Bill Harding started building Bonanza in 2007 which at launch in 2008 was called Bonanzle but changed name in 2010. Bonanza developed into a seller centric marketplace with no listing fees or monthly store fees – they only charge when you get a sale. Today Bonanza 35 million products with some 50,0000 sellers and users in 199 countries.
One of the problems Bonanza has always faced is getting sales, indeed in response to a welcome message from incoming Vice President of ecommerce, Product Management, Development and Support, Greg Braukus many Bonanza sellers addressed this very issue. It’s fine to have a venue where it’s free to list, but sellers are using it to park products to save listing fees on other sites with sales few and far between.
“Hi, Gregg. I’ve been on Bonanza since Bonanzle. What I’d like to see is Bonanza become a venue where I can make sales instead of just parking my low price items or items that haven’t generated interest on my other two venues. Bonanza has potential…we just need to figure out how to use it to our advantage.”
– vintage-duchess, Bonanza Seller
It’s likely that there are two key issues that need addressing. First is simply not having enough buyers on the site and that’s something that Bonanza themselves need to tackle. From the very early days Bonanza encouraged sellers to drive traffic to their listings but the reality is that on marketplaces sellers don’t want to do this – sellers are happy to drive traffic to their own website but expect marketplaces to attract traffic to their marketplace listings.
According to SimilarWeb, as of January 2020, Bonanza gets 4.859 million visits from 3.345 million unique users. Their global rank is #9,419 and they are ranked #1,971 in the US. As a comparison, Etsy sees 246.2 million visits from 104.8 million unique users with a global rank of #108 and are ranked #37 in the US. The reality is that Bonanza needs a lot more traffic, regardless whether it’s Bonanza or sellers that attract it.
The second issue may be the stock itself. If sellers are parking stock on Bonanza that’s not sold on other marketplaces then much of this stock might be simply unsaleable. On sites such as eBay it’s relatively cheap with a shop to list almost unlimited quantities of product, so why the need to park it on Bonanza? If on the other hand you’re simply not making enough money on eBay to justify the cost of a shop then perhaps the bulk of your products are never going to sell or sell very infrequently and piling Bonanza up with unattractive stock might make sellers feel better but for the overall health of the marketplace it’s not a great move.
In his welcome message (below) Greg Braukus acknowledges years of frustration from sellers and promises to listen and work with sellers to get Bonazle back on it’s original plan – to be a marketplace where buyers can find “Everything but the Ordinary”.
“Hello! Greg Braukus, here. Thank you to all for your warm messages welcoming me to Bonanza, they’re greatly appreciated! As a customer-centric minded individual, I have begun to ask a lot of questions and have asked to see lots of data to understand where/how the plan deviated from our course. One of the most significant elements missing is the direct, on-going feedback from you, our sellers. I’d like to establish an agreement with all of you. If you all regularly provide us with thoughtful, detailed insights (both positive and not so positive), I will consistently share with this group our priorities to improve. In this business, there are no magic wands – only terrific people who are passionate about your businesses, your booths and Bonanza’s long term success.
So, I’d like to ask you to set aside the years of frustration and welcome this opportunity to go forward together desiring the same goal. To lead this effort with you, I have appointed Shelly Breuer as our Seller Happiness Manager. Shelly has been a Bonanzler for over 5 years. She has a great understanding of what it takes for you to be successful and she also knows our business very well. It didn’t take long (15 minutes) to come to the conclusion that her skills would be better served regularly communicating, advocating and working directly for you.
We will be introducing new ways to hear from you over the next few months. As a team, we commit to listening to you, our seller community, and making decisions based on your feedback. I’m happy to be here and to be able to move forward with you all in 2020!”
– Greg Braukus
The traffic is just abyssmal on Bonanza, the search function is not well designed (i.e., when looking for a tableware pattern called Pinecone if the seller types Pine Cone your item will not come up in Search) and the fees are very high, in fact the highest we have ever seen. With the arrival of the new VP and his letter about being commted to improving Bonanza, we have tried listing about 2500 items of inventory on the site. The choice of a $200 USD month Titan Membership or 30% in fees when we cannot see much in the way of traffic or improved site mechanics is still not something we are prepared to deal with. We await the changes the new VP will bring on board.
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