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Sat Jan 4 2014 11:22:40

Sellers Discover eCrater as Alternative to eBay

By: Reader

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Dear Ina,
I just wanted to take this opportunity to share my recent discovery with you and your readers. For years I've been selling products on eBay with much success and have also had a store with eCrater on the side. I sell women's clothing. My sales with eCrater were always slow; about 1 or two a week only. Then one day at the beginning of November 2013 I received my first large sale with them (about $400).

As I logged in to eCrater to see the order info, I decided to look around the admin menu and check out the help pages. The information on their help pages was absolutely priceless! I learned all about product attributes and filled them all out for my 200 items and within 3 days my eCrater sales went through the roof! Although sales slightly declined by the end of that same month due to Google discontinuing Google Checkout, sales on eCrater are still coming in strong.

I truly believe that eCrater is the answer for all the frustrated eBay sellers and I just wanted to let other sellers know that if you learn how to use eCrater correctly, your items will see just as much traffic on Google as your eBay items do.

I've posted a few letters about eBay on this blog in the past so please don't think I'm working with or for any company as I write this. I genuinely believe that if more sellers use eCrater and take time to read and understand the content of their help pages, eBay will finally get that firm kick in their behinds that they've been asking for after all the years of seller neglect and policy changes. Give eCrater a try and use the eBay listing importer as a start.

Also, I don't want to get everyone overly excited, but eCrater charges absolutely no fees for listing OR for selling items.

Just thought I'd share this with my fellow eBay sellers. Happy New Years everyone.
F.S.

********

Dear Ina,
I am finally doing it - moving most stock to eCrater. Very pleased but I was wondering if you would KINDLY open a new thread or letter about specifically switching over as the rules are different, their wordings, Google feeds; rules, making listings live; etc.

I want to ask quite a few questions of folks like Jack Sparrow my buddy who was actually the one who finally forced me to do this. I would be able to ask questions such as attributes and value and what specifically they mean.

I sort of understand the attributes but they keep on getting rejected and god knows what the value box next to the attributes means - I do not have a clue.

I would like to get these new ads on eCrater this Monday if I can but the ads are not quite ready as the Google feed with those attributes and values are not being accepted because no doubt I am doing it wrong and simply do not understand. It would be a good positive letter/ thread too and it would help others make the switch and that is what I am all about, helping my fellow small sellers.

At the same time I have been working on Alibaba sourcing the raw materials for my new product and I am working with manufacturers in India and China - I guess I have finally gotten to the point where I have decided to not fight it but use the Chinese to my advantage.

Please do an article or print this letter so folks can actually see and learn the nuts and bolts of switching from eBay to eCrater - folks NEED to see this and I need some good advice from my friends here.

This is going to be a good year- I FEEL IT- After 12 years, I now know how to do this.
Thank you Ina,
Mass Howler

Comments (31) | Leave Comment | Permalink
Readers Comments

Perminate Link for Sellers Discover eCrater as Alternative to eBay   Sellers Discover eCrater as Alternative to eBay

by: snickers223 This user has validated their user name.
Web Site

Mon Jan 6 10:06:43 2014

I find the shipping matrix system very difficult to understand and wish they would do a complete overhaul on the entire shipping calculation system so i could include more countries i could ship to

Perminate Link for Sellers Discover eCrater as Alternative to eBay   Sellers Discover eCrater as Alternative to eBay

This user has validated their user name. by: iheartjacksparrow

Mon Jan 6 11:06:39 2014

@blaumann2 - When Google began requiring attributes, I was totally confused. But after adding them to about ten or so items, I had them memorized, and now I can add attributes for an item in a second or two.

@nothingnew - For anything old that doesn't have a upc or mpn, put identifier_exists in the left column, and false in the right column.

@snickers223 - I have read many complaints about the shipping matrix. I just charge a flat rate for every item, and refund the overage if more than one item is ordered. If the item is a package that is charged by the zone, I make the shipping the highest it could be and refund the overage.

I did notice that the more items I have offered on eCrater, the higher my sales are, so I continually list items and now have close to 4000. Just this morning I received an order for five items, and have views on everything in my store. So people are definitely viewing and buying what I am offering.

Perminate Link for Sellers Discover eCrater as Alternative to eBay   Sellers Discover eCrater as Alternative to eBay

This user has validated their user name. by: Vintage Touch
Web Site

Mon Jan 6 13:28:16 2014

@ihearatjacksparrow  Can you include a link to your eCrater store?  I would love to see your set up.  

Perminate Link for Sellers Discover eCrater as Alternative to eBay   Sellers Discover eCrater as Alternative to eBay

This user has validated their user name. by: Tula

Mon Jan 6 16:20:21 2014

I've only ever sold 2 items on ecrater in all the years I've had stores with them. *However*, I also only have a few things listed and have not put much effort into it as of yet. I had intended to gear up for the holidays on there, but my sales on several other venues picked up to the point that I didn't have the time to deal with it.

Ecrater is very bare-bones and will take some time to figure out. My biggest gripe is the shipping matrix thing, since I usually do free or flat-rate shipping for domestic and international sales and they aren't set up to do that easily. Even being able to upload the matrix in spreadsheet form would be a tremendous help, since editing the whole humongous thing online is a pain. I'd love the ability to set up shipping profiles for categories of items, like on most other sites.

Regardless of the issues, I do plan to work on my ecrater stores this year, since the cost is low and more exposure is certainly a benefit. I would have already started working on it, but oddly, my sales have spiked on Ebay this past week for some unknown reason. Maybe it's my turn for visibility this week. I hope it's a good omen for 2014.

Perminate Link for Sellers Discover eCrater as Alternative to eBay   Sellers Discover eCrater as Alternative to eBay

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

Mon Jan 6 16:39:06 2014

For those moving items to ecrater and etsy, is there an easier way to get the photos there? I can do the import of items (from a file exchange export), no problem. It's the photos that take time. Where is the best place and the easiest solution to putting photos online and then using a URL? Any comments would be appreciated. Will be glad to have emails or responses, either one.  

Perminate Link for Sellers Discover eCrater as Alternative to eBay   Sellers Discover eCrater as Alternative to eBay

by: Massachusets Howler This user has validated their user name.

Mon Jan 6 16:40:04 2014

workin it- I need to add photos too as it only auto-lists a small cropped teaser photo.
MH

Perminate Link for Sellers Discover eCrater as Alternative to eBay   Sellers Discover eCrater as Alternative to eBay

This user has validated their user name. by: Tula

Mon Jan 6 19:50:35 2014

Depending on who you use for your ISP, you may have some web server space available. I know most of the larger ISPs offer some web space where you can post whatever you like. You could upload photos there and use that for listing. The ISP should have directions and the URL for that available.

I actually have my own web server that I use for this, in addition to uploading direct to Ebay, so if Ebay's photos go down or the ones on my own site do, they're still available in my listings. That also gives me URLs to use for listing on any other venue that needs the photos.

Etsy doesn't seem to have any bulk uploaders yet. I did see something about an app you could buy for that, but there's nothing free. Ecrater has a spreadsheet-based bulk uploader, but it requires at least 50 items in it before it's accepted. I forget how they handle the photos...

Perminate Link for Sellers Discover eCrater as Alternative to eBay   Sellers Discover eCrater as Alternative to eBay

This user has validated their user name. by: iheartjacksparrow

Tue Jan 7 10:57:11 2014

@Vintage Touch - Like many people who post anti-eBay sentiments here, I do not feel comfortable disclosing my identity as eBay "men in black" read the comments here and could easily connect my eCrater store to my eBay account. I looked at your store, and it looks 1000% times better than mine, so I don't know what you could learn from looking at my store.

@Mass Howler - eCrater requires that the main photo for your listing be at least 800 pixels on the longest side (possibly a Google requirement). I size my main photos to be 900 pixels on the longest side.

Perminate Link for Sellers Discover eCrater as Alternative to eBay   Sellers Discover eCrater as Alternative to eBay

by: Massachusets Howler This user has validated their user name.

Sat Jan 11 19:24:03 2014

YAAAAA! My first Ecrater sale!

Not even required to upload tracking!- I did email my buyer within 12 hours!

They are 100% out of my business and I love it.

Everybody TRY.

Mass Howler- that item had sat unsold for over a month and went for $20 MORE PLUS SHIPPING on Ecrater!

Do it now! It absolutely can not hurt!

Mass Howler

Perminate Link for Sellers Discover eCrater as Alternative to eBay   Sellers Discover eCrater as Alternative to eBay

by: salukisal This user has validated their user name.

Sun Jan 12 07:45:38 2014

Can anyone explain to me a satisfactory method of getting the 'product attributes' page to actually work?  Everything I try to enter gets rejected for some reason, so I guess I'm not doing it correctly.  Obviously, there's something I'm doing wrong.  I can't believe they made this so complicated and time-consuming!

Perminate Link for Sellers Discover eCrater as Alternative to eBay   Sellers Discover eCrater as Alternative to eBay

This user has validated their user name. by: Basset

Sun Jan 12 13:40:20 2014

@ salukisal

Click on the google attributes tab of the product you are editing:

Under the first ''attribute name'' column choose the attribute. For example for a (blue cotton shirt size XL) you can type in the word ''color'' in the first column.

Then go to the second column that says ''attribute value'' and type ''blue'' in that column. (don't add the quotation marks I'm using here)

You can then go back to the first column and type in ''size'', second column type in XL

Third space down you can choose to type ''material'' in the first column. Then in the second column ''cotton''  and so on.

You can add your own, and it will either accept or reject your attributes. I've found it likes the word ''material'' but not ''fabric''. You have to play with it. Each category seems to have its own accepted common attributes. There is a help page with examples somewhere on the site.

Hope this helps.

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