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Sat July 15 2017 22:39:49

eCrater Fan Says: If You Build It, Sales Will Come

By: Ina Steiner

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Sellers are increasingly looking for alternative marketplaces. An EcommerceBytes reader takes over today's blog column to weigh in on his favorite venue: eCrater.

I opened a store on eCrater many years ago. At that time, I did not do a whole lot with it. I didn't pay very much attention to ensuring that the item specifics (Google attributes) of my product listings were accurate, if they had them at all, and all of the items on my site were added using a feed from another site that I sell on. 

I rarely added new products, but I did get occasional sales. I did nothing to promote the store. It was, and still is free to list there, so I thought why not keep the store as it did generate some sales on occasion.

About two or three years ago, as my products became more and more "invisible" on eBay, due to what many eBay sellers feel is manipulation of search by eBay to favor their large enterprise and Chinese sellers, I started taking eCrater more seriously. I edited my listings to get them into tip-top shape. I made sure that every listing that I had had as many Google Attributes as I could provide (the more there are, the more likely your products will show up in Google search). I made sure that my photo images were the best that they could be. I registered my store with both Google and Bing shopping, and any other places that seemed appropriate. I added more and more products, and continue to do so, on a daily basis. I nurture and tweak my listings daily as time permits. What I saw as a result of my efforts was a major increase of sales.

In my early eCrater days I would see several sales per month. With their extremely low commission rate, taken only when I make a sale, I was always overjoyed because I kept most of the money from the sale. I charge the shipping price that I want to charge and eCrater doesn't take a cut of my shipping. I ship both domestically and internationally. 

My return policies are what I want them to be, not what they tell me to make them. Interestingly though, I get very few returns on eCrater, and when I do, my buyers are extremely polite and non-threatening. I am not forced to accept only PayPal, therefore I offer Stripe as a payment option.

eCrater is truly a platform, they let me run my store the way I want to run my store without any interference. It is truly a breath of fresh air. It is up to me to promote it, and I have seen a direct correlation of sales to how hard I work at it. 

Most of my products are in the $15.00-$75.00 range but I have a few products that sell for several hundreds of dollars to slightly above $1000.00. Imagine my delight a few months ago when I had a $650.00 sale and knew that I was keeping most of that profit. I sell both new and pre-owned products.

In the early days, I'd say I received about two or three sales per month. That was with no effort whatsoever. These days, with several thousand products and a lot of effort, I have 5 to 20 sales per week, and sometimes more. That may not sound like much to some, but with eCrater's low commission rate, I'm keeping most of the profit. When I receive my monthly bill for my very low eCrater fees every month I am delighted to pay them. eCrater is a channel for me. It is an additional source of income. I feel that small sellers should have many sales channels and eCrater is actually my favorite.

I have read both positive and negative comments about eCrater on the EcommerceBytes blogs. I'm guessing that it is working for some and not for others, but as I stated above, it really is about how hard you work at it and promote it, and you absolutely must have your Google Attributes entered properly. If you do, you will get a boost in Google search if you go to the effort of adding more than are required.

It has been a very positive and profitable experience for me. I have always thought that eCrater is the answer for small sellers who have become disgruntled and disillusioned with the other venues that they sell on. If every disgruntled seller at other venues would buy and sell on eCrater, and help promote the site online and by word of mouth, I feel like it would really take off by such a grassroots effort.
-eCrater seller




Comments (23) | Permalink

Readers Comments

eCrater Fan Says: If You Build It, Sales Will Come   eCrater Fan Says: If You Build It, Sales Will Come

by: digger This user has validated their user name.

Sun Jul 16 05:45:02 2017

I agree. eCrater is the best 'alternative' site I have tried and it does produce a moderate number of sales for me.  A big THANKS to eCrater !

eCrater Fan Says: If You Build It, Sales Will Come   eCrater Fan Says: If You Build It, Sales Will Come

by: DingDong This user has validated their user name.

Sun Jul 16 08:06:33 2017

Definitely love eCrater.
Unlimited, free lisitngs. Low commission fees when sold through the marketplace. You are in charge of your store and you can enjoy selling there.
You do need to promote you shop, but the work is for you and not linked to other shops.
You don't get those interrupting glitches from experimenting on the site by the programmers.

eCrater Fan Says: If You Build It, Sales Will Come   eCrater Fan Says: If You Build It, Sales Will Come

by: Barbbie This user has validated their user name.

Sun Jul 16 09:40:21 2017

One day, I will have to put more effort into it.  It just seems like my photos and descriptions transfer over badly and I have a lot of items and not a lot of time. Anyone know of any bulk listings that work well with ecrater or will transfer everything at least photo and descriptions or even attributes over without manually touching each one?

eCrater Fan Says: If You Build It, Sales Will Come   eCrater Fan Says: If You Build It, Sales Will Come

by: moonmyst This user has validated their user name.

Mon Jul 17 00:17:20 2017

eCrater never drew many customers for me. And if you'll notice, when searching on Google or Bing, very few eCrater links pop up. It's always eBay, Pinterest, Etsy and Poshmark. Maybe it's the items I'm selling, but I followed all the suggestions you folks have already mentioned and had absolutely no luck with eCrater. I just don't have the time to waste my time with them when I can sell so much more on eBay. In spite of eBay's fees, micro-managing and ever changing policies, eBay still works for me.

eCrater Fan Says: If You Build It, Sales Will Come   eCrater Fan Says: If You Build It, Sales Will Come

This user has validated their user name. by: tanzi

Mon Jul 17 00:18:52 2017

Sorry, I was on ecrater for over a year, not one sale. So i finally deleted my account there.  I tried everything, to me it was a difficult site to figure out...I had  a few views here and there but that was it., and its not like i was selling junk, i was selling new with tag items and great names at very reasonable costs. Still nothing. I did better on Bonanza than I ever did on ecrater.  

eCrater Fan Says: If You Build It, Sales Will Come   eCrater Fan Says: If You Build It, Sales Will Come

by: nordicgal This user has validated their user name.
Web Site

Mon Jul 17 00:27:11 2017

eCrater is my favorite as well and I also only use Stripe so I don't have to play PayPal's games.  I haven't had as much success as the OP but I only have about 500 items listed.  During Christmas season I sold perhaps two items per week but it has been VERY slow the last couple months.  I like that eCrater lets your run your own business without interference.

eCrater Fan Says: If You Build It, Sales Will Come   eCrater Fan Says: If You Build It, Sales Will Come

by: RedSqrl This user has validated their user name.

Mon Jul 17 01:51:33 2017

Just curious why this article is signed only "ecrater seller"?  Before I can give weight to a testimonial, it's helpful for me to get a sense of who wrote it.   I'm not asking for an ad for his shop, but a little background info would be appreciated  

eCrater Fan Says: If You Build It, Sales Will Come   eCrater Fan Says: If You Build It, Sales Will Come

by: Paul W This user has validated their user name.

Mon Jul 17 02:51:58 2017

eCRATER is the only alternative to eBay that, for me, consistently provides a few $100 in sales per month.  That's far less than eBay provides but I'm happy to get it.  Some category reorganization on eCRATER would help.

eCrater Fan Says: If You Build It, Sales Will Come   eCrater Fan Says: If You Build It, Sales Will Come

by: Floria This user has validated their user name.

Mon Jul 17 06:22:43 2017

Great site eCrater, put the effort and you'll get the reward.  

eCrater Fan Says: If You Build It, Sales Will Come   eCrater Fan Says: If You Build It, Sales Will Come

by: Daisy909 This user has validated their user name.

Mon Jul 17 06:30:19 2017

If they could just import form Etsy I would use them....

eCrater Fan Says: If You Build It, Sales Will Come   eCrater Fan Says: If You Build It, Sales Will Come

by: Chicago48 This user has validated their user name.

Mon Jul 17 07:18:25 2017

sorry, I never had much sales with Ecrater.  However, I re-designed my store and recently started placing only health & beauty stuff.  Lo and behold after 2 years of NO sales, I got a sale last week on Ecrater.  So I'm sourcing for the Health, supplement and beauty items.  But Ecrater does require a LOT of promo work and it's not seen in the searches.  You have to promo ecrater from your FB, Instagram, etc. and that's a lot of work folks.  I'm still having issues trying to figure out FB.  I may have to hire a contractor to do it for me.

eCrater Fan Says: If You Build It, Sales Will Come   eCrater Fan Says: If You Build It, Sales Will Come

by: RAOTFLMAO This user has validated their user name.

Mon Jul 17 08:00:37 2017

Not to rain on the parade but I have never seen anything pop up in google search from ecrater.  If you are going to have to promote so much why not do your own website??  If it is a listing platform for you, at the very least get a domain name and direct your traffic to the ecrater site.  

eCrater Fan Says: If You Build It, Sales Will Come   eCrater Fan Says: If You Build It, Sales Will Come

by: OnlyPollyPocket This user has validated their user name.
Web Site

Mon Jul 17 09:22:34 2017

Everything eCrater Fan said!  

I do well on eCrater with little or no fees and no interference from the powers that be.  I do direct traffic to eCrater from my web site for sales so use it as a listing platform but I also often get sales from eCrater Marketplace.

I find it easy to use and I suspect if I put more work into promotion, I could do even better.

eCrater Fan Says: If You Build It, Sales Will Come   eCrater Fan Says: If You Build It, Sales Will Come

by: Twiganne This user has validated their user name.
Web Site

Mon Jul 17 11:37:51 2017

Does eCrater provide a means to get discounted shipping labels to print for sales?  I am going to try it.

eCrater Fan Says: If You Build It, Sales Will Come   eCrater Fan Says: If You Build It, Sales Will Come

by: Twiganne This user has validated their user name.

Mon Jul 17 11:41:09 2017

Has any one used the new selling venue ArtYah.  It seems like an etsy replacement before they screwed it all up. Cheap to list .10 and low final value fees.  Just have to get it going and I think it would be a great alternative to ebay and the others.

eCrater Fan Says: If You Build It, Sales Will Come   eCrater Fan Says: If You Build It, Sales Will Come

by: silversilva This user has validated their user name.

Mon Jul 17 12:55:38 2017

In a recent article here on eCommerceBytes, the issue was finding other venues other than Etsy, and a lot of the commenters said they went with eCrater also, so I've started to slowly migrate over there; I guess only time will tell.  But I had also seen an ad here on eCommerceBytes of a venue called Toucandeal that I had never heard of.  It is a prettier site, with free listings, etc., but I've got to stop being lured by the 'next best thing' or I'm never going to be able to focus my energies on promoting one shop at all....

eCrater Fan Says: If You Build It, Sales Will Come   eCrater Fan Says: If You Build It, Sales Will Come

This user has validated their user name. by: Rexford

Mon Jul 17 14:27:22 2017

For those folks who say that your items are not showing up in search--did you register your ecrater site with both Google shopping and Bing shopping?  I know that mine do show up (not all, but many) because if I search for my items in google, then click on images, I see some of my products.

As I have mentioned many times here, I  love ecrater.  Though I don't use them, I believe that there are some ecrater Facebook groups as well.

eCrater Fan Says: If You Build It, Sales Will Come   eCrater Fan Says: If You Build It, Sales Will Come

This user has validated their user name. by: iheartjacksparrow

Mon Jul 17 14:59:06 2017

Wow! The OP's letter could have been written by me as it almost exactly mirrors my experience. I started out in 2008 with maybe 100 items, didn't do a whole lot with my store, but then sales started rolling in. I now have around 7,000 items listed, and get at least one sale a day. I will always promote eCrater as the best place to sell online since they don't micromanage your shop and don't gouge you with insane fees.

And I appreciate the information about registering with Bing and Google Shopping; I didn't know about that.

eCrater Fan Says: If You Build It, Sales Will Come   eCrater Fan Says: If You Build It, Sales Will Come

This user has validated their user name. by: RKTOYS

Mon Jul 17 19:37:53 2017

I've found eCrater to be alright but it's got some holes.  The two that really bother me are that it doesn't send notifications beyond the immediate sale and the inability to import feedback that only really became a big deal because of the notification problem.  Because no venue is particularly good at delivering sales, I have some overlap between multiple.  When a scalper belatedly tries to clean out one and I can't fill the entire order, they take it out on my feedback.  When I have to cancel a legitimate order, eCrater/Stripe doesn't seem to notify the buyer so they ding me for that too.  Unfortunately, while only a fraction of satisfied customers respond, _every_ dissatisfied customer does, and it's brutal on a site that delivers about a dozen sales each year.  I generally like eCrater leaving me alone and not killing me on fees but for the effort/reward ratio involved I may as well keep working on my own site.

eCrater Fan Says: If You Build It, Sales Will Come   eCrater Fan Says: If You Build It, Sales Will Come

This user has validated their user name. by: tanzi

Mon Jul 17 20:29:03 2017

Also, the other thing is Stripe. I signed up for stripe, almost right away I started getting spam emails that I sold something for like 850.00 and i needed to "click the link" to get my money! Really?? And they are still sending them to me, not as often, but just the other day i got another one. Lol. i contacted stripe and they said it was spam. So i also took stripe off my account.  

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