Thursday, June 12, 2008

eCrater - The Little Stores Platform that Could

eCrater.com is headquartered in my neck of the woods, here in Southern California and has grown steadily into a very viable stores option for small sellers. It is affectionately called "The Moon" on the eBay discussion boards. Here are some recent stats:
  • Alexa 3-Month Avg. Ranking in the US - 2,359
  • Compete.com's Monthly People Count is: 563,241. This number is up 70.7% Y/Y
  • Quantcast.com shows 42% of visitors are Passer-bys, 33% are regulars and 24% are addicts. (Passer-by 1 visit per month, Regulars more than 1 visit per month, Addicts 30 or more visits per month)
  • According to Powersellers Unite eCrater.com has over 1.2 million listings.

eCrater is free and uses Google Checkout for payment processing as well as Googlebase for free listings in Google Product Search. Here is a quick comparison of an eCrater storefront with eBay Stores:

eCrater.com

  • No monthly subscription
  • No listing fees
  • No FVF fees
  • Google Checkout
  • Listings Automatically added to Googlebase
  • Discounts for Google Adwords when using Google Checkout.
  • Customers are yours

eBay Stores

  • $15.95 per month for a Basic Store (limited visibility in search)
  • $0.03 per listing (under $25 ASP) per month
  • 12% FVF on each sold listing including NPB (Non-paying bidders)
  • Listing manually added to Googlebase.
  • Customers are eBay's

To list 100 items in eBay Stores would cost $18.95 per month and if you sold 10 items per month with an ASP (Avg. selling Price) of $25. Your total eBay fees would be: $48.95 (including the $30 in FVF) in addition to the eBay fees you would have PayPal fees (Could be another 4% or $10).

With eCrater you could spend that $48.95 with Google Adwords per month and get your Google Checkout fees waived and pay less than with eBay Stores and PayPal for the same 10 sales.

Let's say you spent $0.48 cents per click with Google Adwords your $48.95 would generate 102 clicks to your eCrater store. You would have to convert 10 of those 102 clicks into sales to pay the same amount as eBay -- you would also save the PayPal fees because Google Adwords advertisers get their Google Checkout fees waived.

Other benefits of eCrater over eBay Stores:

  • No jumping through eBay hoops.
  • No worries that a Neg or a Neutral FB will put you out of business.
  • The customers is yours and if they come to your eCrater store again you pay no fees on their purchase.
  • You can market to them to your hearts content.
  • You still get free traffic from Googlebase and eCrater Site Search. 61% of eCrater traffic comes to the eCrater home page.

One additional consideration: Many sellers are already taking advantage of these benefits at eCrater. In fact several eCrater stores get more than 1% of the traffic that comes to eCrater.

In fact starauctions.ecrater.com gets 3% of the traffic that comes to eCrater.com each month. To out that another way 3% of 600K monthly unique visitors is 18,000 visitors a month visit starauctions.ecrater.com

If you are a current eBay Store seller, I would recommend you take a look at eCrater.com and take the time to do a 3 month test (depending on your budget).

Here is the test I suggest:

  • Start the test July 1st, but open your eCrater store now.
  • Look at your eBay bill for last month and see if you can afford to pay that exact same amount with Google Adwords for 3 months.
  • List the same number of items in your eCrater Store as you currently have in your ebay store.
  • Compare your eBay sales and the whole sales experience over the 3 month period with your eCrater sales over the same 3 months. I chose 3 months, because that will give you enough time to dial in your Google Keywords.

If you do try this test, please email me with your results. I believe the results will surprise you.

Just my 12%

10 comments:

Anonymous said...

I just set up store on eCrater. I wish it was easy to import my ebay store listing into eCrater with 10 % off every price on one click.

If you know how can I import my 5000 or so listing, please let me know. Thanks

Henrietta said...

You also posted on Auctionbytes without linking to an email address. How are people supposed to contact you? Smoke signal?

Anonymous said...

omg HAHA @ Henrietta

Az Deals said...

Ecrater is a great place to sell!
It defenetly has more advantages over ebay! Only if the buyers switched from ebay to ecrater it could be a whole new revolution!

Check out my store @

Az Deals
http://azdeals.ecrater.com/

mybookbarn said...

A great site to promote your eCrater stores. http://ecrater.ning.com

American Edge said...

Another great place to find just what you are looking from experienced eCrater shop owners is

www.ecratermall.weebly.com

This directory of stores is indexed by product categories and represents the finest online retail stores that eCrater has to offer.

Anonymous said...

eCrater does not stand behind purchases. I have bought my one and only item on eCrater and will not buy there again. The seller is a fraud that sells the same items over and over without delivering them. eCrater does not care. The item is still listed and the buy button still works. Finally went through google to get a refund. That site is not worth the hassle, it is back to ebay for me. Judy

expressmycell said...

we just set up our new ecrater store yesterday and already generated 4 sales of image design and bling bling cellphone case. Not bad traffic for a 'FREE' on line store. We are investigating other alternatives other that ebay
for over a month and we found it.

www.expressmycell.ecrater.com

We specialize in selling high quality cellphone and Apple ipod accessories at a friction of the cost of most retail chain.

www.expressmycell.ecrater.com

ZackAalDaood said...

how do i disconnect ecrater from eBay? i don't want them to be connected. thanks

Susan said...

I have been on eCrater for over two years now, and sales are good! It was quick and easy to start up in a morning, and the site is clean and free of hype and clutter. And free works just great for me! Don't expect eCrater to provide traffic for you, through -- that's not its purpose. It really is just a platform to develop your site and a community to support you. You will have to work on your own SEO to get ahead. I spent about 2 months learning about this, and doing it myself, and now I can be found as #1 in a Google search for my most important search terms, 'Hand Dyed Wool'. I am confident that my business will only improve, as I provide the best product, at the best price online, and my customer service is second to none. This is the other important factor in getting a good business going -- find the niche, fill it, and give your customers absolutely no reason to go anyway else! Good Luck!

Penny Rug Wool