Everything You Need to Know About Big Cartel Transaction Fees – A Comprehensive Guide



Understanding Big Cartel Transaction Fees

When starting an online store using Big Cartel, it’s important to familiarize yourself with the transaction fees involved. Transaction fees are a crucial aspect of running an e-commerce business, as they directly impact your profitability. In this article, we will provide a comprehensive overview of Big Cartel transaction fees, how they work, factors that affect them, and strategies to minimize them.

What are transaction fees?

Transaction fees are charges imposed by the e-commerce platform for processing transactions on your behalf. They are usually a percentage of the total order value or a flat rate per transaction. These fees are separate from other fees, such as monthly subscription fees or payment gateway fees.

The purpose of transaction fees is to cover the costs associated with processing payments and securing the transactions on your online store. Without transaction fees, e-commerce platforms like Big Cartel wouldn’t be able to provide the necessary infrastructure, security measures, and customer support.

How do Big Cartel transaction fees work?

Big Cartel offers two pricing plans: free and paid. The free plan, known as the “Gold” plan, allows you to sell up to 5 products with limited features. The paid plans, namely the “Platinum” and “Diamond” plans, offer more functionality and allow you to list a greater number of products.

Depending on the pricing plan you choose, Big Cartel transaction fees differ. The free plan charges a 0% transaction fee, while the paid plans have a flat rate fee per transaction. For example, the Platinum plan charges $0.30 per transaction, while the Diamond plan has a $0.25 transaction fee.

To understand how transaction fees are calculated, let’s consider an example. If you sell a product for $20 and you’re on the Platinum plan, which charges $0.30 per transaction, the total fee deducted from your earnings will be $0.30. Therefore, your net earnings for that sale would be $19.70.

Factors affecting Big Cartel transaction fees

There are two primary factors that affect Big Cartel transaction fees: the pricing plan chosen and the payment gateway selected. The pricing plan plays a significant role, as each plan has its own transaction fee structure. Therefore, it’s important to evaluate your business needs and determine which plan aligns best with your goals and budget.

Additionally, the payment gateway you select can also influence transaction fees. Big Cartel integrates with popular payment gateways such as PayPal and Stripe. These payment gateways have their own fee structures, and it’s important to review and compare them to make an informed decision.

Comparing Big Cartel Transaction Fees with Other Platforms

Now that we’ve explored Big Cartel transaction fees in detail, let’s compare them with other popular e-commerce platforms to gain a broader perspective.


Shopify is one of the leading e-commerce platforms, known for its powerful features and flexibility. In terms of transaction fees, Shopify offers different pricing plans, with the fees ranging from 2.9% + $0.30 for the Basic plan to as low as 2.4% + $0.30 for the Advanced plan.


WooCommerce is a WordPress plugin that allows you to create an online store using WordPress. One of the advantages of WooCommerce is that it’s open-source and free. However, transaction fees are applicable based on the payment gateway you choose. For instance, integrating WooCommerce with PayPal charges standard PayPal fees, while other payment gateways may have their own fee structures.


Squarespace is a popular website builder that includes e-commerce functionality. Squarespace charges transaction fees on their lower-priced plans, ranging from 3.0% to 0.0%, depending on the plan and payment gateway selected. However, their higher-priced plans have lower or zero transaction fees.


Etsy is a specialized e-commerce platform focused on handmade, vintage, and unique items. Etsy charges a $0.20 listing fee per item and a 5% transaction fee on the item’s sale price, including shipping costs. They also provide various additional advertising options with their own associated fees.

Strategies to Minimize Big Cartel Transaction Fees

Now let’s explore some effective strategies to minimize your Big Cartel transaction fees and increase your profitability.

Evaluating pricing plans

By carefully evaluating your business needs and projections, you can choose the most cost-effective Big Cartel pricing plan. If you’re just starting out, the free plan may be sufficient to get your store up and running. However, as your business grows and you expect higher sales volumes, it may be beneficial to upgrade to a paid plan to take advantage of the lower transaction fees.

You can calculate potential savings by estimating your monthly sales volume and comparing the transaction fees associated with different Big Cartel pricing plans. This can help you make an informed decision and maximize your profitability.

Choosing the right payment gateway

When selecting a payment gateway for your Big Cartel store, consider factors such as transaction fees, ease of integration, and customer experience. Big Cartel offers integrations with popular payment gateways like PayPal and Stripe, both of which offer competitive fee structures.

Comparing payment gateway fees and features can help you make an optimal choice that aligns with your business needs and budget. Be sure to consider the additional services and security features offered by the payment gateway to ensure a smooth and secure transaction process for your customers.

Tips for Effectively Managing Big Cartel Transaction Fees

In addition to minimizing transaction fees, there are several tips and strategies you can implement to effectively manage your Big Cartel transaction fees and maximize your overall profitability:

Regularly reviewing and analyzing sales data

By regularly reviewing your sales data, you can identify patterns, trends, and areas for improvement. Analyzing the data can help you optimize your product offerings, pricing, and marketing strategies, ultimately leading to increased sales and reduced transaction fees.

Leveraging discounts and promotions to drive sales

Offering discounts and promotions can incentivize customers to make purchases, increasing your sales volume. By strategically planning and executing promotional campaigns, you can drive more revenue while keeping your transaction fees in check.

Managing inventory and optimizing shipping costs

Efficient inventory management can help minimize costs associated with unsold products, reducing the impact of transaction fees on your overall profitability. Additionally, optimizing shipping costs by choosing the most cost-effective shipping methods and providers can further reduce expenses and increase your margin.


In conclusion, understanding and effectively managing transaction fees is crucial when running a Big Cartel store or any e-commerce business. By evaluating pricing plans, choosing the right payment gateway, and implementing strategies to minimize fees, you can optimize your profitability and maximize your success. Regularly analyzing sales data and employing smart tactics like discounts and efficient inventory management further contribute to minimizing transaction fees and boosting overall profitability. Remember, success in e-commerce is not solely dependent on sales but also on effectively managing the associated costs.

Take action today by implementing the strategies discussed in this article, and watch your Big Cartel store thrive while keeping transaction fees under control.


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