Etsy vs. Big Cartel: Update and Clarification

Yesterday, I was really excited to get a response from Matt at Big Cartel about my Etsy vs. Big Cartel blog post. He had a bit of feedback on the couple of cons I listed for Big Cartel. Chalk that up as one more pro for Big Cartel and one more con for Etsy! But before I go over the feedback, I wanted to make one point clear. In my first blog post, it seemed as though I was comparing Big Cartel and Etsy in an “apples to apples” kind of way. That’s not the case at all. Big Cartel and Etsy are completely different animals… or fruits, if you like the apples to apples thing. The only similarity between the two is that you can sell your handmade art through each. I want you to take this as more of an “apples to oranges” comparison: if you need fiber, eat apples; if you need vitamin C, eat oranges. They each fulfill different needs. With that said, here are the updates.

In my last blog post, one of the cons I listed about Big Cartel is the fact that there is no detail in the sold item feature. Really, it’s not that big of a deal. PayPal has that info and I can track it myself — it would just be nice to have the sales information available on the dashboard. Matt said this is something Big Cartel is currently working on now, so yay!

Another con I mentioned was that the analytic stats are completely different from Google Analytics, even though they come from GA. I should have read into it more closely on Big Cartel’s website. I guess I assumed that since I set my website up through GA that the stats reporting there are coming from GA. That’s not the case. Big Cartel reports their own stats. GA is there to give you a little more information. After reading about it on their website, I can understand why there’s such a difference between the stats reported on the Big Cartel dashboard and the stats reported by GA. It appears the main difference is that Big Cartel is reporting all visits to my page, including repeats. GA is only reporting unique visits. I’m sure another difference arises in the fact that GA is using JavaScript to track stats and Big Cartel is using direct server tracking. If I were more of a nerd, I could tell you how that affects the stats. So I think I’ll just turn that original con into a pro. Besides, I like the numbers on my Big Cartel stats much better than those in Google Analytics 😀

Matt also addressed my comments on the Big Cartel store directory. My main con with regards to the directory was that you can’t search for particular items, just individual stores. Matt’s response was that they had not intended for the directory to be a shopping destination and are not looking to become a community like Etsy. I can certainly appreciate that! Part of the reason I was attracted to Big Cartel in the first place was because it wasn’t a community. I’ve built up a community around myself and I’m super happy with it! Etsy has too much drama. I think most any social marketplace is going to have drama, and Big Cartel does well to avoid putting themselves in that position.

I hope that clears up any confusion. Thank you, everyone, for your questions and comments on my previous post!


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