Sellers Choice 2017 Marketplace Ratings: eCrater
By Ina & David Steiner
In January 2017, 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.
Ease of Use:
Would you recommend:
Year Established: 2004
Description: Fixed price and storefronts; general merchandise and collectibles
eCrater came in sixth place in the 2017 Sellers Choice Awards for Online Marketplaces for the second year running.
eCrater is both a marketplace and a store-hosting service. That means traffic comes to a seller's listings through the marketplace, but they can also invest in marketing their standalone store - handy for those who don't want to deal with maintaining a storefront.
"I like it because it is a stand alone site and I can direct former customers there with a link and the fees are very low," wrote one seller.
"I believe eCrater is the best online marketplace for small sellers," wrote another. "They truly are "just a venue," stores are free, sellers can have ten items or ten thousand, and there are no fees unless you want to pay a small fee for higher placement in browser searches. Sellers aren't forced into any particular payment method, and are allowed to set their own store policies. I am always recommending that people sell on eCrater if they want to be free of unnecessary fees and don't want to be micro-managed to death."
On the other hand, a respondent wrote, "Import from eBay was easy, but with no bulk edit tool that is a deal breaker from me. I will not edit individual items there. Too much of a time waster."
Others mentioned a need for better seller tools, such as the respondent who wrote, "eCrater is simple but very cheap fees including Google Shopping. The only problem with eCrater is the lack of tools for the vendor, such as printing labels and invoices."
And the complexity of the "shipping matrix" remains a pet peeve for some sellers.
Some seller praised eCrater's customer service while others say it was lacking.
While there were a number of respondents who complained of a lack of sales, eCrater has some die-hard fans who are passionate about the site. That may be in part due to its low fees and its hands-off approach, especially compared to sites like eBay and Amazon that impose restrictions around payments, returns, and other policies.
An eCrater fan who said they do well on the site said they believed more quality sellers were needed: "What eCRATER needs to thrive is lots more sellers, that give superb service, have a terrific selection of products at decent prices (not penny sellers nor scalpers asking $35 for a box of crayons!) and are willing to take a chance on a site that some have never heard, but of course it has been sticking around for years and if you will note, of all the potential sites that could have been on this survey, only 10 were chosen and one of them was eCrater."
eCrater received a 4.74 in Profitability; a 4.93 in Customer Service; a 4.88 in Communication; and a 5.44 in Ease of Use. It received a 4.92 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 like the low fees and the sales here. I do not do anything to promote my store but I am getting 5-10 orders every week.
I love eCrater. It took me a long time to figure out the shipping and the google feed status. Finally one day I emailed eCrater to ask and someone emailed me back detailed instructions. I haven't had any issues since. I like it because it is a stand alone site and I can direct former customers there with a link and the fees are very low.
I love this site. I have sold on this site for several years. This is my preferred site. Friendly place to sell.
I do like this site and there has been nice updates. I like this site and have control on how much profit I make. If I want to do sales, I can without a high fee base.
The site is very easy to use and there is minimal meddling from eCrater themselves. It affords you the opportunity to interact fairly well with your own buyers. The quality of buyer it attracts is much higher than eBay. I like that they show where your sale came from and the IP address and full information of the customer. The down side is that there's not much exposure unless you pay big bucks for it.
Free to list and very reasonable selling fees after sale. Easy to list item but bit hard to edit, certain parts of the listing. Bulk editor on eCrater.
No holding costs, profitable sales and good communication. Very easy to set up and looks good.
Sales on eCrater have been good. I do wish that they had an option to add variations when listing a product. They have excellent support and respond to any questions that you may have promptly.
They have good customer service and are helpful in their community forums. Sales are slow but MUCH better then other places and their fees are the lowest. Its cost nothing to list and the items do not come off unless you take them off.
I found Ecrater after Bonanza closed my booth without explanation. Their support seems really nice, they respond within 24h. Listing is quite easy and they feed to Google, Yahoo and Bing
Love the free listings, multiple product images, shop template color choices, and ability to create shop categories. Classic templates a little dated, shipping matrix confusing to most.
Ecrater is easy to use and has low fees. There are no seller tools such as printing packing lists or shipping labels. Basically a no-frills platform.
It's got some seller obstacles in listing format but I get attention to my items there and sales have increased. Customers are great.
You get immediate personal responses. eCrater gives back whatever you put in
Free shops, choice of color templates, shop categories can be created, 10 product images, unlimited listings.
Ecrater provides the space in the mall and gives you the freedom to run your own business.
I've been selling on eCrater for many years. I love it. It's easy and inexpensive to use. It has stayed simple which avoids a lot of the complicated problems on other sites that are constantly fixing things that aren't broke. I highly recommend it.
In my personal experience, I have received excellent communication and customer service from eCrater. I believe the potential for profitability is very high. Traffic to the site is growing. Fees are very low. The site is quite easy to use as a seller. A few things could be updated.
Have a real soft spot for this site. I've been here for years. I park everything here for free and only pay a small commission if I sell via the eCrater marketplace. Strong selling point: when they make changes they don't require you to edit all your old listings or be left out in the cold.
Long-time eCrater seller. I'm there because it treats sellers like adults, allowing us to run our business as professionals. The administration is responsive and respectful, and most of all, has maintained a remarkable, unparalleled degree of integrity since the beginning. It does not soak sellers for every penny, change the rules every week, or waste sellers time on busy-work. While Google now ignores smaller platforms, eCrater deserves both attention and high marks as an excellent venue for quality sellers.
Customer service is excellent and profit is great and this site is not too expensive to sell on.
I sell items on Ecrater, but having to manually update products is a pain.
Since they pushed the Google connection, they became too complicated.
eCrater leaves the marketing solely up to you and has not showed any type of improvement in building a storefront.
Simple interface, easy to list an item, but customer service is non existent.
The migration tool is user friendly but not accurate. They drive a minimal amount of traffic to my items and make me a tiny bit of money.
They need to allow you to list more than 1 item with the same title. I sell coins of different quality and prices and they only allow me to list 1 at a time.
Getting better but still needs to improve the general layout and bulk editing.
Needs to fix that stupid shipping matrix.. just allow all sellers to set their own fixed price shipping charges Domestic AND International!! Other than that no complaints.
Free shops, 10 product images, featured shop categories on shop homepage, ability to create categories/subs. The best shop templates, the classic ones, are somewhat dated.
Ecrater does not communicate well and not very helpful when they do. They are free to use and I make a few sales, but they are not all that easy to use. They have many policies that you find out about once you made the mistake.
I'm still a newbie with eCrater and find the site very interesting. Customer Service - if you want to call it that - takes time replying and refers you to their Forum. After recently having to ask the forum about "after sales" I find the members quite welcoming, knowledgeable and helpful. I would rate their forum a "10" in lieu of Customer Service. The listing form is incredibly easy to fill out and the toughest thing to learn is their shipping matrix. If I could figure out a way to log in as someone in Europe or perhaps Australia, I may be able to figure it out.
I have things listed on Ecrater and maybe will get 1-2 sales a year. It's difficult to know the Google attributes needed and the shipping matrix still has me confused and the help system they have is almost non-existent. So-so company but don't have the time needed for listing a lot of items.
Not much for frills with Ecrater but there are no listing fees and so easy to list items on Ecrater.
This site has done very little to improve itself over the past five years. My profitability rating factors in time spent with site versus sales.
I have been selling on Ecrater for years. It is free to sell and you get your own eCrater "website." There are occasional sales. They now charge a fee for listing your items in Google Shopping. Their final value fee can vary based on how the customer found you. If they searched for your item in eCrater, the fee is small. If they found you through Google Shopping or by just using Google, you pay a hefty fee.
This is another site where it's hard to sell things; buyers only come to this site when other sites are out of some product they want; it's a race to the bottom
Very hard to calculate shipping. Have had questions from customers but no sales.
Not much control of how products are laid out. Checkout and shipping procedure is weak.
We have put items on eCrater but found it to be very difficult to keep up with took much more time to get going.
Not enough traffic. It was once a good place to sell, but the last few years I have had only a few sales a year and I have over 2,000 items listed. Like their import listing tool.
It helps to be on multiple platforms - this one does not seem to be getting as much exposure as it previously had
This is another site that is slow in sales, not able to talk with a customer service rep., the site is not attractive to a buyer and as a seller my site was dull and there were no options to make it better!
I setup a store and attempted to import my eBay listings. The import takes DAYS! It must be approved manually. By the time the import happened, it was out of sync with my eBay sales and useless to me. Also, I sell new items and most were tagged as used, the descriptions were just one big ugly paragraph, and no UPC codes were imported. Trying to use eCrater was a huge waste of time.
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.
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