Reading Randy Smythes blog today I cam across eCrater, a free online marketplace and ecommerce shopfront provider. Initiall sceptical, I was actually pretty impressed with it, especially considering it is free. The product has the following functionality:
- Shopfront with its own URL
- Shop search
- product listings (quite a rigid format – but that might be a good thing)
- inventory management
- Shipping rate definition by weight
- Bulk upload
Search can either be at the shop level or the whole of eCrater, from the eCrater homepage.
I think that this would be a great product for hobbists to sell their products to a local market, or someone wanting to set up a low volume ecommerce storefront. Where I think that Randy is wrong about this is that it could replace eBay shops. What this product lacks which eBay has is traffic. Yes eBay fees are high, but they compare favourably with the price of Google Adwords, which is what is suggested as a way of driving traffic to these shops.