AuctionBytes Blog
Covering auctions, collectibles and marketplace selling.

AuctionBytes Blog The AuctionBytes Blog has been giving a voice to online merchants since its launch in 2005. Named one of the world's top 30 blogs in 2008 by "Blogging Heroes." Weigh in with your thoughts on the joys and pitfalls of selling online.
Wed Oct 13 2010 10:49:20

Bonanza Changes the Game with New Specialty Fashion Site

By: Ina Steiner

Sponsored Link

Bonanza (formerly Bonanzle) created a marketplace based on the philosophy of "Find everything but the ordinary," opening its arms to small sellers who embraced the new site when it launched in 2008. Today, Bonanza launched a new specialty site in the fashion vertical - women's handbags. The move is a game changer for the small Seattle company and puts it into an increasingly crowded field that includes private membership sites like Gilt.com and RueLaLa and against ecommerce giants eBay and Amazon.com, which are also putting a priority on the fashion category.

The strategy may be key to fast growth for Bonanza, imperative now that it has raised funding from angel investors. But how founding members of the site will view the move is uncertain. Part of their dissatisfaction with eBay was the way in which it began reinventing itself as more of an Amazon.com than an auction site. Bonanza will walk a fine line in keeping small sellers of unique items satisfied while growing a fashion site appealing to mainstream shoppers.

Bonanza will use listings from its core site to populate Bags Bonanza - which looks more like Macy's than Bonanza, eBay or Etsy. Beyond the design, interface and professionally written content - what really indicates that this is a bold strategy move is the promise of one-day flash sales. They were first made popular by Woot.com but embraced by private-sales fashion sites such as Gilt Groupe.

Chief Product Officer Alex Berg is helping Bonanza founder Bill Harding drive the changes. Alex told me Bonanza will evaluate Bags Bonanza before considering other specialty sites, but I believe women's shoes, home and garden and jewelry will follow next year.

Bonanza's core sellers may have wished it started with a different category when launching a specialty site, such as handmade items, collectibles or books, and one of Bonanza's big challenges will be dealing with counterfeit handbags. Let me know what you think of Bonanza's bold new move.




Comments (43) | Permalink

Readers Comments

Bonanza Changes the Game with New Specialty Fashion Site   Bonanza Changes the Game with New Specialty Fashion Site

by: Rich

Wed Oct 13 11:00:47 2010

Bonanz-who??

Seems like besides not knowing what to call themselves, they're also suffering from an identity crisis.

Bonanza Changes the Game with New Specialty Fashion Site   Bonanza Changes the Game with New Specialty Fashion Site

by: Patricia This user has validated their user name.

Wed Oct 13 11:10:48 2010

I think its doomed.  Unless this site gets its act together and does some serious advertising its going nowhere fast!  Right now the majority of its traffic is sellers who sell on the site.  Sellers who deal in second hand items and handmade items are not really fashion divas.  Long as its seller buying from seller, this site will not advance.  Basically the same is true of Ebay now.  They use coupons and discounts but that only reaches the audience they already have - they have not reached out for new traffic in a long time....and it shows!

Bonanza Changes the Game with New Specialty Fashion Site   Bonanza Changes the Game with New Specialty Fashion Site

by: Patti

Wed Oct 13 11:22:59 2010

I think this is a great feature. Will surely drive more traffic to Bonanza. I think the naysayers are shortsited.

Bonanza Changes the Game with New Specialty Fashion Site   Bonanza Changes the Game with New Specialty Fashion Site

by: Who cares?

Wed Oct 13 11:24:18 2010

Not me - more about eBay. Less about Bananas!

Bonanza Changes the Game with New Specialty Fashion Site   Bonanza Changes the Game with New Specialty Fashion Site

This user has validated their user name. by: TheCheapSkirt
Web Site

Wed Oct 13 11:26:13 2010

It will be interesting to see if giants like eBay can't keep fakes off their site how a site this size will.  Other than the seller Piwykit, I would seriously question the authenticity of most high end items there. I've seen some pretty hideous fakes listed there in the past.

Bonanza Changes the Game with New Specialty Fashion Site   Bonanza Changes the Game with New Specialty Fashion Site

by: notsureaboutthisone

Wed Oct 13 11:37:07 2010

This doesn't fit in at all with their ''Everything But The Ordinary'' slogan. These bags are anything but unique. Same stuff found on eBay and everywhere else.
What Rich said.  They don't know who they are. If they are now going to evolve into Home & Garden and (gasp!) Shoes then they have lost their original concept altogether and will be discounting the collectibles OOAK market they seemed to love.  I hope they're not mirroring EBay on a fast track?

Bonanza Changes the Game with New Specialty Fashion Site   Bonanza Changes the Game with New Specialty Fashion Site

by: GazLanNaThai This user has validated their user name.
Web Site

Wed Oct 13 11:52:39 2010

Thanks for the heads-up Ina

I just took a quick look because the timing was great - we just had new stock that would fit Bags Bonanza to a T (see Website link for this post) ... unfortunately I think their category police have all been arrested themselves.

Just as an example - in their "hobo" category, half the first page are clutch bags, stated as hobo, whilst several are stated as totes - does that make them a totally clutching hobo?.  Some are purses, not bags.  Around half the items are using keyword-spammed titles, including words irrelevant to the product in the picture - the sellers would have been reported and suspended on eBay for some of the titles on there.

Now I'm a bloke, and pretty much a "blokey bloke" at that - maybe that's too British, so for the left-hand side of the pond, it means a man's man - girly stuff is not of interest to me other than as products I can sell ... mmm, ok, girly underwear interests me if on the right female (guilty your honour).  But even I can see all the item title issues in the Bags Bonanza listings.

That said, I couldn't tell a fake Louis Futon from a Versatchel Gecko, but looking at the advertised prices on some of that stuff, I can see why Bonanza went for it first - women who pay that sort of money for a kitchen sink holder, are in a social class that's unaffected by recessions and global depressions - they'll still shop until their husbands drop, and then shop with the life assurance payouts too.

I think comparing it to Macy's is a bit of a misnomer - maybe comparing it to that online footwear site ... the one that made it big via eBay (forgotten its name) ... is probably closer to the mark.

That said, full marks to Bill and team - niche marketing is what the internet is all about nowadays.  If they can attract a new set of regulars that are not already on Bonanza, then great move.  But, if Bags and subsequent niche sites cannibalise the core site of buyers, then not so clever.  Question is, will they be using pro-active marketing of Bags, at the expense of doing so for Bonanza?  They may find a bunch of fee-payers storm off in disgust (clutching their bags to their bosoms as they do so) if that becomes an obvious case.

Bonanza Changes the Game with New Specialty Fashion Site   Bonanza Changes the Game with New Specialty Fashion Site

by: Wake-Up!

Wed Oct 13 11:54:37 2010

Like I said about a year ago: This is just another eBay in the making. It's all about the profits.

Price comparison puts oversea sellers and goods in the lead while killing off Mom and Pop American sellers.

WE CANNOT COMPETE WITH OVERSEAS MANUFACTURERS. It's business as usual in the United States.

The only site that still holds true it's seller AND buyers and continues to offer a fair marketplace has been ECRATER.

Bonanza Changes the Game with New Specialty Fashion Site   Bonanza Changes the Game with New Specialty Fashion Site

by: Barbara
Web Site

Wed Oct 13 11:55:47 2010

Beautifully done.  I wish I sold handbags.  I'm impressed with the layout and the approach.  Although I'm not in this category, I'd be fool not to recognize the potential involved with entering this category.  Yes, it is crowded with competitors.  But, it is also crowded with buyers!  Best of luck to you Bonanza.

Bonanza Changes the Game with New Specialty Fashion Site   Bonanza Changes the Game with New Specialty Fashion Site

by: Jay

Wed Oct 13 12:00:49 2010

Hoss Cartwright is turning in his grave!

Beside, my Ebay sales are picking up after a slow slow year of dismal sales.

I'm actually able to pay the bills again.

Bonanza Changes the Game with New Specialty Fashion Site   Bonanza Changes the Game with New Specialty Fashion Site

by: TrafficFromOutsideBonanza

Wed Oct 13 12:40:20 2010

@Patricia:
re:'' Long as its seller buying from seller, this site will not advance. ''

That opinion gets repeated over and over here, but I don't believe it's true.  My Bonanzle items show up in Google Product Search, and I've noticed that 100% of my sales are NOT likely to be from other Bonanza sellers.  How do I know that?  .. because the buyer's Bonanza ''Member Since'' date is always the same date they purchased from me ... which is their first day on Bonanza ... and their feedback is =0 (meaning they probably aren't even a new Bonanza seller, or they would likely have imported feedback from another site).

I've sold on Bonanzle for approx. 19 months, and average about 100 sales per year there.  I agree that the traffic is not that great compared to ebay, but I can't agree that it doesn't get outside buyer traffic.  Of course there's no way for me to tell, but it wouldn't surprise me if I were to learn that > 80% of Bonanzle sales came from search engine results initiated from outside of their site (based on my experiences described above).

Membership is growing at a fantastic rate, however, it's an unknown to me of how many ''members'' are permanent sellers, and how much of the membership is composed of 1-time buyers who just joined so they could make 1 purchase.

On the negative side, the Bonanza's seller population seems to be rampant with non-business types with too much time on their hands .... the small talk, the chatty nonsense, etc.
That crap should be saved for Facebook & Twitter !    I joined there to sell !!!

The ''My Bonanza'' page wastes space on a dumb ''happening now'' section:
Examples:
''Joe Blow just posted an item'' (who cares ... cheerleading here?)
''Sally Smith just posted in the forums'' (again, who cares? ... out of over 369,347 members,
as I type these comments, how many of them are likely to know Sally?)
What an absolute waste of web page space !!!

End of Rant
: )

Bonanza Changes the Game with New Specialty Fashion Site   Bonanza Changes the Game with New Specialty Fashion Site

by: look around

Wed Oct 13 13:07:13 2010

Great another site to buy those chinese knock offs at.

But wait!!! No advertising No sales.

Back to Ebay.

Bonanza Changes the Game with New Specialty Fashion Site   Bonanza Changes the Game with New Specialty Fashion Site

by: Steve

Wed Oct 13 13:16:34 2010

One of the things I like about selling on  Bonanza is that they treat their sellers with respect. This is something that eBay hasn't done since John Donahoe came on board as CEO.
  I would like to see them advertise.   Ebay started without much advertising and they had explosive growth so the same could happen here.
 And by the way, there are still plenty of fakes on eBay so don't give Bonanaza a hard time for that.  It is hard to police every individual seller.   The sellers of the fakes make it hard on every other seller and I am sure Bonanza doesn't like it any more than sellers do.

Bonanza Changes the Game with New Specialty Fashion Site   Bonanza Changes the Game with New Specialty Fashion Site

by: Patricia This user has validated their user name.

Wed Oct 13 13:23:19 2010

@TrafficFromOutsideBonanza

simply read by: look around's post.  Everyone can see this I'm not just spitting into the wind.
     

Bonanza Changes the Game with New Specialty Fashion Site   Bonanza Changes the Game with New Specialty Fashion Site

by: Patricia This user has validated their user name.

Wed Oct 13 13:25:17 2010

@Steve - " Ebay started without much advertising and they had explosive growth so the same could happen here."  Wrong...Ebay had a media blitz and heavily advertised on radio - at one time it seemed every other commercial was Ebay again.  Then they moved on to TV - remember the guy who bought his wife the same lamp on Ebay that she sold on Ebay???  No, they advertised heavily in the beginning.

Bonanza Changes the Game with New Specialty Fashion Site   Bonanza Changes the Game with New Specialty Fashion Site

by: Pied-Piper

Wed Oct 13 13:39:24 2010

I've been telling B SELLERS', on this forum, for over a year ....
"the day will come when Ownership, has no further use for you."

THE DAY HAS ARRIVED...Congradulations On Being Played.
Only the DUMBEST OF THE DUMB, will continue paying their monthly membership.

Sincerely,
Your Friend
Pied-Piper  

Bonanza Changes the Game with New Specialty Fashion Site   Bonanza Changes the Game with New Specialty Fashion Site

by: Former ebay seller

Wed Oct 13 13:45:46 2010

Another big waste of time and energy by the owners.

Instead of tackling the real issues that the site lacks they continue to come up with terrible ideas that will not bring in buyers and help sellers gain sales.

The owners can tap dance around the problems as long as there are sellers that continue to pad the owners pockets with membership fees.











Bonanza Changes the Game with New Specialty Fashion Site   Bonanza Changes the Game with New Specialty Fashion Site

by: Ebay Pays My Foreclosure

Wed Oct 13 14:00:18 2010

by: Jay
Wed Oct 13 12:00:49 2010
I'm actually able to pay the bills again


Hello Ebay Pays My Bills.

http://tinyurl.com/2bdjuff
http://preview.tinyurl.com/33euoo7
http://tinyurl.com/yzopzlt

ebay_temple
22-Dec-09
I'm the real EPMB
Ebay paid our bills for 9 full years!
All factors combined have led to our demise.
PS: We're putting the house up for sale after the first of the year. . .

ebay_value 24-Sep
A few more like that and I can pay the bills again! ~ LOL

ebay_value 25-Sep
It seems Ebay is coming back to life!
I'm paying my bills again. . .

http://tinyurl.com/2bdjuff
by: Ebay Pays My Bills
Sun Aug 23 2009
The other web sites have NO traffic! NONE!
Ebay's still the only game in town with real ACTION!


Don't you have better things to do than shill for Ebay, and knock Amazon, Bonanza, and any site that is not Ebay?

Bonanza Changes the Game with New Specialty Fashion Site   Bonanza Changes the Game with New Specialty Fashion Site

by: Troglodyte

Wed Oct 13 14:34:56 2010

Looks to me as if all of these corporations received the same corporate espionage report.

In the end, there will be too many sellers chasing after too few high end apparel brands so wholesale prices will increase, discounted retail prices will increase, and knockoffs will flourish even more.

Another losing proposition  for the small seller, IMO.

Bonanza Changes the Game with New Specialty Fashion Site   Bonanza Changes the Game with New Specialty Fashion Site

by: honeybunch

Wed Oct 13 14:41:21 2010

I think it's a good move and nicely done for a first attempt.

Handbag shoppers spend big and spend often.  Catering to their obsession by having a single, go-to place that's formatted to make their shopping experience easier and more enjoyable seems like a good idea to me.  I mean, it's not like those handbags weren't already on Bonanza anyway.

And if some of those handbag shoppers happen to have people on their Christmas lists that want things other than handbags, well, they might just browse the rest of Bonanzle while they're at it.

To that end, I think there is one improvement Bonanza should make.  I think they should have the search bar on the handbag site display a "search the whole Bonanza site" option.  That way, anyone shopping in handbags can search for non-handbag items without having to switch back to the main site first.

As far as advertising goes, well yes, all of the alt sites could stand to do more of it, not just Bonanza.  Taken strictly on its own merits, though, BagsBonanza seems like a good idea to me.  I really think it could lead to better name recognition and more repeat customers.  Well done, Bonanza.

Click to view more comments
1 2 3  [Next Page]


Login is required to post comments.
To sign in to leave a comment using your AB Verify User Name, fill in the form below. If you have not yet signed up for AB Verify, or if you'd like more information, go to the Registration Page
.

Login for AB Verify
Be sure and use your email address and password to log in.

 
Email:
Password:
 
 Forgot Your Password?
 Even though you are signed in with the AuctionBytes Blog, you will have to sign in to the EcommerceBytes blog. But you can sign in with your existing AB Verify info.