PROS / eCrater doesn’t charge to list items and doesn’t take a commission cut.
CONS / It doesn’t have the community feel that most handmade marketplaces have.
VERDICT / The interface is kind of sterile, but it is a great way to launch your online shop.
eCrater is a 100% free online handmade marketplace. Unlike competitors, eCrater is less of a creative community and more of a way for sellers to have a personalized storefront. If you have an eBay business, this site allows you to create a professional looking store to direct customers to. Once you’ve created an account you can start listing items in no time.
All purchases are made through Google checkout. We love Google checkout, so we love this setup. With Google checkout every purchase is connected with your Google account. When you’ve made a purchase, you’ll receive a confirmation email in seconds and you can save credit card information without worrying about security. Several sites use Google checkout as their form of eCommerce, so if you don’t already have a Google account setup, creating one now will save you time in the future. Once you’ve added items to your cart, you don’t have to enter in different information for each specific shop, Google checkout only asks for your information once and then it splits the payment between shops.
You can contact individual sellers on eCrater for customized handmade gifts, but there is no option to save your favorite items to view at a later date. The only way to save items is to put them in your shopping cart. eCrater’s search function is also quite primitive, allowing you to search by category, keyword and price range, but that’s it. You can’t search by seller, color or the most popular items.
Because eCrater is a free online store builder, it has a comprehensive backend with administrative tools that allow you to customize the look of the site, promote your products through Google products and manage shipping zones and sales tax. You can even import all content from your eBay account, including feedback, items listed and store policies.
Basically, eCrater is an easy venue to list products for sale with no listing costs. If you already have a following of loyal customers for your handmade items, eCrater would be an option to break away from a handmade marketplace that charges to list and takes a commission off of items sold. However, because eCrater isn’t a creative community, it is missing the homey feel of the top handmade marketplaces.
eCrater doesn’t specialize in handmade items, instead promoting product categories ranging from art and collectibles to cameras and movies. Their art, crafts and home and garden categories are those that would most closely compare to competing handmade marketplaces. The craft category is then broken down into several subcategories. What eCrater lacks in handmade specialization, it makes up in selection. Its craft category is bursting with handmade gifts, handmade cards and more. We just wish there were a better way to navigate through the items.
To contact eCrater, your only option is email. They do have an FAQs page and forum with current threads, but the only direct way to eCrater is through the email form located by clicking on the contact link at the bottom of any page. If you have questions about products, we’d contact the seller directly.
eCrater is a great solution to create your own handmade marketplace. Their easy-to-use tools, customizable storefronts and promotion options make creating your own online store simple. Because eCrater isn’t a handmade community, you will miss that “community” atmosphere, but we think free listings and no commission taken out of your earnings makes up for it.