bigcartel offers FREE ecommerce shops

MY NEW ART SHOP
artis3letters.com has expanded its services to bigcartel.com. Currently there’s four pieces in the shop. These four pieces can also be found in my etsy shop. All transactions through bigcartel are done through PayPal. PayPal accepts all major credit cards.

WHAT MAKES BIGCARTEL GREAT
What do I love most about bigcartel? Well, it’s free. Everything about it is free. No shop setup fee. No product insertion fee. There’s not even a fee when I sell an item. Take that, ebay! It was a breeze to set up my shop (Again, in your face, ebay). Well, I already had a PayPal business account, photos of my shop items, descriptions of my shop items, masthead and logo which makes the process that much easier. Getting everything up and running took me maybe 15 minutes. Also, the maintenance is a breeze. Editing shop settings and shop item info is very easy. (Again, again, in your face, ebay.) Bigcartel’s overall appearance is clean and sophisticated. (Ebay, you don’t even know what those words mean.)

UPGRADE OPTIONS
How does bigcartel make their money? They offer three levels of service:
Gold: free
Platinum: $9.99 monthly
Diamond: $19.99 monthly.

Gold gets you only 5 shop items while Platinum and Diamond max at 25 and 100. Platinum and Gold offer the following that Gold doesn’t: a domain name without “bigcartel”, inventory control, discount codes. The higher the level, the more customization and stats you get as well. There’s still a decent amount of control over the appearance of your site with the free Gold level. I’m not complaining. It’s completely free after all.

WHAT MAKES BIGCARTEL LAME
The downsides of bigcartel is that there is no search tool on the site. None. Zip. The only way you can check out the shops on bigcartel is to sort them by:
-featured stores
-new stores
-all stores
-band stores
-record label stores
-clothing stores
-record label stores
-specialty stores

So forget about trying to find something specific on the site. You’ll just have to do a ton of surfing to find what you’re looking for. Certainly bigcartel is trying to target the music industry judging by the categories.

CONCLUSION
The professional appearance of the default shop, ease of shop setup and maintenance, and the cost (free) makes bigcartel great. They just need to introduce a search tool and make it as robust as etsy. (Tags. Give shop owners the use of tags!)

I’m still trying to find a site similar to etsy and bigcartel whose focus is on art. This imaginary site is by invitation only to prevent unprofessional, boring art from dominating the site.

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