No Auctions for Bonanzle after Cash Infusion
By Ina Steiner
Bonanzle is hiring two programmers, a designer and a product specialist after raising $1 million in angel funding (see Thursday's news story). But don't look for Bonanzle to take on eBay's auction business.
Founder Bill Harding said he had no plans to add auctions to the site at this time. "We already have a very ambitious initiative that we're undertaking currently (estimated launch end of summer), that meshes more seamlessly with the feature-set we already have. Auctions are a whole different beast, and eBid already provides a credible alternative to eBay for those." However, Bonanzle sellers are allowed to host live auctions in their own booths if they choose.
One area Mr. Harding would like to tackle soon is improving buyer-seller communication as a means for buyers to be able to converse and send messages without creating an account. "Account creation is so 2008," he said, explaining he wants to integrate login via Google, Facebook, and other platforms so that visitors can engage in real-time chat with Bonanzle sellers. He was referring to systems like Facebook Connect, which provides a mechanism for websites and applications to connect to users' Facebook logins.
As for advertising and marketing, Mr. Harding said Bonanzle will continue to incrementally spend on advertising on Adwords and content-based websites - "certainly more now than we had pre-funding, but it isn't our key strategy. As I mention on the blog, my core belief is that $1 spent building the site provides more sustainable value than $1 buying a customer and sending them into a mediocre experience. Once we get Bonanzle perfect, maybe then we'll spend $1 buying a buyer more often."
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About the author:
Ina Steiner is co-founder and Editor of EcommerceBytes and has been reporting on ecommerce since 1999. She's a widely cited authority on marketplace selling and is author of "Turn eBay Data Into Dollars" (McGraw-Hill 2006). Her blog was featured in the book, "Blogging Heroes" (Wiley 2008). Follow her on Twitter at @ecommercebytes and send news tips to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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