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Sellers Choice 2019 Marketplace Ratings: Bonanza

Online Marketplace Bonanza Creates Some Surprising New Tools

Bonanza came in sixth place in the 2019 Sellers Choice Awards, down from 5th place last year. Its lower-costs and flexible model seems to work well for many sellers.

In January 2019, EcommerceBytes surveyed over 13,000 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 11 online marketplaces included in the survey.

Profitability:

Customer Service:

Communication:

Ease of Use:

Would you recommend:

Bonanza
Year Established: 2008
Description: Fixed price listings, general merchandise, fashion, collectibles
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Summary:

Bonanza came in sixth place in the 2019 Sellers Choice Awards. Sellers cited numerous positives about selling on Bonanza: it’s easy to set up and get started – many sellers said they liked the import integration with eBay and Amazon – and they had positive things to say about selling fees overall. Some also cited very good customer support.

“They have always seemed to concentrate on keeping sellers informed, making selling fun (read: less stressful than eBay), and – most importantly – making improvements to the site that benefit sellers and promote more sales opportunities. They rarely make policy changes, and when they do it’s for a good reason.”

However, there were reports of low traffic numbers and low sales, and as in previous years, there were calls for Bonanza to invest more in advertising.

“The vast majority of eyes I get on my items there come from outside search engines and links I’ve provided elsewhere,” a seller noted. Others said they had to pay optional fees in order to get any traffic. “No traffic unless you pay high advertising premiums or bring it yourself,” said one seller.

“Listing doesn’t get much easier than this, customer service is quick and concise,” said another, however, the seller added, “profitability suffers a bit when you pay the extra fee for exposure.”

Additional cons cited by respondents: “clunky” shipping integration; and limited payment options – you can only use PayPal unless you pay for a membership, in which case you can also use Stripe.

One seller said Bonanza needs an off-line listing creation tool that can upload listings to the site. Note that as we reported in December, Bonanza is working on a tool called Spark Lister, which according to the company is an “alternative for sellers to manage their inventory across eBay and Bonanza, now that Turbo Lister is deprecated.” One seller who lists software also called for an API interface.

As with many sites that are viewed as “eBay alternatives,” it may take an investment in time and effort for sellers to see a payoff in traffic and sales, but some are content to use Bonanza as a supplement to their sales on other channels, as they find it easy to use and maintain. “The very low cost of having a basic store coupled with the low maintenance means that additional time/money spent to promote it is worth it.”

Bonanza received a 5.13 in Profitability; a 6.47 in Customer Service; a 6.5 in Communication; and a 6.3 in Ease of Use. It received a 6.63 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

Bonanza is a super great selling site. Ad-free and streamlined for easy buying and selling. No listing fees and low final value fees. Tired of spending profits on high-fee sites.

Bonanza isn’t much to look at, but I do get several thousands of $ worth of orders. Today alone I have over $1500 in sales and its only 9am.

I really like Bonanza’s fee + advertising model. No fees on listing or advertising until you make a sale makes it low risk. I also appreciate the control that they give sellers. Like the Customer Marketing tools, and how you can make commission free sales if you direct the shopper to your store with your own efforts.

I like that they actually have a free plan that is not limited in how many items you can have. I also like that your items from eBay can automatically post there. I only pay when I sell an item unless I have one of their other plans. This is a great place to start for the beginner. It is also easy to create listings and they have calculated shipping.

Love this site as a seller. It does protect the interest of sellers so that we don’t suffer because of unfair customers. Bonanza needs to advertise a lot more as its still below eBay and Amazon when it comes to marketing its products. It does have quality product .

This is a very fair platform to sell. Customer service is excellent!!!

Excellent, user friendly, quick response time, would and have recommended to family and friends. I like the way this selling site interacts with you, encouraging. Thanks Bonanza, keep up the good work!

Bonanza is very excellent with responding with sellers’ questions, and it has been an excellent experience with this selling platform!

Bonanza is my favorite venue to sell. Ideal for my profile as a drop shipper. Buy a membership and reduce fees to a minimum.

Sellers listings are their own. Much easier platform to understand. Seller support is much more understanding. We do need an off-line listing creation tool that can upload listings to the Bonanza site.

I like the daily integration with Amazon Marketplace. Inventory stays perfectly in sync.

Bonanza is easy to use, doesn’t charge high seller fees, doesn’t try to prefill information about products you are listing, and doesn’t overload your inbox with excessive messages. No complaints here!

Been selling on Bonanza since January 2015. It took a while to get established and get my first sale, but eventually it came and I am very satisfied. Choosing my fee structure is a great asset, and getting fee discounts through Bonanza tokens is also great. Still not consistent enough in number of sales to really compete with larger competitors like eBay, but it’s still a great companion site to bring in extra sales. This past Q4 was the best I’ve had on Bonanza yet! I look forward to many more years of selling on Bonanza.

The customer service is good, they’ve replied the email just in 1 day. I’ve earned profit from this site for a year and this is the main place I sell product. About profit, that’s not much but for me now, it’s better than it was before. Many thanks to Bonanza, a great place for seller and buyer. A+++ site.

Great site, sync with eBay is excellent. Not too many sales on this site, but the extra sales are exactly that – extra revenue. Customer service is always very helpful and responsive

Fees are very reasonable and the site itself presents itself well, but I don’t feel Bonanza does enough to draw traffic to its marketplace. Many of my acquaintances have never heard of Bonanza. Also, it would be more convenient if one were able to call when there is a problem rather than to have to wait 24 hours for a response through email. All vendors would benefit with more exposure.

EASE OF USE: I would have rated Bonanza a 10 in ease of use if it was not for the let down leading up to and during the Christmas holiday. However, problems with the doing a sitewide search on Bonanza as well as in individual booths lead to search results lacking and coming up empty. Also, the pages in the booth were jumping on the screen for more than one of us during this time. It happened right at the beginning of the weekend and no one from customer service was around on Bonanza to offer any help until after the weekend. It was such an important time for Christmas sales and I was highly disappointed in Bonanza. I hope next year for Bonanza to up their game in customer service on the weekends and for search results to significantly improve over this coming year. PROFITABILITY: Sales have been much better in 2018 compared to a few years prior. BUT I only had one sale directly from Bonanza, one from Bing, and two from Google.com for 2018. All of my other sales came from Google Shopping, which tells me that Bonanza needs to do something on their end to increase sales within Bonanza. I do credit Bonanza for the profitability due to the slightly lower final value fees and the fact that the tools they give us to make use of sending our listings to Google shopping are excellent like no other site out there.

Bonanza is a good easy site to use and being able to import from eBay is a huge plus, however, after using them for about 5 years now, I’m still only getting about 1 order per day vs 60 on average on eBay. Bonanza has been around awhile and really needs to step their game up… it’s long overdue!

Listing on Bonanza is easy, your items stay listed until they sell or you delete them, and they do not charge a listing fee which is a definite plus. A big downside is that Bonanza does not advertise their site on highly visible venues. And, they only offer one payment option, which is PayPal, unless you pay extra for a membership which allows you to add Stripe. To me, does not make good business sense.

It’s great that they automatically pull from our eBay store. That’s easy. Would prefer a static item ID, they sometimes send a listing ID to papal and sometimes send the SKU. Our system doesn’t know how to interpret the SKU coming over as easily. We could probably do more with this if we paid attention to the feedback and such. We barely have the time or attention to reply to messages. But we get enough sales to make it worth keeping.

While this is an amazing platform to sell your products – the fees can be very high and the amount of customers on the site is very low. Maybe if Bonanza had an app there would be more customers.

I like that Bonanza allows you to import Amazon seller account without having a paid pro seller account. My items rarely sell on Bonanza though, only close to Christmas. Bonanza does not have integrated shipping but usually transfers to my PayPal shipping account which is good

I like Bonanza, but sales and store traffic dropped off extremely by 95% during the Christmas season, which, coincidentally, was the exact same time they promoted a pay $24.95 for 3x more traffic that I did not participate in. I guess I should have paid to be included. Ironically traffic is almost back up to pre-Christmas season levels now in mid-January.

It is very easy and convenient to list items for sale on Bonanza, but my sales are very weak.

Bonanza needs to help sellers become MORE visible to potential buyers.

Even though Bonanza at one time was my go-to venue, it has never grown. It just does not have the traffic, and I have had to expand to other sites which bring more traffic and hence more sales. I would still recommend people use it because it doesn’t charge fees until after you sell an item, so it is worth keeping a booth open.

I love the site and it is very user-friendly, but it is just not profitable for me. I do not do social media, so I am sure that is a major reason, because I cannot promote myself, but I sure wish Bonanza itself would promote itself more, especially if it could just get 1 tv commercial out there, would help a ton to get more exposure. It’s a great site with so much potential. I appreciate any sale I can get on Bonanza.

For the most part it is excellent but you can get duplicate items if you run a sale so it shows the same item at two different prices. There should be a way to prevent that

I do not pay for any upgrades on Bonanza, and as such, I receive only organic searches for my items. Sales have always been rather slow for me on this site.

We have been selling on Bonanza for more than 3 years and the traffic now is so much lower than before. We went from almost 1 order a day with half the listings to now 1-2 orders a month with double the listings. We sell popular products but some issue is cause this reduce in views, traffic and sales.

I believe Bonanza is too focused on form (looking pretty, hip and cool) and too little on functionality (file import process is very slow and always backed up for up to several hours). I also feel Bonanza’s fee structure is too high compared to other competitors. It makes no sense to me why Bonanza would want to charge sellers to drive traffic to their listings when it is in Bonanza’s interest to help sellers sell. Bonanza’s fees are ultimately an obstacle to Bonanza’s own success.

Need to have a better shipping portal for sellers. Should have similar discounts to what eBay offers. We use PayPal to ship all our Bonanza orders, which is a pain.

I have three booths at Bonanza and I rarely make a sale. Since I don’t do social sites I count on the venue to bring me business. Bonanza expects you to bring your own business. They have been saying for years how they are promoting the site…sorry but I have yet to see it. Since I don’t pay for membership, I don’t complain about no traffic and now basically use it as a holding site for items or for items that aren’t quite vintage yet.

Fees are SUPER high. There is little profit to be made. You have to pay thru the nose for extra advertising. If you don’t, you don’t seem to sell at all. Not very happy.

I would like to see Bonanza succeed and I’m doing my part by listing thousands of items on their site. I would like to see them figure other ways to generate traffic rather than their “Turbo Charge” option. My suggestion is that they just get out there and promote the site and charge an appropriate fee when an item is sold. Take the “guess work” out of it for sellers. My biggest issue with them is when I first started with Bonanza I followed their instructions to implement calculated shipping for overseas sales. Then unbeknownst to me they abandoned worldwide calculated shipping. Later I was told they brought it back, but by then I had thousands of listings that I could no longer sell worldwide, and no easy way to make them compliant without doing hours and hours of batch changes. There must be an easier way. Right now I’m losing lots of sales as a result of this problem.

I was selling several items per day until I upgraded to a pro-plan. Sells stopped immediately. I’ve only sold 4 items in nearly a year. Never received an explanation to this “coincidence”. It could be because Bonanza puts links on my listings to other sites, i.e. Walmart, etc. Not happy and will probably just close my Bonanza Booth as it’s not worth me putting in all the work creating my listings on for other sellers and marketplaces to benefit from my hard work. Very disappointed.

I still use Bonanza as my primary selling venue. However, my revenue/sales have never recovered from the change in Google Shopping search results only benefiting paid items. I am not willing to give away items (by accepting exorbitantly high advertising rates, on top of seller fees, on top of PayPal fees) in order to just say I can move my items. This is a side sale for me, not my primary income source.

The site is terrible. Customer service takes days to get back to inquiries. Sales are dismal to nonexistent even with large inventory unless pay huge ad fees. Site is outdated and not easy to use for either sellers to list or buyers to easily find info.

Many times my items have duplicated and resold, leaving me with unhappy buyers. More than 5 times my items imported from eBay at a cheaper price here (like 20% less) and Bonanza CS told me I did it. If it were not for the duplicating, and if it were easier to sort and edit items without having to go to another link, I would have rated much higher.

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.

Ina Steiner on EmailIna Steiner on LinkedinIna Steiner on Twitter
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.