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Bonanza Tests MSRP Pricing Strikethrough Feature

Bonanza founder and CEO Bill Harding confirmed the company tested a new feature after reports came in to EcommerceBytes. “Bonanza is adding higher price next to my asking price and then crossing it out. For example, on one listing, I am asking $57.99, which it says, and then it also says $69.95 with a line through it,” explained a reader.

The seller was concerned about how Bonanza came up with the prices, saying they had never charged those higher prices.

Harding said what the reader had seen was a test. “At any given time we’re usually running at least one, if not multiple, conversion tests on our product pages. It is part of our larger effort to ensure that we are arming our sellers with the best possible tools to maximize their product sell-through.

“In the case of this test, we were looking to determine if the tactic employed by many of our competitors (in particular, Opensky) of allowing sellers to specify an arbitrary higher price as the “MSRP” changes buyer behavior.”

Harding then explained the results of the testing. “After a running the test a couple days last week, we were able to verify our hypothesis that showing a crossed out higher price does not meaningfully impact conversion rate, at which point we concluded this test.”

So how did Bonanza come up with the MSRP pricing? “For the A/B test last week, we roughly estimated the MSRPs using our catalog technology plus Google research. If the test had showed improvement in conversion, we would have worked to give sellers better tools to determine & post the most common MSRP; but we needed to ascertain whether that would be “effort well spent” before building it.”

Since the test didn’t show any meaningful impact, Harding said he chose not to make any changes.

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Ina Steiner
Ina Steiner
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 ina@ecommercebytes.com.