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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) | Permalink

Readers Comments

Sellers Discover eCrater as Alternative to eBay   Sellers Discover eCrater as Alternative to eBay

by: RCL This user has validated their user name.

Sat Jan 4 12:03:03 2014

I'm really happy to hear this. I had the same experience with Etsy--set up a store in 2011 and the sales were so few and far between, I just put it on hiatus until a few months ago. I was selling almost as soon as I started back--and until this past few weeks (Cassini?? For the first time in MONTHS I see my relisted items in searches) had more sales there than at eBay. I was stunned. I still have 200 listings at eBay (instead of 600), but I'm branching out. I will try eCrater next--thanks for sharing the info! PS I think eBay is ALREADY suffering, but it won't miss me among its reported 400 million sellers.  

Sellers Discover eCrater as Alternative to eBay   Sellers Discover eCrater as Alternative to eBay

by: RCL This user has validated their user name.

Sat Jan 4 12:09:36 2014

Oh--attributes. I wonder if they are using the data term. An attribute is a variable quality of an element. Say an element is "fish"... it can be "green" silver" or "dead".They are metadata that describe the element.  It used to be that attributes are "preset"--you have to use one of the defined ones. This may be old html, but they might be related.

Sellers Discover eCrater as Alternative to eBay   Sellers Discover eCrater as Alternative to eBay

by: Mr. Me This user has validated their user name.

Sat Jan 4 12:47:40 2014

I like eCrater and am happy to pay the marketplace fee, perhaps they could advertise a bit, Id be willing to pay a bigger fee for more traffic.

Sellers Discover eCrater as Alternative to eBay   Sellers Discover eCrater as Alternative to eBay

by: moto-science This user has validated their user name.

Sat Jan 4 16:00:26 2014

I support Ecrater because Ebay has rewarded my  10+ years of fees and efforts with callous contempt for the 1000s of hours I have invested in
Ebay as a seller. Ebay needs the competition. As a dissatisfied seller,
I will not buy on Ebay until they change their hostile sellers policies.

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 4 20:20:57 2014

What can I say? When I behave, I am ALWAYS SUPPORTED by Ina and David. My cup runeth over you two. (You guys know how I feel about you guys so not to get too mushy).

I like to THINK that I have a sense of HUMOR but sometimes it goes a bit too far. I am also HUMAN and occasionally I respefectually get frustrated with some of the newer posters.

That's all.

We should ALL sign up for PAID SUBSCRIPTIONS HERE- MYSELF INCLUDED (!) on our dear auctionbytes, as soon as we can eat again.


Okay, attributes and values:
Lets say I have a used but mint Brioni tie.
When I type in ''Brioni'' for attributes and ''brand'' for the value, it is rejected. I then try ''tie'' for attribute and god knows what a value could be for that- Mens?
Color as an attribute- with ''navy blue'' as a value??
Anybody have any suggestions, you KNOW the old howler APPRECIATES it.
(That 1st letter you started with Ina has gotten me excited! Looks like I am on the right path.
Help old howler with these attributes you NICE SMART FOLKS out there!
:-) MH  

Sellers Discover eCrater as Alternative to eBay   Sellers Discover eCrater as Alternative to eBay

by: FS This user has validated their user name.

Sat Jan 4 21:30:11 2014

Massachusetts Howler:

I am the poster of the first letter. Attributes for clothing are as follows

brand: Any text is acceptable for this value

gender: ''male'' or ''female''

age_group: Either ''Kids'' or ''Adult''

color: list a single color

pattern: ''solid'' ''striped'' ''polka dot'' etc

material: list one value

style: ''casual'' or ''formal''

size: ''s'' ''m'' etc or ''one size''


Sellers Discover eCrater as Alternative to eBay   Sellers Discover eCrater as Alternative to eBay

This user has validated their user name. by: iheartjacksparrow

Sat Jan 4 22:33:35 2014

If you need help with Google Attributes on eCrater, go to the tab of the same name, and click on the blue question mark on the right side, a little ways below the word "Preview." A separate window will pop up with a bunch of attributes you can fill in for your items. The attribute name goes in the left column, the "response" in the right column. For instance: manufacturer - Hasbro; year - 1977; brand - Star Wars; edition - A New Hope; feature - Han Solo; upc - [whatever]. If you can't find a upc or mpn (Manufacturer's Part Number) then use identifier_exists = false. You can get more help here:

https://support.google.com/merchants/answer/188494?hl=en

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 4 22:50:21 2014

May good sales and good buyers shine down on FS and Jack Sparrow.
SO appreciated- my mood has done a 180.
Friends till the end and again, thank you Jack, I mean that.
Massachusetts Howler
Fuel the jet!
PS: Going there NOW.  

Sellers Discover eCrater as Alternative to eBay   Sellers Discover eCrater as Alternative to eBay

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

Sun Jan 5 03:09:39 2014

(Just finished doing it- easy-peasy).
MH
Thank you.

Sellers Discover eCrater as Alternative to eBay   Sellers Discover eCrater as Alternative to eBay

by: FREDDY This user has validated their user name.

Sun Jan 5 09:48:15 2014

To have it work on ecrater do you use Paypal ???
Thought paypal was just an extension of ebay?

Sellers Discover eCrater as Alternative to eBay   Sellers Discover eCrater as Alternative to eBay

This user has validated their user name. by: iheartjacksparrow

Sun Jan 5 10:45:14 2014

@Freddy - You can accept PayPal, checks, money orders, cashier's checks, and they just added Stripe, a credit card payment processor. eCrater is also looking into adding Amazon Payments.  

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 5 18:45:46 2014

Good luck with eCrater, MH!

Know you'll be busy but keep us all up to date.

I wish eCrater would come up with a mobile app. I think that is one thing that helped etsy grow.

Sellers Discover eCrater as Alternative to eBay   Sellers Discover eCrater as Alternative to eBay

by: blaumann2 This user has validated their user name.

Sun Jan 5 21:52:41 2014

The shipping situation on ecrater is very weird. These attributes seem impossible too. BIG TIME learning curve. I did not find any very helpful help pages. Arrogant people dominate their forum. Many report poor ales. Perhaps they are mystified by the attributes. If I am going to do my own promotion, I should have my own site.

Sellers Discover eCrater as Alternative to eBay   Sellers Discover eCrater as Alternative to eBay

by: Terry in Texas This user has validated their user name.

Sun Jan 5 22:38:17 2014

i opened an Ecrater site (and Bonanza) last January. i had 2 sales on Bonanza and 1 sale on Ecrater. Closed both stores in October 2013.

with all the ebay mayhem, maybe i should open up ecrater again. at least while i have active listings on ebay to transfer......i really liked bonanza and the layout and such but i think there's only a core group of about 100 people that spend any time on that web site.

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 00:33:27 2014

actually with that bit of advice it was very easy- it's just item specifics that are a bit different.
I will keep folks posted- easy to link items to fb too.
As long as I feel I am doing something until my new product is ready for amazon.
MH

Sellers Discover eCrater as Alternative to eBay   Sellers Discover eCrater as Alternative to eBay

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

Mon Jan 6 01:44:03 2014

>> Arrogant people dominate their forum<<

Hardly! We ecrater sellers have a very active forum. There is a large group of sellers that are very willing to extend help to other sellers, but some posters bring bad habits from other sites, I believe, and forget about common courtesy. I can't believe how many newbies to crater come with a rude attitude, complaining because they don't have all the bells and whistles of ebay. Well my thoughts are if you want ebay stuff stay on ebay. We are glad to help but we don't spoon feed anyone. AND we are all human and what someone posts doesn't always come out how the person meant.

Anyone that comes to ecrater with a good attitude up front, a desire to sell at a great site, willing to follow the few but strictly kept rules, is more than welcome! We want more good sellers as the more there are the more traffic over all that we all get on ecrater.

One thing to mention, as of last year, ecrater does charge 2.9% sales commission on sales that come through the main ecrater marketplace. Ecrater is using those to help in paying for Google Adwords so all sellers inventory will show up in Google Shopping. Those that don't want to pay that fee DO NOT HAVE TO. However, if they don't their store inventory will be dropped from the feed to Google Shopping. ANY sales that comes directly into your store via your promotions or Bing, Yahoo, etc. there will be no fee.

From day one on we have known that we had to do our own promotions for our store. Something I did even when I sold on ebay. Not sure why people think that is a bad thing. Who knows your products more than you? Promoting can be as simple as sending twitter feeds for new items listed, Facebook posts or Pinterest pictures of your products, etc. with using social media. You can also promote via blogs, digests and internet groups that have an interest in your products.

Ecrater isn't a perfect match for all products. If you are a drop shipper, check the rules on that before you sign up, If you have a product you only want to sell in your hometown, forget it as products must be available to all 50 states. You must own and have in stock all products that you sell.

Many of the changes in Google in the last few years, have had direct impact on ecrater sales and some sellers have had slower sales. I know I have slowed in sales, but after putting some new practices into place, I can see that things are perking back up. When you hear someone who has had their store open for a week with no sales complaining about lack of sales and saying NO ONE is selling anything, they are wrong. Don't forget, that some of us have had sales and plenty of them. Currently I'm over 4000 orders since coming to ecrater in 2009.

Payments can be made through PayPal, money orders, checks, and through Stripe which is just a credit card processor. Possibly we may eventually get Amazon payments as well. PP and Stripe both charge the same amount 30 cents plus 2.9% fees for the transactions.

Oh yes, all listings can have up to 10 photos per listing FREE!

I love selling on ecrater. No listing fees so your stuff can be there till it sells which I need for my inventory. I think that the majority of sellers are friendly and willing to lend a helping hand at all times.

Come and join us!

Sellers Discover eCrater as Alternative to eBay   Sellers Discover eCrater as Alternative to eBay

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

Mon Jan 6 07:39:12 2014

Ecrater? REALLY?  HA! I know i'm going to catch some heat from all of the supporters of that site but here is my opinions. I currently have over 200 feedbacks on ecrater. The attributes do not cover most of the antique and collectibles items been there done that!  I sold on ecrater years ago when they had top placements with google. Now when i'm researching things I found ecrater NEVER if ever pops up in google searches.

That's just the tip of the iceberg. Ecrater has millions of dead non existent stores with items for sale that do not exist, and the site refuses to remove the millions of no longer existent shops leaving buyers to come along  and pay never receiving items. Then get mad and hopefully get their money back from placing an order in the first place. I fought hard for a year trying to get them to remove the dead stores only to be ignored. At the same time your not allowed to say please email for availability of items. But non existent stores are allowed? That is my take on ecrater. I sold well my first 2 years on the site but when they had a falling out with google business dropped down to zilch. I moved on  

Sellers Discover eCrater as Alternative to eBay   Sellers Discover eCrater as Alternative to eBay

by: Harriet This user has validated their user name.

Mon Jan 6 08:16:47 2014

eCrater's a great place. Love, love, love it. Once you learn how to list things there, it's as easy as pie to do. The owner is improving it all the time. I have been there for several years. All good for me!

Sellers Discover eCrater as Alternative to eBay   Sellers Discover eCrater as Alternative to eBay

by: out-of-the-attic-2u This user has validated their user name.

Mon Jan 6 08:19:36 2014

I have been with ecrater since 2006 and I have not been as fortunate as some here. I have all my attributes in line and have done everything one is suppose to do. In my opinion ecrater is like a storage where you keep your stuff until you move it or sell it. Not knocking anyone else here since this is how its been for me.

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 09:20:59 2014

I've been selling on eCrater for a few years and I am here to report that I love it there.  It has been a wonderful addition to my business with very little fees (marketplace fee & ppal) There is a bit of a learning curve but that's what keeps us young :))  My products generally always show up in Google shopping which I believe is  because of correct attributes & values.  I love the different color templates & aisle photos with featured items options so you can change your store and freshen it up often.  I am happy with my sales.  I've always had helpful response from any questions.  I cannot sing their praises enough!  I think (my opinion) that people with poor sales on eCrater are possibly not including enough attributes to land in the google search, have poor photos or poor descriptions, don't update their page, don't promote, etc.  I think once you learn the ropes, you will be more than happy!  

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