Selling handmade goods online has become increasingly popular in recent years. The ability to reach a global audience and sell directly to customers has made it a lucrative option for many artisans and crafters. However, with so many platforms available, it can be difficult to decide which one is the best fit for your business. In this article, we will compare two popular platforms, Etsy vs Big Cartel, to help you make an informed decision.
Overview of Etsy vs Big Cartel
Etsy is one of the largest online marketplaces for handmade goods. It boasts millions of active buyers and sellers and offers a wide range of categories for artisans to showcase their products. With its user-friendly interface and robust search function, Etsy makes it easy for buyers to discover unique handmade items.
On the other hand, Big Cartel is a smaller, more niche platform that caters specifically to independent artists and creators. It offers a more customizable storefront and allows sellers more control over their branding and design. While Big Cartel may not have the same level of traffic as Etsy, it attracts a more targeted audience of art enthusiasts and collectors.
Pros and Cons of Selling on Etsy
Etsy has several advantages for sellers. Firstly, it has a massive user base, which means that your products have a higher chance of being seen by potential customers. Secondly, Etsy handles all the technical aspects of running an online store, such as payment processing and order management, making it a hassle-free option for sellers.
However, there are also some downsides to selling on Etsy. The marketplace is highly saturated, which means that competition can be fierce. It can be challenging to stand out among the thousands of other sellers offering similar products. Additionally, Etsy charges fees for listing items and takes a percentage of each sale, which can eat into your profits.
Pros and Cons of Selling on Big Cartel
Big Cartel offers several unique advantages for sellers. One of the biggest benefits is the ability to customize your storefront. You can choose from a variety of themes and layouts to create a unique and branded shopping experience for your customers. This level of customization can help you establish a strong brand identity and stand out from the competition.
However, Big Cartel has its limitations. Unlike Etsy, it does not have the same level of traffic and exposure. This means that you will need to invest more time and effort into marketing and promoting your store to drive traffic. Additionally, Big Cartel does not offer as many built-in features for managing and growing your business, so you may need to rely on third-party integrations for certain functionalities.
Comparison of Fees and Pricing Structures
When it comes to fees and pricing structures, Etsy and Big Cartel have very different approaches.
Etsy charges a listing fee of $0.20 per item, and takes a 5% commission on each sale. This can add up, especially if you have a large inventory or high-value items. However, Etsy does offer a range of advertising options to help promote your products and increase visibility.
Big Cartel has a more straightforward pricing structure. It offers four different plans, ranging from free to $29.99 per month, depending on the number of products you have and the features you need. Big Cartel does not charge any transaction fees, which can be a significant cost-saving for sellers.
Customization and Branding Options on Etsy vs Big Cartel
Customization and branding are essential for establishing a strong identity and attracting customers. Etsy offers some customization options, such as the ability to add a shop banner and logo, choose a color scheme, and create a custom URL. However, the level of customization is limited compared to Big Cartel.
Big Cartel excels in this area, allowing sellers to fully customize their storefronts. You can choose from a wide range of themes, customize the layout and design, and even add custom HTML and CSS code. This level of flexibility gives you complete control over your brand and allows you to create a unique and memorable shopping experience for your customers.
Marketing and promotion features on Etsy and Big Cartel
Both Etsy and Big Cartel offer marketing and promotion features to help sellers increase visibility and drive traffic to their stores. Etsy has a built-in advertising platform called Etsy Ads, where you can create paid ads to promote your products. It also has a range of SEO tools and features to help optimize your listings and improve your search rankings.
Big Cartel does not have its own advertising platform. However, it integrates with popular social media platforms like Instagram and Facebook, making it easy to promote your products and reach a wider audience. Additionally, Big Cartel offers basic SEO tools and allows you to add meta tags and descriptions to your store pages for better search engine visibility.
Customer Support and Community on Etsy vs Big Cartel
When it comes to customer support and community, both Etsy and Big Cartel offer resources to help sellers succeed. Etsy has an extensive Help Center with articles and guides on various topics, as well as a community forum where sellers can connect, ask questions, and share advice. Etsy also provides seller support via email and live chat.
Big Cartel has a smaller community, but it is known for its supportive and tight-knit community of artists and creators. It offers a Help Center with articles and tutorials, as well as a community forum where you can connect with other sellers. Big Cartel also provides customer support via email.
Choosing the Right Platform for Your Handmade Business
Choosing the right platform for your handmade business depends on your specific needs and goals. If you are looking for a large user base and a hassle-free selling experience, Etsy may be the better choice. However, if customization and branding are important to you, and you are willing to invest more time and effort into marketing and promotion, Big Cartel may be a better fit.
Consider factors such as fees, customization options, marketing features, and community support when making your decision. It may also be helpful to try out both platforms on a smaller scale to see which one resonates with your target audience and aligns with your business vision.
Both Etsy and Big Cartel offer unique advantages and cater to different types of sellers. Etsy provides a large user base and a user-friendly selling experience, while Big Cartel offers customization and branding options. By weighing the pros and cons of each platform and considering your specific needs, you can choose the right platform for your handmade business. Remember to take advantage of the resources and support available on both platforms to maximize your chances of success.