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EcommerceBytes-Update, Number 279 - January 23, 2011 - ISSN 1528-6703     11 of 18

Sellers Choice Marketplace Ratings: eCrater


By Ina & David Steiner
EcommerceBytes.com

January 23, 2011
 



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In January 2011, AuctionBytes surveyed almost 2,800 online sellers and asked them to rate the marketplaces on which they had experience selling. An introduction to the Sellers Choice survey along with a summary of the overall ratings can be found here, along with links to results for each of the 16 online marketplaces included in the survey.


Profitability:

Customer Service:

Communication:

Ease of Use:

Would you recommend:

Ecrater
Year Established: 2004
Description: Fixed price and storefronts; general merchandise and collectibles
More Info

Summary:
eCrater came in ninth with an overall score of 5.8. Its highest marks were for Ease of Use (6.35) and its lowest marks were for Communication (5.22).

According to comments from respondents, eCrater has good search engine optimization, but sellers must also promote their eCrater listings themselves. "To be successful on ecrater you have to treat it as your own web site and really work it. doing the google analytics is complicated, as is the shipping matrix, but the BEST free listing site out there."

"eCrater is a place for very serious sellers. There are no bells and whistles with listing items. It's straightforward and easy to list your items," said one respondent; another wrote, "Strict rules about listings but it keeps the site free from bs listings and fakes though."

Others said there is no sense of community and a lack of communication, while several reported that sales have been dropping off in recent months. "Nice site. Every thing is free. In 2010, I was having sales until September. Since that I don't what happened. No sales. Now I'm just answering question from potential buyers since that time. I like the site, but I will not recommend it to people looking for fast money or impatience."

"Ecrater needs some work but overall I like them and will keep listing there! They need to advertise to become known," wrote another.

Link to 2010 results

Reader Comments - The Good, The Bad, The Ugly:
I just started with Ecrater. It has been very easy for me to set up my FREE store. I love no FEES! I have had no problems, and a lot of customer hits, and I have not even told anyone about my store yet! I love Ecrater!
***
Ecrater gives me a simple, easy place to market my products. They are linked to Google search which helps alot. They have simplified the shipping rate charts, that made a big difference for me.
***
I love Ecrater's ease of use, (except for the shipping matrix, starting out). No hassle, I sell, you buy, I ship, we're both happy. And no fees! Ecrater is a breath of fresh air!
***
Profitability....100% There are no fees! Customer Service....Always someone on the boards to help. Never really had to use customer service. That is a plus! Communication...Any changes are posted on the boards and on your personal page. Ease of Use....Fast and easy. Recommendation....I recommend all to give it a try.
***
I have had many, many sales on eCrater. It is a fine site, as far as I am concerned. It is no nonsense, doesn't play games with people, and their customer service is good. They also have good placement with Google. All of the profits are mine, except for the PayPal and Google Checkout fees. I can't say enough good things about this site. would recommend (in a heartbeat) it to anyone who wishes to sell online. The owner had a vision, and so far he has stayed true to it. It feels like a straight arrow company to me.
***
I can't say enough good things about ecrater. I sell more there than I did on ebay only on ecrater I have no fees. We can also use Google Checkout which I really like a lot, no transferring of funds to my bank it is all automatic. The staff has always returned my emails within 24 hours and they actually have answers instead of the canned responses I used to get with "live help" on ebay.
***
I made my first sale on eCrater. Before I even had a complete storefront or any pictures up. I think they do a good job with SEO.
***
eCrater is a wonderful venue- I've tried many alternative sites with No success at all. The site is very well maintained and customer service is Excellent. A very basic site- but you are given all the tools you need to run a profitable online store.
***
eCrater has been a great experience! I do make money there even though I have not really promoted my store yet. I am about to open another store in the near future. It is somewhat of a learning curve to use it but the excellent Google search exposure makes up for any difficulties encountered. I highly recommend at least giving it a try!
***
The forums are very informative, though there is a 24 hour waiting period before you can even sign up to use them. I'm not keen on their shipping profiles. I find it very confusing to set up shipping for anything outside of the US. Customization of your store is limited and therefore doesn't help you stand out from the crowd at all.
***
Sales can be slow but hey, its FREE! This is the one site I recommend to anyone who wants a free webstore. Listing is amazingly fast and easy. (I can list about 6-7 items in the same time it takes to list 1 on ebay). I have only had to deal with Customer Service once and boy were they "on it". I could not believe how quickly they addressed my concerns and corrected the issue. I was truly amazed and they were beyond my highest expectations, especially considering they don't charge any fees for use of the site.
***
Since I am willing to do my own promoting, my Ecrater sales are growing. It is free and, in return, sellers are expected to carry the load for advertising and promotion. Many don't want to and complain about it. But if you work it the way it was designed, you can sell there. I am excited about the new UK Ecrater stores. I've had several sales there already in just 2 months and I think it gets a lot of traffic. I have always sold internationally but never had a site in another country; it seems to be picking up daily! For daily work, it's easy to list - love the copy item feature since my items are similar. The shipping matrix works flawlessly for me, but I know it is hard for many. Since they added USPS calculated shipping, that has helped other sellers. Shipping setup is the weakest link in Ecrater, my opinion.
***
I am very pleased as a seller at Ecrater. Most all sales I have had there are payed with GOOGLE CHECKOUT and I think that is important to note. People are DYING to get completely away from the ebay/Paypal death grip.
***
I have had two bad experiences as a BUYER on ecrater though and that kinda worries me about their future reputation. I would still highly recommend them.
***
There is a MAJOR need for a help file on eCRATER. The forum is great, but it isn't the same as a help file. Sellers need to get better notice of site changes.
***
I moved from eBay to eCrater. It was very easy to use and I quickly built up a good business there. Almost a year ago my sales began decreasing and have not picked up. The shipping matrix is too confusing and the new UK site is so unnecessary. It is up to sellers to keep up with currency fluctuations. I am still very loyal to ecrater and intend to continue there but other sites may end up being more profitable.
***
Ecrater does not have a way to get your items noticed. I don't think they advertise their site near enough.
***
Sales have become stagnant and actually slowed down in the last 6 months or so. Perhaps there needs to be a better navigation between stores as you can easily get stuck in one store and not know how to move about. Once I sign in there is no way for me to go their boards unless I sign out and go back without signing back in. Feel that the setup for postage is still difficult to manage and that more time should have been given to the US site without moving to the UK, especially since the UK has raised their tariffs.
***
They need to work a little harder on explaining/documenting how new features work - the information provided is not as clear as it could be. So sellers end up sending emails asking for a lot more information.
***
There's no way to communicate with the company and it was very difficult getting listings set up. The only positive thing I can say is that it hasn't cost me any money to list items. If I do ever sell anything, the FVF is reasonable.

Sellers Choice
We thank all readers who took the time to rate the marketplaces. If you have comments about the survey results or the survey itself, please feel free to post them in the AuctionBytes Blog.

____________

About the author:

Ina and David Steiner are publishers of EcommerceBytes.com and have been writing about ecommerce since 1999.


You may quote up to 50 words of any article on the condition that you attribute the article to EcommerceBytes.com and either link to the original article or to www.EcommerceBytes.com.
All other use is prohibited.

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