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Thu Apr 29 2010 09:10:16

Bonanzle Raises $1 Million to Help It Grow

By: Ina Steiner

Sponsored Link

Big news in ecommerce today comes from Bonanzle in Seattle, Washington: "Bonanzle announced this Thursday that it closed a $1 million round of investment, led by Seattle angel investor, and Voyager Capital Venture Partner, Geoff Entress, and with participation from Voyager Capital, Matrix Partners, Ignition Partners, Founders Co-op, Curious Office and other prominent Seattle angel investors. As part of the financing, Entress has joined the Company's board of directors."

Bonanzle has 4 employees, including founder Bill Harding, who said the site has been profitable since last year (this is still a home-based business, as are most of Bonanzle sellers - not a liability in this space). Indications are Bill will hire more developers, and he wants to develop a buyer protection program, but not much was said about marketing plans, other than the company is about to launch a display-ad campaign (no details provided).

As I report in today's Newsflash article about the funding, the lead investor has successfully executed "exit strategies" for some of his investments. Does he see Bonanzle ever going public? Does he have a potential acquirer in mind? It's too early to answer those questions, but the "social" side of Bonanzle is likely the most appealing quality to investors. Social shopping is big, so I would look for features that exploit that capability.




Comments (115) | Permalink

Readers Comments

Bonanzle Raises $1 Million to Help It Grow   Bonanzle Raises $1 Million to Help It Grow

by: Doris Knight

Thu Apr 29 09:26:02 2010

HOORAY! Congratulations to Bill Harding!!

This is fantastic news!!

I hope that more people will start to TAKE ACTION and begin to split their inventory between eBay and Bonanzle.

You don't have to LEAVE eBay, just get your foot in the door at Bonanzle. Just add some listings and give buyers more of a reason to visit the site.

The buyers will follow the sellers! It's true! --- As long as the abused sellers remain at eBay, so will the buyers, and the vicious cycle continues.

But... BUT... if eBay sellers begin to explore other avenues of income, and if eBay sellers begin listing on Bonanzle (even if slowly) the cycle of abuse will eventually be broken, and Bonanzle will begin to grow even further.

Hesitant sellers will see the VALUE of Bonanzle and will be eager to go there...but in the meantime, the trend-setter sellers (and sellers who are willing to forge ahead with new options) are the ones who must get the ball rolling.

I've done it!! Half of my unique inventory is at Bonanzle, and I've duplicated ALL of my listings for items that I have multiple quantities of.

In complete honesty and fairness... my Bonanzle sales are much slower than my eBay sales. But that's okay. It costs me nothing to list and I haven't left eBay. My eBay income still continues (although slow) and I'm risking nothing, but I'm DOING SOMETHING that will (hopefully) benefit me--and everyone--in the long run.

Please join me.

Bonanzle Raises $1 Million to Help It Grow   Bonanzle Raises $1 Million to Help It Grow

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

Thu Apr 29 09:44:30 2010

It HAD to happen. Unlike many other entrepreneurs or people with ''good ideas,''  Bill Harding has an actual, operating, working concept. How nice for the investors to be presented with something that actually is proved to work. It certainly works for ME.

The infusion of the new capital will no doubt transform Bonanzle from being merely a powerful alternative to Ebay into being a formidable presence in the entire personal ecommerce world. Bonanzle is, nearly overnight, moving from a strategy of doing what it CAN with available funds and talent, to doing what is POSSIBLE with greater resources.

With one big exception, everyone's a winner in this scenario. And as to that exception? I'll bet black arm bands are BIG on the bay right now.

Following the money is one thing. Following the SMART money is something else.

Bonanzle Raises $1 Million to Help It Grow   Bonanzle Raises $1 Million to Help It Grow

by: bparkerhouse
Web Site

Thu Apr 29 10:39:57 2010

Congratulations on this recognition of a job well done.  

I sauntered over to Bonanzle 1 1/2 years ago at the prompting of a friend and fellow merchant.  Then as in now, the comraderie and friendliest of the buying and selling experience at Bonanzle is welcoming and intoxicating. Everybody helps everybody through the process of setting up, promoting and best practices for success.  The integrity and dedication to each other is refreshing!  It's just a nice to do business.  

I know this new funding will afford us the opportunity for further growth.  But more importantly, I know this growth will be positive, full of growth potential and never be at the expense of service and commitment to the customers!

It's so nice to see the good guys win!

Way to go boyz!

Bonanzle Raises $1 Million to Help It Grow   Bonanzle Raises $1 Million to Help It Grow

by: Tired

Thu Apr 29 10:46:19 2010

Congrats!!!!!  Let's hope this gets Bonanzle moving faster in it's current direction and they capture more traffic.  I have all of my items listed on eBay, Bonanzle and eBid so all I can hope is that one of them kicks ebay's butt!  Looks like that might be BONANZLE!!! The day one of the other sites pushes beyond eBay in atracking buyers and sellers alike will be a great day for us all!!!  I would love to see Bonanzle be the one to surpass eBay...

GOOD LUCK BILL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Bonanzle Raises $1 Million to Help It Grow   Bonanzle Raises $1 Million to Help It Grow

by: kw

Thu Apr 29 10:54:07 2010

It is indeed great to see the good guys win!

As a buyer and seller my experiences on Bonanzle are second to none so I congratulate the Bonanzle team for making the next push forward.

Bonanzle Raises $1 Million to Help It Grow   Bonanzle Raises $1 Million to Help It Grow

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

Thu Apr 29 11:03:58 2010

We, the "old timers" on Bonanzle, knew we had stumbled upon a good thing when we each, shell shocked and battle weary, found our way over to the ranch.

What a breath of fresh air!
What a welcoming and friendly place!

With it's quirky sense of humor, it's highly supportive community,and the "real people,hands on" leadership of founder Bill Harding, we knew Bonanzle was destined for great things.

Indeed, the Smart Money HAS been with Bonanzle right from the get go.

With over 3 million items listed, that's a sizeable chunk of change in inventory capital outlay that folks have invested.

Not to mention the several million dollars worth of advertising and promoting, all done by the sellers of Bonanzle.

WE knew what the world is only just now about to discover.

There have been many many other selling venues that have tried and failed to become number one in the e-commerce world, but they all had one fatal flaw....self interest.

"The Venue" became more important than the people IN the venue.

Even the Goliath of the selling venue world now finds sellers leaving in droves,searching for greener pastures, peace of mind, and less stress.

Bill and Mark,the rest of the "Boyz & Girlz" that keep the wheels greased, the coffee on & the machines plugged in,as well as  the whole Bonanzle community of sellers and buyers,really care about each other, the venue,the whole concept of what Bonanzle IS.

I'm just a small time niche seller, but I have always felt welcomed, NEVER felt that because I'm not a big time seller, no one cared about anything I had to say.

Can the "big guys" say the same for their sellers?

I think not, and KNOW from experience, that "they" couldn't care less if they tried.


This is the heart and soul of what Bonanzle is...a place where REAL people buy & sell,chat & visit, encourage and commiserate, AND have a heck of a lot of fun in the process.

Didja know?
You can actually chat with the seller in their booth LIVE!
You can actually COMMUNICATE with your seller or buyer, DIRECTLY!

Got a problem?
The only canned responses you'll get here are the ones telling you to hold your horses, a REAL PERSON is going to get back to you in a couple of minutes to help.

Got a question?
Post it on the boards...there's folks who are ready,willing,eager, to help.

Looking for a special something?
Ask on the "wanted" boards...
you'll be astounded at the folks who will point you in the right direction...and it's not necessarily even their stuff they're pointing you to!

Yeah,yeah, we know, commerce is a cut throat world...well, hmmm...maybe that's the whole point...IT DOESN'T HAVE TO BE...remember Miracle on 34th St. ?

Yeah...now you're getting the idea.

Oh of course there's hard business behind the whole concept, but ya know what?

That doesn't mean the sellers & buyers have to get pounded over the head with Draconian rules and regulations, and silliness put in place to  make the powers that be feel important.

NO! at Bonanzle, the concept is simple....

Simplicity rules.

If it aint broke, don't fix it.

If it IS broke,call in the team and pounce on it.

If something turns out to be a bad decision,reverse it,no harm, no foul.

I dunno 'bout y'all, but to me, that sounds like a pretty darn good way to run a railroad,ranch, OR a selling venue.




Bonanzle Raises $1 Million to Help It Grow   Bonanzle Raises $1 Million to Help It Grow

by: fallonthalia
Web Site

Thu Apr 29 11:06:43 2010

Bonanzle is hiring folks.  They just listed ads for 4 jobs.  So, they will be doubling their work force.

It is easy to transfer your eBay items over to Bonanzle.  You get into line when you start the process--I was number 19 when I did it, and it took around an hour for the transport.  That was almost 2 months ago--maybe the way is longer now.  Only live listings transport.  If you have ended listings--they won't go.  It is really easy to load listings too.  I can upload pictures directly from my camera card.

Bonanzle has been growing at a rate of approx. 550 to 800 users a day for the past month and a half.  Most of them are eBayers.

You really get a sense of community at Bonanzle.  If you have questions, go to the forums, and you will get helpful answers (and very quickly).

Bonanzle is still small compared to eBay, but give it time, and you just may be able to find "it" on Bonanzle!

Bonanzle Raises $1 Million to Help It Grow   Bonanzle Raises $1 Million to Help It Grow

by: walker

Thu Apr 29 11:21:20 2010

I am really like Bonanzle alot.  I wish their listing interface was a bit more user friendly and I wish I could select which ebay items to import.  I do mine manually right now because I have to adjust the listing a bit.

I think with some tweaks here and there they can give eBay a run for their money.

I have my business cards printed with ebay on one side and Bonanzle on the other.

Way to Go!

Bonanzle Raises $1 Million to Help It Grow   Bonanzle Raises $1 Million to Help It Grow

by: Steve

Thu Apr 29 11:29:06 2010

CONTRATULATIONS BONANZLE!!!!  Selling on your marketplace is pure pleasure and thank you for treating us so well.

ARE YOU READING EBAY?  From a tiny acorn emerges a mighty oak.   All abused eBay sellers who have ended up on Bonanazle are truly happy to be there.

Bonanzle Raises $1 Million to Help It Grow   Bonanzle Raises $1 Million to Help It Grow

by: MNPID

Thu Apr 29 11:48:22 2010

What a refreshing newsflash to wake up to! I sure do hope eBay is green with envy.

I thing that most refreshes and inspires me about Bonanzle is that as large as they are getting and as quickly as they're growing, you get almost instant personal responses to emails sent to their support team.

The responses are personal, answer the specific questions being asked and problems regarding fraud, counterfeit items, plagiarized works, etc. are addressed in a timely fashion.

Ebay can take some lessons from the "little guy" or ebay will find itself being the little guy to Bonanzle.

Keep up the good work, Bonanzle!

Bonanzle Raises $1 Million to Help It Grow   Bonanzle Raises $1 Million to Help It Grow

by: J.G.

Thu Apr 29 11:57:43 2010

Congratulations, Bonanzle!  I've been a member for a year now and find it's the easiest listing and editing process.  It's also the most attractive of the big alternative sites.

Folks, I want to point something out here.  Forget today's number of eBay listings.  In April 2006, eBay only had 12 to 14 million listings.  In April 2007, 12 to 15 million listings.

These are the numbers we're dealing with -- they were VERY GOOD years for sellers on eBay.

 Bonanzle is at about 1/4 of that now from word of mouth and Google appearances.  They weren't one of the selected 3 that Google blessed, but THEY SELECTED THEMSELVES! And made it happen.  So Bonanzle and eCrater and eBid together are listing about 3/4 of what eBay listed back in 2006-2007.

Puts a little different light on it, doesn't it?

Bonanzle Raises $1 Million to Help It Grow   Bonanzle Raises $1 Million to Help It Grow

by: Patricia This user has validated their user name.

Thu Apr 29 11:58:13 2010

Okay - my take is that Bonanzle needs at least a section with auctions.  Otherwise, very much like Etsy, items sit and stagnate on the site unless tripped over by a buyer.

Bonanzle Raises $1 Million to Help It Grow   Bonanzle Raises $1 Million to Help It Grow

by: kw

Thu Apr 29 12:07:43 2010

@Patricia

It is possible to run an auction from your Bonanzle booth and many sellers do just that.  I wish Bonanzle ran site-wide auctions but items do not simply sit and stagnate.  My Bonanzle sales are comparable to what my ebay sales were only a few months ago ... without the outrageous fees to boot!

Bonanzle Raises $1 Million to Help It Grow   Bonanzle Raises $1 Million to Help It Grow

by: Ebay No More This user has validated their user name.

Thu Apr 29 12:14:03 2010

I recently started selling on Bonanzle with a paid account. I really want them to succeed and I had my first sale. The problem though is the views and traffic are less than I get on Ecrater which is free. On Ecrater with half the inventory I have on Bonanzle I get ten times the views and traffic including much higher sales levels. I want Bonanzle to succeed yet until Google pushes more traffic thru the site it won't be happening.

I contacted Bonanzle's support and asked why my traffic and views were flat they scratched their er uh head and couldn't provide a good answer. They agreed their was a problem but they couldn't provide data on why my Google analytics showed minimal traffic thru the store. Google Analytics doesn't lie and until Bonanzle gets a better relationship with Google this site won't reach it's potential. Adding new venture capital isn't the issue.

Bonanzle Raises $1 Million to Help It Grow   Bonanzle Raises $1 Million to Help It Grow

by: J.G.

Thu Apr 29 12:57:28 2010

First of all, since we're all selling different items, we shouldn't make any broad generalizations about which site is better, Bonanzle or eCrater.  Late last spring I registered on both and in the year, Bonanzle has had more sales.  eCrater may get more views.  In what I'm searching for, a brand name, Bonanzle is always there, as is eCrater, and Atomic Mall, a smaller site but gets good Google exposure.  I don't have enough on eBid and Webstore to judge yet, just started last month.  Bonanzle and eCrater both get 5-10 times the number on the first 2 or 3 pages on Google search AND Google Shopping than eBay ever does -- in my category.

As far as auction vs. no auction, I find that if I list it at a little more than what I want for it, not bottom dollar, and add Best Offer that gives me some security and the buyer some leeway.  I haven't sold alot on Bonanzle, but I have always sold full price asked.  No one has ever 'made an offer.''

Bonanzle Raises $1 Million to Help It Grow   Bonanzle Raises $1 Million to Help It Grow

by: Harriet This user has validated their user name.

Thu Apr 29 12:58:57 2010

Wishing them every success. They have made a tremendous beginning are now listed third under eBay on Power Sellers United. That's quite a coup for such a short time in business.

Bonanzle Raises $1 Million to Help It Grow   Bonanzle Raises $1 Million to Help It Grow

by: Laura

Thu Apr 29 13:14:26 2010

Congradulations Bonanzle! Well deserved for hard working guys. I knew that this was a great opportunity for me when I joined Bonanzle a little over a year ago. There was only one way to go...UP UP and UP again!

Bonanzle Raises $1 Million to Help It Grow   Bonanzle Raises $1 Million to Help It Grow

by: Kathy

Thu Apr 29 13:56:41 2010

AUCTIONS.

We want AUCTIONS.

Bonanzle Raises $1 Million to Help It Grow   Bonanzle Raises $1 Million to Help It Grow

by: old timer

Thu Apr 29 14:01:33 2010

Congratulations to the "boyz"!

Now, sure, $1 million isn't going to make eBay sweat very much.  eBay pees away that much everyday in bad management decisions (or is that in bad management salaries?).  So, although I really like Bonanzle, I think it may be a bit premature to say that this infusion of capital will make Bonanzle the eBay killer.  BUT, it may well be another piece of the puzzle that eventually leads to Bonanzle being a truly strong competitor in a few years.  Which I certainly hope for, so I am very pleased for this infusion to help the "boyz".  One thing I do feel confident about this $1 million: Bonanzle will make a heck of a lot better use of it than eBay ever could.

Bonanzle does not get anywhere near the traffic eBay currently does.  But the traffic trends are nearly reversed.  At least I have some expectation that traffic will continue to increase on Bonanzle whereas I have no faith that JD can look forward to such improvements at eBay.

I have a store (booth) at Bonanzle since last year.  I'm struggling to get sales there like a lot of sellers (just like I am on eBay this year).  BUT, I am having greater success in moving my customers who find me on eBay over to Bonanzle for repeat sales.  That is one of my goals for 2010: use eBay for MY benefit.  Unlike at eBay, I'm at least excited about doing business on Bonanzle.  Rather than expend too much of my energy trying to adapt to eBay's continuing changes and restrictive policies, I'm happy to spend the effort elsewhere and Bonanzle is one of those alternatives.

Bottom line: the infusion should make Bonanzle a better alternative to eBay than it currently is, and that's good news for us poor step-child sellers on eBay.

P.S.  BTW, thank you, JD, for your hallowed "disruptive innovation".  It has helped me broaden my business beyond eBay.  My gratitude to your draconian efforts are directly represented by the shrinking money that I give eBay each month.

Bonanzle Raises $1 Million to Help It Grow   Bonanzle Raises $1 Million to Help It Grow

by: Pat

Thu Apr 29 14:20:48 2010

Bonanzle is a great site with friendly people and terrific customer service.  Traffic is not fantastic and sales have been slow, but it is such a great supportive atmosphere that I wish this site the greatest success.  I tell everyone I know about this site!

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