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Sat Sept 10 2011 12:26:42

Seller Disappointed by Bonanza Changes

By: Ina Steiner

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Dear Ina,
I am writing you in regards to the recent changes of They have implemented a new "look" to the site along with quite a few other changes including redoing their browsing for buyers. Part of this new browsing search are options "For Him", "For Her" and "For Everyone". They have literally separated the sexes in these categories.

When doing this separation they have put search categories like food/cooking in the "For Her" shopping options and the handyman options in the "For Him" shopping options. When did we go back to the dark ages and the battle of the sexes or is the CEO of Bonanza just so ignorant that he thinks women do all the cooking and men do all the handywork? I'm appalled at this type of discrimination and yes, that's exactly what it is!

They have also changed quite a few other options on the site. Moving arrows that confuse a buyer on the home page, they have completely forgot to put the shopping button back in from the My Bonanza page so that if a person is on that page it's confusing to know how to even shop unless your mouse catches the right place on the page. The colors are horrible and hard on the eyes.

To top this off, they still haven't fixed past glitches on the site yet they implement more changes that are sure to set off even more glitches, and they do this right before the upcoming holiday season. I have a background in business management and these have to be some of the worst management decisions I have seen yet for a business that proclaims to want to grow to be the number one online shopping venue.
Thank you Ina for letting my voice my opinion on this.
"Very disappointed"

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Readers Comments

Seller Disappointed by Bonanza Changes   Seller Disappointed by Bonanza Changes

by: online shopper

Sat Sep 10 13:52:41 2011

Bonanza's new home page is sophisticated, fun, interactive and one of the best for this genre of venue.
The selections in the ''For Him'' and ''For Her'' categories include tools and cooking implements for both
men and women. Obviously, the fashion and jewelry categories are gender appropriate. All department stores have men's and women's departments and Bonanza is no different.
Having the home page debut before the start of retail Holiday sales is a brilliant marketing strategy, designed to have buyers interact with the system and create a collection that suits his or her interests. With the debut of the new site graphics, Bonanza is setting itself up to become one of of the premier online shopping sites.
From a sellers standpoint, Bonanza is a gem, allowing sellers to create a free online store with listings
that never expire, easy listing tools, free photos, and excellent customer support. From a buyers standpoint,the site is full of exciting items from which to chose, from hand crafted, antique, vintage, to new. And because of Bonanza's free store policy and low selling fees, the product found on Bonanza is most often the lowest on the internet.

Seller Disappointed by Bonanza Changes   Seller Disappointed by Bonanza Changes

by: online shopper

Sat Sep 10 14:10:06 2011

Checkout is confusing and doesn't always work. Doesn't matter what the site looks like.

Seller Disappointed by Bonanza Changes   Seller Disappointed by Bonanza Changes


Sat Sep 10 14:12:43 2011

Re: Online shopper,
You fail to mention any of the site glitches, the colors of the new change or any other problems with the site. While there are good things about bonanza, there seems to be more bad than good in the recent past.

Why is there a need to have gender separation in the first place? I thought gender separation was behind us with equal opportunity and equal rights or are we now going back to the dark ages? Having separate departments is a completely different thing than having shopping separated by gender. And while yes, you can list on bonanza for free you also have to be able to make sales. When a buyer comes in to purchase something and is unable to check out due to a glitch, well, there is no sale. Obviously that isn't working out so well is it? The buyer ends up going elsewhere. The seller loses out and so does bonanza in the loss of FVF's. Bonanza can be as full as they want of vintage, collectibles, clothing, jewelry and new but if the buyer is unable to purchase it does not one whit of good. And if the buyer is turned off due to the blaring bright color that is so hard on the eyes they won't stay on the site that's more lost sales and revenue.

These are just examples of glitches and problems.

Seller Disappointed by Bonanza Changes   Seller Disappointed by Bonanza Changes

by: lcolling This user has validated their user name.

Sat Sep 10 15:48:22 2011

The arrows are so confusing. The arrows are as senseless as the bathroom doors.Why are suggestions of goth, bohemian clothes always on my front page? I would never wear either. The HPLs are getting boring and need to go. I do like the drop down boxes.

Why are suggestions of goth, bohemian clothes always on my front page? I would never wear either. The HPLs are getting boring and need to go.And  I am so happy that there is no more Bags Bonanza.

Since most people come in the site via Google search  directly to the product they are looking for, the homepage if a buyer ever gets, show be simple, and quick. The search should be quick, accurate and the items in the correct category to make searching successful. There are still mulitiple items being allowed to clutter up pages on top of pages. The honest seller is still lost in the cluttter. Some things never change, I gues the homepage is the only thing Bonanza feels is important to the sellers.

Seller Disappointed by Bonanza Changes   Seller Disappointed by Bonanza Changes

by: Shopatusm

Sat Sep 10 17:54:15 2011

The new look is boring, a drag, depressing and nauseating all at once. It is very confusing and an eye sore. It makes me want to close my browser window and go somewhere else.

I don't understand this site at all. It branded it's name as Bonanzle then when it was getting all good they up and changed it to Bonanza right before the busiest holiday season. They have changed the site appearance god knows how many times now in the past 3 years.

Bonanza is an unstable site it seems to be confused as to which direction it wants to take. This is not good for business at all. I have been a member since the start and left this year after I had enough.

Bonanza needs to fix checkout and all the messed up glitches that are costing sellers sales which has been going on for 3 years now! Fix the problems first Bonanza!

I can't believe I invested so much time in a site that is going nowhere!

Seller Disappointed by Bonanza Changes   Seller Disappointed by Bonanza Changes

by: Anon

Sat Sep 10 18:18:46 2011

Bonanza has had so many changes over the past year  not only to its site appearance but also to its own staff, and sellers:  so many have come and gone from this site. The current site changes to the overall appearance  are not an enhancement, the colors are washed out and drab in appearance.    I do not know what the overall sales growth is to this company, but Bonanza is no longer a ''start-up'' company and  it is my opinion  that overal sales are dismal. Sale revunes have never been transparent as it is a privately held company. But according to many sellers predictions are not good. The founding sellers of the company and other sellers at the now Bonanza  were disregarded by the owners of the company and many felt ''used''  and were silenced too often by the owners.  Many were forced to close shop and others left on their own....  Overall  Bonanzle  once a high energy positive selling venue and now  known as  Bonanza  has become a selling site with too many unhappy consumers..and one disappointment after another...

Seller Disappointed by Bonanza Changes   Seller Disappointed by Bonanza Changes

by: BonanzaForNow

Sat Sep 10 18:29:54 2011

The site still caters primarily to certain categories, mainly fashion.  This has been a hot topic with users for some time.  The new page designs seem to be somewhat better in getting back to Bonanza's original "Everything but the ordinary."

However, having said that, my experience has been that the great majority of my sales on Bonanza have come directly from customers whom I brought to my Bonanza booth (either through my informational web site, blogs, forum postings, and Google listings), not from a new buyer who happened to come to Bonanza and found my goods through the home page.  So I treat Bonanza simply as a storefront (which just happens to be part of a larger Bonanza "mall").  I treat the costs simply as "rent" and I never waste my time marketing the Bonanza site anymore.  I market MY business brand, name, and so on.  It just happens that currently my on-line store resides at my Bonanza booth.

If the new home page designs help lead an occasional buyer to my booth, fine.  But I'm going to spend my time and effort in marketing MY web presence, not Bonanza's.

Last month, Bonanza announced another new feature: Personalization.  The reaction of many sellers (and buyers) on the site were less than positive.  Particularly when the male/female “restroom” symbols intended as the initial survey point began appearing not only on the members’ My Bonanza pages, but also in individual item listings (limited to the Fashion and Clothing areas at this time).

In a matter of days, the reaction of so many users “encouraged” the staff to allow users to opt out of having the feature shown on their listings.

But what I am discouraged by goes beyond the question of whether or not the Personalization feature is actually of any value to the site and worth the use of limited Bonanza development resources.  Rather I am disappointed with growing trends on Bonanza that result in actions like these that occurred during the Personalization introduction:

1 - Forums discussions that were critical (even those that included positive criticisms, not simply bashing the feature) have been deleted from the forums in total.

2 - The official Blog posting was seemingly quickly and summarily closed when it no longer contained enough positive discussion to suit management.  (And with the new home design release, the official blog postings are being moderated before being posted.)

3. - Individual forum writers (these are site members after all) have apparently received email notices that their postings are grounds for disciplinary action.

I decided to set up shop on Bonanza some time ago for many reasons.  Among those reasons were the openness of the staff and the fairly welcoming community.  I believe that part of the responsibility of any site is to allow its users to provide feedback to staff in all areas, including the ability to calmly and reasonably express dissatisfaction  in any facet of the site. I agree that there should be some limitations placed on over-the-top or personal criticisms, but attempting to force the wearing of rose-colored glasses is unwarranted.  There needs to be an avenue for public discussion.  When sites start to be draconian and step on the users’ ability to civil discourse, it has historically been a huge warning sign of other problems lurking in the shadows.

I certainly hope that Bonanza addresses this issue in the future and retains a good working relationship with its users.  Certain other major sites have taken the approach of treating the small users as adversaries, rather than as integral parts of the whole, and have lost good members as a result (many of who moved to Bonanza as a result). I believe there are a large number of other reasonable users who would agree with me.

But now I take Bonanza for what it is to me, simply a reasonably priced "on-line storefront" host until I finally set up my own store completely under my control.  At that point, I will shift my Bonanza expenses over to paying for my own site. where I do not have to worry about Big Brother looking over my shoulder and into MY business.

Seller Disappointed by Bonanza Changes   Seller Disappointed by Bonanza Changes

by: pugs This user has validated their user name.

Sat Sep 10 18:40:32 2011

The letter to the editor is dead on.

The comment from online shopper is more like a sales pitch or a press release. Do you work for bonz? If not maybe you should apply. With writing like that you could replace Alex Berg.

In this day and age separating gender in the manner bonz has done is ridiculous and somewhat insulting. But, that has never slowed the boyz down before.

The homepage seems to have a "learning curve" .. something else for sellers to deal with but buyers coming to the site will not bother.

Changes always create glitches for any site. They are always worse for bonz and most are never totally fixed. Once again here we go when sellers are starting to concentrate on holiday listing and sales. I honestly wish all the sellers there the best this season and hope these changes and any others to come soon do not hurt them the way changes have in the past at this time of year.

I find the movement and the whole homepage annoying. Other pages and the forum are tough to read for long.. something about the combinations of colors, everything so squared off and the font. Individually fine but something about the combination.

Again, my best to all those of you still selling on bonz, may you have a lot of sales and a great holiday sales season.

Seller Disappointed by Bonanza Changes   Seller Disappointed by Bonanza Changes

by: BonzSeller This user has validated their user name.

Sat Sep 10 19:36:08 2011

Sounds like one of the "gripe gang" that for the most part have been banned from the site. Bonanza is NOT owned by you or me. They are owned by people that will do what THEY want with it. Continuous griping about it wont' change anything. The new look they have is clean and uncluttered. Not cartoonish like some sites I've seen

Seller Disappointed by Bonanza Changes   Seller Disappointed by Bonanza Changes

by: Good Grief

Sat Sep 10 19:38:31 2011

I hate to say it but I knew this kind of thing was coming. Every seller that left ebay tooting 'the Ranch' is the place to be. Now look what's already happening.
I said it before and I'll say it again - as soon as all the other sites gets a boatload of sellers they WILL change.
And it appears they have! I've TRIED to shop on bonanza and I hate it, the search is worse than ebay.
Won't be going back.

Good luck

Seller Disappointed by Bonanza Changes   Seller Disappointed by Bonanza Changes

by: Royal Presence This user has validated their user name.
Web Site

Sat Sep 10 20:47:32 2011

I don't know what to say either.  I do know that most of my customers are men and I sold a lot of food and candy from bonanza.  I find search shopping to be a difficult thing to pinpoint, because I don't fit a prescribed mold, I don't think my customers do either.  

I do my best, but I am tired with the changes and can't really keep up anymore.  

Seller Disappointed by Bonanza Changes   Seller Disappointed by Bonanza Changes

by: BuyerSeller This user has validated their user name.

Sat Sep 10 20:59:16 2011

Why is it that when some people leave a selling site for another one they feel the need to bash about that site and the people who are still selling there? Does it mean that if we are not selling on the same site anymore we become ennemies even if we used to be friend on that site?
Some people who used to be members of a selling site have decided to leave that site a while ago, some were kick out and some still have a store there. Those people used to be on line friends with me and with other members, we used to have fun in the forums and help each others because we wanted everyone to succeed, but now because they’re not selling there anymore they started bashing that site and peoples who still have a store on that site! Those who didn’t want to follow and bash about the site and their members are not their friends anymore! Why is that?
Well I used to be a member of group which I left a while ago and believe me some of the threads relating to a selling site and the members of that site are the most unprofessional, mortifying, catty, useless, and juvenile so-called “discussions” I think I have ever read anywhere.
In fact they appear to be written by a bunch of temper tantrum throwing 5-year olds. All of that anger, name-calling and vindictiveness shows and proves only one thing : that not a single one who would engage in such behavior is successful. It displays nothing but weakness, fear and desperation. It proves that some people should really find something better to do because on-line selling just isn’t their thing.
And those who felt the need to attack the owners of a site or their members, your time would probably be better served opening your own websites and actually focusing on your so-called “professional selling” careers, rather than sapping everything for FREE from the owners of that site and then degrading yourselves and the site in such an exaggerated and disrespectful way. You have NO rights to sell there and if you don’t like it, you should leave like others did rather than throwing your temper tantrums for all the world to see.
This appalling behavior is the reason and the good reason that such forums moderate, close and “poof” forum chats – they give the business a bad name

Seller Disappointed by Bonanza Changes   Seller Disappointed by Bonanza Changes

by: Very Disappointed

Sat Sep 10 22:45:01 2011

I don't know who you are referring to but I'm the original letter writer. I'm also still a current seller on Bonanza. I can say this much, I used to do very well on Bonanza however in the past few months my sales have dwindled to almost nothing. I can state with 100% certainty that I have not changed anything on my end as far as my sales tactics or anything else. I've had buyers contact me about problems with the cart and checking out, I've had buyers contact me because they were unable to even view pages and request pictures/descriptions offsite in order to purchase them again offsite since they couldn't see the items on Bonanza. I've also had buyers contact me telling me they couldn't purchase without signing up as a member and I've lost sales due to that because for some reason it wouldn't allow them to purchase without doing so. There's something wrong with this picture.

When my income is affected due to Bonanza's problems and Bonanza refuses to fix them then I have an issue with that. I have also been a paying member almost from day one of my membership with them. I've supported them in the past and if I had continued to receive that support back as a seller I most likely wouldn't feel the way I do right now.
I also didn't write this letter so people could start bashing each other here. I've read the comments and it looks to me like yours is the worst of the bunch. As far as posts in Bonanza's forums, I've never made a post that was so bad it warranted removal. I know that for a fact. If others made comments that were bad and mine got removed with theirs that's also not right as far as I'm concerned. Yes, I know it's their site not mine but guess what? I paid them to use it with not only my membership but also with the fees when I sell. That to me gives me the right to have an opinion, regardless of who owns it. It goes like this, if a person is paying rent they have the right to receive something that works properly and if something is wrong then it needs to get fixed in a decent time frame. If it doesn't get fixed then I also have the right to ''file a complaint'' to get that problem fixed. I don't expect of course this to happen instantaneously or miracles to happen, I'm not a stupid person. Along with expecting things to be fixed I also expect open communication not jokes and beating around the bush types of messages. That's just not good business practice. If you don't understand this then obviously you yourself shouldn't be in business.

Seller Disappointed by Bonanza Changes   Seller Disappointed by Bonanza Changes

This user has validated their user name. by: permacrisis

Sun Sep 11 01:14:44 2011

At Bonanza's inception, it was a very general-purpose site. It was clean and simple, but sorely underpromoted. Advertising was mostly word-of-mouth. The home page had an ingenious layout- random items would be voted to the front page dynamically- based on whether they were cool, bizarre, funny, priced well- you get the idea.

Sales went well during this initial phase, because all categories were given the same weighting and the frontpage exposure was very democratic. Many of those sales were impulse buys off that WONDERFUL old front page.

Later, this front page was changed to a static format where items were preselected, most often by theme. This thematic showing gave unfamiliar homepage visitors the impression that the site sold only those type items.

Bonanza was founded on a shoestring and received a tremendous amount of early support and promotion from people who were fleeing the 2008 Ebay Small Seller Extermination Initiative. For that reason, many of them do feel a certain deebt is owed them.

It would be the same if you loved an obscure rock group that became famous, then they switched to disco. True... It's their band to do as they please with, but they'd better expect to hear about the change from longtime fans.

Apart from that the 2008 purge of small sellers represented a huge opportunity for Bonanza which will probably never be repeated. No other site was really ready to have then at that time, and those refugees should have been listened to intently.

The less general-purpose a trading site becomes, the fewer potential buyers its homepage will attract. My own personal criteria for a site such as Bonanza is that site branding on the item pages themselves ought to be subdued- One should be able to direct people from one's own domain name into an item page without causing too much confusion. Originally item pages were 'all yours' with the site name in the upper left corner, but all verbiage came from the seller themselves.

Bonanza appears to be moving away from that 'eCrater' type mentality and toward its own identity, but I think they're doing it too soon.

They are not alone in making that mistake- Addoway and Yardsell'r seem to be doing it too. The way it is configured now, I would not attempt this type of domain redirect.

The phenomenon of Google has given rise to Keyword Search mania and the Relevance Engine, and here again is where the small sites all make the same mistake by not emphasizing ebay's old claim to fame, Category Browse.

When you walk into a thrift shop, consignment store, flea market, or yard sale, you are seldom there to buy a certain something. Rather, you are looking for something to jump out at you... and the only thing you are sure about is the category you want to look in. Selling sites are no different. For that to happen, all categories need to be represented fairly, and not filed under "Everything Else."

The other thing I'd do differently has to do with onsite search, specifically item churn. There is a LOT- and I mean a TON- as in millions, of great things on Bonanza and they need to work on item churn so that a search performed on Monday doesn't look like one performed on Tuesday.

One way they could do it is to randomly select some digit in the item number, and use that digit to rotate the items position in search return- a simulation of ebay's Time Ending Soonest effect.

If management had taken the time in the beginning to really immerse themselves in the early seller's stories, they would have gained a better understanding of what made them tick, and how to best surface their stuff. True it is a social site, but in the end it all comes down to the stuff.

Bonanza will eventually get where they are planning to go, but a thorough crash-course re 'a day in the life' of an ebay seller circa 2005 would have really helped a lot to avoid some of the growing pains of the last 3 years. I'm going to continue to watch this site and see where it goes, with keen interest.

Seller Disappointed by Bonanza Changes   Seller Disappointed by Bonanza Changes

by: Silk

Sun Sep 11 02:58:29 2011

I am a current seller and buyer on Bonanza, have been a member for over two years, have never been suspended or threatened by mgmt, and have been DMV'd only once for saying the word 'koolaid' in a post.  So I have no axe to grind with the powers that be.  But honestly, this site is not the same site it was when I signed up.  The constant changes are a distraction and have been geared toward form rather than function, while the functionality of the site (search, checkout) have been left to languish in a state of disrepair.  

Aside from the fact that I am not fond of the new 'look' on the home page, it is just one more example of a flawed strategy, and a failed execution of that strategy.  It's supposed to be 'personalized' based on each individual's favorite categories.  It gives the option to adjust those categories to areas a user is more interested in.  It does not work.

I went to where you can update the options you want on the home page to display items from your favorite categories. I picked Antiques, Crafts, Pottery & Glass. I got: rhinestone platform pumps, rhinestone jewelry, Abercrombie & Fitch pants, designer bag, crystal high heels, HO train decals, Thomas the Train, a jack-o-lantern gourd, a pet deshedding tool, swords, and Trojan Natural- Lamb Condoms. Are you kidding me???!!! Can you even imagine what an unsuspecting buyer will think if they are unfortunate enough to pick the same favorite categories that I did and get offered a coupon for CONDOMS?  I'm no prude, but honestly I find that disturbing.  The only comfort here is that Bonanza is not a 'destination site', and most enter from search engines through individual listings.

Sadly, the forums have become boring and sterile, with no more lively discussion or honest exchange of ideas.  Seasoned sellers that brought with them a customer base have been banned or run off.  The cheerleaders that are left are, as the above posts reflect, engaging in just the type of 'bashing' that they accuse others of.  The difference is that the majority of those who are publicly expressing displeasure with the current changes are only complaining about the 'site', while those accusing them are getting personal.

Seller Disappointed by Bonanza Changes   Seller Disappointed by Bonanza Changes

by: ByeBye

Sun Sep 11 07:12:33 2011

Well I'm not banned, and not everyone who complains is a member of the ''gripe gang'', but keep telling yourself that ''Bonz Seller''. Your ''we don't own the site'' is getting old. You may not pay membership fees,and maybe you not selling enough to pay selling fees,  but some of us do and are darn tired of getting nothing back for our $$$. Pretty bad when your sales don't cover the fees you pay so they can mess around with the site so it looks pretty but nothing works.

Been testing the waters over the summer and moving all my stuff to a site that DOES work so I don't have to go thru another pathetic holiday season there. Best of all, I won't be paying any fees at this site.

Seller Disappointed by Bonanza Changes   Seller Disappointed by Bonanza Changes

by: ByeBye

Sun Sep 11 07:17:49 2011

Coupons for condoms? in the Antiques category?

Soooooo glad I am on the way out.  

Seller Disappointed by Bonanza Changes   Seller Disappointed by Bonanza Changes

by: oshunspirit This user has validated their user name.
Web Site

Sun Sep 11 09:27:34 2011

One woman's documented experience. Believe it or not.

Seller Disappointed by Bonanza Changes   Seller Disappointed by Bonanza Changes

This user has validated their user name. by: elpereles

Sun Sep 11 13:27:51 2011

What happened to the front page? Ok, they drop the fashion focus a little, but it is my imagination or there is nothing in the "Shop Collectibles".

WTF!? For Her? For Him? For everyone?

Seller Disappointed by Bonanza Changes   Seller Disappointed by Bonanza Changes

by: BonzSeller

Sun Sep 11 15:43:54 2011

Personally I like the changes.  I also like that management actively listens to mine and others concerns and promotes a constructive community versus a non constructive one.  The Bonanza community is the most helpful and empowering community that I have ever been a part of.  From what I have seen, the users who constantly complain eventually do leave or get asked to leave or are suspended as is the case with several of the members commenting on this blog (Pugs, Oshunspirit, Shopatsum, etc).  What I don't get is these users who are no longer a part of Bonanza (some for up to a year), continue to negatively talk about Bonanza on their blogs and on Facebook, some even a year after they were suspended.  Why so much hate? Have you not found happiness in another venue or in your lives?  Why are you so unhappy?  You are adults, act like it.  

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