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Sellers Choice 2018 Marketplace Ratings: Bonanza

Online Marketplace Bonanza Creates Some Surprising New Tools

5th Place Finisher - EcommerceBytes 2018 Sellers ChoiceBonanza came in 5th place in the 2018 Sellers Choice Awards and picked up another award for Communication. Some readers recommended artisan sellers try it out for listing handmade goods.

In January 2018, EcommerceBytes surveyed over 10,000 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 10 online marketplaces included in the survey.

Bonanza - EcommerceBytes 2018 Sellers Choice for Best Communication



Customer Service:


Ease of Use:

Would you recommend:

Year Established: 2008
Description: Fixed price listings, general merchandise, fashion, collectibles
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Throughout the history of the Sellers Choice Awards, Bonanza has routinely placed among the top five marketplaces overall, this year holding steady at number 5 – the same spot they occupied in 2017. Bonanza’s strength is communicating with its sellers, and in fact, has won the award for “Best Communication” five years running.

Bonanza continues to have devoted sellers, even though it’s most ardent fans acknowledge the site doesn’t get the traffic of larger marketplaces. Profitability is generally the area where Bonanza trails the other top marketplaces, bringing down their overall score. A typical seller comment might read, “I love Bonanza! BUT I have very few sales there, which is a shame.”

A general merchandise platform, some sellers said they would suggest Bonanza for selling handmade goods. “While the site is not handmades-dedicated I still recommend it for handcrafters. Another important feature is that multiple shops can be opened and linked at a central admin panel.”

Sellers urged the site to advertise in order to get more traffic and sales. “The only issue with Bonanza is the lack of good advertising on their part to bring in more buyers. People just don’t know the Bonanza name even though the site has been around for almost 10 years.”

Some said they liked the ability to opt in to Bonanza’s ad program that lets them choose to pay a higher commission fee in exchange for more exposure to their listings (the seller pays the higher rate only if the sale came as a result of the advertising). A few sellers expressed concern that (like most ad programs), they must rely on Bonanza to determine when that happens.

Still, for a marketplace that has been around for half the number of years of other top contenders, it continues to be competitive, while attempting to find the recipe that can take it to the next level.

Bonanza received a 5.13 in Profitability; a 6.19 in Customer Service; a 6.44 in Communication; and a 6.22 in Ease of Use. It received a 6.35 from sellers when asked, “How likely are you to recommend Bonanza as a selling venue to a friend or colleague?”

Reader Comments:The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

I find that Bonanza is one of the easiest selling venues out there. I’ve been a seller since it first begun. I’ve left other selling venues because fees were too high, I didn’t get enough traffic, etc. but I’ve always stuck with Bonanza. When other handmade sellers ask where to sell, I ALWAYS tell them to try Bonanza.

I love almost everything about this site. I just wish I could Scan barcodes to do searches and listings, like eBay. If it had a scan function, I would be able to do a lot more volume, because it cuts down on my listing time.

Bonanza is my favorite place to sell. The low fees are great, and they also give you many tools to promote your items. Bonanza makes it easier to do more complex things like advertise your items on Google Shopping (something that I might not have figured out on my own). I love their advertising program, where they promote your items on your behalf. You pay a fee on a sale related to the amount of advertising used, but Only if you make the sale. Also, their customer service is great!

Bonanza has made great progress recently and is really trying. Their customer service is very good. Very good eBay synchronization with inventory, encourage customer contact (Unlike the new eBay). In my opinion customer contact is a must. Bonanza’s fees are quite high vs return. They are always pushing sellers to spend more when present results are not great. Best alternative to eBay, however.

We love Bonanza’s low fees and great service. We would like to see more buyer traffic and offline listing management

In my opinion, Bonanza get’s the ‘Platform’ right. By that I mean the site is primarily a platform where buyers and sellers can interact with each other, Bonanza does not try to be the middleman in the transaction. They provide sellers better exposure and buyers more options. They value both sellers and buyers and keep the ‘playing field level’. And the selling fees are reasonable. While others sites may generate more traffic, Bonanza IS the best place to buy and sell online.

Bonanza has not given me any issues when I do sell something on Bonanza customers are happy with their product and once in awhile you get a customer that wants a return not a problem so far so good with Bonanza I see great things with Bonanza in the future.

Bonanza is incredibly simple to use and has a lot of features to help sellers on other platforms to get onto Bonanza. The only thing that I feel like the site is lacking is some individual features – such as the ability to have sales or offers such as buy 2 and get 10% off for specific items.

Bonanza does have a lot of potential. I do like the fact that you can pay for your advertising to get yourself on other marketplaces you would not normally get on. If I did not believe in Bonanza I would not be on it this long.

Delighted with the effectiveness of the Amazon import and the ability to keep my inventory in sync. Listing tools for Bonanza only listings I find somewhat awkward, but the balancing factor is that the item does not need to already exist in a catalog.

Very well run site. Fees can be very reasonable. Management for the most part open and honest. The only shortcoming is the low amount of traffic. Bonanza management seems to be focused almost entirely on advertising for their fashion and home good sellers, thus leaving the vast majority of their sellers on their own in attracting new clients. Seems like a short sighted and overly cautious approach. I have believed for years this site could really explode under a well funded and well run public awareness advertising campaign. Everything is in place except the customers.

I like Bonanza for a lot of reasons. Easy to list items and pictures. I also like that listings don’t expire. Customer service could be better if there was phone service like other sites. i wish i made some more sales on here also but i have to say that has been picking up lately.

I have always had a great experience on Bonanza as a seller. They have been prompt to answer an questions or concerns that I have had and help to resolve and issues.

Bonanza originally promised low fees, but the actual fees I pay for what few sales I get are about the same as eBay’s, in the 8-12% range. Service and comm are great, and it’s very easy to leverage off of existing listings, although, I continue to have issues with duplicate ones.

Customer service is a big issue for me. As a seller, I can’t talk to a live person unless I’m paying for a higher tier membership. That is just wrong. Profitability could be better if I didn’t have to pay 19% in selling fees. The BASIC selling fees are supposed to just 3% or so, however, if you want your items shown on Google and other websites you have to pay more. The more you pay the more websites they’ll advertise them on. Things I love about Bonanza: really excellent coverage in Google Shopping, better than ebay provides me for same listings; funky best friend feel.

There is a problem with the synchronization of items between a seller’s eBay inventory & bonanza’s with duplicate listings being generated in error. These dups must be eliminated on a daily basis, which is a colossal waste of time which results in pain in the patoootie. Otherwise I like them.

You should offer discount postage to your sellers without asking for a fee. I also think your market place is not very seller friendly. There’s no way to get your products to the customer without having to advertise.

Bonanza pros – very user friendly site, great customer service, fees are very reasonable Bonanza cons – NO ADVERTISING, lack of any real user base, sales are nonexistent, pushes any kind of advertising solely to the seller in the way of seller purchased advertising (i.e. Turbopacks, seller membership levels etc.)

Despite my paying 9% for additional advertising exposure on Google, Bonanza’s low foot traffic doesn’t appear to support the additional advertising fees. I’ve been very disappointed in my low sales volume compared to previous years when I didn’t have to advertise to try and get more views for my site. Bonanza claims that they don’t charge you the extra 9% advertising fee unless your sale resulted from an advertising promotion. However, it seems like any sale that I do make they automatically tack on a 9% surcharge for advertising. I have no way of knowing whether or not this is true or if the sale would have been made without the advertising. All in all, Bonanza does a pitiful job of advertising its site to the public.

Not as easy to process orders (too many clicks). Reasonable fees. Limited market, just don’t sell much despite having lowest price.

I love Bonanza! BUT I have very few sales there, which is a shame. I hope more sellers will come to Bonanza and bring more buyers with them.

Bonanza is difficult to use and importing from other venue’s is problematic. They import only the one main photo and I’ve had to go there and manually add up to 12 more photos per listing.

Bonanza has a lot of potential. But like e-bay, if you’re not selling a LOT of “cute and cheap” you’re not seeing much traffic. Turbo traffic doesn’t help that, nor does Bonanza’s constant push to sell it.

Site works fine except for printing labels. 3rd party postage vendors do not seem to be able to integrate to them. Very light business even by paying for upgrades.

We started on Bonanza in 2008, liked it and were selling. Then they started charging according to what you wanted to pay for visibility. They never seem to want to make the site known to the general population. We used to sell well, but lately sales there are totally in the dumps.

Great marketplace as long as all you want to do is match your ebay listings. Lack of FTP and text file management is a severe hindrance to growth for us on the marketplace.

Search isn’t easy to find items in their appropriate site. traffic gets easily discouraged, and doesn’t warrant putting time or effort into using it as a seller. if their item search was easier, or listing methods easier, I’d put more effort into using that venue.

Hidden glitches. Bonanza doesn’t promote their site. They want the sellers to do their work. Poor design: too much clicking to finally get to where you need to go.

Generally poor usability, interface, customer service. Woeful sales. Would be more worth the hassle if there was any significant business/traffic there.

Not laid out well, hard to relist items and create listings, no space for variations, often glitches, advertising does not help and not enough site traffic.

Very confusing site for me as a seller. Too many steps in listing process and I never understand how much the fees are as they are hard to remember. Nothing is simple as far as selling on Bonanza and finding info is very hard for me. I just don’t like how anything is set up but I know some changes have been made since I last spent much time trying to do anything with my listings, so I need to try again, I guess. Fees are a bit high as well for lower cost items due to the high automatic minimum sold-item fee in addition to the percentages. Just seems so strangely set up as far as levels go, so maybe that’s why I avoid selling there and have not tried hard lately to do anything on Bonanza.

Sellers Choice Awards:
We thank all readers who took the time to rate the marketplaces. If you have comments about the Sellers Choice Awards, please feel free to post them below.

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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). She is a member of the Online News Association (Sep 2005 - present) and Investigative Reporters and Editors (Mar 2006 - present). Follow her on Twitter at @ecommercebytes and send news tips to ina@ecommercebytes.com. See disclosure at EcommerceBytes.com/disclosure/.