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Ina Steiner EcommerceBytes Blog
News and insight focusing on ecommerce.
by Ina Steiner, Editor of EcommerceBytes.com
Thu Aug 30 2012 00:00:53

Bonanza to Help Sellers List Items on eBay and Google

By: Ina Steiner
Sponsored Link
The marketplace that barged onto the scene in 2008 as an alternative to eBay and attracted unhappy eBay sellers is now going to help its members sell on eBay.

Bonanza is launching a program to help sellers sell items more quickly than they could do by listing on Bonanza alone - for sellers who are willing to pay a higher commission. It's a bit of a "multichannel selling for dummies" approach, since Bonanza simplifies the process for sellers - and it also removes the risk of upfront CPC (cost-per-click) costs for Google Shopping ads, which will soon no longer be free.

Sellers currently pay Bonanza a 3.5% commission if their item sells. They can continue to do so with no change whatsoever. But with the new "ad program," they can also choose to select a higher commission in order to get exposure on Google Shopping and/or on eBay.

Bonanza uses sellers' own eBay accounts in order to list their items in a 30-day fixed-price listing format. Presumably Bonanza sellers will get charged directly by eBay for the listing fees. Just who bills the seller for the eBay commission fees is murky, and Bonanza charges sellers an additional commission on top of the eBay FVF. (Bonanza alerted us to their blog post on Wednesday evening and did not pre-brief us; it seems sellers commenting on the Bonanza blog have some of the same questions we have.)

Part of the explanation into how the new program works is found in the FAQ, "How is it that Bonanza can be paying to buy me Google Shopping clicks before I've paid Bonanza?"

"This is indeed the major difference between Bonanza and every other advertising platform that we know of.  We have built systems that understand the selling potential of a given item, so we can have our software automatically adjust the cost per click such that the risk is sufficiently low for Bonanza.  That said, there will be many times where we pay for clicks to your items, your items don't sell, and we lose money.  We accept that as a cost of doing business to help us reach our "big hairy audacious goal" (see above).

Those potential losses are justified to us, because we don't think that you want to learn how to calculate the optimal CPC cost for your items, so we're doing away with the complicated stuff and focusing on what matters to you - what percentage of your profits are going to be spent on getting this item sold?"


The FAQs for Bonanza's new ad platform acknowledges that many sellers are disgruntled eBay sellers - one FAQ asks, "Wait, you allow publishing items to eBay? Aren't they the enemy?"

The answer to the question is as follows:

"We understand that many of our sellers have had bad eBay experiences at some point, and there are certainly aspects of the eBay selling experience that leave something to be desired.  But at the end of the day, eBay can often be the fastest way to get an item sold, if you can afford the fees.  For the sellers who are interested in making the most sales possible, publishing their items to eBay while using Bonanza's award-winning UI (all while getting paid advertising handled for them in Google Shopping by Bonanza) is a solution that will probably make a lot of sense."


Founder Bonanza Bill Harding called the new approach a paradigm shift in an effort to drive more sales to sellers' booths.

It appears to be an admission that their merchants' sales are slow, and calls into question just how viable an alternative marketplace Bonanza is.




Comments (66) | Leave Comment | Permalink
Readers Comments

Perminate Link for Bonanza to Help Sellers List Items on eBay and Google   Bonanza to Help Sellers List Items on eBay and Google
by: Dr. McCoy This user has validated their user name.
       
Thu Aug 30 00:10:41 2012
He's dead, Jim.
Perminate Link for Bonanza to Help Sellers List Items on eBay and Google   Bonanza to Help Sellers List Items on eBay and Google
by: Bloggo This user has validated their user name.
       
Thu Aug 30 00:58:14 2012
Elvis has left the building.
Perminate Link for Bonanza to Help Sellers List Items on eBay and Google   Bonanza to Help Sellers List Items on eBay and Google
This user has validated their user name. by: Ric
       
Thu Aug 30 01:03:03 2012
This integration between Bonanza and eBay looks and smells like a CEO with a company that is being served up for acquisition.

Is Bill Harding hedging his bets?

With a major traffic source changing it's policy that may likely serve to reduce Bonanza traffic, is Bill Harding preparing to have Bonanza acquired by eBay?

What a shame for Bonanza sellers.

They populate Bonanza to escape the tyrannical policies of eBay only to find the marketplace they flocked to is likely being offered up as an acquisition target with a trial run.

So which platform will disenfranchised sellers move to after Bonanza sells out?
Perminate Link for Bonanza to Help Sellers List Items on eBay and Google   Bonanza to Help Sellers List Items on eBay and Google
This user has validated their user name. by: Spartacus
       
Thu Aug 30 01:09:18 2012
How about advertising? Even a Harvard MBA knows that advertising drives sales...

...but, it's a well known fact Bonanza doesn't believe in advertising.

A few years ago, when they were still called Bonanzle, they could have nailed it but instead of spending money on television or radio ads, they bought a domain name. A two fisted failure, if ever there were one.

Many, many sellers pulled out of Bonanza when it became known they refused to advertise.

Funny part about this announcement, exactly how do they think they're going to help people sell more on eBay when they can't even generate sales on their own site unless they are from the message board trolls playing games and buying from each other ??

Bonanza is history. Etsy is soon to follow...    
Perminate Link for Bonanza to Help Sellers List Items on eBay and Google   Bonanza to Help Sellers List Items on eBay and Google
by: Digmen1 This user has validated their user name.
       Web Site
Thu Aug 30 01:23:59 2012
Wow.

It shows Bill has given up.

It also shows that you have to stay private.

Its a shame that an alt site like Bonanza cannot attract enough buyers for their sellers to want to stay on Bonanza.

Their traffic has been falling.

Ebay will be able to buy Bonanza from their petty cash tin.

Could I suggest that Bonanza members look at ebid.net as a viable site to migrate to.
Perminate Link for Bonanza to Help Sellers List Items on eBay and Google   Bonanza to Help Sellers List Items on eBay and Google
by: Mog This user has validated their user name.
       
Thu Aug 30 04:17:51 2012
Bonanza is not dead. It's like all the other alternatives, not ebay and therefore should be used in a different way. With ebay you pay your fees and wait for a sell through rate of around 10%. With all the other sites you need to promote them yourself. If you promote, they work. If you just list and forget they don't. Simples.
Perminate Link for Bonanza to Help Sellers List Items on eBay and Google   Bonanza to Help Sellers List Items on eBay and Google
This user has validated their user name. by: Anonymous Annie
       
Thu Aug 30 06:07:05 2012
It's a shame that Bonanza didn't include auctions as part of its selling format. It's a mystery to me why they never did this... they had a golden opportunity that appears to have passed them by.

Is it too late? Has the window of opportunity been closed? Would it make a difference?
Perminate Link for Bonanza to Help Sellers List Items on eBay and Google   Bonanza to Help Sellers List Items on eBay and Google
by: Digmen1 This user has validated their user name.
       Web Site
Thu Aug 30 06:41:29 2012
Of course its dead.
The owners have given up on it by selling out to their main opposition!

Ad by doing that they have lost any chance of selling it as a going concern.

So if they have given up, its time for their sellers to.

If you want a site that does auctions, then try ebid.net. Just don't start them at 99 cents.


Perminate Link for Bonanza to Help Sellers List Items on eBay and Google   Bonanza to Help Sellers List Items on eBay and Google
This user has validated their user name. by: Ed Gadfly
       
Thu Aug 30 07:54:33 2012
Show me your Friends and I will tell you what you are.
Perminate Link for Bonanza to Help Sellers List Items on eBay and Google   Bonanza to Help Sellers List Items on eBay and Google
by: mylifeisgood This user has validated their user name.
       
Thu Aug 30 08:05:20 2012
It won't be long and they will be owned by Fleabay and will go poof just like other sites Fleabay has bought.

BYE BYE
Perminate Link for Bonanza to Help Sellers List Items on eBay and Google   Bonanza to Help Sellers List Items on eBay and Google
by: Barntiques859 This user has validated their user name.
       
Thu Aug 30 08:59:25 2012
I believe this is a cop out on Bonanza's part to buying advertising because they do not have the capital to do so. Bill has never understood the concept of spending money (advertising) to make money; and is n ow in a bind forced upon him via sellers & Google. Now they have resorted to Brokerage fees ala ebay for advertising (paid after the fact) not unlike pimping products for the sellers. Usually when Bonanza institutes a new program it is accompanied by horrendous glitches on the site due to poor tech'ing. So this may totally nullify any gains made in sales for the seller.
True; this may be his last ditch effort BUT they do plan on stealing buyers from the bay by notifying them somehow of the origin of the listed item. Too little too late. Had the Boyz at Bonz listened to there sellers years back and advertised the name of Bonanza; the recognition factor could of worked for them and boosted sales enough to carry on an ad series. Makes one ask: Where was their business consultant?
Perminate Link for Bonanza to Help Sellers List Items on eBay and Google   Bonanza to Help Sellers List Items on eBay and Google
by: digger This user has validated their user name.
       
Thu Aug 30 09:39:32 2012
This newest move makes Bonanza look extremely weak; even laughable considering who they are taking on as a 'partner' in an attempt to gain a bit of income. This will alienate many, many exellent small/medium sellers. Bad move.
Perminate Link for Bonanza to Help Sellers List Items on eBay and Google   Bonanza to Help Sellers List Items on eBay and Google
by: e-buyer This user has validated their user name.
       
Thu Aug 30 09:43:03 2012
Oh Bonanza, Bill and Mark, this is folly.

First of all, why pay to be represented on Google Shopping in the first place? I've been selling on Bonanza for nearly 4 years, and NONE of my sales have come as a result of my items appearing in Google Shopping.  All of my sales come from Google Organic, Bing Organic, Yahoo and my own promotion efforts on Twitter and Facebook.  It would be bad business for me to pay to play on a search site that has done nothing in 4 years to boost my  sales.

Second, and most perplexing to me, is the idea of paying Bonanza to list my items on Ebay.  I have an Ebay account.  I use it solely for auctions with no desire to list there on a fixed price format.  And why on earth would I pay an ADDITIONAL 1.5% to Bonanza on top of Ebay's already high fees?

Encouraging its sellers to go back to Ebay, from whence most came in the first place to get AWAY from Ebay, certainly sounds as though Bill has thrown in the towel.  The message he's sending, whether intended or not, is that after all these years he's decided his site can't play with the big boys afterall.  That's disheartening to those of us who have been loyal for so long.  So he's come up with this scheme to put more money in his ~ and his investors' ~ pockets at the expense of and with little benefit to the sellers themselves.

Bonanza's refusal to do any real and effective advertising has led them to this: trying to make their money by sleeping with the competition.  To heck with the sellers who are trying to earn a living and who have worked so hard to be successful on a venue that they genuinely believed in.

I sadly predict that Bonanza will either fold, or be acquired by Ebay.  If the site is still around in 6 months I'll happily eat my words.  

Small sellers are running out of places to set up shop that don't want to take every last penny of profit out of their pockets. Those of us trying to make a living have been tossed around and disrepected by every single marketplace venue out there.  Bonanza was my last hope.  If they fail, I either have to give up my business or try to make a go of my own website.

Not a happy camper.
Perminate Link for Bonanza to Help Sellers List Items on eBay and Google   Bonanza to Help Sellers List Items on eBay and Google
by: JustTheFacts This user has validated their user name.
       
Thu Aug 30 09:43:28 2012
Okay, so WHAT is the point of selling on Bonanza then, why not just SKIP Bonanza and sell on ebay if the traffic is coming from ebay.

WHY pay Bonanza if allyou really needed was ebay?

Here is what I see the problem is.  Bonanza spent the money on redesigning the site over and over again, the nae and otehr perks for the workers at Bonanza and never spent it on the most important thing which was ADVERTISING Bonanza and now it is really hurting them and there are NO MORE ANGELS left to bailthem out.

So instead they decide to SLEEP WITH THE DEVIL and his TWIN, ebay and google!
Perminate Link for Bonanza to Help Sellers List Items on eBay and Google   Bonanza to Help Sellers List Items on eBay and Google
This user has validated their user name. by: iheartjacksparrow
       
Thu Aug 30 12:06:58 2012
Bonanza sellers: Move to eCrater! There are no fees! Why pay a commission to Bonanza when you can keep all your money by selling on eCrater?  
Perminate Link for Bonanza to Help Sellers List Items on eBay and Google   Bonanza to Help Sellers List Items on eBay and Google
by: Mr. Me This user has validated their user name.
       
Thu Aug 30 15:05:10 2012
A desperate move ! Bonanza showed promise as an ebay alternative when first rolled out, but didnt  market themselves and are now lost in the sea of me-too's ... waste of time!
Perminate Link for Bonanza to Help Sellers List Items on eBay and Google   Bonanza to Help Sellers List Items on eBay and Google
by: Digmen1 This user has validated their user name.
       Web Site
Thu Aug 30 15:26:40 2012
Yes we all know that Bonanza should have spent some money on advertising.
But people just don't realise how expensive advertising is.
Bonanza got $1m in VC funding. That is not much for mainstream advertising.
So they spent it on staff and hardware etc.
Etsy got $20 million. I think they advertise in a knitting magazine.
Perminate Link for Bonanza to Help Sellers List Items on eBay and Google   Bonanza to Help Sellers List Items on eBay and Google
This user has validated their user name. by: permacrisis
       
Thu Aug 30 15:44:22 2012
Before you stick the fork in, consider this:

Suppose underneath the really cool one of a kind ebay items, you keep seeing, pretty consistently, a bonanza badge. (It's something a OOAK seller might do; I doubt a dropshipper would front the extra money.)

After awhile of seeing those little green b's all the time, mightn't a buyer of such curiosities mosey on over to 'the real' bonanza, and check it out?

Could happen.

I would have rather seen the owners negotiate with ebay, in hopes of allowing  vetted booths to purchase banner ads in relevant categories. THAT woulda been cool...
Perminate Link for Bonanza to Help Sellers List Items on eBay and Google   Bonanza to Help Sellers List Items on eBay and Google
by: oshunspirit This user has validated their user name.
       Web Site
Thu Aug 30 15:54:44 2012
I picture a boatload of starving, dis-enfranchised refugees that set sail from the ebay overlords in 2008 to land on the greener shores of Bonanzle, the promised land. It was these sellers and THEIR customers that built ''the new alternative'' and struggled they did to build it. Mindless and numb from 4 years meager rations and lots of koolaid, today they were ushered onto the Goodship Bonanza 2012 with the excited cry from Captain Bill,''All aboard, you're going back to ebay!'' And they said ''thank you, great opportunity, what a great idea!''

It would be funny if it wasn't so sad.
Perminate Link for Bonanza to Help Sellers List Items on eBay and Google   Bonanza to Help Sellers List Items on eBay and Google
by: Digmen1 This user has validated their user name.
       Web Site
Thu Aug 30 16:34:46 2012
I would rather have seen Bill call a meeting of top Bonanza sellers and ask them for ways to move Bonanza ahead and LISTEN to them and ACT on their advice.

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