Frequently asked questions

  • Updated on 20 November 2023
  • 16 min read
Help cover image

Looking for quick answers? Our Support team has rounded up the top questions we get and listed them below for easy reference. If you can't find what you're looking for here or elsewhere in the help site, reach out and a team member will be happy to lend a hand. You'll get a response from a real person, not a bot.

Account Basics

How do I change my password?

To change your password in the admin, you’ll head to the Security section from the Account page. Click Change your password and then enter your current password and your new password there.

If you don't remember your password, then we can send a password reset to the email address we have on file.

How do I change my shop name or URL?

You can change both your shop name and url from the Account page in your Big Cartel admin. To change your shop name, click Edit profile and adjust your shop name there. Click Edit your shop info to change your Shop URL and click Save changes. Our system will let you know if the new subdomain you choose is available or not.

How do I change my contact email?

Your shop’s contact email can be changed from the Account page in your admin. Click Edit profile and adjust the contact email there. For added security, you’ll need to enter your password to verify the change. Keep in mind that the contact email is used to determine account ownership. You’ll want to make sure you are using an email that can send and receive emails and be sure to triple-check your spelling before saving your changes!

How do I close my account?

To close your shop, log in and complete the closing process here.

Just keep in mind, closing your account is permanent - we won’t be able to recover any store data for you down the road so you may want to download your order data beforehand.

Does Big Cartel make the products I sell?

Big Cartel doesn't offer order manufacturing or fulfillment, so you'd want to get your merchandise created on your end. Then as orders come in, you'd be responsible for shipping them out. Our job is to provide the hosting for your web store/checkout system.

If you're looking for spots to help manufacture your goods or sell via print-on-demand, check out our integrations with Printful or Art of Where.

Adding Products

How do I add variants like colors or sizes to my product listings?

You can do that with our Product Variants feature. As you’re adding products into your shop, you can include things like a size or color range in the Variants section of your product listings.

If you offer products with more than one set of variants, for example, you sell multiple sizes and colors, you can display those in separate dropdown menus using our Variant Groups feature.

Can I limit the number of a specific item that is sold?

Yes, if you’re on a paid plan, you can use our Inventory Tracking feature. You’ll find that on the Account page, in the Preferences section. Once you enable that feature, you’ll be able to add quantities directly to your product listings.

When products are purchased, the inventory will automatically adjust. When a product or variant’s inventory reaches zero, it will display as ‘Sold out,’ preventing further purchases.

How do I charge shipping?

Big Cartel offers two separate tools you can choose from to add shipping rates to your product listings:

Product-level Shipping: This is a great tool if your products vary in size and weight and require different shipping rates. Product-level shipping can be added to each individual product listing from your Products page.

Shipping Profiles beta: This is a great tool for creating store-wide shipping rates with customizable shipping methods that apply to all products in your shop. Shipping profiles can be set up on your Account page.

Need help determining your shipping rates? Use our How to set up Shipping guide for more information on calculating shipping rates.

I’m not seeing all of the products display in my storefront?

It sounds like you may be looking at the featured products displayed on the home page. If you'd like to display more products on the home page of your shop, you can adjust that number by clicking Design from the Account page in your admin. In the Settings section you'll see the option to adjust number of featured products. Keep in mind, your customers will also be able to view all of your products from the Products page in your shop.

How do I add product categories?

You can create categories by editing your product listings, in the Products page of your admin, by clicking the action menu, then Manage categories.

Then, within each product's edit page you'll see a Categories button that you can use to assign that specific product to a category. A category with at least one active product assigned to it will have its own link displayed within your shop.

More details on managing categories here.

What size images should I use for my products?

Each theme will display product images a bit differently to fit the design, so there isn’t a specific set of dimensions to use. Your best bet to get the most out of the theme you’re using is to upload large high-resolution images that are all the same size and orientation to create a consistent, uniform look.

To get those images looking nice and crisp try keeping them at least 1000px wide, and we’ll do the heavy lifting to resize them as needed to fit within your theme’s design constraints.

You can also check out our Themes help pages for specific recommendations on elements like slideshows and header images, which tend to vary across themes.

I'm getting an error when adding or editing products - "At least one variant's price must match the base price."

It sounds like you are editing your products' prices. If your product has variants, you can update each variant's price in the Variants section. At least one of the variant's prices must match the "base price" in the main Price section for the product.

If your product doesn't have variants, you can update the base price in the Price field right above the Variants section.

Managing Orders

How do I refund or cancel an order?

Since Big Cartel doesn’t actually handle the payments, those refunds will be issued directly through Stripe or PayPal, depending on which checkout option was used at the time that particular order was placed.

You can click the View in Stripe or View in PayPal link for that order to complete the refund offsite through PayPal or Stripe. We have some more info on that here.

There isn't a way to entirely delete an order in your admin after the payment has been refunded, but you can add a "note to self" stating the order was refunded to help you keep track of things. Then, you can go ahead and mark that order as shipped to get it out of your way. Here's more info on adding notes to orders.

How do I download my orders?

You can download your order data from the Orders page of your admin, and that'll include a breakdown of each order, including customer name, email, shipping address, product ordered, etc.

Getting Paid

How do I accept payments?

You can accept online payments in your shop via Stripe and/or PayPal. With PayPal enabled, you can also accept PayPal Credit. There's more info on setting up your shop's online checkout here.

With Stripe enabled in your shop, customers using Apple Pay will have the option to complete their purchases directly from a product listing.

If you are using in-person checkout in our iOS or Android app, you can accept cash and credit card payments - either manually or with a card reader - via Stripe Terminal.

Does Big Cartel offer more payment options like Afterpay?

Shops using Stripe as a payment processor have the ability to offer additional payment options at Checkout such as Afterpay, Klarna, iDeal, and more. You can find more information on the options offered and how to manage them under Stripe payment methods.

Do I have to have a PayPal Business account?

That's correct! PayPal requires a verified business account to accept payments in your shop. But no worries, it's simple to upgrade your account. You can login right here to upgrade to a Business account for free.

And there's some info about how to verify your account here.

After that, you should be all set to accept PayPal Commerce Platform payments in your shop!

How do I update my bank account that payments are sent to?

If you are using Stripe to accept payments in your shop, you can update the bank account in your Stripe dashboard. There's more on that here.

If you use PayPal, you'll update your bank account info in your PayPal account. There's more info on that here.

What is this application fee?!

That's sales tax you're seeing in your Stripe account breakdown, so it's not a fee Big Cartel keeps. PayPal labels sales tax as a partner commission, but it's definitely not that either. We wish we had some input on how sales tax is labeled on Stripe's and PayPal's end, because it's definitely confusing. But that portion of the order is sales tax, and it's remitted to the appropriate state.


Can I translate my shop to another language?

There's not a built-in tool to change the language of your site, but all of our stores on paid plans have access to their HTML. So, you could either go in and translate your code by hand, or you could embed a translate widget. There are quite a few options out there like the one Bing offers here.

You could also check out an app like Weglot that's super simple to integrate with your Big Cartel shop, and will translate your shop in multiple languages.

How do I add images to custom pages?

If you want to include an image on a custom page in your shop, you'll first need to host your image through an external hosting service - there are lots out there! A couple worth checking out are free services like or Dropbox.

For Pasteboard, after the image is uploaded there, you'll click the 'Go to image' button and then copy the Embed URL. Here's a handy video to help out with that!

For Dropbox, you’ll copy the “share” link for your image in Dropbox. Then you’ll need to modify the end of that URL so that it instead of ending in dl=0, it now ends with raw=1. Here’s a quick video walkthrough.

Next, go back to your custom page editor in the Big Cartel admin and click the add image icon in the toolbar (it's next to the little button that says HTML).

Now paste in the Embed URL you copied earlier.

Can I add customer reviews to my shop?

Sure, stores on paid plans can use third party integrations or widgets to embed reviews and forms customers can use to send you their input.

For example, a service like Disqus or Testimonial Robot might have the tools you're looking for. They'll provide an embed code that you can copy and paste into a custom page in the Design section of your admin.

Custom Domains

Can I use my own domain?

Yes, all Big Cartel shops on paid plans can use a custom domain with their shop. There's more info on that here.

Can I remove the .bigcartel from my URL?

There's not a way to delete or deactivate your store's URL, but you can definitely use a custom domain as well.

First, you'll need to purchase domain from a DNS provider. If you are in a Google-supported country, you can purchase a domain directly in your admin.

If you are not in a Google-supported country or would prefer to use another provider, we have a list of DNS providers along with instructions on mapping your domain here.


I received a suspicious email claiming to be from Big Cartel. Is this legit?

If you received a suspicious email, please don't click any links in that message until we can verify that it was sent by us. Please forward it to support and we can take a look.

Is my shop SSL-encrypted?

Each page in your online storefront is SSL-encrypted as is the backend admin, so any time sensitive data like payment details are passed, it's encrypted.

However, if you see a red lock in the Account page of your admin, it means that your domain is not currently SSL-encrypted. This is due to a problem with your custom domain redirect settings, unsecured assets detected in your shop, or the SSL certificate's failure to generate. There's more information on how to resolve those issues here.


How do I set up Instagram tagging (shoppable posts) for my products?

While we don't have a direct integration with Instagram, you can manually set up shopping on Instagram by following our step by step instructions here. Just keep in mind that Instagram and Facebook must approve your products to be tagged in your Instagram posts. We can't guarantee that your products will be approved, but going through this process will definitely get your products on their radar.

Can I add a newsletter signup?

Sure thing! With the Mailchimp integration, you can enable a Subscribe to our newsletter box automatically at checkout so customers can opt in to receive your newsletter, sync up your customers info and purchase data with your Mailchimp account, and even send custom order confirmations. You can also implement more targeted newsletter campaigns and easily embed a newsletter signup in your shop.

You can find more info on the Mailchimp integration and how to connect it to your Big Cartel shop here.


Can I upgrade or downgrade my plan at any time?

Definitely! You can upgrade anytime if you find you need more product listings and features. Or you can downgrade if you don't end up using the paid features. All of that can be done from the Billing section of your admin.

Why is my monthly payment failing?

Your card may be getting declined because of a higher level of recent activity on the card, a lack of matching AVS information, or for a range of other reasons that only your card issuer would know.

Your best bet will be to get in touch with your card issuer or bank to see if they’ve flagged the payment on their end, and ask them to let it through. It helps to have them look specifically for the failed charge attempts coming from us and not just the general status of your card. If that doesn’t do the trick we recommend trying a different payment method.

Have questions?

Our support team is available Monday - Friday from 8am-6pm EST.

Contact Support