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Sellers Choice 2019 Marketplace Ratings: eCrater

eCrater

eCrater came in 8th place in the 2019 Sellers Choice Awards for Online Marketplaces. eCrater is both a free web store builder and an online marketplace. It’s free to list but takes an investment of time to see success.

In January 2019, EcommerceBytes surveyed over 13,000 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 11 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:

eCrater came in 8th place this year. It’s free to open a store on eCrater and list items for sale, but it takes an investment of time to see success, sellers said. Fans like the hands-off approach by management, and that combined with the free/low cost of selling helps the marketplace maintain staying power.

“There is no one at eCrater who tells sellers what their prices should be, no one pushing free shipping, and there truly is seller protection.”

Sellers said they like the addition of Stripe to give shoppers more flexibility in how they pay for goods.

“I’ve been an eCrater seller for many years. I’ve always enjoyed the sites, ease of use and the fact that it has always been free to list,” wrote one seller. “They’ve also initiated another payment method, Stripe, which I like.”

“A seller can focus on selling rather than trying to figure out the latest changes,” another seller wrote.

If you promote your item and it results in a sale, there’s no site fee, a seller explained, and “if your sales result from eCrater’s promotions, the fees are some of the lowest on the internet.” But, they added, it’s best not to “park” your goods and think you are going to get great sales – “if you are willing to promote your store, this site can be very profitable.”

eCrater explains that the commission fee (which only applies to sales it drives) do not include the cost of shipping, tax or for cancelled or unpaid orders – a big advantage over other marketplaces.

eCrater’s Achilles heel continues to be its inadequate shipping tools for sellers – and that can influence the types of items sold on the site. Another challenge: it does not have the kind of name recognition among shoppers as larger marketplaces.

Sellers can upload listings to eCrater from a .CSV table. Items stay listed until sold. But sellers say there’s no syncing, so if a listing sells on another marketplace, it’s not automatically removed from eCrater.

Sellers say there’s a lack of communication from management, though it has a very active community forum for seller-to-seller help.

Things on sellers’ wish lists: a mobile app; the ability to sort inventory list by views, and an updated photo uploader – “one at a time is too slow.”

“The ease of listing items is great. Sellers can list here and get needed support, especially with Google attributes. Smaller sellers can profit here because there aren’t a bunch of extra “fees.” There are no listing fees, and no fees to submit items to Google Shopping. There is only a small fee if items are sold through the marketplace. Sellers can select to pay a larger fee to eCrater for additional advertising…it’s optional.”

eCrater received a 4.88 in Profitability; a 5.26 in Customer Service; a 5.18 in Communication; and a 5.84 in Ease of Use. It received a 5.1 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

I love this website simple no nonsense basic selling platform. Seller homepage is ad-free for streamlined efficiency, and customer service is over the top excellent. 10/10!!

This site is well run with a minimum of changes. A seller can focus on selling rather than trying to figure out the latest changes. There is a very active community forum for seller to seller help. You are rewarded for your own efforts at promotion by having no site fee. If your sales result from eCrater’s promotions, the fees are some of the lowest on the internet. Either way, sales in your store or sales from the marketplace, your profit is going to be better than most (if not all) marketplaces. Some features on eCrater are so flexible that they overwhelm a new sellers, but other sellers in the forum are always available to help. I love the flexible shipping options, but they can be confusing until you decide how you want to use the system. eCrater really isn’t a place to simply “park” your goods and think you are going to get great sales. If you are willing to promote your store, this site can be very profitable. I would strongly recommend the site.

My home venue, works for me. A few things on my wish list: ability to sort inventory list by views … updated photo uploader (one at a time is too slow) … an app for my phone. Overall, though, best site for me.

Favorite site ever, for reasons unknown. It’s old and archaic, but completely functional. Despite warnings to the contrary, traffic is solid (I have at least one sale there every month I’ve been selling, with NO promoting of any kind). It’s straightforward to maintain and fees are super low. Great site.

Will protect seller from capricious feedback.

I love selling on eCrater and have been doing so for ~10 years now. I know that some sellers complain that nothing sells here, but they are wrong. Maybe they didn’t sell anything, but others do. From the first, I have always found this site to be easy to use, exactly what I needed to sell my inventory. Inexpensive site to use as well. Even when I was still on dial-up, it has always been the fastest place for me to list on out of all the sites I have tried over many years of selling. Those that find the most success here, have great titles, great pictures, great descriptions, great categories, great prices – and I’m not talking bottom of the barrel pricing either. I never understand why people sign up to sell online, on any venue I have seen this, and think that they have to have a low, low, low price, exact postage (forgetting all the cost involved in shipping something). By the time they have sold something they are lucky if they made a $1-2! There is no reason to have the lowest possible price, perhaps they might like to think about donating the stuff to a thrift store. The reason to sell online is to make money. If your inventory doesn’t sell, then it is time to figure out why. I have seen some sellers that sell in the same niche as I do and their categories make my eyes want to spin around they are so convoluted. If your categories aren’t easy to use buyers aren’t going to bother. We do have a forum where people are more than willing to help, however, if you are coming to eCrater in the hopes of changing the site to fit YOUR particular needs, don’t count on it. I have never understood that the minute someone has their listings up and their store more or less ready to go, they pop up on the forum after a day or two looking for changes and thinking we would not only like them but would be willing to pay for them. If you really think you need all those changes to sell, then perhaps you should go back to eBay or wherever else you came from. How about giving eCrater a chance of a several month trial and see what happens? I love eCrater with the lack of dancing reindeer, font colors and sizes with no reason behind any of them. The pages are simply set-up so that the buyer can figure out what is for sale, how much it costs, etc. That is assuming the seller set up their pages correctly. The owner is willing to answer questions. I don’t recall every getting a letter from a template. Maybe they are, but they do a good job of hiding it. Unfair feedbacks are fixed, no jumping over hoops. Not a lot of rules, but those that are there are expected to be followed. Very rare to ever have a glitch on the site. eCrater is a good basic site, where if you are willing to work it, you can have success as long as you have something worth selling. However, not everything can be sold easily on the site such as furniture because of difficulty setting up shipping prices. You do have your choice of three different ways to set up your shipping and take you pick of what is best for you.

Changes are few and well thought out. No hidden rules or rules that change daily.

I’ve been an eCrater seller for many years. I’ve always enjoyed the sites, ease of use and the fact that it has always been free to list. They’ve also initiated another payment method, Stripe, which I like.

eCrater remains true to sellers, giving buyers the best experience. Bar none.

eCrater is, without a doubt, the best marketplace for a seller on the internet. eCrater really is just a venue, and each seller is allowed to make their own policies. Every store is free, and each seller can have thousands of listings without paying a listing fee. Sellers have a choice of PayPal or Stripe for processing payments. There is no one at eCrater who tells sellers what their prices should be, no one pushing free shipping, and there truly is seller protection. I always encourage people looking for a new selling location to try eCrater as they really want their sellers to succeed and don’t look for new ways to squeeze every penny out of sellers (i.e., FVF on shipping).

Don’t know yet of profitability haven’t used in years but have sold stuff there and just recently returned. Ease of use: just takes a little getting use to and learn how, but they have Excellent support & they are very helpful.

eCrater is very user friendly and their customer service is great. Also they do not take alot of seller fee dollars when you sell something. I only wish they would have better templates to offer.

It’s the only place that I can sell things on my terms without all the hassle. 10 pictures, 2.9% fee, my own policies. The only place I sell on or, dare to sell on. 100% feedback. The catch? Sales are slow but I like eCrater so much it’s worth what I sell, and is fun.

Very low fees. Free to list! Listings don’t have to be renewed on a regular basis, they stay listed until sold. I love this selling venue. I just wish they had a bit more traffic.

Easy to use. They will manually upload 50 items from a .CSV file. They do Google Shopping ads for you if you have a minimum number of items. Free store. I will be building more listings on this site.

eCrater is the only alternative marketplace I have tried for books that does produce sales. It is far and away my favorite alternative. Inexpensive, easy to use and a few or more sales per month. I must admit, though, that the past few months there seem to have slowed down.

I would recommend eCrater because it is free to have an online store. Fees are lower if you sell an item. No limit to amount of items you can sell. Wish they would allow more flexibility with their shipping function in the User Admin part.

All promotions for shops have to be done by seller. On the flip side, they don’t interfere by changing algorithms much.

I would like to see a little more improvement and then all eCrater has to do is random tweaking and make sure the site is secured. I am the business and eCrater is the selling platform: no interference. Thank you.

ECrater is awesome except the sales are non-existent and they do not have a very good website for buyers to interact with. eCrater needs to update its mobile platform to increase sales eCrater needs to do more advertising eCrater needs to update its website overall to increase sell through rates eCrater has glitches and a wonky search algorithm that doesn’t work. I recommend ECrater to those who are able to self promote their eCrater store. But at that point, why not promote your own website?

Bare bones. Has potential. Importing from eBay easy, but have to format listings carefully. Not much seller service to speak of. Too many buyers canceling orders after buying.

Fine if you can drive your own traffic. However, the no cost to list helps by allowing you to spend money on efforts to attract your own traffic. Although a fairly basic site, it seems to work without constant glitches which is better than some of the big guys.

I gave a “10” to questions 34 and 35 because they rarely if ever apply. I have never used Customer Service and the one time I needed help I went to their boards and got help from other members. Another time I went to Google for help with items that had warnings about the gtin. Operation and store maintenance is probably the simplest of all the marketplaces, and one can even adapt their shipping matrix into a successful formula for combined shipping for both domestic and international sales. Suprisingly, my sales are better in eCrater than Bonanza, and my seller fees are much less. Main drawbacks are we can only upload images one at a time, and the page template is still on the old rigid 4×3 platform, not the widescreen or flexible width that evolved several years ago.

I have listings up there but I am not making any sales there. I used to make one or two sales per month there. I have no idea what happened to eCrater.

eCrater’s shipping module is outdated.

Free site. Not very glamorous but I sell mostly to UK buyers. I am in US.

There tutorials for beginning sellers are, for all intents and purposes, are non-existent. They have snotty arrogant CSRs, which is a liability when you have no tutorials worth reading or viewing.

eCrater marketability or visibility seems to languish down near that of eBids. No serious feelers from buyers. 50 items listed for 4-5 months only made 2 sales. eCrater needs to add more interfaces or make the system more user friendly. must list jpeg files one at a time etc.

Without items being shown on google search results no one ever finds your items. But the site itself is easy for sellers to use.

eCrater is ok, but they don’t let the seller take everything out of there store to have it updated. If a seller takes everything out, they will lose their store & not be able to sell on there again & this just is not right. If a seller cannot update their store from time to time then they will have out of stock Or items that are no longer able to get, so on this I would give them a F for not working with their sellers.

Does not sync with eBay, only imports. Problems with duplicate listings. Low traffic.

ECrater does not communicate with sellers. The only notice is a PayPal payment arrives and now I know to check eCrater. I’ve made 7- 8 problem free sales since May 2018. I recommend everyone cross-post to eCrater but do wish it was easier to update quantities/load new merchandise and that they’d send an End of Item/You’ve got a Sale notification.

I have listings on eCrater that I keep like a storage place because I can turn them on and off when I need to and not lose all my information. I don’t sell a lot there, but I do have a few loyal customers – I stay for them. Once again because I have handmade items, google is my problem. Not all my products get seen on google and I finally thought I had it figured out, but I just don’t sell much there either I don’t know why. There really is no customer service just chat rooms which sometimes you get help but they get tired of you not understanding and walk away.

After all these years, the site still doesn’t garner much traffic on its own. However, their fees are reasonable and the majority of those who frequent their forums appreciate having the simple selling-tool provided as is, including myself. I have never experienced a glitch on the site, nor have I ever experienced it being down. Their customer service is great, too. The owners are revered for their efforts, particularly by those of us who have been with them for many years.

I have been selling on ECrater almost since the beginning. I sell the most items on the site however it’s taken me many many years of advertising myself to get some momentum. You must do some advertising yourself to get the word out (Pinterest, google, etc.) as the site is still not well known even over a decade of selling there. They will upload your items to google for a sliding fee of your sales too. Dimitar, Tracy and Mick are always there to answer questions and help with problems you may have with the site, and I have never had an issue getting assistance from ECrater customer service. The page layouts could be updated as well as the shipping matrix.

Excellent mobile device presentation, both on the seller side and the buyer side. Somewhat lacking in exposure to the search engines, a bit like getting lost in the shuffle of the other sites.

My eBay store is hooked up to eCrater and when I post, it shows on eCrater, but when I sell out it does not come off. On this site I maybe have a sale once every 6 months or so. It doesn’t cost me anything so I keep it open. I have never received any communication from them and go in about once every 2 or 3 months and take items off that are sold out. Not worth any money at all on this end and if you want to make any money, this is NOT the venue to do it on.

It’s really bulky in terms of adding items and photos. I do like the organization and how broad the selling platforms are. But it’s not a well known site, so while I get a lot of traffic, I’ve had 2 sales in 5 years.

Before eCrater changed its relationship with Google, and we had to add specifics, eCrater was easier to use. I was also getting more sales. I’m getting no sales right now, but I haven’t put the effort in to update for Google. I had trouble changing things. I am not happy with having to store in all of my own shipping prices. I’d like that to be automatic. I just want to store the size of shipping container and pounds and let eCrater calculate the shipping like eBay does.

It’s an abandoned platform. They just don’t care to add any features whatsoever. Lack of bulk editing is excruciating for somebody with as few as 100 items. Can’t imagine building a real business with more items under such restrictions.

It remains a pain to do shipping, and adding items is still a pain with clunky pages. While it is nice that they don’t charge anything for using their site, it is worth paying more for a site that is easy to use.

Little traffic, No advertising of the site. Not seller friendly in that the site has not progressed with the times nor updated in many years so remains stagnant and out of touch with the real online world.

I have only sold on this site for a short time, and maybe had 1 or 2 sales. I know you have to do a lot more work yourself to get your listings out in front so people see them. I just don’t know if this is the best venue.

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.

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