Ina Steiner EcommerceBytes Blog
News and insight focusing on ecommerce.
by Ina Steiner, Editor of EcommerceBytes.com
Thu Aug 30 2012 00:00:53

Bonanza to Help Sellers List Items on eBay and Google

By: Ina Steiner

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The marketplace that barged onto the scene in 2008 as an alternative to eBay and attracted unhappy eBay sellers is now going to help its members sell on eBay.

Bonanza is launching a program to help sellers sell items more quickly than they could do by listing on Bonanza alone - for sellers who are willing to pay a higher commission. It's a bit of a "multichannel selling for dummies" approach, since Bonanza simplifies the process for sellers - and it also removes the risk of upfront CPC (cost-per-click) costs for Google Shopping ads, which will soon no longer be free.

Sellers currently pay Bonanza a 3.5% commission if their item sells. They can continue to do so with no change whatsoever. But with the new "ad program," they can also choose to select a higher commission in order to get exposure on Google Shopping and/or on eBay.

Bonanza uses sellers' own eBay accounts in order to list their items in a 30-day fixed-price listing format. Presumably Bonanza sellers will get charged directly by eBay for the listing fees. Just who bills the seller for the eBay commission fees is murky, and Bonanza charges sellers an additional commission on top of the eBay FVF. (Bonanza alerted us to their blog post on Wednesday evening and did not pre-brief us; it seems sellers commenting on the Bonanza blog have some of the same questions we have.)

Part of the explanation into how the new program works is found in the FAQ, "How is it that Bonanza can be paying to buy me Google Shopping clicks before I've paid Bonanza?"

"This is indeed the major difference between Bonanza and every other advertising platform that we know of.  We have built systems that understand the selling potential of a given item, so we can have our software automatically adjust the cost per click such that the risk is sufficiently low for Bonanza.  That said, there will be many times where we pay for clicks to your items, your items don't sell, and we lose money.  We accept that as a cost of doing business to help us reach our "big hairy audacious goal" (see above).

Those potential losses are justified to us, because we don't think that you want to learn how to calculate the optimal CPC cost for your items, so we're doing away with the complicated stuff and focusing on what matters to you - what percentage of your profits are going to be spent on getting this item sold?"


The FAQs for Bonanza's new ad platform acknowledges that many sellers are disgruntled eBay sellers - one FAQ asks, "Wait, you allow publishing items to eBay? Aren't they the enemy?"

The answer to the question is as follows:

"We understand that many of our sellers have had bad eBay experiences at some point, and there are certainly aspects of the eBay selling experience that leave something to be desired.  But at the end of the day, eBay can often be the fastest way to get an item sold, if you can afford the fees.  For the sellers who are interested in making the most sales possible, publishing their items to eBay while using Bonanza's award-winning UI (all while getting paid advertising handled for them in Google Shopping by Bonanza) is a solution that will probably make a lot of sense."


Founder Bonanza Bill Harding called the new approach a paradigm shift in an effort to drive more sales to sellers' booths.

It appears to be an admission that their merchants' sales are slow, and calls into question just how viable an alternative marketplace Bonanza is.

Comments (66) | Leave Comment | Permalink
Readers Comments

Perminate Link for Bonanza to Help Sellers List Items on eBay and Google   Bonanza to Help Sellers List Items on eBay and Google

This user has validated their user name. by: Rexford

Thu Aug 30 17:18:00 2012

What a sell out and a slap in the face to sellers who left ebay to set up shop on eBay.  Purely pathetic and  desperate.

Perminate Link for Bonanza to Help Sellers List Items on eBay and Google   Bonanza to Help Sellers List Items on eBay and Google

by: Watching the Wheels This user has validated their user name.

Thu Aug 30 17:38:59 2012

So, another venue's gonna bite the dust.

What does one say about a move like this?

Why would a seller want to pay out to 2 sites?

Bonanza showed a bit of promise within my first month or 2 of being on the site. Something went south THEN and has NEVER recovered.

Perminate Link for Bonanza to Help Sellers List Items on eBay and Google   Bonanza to Help Sellers List Items on eBay and Google

by: digger This user has validated their user name.

Thu Aug 30 18:01:50 2012

Why would a seller want to pay out to 2 sites?
-------------------------------
There are many websites that you pay to 'help you sell on eBay' or 'help you sell on Amazon'. Apparently it is a good business. So I guess Bill Harding thinks he can make some money doing the same. But I'm not sure he will add any real extras or benefits for the extra money. It is a sad commentary on the whole Bonanza experience.

Perminate Link for Bonanza to Help Sellers List Items on eBay and Google   Bonanza to Help Sellers List Items on eBay and Google

by: Savvy Thrifter This user has validated their user name.

Thu Aug 30 18:17:54 2012

Can someone explain to me ''why'' on earth would eBay consider buying Bonanza? There is nothing innovative about the site and the pettiness from Bonanza Mark is legendary.

I know of several people who posted less than favorable opinions about the new changes and their booths have been shut down without an explanation.

This is something that happens constantly when people disagree or share honest opinions about Bonanza. I guess the ''truth'' hurts. Instead of trolling their forums maybe they can become more productive and improve their pathetic search function(s) of a myriad of other things wrong with their site.

Bonanza is fast becoming a dry desert with no water in sight! The writing has long been on the wall ... time to move on to your own website if no other viable selling communities exist.

PS There is something I still like about Bonanza ... their real time chat-box and quick-text option ... but not enough to stay given their new direction.

Perminate Link for Bonanza to Help Sellers List Items on eBay and Google   Bonanza to Help Sellers List Items on eBay and Google

by: Digmen1 This user has validated their user name.
Web Site

Thu Aug 30 18:41:03 2012

Yes Bonanza have been paranoid since they started.

They seem to have closed my account with no mention to me (very rude) after I posted in their forum about the latest move.

Their loss not mine, I have my own website.

Perminate Link for Bonanza to Help Sellers List Items on eBay and Google   Bonanza to Help Sellers List Items on eBay and Google

This user has validated their user name. by: tanzi

Thu Aug 30 19:54:37 2012

They just closed up my chat also because I made a comment about the latest changes. Bonanza is pitiful. I feel sorry for the rest of the sellers.  

Perminate Link for Bonanza to Help Sellers List Items on eBay and Google   Bonanza to Help Sellers List Items on eBay and Google

This user has validated their user name. by: permacrisis

Thu Aug 30 19:55:35 2012

@Digmen1

"It also shows that you have to stay private."

Amen- Chisel that into marble and polish it!!!

Perminate Link for Bonanza to Help Sellers List Items on eBay and Google   Bonanza to Help Sellers List Items on eBay and Google

by: Digmen1 This user has validated their user name.
Web Site

Thu Aug 30 20:26:55 2012

A couple of years ago I set up a Wikipedia listing about them to try boost them along.

They got it taken down!

Its an encyclopedia Bill!

All valid information should go into an encyclopedia.

Perminate Link for Bonanza to Help Sellers List Items on eBay and Google   Bonanza to Help Sellers List Items on eBay and Google

This user has validated their user name. by: permacrisis

Thu Aug 30 21:06:02 2012

Shortly after their inception everyone began working to build them up as a destination site. They fought kicking and screaming and put all their eggs in the Google basket. Anonbuyer and Bonzbuyer, the guest buyer program, did fill the coffers short term, but did not cement brand recognition in the mind of the buyer. Now sellers are paying the price.

People who build alts never schwing'ed an item found in a dumpster into a $195.00 Time Ending Soonest bidding war sale. They don't know huw to spot something on top of a pile driving past at 35 mph and something, an indescribable something just says "STOP" and a week later you are looking at a green numeral $97.99 in your My Ebay. They don't have the Eye to spot the Gem. What they do have is a college education and programming skills, same as the people who ruined ebay- and for the same reason: because they won't repect the small seller for his prospector skills, even as the small seller respects (and pays for) the programmer for his programming skills. They actually feel bad and have sympathy for us. We don't need that crap- the damning with faint praise, the patronizing "ums" and "i understands". What we need is for the site owners to LISTEN.

And to you, the grizzled ex-ham radio guy with marginal PERL scripting skills- listen up. When YOU do what we ask, build our auction-only site, and build us what we're used to... we will make you a MILLIONAIRE.

Perminate Link for Bonanza to Help Sellers List Items on eBay and Google   Bonanza to Help Sellers List Items on eBay and Google

by: mazelgirl This user has validated their user name.

Thu Aug 30 21:25:34 2012

It sure looks bad, and it's unfortunate because I'm having a great year over there.  My little booth just continues to do better and better.  I've made every effort to keep some really sought after items in my both, even though I know I could sell them on other sites much faster.  Just figured it would help them(and by extension me) grow.  I know it's just business, but so many people have put a lot into that site..I hope their new found partnership with eBay is regarded as the mistake that it is and these are just ugly rumors.

Perminate Link for Bonanza to Help Sellers List Items on eBay and Google   Bonanza to Help Sellers List Items on eBay and Google

by: Digmen1 This user has validated their user name.
Web Site

Thu Aug 30 21:34:00 2012

@mazegirl.

How can it be a rumour?
Its on their blog!

Perminate Link for Bonanza to Help Sellers List Items on eBay and Google   Bonanza to Help Sellers List Items on eBay and Google

by: mazelgirl This user has validated their user name.

Thu Aug 30 21:49:41 2012

@Digmen1 The rumor is not their partnership with ebay--I read about that on the blog.  The rumor is that the plan is to merge our booths entirely into eBay.  On many days my Bonanza booth gets more traffic then eBay -- I think they are still on the right track. Hope this is not the beginning of the end.  

Perminate Link for Bonanza to Help Sellers List Items on eBay and Google   Bonanza to Help Sellers List Items on eBay and Google

by: JohnGermaine This user has validated their user name.

Thu Aug 30 23:17:04 2012

Where to now?

Perminate Link for Bonanza to Help Sellers List Items on eBay and Google   Bonanza to Help Sellers List Items on eBay and Google

by: adrian44 This user has validated their user name.
Web Site

Thu Aug 30 23:35:10 2012

Where to now?

Excellent question, wish I knew.

Perminate Link for Bonanza to Help Sellers List Items on eBay and Google   Bonanza to Help Sellers List Items on eBay and Google

by: BonzSeller This user has validated their user name.

Thu Aug 30 23:42:57 2012

Oh gees oshun, give it a rest already. Most here know you got kicked off of bonanza, or "strongly" encouraged to leave, yadda yadda yadda.

Anyway, onto an actual comment. I am very disappointed in this latest turn of events but not surprised. I and many others that have been on bonz for a long time have had the thoughts that they were maneuvering themselves to sell out at some point.
No REAL business person in their right mind doesn't advertise his or her own business and the owner of bonz has been rabid about NOT advertising his site. That only says one thing to me, and that's that he is planning on selling it off to a high bidder at some point and the point may have just about been reached.
It would make sense to "slide" it in with it's new owner as a "test drive". I wouldn't be a bit surprised to come to log in some day in the very near future to find the "front doors" locked and the windows covered over.

I heartily agree with Digmen in that they should have done a bit of a conference with some of the people that helped get them where they are today, but then again, we don't own the place.

Running off to some other alternative selling site is not going to make any difference. Google is shutting everyone out. Doesn't matter if you're at Ecrater or any of the others. Either you pay them their blood money or out you go.
But lets look at this "out".
A few have mentioned this and I'll repeat. Most buyers go to google, type in what they're looking for and then go to what ever ad is the most appealing to them through price or what ever. They don't mess with GPS, most probably don't even know it's there to be used in the first place. All this is doing is kicking seller out of a part of their search that doesn't even get very used by most shoppers.

So in my eyes, this really isn't a big deal, at least not yet anyway.

As for paying bonz to list on ebay FOR me, fuhgetaboutit. NOT GONNA HAPPEN

I don't need to pay someone to list auctions when I'm perfectly able to do so myself.

I feel bad for the sellers that are gonna get suckered into paying bonz for all this carp. It's nothing more than a well planned smoke screen covering up their attempts to line their pockets.

If they were serious about building the site, they should have advertised like 2 years ago

Perminate Link for Bonanza to Help Sellers List Items on eBay and Google   Bonanza to Help Sellers List Items on eBay and Google

by: jleach53 This user has validated their user name.
Web Site

Thu Aug 30 23:48:31 2012

@iheartjacksparrow

How are sales at Ecrater?

Perminate Link for Bonanza to Help Sellers List Items on eBay and Google   Bonanza to Help Sellers List Items on eBay and Google

by: comet This user has validated their user name.

Thu Aug 30 23:59:30 2012

Hasn't anyone here ever heard of people who are just praying to make some sort of site that they can't WAIT to sell for billions?

Oh sorry that was FACEBOOK.

And we all saw how well THAT went.

I think that the owners---and I know little about Bonanza itself---just want some easy money--it has a very strong appeal---and to go live in Tahiti next to the Ho and Cheney.  

And really who could blame them?   After spending all their time and money on slaving over the site--no wait---that was the SELLERS job wasn't it?  And coming up with those creative ad campaigns--did you see the one about--no wait that was--not Bonanza either.

I think at this point just about any person willing to ressurecct the "Old Ebay" format circa oh about 2005 could make themselves a BILLIONAIRE in a heart beat just from the disgruntled FORMER ebay sellers.

How come no one HAS done this is one of the great mysteries of the Cosmos to me.

Perminate Link for Bonanza to Help Sellers List Items on eBay and Google   Bonanza to Help Sellers List Items on eBay and Google

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

Fri Aug 31 00:04:08 2012

For all this long time you promo yourself as the next ''paradise'' for sellers and any refugee of eBay. Then one day without notice you are now ready to throw sellers back to eBay.

I don't have nothing against Bonz, but like always said in PSU. It was never good idea to focus to be the next eBay.

Never to forget the following:

Bonanzle Claim To Possess The Soul Of eBay
http://www.pheebay.com/?bonanzle-claim-to-possess-the-soul-of-
ebay-524.html

Long
time ago I said this to other ''new'' owner.

''One recommendation. Please don't make the mistake from some site owners if you have fees you can't let the promotion only to the sellers and Google Product Search.''

http://www.powersellersunite.com/viewtopic.php?t=4013
1&start=0

@iheartjacksparrow, no offense. I sell in eCrater, but it is time people stop the freaking ''cheerleader'' attitude. eBay, Amazon, and the Alternatives (Bonz, Blujay, eCrater, etc) must be seen as tools for sales and not a lifestyle, a party or a religion.

Waooo! I read the following in the blog answers.

''You almost got it right. You pay eBay’s fees, plus a 1.5% fee to Bonanza when a Bonz item sells on eBay. If you like, you can choose to incorporate this 1.5% fee into your eBay listing price, so its essentially “invisible” and you’re just paying the standard eBay fees.''

Something stupid and no sense for any seller using the ''free'' promos from eBay. Anyway now I can understand the idea of eBay to add ads in the sellers listings.  

Perminate Link for Bonanza to Help Sellers List Items on eBay and Google   Bonanza to Help Sellers List Items on eBay and Google

by: renaissancegirl This user has validated their user name.

Fri Aug 31 00:06:03 2012

Been of ecrater for about two months, there are views but no sales. Ebay would be very happy to hear that. They continue to get stronger despite their behavior.  

Perminate Link for Bonanza to Help Sellers List Items on eBay and Google   Bonanza to Help Sellers List Items on eBay and Google

This user has validated their user name. by: iheartjacksparrow

Fri Aug 31 00:30:13 2012

@jleach53 - For me, eCrater is a perfect place to sell. I generally get about one or two sales a day. I don't have the time or energy to ship 10,000 items a week. And I don't advertise or tweet or post Facebook messages about my items. Since eCrater is totally free, you could use the money you would have paid in fees to other sites, to do some advertising to get people to your store.

@elpereles - I'm not a cheerleader and I don't belong to the Church of eCrater. But why spend money on fees when you don't have to. When I started seriously thinking about leaving eBay, most of the messages on Sellers' Central talked about "the Moon" and how great it was there. I agree.

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