EcommerceBytes-Update, Number 304 - February 05, 2012 - ISSN 1528-6703     6 of 18

Sellers Choice 2012 Marketplace Ratings: Bonanza

By Ina & David Steiner

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In January 2012, EcommerceBytes surveyed over 7,200 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.


Profitability:

Customer Service:

Communication:

Ease of Use:

Would you recommend:

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

Summary:
Bonanza came in fourth place in EcommerceBytes Seller's Choice Awards for the second consecutive year, and was listed by 40% of the respondents as a place they have used or are presently selling on. The online marketplace is generally well liked by many of its sellers for a number of reasons, but the majority of respondents, including those who say they love the site, reported low traffic and sales. This despite some sellers specifically mentioning their items show up on Google searches. Quite a number of sellers said Bonanza needs to advertise its site to attract more shoppers.

Many sellers highly complimented the community feel, but there were some complaints about customer service. Some sellers did not like Bonanza's name change from Bonanzle or disagreed with the site's emphasis on fashion - several commented that they wished Bonanza would highlight additional categories on home page to match the original "everything but the ordinary" theme of the site.

Bonanza's new tagging system that allows sellers to earn tokens they can use to save money on their fees was for the most part welcomed. Several respondents said Bonanza's search needed improvement, and one said search results now show up on one long scrolling page, making it frustrating to browse the site.

Sellers rated Bonanza lower in customer service this year (6.47) compared to last year (7.48), but it showed improvement among sellers answering the question, "How likely are you to recommend Bonanza as a selling venue to a friend or colleague?" - 7.5 compared to 6.9 last year. It was the third consecutive year Bonanza made it into the list of the top-four marketplaces.

Reader Comments - The Good, The Bad, The Ugly:
Bonanza is a POSITIVE experience and I do not feel that the seller is a Hostage (as on other sites). All inquiries have been promptly answered and I find the "quirky" demeanor somewhat refreshing.
***
I have enjoyed my experience selling on Bonanza and found it quite profitable for items that suit its atmosphere.
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I like the one page listing editor. I sell fairly consistently on bonanza, but I think they need to steer away from their emphasis on fashion. I feel vintage and collectable items go more with their motto of Everything but the Ordinary. I like that they have a shipping calculator for my items. I have contacted support about problems in the past and never really got a solution. I just work around my problems instead.
***
Bonanza is a great site. Why? Well quite simply it gives you what you want. Low fees, easy checkout options, great customer service, rewards and most of all sales. There's no fear on Bonanza like you have on eBay from buyers trying to scam you or being suspended, limited, paying 20% more in fees just because of a few buyers had low opinions of the sale. eBay wants perfection while Bonanza doesn't have such a tight leash around their sellers and that is exactly what we like. We can offer 5% more off our products on Bonanza verse eBay. Bonanza is all about promoting your own booth and its great because customers come in from Google and our own website has a portal to Bonanza. Just satisfied overall and hope this site keeps growing.
***
I was very unhappy with eBay and looked through several selling sites before settling on Bonanza. I am very happy here and have no plans on leaving. The convenience, ease of listings and customer support are tops and I receive more views on my items here than I ever did on eBay. My sales have also increased due to their Collections program which to my knowledge I do not believe any other sales venue even has.
***
I've been with Bonanza since the early days, selling there feels like family with the other vendors & staff. Now that there is much traffic, and regular sales - you could not ask for a better place to sell!
***
Love this site! Excellent value in terms of the features you receive for the low selling fees you pay, and they have the best customer service of any ecommerce site I've sold on. Sales have grown steadily since I've been using Bonanza, and I look forward to the day it's as profitable as the other larger, more well-known sites!
***
Bonanza has been good for me, fees at 3.5% are more than fair, I would like more purchasers, traffic is good but not fair to blame the venue in this economy. It is a venue for the long haul. Listens to sellers we now have Amazon Payments which has doubled my sales.
***
This is a GREAT site to sell at! It's very easy to use, a nice community of sellers, nice perks, free to list there, very helpful staff. My #1 shop is there, highly recommend Bonanza.
***
The ease of using the site as a seller is pretty good on Bonanza. They have built an outstanding shipping calculator that far exceeds other sites that I have been on or checked out.
***
Bonanza is not very profitable, however it is free to list items for sale, and the fees when an item sells are extremely low. I would not suggest this as the ONLY selling option, but it's definitely one of those to have because it wouldn't hurt.
***
Bonanza is a very seller friendly marketplace. The customer service is top notch. The site is very easy to use and easy for sellers' to list items for sale. The only con is that there is not enough buyer traffic. You have to do your own advertising. It is not a marketplace that you can list and leave it alone to make sales.
***
Bonanza seems to have the best seller experience as far as community goes, but it seems that traffic, awareness, diversification, whatever it is that brings sales, is simply lacking. I would love to use Bonanza for 100% of my online sales, simply because of their seller-friendly atmosphere, but there's no way I can do that because sales are just not happening.
***
I love Bonanza. Their free listing until sold is just fantastic. They give several payment options, so you don't have to deal with Paypal.
***
Sales are very hard to come by. With over 70 listings I sold two items in 2 months. Seems like its all done through Twitter. No tweets, no sales.
***
I love that the fees are low and that makes it much easier to profit. My only problem is drawing enough people in. I would also love to see an easy layout for importing items from a worksheet. It would be wonderful if bonanza would provide an example worksheet that could just be filled in with the items. I would be able to sell thousands more items.
***
Bonanza is a little difficult to get used to, and having to pay for automated services sucks. I would love to have my bonanza inventory automatically sync with our eBay inventory. Sometimes we just don't have time to do this manually. Bonanza has a decent amount of traffic so we're not really sure why our products aren't flying off the shelves here from Bonanza sales. We utilize the same exact strategies for eBay, Amazon, and Bonanza, but we only receive less than 1% of our Amazon sales on Bonanza.
***
Once in the best position to be the next eBay, this site decided to change it's name from Bonanzle to Bonanza just before the Christmas selling season. It did not take into consideration that sellers like me had spent a small fortune on business licenses, business cards, promotional items, etc. I lost my shirt that year with 5 free stores but learned a valuable lesson. If you aren't one of the top 1% in sales, this site is no better than eBay. It listens only to the top 1% and bases it's decisions on their likes and dislikes. I do like the owners though. They are personable and a blast at a party.
***
Bonanza not being able to import ebay auctions unless they are live ebay auctions is very inconvenient to extremes. This part makes things much harder for sellers trying to move their listings from ebay to this Bonanza. Plus Bonanza does not keep similar settings per new auction temp (ebay does) and this also makes things harder to put up auctions. Even though Bonanza is free to list and has cheaper final fees when something sells than ebay, there's not many people here and the listing/importing process is very unappealing that I'm forced to rely on ebay for sales. This is not what I hoped from Bonanza and expect improvement very soon.
***
For all its positives, the biggest negative is lack of sales. The site appears to be for clothing and jewelry exclusively. Any antiques or general merchandise are just an add ons to the site and don't appear to really fit the sites emphasis. 10 sales in 3 years is appalling.
***
Sales at Bonanza have increased slightly for me this past year. Customer service continues to be prompt and effective. Some listing changes have made the process more difficult. The overall appeal of the site is lacking and places too much emphasis on fashion. Bonanza sellers offer many more product lines that get little promotion on the home page. While the Bonanza community seems to be "friendly" , the venue continues to leave marketing and promotion off of its list of priorities. I feel that continuing in this direction will hurt their chances of becoming a household word and a viable alternative to other seller options.
***
There are NO sales to be had on Bonanza unless a seller from that site buys something. It's turned into a fashion website and people that sell handmade crafts or antiques don't have a chance. Management plays favorites and we're not allowed to express ourselves in the forums. If we do, we get suspended. No one ever knows when their account may be suspended or their chat box locked. Bonanza does NOT advertise. Instead they keep adding new games to play to keep the seller on the site all day. Even when sellers leave Bonanza, they're still counted as a member. Customer support is almost non-existent. I wouldn't recommend Bonanza to anyone.
***
I love how the customer service is so personable & really fast to respond to all questions. I have difficulty with the search on the site when searching for items I know are there, but entering pertaining keywords from the title, & keywords about the item.. to try & find it does not show the item in search results..that is the only problem I have with Bonanza..That & having to advertise my own booth to get the traffic there. I wish that part was easier.
***
Best customer service ever, HOWEVER there are a few things needing improvement. Navigation as a Seller is a bit confusing with hard to find features, unless you spend a lot of time on site and ask many question. NO SALES at all. I have no explanation for it but maybe it has to do with the way the site gets exposure? I really wish it produced some income, it could be the best thing that happened to a small seller
***
Bonanza is growing daily! Fresh new ideas in the emarket place. Only drawback is that they do not offer an auction format. Their customer service is fast, friendly, and second to none! While my sales have not been great, they are steadily improving. I would rate this the best ecomerice website going for a flea market and/or new item venue. I have many more positives that I could add, but I will refrain from writing a book! Thank you for the opportunity to express my feelings in your survey.
***
The ease of transferring ebay listings is a no brainer. It's refreshing to have someone appreciate you being there. Fees will change eventually, but for now its a much nicer place to sell.
***
Excellent interaction with the seller. Sales not as high but neither are all the fees. It does however need improvement in regard to making it easier for sellers, especially when listing large numbers of items. Less stress and more control for sellers here, happier sellers make happier buyers IMO and a nicer community all round.
***
I love Bonanza. Of all the sites I use, it's the easiest to use and the most seller friendly. I only wish there were customers there. I don't get many sales on Bonanza despite having my prices lower than any other sites I sell on. I stay there as I'm hopeful it will be come more popular as time goes on.
***
I love Bonanza BUT, there are technical issues never resolved, I have almost 500 items up there so far & get 2000 item views a week, but get minuscule sales. Also, most people keep complaining to me that they try to search MY booth, but Bonanza has their name and search bar really large at top, so people always get taken into the common marketplace instead of looking at MY items... I know that's at least half the reason why I have so few sales & I may actually leave Bonanza as a result.
***
I have a problem with my items getting submitted to google, THEY AREN'T. And the previous attempt to get help from Bonanza didn't give me clear direction , OR, answer my specific questions. I do however like Bonanza as a selling venue, just wish my sites items could've gotten submitted the last 3-4 months.
***
Item specifics are a real problem on Bonanza, since they are required by Google search. I constantly have to ask to have a BRAND added and they have NEVER been added so my items don't show in search. I asked support in Bonanza to just give us the ability to write in our own instead of selecting from a very limited drop down box. But apparently management thinks sellers can't start on the first space putting in the brand name which is utterly ridiculous. For that reason alone it's not worth growing my Bonanza business, most of my items just sit for months with no activity on Bonanza
***
It's a great site, if you like "chatting" and playing games most of the day. Lots of work to make your booth work there, not to mention people can "use" your words or pictures and it's "okay" to do. Lots of "borrowing" goes on there and sold for profit while nothing is done about it.
***
All of my experiences with Bonanza have been excellent. Unfortunately, the name is not well-known because Bonanza does not advertise or help potential buyers to find them. Sellers are expected to promote Bonanza on their own, and there's only so much a seller can do. Everyone hears about and knows Ebay, but Bonanza gets a "what???" when it's mentioned.
***
This is the main site I use now to sell on. I had nothing but good experiences on here when i needed customer service. It was fast and always helpful. It is real easy to list items, I love the communication between the seller and buyer on here. Also the great community of sellers that for the most part all get along and help each other out. If I had to say anything bad is I wish there was more selling traffic that would lead to more sales, which I think is getting better everyday.
***
The low fees (which I do appreciate) make profitability higher when a sale is made, but the low volume of traffic on the site causes a low amount of sales (need more advertising, most people I talk to have never heard of bonanza). The low traffic volume is why I am not as likely to suggest the site to friends as a selling venue.
***
Bonanza is very easy to use. Their communication with sellers is mostly through blogs and forums, but the answers to questions are fast, accurate and honest. The fees are low, although the traffic is slow. It seems to be picking up. I have to admit that I have not been on bonanza very long and only have had 40-60 items listed. I will be adding many more items in the near future to make sure I am giving it a full shot before I make any more decisions.
***
Profitable to sell on if your item sells. Google traffic has tanked in recent months and adding the Google attributes is very confusing for newbies. Site has loads of glitches and management is not adapting well to growing pains. Basic form is easy to list but without new ways of drawing in traffic I am not sure how viable this will be in the long run.

Sellers Choice Awards
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 EcommerceBytes 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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