EcommerceBytes-Update, Number 375 - February 08, 2015 - ISSN 1528-6703     12 of 14

Sellers Choice 2015 Marketplace Ratings: eCrater

By Ina & David Steiner

Email This Story to a Friend

In January 2015, EcommerceBytes surveyed over 12,000 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 12 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 tenth place in the 2015 Sellers Choice Awards for Online Marketplaces. It's both a marketplace and a store-hosting service. Sellers can promote their eCrater shops, and eCrater also draws visitors to its marketplace (eCrater.com) where sellers' listings show up in search results.

There were reports that sales declined after Google went to a paid model, and while this was the case with all marketplaces, including eBay, eCrater sellers likely felt the hit more because of how well eCrater had done optimizing for Google Shopping before the change. "I think eCrater is a terrific site to sell on with easy listing, a great owner and team (no canned responses to questions), no fees, etc.," wrote one seller. "However, due to Google's shenanigans, sales have tumbled on eCrater, and the goal is to see what we can do to increase sales to the level they once were."

There are some real fans of eCrater. Most of the less-than-positive comments centered around two areas, one being low traffic. The other problem is eCrater's shipping matrix, which was panned by numerous respondents.

Sellers who have success say they treat eCrater as their store and promote it themselves, rather than wait for traffic to come to their listings organically.

Sellers like the fees and in general, the customer service. Some were frustrated that they could not offer customers any discounts or coupons. Also on sellers' wish lists: an import tool, ability to bulk-delete, and, "It would be nice to have a link in the sold orders area to contact customers and give them shipping info," one seller wrote.

eCrater received a 4.57 in Profitability; a 4.64 in Customer Service; a 4.54 in Communication; and a 5.12 in Ease of Use. It received a 4.67 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

eCrater has continued to be my selling site of choice. I do well there and minimal amount of problems and expense. No complaints.

Fairly good traffic ... my eCrater items show up in Google Shopping .. Amazon is currently the only venue I sell on (out of 7) that beats eCrater on Google Shopping hits. eCrater has way lower selling fees than eBay and Amazon. (Sellers can opt out of eCrater Marketplace fees, and pay no fees at all.)

We enjoy using eCrater. We have left and rejoined other venues throughout the years for many reasons, but eCrater has been a constant and solid performer for us. Their "policies" and "rules" rarely change, which is important to us. Costs are minimal and profit margins are better than just about any other ecommerce venue around. This makes it a good site for both buyers (lower prices because multiple fees aren't having to be passed through to the buyer) and sellers.

I do fairly well here and they do offer a lot of community support and make it easier to target the search engines in a better way.

I need to list more. Seems OK so far.

eCrater has great potential. If they added HTML capability and improved their item title displays, all they'd need is more traffic to be an excellent site on which to sell.

eCrater was a good site when it started, it offered a free storefront. Essentially you would have your own website to sell on. However, since Google changed its rules it became hard to generate traffic. If you are willing to do the work to generate traffic to your store, then this might be a good site to pick.

eCrater is the best for me profitable, only problem I see is that they only have PayPal and Stripe as payment gateways. If a person can not use PayPal or do not like PayPal, and for example as me that I am from Puerto Rico, I need a US mainland Bank to use Stripe.

Create an eBay listing and export it to eCrater and Bonanza - a great force multiplier! They optimize for Google Search, and that brings in a steady flow of traffic.

I like eCrater. It's easy to use and with a simple format. When I've needed customer service (rarely) they have been very helpful.

Been there 8 years, how can you beat free? Paying a few pennies for the Google marketplace fees worth its weight in gold. Successful site only if you treat it as your own web site and promote yourself. Customer service amazing. No canned response but personal replies, always within an hour or less of my questions. Love the freedom there to sell vintage/non vintage, no rules. Always good customer experiences for me as a seller. Love no final value fees, no listing fees.

eCrater will never get the shipping right, but as a leave alone site to sell from, their marketplace seems to bring me sales without any input from me. I don't mind paying them their commission for the sales. I should get serious about this site since I have had an account since they opened and have a full store there.

I like selling on this site. Easy to use. No issues at all with the sites layout. As with most sites they need to advertise more to drive more customers to the site.

Simple and free. Setting up combined shipping fees can be a little tricky if you sell vastly different items (mixing things weighed in pounds and things weighed in a fraction of an ounce), but that can be challenging anywhere. No hassles... just happy buyers. :)

I actually like this place, its simplistic, no frills, transactions are super easy....when they happen. Without the import from eBay to eCrater creates difficulties staying in the game here. It's easy to just forget about listing here because it's difficult to enter each item one by one. However, really no rules here which is nice...add shipping to the item, no one complains...Feedback...very rare to even get any, no one really seems to care about leaving it. Stress-free place, just not very many sales. There used to be years ago, don't see much anymore.

Long time seller on this site. Easy to use. Great profits WHEN something sells. The Google analytic codes required are time consuming and confusing. I don't have time for all of that fluff.

eCrater is my favorite site. I love it from the first day. It is an unusual, convenient and friendly website for users. Site has a very low fees. There is very convenient to build your store on eCrater. Great site!

Sales are slow but do come. Good site but can't offer customers discounts. Coupons etc. Can't offer free shipping when using calculated. Overall great site with a little work on sellers' part.

No rating for customer service as I have had no need to contact them. I am VERY happy with eCrater and would recommend the site but with the caveat that it is necessary to market yourself. I do very well there as I drive traffic from my collectors' reference site to my eCrater store.

I actually sell quite a bit on this site. It's one of those sites that's simply a "list it and forget it" site. And that's exactly what I do. And yet I DO get steady sales there. It's VERY easy to use. I've honestly never had a REASON to contact customer service there.

It really is the best place on the net and allows sellers to be flexible and can actually have a way to help a customer. Low or no fee, no listing fee, unlimited listings and they got rid of drop shippers and 10 pictures with several payment methods. Great place I like it.

Long-time seller on eCrater. It's easy to use, they treat you like an adult and expect you to act like one, you can conduct your business as you see fit, the admin addresses tech issues quickly. The site owner said he was going to offer free stores and he's kept his word. He has a lot of integrity about his business and doesn't nickel and dime you to death. Best selling venue on the net.

Love eCrater. I make sales there every other day, just as profitable as eBay but they only charge a fee if something sells thru the marketplace. If someone buys from within your personal store, no fee, and the fee they do charge is very reasonable, literally only like 2 cents on a $10.00 order. The owner and his staff are very friendly, helpful, and address all questions as quickly as possible even questions that aren't really that important. Best of all, there is a suggestions section and the owner allows us sellers to suggest changes for the site on how to improve eCrater, and he does in fact take our advice. He has implemented several suggestions I made to him.

The forums are ROUGH. Of all the venues, I have been on, they are the TOUGHEST by far...very insulting and rude people. Other than that, I love eCrater. Yes, I would recommend it to everyone and anyone. It operates much like eBid and Bonanza in that the seller is supposed to be utilizing whatever sources they can and using proper SEO techniques. Like the others mentioned, they do minimal advertising...but the price is the best of all...no hidden fees and no pressure (like on eBid and Bonanza) to get the higher priced tier of selling. It took Bonanza FOREVER to release my listings off Google so I could sell on eCrater. So I have not made much here....but I am hopeful, as I can FINALLY be found...since I have FINALLY been released by Bonanza. I like being on an even playing field with eCrater. More than anything else, I like that most about eCrater. I know the sales will come.

This is a great, fair site, management is wonderful, it's easy to use and they don't beat their sellers down, plus it has very fair pricing EXCELLENT

eCrater is a good site to create a store with BIN items. The site is simple to list items. It doesn't use HTML in the description. If you sell in items from different categories. The Shipping Matrix is the only big problem to resolve and 2nd any stupid requirement from Google Shopping. It has for payment service PayPal, Stripe, Money Order, Personal Check, Cashier's Check, and Cash on Delivery. The site has two viewpoint, the marketplace and your store. Items sold in the marketplace pay a fee to eCrater because they use the money to list stuff in Google Shopping. And just keep in mind: eCrater isn't eBay. Many of the eCrater traffic is from Google. You will need to promote to get the extra traffic and sales.

After I left eBay and setup shop on eCrater my sales were good, not great but better than eBay. eCrater does promote products very well.

You have to know what you are doing and sometimes hunt for things in order to make this site work for you.

Pretty good site, very easy to list...getting better. Needs more advertising to promote more traffic.

Little or no sales from this venue, checking SEP feedback, no items of any type ever come back from eCrater. Listing items here is like listing them under a rock.

Low fees, easy to upload items from eBay, but I don't even see a link to contact a CSR. Profitable but very low sales volume.

Can not make bulk corrections - duplicates downloads from eBay - I cancelled.

eCrater is very unclear about rules and very little traffic for both sellers and buyers.

I never had one single sale on eCrater. Not a good selling site for collectibles and antique smalls in my opinion.

Only tried to sell a few things here, not enough traffic, I guess.

I did not do well on eCrater. Fees were affordable but didn't sell well there.

I can not call or email anyone to ask question. There is no way to delete items except one by one. Had to put all items on hold. With 10k listings it is not worth my time deleting old listings one by one. No communication!

Hard to list stuff. Low traffic. Not much customer service.

Great site layout, very easy to use, but absolutely no traffic for item listings.

Their customer service is fantastic and they have the seller's back when it's due. Dimitar is very courteous and professional. Unfortunately, sales are so low and I go weeks without a sale.

It's easy to use, but not easy to sell on as customers don't always read the item descriptions and end up having to be refunded.

I list items on eCrater, sell about ten percent of what I sell through Bonanza, very limited customer base. Limited customer service, and though used it many years, still cannot figure out their shipping setup.

Very inexpensive, but not a lot of sales. Ease of use is good, except for the Google tags. I do get more sales here than at Bonanza.

eCrater does not offer a comprehensible import tool.

eCrater has brought several small sales to business, although it is difficult to navigate through and syncing inventory has been difficult. Most times when an item sells on eCrater it is an item we no longer have in stock.

Low tech but I have a simple site set up. No instant download for PDF but I can email to the few sales that I do get here. Mostly in UK and Europe.

Sales are very slow on eCrater, but they are there occasionally.

eCrater is free but not have much traffic like eBay and Amazon.

Difficult site to use as a seller. Not user friendly. Limited customer service.

Needs to advertise more, I would love to see more traffic to my listings. It's just not visible enough to buyers

eCrater was good at one time, but I think some changes with Google search has lost all my items. Love the fact that it's free to list with a small fvf. I wish there was better customer service. I feel like it's just me over there with no help. Where is customer service? I only get an email with I owe them a few dollars.......hum, is there customer service there? Also can't respond to feedback or leave feedback for your customer. No way to email customer within eCrater.

Not a bad place. The set up is extremely awkward. The international listing (shops) is a disaster. You are totally on your own here but items move. Not that you can research via "sold items."

I tried selling on this site and couldn't get any help. When I told customer service I couldn't figure it out and maybe I needed to try another site they agreed and said maybe I did. So I left and haven't sold since.

Sounds like a good idea for this type of site...but it is very hard to find anything, listing is cumbersome, although it has improved over the last few years. Not sure how some do so well on eCrater and others do not. I am very successful on other sites but so far not so much on eCrater at all. I find it very hard to even get to my own items for editing. Shipping is incredibly convoluted and hard to figure out. It's a frustrating site for me. I wish it were easier to use as a buyer and as a seller.

Love eCrater. No listing fees. Low final value fees. Very little traffic to the site results in low sales.

It's like eCrater was put out there and forgotten. It needs more buyer payment options. Something besides still having to use PayPal.

It would be nice to have a link in the sold orders area to contact customers and give them shipping info. And, it would be nice to be able to see feedback left by customers while in the "selling" mode.

Easy to use, every change made by eCrater is for the better, implemented for a reason (or made in order to comply with Google, for example). There are no disruptive innovation tactics. Clear, clean listings, and FREE except for the small marketplace fee that eCrater puts back into promoting your listings.

eCrater is a decent site...somewhat hard to get through the shipping matrix...but I did have quite a few international sales.

During one week of the month, we get a few sales from eCrater. The listing is easy unless you have variations or similar listings to post. In that case you can't use previous photos; everything must be re-uploaded.

Sales are rare yet it takes as much time to maintain this site as on one with traffic. I use this site as a backup. If someone is not willing to do all the advertising this is not the site to be on.

No customers. Only communication I get is when I sell something which is maybe 1 or 2 item this year. Hard to mark something as a non paying customer. No customers no money.

I sell on eCrater because once I got past the matrix it's very easy to use. I just don't sell much there. It's easy to turn off and on your listings which is nice. I wish I sold more on there.

No customer service invites by email to buyers to do feedback immediately after they pay for an item, allows unfair feedback will not help remove.

The one thing I do not like on eCrater is the shipping matrix I find it very hard to understand and use.

Sales are rare even if item is priced low. Limited pictures and difficulty figuring out how to calculate shipping prices. No listing fees, no expiration date, and low final value fees are the only reason to maintain listings.

Bare bones site. Would not allow me to import my eBay file. I had to open another account because of it and add products one at a time. A time wasting tedious business. No option to reserve products for re-submission. Not selling much.

Their customer service is horrible, once you delete your inventory by accident, you are screwed and unable to ever import again.

eCrater has a lot to do to make it easier on seller. It is very hard to find things a new person needs to know. I struggle. Need a bulk delete.

No customer service, no way to contact them. No support. eBay Grabber is ok. Rare sales

eCrater is a lower cost alternative to sell merchandise, but its customer service is slow, and practically nonexistent. The Buyer is allowed to buy stuff with no consequences for not paying, and the seller has no way of leaving feedback for the buyers, or to defend their sales, or dispute their feedback. eCrater is hard to use for new users, but all in all eCrater is an acceptable alternative to eBay.

Geez! Could they possibly have a harder shipping matrix? I'd give that site a good try if it weren't for the absolute weirdness of how to set up shipping!

eCrater is a site where only bargains are sought, I experienced many buyers emailing me with offers not interested in buying at posted prices. If you place no value on your merchandise then eCrater is for you.

Selling antiques & collectibles, no sales, difficult to list, manage, and help & forums are disagreeable.

Very little traffic is driven to eCrater. When I ask people if they've heard of eCrater, their response is always "what's that?"

Been on eCrater for about 3 years with over 800 items. I have in that time sold maybe 4 items. Since it's free, I just leave my stuff there and HOPE someone might come along sometime to buy something. Cannot honestly recommend them in any way.

You not only may set up categories, but sub-categories, also. You can upload a small banner for your store. Shipping calculation is automatic for the U.S. and the U.K.

Free or nearly free but very difficult to use, especially as a U.K. seller.

Can't get the items that Google has a problem with listed no matter what I try and customer service gave a generic reply.

Attempted to import my items from eBay as advertised that I can do, but they won't import correctly. Total waste of time. I refuse to make all new listings for items that already have listings for a website with few sales and a poor rating to begin with.

I really wish I could be more positive about eCrater as I really like it and their customer service is stellar. But the actual traffic is dismal and their shipping matrix is ridiculous!

I've sold on the site for 5 years. The communications with the sellers regarding changes needs improvement, but the community forum is a great help. I love the fact that the site allows sellers great freedom in their business model. They are fair to the sellers and they keep their promises!

I have not had an issue on eCrater which has not be resolved. Sales uptick as long as I keep adding new material for the search engines to find. You really need to keep listing on this site. Overall, I am satisfied.

I have a bunch of things that are not great listed on eCrater and occasionally I have a sale there - but I don't work it as much as I should. If I would make time to do that, it would be a worthwhile venue for me. The items I sell there are almost always the ones that are very high end. Average sale there is ridiculously high compared to Etsy and Ruby Lane.

Set up an account here years ago for an email address that I have not used in more than 5 years. When I try to enter our new business email address and link it to our eBay user name it says this user name already exists with another email address. Contacted customer support and they told me there is no way to change the link from the old email address to the new one and so I cannot have an account with them. This should be something very simple to do, but the customer support was rude and said more or less too bad they had better things to do.

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.


You may quote up to 50 words of any article on the condition that you attribute the article to EcommerceBytes.com and either link to the original article or to www.EcommerceBytes.com.
All other use is prohibited.