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Sellers Choice 2018 Marketplace Ratings: eCrater

eCrater

6th Place Finisher - EcommerceBytes 2018 Sellers ChoiceeCrater came in 6th place in the 2018 Sellers Choice Awards for Online Marketplaces. The free marketplace also offers store-hosting so small merchants can promote their own shop. Those who report doing well on eCrater say they had to work hard for their success.

In January 2018, EcommerceBytes surveyed over 10,000 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 10 online marketplaces included in the survey.

eCrater - 2018 Sellers Choice Awards

 

Profitability:

Customer Service:

Communication:

Ease of Use:

Would you recommend:

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

Consistency is an underappreciated and often overlooked quality in a marketplace. eCrater, our 6th place finisher, has consistency down to a tee, finishing in the same position in the Sellers Choice Awards for the past three years after a leap from 10th place in 2015.

eCrater has a loyal group of sellers who like the no-frills ability to list their merchandise. They welcome the low fees and hands-off approach that eCrater offers, and appreciate a venue that doesn’t try to micro-manage their business.

However, eCrater suffers from what might be called a no-upfront-fee paradox. Sellers like it because it is free to list, but say unless they promote their listings themselves, they don’t get a lot of traffic. And because eCrater doesn’t charge many fees, there isn’t a lot of revenue being generated to invest in areas where the site is lacking – such as customer service and marketing.

The following comment represents many of the respondents’ views: “eCrater is a good, small selling platform. It has some of the lowest selling fees. However, listing items can take a bit of time – it lacks a few features that could help promote more sales – offers/discounts etc.”

Many sellers reported low traffic and few sales – “They could also advertise a little to get their name out there,” one seller wrote. Even some of those who were enthusiastic about the site reported low sales, but for low fees and minimum effort.

Those who report doing well on Ecrater say they have worked for it. One seller said, “I really believe that if some of the VERY GOOD sellers from Amazon and eBay would set up stores on eCRATER it would help tip the scales and bring in more people and sales into eCRATER.”

eCrater continues to get complaints about the system sellers use to set their shipping costs, which has been a chronic problem for the site. Other sellers said that eCrater’s Google attributes are difficult and time-consuming to set up.

One seller noted eCrater accepts Stripe as a payment service, “which is a plus.”

Ecrater received a 5.27 in Profitability; a 5.08 in Customer Service; a 5.03 in Communication; and a 5.81 in Ease of Use. It received a 5.14 from sellers when asked, “How likely are you to recommend Ecrater as a selling venue to a friend or colleague?”

Reader Comments:The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

Fees are minimal and anytime I have had any issue at all eCRATER staff has been quick to respond. eCRATER keeps its nose out of the seller’s day to day operations.

Easy to use. You can list for free and they stay on until sold or deleted. Fees when sold are reasonable.

Great site, small buying Audience

eCrater has some work to do but it seems to be growing and is very seller friendly. Definitely need to add a way to include variant items.

My sales on ECRATER have picked up this year. Not sure why but I’m happy.

Great site that stays out of sellers way. Do not like not being able to respond to some buyer nonsense feedback.

Little to no fees; the only changes are improvements (or dictated by outside sources, such as Google). VERY HANDS-OFF venue… they do NOT try to micromanage everyone else’s business. They understand what “just a venue” means.

Easiest by far but lack of tools for bigger stores make it the hardest site to grow into what it could be….. Also very low visibility and marketing tools available

Ecrater is doing everything right! The could improve upon how they charge for shipping: You put in the weight, which is sometimes a guess. This leads to overcharging for shipping. They could also advertise a little to get their name out there.

I have an all around positive opinion of eCrater. Not charging me unless I sell something is the right business model. We should make money together or not at all. Minimum Charges are a little high. Final value fees are fair to a little high, but I think more sellers would be attracted if they were lowered. Website could stand to be upgraded.

Despite being the most plain and bare-bones marketplace, this is my favorite site to sell on. Even at the lowest fee setting (3%), I sell at least one or two items a month without even attempting to promote. The message boards are very valuable and helpful to steer you in the right direction. I only had to contact actual customer service once (I think it’s a one person job) and they were quick to handle my complaint…much quicker than I was expecting. There are some drawbacks, such as having to upload pictures one at a time–come to think of it it’s very antiquated overall–but it’s far and away my favorite place to sell. I’d love to be able to cut every other marketplace out, but others simply deliver traffic that eCrater doesn’t quite reach.

They still need traffic. They are improving the site, little by little with no glitches.

Ecrater leaves you alone and allows you to sell without hassle. I’ve made more sales in 2017 on Ecrater than any other sites, aside of eBay

You must purchase UPC codes to help your products sell, but you can be very profitable. You have to work at marketing your pages however…. I have always liked eCrater and continue to do so. It is how eBay used to be before Meg Whitman’s tenure as CEO.

Still doesn’t get the customers it should have. Again, there’s potential, but it’s wasted.

I’ve been with eCRATER since the beginning. I have always been treated with respect by the owner. Sales are low but I’m fairly inactive so I can’t blame the site if I’m not constantly loading more items. I like that once I list an item it is there until it sells or I remove it. The listing is easy and gives you a lot of flexibility as to how you build your store. It is the only site I recommend to my friends.

So so place to list items. Having to add google traits makes listing very time consuming and having to guess on a shipping matrix is a challenge and because of this will not list my items internationally. I have items listed but only my personal items as I don’t see a lot of traffic.

Ecrater still has a long way to go with their platform they don’t provide login accounts for customers which makes it kind of hard for customers to return anything I guess that’s a win for the seller but when you do receive a return there’s no way to Discount that from your selling fees I feel they still have a little bit ways to go on their platform, Creator all in all pretty good sales with them and they do respond when you need a question to be answered.

It’s great in theory for a seller, because the commission and using a different means than just using PayPal for payment is even lower which I mention in blog article. But I have yet to sell anything on eCrater.

Listing is free at eCrater and unlimited images can be uploaded. The classic shop templates are outdated and the new templates are not rich and detailed enough to be used as shop entrances. Many have problems with the shipping matrix, and at the off-site forums many veteran members often are aggressive and off-putting. eCrater is not handmades-dedicated, but is a good place to list for free. The site now offers digital downloads.

Difficult website to navigate. Limited shipping tools. Low website traffic.

Site does nothing to build its audience. Little flexibility on shipping. Very low visibility with contingent advertising.

The shipping matrix is still a wreck after all these years and it needs a way to have a set shipping price for International, not just domestic.

Ecrater works if you work with Google and your own domain to point traffic to it. Google is smart on their search filters, Ecrater needs to realize that. Some people probably think it’s a fake website to scam people out of their money and not receive anything in return. Did I make money there? Hmm lets just say a sale every 3 to 4 months with organic search. With WordPress nowadays available trust me that’s cheaper and better because your in control of your own website and possibly your own server if your that good. Yes WordPress does ecommerce.

When you do a one time import. Its good and attracts traffic. As soon as you want to change prices or import new items or redo the import because of major changes you made (https proof, adding pictures and templates ect.) Then they simply ban you from importing! You can not communicate with them to solve the problem, you always get the same nasty customer support client that refuses to do anything for you!

Recently started to get orders from ecrater. The admin area on the site is is very sparse in terms of functionality. They must be doing something as I got more orders in December from eCrater than I got from Bonanza in the last two years.

ECRATER’s is somewhat easy to use, lots of tabs to jump through to add or make changes. I have only had one sale in 5 years. Not profitable – free to list though.

I have been on ecrater for quite a few years. I sell something maybe once every 6 months. Very, very unprofitable for me. But I do not pay hardly anything at all. It syncs with eBay so I do not have to do a whole lot to this site. Would love to see more sales come from this one. As to communication, there is none at all. In fact I have never even received one email from them that I can remember.

I use ecrater for a number of things that I have unlimited inventory for, and while the fees are small (for the market place), I don’t do much with it. It’s still clunky to list on and shipping will never work out for me.

Adding shipping was confusing, otherwise its pretty good. I’ve never understood why the front page of the shop is so small.

Volume is extremely low. Site is not designed for anything more than casual selling. When a botched eBay import duplicated my inventory with many sold out listings, it took forever to fix because I could only delete them one at a time. Additionally, they don’t provide invoices so there’s no way to assign fees to a large number of items. Fortunately, I guess, they only deliver one to three sales per month at best so I can work backwards to figure it out. Still, very poor setup. Few notifications either. Documentation is nonexistent. Low fees but that hardly matters with no traffic….will likely abandon it for good this year.

This site if pitiful for selling but a great spot to back up my listings. I backup my listings a time or two a year. Amazing how I have had to go and look up my details when one of my eBay listings disappears. They have no real traffic so I stopped putting effort into advertising this site.

Sellers Choice Awards:
We thank all readers who took the time to rate the marketplaces. If you have comments about the Sellers Choice Awards, please feel free to post them below.

Ina Steiner on EmailIna Steiner on LinkedinIna Steiner on Twitter
Ina Steiner
Ina Steiner
Ina Steiner is co-founder and Editor of EcommerceBytes and has been reporting on ecommerce since 1999. She's a widely cited authority on marketplace selling and is author of "Turn eBay Data Into Dollars" (McGraw-Hill 2006). Her blog was featured in the book, "Blogging Heroes" (Wiley 2008). Follow her on Twitter at @ecommercebytes and send news tips to ina@ecommercebytes.com.