EcommerceBytes-Update, Number 304 - February 05, 2012 - ISSN 1528-6703     17 of 18

Sellers Choice 2012 Marketplace Ratings: eCrater

By Ina & David Steiner

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In January 2012, EcommerceBytes surveyed over 7,200 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 in 2011 with an overall rating of 5.8, and dropped to fifteenth place in 2012 with an overall rating of 5.2. Positive comments noted the site was free and easy to use, and well managed. Sellers liked that multiple payment methods are accepted on eCrater, but there were many complaints about its shipping calculator.

Some sellers said they thought the site could use a bulk editor, a better feedback mechanism for buyers, and additional features, including ability to format listings. Several wrote that they believed eCrater may have dropped in Google search results compared to previous years.

eCrater is part marketplace, part storefront. Wrote one seller, "If you are looking for a selling place that's as close as to having your own website, eCrater is the place for you, without the expense!"

eCrater's highest rating was for ease of use (6.4), and its lowest rating was for communication (5.2).

Reader Comments - The Good, The Bad, The Ugly:
Ecrater is geared more toward the experienced seller as they have very little buyer traffic. You have to treat ecrater as your own website. Buyer traffic is the seller's responsibility and that can be difficult for any seller.
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eCrater is free to sellers so you get 100% profit. They care about sellers. They contact sellers regarding a problem before taking action against them.
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Great place to start if you are looking for a no-frills shop. You have to do all your own marketing but that's to be expected when you leave a venue like eBay and strike out on your own. Communication to sellers about changes is atrocious - you have to dig around in their forums to find out things they've opted you in on without your consent (UK and AU stores comes to mind). They are good about responding to requests to have unwarranted poor feedback removed.
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If you are looking for a selling place that's as close as to having your own website, eCrater is the place for you, without the expense!! eCrater is a FREE marketplace, you can't get any better than that! Love the eCrater Community Boards. Sellers are very active in the Community helping/giving advice to other sellers, answering questions, etc., extremely helpful. eCrater's moderators also participate in the Community Boards daily also commenting and giving advice and letting you know if you may be breaking a rule. You do your own advertising. eCrater offers free directories for you to go to and submit your store (just like you do with a website). They have all kinds of advice and suggestions to help you promote your store. They also submit your products to Google Search. You will have to work a little harder on this site, but in the end, it is worth it. Easy setting up products, once you've done one the rest should go smoothly. All products are set-up the same way, and all stores have the same format. You can even have more than one store on eCrater!
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Ecrater is my favorite store from all. Because it helps you set your own shipping. It helps you promote your store. Even if the sales are scarce (only 18 sales in a year) the easiness of the sites makes it a great competitor to the other sites. The only great flaw that I find is that the customer has a hard time giving feedback. They should provide a system like amazon or ebay. Something easy that makes the customer give feedback.
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I like ecrater since they do not charge fees in sales. It gives you a free store set up, your own url. I can accept multiple forms of payment which is good for my clients (google checkout/wallet, paypal, cashiers check, money order). I can design my store how I want. I can see how many have viewed my items, I can advertise my store and on some sites free. My items are seen overseas in other countries. ecrater keeps track of my sales. Sales are a bit slow but I have sold a few items and have started advertising on other web pages. Ecrater can be a bit difficult to set up due to the confusion of linking google marketing. I like ecrater if only there was faster sales to bring in the fast profit.
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Low sales volume (but growing!), but the cost to sell there is very low, so there is actual profit. I've never needed to contact custom service for anything on this site... and I don't see a general "presence" on the site, so I really can't comment about that. There have been some site improvements, so it does seem they are doing well behind the scenes. Additionally, they do keep us up to date with changes to the site or things like google that effect us. I have recommended the site to others already.
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eCrater is the best choice for my business. No fees. Their expansion into the UK and Australia has increased the visibility of my store, and increased my sales. Love it.
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You run your own show on eCrater. Little to no rules. You call the shots. Lack of traffic to the site overall is a big downer. Google feeds are picking up and there is a lot of work involved promoting your store. Can accept any type of payment you want to accept. Except for being a little harder to find and no real advertising unless you promote and use a Google feed means there will be no sales. Overall much better sales than Bonanza and Atomic mall and equally as good a iOffer. eCrater appears to have real potential due to profit margins and lack of rules and restrictions. I really like eCrater and hope it succeeds.
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Ecrater is completely free, so any sales are all profit. There's not a lot of traffic, but hey, it's free, so it's a great place to park slow-moving inventory.
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Out of all 7 sites I sell on, they are the absolute best ... No listing fee or FVF, easiest site to list on ... high Google visibility ... I would dump all the rest if I could only keep one site ... However, I'm not one to withhold criticism from the "cons", so here goes: CONS: Their rendering of item photos is not as good as Bonanza or Atomic Mall, but its adequate. . . . I wish they would permit HTML use in listings so I could do variable font size, bold, underline, etc.. . Listings are all just text with no frills ...one size fits all.
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This site is completely free to use both for sellers and buyers. They do some promoting but for the most part promoting and advertising is up to the seller. You can be as successful as you want to be. Like anything else, you get back what you put into your store. As long as you abide by their terms of service management does not bother you. There is also is a large group of very helpful people. It's a great site and the only fees that a seller pays are from Google Checkout or PayPal.
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Ecrater is a "no bells or whistles" selling venue. It's super easy to list your items and there are absolutely no fees, even if you sell. I really like Ecrater. It was difficult for me to rate their customer/seller service because I've never had to contact them and they've never contacted me. It's strictly sell sell sell.
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eCrater has been on of my best selling options for the past 2 years. It has excellent search engine exposure through Google. It does have a bit of a learning curve, but there is plenty of help available within the community boards. Best of all it is free all around!
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Really, ecrater, you would have a perfect site if you would only be more normal with regard to shipping matrix! No fees to list and no fees to sell, worldwide audience....perfect!
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Wish you could leave items on when they run out of stock so you don't have to relist from scratch.
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I have not seen my items listed with ecrater. There searching is difficult to get through and I haven't sold on item in months with them.
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Just started selling there a few months ago and haven't gotten a sale yet. To upload your eBay inventory you must have at least 50 items to sync up with them. If you don't, you have to do your inventory one by one. I'm also still trying to figure out how to implement the Google Ad Sense that can be used to generate income. They haven't responded to any emails from me regarding this. The site says to contact Google and Google says to contact eCrater... hmmmm
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They allow some sellers to sell certain items, but some of us aren't allow to. I had very high sells there, due to being the lowest, but when it walks on the toes of there favorites, they curb your sales. Twice now.
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Not enough flexibility for shipping on listing pages. Don't like to have to do google tags. Not enough to cover antiques/collectibles. Rarely sell there, but don't have many things listed.
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Recently they have begun to make changes to the site without any notice or communication to the sellers, which I don't care for. Very difficult to get traffic (probably at all the non-Ebay sites, but this is the only one I've tried so far) and very poor shipping methods to set up.
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No shipping calculator making you do a flat rate regardless of distance. Keeps item listed even though it has sold so you have to manually remove it. No communication when an item sells using Google checkout (just the message from Google, which doesn't tell you which site the customer is using). Awkward categories system; better to mirror eBay's.
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Shipping calculator is not accurate, no place to add insurance. Very difficult to contact ecrater support. It is a free site, so one cannot really expect too much in the way of support or improvements.
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I worked ecrater for 2 years, selling was great then all of a sudden they lost placement in google searches and sales plummeted to nothing. Many sellers still there are hostile when you speak of another selling site and only find excuses why they won't try another site. It's the same 50 sellers that post in the how is your selling going this month thread. Millions of stores and worse yet millions of DEAD stores with millions of products not available for sale, hurting the honest stores. Management refuses to remove the dead stores. Been there done that. Selling stopped and I bailed to junkables.com where I started selling the same stuff that sat on ecrater the last year I was there with no sales.
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When an item sells, it does not delete from inventory & if you use multiple email sites for multiple sites it gets tricky with no notifications sent. You must rely on you monetary collection's notifications. Weak.
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Still shows free shipping on google if one lists calculated shipping. If you backup with the shipping matrix. that shows rather than calculated. This irritates prospective buyers.
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Format has become cumbersome to keep up with and use. Not easy to update or edit listings. Not much traffic recently. Used to be much, much better. Requires too much work to keep listings in Google search.
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eCrater allows sellers to bulk upload products ONCE but ONLY ONCE. Since it generated very little sales, I had no interest in manually updating my constantly changing inventory. Sayonara eCrater!
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Extremely poor design with no updates. Visually representation of products couldn't be more mundane. Site never updates or evolves. It's Free and you get what you pay for. Very little traffic.
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Some limited sales here. I do not like their selling platform and it is difficult for a first time person to list and know how the place works. The forums are very unhelpful to new sellers.

Sellers Choice Awards
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 EcommerceBytes Blog.


About the author:

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


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