Bonanza is an online marketplace similar to more familiar names like eBay and Etsy. Bonanza claims that they are a platform built for entrepreneurs by entrepreneurs. The idea is to make selling as easy as possible and make the seller the star above the platform itself.
This leads to high levels of satisfaction from sellers and a great shopping experience for customers.
What is Bonanza?
The start up Bonzanza.com appeared 13 years ago. It soon became a big competitor for large marketplaces thanks to its seller-centric nature and the ability to easily customize businesses. Their main goal was to simplify selling for smaller online merchants and help them reach as many buyers as possible. To this day, Bonanza has been growing in popularity, and it's still in competition with many platforms such as Amazon.
Bonanza doesn’t make ‘own label’ products. Amazon often does, if they see a product or seller is highly successful then you will often see Amazon own brand products created to take a slice of that particular market share.
Bonanza promotes the platform itself and doesn't sell competing products in the way Amazon does. For example Amazon tends to reproduce best selling products under their own ‘Amazon Basics’ brand meaning that they can be a competitor as well as the selling platform you use.
There could be a conflict of interests which is something Bonanza avoids - they only operate the platform, they don’t sell ‘own’ brand products. This certainly gives Bonanza an edge over Amazon in that they don’t compete with you.
There are two options for how your store works on Bonanza. Firstly, the booth option - Bonanza refers to your store as a ‘booth’ and this is indicative of how they want the platform to work. Bonanza as a platform is like the shopping mall and your ‘booth’ is like the store contained within the mall.
Bonanza provide the templates and this option is limited but easy to use.
The other option is a webstore, which acts like a department store within the mall. You pay a flat monthly fee with no further selling fees.
You create your own brand, your own store and list your items for sale. You can manipulate and promote your webstore as you see fit.
Differences and unique identities and branding opportunities are not just encouraged, but actively promoted via the webstore.
You'll Find Out From This Section:
- The Biggest Advantages of selling on Bonanza
- What Customer Marketing Tool Is
- What Information You Can Track With Seller Stats Dashboard
- How The Webstores Work
The Biggest Advantages of selling on Bonanza:
- Lower selling fees than most platforms (see pricing below),
- Great Free Customer Support from the Bonanza team via the help center
- Easy to print shipping labels pre-sized so you don’t need to alter them
- Easy access and integration (see getting started) with a very loyal and large affiliate network
- Marketing built-in to make sure you make the most of potential returning customers.
In fact Bonanza spends their marketing budget promoting both the platform and sellers (as opposed to Amazon for example where often the seller is the one who takes care of the promotion of the products).
Since Bonanza promotes sellers over just products, they actively encourage interaction and reporting of customer activity.
Customers can easily message sellers from any product listing - again, this encourages interaction which helps convert sales and promotes return custom.
Other than direct messaging capability they also offer the following really useful tools to turn your sales into sustained and repeat custom:
Customer Marketing Tool
The Customer Marketing Tool was created to give sellers like you the opportunity to turn buyers into repeat customers. You are enabled to view data about your customers and then sort, filter, and save groups of customers based on this data. You can use the data lists to build customized marketing campaigns.
To access the Customer Marketing Tool simply click on the “selling” link on the top of any page.
From there you can customize the tool to make it work best for you. It really is user friendly and simple.
Seller Stats Dashboard
Bonanza provides actionable data that sellers can use to improve their online eCommerce business. The dashboard displays information about product views and even revenue in one easy to manage place .
At a glance you can easily observe product trends and growth patterns. With this information you can better manage your inventory and pricing structure
Bonanza constantly improves their Webstore platform. The Webstore allows you to create your own brand and have a better online presence while managing your inventory through Bonanza. With Webstores, you can introduce buyers from your booth/storefront to the Webstore inventory.
One of the best things about selling on Bonanza is that there are so many ways to curate, run and build your webstore.
Unlike more linear platforms (like Etsy or Amazon) you have greater control over your destiny by being given the tools to make the most of the customers visiting your store.
How much does it cost to sell on Bonanza?
Booth fees are pretty straightforward and very low on Bonanza. Final Offer Value (as explained above) determines how much you will be charged:
FOV under $500 - 3.5%
FOV over $500 - 3.5% plus a flat fee of 1.5% added after the first $500.
If you want to take advantage of the advertising options for extra promotion you can expect to add 9-30% of the FOV to cover these costs.
Other options such as Google Shopping Ads work well and integrate with your store too. Just find what works best for you and your products and pay the appropriate fee that suits your business model.
For Webstores there is no selling fee at all.
You can still choose to use the advertising facilities with the webstore option, but then there is no FOV fee to pay with each purchase if you choose a monthly subscription fee of $25 or an annual fee of $255.
This option is great for those looking to build their brand and manage their own affairs a little more rather than the booth option which is more like an Etsy listing.
Getting started on Bonanza
Getting started on Bonanza is easy. Before comitting you can make use of a 14 day free trial and try it out or directly get started and begin your journey with a few clicks:
1. Sign up on the “start selling” page
2. Choose a name for your booth or webstore
3. Click “open your booth”
4. Enter bank/payment details
5. Enter your personal information
6. Choose to advertise or not through Bonanza (you can change this at anytime)
7. You can also select membership at this stage
8. Go - Get selling!
11 Useful Tips on How to Sell Successfully on Bonanza
Driving traffic to your store is vital, Bonanza suggests four ways to get the traffic you need to convert to sales.
1. Use Webstore Broadcaster. Bonanza has partnered with Google Shopping to make it easy for sellers to publish their Webstore listings on Google Shopping. Details about the Webstore Broadcaster can be found on this page.
In short, the Webstore Broadcaster takes your active Webstore listings and sends them to Google in a way they can understand. Google then takes that information and turns it into product listing ads that buyers can locate on Google Shopping.
2. Get the most of social media: create social media accounts on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest for example. Bonanza provides a very useful guide to Webstore social media strategy. Ensure to post content often and make sure it is image rich and has an engaging copy.
3. Try to rank high! Bonanza will notify search engines via their sitemap when you post content, so make sure to use engaging copy, use lots of useful information, and good quality images.
The better your written information the better your webstore will perform in ranking on search engines and the better visibility you will achieve.
4. Ensure Bonanza is part of your multi channel sales strategy.If you can sell on Ebay or Amazon too, then do it. Make sure you are as widely seen as possible.
5. Make the most of the chat function. It’s pretty rare to have such a direct and immediate link with an online customer - so be sure to respond quickly and with the information requested. You can build personal relationships so easily with this feature - don’t ignore it!
6. Make sure your seller profile is optimised and interesting. This is your best opportunity to sell yourself, not just your products. Tell your customers about your USP’s “Best prices in town” “We ship your goods in record time” etc.
7. Buyers prefer sellers that list their phone number (it gives reassurance and authority that the seller is legit), you don’t have to use your own number, get a free Google Voice account if you prefer.
8. Make sure to carry over any feedback from other channels (like Ebay or Etsy) - good feedback from another channel is great, after all it’s still you selling the same product, just in a different place.
9. Use social media links so people can follow you if they don’t already. Remember to keep your content regular and interesting to attract new customers.
10. Apply all the above where you can to your actual booth. Make sure your shopfront is enticing, looks legit and carries authority in your area. Clean, clear and informative are the buzzwords here.
11. Price, product listing, titles, description and high resolution product photos are key to successful listings.Remember to list your products clearly (remove caps where not required as this affects search engine results and frankly, looks like spam) and be clear about shipping costs!
Is Bonanza safe?
With any lesser known platform, this question is inevitable. But you don’t have to be worried as Bonanza is considered a safe place to both buy and sell goods.
They use the usual third party payment providers (Paypal and Amazon pay are by far the most popular - they also use Stripe) and act much like any other retail platform in this respect.
Simply put, yes. Bonanza is safe and respected. Bonanza is a seller-centric marketplace with fantastic tools to help your growth journey. Trusted by over 40,000 sellers, and with a whopping 22 million products listed, Bonanza is very much legitimate and an exceptional selling place for your goods.
Product Feed Specifications for Bonanza in a Nutshell
You can easily import any listings you already have on Ebay or Amazon with a few clicks.
Using DataFeedWatch can also help you to make sure your listings and advertising all sync up.
Coupled with the fact that Bonanza is a Google partner, it couldn’t be simpler to get started with your product feed listings from pretty much any channel.
Product Feed Requirements to prevent disapproval
If you want the feed creation process to go smoothly without the risk of rejection, there are a few requirements you need to follow:
Your product has to have a title or it will be disapproved, also keep the title basic and describe the product. Don’t add promotional words like “New” or “Best” which don’t go down well with any platforms.
By using a feed management tool like DataFeedWatch, you can optimize your titles by using information that’s already in your feed.
Combine the elements in your feed to end up with something like this:
So if you’re selling clothing your product title could be “Nike Yellow Vintage Sweatshirt”. If you're feeling stuck, you can refer to Google's recommended title structure.
Categories start with a broad product subject like 'Electronics' and then get more and more specific as levels are added. For example, if you're selling laptop computers you're category could be: Electronics > Computers > Laptop
Ideally, you’ll need three levels of category. No Category at all? Disapproval awaits. You can find the whole list of Bonanza categories here. Either look for a broad category, or type in your product to get some suggestions.
We searched for 'speaker', and here are some of the results:
Clicking on the link in the 'Category Traits' column will show you a helpful list of the trait options you have such as condition, country, and brand.
Your images should give shoppers a good feel for your product and make them feel confident about what they're buying. There are things you can do to make them look more attractive, like editing or re-shooting your photos in better lighting.
Source: Bonanza Help Article
Bonanza actually has a feature where you can edit your photos within the platform. You'll be able to make adjustments like cropping, brightness, saturation, and more. But, if you want to remove the background to just show your product then you'll need to use a 3rd-party tool for that.
The image requirements are pretty simple:
- The file size should be 4 megs or less
- Use a jpg, gif, or png format
- Your photos should be appropriate for all audiences
You'll need to choose a pre-defined option for this attribute like 'New', 'Used, 'For parts', etc. depending on the item you're selling. To find what these options are, search for your product on the categories page and click on the link under 'Category Traits'.
For example, these are the condition options when looking at the category 'Shoes':
All of your products will need a GTIN (Global Trade Identity Number). These can come in many variations like UPCs, MPNs, and ISBNs for books.
Need help with? Check out our detailed article on how to find GTINs for your products.
Note: If you're selling handmade items then it's not required.
It's best to include descriptions for all of your products because most feeds require it. It will also help your conversions because your shoppers will have all the details needed to make their purchasing decision.
Put the most important information at the beginning. And just like titles, you don't want to include sales-y language. When using DataFeedWatch you can take elements from your feed and combine them in order to make amazing descriptions. It will look like this:
- Other Categories/Misc.
If Gender, Size or Color is listed, then make sure you complete that field. If your product feeds are vague or incomplete they won’t stack up well against your competitors and could be disapproved.
The good news? Should some of your feed be incomplete, Bonanza will try to fill those fields automatically for you. The best bet is of course, to make sure everything is completed and presented as you would like to see it done.
The fallback option is very useful - if you’ve missed something Bonanza has an inbuilt sense-checker that will try to fill in the gaps for you. This isn’t 100% foolproof, so do check carefully.
Bonanza also offers a useful Batch Editor to help your product feeds meet approval. It’s well worth a look if you have lots to import or are not entirely confident you’ve listed your data correctly.
Optimize your Bonanza product feed with DataFeedWatch
Using a feed management solution like DataFeedWatch will help you automate the process of optimizing your product feed.
Powerful data transformation
First, you can start out with a pre-made feed template that will already contain all the required attributes. Then you can transform your data to meet those requirements and add optional fields for further enhancements.
For example, you can take elements of your product feed and combine them together to make the perfect title or description like shown earlier in this section.
Super easy to use
If you already have a feed mapped and optimized for a channel like Google Shopping, then you can just copy it and use the same one for Bonanza. After that you can make minor adjustments from there, but it will save you time from setting up everything again from scratch.
If you are ever unsure of how to do something, reach out to our support team and get expert help and advice from knowledgeable feed specialists.
Track your data and make adjustments
Part of growing your eCommerce channels is recording your results and making data-driven changes to your feeds. With DataFeedWatch you can track product-level analytics that enables you to do exactly that.
DataFeedWatch always promises perfect feeds, awesome support, and reliability.
Bonanza is a great platform, especially when used as part of your multi-channel sales strategy.
Partnering up with a feed expert like DataFeedWatch is a great way to manage all these different channels and ensuring compliance and good practice are applied across the spectrum.
Bonanza may be small compared to the giants like eBay, Amazon, and even Etsy, but it has its place.
Advantages of Bonanza:
- Customizable reports
- Useful Dashboard
- Easily pull feeds from elsewhere (like Google Shopping)
- Low Prices
It is cost-effective and well worth considering, however, the smaller numbers of visitors mean that this platform is best approached as part of a larger strategy.