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Bonanza Insider Shares Holiday Season Outlook

Co-founder predicts sales will be up at least 30% on the site.

The holiday season is just around the corner and online sellers are busy making final preparations. This season should be merry for retailers, as online shoppers are projected to spend $96 billion on presents for family, friends and themselves.

That got us wondering how online marketplace sellers would fair during the selling frenzy. To get some insight, we talked to Mark Dorsey, the co-founder of Bonanza, about his projections for this marketplace and its sellers during the holiday season.

Sales expected to rise

The Online Seller: What are your projections for this year’s holiday season, in terms of total number of items sold and revenue generated on Bonanza?

Dorsey: We expect our holiday sales to be a minimum of 30 percent over last year’s same period. Last year, we were up approximately 40-plus percent over the previous year.

The Online Seller: How have Bonanza sellers done so far in 2012?

Dorsey: With our new Google Advertising platform, sales are up over last year’s same period, and the outlook is good.

The Online Seller: What type of products sold best during the holiday season last year on the Bonanza?

Dorsey: Home décor, collectibles, DVDs and movies, books, apparel, jewelry and toys are consistently our more popular categories.

“Make sure your keywords are within the first 70 characters of your title. Google will truncate titles beyond 70 characters”

The Online Seller: Any predictions about what the hot items will be this year on Bonanza?

Dorsey: With the world ending in a couple of months—or so they say—I bet survival kits are going to be huge, not to mention camping gear. After the Armageddon, everyone will need to furnish their new cities, so naturally they will come to Bonanza to shop for all of their unique home décor. I can imagine that shoppers will be scooping up unique collectibles for future generations to enjoy.

Tips to succeed

The Online Seller: What can Bonanza sellers do to have a good selling season this year? How can they attract buyers?

Dorsey: First and foremost, they can format their listings to be search engine friendly.

  1. Make sure that your listings have no missing unique product identifiers (UPC or brand/MPN numbers), if applicable.
  2. Make sure that you have no capitalized titles. All caps in titles are against Google’s publishing policies.
  3. Make sure that your title keywords are within the first 70 characters of your title. Google will truncate titles beyond 70 characters.
  4. Make sure that your titles and descriptions are high quality. Relevant titles and quality descriptions are key. Equally important is to put yourself in the best position possible to realize sales.

Bonanza is the first and only marketplace where a seller can adjust their volume of buyer traffic to their tastes. Want to sell faster? We can broadcast your item all over the Internet. Want to sell cheaper? We can do that, too. Oh, and we’ll cover the costs of advertising your item until it sells.

Full details of this marketplace-first program can be reviewed here. We have also created a help page specific to how sellers can increase their sales on Bonanza. We update this page often, and it is packed with information that can help sellers succeed on Bonanza and on other marketplaces.

The Online Seller: What do you think draws buyers to Bonanza during the holidays?

Dorsey: Our unique inventory of nearly 4 million items that focus on “everything but the ordinary,” combined with our goal to be the most browse-friendly marketplace. We are also very proud of the fact that Bonanza consistently works hard to ensure that, of the 4 million items on our site, we promptly remove counterfeit items and less desirable sellers. Buyers and sellers have consistently recognized our dedication to keeping Bonanza safe and free of the riff-raff and that creates a comfortable environment to shop and also to set up shop.

“We love trying new things, because it helps bring clarity to what our real strengths are”

‘Serendipity engine’

The Online Seller: Anything else you would like to add?

Dorsey: Bonanza recently launched our new-old home page that looks quite familiar to any of our longtime Bonanzlers. This home page update is the first step in a revised strategy that is going to refocus our efforts back on our core strength: everything but the ordinary.

Fashion is certainly an important part of the “everything but the ordinary” equation. But so, too, are crafts, collectibles, home décor and the many other categories that thrive on Bonanza over other marketplaces. In the weeks to come, we will be following this update with others that make Bonanza into the most browse-friendly marketplace.

We want to build an experience that snatches attention at the home page, and then straps the buyer in for a ride through the booths, hand-picked lists and search results that align most perfectly with their interests.

“Serendipity engine” is our internal buzzword for the experience. We will know we have succeeded when you find yourself on Bonanza, wondering what just happened to the last half hour you spent wandering from booth to collection to HPL. We love trying new things, because it helps bring clarity to what our real strengths are. The last year has taught us that our strength is helping sellers of “everything but the ordinary” find their homes here.

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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