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EcommerceBytes-Update, Number 279 - January 23, 2011 - ISSN 1528-6703     7 of 18

Sellers Choice Marketplace Ratings: Bonanza

By Ina & David Steiner

January 23, 2011

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In January 2011, AuctionBytes surveyed almost 2,800 online sellers and asked them to rate the marketplaces on which they had experience selling. An introduction to the Sellers Choice survey along with a summary of the overall ratings can be found here, along with links to results for each of the 16 online marketplaces included in the survey.


Customer Service:


Ease of Use:

Would you recommend:

Year Established: 2008
Description: Fixed price listings, general merchandise, fashion, collectibles
More Info

Bonanza came in fourth place with an overall rating of 7.0 on a scale of 1 to 10. Its highest marks were for Ease of Use (7.6) - "Bonanza presents the simplest method to post a new or duplicate listing with multiple photos; does not require off-site photo hosting or charge for photos in listings," wrote one respondent.

Bonanza's lowest marks were for Profitability (5.64) - many respondents said fees were low but sales were slow, though a great number said they were satisfied. "I have a very narrow market where this site does not have name recognition, so I haven't had a lot of sales. But the fees are so low and I don't have to invest money before I sell." A number of sellers said they wished Bonanza would advertise the site.

Respondents commented on certain features of the site, most of them positive. "Rate the Community Boards as the Best in the Business allowing for a fun, intimate, friendly on-line experience - not just a site for business transactions but for friendly community development and user interactivity as well," wrote a seller who went on to say, "I do frequently promote Bonanza.com to other sellers and even friendly competitors - not-so-friendly competitors I still refer to eBay so they can lose money."

Not many sellers responding to the survey discussed social networking sites, but one respondent said Bonanza allows sellers to share items on Facebook and Twitter, "and have a page that makes listing on Craigslist a breeze!"

Link to 2010 results

Reader Comments - The Good, The Bad, The Ugly:
I love Bonanza for its ease of use - I like how easy it is to set up a booth and load pictures. They have low, flat fees. I wish Bonanza had auctions, but for a store, it is a perfect site. I recommend it to people who don't have alot of experience setting up a store and don't want to run up fees by just listing items. There isn't a monthly fee for basic users. Great site!
I have only been selling on Bonanza for about 8 months and my selling profit is 3 times what it was on ebay or amazon. love the prices for selling and the site overall, management is A+ THEY are ALWAYS there to help when we have ANY problems I love it there and it will remain my selling venue of choice!!
Bonanza is a fun, FAIR and, honest site to sell on. I always get prompt answers to questions from customer service. It also seems to attract the kind of customers I want to do business with. And, it just keeps getting better.
Sellers on Bonanza get terrific service from the owners. Speedy responses to questions/glitches. Other sellers provide much help/information. Very friendly site.
I'm just starting out and haven't done a lot of marketing for my Bonanza store, but I've already made several small sales. Once I have more stuff listed and spend more time promoting, I'm sure I'll start selling more. They also make it easy (one click) to share your items on Facebook and Twitter, and have a page that makes listing on Craigslist a breeze!
I love that it is free to list until you sell. I love how it is set up. It has a quality feel to it. Not cheap or mass market. I love to describe it as "what would happen if eBay and Etsy had a baby"
Bonanza's fees are reasonable for a small seller like myself, with low cost vintage items. If you're not in a rush to sell, it's ideal, as you can list your items and leave them in your booth at the price you want to receive. I believe as more traffic finds Bonanza, it will get even better. I am a little concerned though that they will raise their fees for small sales - they have once already since I joined - and this will make it a poorer choice in the future if this happens. For now I am very happy selling there.
I have been selling on Bonanza for almost two years now. It is a wonderful community, where everyone shares information, complements sellers, everyone including the support team at Bonanza has our back every step of the way. My one and only experience with online selling. Glad I did my homework and signed up with the correct site the first time.
They are very good at communicating news and changes or if you need support .My sales have not been that profitable there as of yet.. Ease of use is good with the exception of editing a item they do not have a area where you can end the auction early (therefore you can keep your auction information) you have to delete it if you want to end it ...
Bonanza is a very good site and I believe it is under-used. I LOVE the fact that the powers-that-be at Bonanza do not impose time limit restrictions and do not bombard the poor seller with rules, restrictions, non-sensical limitations and unnecessary emails (as does eBay). While I have not sold as many items as I would have liked, nonetheless I have made sales on Bonanza and found the buyers to be very nice. I do wish buyers would be more diligent in leaving feedback here, and I would like Bonanza to add a page informing buyers how very important it is to leave feedback. After all, that is all a seller has - her reputation - to encourage future sales. I found some pages/screens (coupon offers, discounts, etc.) confusing to navigate and had to ask for help. I received help immediately, however, and the quick response from administration to a problem is another big PLUS for Bonanza. One technical aspect I would like to see improved is the seller's view of her items. It seems to take the seller a long time to move from page to page and I wonder if there is some way to shorten the wait. For example, could the page be laid out so that a seller simply can scroll from top to bottom? All in all, I would LOVE to see this site gain more recognition and use.
Customer service and communication are outstanding on Bonanza! It is so easy to use, I just love it. Unfortunately, it seems short of customers at the moment. I have not sold anything yet, after 3 months. But I hope that is because it hasn't quite caught on yet. The service and gorgeous format, and the outstanding seller support keep me hopeful, so I keep coming back. It is my hope for the future where other sites have failed.
I opened on Bonanza as my first step at weaning off eBay (which simply no longer fits with my e-commerce needs). Bonanza works for me mostly as a stand alone web store in that the vast majority of my sales there come from buyers I have referred to my store from my eBay sales, my blogs, my web site (informational only at this point) and Google referrals. Very little business generated from general Bonanza visitors. As a "stand alone" store, the costs are within my budget at this time even at the Plus Membership level. Bonanza is continually evolving, mostly for the better. I do not always agree with some of the changes Bonanza has made, but the majority have actually improved the site for my needs (unlike eBay where the "improvements" have gradually destroyed it as a workable marketplace for my business). Once in a while, I am slightly bothered by Bonanza's treatment of critical (not really negative, but perhaps more direct than cheerleaders) input from sellers. But it is nowhere as terribly handled as by eBay management. I am heartened that Bonanza management does seem to listen to seller feedback in many cases, and has modified changes as a result in some cases. Overall, Bonanza is the best such alternative to eBay for me at this point. Eventually, I am working toward my own site only to have nearly complete control of my business (yes, you can count me a s being a bit paranoid in having any third party involved with my business as a result of eBay's terrible treatment of good, but small sellers).
Bonanza is a site with a lot of potential. I haven't sold much on there, however it is easy to use, is a nice looking site, costs nothing to list. I don't like the fact they charge to use Google Analytics as most sites don't charge for a service which should be free. Bonanza is also too clicky.
I am not as gung ho as last year and feel like this site has too many growing pains to handle now. I do think they will master them eventually and I feel like their intentions are good....just alot of work with no profit makes for my displeasure.
I like the site and the community. However...The laid back attitude of the owners concerning advertising worries me. (And many other sellers). While there are a few sellers who do well - Most sellers do not have enough sales.(Some barely have any). Bonanza does not have traffic. The general public has not heard of Bonanza. This needs to change if they want to keep their sellers. They received a million dollars in funding and chose to buy "1000Markets", move their main office and hire tech people for the site (Which still has glitches anyway). Adding 100Markets sellers - Only added more sellers in need of buyers. Many sellers were disappointed that an advertising campaign was not - and is not part of their immediate future. They have events such as "Rushes"...Particular items on sale for a number of hours - It appears that the only people attending these rushes are other sellers. No one knows of Bonanza. They are not getting the word out - Not branding their site. Once every few months the topic of much needed advertising comes up within their forums - usually heated - And usually demoted to the "Drama" forum eventually. Their slogan - "Everything but the ordinary" I feel - Should be changed. This slogan may discourage potential customers who are looking for - a book, a lipstick...a candle etc. There are many, many sellers offering "ordinary" merchandise. With traffic - Bonanza would be the perfect venue. If they had an aggressive ad campaign they would have a great chance, but apparently that is not part of their plan. This is unfortunate.
Bonanza is by far the easiest, most user friendly site for sales I have found. The support staff is friendly and prompt with their help. The fees are so low that they received a 9 from me. It is only more profitable would be to sell directly in person. I am within one of the first 1000 members to join Bonanza when it first started. While sales tend to come in spurts, it has proved to be the top up and coming venue in my opinion.
About the only problem I've had is with managing items with different shipping rates (books that can use Media Mail as opposed to regular items, for instance) The people who run it are friendly and helpful. I only wish more people knew about it, and that it offered auctions.
A recent decision to change the name from Bonanzle to Bonanza right before the holidays sunk this ship. Holiday shoppers couldn't find me, had to change hundreds of dollars worth of business cards, had to start over on SEO and marketing tactics, etc. Had it not been for that ill-timed and sellers-and-buyers-be-damned decision, I would've scored this site much higher.
I tried selling here for several months after importing 1500 items from eBay. That was messy as the import didn't go well. After trying to fix the listing one by one (bulk wouldn't work) I gave up. After all those months I only sold a few things & the costs were great. But the time keeping it up as well as my eBay store was not so good. Can't do both, so I eventually had to close it down & go back to eBay. I had lots of people pick my items for their fav collections but specializing in railway collectibles proved to not attractive enough buyers on Bonanzle/Bonanza. There just wasn't enough traffic. Maybe in some other area industry segment Bonanza might be useful but not mine as it turned out. I still maintain a page - just in case something changes in the future.
Difficult getting an item listed. Too many steps. And, they dig into your past eBay feedbacks and add them to your Bonanza feedback. These two negatives have been, for many years, erased from eBay's feedback. Where Bonanza found them is amazing to me.
Bonanza is one of the easiest sites to use and navigate. The problem right now is there's very little traffic at this point in it's development. I'm hanging in there right now because I expect this will change as time goes on.
I moved from 1000Markets to Bonanza and it has not been a good transition. I gave it a chance, but it really is not a good replacement for my product. That being said, I think there is some appeal to the site, a very friendly atmosphere, and I have recommended others to check it out when they were interested in selling used items (more similar to ebay). I don't have the disdain that others from 1km have for it, even though it is not for me.
Bonanza is my least favorite place to sell of any place I currently am. I have not really given it a chance even though I've been there 2 years. It is easy to list the initial item but shipping, especially combined shipping, is a nightmare. To get help on the community is also difficult. Tons of people seem to live there and all have to have a dozen points of view each. Then when I contact the admin they are quite curt. I know I'm not a techie. I also don't have time to read 100s of pages of gibberish in hopes some other seller knows what I want. The sales I have there have been good ones but I lose sales because buyers can't figure out the international shipping and I can't contact or invoice them directly. Evidently admin is afraid of fee avoidance which is not what I am trying to do.
They don't do what they say they do. None of my items show up on Google though they say the upload everything regular. They do not promote themselves. Their home page leaves many people I have shown scratching there heads, saying Really? Not enough information on your Booth page, people have to search for shipping, whether you take offers etc. In other words you have to click on the item to see any specifics. Had 18 items listed for 6 months no offers, no questions, nothing. Relisted everything on eBay and sold 14 of 18 the first week.
I don't think there is enough traffic on Bonanza to make selling on it profitable. After being on it for only about two years, I have sold only 5-6 items. I do like the way it imports from eBay, and the people who operate the site are very helpful and usually in a timely manner.
Bonanza has some major drawbacks. They do not advertise for the seller and trying to get support to respond sometimes is like pulling teeth. It has grown so not sure if this has something to do with it. Fees are awesome, which is main reason why I stay. Forums are very clicky and if u do not have time to play games then u are basically out!
I've had several items listed there for more than a year, and not even a question about them even though they are all listed as "Make An Offer". Several have even been featured in the user-generated lists which appear on the homepage. I gave up and listed a couple of the items on eBay, and they sold right away. I don't know what to think about Bonanz(le)a. They just don't seem to have the traffic of some of the other major sites yet. Their communication usually is quite good, but I'm still a little upset I didn't get an email about the NAME CHANGE when it happened. And the URL redirect functions weren't working directly afterwards. I had to use Google to find out what happened.

Sellers Choice
We thank all readers who took the time to rate the marketplaces. If you have comments about the survey results or the survey itself, please feel free to post them in the AuctionBytes Blog.


About the author:

Ina and David Steiner are publishers of EcommerceBytes.com and have been writing about ecommerce since 1999.

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