A Great Free Web Store Builder and Marketplace
Many online selling venues have come and gone since 2004 but eCrater has not only stuck it out but they have remained a very viable web store builder with a feature few others have been able to claim. They are Free! It is free to open your store. They have no listing fee. They have no final sale fee.
This last I must qualify. Since eCrater opened their Marketplace they do charge a small, very small, fee on items sold through their Marketplace. That's fine with me. I have been pleasantly surprised at the increase in my store's traffic and sales.
I started using my eCrater stores mainly as a place to keep my listing in the event my main selling venue disappeared over night along with all my listings. Oh yeah this happened. (What was that wagglepop? All those listings gone!) As my products varied and changed I updated my eCrater store or opened another. I even ignored my eCrater store completely as I immersed myself the new and exciting venue for handmade items called Etsy. For quite a few years I built my brand on Etsy, enjoying the site, the excitement of the users, and loving the process of designing and creating my own line.
Etsys problems started pretty soon though and are way too extensive to detail here. The outcome of Etsy's evolution is that I am again forced to hunt for a profitable venue. I turned back to eCrater. I deleted the old stuff and added my current inventory. I realized eCrater had not be sitting still. They had made some great improvements in their listing process. And they opened their Marketplace. And they now have premium templates that are very low priced.
As I continue along the path of a very small product designer producer and internet seller I am wrestling with trying to develop a business plan that will take me forward and back to profitability. One part of my plan is to make my eCrater store, Txalteredartsjumble, a center piece of my online presence. I think in this day if you are not a large company, if the super large selling venue is not for you, an online seller must develop a network of venues and try to find the advantages of each. And eCrater has a lot of advantages!