintage Ceramic Planters: Unique and stylish planters for home decor enthusiasts.
  3. Handknit Baby Blanket: A cozy and personalized blanket for newborns.

Selling Your Business: Considerations

If selling your business is a future possibility, it's essential to understand the limitations of each platform. While Big Cartel allows you to buy, sell, or transfer your online store, Etsy explicitly states that account transfers are not permitted due to security reasons and legal requirements. This means that if you plan to sell your business running on Etsy, the new owner must open their own Etsy account. On the other hand, with Big Cartel, you retain full control over your customer data and have the freedom to sell or transfer your business as desired.


In conclusion, both Big Cartel and Etsy offer great opportunities for artists and makers to sell their handcrafted goods online. Big Cartel provides the ability to build your own unique brand and website, giving you complete control over your online store. On the other hand, Etsy offers an established marketplace with built-in traffic and discoverability. Consider your specific needs, budget, and long-term goals to determine which platform aligns best with your vision. Whether you choose Big Cartel or Etsy, both can serve as valuable platforms to showcase and sell your creative products.

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