Ten years ago, small sellers dominated eBay. As the number of sellers – and buyers – on the largest
online marketplace grew, so did the number of items sold.
Eventually, wholesale merchants started to dominate events on the site and small merchants
increasingly found themselves unable to thrive.
If you’re a small seller and are looking for an alternative market place, read on. In this article, we’ll look at
eCrater.com, an alternative that may suit smaller merchants better.
In the Spring of 2004, Ditimar Slavov launched eCrater as an online marketplace where individual
merchant stores could trade their fixed price products. Unlike other free marketplaces, eCrater doesn’t include
advertising as a revenue stream. It earns money from fees charged to sellers for featured listings and Google
Focus on sellers
eCrater is different in that it places emphasis on sellers. Like a quote found on their page says,
‘Cater to your sellers and the buyers will come’; this couldn’t be more accurate. Sellers who are disaffected by
eBay corporate policy now have a place of refuge to run to.
You do not need to register to make a purchase. This is a breath of fresh air for many buyers as
they just have to add items to their cart and checkout. There are many payment options that sellers can offer but
the site recommends Google checkout.
Simple, clean design
eCrater’s clean website design is very impressive. You will not see ads cluttered all over the page
to lure you away. If you are a dial-up user, you will appreciate the loading speeds over analog connection.
The feedback system
eCrater’s one-way feedback system is simple and straight to the point – buyers write feedback on a
seller’s page and that’s it. There are no issues of retaliatory feedback because sellers cannot reciprocate the
feedback to buyers.
If a buyer uses an instant payment option, they have a chance to leave feedback immediately. If in
three weeks time no feedback has been posted, an auto-email is sent to the buyer as a reminder.
Even feedback display I s different: it is shown as a percentage where 100 percent means that only
positive feedback has been posted on a seller’s page, while 75 percent, for instance, means that the seller has
received 3 positive and one negative feedback. Seller ratings are not available but you can read feedback comments
on the detailed feedback page.
Format of listing
eCrater’s business model is based on fixed price items thus the listing is only fixed price. Items
are listed for an unlimited time – until sold – and the seller can offer several quantities. Each seller has got a
store with a simple URL, which includes all the merchant’s listings broken down into sub-categories that the seller
defines. As a seller, you can brand your store with your own logo. The search feature when used inside the store
returns listings only from that merchant’s store.
Rules and regulations
As you might have thought, eCrater has got fewer restrictions than you may be accustomed to from
eBay. In addition, the terms and restrictions are pretty straight forward. There is a clear list of prohibited
Other features include: a great community of sellers and buyers, a multitude of free seller tools
and a very simple and elaborate registration process.
eBay may be hot now but places like eCrater are certainly where the future of online selling blongs.
Check them out here: http://successfulonlineselling.com/Salehoo.html