Friday, April 13, 2007

I must introduce my Ecrater shop too . . .

So I was very eager to introduce my new Mintd shop, but I remembered that I had never really introduced my Ecrater shop before. I opened an Ecrater shop a while ago, probably months now. It is very much still in the development stages, and I hope to stock it better with items this summer when I am off from my day job as a part-time college level design teacher.

I really like the Ecrater setup. It is a totally free online shop. There are no commission fees or listing fees, but the catch is that you really have to promote yourself. It is not setup like Mintd or Etsy with outside traffic and community support. Yes, there is forums and community help in that sense, but it is pretty much a free standing store front associated with your name and identity. It is also not an online shop format that is strictly dedicated to handmade and/or arts and crafts. Ecrater supports a wide, wide variety of stores. A couple of reasons that I jumped on board with Ecrater is because it is free and it has an option for GoogleCheckout payment. I really liked the idea of giving my customers another payment option besides PayPal, although Ecrater also supports PayPal as a payment option. I also wanted to see how I would do with an online shop that was more independent and not strictly for handmade or handcrafted items.

So how has it gone so far . . . well, I haven't sold a thing on Ecrater, but my shop is still very bare, and I haven't really promoted my Ecrater store which I think is a must to succeed with such an independent online storefront. I'm hoping once I stock my shop with a few more of my handmade items and advertise consistently that sales will pick up there as well. I do really like Ecrater and all the features that are available for shop setup, and what could be better, it is totally free!

I think that I'll give it through the end of the year to see how things go with my Ecrater shop. After all, it isn't costing me a thing except for a little time. Although I haven't had an outbreak of sales there, I'm hoping that sales will increase in the Fall/Winter when, let's face it, wool items are a little more popular and the holiday and gift giving season approaches. I've put time and effort into my Ecrater shop and really want it to succeed as a viable, profitable online storefront so we'll see what it does over time . . .

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