In today’s digital age, starting an online store has never been easier. Among the myriad of platforms available, Shopify stands out as one of the most popular and user-friendly options. But a common question among aspiring entrepreneurs is, “Is selling on Shopify free?” This blog post will dive deep into the costs associated with Shopify, helping you understand what to expect and how to budget for your online store.

Understanding Shopify: A Quick Overview

Shopify is an all-in-one e-commerce platform designed to help people build and run their online stores. From website creation to inventory management and payment processing, Shopify offers a suite of tools that streamline the e-commerce experience. The platform is known for its ease of use, customizable templates, and robust support, making it a favorite among both newbies and seasoned entrepreneurs.

is selling on shopify free

Is Selling on Shopify Free?

In short, no, selling on Shopify is not free. However, the costs can be quite reasonable, especially when you consider the value and functionality the platform provides. Let’s break down the various expenses associated with running a Shopify store.

Shopify Pricing Plans

Shopify offers several pricing tiers to cater to different business needs and budgets. Here’s a detailed look at each plan:

  1. Shopify Lite: $9/month
    • This plan is ideal for those who want to add e-commerce functionality to an existing website or sell on social media.
    • It includes the ability to accept credit card payments, but it does not come with a standalone online store.
  2. Basic Shopify: $29/month
    • This plan is perfect for new businesses.
    • It includes a fully functional online store with an unlimited number of products, two staff accounts, 24/7 support, and basic reports.
  3. Shopify: $79/month
    • This plan is suitable for growing businesses.
    • It includes everything in the Basic plan plus gift cards, professional reports, and up to five staff accounts.
  4. Advanced Shopify: $299/month
    • This plan is designed for larger businesses.
    • It includes advanced report building, third-party calculated shipping rates, and up to 15 staff accounts.
  5. Shopify Plus: Starting at $2,000/month
    • This enterprise-level plan is for high-volume businesses that need advanced customization and support.
    • It includes everything in the Advanced plan plus additional features like dedicated account management and higher levels of support.

Additional Costs to Consider

While the monthly subscription fees are the primary costs, there are other expenses you need to factor into your budget:

  1. Transaction Fees
    • If you use Shopify Payments (Shopify’s built-in payment processor), you won’t pay any additional transaction fees beyond the standard credit card rates (2.9% + 30¢ for Basic Shopify, 2.6% + 30¢ for Shopify, and 2.4% + 30¢ for Advanced Shopify).
    • If you use an external payment gateway, Shopify charges an additional fee (2% for Basic Shopify, 1% for Shopify, and 0.5% for Advanced Shopify).
  2. Domain Name
    • While Shopify provides a subdomain for free, having a custom domain (e.g., gives your store a more professional appearance.
    • Domains typically cost around $10-$20 per year.
  3. Themes
    • Shopify offers a range of free themes, but if you want a more unique or feature-rich design, premium themes are available ranging from $140 to $180.
  4. Apps and Plugins
    • To extend the functionality of your store, you might need apps from the Shopify App Store.
    • Many apps are free, but some come with a one-time or monthly fee, which can range from a few dollars to over $100 depending on the app.
  5. Marketing and Advertising
    • To attract customers, you might need to invest in marketing and advertising, such as social media ads, Google AdWords, or email marketing tools.
    • These costs can vary widely based on your strategy and goals.
is selling on shopify free

Is It Worth the Cost?

Absolutely! Shopify’s comprehensive features and ease of use can significantly streamline the process of setting up and running an online store. Here’s why it’s worth the investment:

Ease of Use

  • Shopify is known for its user-friendly interface, which makes it accessible even to those without technical expertise.
  • The platform offers extensive tutorials and 24/7 customer support to help you navigate any challenges.

Comprehensive Tools

  • Shopify provides all the tools you need to run your business in one place, from inventory management to analytics.
  • This integration can save you time and reduce the complexity of managing your store.


  • As your business grows, Shopify can scale with you.
  • Whether you’re starting small or planning to expand significantly, Shopify’s various plans can accommodate your needs.


  • Shopify handles security and compliance issues, giving you peace of mind.
  • The platform is Level 1 PCI DSS compliant, ensuring your customers’ data is protected.

Community and Support

  • Shopify has a vast community of users, which means plenty of resources, forums, and groups where you can find advice and support.
  • Their customer service is known for being responsive and helpful.

Tips to Maximize Your Shopify Experience

  1. Start with a Free Trial
    • Shopify offers a 14-day free trial. Use this period to explore the platform and decide which plan best suits your needs.
  2. Take Advantage of Free Resources
    • Shopify offers a wealth of free resources, including blogs, tutorials, and webinars, to help you learn how to maximize your store’s potential.
  3. Optimize Your Store for SEO
    • Utilize Shopify’s built-in SEO features to improve your store’s visibility in search engines, which can help drive organic traffic.
  4. Utilize Free Apps
    • Explore the Shopify App Store for free apps that can enhance your store’s functionality without adding to your costs.
  5. Engage in Marketing Efforts
    • Leverage social media, content marketing, and email campaigns to attract and retain customers.
is selling on shopify free


While selling on Shopify isn’t free, the costs are justified by the value and functionality the platform provides. Whether you’re just starting or looking to scale an established business, Shopify offers the tools and support you need to succeed. By understanding the costs and how to manage them effectively, you can make the most out of your Shopify experience and pave the way for a thriving online store. So, take the leap, explore Shopify’s offerings, and start your e-commerce journey today!