A couple of updates from Big Cartel

by Andy on May 5, 2011

big cartel updates

As the HYA store is now running on the Big Cartel platform I’ve been taking a rather more keen interest in developments over the past few months since they now directly effect me (what? You thought I ran this blog for you?) and I thought I’d pass on the message about a couple of new features that they recently brought online. I would imagine that if you aren’t a store owner this would be of no interest to you, so you might as well just move on, it’s just not that exciting.

Firstly, they introduced the ability to easily charge different prices for different options with a product. Sometimes XXL t-shirts cost more to produce or purchase from a supplier than a medium-sized shirt, often companies just absorb that cost into all the sizes and just charge one flat fee for the shirts, effectively subsidizing the extra cost of the XXL shirts. That’s a simple system, but what if you wanted to charge those XXL folks a couple of dollars more since their shirts cost more to make (and possibly also to ship)? That was clunky and awkward before on Big Cartel (you’d probably have just created a new product solely for XXL shirts), but now is much more streamlined and easier to manage.

Secondly, pages. In the past it used to be the case that you could only have a set amount of pages depending on what level of plan you were using, the more you paid, the more custom pages you could get. It was a bit of an unnecessary constriction in my opinion, as it’s not a particularly expensive aspect of their service (they’re just HTML pages, image hosting and the like would be handled off-site in most cases), so I’m glad that they’ve opened up the amount of custom pages people can created to the magical number of ‘unlimited’ no matter what price plan you’re using (free or paid).

One thing that remains on my wishlist for Big Cartel is the ability to have an ‘Europe’ shipping option, since it costs me exactly the same amount to send a t-shirt anywhere in the EU using Royal Mail (I don’t know if it’s the same in other European countries, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it was). I don’t know the ins and out of the Big Cartel system, but I can’t imagine it’s that hard to create a shipping option that includes every European country, surely you just need the system to recognise that certain countries are banded together in a group? I’m sure it’s a lot harder than I’m making it sound, otherwise they’d have probably already implemented it by now.

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