eCrater bills itself as an online marketplace and free web store builder, but is eCrater legit or is it a scam? This definitive guide examines the evidence.
eCrater launched in 2004 as a free platform for individuals to create their own online stores and sell products. It operates as both a web store builder and an online marketplace connecting buyers and third-party sellers.
Some key facts about eCrater:
- Free to create an online store
- Sellers can list unlimited products
- Buyers can browse and purchase from millions of products
- Items are searchable on Google Shopping
- Supports importing eBay listings
- Provides store widgets, bulk listing, and other seller tools
The eCrater website claims to have over 1 million registered users. It generates revenue by charging sellers a percentage of sales.
Is eCrater Legit? Consumer Reviews
There are several factors suggesting eCrater is a legitimate business:
1. Long operating history
eCrater has been around since 2004, giving it an 18 year history of (mostly) continuous operation. This is much longer than most scam websites which tend to disappear quickly when exposed. The site’s longevity indicates it provides real value.
2. High online seller feedback
Checking independent review sites shows most experiences buying and selling on eCrater are positive:
- 63% of 362 SiteJabber reviews are 5 stars
- 73% of 1,490 Trustpilot reviews are 5 stars
- Many positive reviews praise prices, seller communication and fast shipping
This data suggests the vast majority of transactions happen smoothly.
3. Ranking as a top online marketplace
eCrater is ranked as a top 44 online marketplace by SiteJabber based on reviews. Being highly rated indicates they have satisfied customers.
4. Active customer support
There is an eCrater support team that responds to questions and assists buyers and sellers. This shows an intent to provide real service versus abandoning users.
5. Free web stores with no upfront fees
eCrater does not charge for sellers to create free online stores. This allows easy entry for individuals and small businesses to start selling online without financial risk.
6. Integrates with major ecommerce platforms
The site offers tools to import eBay listings and integrate with Google Analytics, providing convenience and legitimacy.
7. Company contact information is public
Basic company info such as address and email are shared publicly, which scam websites tend to avoid.
Is eCrater a Scam? Consumer Complaints
However, there are also reasons some allege eCrater is a scam:
1. High volume of negative reviews
While most reviews of eCrater are positive, there is a significant minority of negative reactions. 22% of Trustpilot ratings are 1 star. Complaints tend to focus on:
- Products never arriving after payment
- No seller response to refund requests
- Credit card fraud reported after use
2. Accusations of selling counterfeit items
Some buyers have accused eCrater sellers of shipping knockoff or fake products while advertising them as authentic. This includes things like sports jerseys and brand name clothing.
3. Allegations of fake positive reviews
A portion of glowing reviews are speculated to be fake, artificially inflating site ratings. However, no clear proof of this has emerged.
4. Scam warnings on review sites
Despite many positive reviews, some review platforms include strong scam warnings about eCrater as a precaution due to negative experiences users reported.
5. Lack of seller screening
eCrater does not have strong identity or background checks for sellers. This may allow more disreputable sellers in versus sites like Etsy or eBay.
6. Difficulty getting issues resolved
When buyers have issues, some report eCrater customer service being unhelpful in resolving problems or tracking purchases.
Is eCrater Legit or Scam? Assessing the Evidence Objectively
Analyzing this mix of positive and negative indicators, there is no clear smoking gun proving definitively whether eCrater is a legitimate company or scam. However, we can make some objective evaluations about the risks and merits:
- The majority of user interactions on eCrater appear positive – judging by independent ratings and reviews, most customers have smooth transactions and are satisfied. This indicates the overall platform provides real value.
- There are risks buying on eCrater – negative experiences show you may not get what you paid for, have recourse for issues, or shop with full confidence in sellers. Extra precautions should be taken.
- eCrater is likely most reliable for small purchases – because seller screening and protections are looser compared to other marketplaces, buyers may want to minimize risk by only buying low cost items.
- Higher value purchases carry more risk – spending hundreds or thousands of dollars likely increases the chance of encountering problems and being unable to resolve disputes smoothly.
- Research sellers thoroughly before buying expensive or fragile items – vetting a seller’s reputation through reviews reduces the chance of issues arising. Avoid sellers with no history or reviews.
- Use buyer protection services for extra security – paying through PayPal Goods and Services or a credit card with good chargeback policies can provide recourse if sellers prove untrustworthy.
Best Practices for Safe eCrater Buying
If you decide to make purchases on eCrater, here are some tips to minimize your risk:
- Stick to well-reviewed sellers with long histories and 98%+ positive ratings
- Avoid newly created seller accounts with no reputation
- Pay using buyer protection services like PayPal or a credit card
- Only buy inexpensive items first to test sellers
- Inspect items closely upon arrival for authenticity
- Be proactive contacting the seller with any delivery problems
- File claims and disputes quickly if issues emerge
The Verdict: Is eCrater Legit or Scam?
In the end, the large volume of satisfied eCrater users indicates the platform is beneficial for many people. However, there are enough negative experiences to warrant exercising caution when buying and selling on eCrater. Used carefully, it can be a good option – but be aware of the risks. By following best practices, eCrater can be a relatively safe way for consumers to access unique items and sellers to gain online exposure. With sensible precautions, eCrater delivers real value.
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