EcommerceBytes-Update, Number 387 - February 14, 2016 - ISSN 1528-6703     7 of 12

Sellers Choice 2016 Marketplace Ratings: Bonanza

By Ina & David Steiner

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In January 2016, EcommerceBytes surveyed over 12,000 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 12 online marketplaces included in the survey.


Customer Service:


Ease of Use:

Would you recommend:

Year Established: 2008
Description: Fixed price listings, general merchandise, fashion, collectibles
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Bonanza came in fifth place in the 2016 Sellers Choice Awards for Online Marketplaces. It earned the highest score of any marketplace for Communication. It also earned the distinction of receiving the highest score of all ten marketplaces for recommended marketplace as a selling venue.

As in years past, Bonanza has some enthusiastic sellers who praise the fee structure, customer service, and ease of use. The biggest challenge Bonanza sellers face: not as much traffic as the bigger marketplaces. There were numerous calls for Bonanza to invest in more marketing.

Some sellers said it just wasn't feasible to have a sustainable business on Bonanza exclusively, others seemed to have a "list-it-and-forget-it" approach that they said worked well for them.

Sellers mentioned they liked the community feel and the Bonanza staff. "They are very user friendly and communication with them feels like there one of your friends...we actually see their faces."

While there were positive comments about low fees, a few sellers said the fee structure was complicated for the various options offered. Some sellers said they wished for phone support, and some said shipping was difficult - one seller wished for more integrations with shipping services.

"All features offered by Bonanza are very intuitive and simple to understand and use," wrote one seller. But some sellers pointed to needed features. "You don't have grouped sizes and I have to list each item individually," wrote one seller. "Bonanza's platform is very awkward to use for uploading, changing or importing from other sites," said another. "I think the refund process needs to be overhauled (too confusing/cumbersome)," wrote a third.

But this seller praised the selling tools. "Bonanza lets me run my own business my way. The import tools make it easy to get started, and there are great tools for adding more listings. The Background Burner is awesome, helping my booth look professional. I like the flexibility of being able to choose my advertising options, and their new TurboTraffic sends buyers when I need them. "

Overall, sellers called on Bonanza to get more traffic and shoppers to the site. "Bonanza does not have the traffic like Amazon, but they have the right tools in place and marketing. Their trends are increasing and will big a big dog in the future and that is why I would recommend them."

Bonanza received a 5.18 in Profitability; a 6.08 in Customer Service; a 6.43 in Communication; and a 6.46 in Ease of Use. It received a 6.85 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 have been a member of Bonanza for many years. This year I actually probably made more than I did on eBay. Plus it's a much friendlier site and much easier to use with lower fees.

Bonanza has great ease of use and wonderful customer service.

I love Bonanza, and really think of it as a hidden gem. I wish I had as many sales on this site as Etsy. It's my favorite site to use

Easy to use and customer service very good comparing other marketplaces.

I have had a booth on Bonanza for several years. If there was ever a problem, or a question, I contacted their support and always got the help or explanation I needed to resolve my issue. And, I have encouraged many friends to visit Bonanza. The others who have booths, as well as customers I've dealt with were wonderful! I haven't been on a lot lately, but I intend to go back and revamp my booth. Very satisfied!

Customer service is real and personable. Only getting better. Highly recommend.

Bonanza is a great marketplace to sell with excellent tools to manage your business. There are many options to customize your store and also to promote the products you have for sale according to your goals as a seller. All features offered by Bonanza are very intuitive and simple to understand and use.

I love Bonanza, it's a great creative selling website great customer service.

I first discovered Bonanza about 2 years ago. I like the fact that I do not have to pay a listing fee. And I only have to pay a small percentage after the item sells. I truly believe Bonanza can reach the same level as Amazon or eBay within the next few years.

All Good from Day One! After 7-8 years Still Very Happy.

Experienced positive experience with customer service and I have been operated my booth in Bonanza for over 3 years which bring extra profit to me.

I like this site and have had some sales, although not a lot. I have recommended it to others for both buying and selling. I would like to see more advertising of the site/seller's items to promote sales and growth.

It's a very user friendly site and I've had some mild luck in selling items but I don't think as many people see items on Bonanza as they would on other sites, therefore I haven't sold as much as I would like.

Bonanza is a good site to list things and forget about them, with there only being fees when things sale I don't have to worry about bill upkeep so I can list many things and wait for them to sell without worry.

I love Bonanza - it is super easy to list items and I love the tokens that you can collect to help reduce the fees.

I appreciate the connections between Bonanza and the other selling sites. Hope to see more of this in the future. Haven't seen much as far as sales personally but will keep trying with plug-ins. Will probably continue using Bonanza simply for the Amazon-to-Bonanza-to-eBay link for listings!

Bonanza attracts a wide array of customers and all of my transactions are smooth.

Overall, a great marketplace. It would be nice if they would offer more 3rd party integration tools for order/shipping management.

It's very easy to use Bonanza selling tools. Cheap fee. Great communication with Customer services. It is just a great place to sell.

They are very user friendly and communication with them feels like there one of your friends...we actually see their faces.

I love that Bonanza has no listing fees and seller's fees are reasonable. The reward's points are super and, also, encourage me to check my listings daily.

Very reasonable fee structure, great advertising, great customer service !!

Pricing is fair, but explanation of fees are hard to find on the site.

I love Bonanza. Bonanza's customer service is unparalleled. They address my issues and concerns in a way that is clear to me they understand the issues. Thanks a million for this service.

Great selling marketplace for the following overall reasons: lower fees overall and free store Selling platform easy to use for both seller and buyer. Advertisement available at several levels including pay as you sell. Clear cut rules and policies without lots of seller and buyer conflicts which leads to greater customer satisfaction. Great communication systems /messaging and chat. Technical support response time is quick with very good resolution of problems. Site technology and appearance is updated and current. .

Bonanza has an excellent system for managing inventory.

Ease of use, outstanding customer service, there is a "family" atmosphere about this site.

I love that I can post a listing for free, then leave it there until the item sells, regardless if it's 3 days or 3 years. Same fee, no hassle, no reposting, etc. Easy. I gave them a 9 only because there's always room for improvement, and a 5 on "ease of use" because the more they try to improve, the more "techie" one needs to be, and I'm not.

I am very happy selling on Bonanza. I wish it had more traffic, but as a part time seller I am consistently making sales. I miss the old forum boards and find myself not coming to the website as much without the interaction that we all used to have. It was not only a place for information, but encouragement and motivation. I also wish under reports we could see what items had been looked at during the current day, not having to wait until the next day to determine what the views were for.

Easy to use marketplace and inexpensive fees but a somewhat small buyer base.

Enjoy using Bonanza though it only seems like I make a sale immediately after signing in or refreshing my items - are people only finding me if they're online at the same time?

Bonanza is very easy to use and the staff are very helpful. The only complaint I would have is not enough traffic and sales. If the sales were the same as on eBay, I would be happier!

Wish Bonanza was more visible to buyers as I feel more profits for sellers would be made available. Perhaps more advertising on Bonanza's part would help this site become even a better place to shop or sell.

I love selling on Bonanza you are only charged a fee if you sell something, plus you get to choose the largest percent you can be charged for selling items. I talk about Bonanza to everyone, I will continue to sell on this site! Love Love Love it!

The ease of use and customer service are very good. The main thing lacking is buyers/repeat buyers. Sales are just not robust enough to sustain a business.

This is a great site and I will stick with them as long as they are online. Outstanding customer service the best in the business. Sales are slow but have been picking up A+

I have no issues with the platform or the customer service that I have received. The only reservation that I have about Bonanza is the limited amount of sales and name recognition that Bonanza has.

I'd love to rate Bonanza higher in the profitable question, but the fact is I just don't sell enough there, and I don't make enough to sign up for the "programs" to help you sell more. I'd also like to see Bonanza at least do SOME sort of advertising. Word of mouth is great, but when your nearest competitor has a multi-million base of buyers and sellers, you need to do a bit more.

The service is great, just the sales volume is so low. I've tried the different % commissions (visibility) they offer, but volume is still low after several years selling on this site

Bonanza lets me run my own business my way. The import tools make it easy to get started, and there are great tools for adding more listings. The Background Burner is awesome, helping my booth look professional. I like the flexibility of being able to choose my advertising options, and their new TurboTraffic sends buyers when I need them.

Reasonable and intelligent fee structure (actually realizes that shipping is a real cost to the seller rather than a cash cow to the venue; variable fees for Google exposure levels). Always friendly communication. Although sales have increased, still far below sales on Amazon and eBay.

Bonanza is a wonderful website but traffic is lacking. Setting up the shipping cost for products is rather confusing and somewhat complex to say the least. I am not the only one that feels that way. The site is a lovely site and offers a lot to the seller but Bonanza needs more traffic.

I like how Bonanza's site works. It is easy to use and list your products. I don't get many sales though and I have a couple hundred products listed.

Bonanza needs to find a way to beef up their traffic. Their membership fees are a little high for the traffic to be relatively low. Been selling on Bonanza going on 3 years. Hundreds of products, with very low viewership, and even lower sells. However, the platform has great potential. The customer service is ok. Would love it if they invest in a call in service.

I have been on Bonanza from pretty much the beginning. Very few sales... maybe 2 or 3 a month. The ease of importing from eBay is WONDERFUL. I just want to have more sales!

Bonanza is a great site but needing a large promotional campaign to increase business for its sellers. Given this I would not tell someone to use Bonanza as a place yet to earn any serious income.

Great site and fees. I've had items listed here for over a year that didn't sell and they're all reasonably priced. My listings don't show up in Google Shopping unless I increase my advertising budget to 10%. What I DON'T LIKE, is they say once you increase your advertising budget you can NEVER decrease it in the future. THIS IS TOO LIMITING!! AND HAS BEEN A TURN OFF TO ME!!

Great venue, but their help section leaves a lot to be desired. No scenarios. Dislike the postage system incl. charging 40 cents for every package shipped.

Bonanza is easy to use and fees are not high. It is not very popular though so sales are not that profitable. Have not yet had to deal with customer service for sellers.

The Seller tools are a little difficult to use. The menu is difficult to navigate. Impossible to make changes to tracking after entered. Difficult to deal with Offers. Rarely get any sales. Seller fees are a little high.

I'm not selling as much as I thought I would. I have my prices low, but no sells. I really don't know if I should change venues at the rate I'm going on Bonanza. Now it seems like a waste of time posting. Feeling discouraged!

We want to sell more on Bonanza, the relisting part makes us have duplicate of multiple items. The listing form is very confusing and not clean.

Bonanza does nothing for sellers, no traffic, basic free account sellers have very few of the needed tools that other venues give sellers. Bonanza wants sellers to pay for webstores and memberships that also are just a money grab for them as the benefits are so few since Bonanza does nothing to bring traffic to the site.

Bonanza's platform is very awkward to use for uploading, changing or importing from other sites. They don't show up well in different search engines, even if you are signed up to show in different search engines.

There are quite a few changes that Bonanza need to do to make it an even playing field for all sellers. There are some tools that are not available to everyone this doesn't include the paid services. Communication with sellers has been sliding for quite a while with longer and longer wait times. Some of the tools that Bonanza does offer to sellers need some work on them to make them worth using or of benefit.

Discounts are clumped in together, also no phone given by buyer yet courier companies require it, constantly have to enter cc details to verify account

Ever since the introduction of membership levels "gold, platnium, titainium" my sales as a regular member have all but stopped. Now Bonanza is the same as every one else.

Bonanza's customer service is very good when they respond to my requests. The problem I have is many requests go unanswered. As far as profitability goes, I think Bonanza's sales commissions are too high. I know there is no cost to list and I know there is a sliding scale of advertising you can choose from (I'm paying 16%), but the percentages are still way too high. I list freely on other sites with only a 8% commission. I have to boost my prices on Bonanza to protect my profit margin and that makes the price that consumers have to pay unattractive and that hurts sales. Everyone loses - Bonanza, me, and the buyer. Bonanza should really consider lowering their sales commissions and make their money on volume. It's better to have a bunch of quick nickels rather than a slow dime! The site is very well designed and there's a lot of help available on how to use it. Kudos to the programmers. I think the refund process needs to be overhauled (too confusing/cumbersome).

Bonanza doesn't have a simple faq or differences between selling options. A booth is free with fees, a store is 25, no fees but you can buy add ons etc. All gets complicated and truthfully sales are not steller so they are overpriced. That said sales have picked up and I will be using them more and I am considering a store.

No way to contact customer service without having a paid membership...and by email contact only the response time is horrible. I had to contact PayPal customer service to get a reply to my email from Bonanza's customer service dept. That's not good business.

Bonanza has a "chat link" that is never active . They take up to a week to answer emails and typically the answer is useless. They do provide easy / effective Google Shopping campaigns that achieve results in sales which is the reasoning for online sales.

I used to like the way that Bonanza was set up, and I took a vacation from the site for a bit and when I returned, things were changed, and it is still hard for me to find what I am looking for when I am trying to look at y booth or items. They have also done away with some things like earning tokens by tagging, and that was fun and helped us to sell more things.

Sellers Choice Awards:
We thank all readers who took the time to rate the marketplaces. If you have comments about the survey results or the survey itself, please feel free to post them in the EcommerceBytes Blog.

About the author:

Ina and David Steiner are publishers of and have been writing about ecommerce since 1999.

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