Heads up! This article is talking about the old admin. Looking for the new admin?


We get it, spending your time dealing with settings is about as fun as doing taxes. Trust us, though, you want to get in there and get your settings right. There’s super important stuff you want to take care of and in the process, maybe you’ll discover a rad feature you didn’t know you had!

Want to change store settings from your mobile device? Tap the menu icon in the top left corner of your screen, then tap Settings. From there you change your store name, description, contact info or password, and toggle settings like maintenance mode and inventory tracking for your shop. Learn more about the mobile admin »


Screenshot of Settings > Basics

Give your shop a nice store name, and in the description field, enter a few brief details about your shop and what you sell. What’s your mission? What sets your goods apart from the rest? Be descriptive - what you enter here will be picked up by search engines and shown as the link description in search results.

Your contact email address will be used for store-related notifications, including order emails and messages sent to you from customers through your shop’s contact form. Check for typos so you don’t miss a thing!

Next, choose which currency you’d like to list your product prices in. From dollars to zlotys, there are plenty to pick from.

If you use PayPal checkout, the country you choose will control the language of the PayPal checkout screen. The time zone setting affects discounts set to expire at a specific time.


Screenshot of Settings > Options

With maintenance mode enabled, you’ll get to work on your shop without your customers seeing what you’re up to. Just uncheck the box when you’re ready for your big reveal.

To keep orders tidy by marking them as shipped or unshipped in the Orders section, turn on tracking for order shipping status.

If you turn on inventory tracking, this will let you set the number of products you have in stock. We’ll automatically update your inventory when new orders are received, and products will be marked as Sold Out when the last one is sold, too. Magical!

Enabling the allow product overselling setting lets your products keep selling even after they’ve reached 0 quantity. A great option if your shop can continually replenish stock, but not so great if you’ve got limited quantities or one-of-a-kind items, so be careful with this option.


Screenshot of tax settings

You might not believe it at first, but charging taxes in your Big Cartel shop is really easy. If seeing the words “taxes” and “easy” in the same sentence seems way too good to be true, check it out for yourself!

Heads up! If you use our old PayPal Standard checkout, our tax features won’t work. You’ll need to set up a tax profile in your PayPal account instead.

First, head to Settings > Options in your admin. Check the Charge tax on orders box. The tax location options you’ll see is based on your store’s country setting.

U.S. stores will see a dropdown menu of states to choose from, and European stores will see an option to charge tax in their home country or a rate for the entire European Union. All other countries can set taxes for their store’s home country.

Finally, enter a tax rate in the field next to your taxed location, choose whether you’d like to Charge tax on shipping, and click Save. Now taxes will be added to the total on all applicable orders. See? We told you it was simple!

New to the tax game? Learn how much to charge in our Tax Guide »

Google Analytics

Curious about who your store’s visitors are, where they’re coming from, and what they’re looking at? Take advantage of our Google Analytics integration to get those detailed, behind-the-scenes shop stats. If you’re kinda nerdy like us, you can even check out stats in real-time!


Screenshot of Settings > Notifications

To get the skinny on the latest Big Cartel feature announcements and other cool stuff, keep the email me the monthly Big Cartel newsletter box switched on. We solemnly swear to only send things we think you’ll care about – we hate spam too.

Want the thrill of an email each time a new order hits your shop? Check the email me when I receive a new order box. When a purchase is made, we’ll send you a link to the order details. And high-fives all around.

Customers love to be kept in the loop once they place an order (trust us!), so we’ve included an option to email customers when they place a new order. These emails will seamlessly match the look of your store’s theme, including your own custom header/logo image and color choices. Plus, all the unique order details will automatically be included for each order.

Click the eye icon to email yourself a test copy and see a sample of how it’ll look when it shows up in the inbox.


Screenshot of Settings > Domains

Your store domain is your Big Cartel address, like mystore.bigcartel.com, where customers will be able to find your products. You can change your store’s URL at any time, and once you hit Save the changes will take place right away.

Want to use your own custom domain to display your store, like www.example.com? Click the Need to buy a domain? button to register a brand new URL with Google Domains, and follow the steps on screen to get your custom domain up and running. All the right redirects will be set up for you automatically - no need to mess with any complicated settings.

Already have a registered domain you want to use? Follow our steps to set up a redirect with your domain provider, and then enter your URL in the custom domain field to have your shop live there. You can test to make sure everything’s set up correctly by hitting the test domain button.

Stuck? Check out the troubleshooting tips in our Domains article »

If you’ve got a separate website or blog you want to direct customers back to, just add that URL in the website field. A Back to Site link will automatically show up in your shop, sending customers to your main site.



Your store’s checkout features are designed to be a truly seamless experience for your customers. You can accept credit cards, PayPal payments, or both! And best of all, the checkout page in your store is based on your theme, images, fonts, and colors—so it should always fit right in.

Looking for our old PayPal checkout? Learn more in our PayPal Standard guide »

Getting set up

Fighting fraud

With any payment gateway, there’s always a risk that a fraudulent payment will be processed. Stripe has some settings you can enable for preventing certain types of fraud (requiring CVV verification and correct billing zip code), but we also recommend reading up on our fraud field guide on what to look out for.

In general, PayPal offers a more comprehensive payment dispute process and seller protection, so if you anticipate problems with fraud payments or chargebacks you’ll want to take that into account when deciding which payment options to accept.


Screenshot of Settings > Password

You can change your admin’s password at any time on the Password page. To keep your admin safe and secure, don’t share your password with anyone, change it on a regular basis, and make it strong. Include upper and lower case letters, as well as numbers and symbols.

If you forget your password or need to change it and don’t have access to your admin, we’ve got you covered. You can quickly reset your password from the my.bigcartel.com login page and we’ll send a link to your store’s contact e-mail to create a new one.

Account Image

You can upload an optional account image that will appear in the top right corner of your store admin. For now, this image is just to help you easily identify which store you’re logged in to. (Note: this won’t appear anywhere in your live shop.)

To upload a small image or logo for your shop, click your store name in the top right corner of the admin and select Upload account image. You can also swap out your image for a different one anytime.


What if I forget my password?

No worries – if you ever need a new password, you can quickly reset your password and we’ll send a link to your store’s contact e-mail to create a new one.

Can you email my customer when an item is shipped?

Not right now. The shipping status in the admin isn’t tied to our email system, so marking items as shipped won’t notify your customer. It’s just there to keep you organized–we wouldn’t want you to ship the same order twice!

If you use PayPal for printing postage, though, you can automatically notify the customer when their order is on its way. PayPal shipping tools »

Can I use a checkout provider other than PayPal, Stripe, or Square?

Nope, sorry! Big Cartel currently supports PayPal, Stripe and Square as payment processors.

How do I change which PayPal or Stripe account is connected to my store?

If you’re using Stripe or PayPal Express, head to the Settings > Checkout section of your admin, and click the Accepting credit card payments or Accepting PayPal payments button to unlink your current Stripe or PayPal account, and then click the button again to connect your new one.

If you’re using PayPal Standard, head to the Settings > Checkout section of your admin, and update the PayPal email field. Make sure that new PayPal account is set up properly within PayPal (verified, and on the Business or Premier plan) and you’ll be all set!

If you’re using your mobile admin, open the menu at the top of the screen and tap on More and select View desktop admin to make those changes from a mobile device.

Why isn’t my checkout working?

Oh, shoot! If the checkout button isn’t working like it should, here are a couple things to check that may be messing it up:

Is your store set up at a custom domain?

If so, make sure you followed our instructions for setting that up correctly using a CNAME redirect. Be certain that you (or your domain provider) didn’t set up any frame redirects or domain masking instead, as those can cause checkout issues.

Have you edited your site’s HTML?

Be really careful with editing the built-in HTML. If you’ve altered your code a lot and checkout is busted, make sure you didn’t accidentally break something while you were in there.

You can always back up your changes in Customize Design > Advanced > Download my theme, and switch back to one of our default themes in Customize Design > Themes to fix anything that broke.

Still having problems? Hit us up with all the details and we’ll take a look.

How do I charge tax in my shop?

You can set your taxed location and rate in the Settings > Options section of your admin. Check the Charge tax on orders box, select a location from the dropdown menu, and enter your rate. Taxes will automatically be added to applicable orders. Easy!

Heads up! If you use our old PayPal Standard checkout, our tax features won’t work. You’ll need to set up a tax profile in your PayPal account instead.

When should I charge tax?

This can be a bit tricky since the laws are different for each state and country, so it’s best to consult the laws in your area for collecting and reporting tax. Take a gander at our super-straightforward Tax Field Guide, too, if the idea of tax law makes you break out in hives.

As a general rule, most U.S. states require that you charge tax only in the state where you have a physical presence. But be sure to read up on the specific laws of your location to make sure you’re getting it 100% right.

How can I see how much tax I owe?

While we give you the tools to charge tax on your orders, we don’t have any reporting or accounting features built in, so that would be something you’ll want to keep track of on your end. We’d suggest taking a look at our Tax Field Guide for some pointers.

Why would I want to charge tax on shipping?

Depending on where you live, shipping may be considered a taxable service. There are quite a few resources out there that can simplify this for you, but when in doubt, reach out to a tax professional in your area to get the final word.

How can I find out how much tax I’ve collected?

Use the export .csv link in the bottom right corner of your Orders area to save a report to your computer, and then you can do some spreadsheet magic to tally up the tax column for your orders!

Can I collect sales tax on some products, but not others?

No, sorry—the tax rate you set will be added to all items in your shop (for applicable orders).

Can I add a text field at checkout?

Yup! Need to collect special instructions from customers? We’ve got you covered.

If you’re using Stripe and/or PayPal Express, your customers will see a notes field included by default, so they can drop in any custom information they’d like to their order when completing their purchase. You’ll see the note in the order details in your admin, and it’ll even print onto the packing slip. Pretty slick, right?

If you’re using PayPal Standard checkout, customers can click the add note link at checkout to drop you a line along with their order, and the text will be imported into your order details.

Don’t see the “add note” feature in your PayPal Standard checkout? It’ll appear just below the area where a customer selects their shipping address, on the second page of the checkout process. If you still don’t see it there, log in to your PayPal account and head to Profile > My Selling Tools > Block Payments and select yes next to the Display “Add Instructions to Seller” text input field. Hit save, and you’re golden.

Why does my store say it’s under maintenance?

This just means means your shop is in maintenance mode, which is totally optional and can be turned off or on anytime in the Settings > Options area of the admin.

When maintenance mode is switched on, you can preview your shop while you’re logged in to the admin, but customers will see the we’re working on our site message instead. It’s really handy when you’re tweaking your design, updating products, or just need to maintain that air of mystery until you’re ready to raise the curtain.

Can I use multiple currencies in my store?

There’s not a built-in feature that would allow you to display your prices in more than one currency, but if there’s another currency you’d like your products listed in, you may want to add that price to your product descriptions for customers to reference. Another option would be to add a currency conversion widget to your shop’s design. And as long as your customer can pay using a valid debit/credit card or PayPal account, and you support shipping to their home country, they’ll be able to purchase from your shop.

Can I use my PayPal shipping settings with PayPal Express?

No, sorry. PayPal’s tax and shipping settings only work with PayPal Standard. If Big Cartel’s shipping settings aren’t doing it for you, you can always switch to the PayPal Standard checkout option to take advantage of your PayPal shipping settings.

What’s the difference between PayPal Express and PayPal Standard?

PayPal Standard is a simple way for your customers to pay using a PayPal account or credit card on PayPal’s website. Unfortunately, this very old checkout option doesn’t match your store’s theme, and it can also present issues and delays to payments and inventory tracking. Because of this, we really don’t recommend using it unless you have to. Learn about switching to our new checkout with PayPal Express »

I received a suspicious email asking me to confirm some account info with Big Cartel. Is this is a scam?

We’ve been made aware of a phishing scam against some Big Cartel store owners. If you see an email that is supposedly from Big Cartel containing a confirmation or login link other than my.bigcartel.com, please do not click the link and mark that email as spam. Filling out the form linked to by these emails could lead to your account being compromised.

If you’ve already filled out that form, please contact our support team to let them know, and if possible change your Big Cartel account password right away in Settings > Password. You can also report phishing scams to the FTC along with the full email headers.

If you’re ever in doubt, get in touch with us and we’ll verify if an email actually came from us or not. Be sure to never give out any type of sensitive info through emails or click any links that are suspicious.