Recently I have taken over the task of helping out my brother’s band, Tickle Me Pink, with the huge task of opening their own online marketplace to sell their merchandise to fans all over the US. Despite the fact that I work for an e-commerce website (DrillSpot.com), starting a new store from scratch is a ton of work!
While I have been researching different platforms over the past few weeks that offer easy back-end systems that allow you to sell products online, it was not until this weekend that I decided on which one we were going to use, BigCartel.com.
Originally I wanted to use Bandzoogle.com, but after signing up for their free trial and testing it out I decided that they offered many more features than what we required (website design, hosting, email campaigns, sms, fan club etc). Their backend was a bit clunky, not very user friendly and the themes they feature on their examples section are not available for all to use (the available ones were a lot more like old-school, bad Myspace themes). I decided to stick with using Tumblr for TickleMePink’s blog/main website and combine it with BigCartel’s store as opposed to throwing it all into Bandzoogle. (Note: these are my personal opinions and not reflective of the band).
When we started uploading products we were using the the free version of BigCartel but as we were sorting through all of Tickle Me Pink’s merchandise it became clear that we would need to upgrade to the $10 a month plan in order to display the 10 t-shirts, 1 hoodie and 1 cd that TMP currently sells:
As I said, the backend of BigCartel is simple, clean and makes it very easy to upload many products and images to your store:
Honestly the most time consuming parts of creating the store were:
1) setting up a BigCartel account (requires a PayPal business account – had to upgrade our original PayPal)
2) creating a sub-domain for TickleMePinkRock.com (this was probably just due to my own ignorance in the matter, but figuring out how to make GoDaddy, Tumblr and BigCartel work nicely took me a little while)
3) counting and organizing all of the merchandise (12 different shirts over 4 different sizes, mixed between 5 containers, oh my!)
4) photographing every item for their website:
It took me all weekend, but it was worth it! The official Tickle Me Pink store is up and running at store.TickleMePinkRock.com/products and we have even had our first sale! While creating this store was a bit of work, I highly encourage any band, or artist, who wants to sell their products online to take a look at BigCartel.com.