eCRATER Review – Is This Site Worth Your Time And Money?

0
3519
ecrater review
ecrater review

Both a free web store builder and online marketplace, eCRATER is a website for buyers and sellers. Those selling can create an online store at no cost, while buyers can browse through the products being offered by sellers. You can also find the items for sale on Google Shopping, helping to boost views.

Springing to life in early 2004, the company has earned a reputation for clean looks and accessibility. Google, CNN Money, Market Watch, and dozens of other media outlets have spoken fondly of the site’s credibility.

How Does It Work?

Unlike its competitors, eCRATER doesn’t follow the online auction business model (think eBay or DealDash). Instead, the idea is to create an online shopping center. This online mall, however, contains thousands of vendors. Buyers and sellers alike can use the site.

ecrater homepage

For the Seller

Anyone looking to sell their goods can create a customizable e-commerce website through eCRATER’s marketplace, essentially setting up their “kiosk.” Products have a fixed price, and sellers can include almost a dozen pictures of the item if they would like. You can do this for as many products as you want.

The homepage for this e-commerce website is also customizable, allowing a seller to:

  • Add their own text
  • Create a custom about page
  • Describe the terms of their sales
  • Add a FAQ
  • Create a contact page for their business or store

All of this is done without using HTML, allowing anyone to create a store regardless of their website building knowledge.

ecrater theme 1
Ecrater theme 2
Ecrater theme 3

Via the seller portal or back end of the website, you can do everything from modify the shop’s image to set up product categories and configure shipping options. There’s even a bulk lister tool that allows you to upload over 100 products at a time.

For the Buyer

Just like any other online shopping site, buyers have a shopping cart to place items in as they browse around. Once you’ve finished picking up items, you can pay via PayPal Express Checkout or Stripe merchant-card processing.

Since eCRATER is an e-commerce partner with Google, you can expect the same accuracy search results as when you’re browsing the web.  This works to the seller’s advantage, too, since they can integrate Google Analytics.

Once you’ve found a product, just use the internal messaging system to contact the seller. Afterward, you can rate your experience via the feedback system. As for categories, here are the main ones you can choose from:

  • Art
  • Antiques
  • Baby
  • Books
  • Cameras and Photos
  • Collectibles
  • Computers
  • Crafts
  • Electronics
  • Movies and DVDs
  • Home and Garden
  • Music
  • Sports and Outdoors
  • Toys, Games, and Hobbies

There are dozens of categories inside of these main ones, so you might want to head over to eCRATER and see what individuals are selling for yourself. Who knows, you might find something you like!

Special Features

eCRATER offers a ton of unique features for the sellers on their site, all of which make the process of building an online store simpler. For instance, your site will notify you via email when an order has been placed and automatically takes care of tax zones for you.

We already mentioned that sellers could apply Google AdSense, but did you know that each time a visitor clicks on an advertisement you make a small profit? You’ll also be provided with a unique URL for the site, which would look something like http://yourstorename.ecrater.com.

Sellers can utilize both flat rate and weight-based shipping, as well as an eBay importer to help get them started. Your store can accept any card with direct credit card processing, money orders, cashier’s check and even CODs outside of PayPal, too.

Several widgets are available, each of which can help you create a personalized look while streamlining different aspects of your online store. There’s even a Facebook app you can use to help promote your products.

Last, but not least, inventory control helps you stay up to date with what’s coming in and what’s going out. Oh, and you’ll have a ton of color schemes to choose from.

Pros:
What’s So Special About eCRATER?

There are three strikingly unique aspects to eCRATER, which include:

  • The online mall model
  • Free store setup
  • And vast usability

Ditching the “bidder site mentality” means that customers aren’t purchasing your products at a dirt-cheap rate. You set the price, they find your product, and they purchase it just like they would in a brick and mortar store.


Unlike similar sites, setting up a store on eCRATER is free of charge. That includes the several unique features mentioned above. Plus, there’s no fee involved when listing an item.


The accessibility is another prominent feature, which is made possible by removing the need for HTML coding and several points of integration with Google as well as PayPal. Setting up the site takes no prior knowledge of website design, critical aspects of online sales are readily integrated, and accepting various forms of payments is as simple as it gets.

Cons:
The Flipside

Nothing comes without a few cons, and eCRATER is no exception to that rule. There are cons for both the buyer and seller, including:

  • The fact that anyone can make a seller’s page
  • No options for store analytics
  • Lack of HTML means less customization

While the ability to create an e-commerce website in just a few minutes is highly appealing, it also means that anyone can build one of these pages. For the buyer, this means that there is little reliability to go on outside of the other buyer reviews. Pay close attention to what others have said about a seller, and keep your eyes peeled for scammers.


Unfortunately, there are no analytics to use as you might have with WordPress or similar DIY e-commerce websites. This means that you will need to keep track of your sales in order to determine how well your store is doing financially.  Albeit a minor con, some people may miss this if switching to eCRATER.


While the lack of HTML use does make building your store a simple process, it also means that there is less customization available. Inputting these codes can create unique backgrounds and features that embed themselves into the sight. While eCRATER does offer plenty of neat options despite the lack of HTML, they still fall short of what these codes can do.

A Note on Customer Service

When examining customer service, reviewers either applaud eCRATER with five stars or rebuke them with one. Out of 317 reviews, only 11% gave a score outside of excellent or poor.

Those that had a positive experience spoke of their purchasing mishap and how customer service quickly ratified the issue, either refunding their purchase or helping to remedy the situation by acting as mediator.

Those that disliked their experience mentioned week long waiting periods for a response, refusals to refund when a wrong product was shipped, and taking the side of irreputable sellers. It’s worth noting that eCRATER is quick to respond when a customer has a bad experience, often pointing out the way in which they remedied the situation. However, sellers shipping their items late seems to be a recurring theme.

Public Reception

Looking at reviews that pertain to the site itself, there seems to be an equal split between satisfied buyers and those who experienced major issues with their orders. Some people were ecstatic with their purchase, others received the wrong item or found themselves struggling to get a response from the seller.

Sellers seem to have a mixed view as well, with some loving the simplicity and others warning against using the site. Negative reviews from buyers state that several online shops are run by scam artists, while sellers claim that eCRATER allows buyers to make false claims against them while threatening to close their store.

Despite these negative reviews rivaling the positive ones, eCRATER continues to hold high trust scores with Comodo Web Inspector and Web of Trust (WOT). Most seem to remain cautious of using this site, much like you would with sellers on eBay or Craigslist.

Final Thoughts

All in all, it seems like eCRATER holds the same reputation that other e-commerce websites have in the past. Due to the fact that anyone can become a seller, buyers must be cautious and thoroughly research the seller before making a purchase from them. There are a lot of fantastic deals on the site but remember that some sales are too good to be true.

There are a lot of useful tools for sellers to build their store with, and the total cost of $0 makes this a highly appealing way to sell merchandise. While some sellers reported run-ins with dishonest buyers, several others had no issue running their online business outside of a few quirks with some of the widgets.

If you’re really looking for a quality bidding/e-commerce site, there are others with far less negative reviews out there. Ignoring mega-corporations like Amazon, you could opt for Bonanza or Etsy to have a safe and positive experience. Each has consistently higher ratings and droves of positive reviews that easily outweigh the bad ones.

Is eCRATER worth your time and money? Not with the amount of drama I found in their reviews, and that goes for both buyers and sellers. The overall discontent with the company was far too high to waste your time on. That’s not to say you can’t have a positive experience, but the odds seem stacked against you.

If you do plan to set up shop or browse products, carefully read the site’s consumer policies beforehand. Each seller will also have different terms and conditions, so make sure to read over those with a fine-tooth comb. You should do this on any website where purchases are made to better protect yourself from fraudulent transactions and credit card theft.

Pro Tips

So, you’ve decided to give eCRATER a try. Here are some pro tips for buyers and sellers.

Tips for Buyers

Keep your eyes peeled for false stores and sellers. Always check their feedback from other buyers as well as their policies for returns. Make sure to write down their store name and contact information in case you need to settle a dispute in the future.


You can find great deals on this website, but keep in mind that no reputable seller will list items at 70-90% off retail price. If a deal sounds too good to be true, then it's best to think that it is.

Tips for Sellers

The more information you can provide to buyers, the better. Post as many pictures as you can for each product listing, provide ample contact information and stay in contact with your buyers to let them know when their order will ship. According to other sellers who had negative experiences, it never hurts to be able to prove you sold and shipped the correct item.


Warning: Parameter 2 to wp_hide_post_Public::query_posts_join() expected to be a reference, value given in /home/dealmeisters/public_html/wp-includes/class-wp-hook.php on line 292

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here