The Ultimate Guide to Dropshipping with Big Cartel

The Ultimate Guide to Dropshipping with Big Cartel

Table of Contents:

  1. Introduction
  2. What is Big Cartel?
  3. Getting Started with Big Cartel 3.1 Creating an Account 3.2 Setting Up Your Online Store 3.3 Managing Products 3.4 Managing Orders 3.5 Managing Discounts
  4. Analyzing Store Performance
  5. Customizing Your Store Design 5.1 Choosing a Theme 5.2 Customizing Colors and Layout 5.3 Integrating Social Media 5.4 Adding Additional Pages 5.5 Advanced Customization with Code
  6. Publishing Your Store
  7. Managing Shop Information 7.1 Changing Shop URL and Domain 7.2 Setting Up Payment Methods 7.3 Managing Taxes
  8. Big Cartel Pricing Plans
  9. Pros and Cons of Using Big Cartel
  10. Conclusion

How to Use Big Cartel for Drop Shipping: A Complete Tutorial


Big Cartel is a popular e-commerce platform that provides the opportunity to create your own online store for free. Whether you're a small business owner or someone looking to start drop shipping, Big Cartel offers a user-friendly interface and essential features to help you manage your online store effectively. In this tutorial, we will guide you through the steps of using Big Cartel for drop shipping and provide valuable insights along the way.

What is Big Cartel?

Big Cartel is an e-commerce platform that allows users to create and manage their online stores. It caters to independent artists, makers, and small business owners who are looking for a simple and affordable solution to sell their products online. With its visually appealing templates and intuitive interface, Big Cartel enables users to set up a professional-looking online store without any technical expertise.

Getting Started with Big Cartel

  1. Creating an Account

To get started with Big Cartel, you need to create an account. Simply visit the Big Cartel website and click on "Open Your Store" to begin the process. If you don't have an account, you will be prompted to create one by providing your basic information. However, if you already have an account, you can log in using your credentials.

  1. Setting Up Your Online Store

Once you have logged in, you will be taken to your dashboard, where you can manage all aspects of your online store. Here, you will find a small checklist that guides you through the process of setting up your store. It includes steps like adding products, customizing your store design, and integrating payment methods.

  1. Managing Products

To add products to your store, click on the "Products" tab in your dashboard and then click on the "+" button to add a new product. You can upload product images, specify product details such as name, description, price, and variants. Big Cartel allows you to manage inventory, add shipping information, and even categorize your products for better organization.

  1. Managing Orders

In the "Orders" area of your dashboard, you can easily manage all the orders you receive. You can view order details, process payments, and track the status of each order. Big Cartel provides a hassle-free order management system to ensure smooth transactions with your customers.

  1. Managing Discounts

If you want to offer discounts or run promotions, Big Cartel has a dedicated "Discounts" area where you can create and manage different types of discounts. You can set up discounts based on a fixed amount or a percentage off the product price. This feature allows you to attract customers with enticing offers.

Analyzing Store Performance

Big Cartel provides built-in analytics to help you track and analyze your store's performance. In the "Analytics" section of your dashboard, you can view important metrics like sales, website traffic, and customer behavior. This data can guide your decision-making process and enable you to optimize your store for better results.

Customizing Your Store Design

  1. Choosing a Theme

The design of your online store plays a crucial role in its success. Big Cartel offers a variety of professionally designed themes to choose from. You can access these themes by clicking on the "Design" tab in your dashboard. Browse through the available themes and choose the one that best fits your brand image and aesthetic preferences.

  1. Customizing Colors and Layout

Once you have selected a theme, you can further customize it by changing the colors, fonts, and layout. Big Cartel provides an intuitive customization interface that allows you to make changes to the chosen theme without any coding knowledge. You can experiment with different combinations to create a unique and visually appealing store design.

  1. Integrating Social Media

To enhance the visibility of your store and connect with your target audience, you can integrate social media platforms into your Big Cartel store. In the "Design" section, you can easily add links to your Facebook, Tumblr, Instagram, and Twitter profiles. This enables customers to explore your social media presence and builds trust in your brand.

  1. Adding Additional Pages

In the "Pages" area of your dashboard, you can create additional pages for your store. These pages can be used to provide more information about your products, showcase customer testimonials, or share your brand story. Adding relevant and engaging pages can improve the overall user experience and help drive conversions.

  1. Advanced Customization with Code

For users with coding knowledge or those who want to implement more advanced customizations, Big Cartel allows you to add custom code snippets to your store. The "Code" section in your dashboard provides a space where you can integrate custom HTML, CSS, or JavaScript code to add unique functionality or design elements to your store.

Publishing Your Store

Once you have set up and customized your store, you can publish it to make it available on the internet. Click on the "Publish" button in your dashboard to make your store live. Big Cartel ensures that your store is responsive and optimized for different devices, allowing customers to access and shop from your store seamlessly.

Managing Shop Information

  1. Changing Shop URL and Domain

In the "Account" section of your dashboard, you can edit your shop information, including the shop URL and domain settings. You can choose a custom domain or map an existing domain to your Big Cartel store. This gives you the flexibility to align your store's web address with your brand identity.

  1. Setting Up Payment Methods

Big Cartel provides flexibility in accepting payments by integrating with popular payment gateways like Stripe and PayPal. In the "Account" section, you can set up your preferred payment methods and configure the necessary account details. This ensures a convenient and secure payment process for your customers.

  1. Managing Taxes

If you are required to charge taxes on your products, Big Cartel simplifies the process by allowing you to set up tax rules. In the "Account" section, you can define tax rates based on the location of your customers. This feature ensures compliance with tax regulations and streamlines your business operations.

Big Cartel Pricing Plans

Big Cartel offers various pricing plans to accommodate different business needs. For users with fewer than five products, the platform is completely free to use. If you have a larger inventory, pricing starts at $10 per month for up to 50 products and goes up to $20 per month for up to 500 products. These affordable pricing options make Big Cartel an attractive choice for small businesses and individuals.

Pros and Cons of Using Big Cartel


  • Easy-to-use interface for beginners.
  • Free option available for users with a small number of products.
  • Customizable store design with a range of themes and customization options.
  • Integration with popular payment gateways like Stripe and PayPal.
  • Helpful analytics and order management features.
  • Responsive and mobile-friendly store design.


  • Limited scalability for large businesses with a high number of products.
  • Limited features compared to more robust e-commerce platforms.
  • Customization options might not be sufficient for users with specific design requirements.
  • Advanced functionality may require knowledge of code or external integrations.


Big Cartel is an excellent option for small businesses, artists, and individuals looking to start an online store or venture into drop shipping. With its user-friendly interface, affordable pricing plans, and essential features, Big Cartel provides a seamless and hassle-free experience for creating and managing an online store. Whether you're a beginner or an experienced e-commerce entrepreneur, Big Cartel offers a range of customization options and tools to support your online business journey. Get started with Big Cartel today and unlock the potential of your online store.