||This article appears to be written like an advertisement. (January 2012)|
|Foundation date||September 27, 2004|
|Headquarters||Irvine, California, United States|
|Key people||Dimitar Slavov, founder|
|Products||Online Shopping Mall, Online Store Builder|
|Alexa rank||8,825 (March 2014[update])|
|Type of site||Online Shopping Mall|
|Registration||Required to sell|
eCRATER is a free online marketplace and an e-commerce website builder based in Irvine, California. It was launched in the early fall of 2004 by Dimitar Slavov. By October 2008, it reached 1,500,000 items for sale in the marketplace and, as of January 2009, eCRATER has 65,242 active stores, and 95,773 stores have been created since its launch.
eCRATER does not follow the online auction business model, it is more an online equivalent of a shopping mall. Its marketplace offers the products of all registered sellers in one place, while the web store builder allows sellers to have their own custom online store. All listings are "fixed price" and buyers can add products from several sellers into their shopping cart and buy them in one single order.
Creating stores and listing items for sale in eCRATER is free of charge; also, "final value fees" are not applied to the merchants' sales. eCRATER does offer premium positions on its website for a fee, but this is completely optional for sellers.
Dimitar Slavov, a programmer, started putting the eCRATER.com site together in early 2004. It took him about four months to code an initial version, coding module by module from scratch. His goal was to create an ecommerce marketplace that was nice and clean, where buying and selling was easy.
Slavov eliminated any fees charged to buyers and sellers because he thought that online selling should be as free as it is searching the internet. This idea gave birth to eCRATER, a free marketplace, just a few minutes before midnight on September 27, 2004 in Irvine, California.
Despite some sources pointing to eCRATER as a competitor to eBay, Slavov says that his marketplace doesn't intend to take on eBay, but to provide an alternative ecommerce venue for both buyers and sellers.
eCRATER's first store opened on September 28, 2004 and, as a curious fact, they never listed any product. By the end of 2008, eCRATER's listings hit the 1,500,000 mark and over 300,000 orders placed. As of January 2009, eCRATER has 65,242 active stores and has 462,000 unique visitors. As of March 2011, its traffic rank on Alexa is around 4,260.
Services and features
The main service that eCRATER offers is a free of charge, customizable ecommerce website and, a free online marketplace. The website builder allows sellers to choose the color of the store template, as well as adding their own logo, main picture and category's pictures.
The product listings have a fixed price and can include up to 10 pictures, there can be unlimited product listings in a store and they are automatically included in the marketplace. Sellers can add their own text to the homepage, about, terms, FAQ and contact pages of their stores but, they cannot use any HTML code.
The stores' back-end allows sellers to modify the store's look and contents, set up internal categories, add products, configure shipping and payment options and managing orders. eCRATER's stores also count with a bulk lister tool, to upload a hundred or more products at a time, and a product inventory control.
eCRATER's marketplace and stores have a shopping cart that allows buyers to pay with PayPal, Google Checkout, check or money order. The cart is integrated with PayPal Express Checkout and Google Checkout. eCRATER is listed as a Google Checkout ecommerce partner and it offers integration with other Google solutions, like Google Product Search and Google Analytics.
eCRATER has an internal messaging system to allow buyers to contact the sellers, also, buyers can use the feedback system to rate the transaction with the seller. The eCRATER community forums were launched on February 24, 2006, open to both sellers and buyers with the exception of some boards that are exclusively for sellers. . Main Categories: Art, Antiques, Baby, Books, Cameras and Photos, Collectibles, Computers, Craft, Electronics, Movies and DVDs, Home and Garden, Music, Sports and Outdoors, and Toys, Games & Hobbies.
Prohibited or Restricted Items
There are some basic requirements to list products on eCRATER: the seller has to be a registered user, all texts must be in English, all prices must be in US dollars and equal or greater than $0.20, and the seller must be able to ship throughout the United States.
It is not allowed to post:
- Body parts & organs
- Pirated materials and products
- Copyrighted materials (images & texts)
- Counterfeit designer items (replicas or imitation of designer products)
- Fake documents
- Illegal goods and services
- Personal information about another individual
- Prescription drugs
- Currency exchanges
- The same or very similar content several times (even in different categories)
- Meaningless titles & descriptions
- Test items unless your store is put on-hold
- Free items and items with prices that are not "real"
- Items that are not for sale
- Pre-order items
- Firearms & ammunition
- Tobacco and cigars for smoking
- Live animals
- Mod chips or mod chips accessories
The eCRATER community forums are an important part of the site's customer support. Most common questions and technical issues are covered on the boards and, if not, a contact form is available to direct the questions to the eCRATER team. eCRATER's customer support is not intended for buyers asking about a particular product or payment and shipping arrangements, those kind of questions are meant for the seller directly, as eCRATER itself does not sell any particular product.
However, buyers can request support if they're having problems with a seller or if there is a technical issue with the site that prevents them from making their purchase. Problems with sellers may include: non-delivery of product, selling of counterfeits, breach of terms and agreements, and others. Also, anyone can report illegal products being sold/listed, fraudulent activities and/or DMCA infringement.
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