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Marketplace Focus: Bonanza

Site offers a simpler online alternative with a funky 'street fair' vibe.

This is the second article in a series that explores off-eBay marketplaces. In this article, we introduce Bonanza, a marketplace that aims to make buying and selling everything that isn’t “ordinary” easy.

Bonanza is a place for buyers and sellers looking for anything but the ordinary. And when shoppers see the funky vintage items on the marketplace’s homepage, they’ll know they’re in the right spot to find a variety of rare and unique products.

“Shopping Bonanza is like having your best friend hand-pick items for you from your favorite vintage shops and boutiques,” says Bill Harding, Bonanza’s founder and CEO. “Our goal is not just to have everything but the ordinary, but to easily find that needle in the haystack that matches your taste perfectly.”

Harding says he founded the company, originally called Bonanzle, with the goal of building a marketplace that was simpler than any other, where buyers and sellers could interact in a personable way, “like at a street fair.”

Simple, yet robust

Bonanza puts so much emphasis on making buying and selling as easy as possible that Harding says it’s one of the top reasons merchants should consider listing on the marketplace. He says staff obsesses over “the small stuff” to make selling painless.

“We care deeply about providing the best and easiest-to-use tools to manage your store and make your merchandise shine,” Harding notes. “Unlike almost all other marketplaces, which build their sites on top of a generic software platform, Bonanza’s technology was carefully hand-crafted from the ground up. This has allowed us to constantly innovate. [For example], we’ve been the only marketplace with real-time chat built into the store, [and] an image cropper built into the item listing form.

“We believe that these features, like our high powered batch item editor, have set the bar for what sellers now expect from every marketplace,” he continues. “We are happy to play a part in setting these high expectations, because it challenges us to continue to maintain the best experience.”

Harding says Bonanza’s attention to its sellers sets it apart from other, larger marketplaces.

“We take pride in our support experience, and we strive always to stand by the merchant’s side and ensure that their questions are answered promptly, from a real human being,” he adds.

Our goal is connecting passionate merchants with buyers who love their unique inventory

Customizable experience

Setting up an account takes minutes and Bonanza offers a free sales consultation to help new sellers get up and running. Sellers can import items from eBay and Etsy. And all items listed on the site are submitted to Google and Bing when they’re posted to help buyers “discover” them.

Sellers can make their “booths,” as Bonanza calls its stores, as funky and trendy as they want since booths are customizable. And sellers can decide what form of payments they’ll accept: PayPal, Google Checkout, Amazon Payments, cash or a combination of these.

But what sellers might like most is that they only pay selling fees if their items sell.

“You keep about 97 percent of the money,” Harding says.

For items that sell for less than $50, merchants pay a 3.5-percent commission. If an item sells for more than that, they pay $17.50 plus a 1.5-percent commission of the amount over $500.

For buyers, the benefit of visiting Bonanza is that they’ll find great items they couldn’t find elsewhere easily, Harding adds.

“We make it easy to find the perfect item that matches your personality, so even though you’re shopping through millions of items, it feels like you’re shopping through items hand-selected for you,” Harding says.

Reaching buyers

Bonanza has about 20,000 sellers on its site, and gets about 2 million buyers every month. According to the site, it offers more than 3 million products.

To attract buyers, established sellers can offer “freebies,” or free items. Bonanza displays these freebies on its Shop page. While the company doesn’t track statistics on how many sales include freebies, “It’s clear that freebies are one of the more effective ways to grab a buyer’s attention and get them thinking seriously about buying from you,” Harding notes.

Multiple sellers with similar interests and goods can also participate in Rushes, or limited-time sales, to promote their shops. These are also displayed on the Shop page and can prove very profitable.

“Our goal is to bring this discovery experience to life, connecting passionate merchants with buyers who love their unique inventory,” he says.

For more information on Bonanza, visit Bonanza.com.

About the author

Olga Munoz
Olga Munoz is editor of TheOnlineSeller.com. In addition to writing news and feature articles about e-commerce, selling trends, online marketing and other topics of interest to online sellers, Olga manages the site's social media efforts. A journalism graduate of Chico State, Olga says her favorite part of being a journalist is learning interesting facts that help put stories into perspective, attending industry events and meeting interesting people "that leave you smiling, even in tough situations." Opinions expressed here may not be shared by The Online Seller and/or its principals.



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