Relentless Simplicity - The Bonanza Blog

Welcome to the Bonanza Blog! Here you will find all the latest news about our online marketplace, with timely stories about how to get the most out of your selling online and effectively manage your online shop.

Avoid high refund rates: keep your inventory in sync

Keep your inventory in sync
To avoid a high refund rate,
keep your inventory in sync

Hot weather, hot sales, and happy customers

About the only thing hotter than the weather this Summer has been the increase in sales on Bonanza. Whereas a normal Summer means sagging sales, this year has been unique, with sales and GMV surging (and setting new record highs) with every passing month. It is with this backdrop that we know we must be focused on ensuring all of these transactions result in happy buyers and word-of-mouth growth that benefits the entire selling community. 

Keeping out-of-stock refunds to a minimum is essential to that goal. When a customer receives a refund for an out-of-stock purchase, their impression of Bonanza is an unfavorable one. Finding something to buy has an air of excitement that comes with it. When this excitement is dashed by a refund before receiving the item, it creates a negative experience that buyers remember and avoid. Being a collective marketplace means that the refunds of one seller can result in lost sales for other sellers. This is what we seek to avoid as sales keep getting hotter.

Read on to learn more about how we track refund rates and... (continued)


Bonanza's Girl Power

Back in the early days of Bonanza it was just Bill, Jordan and me.  That would help explain why we had so many football, swimwear, and video game hand picked lists on the home page. So long as we had a fridge full of beer and fresh ping pong balls it was all good in the hood. Enter today where the female to male ratio on Bonanza is dead even (yes, Roobie counts). Recently Judy paid a visit to headquarters where this image was taken and I thought it would be fun to share with you. Roobie apologizes for her pose, it was casual Friday. You go Bonanza girls!

 

From L to R; Reilly (Happiness Producer), Judy (Happiness Producer), Kendra (Marketing Maven), Emma (Content Magician), Roobie on Rails (resident princess)

 


The servers, they are a'movin

Our servers will be changing location this evening, starting at 10pm PST. We're aiming to be back online by 4am PST on Wednesday morning.

The servers last saw the light of day in 2011, and they have expressed a great deal of excitement about finally getting to taste fresh air again.

It might not end up being quite as glorious as the server is dreaming it will be.


Now, sellers can buy and print shipping labels from Bonanza

Now you can buy and print labels on Bonanza
"OMG! I've never been so excited about postage!"

Some parts of selling online can feel like “busy work” that takes time and isn’t very fun. For many of us, buying postage is one of those chores. That’s why we’re excited to announce that, starting now, you can buy and print USPS shipping labels without ever leaving Bonanza.

All you need is a standard computer printer to make postage-paid labels in minutes. Just pay for the postage inside Bonanza, print the USPS-approved label, and affix it to your package.

We’ve designed it to be super fast, and super easy - we even mark the order as shipped and and set the tracking number for you. So you can spend less time waiting in line at the post office and more time growing your business.

Where can I find the Bonanza postage-printing feature?

I thought it might be fun to hide it - like an easter egg hunt - but Bill insisted on making it easy to find. (He’s like that.) When you view an order in "Items Sold," you’ll see the new option as “Buy shipping.” It’s located right next to the links you already use to mark items as... (continued)


Christmas in July Now Open for Registration

A booth in motion is a booth that stays in motion. Registration is now open for the Fifth Annual Christmas in July sale!

Legend says that nearly 128 years ago, Santa had a bunch of toys left over (cause everyone was really bad back in the old days) that were causing a riff between him and Mrs Claus.  Mrs Claus had enough of it and threatened Santa with no cookies for dessert unless he cleaned out the workshop.  With his mind set on snickerdoodles, Santa needed to cook up a plan, quick-like.  That is when he shared his story with Buddy the Elf (his trusted 1/2 human 1/2 elf) who suggested that Santa have a mid year sale to liquidate his stock of toys.  Santa applauded Buddy for his slick idea and even promised Buddy that he would eventually introduce Buddy to his real father in New York, in the future of course.  

Today we call this annual event the "Christmas in July" sale and right now is the time to get signed up and get ready.  This community run event is a great opportunity to network with your fellow sellers, get involved, and have some fun!  It is... (continued)


Simple Item Variations Now Live

Happy to announce that one of most requested improvements is now live on Bonanza. Earlier this month we (as in Jordan), launched a new version of item variations, and yeah, they are awesome!

In a nutshell, sellers can now add custom variations to their items, directly via the new/edit item form. Once you select a category, you will see normal trait options. 

Type in your variation.  If it already exists it will show.  If not, click "Enter," and the variation will be added to this single item.

   

If you have multiple colors/multiple sizes, you can just type in "Many Colors" or "Many Sizes" into the field and click enter, and a new option will show so you can add multiple colors and sizes

Now these will show as options for your buyers

You are also able to create trait profiles to use on other listings. Our importers should recognize incoming variations and quantities. Our importers will also recognize various price points on the multiple variations per item.  If you find that to not be the case, please contact our world famous Bonanza Support Team so we can assist.

 

 

 


Background Burner API

After more than two years development in our labs, we've decided it is time to see what can be built out in the wild with the Bonanza Background Burner. Want to use the burner for your project? Check out the quickstart guide, the API reference, or, for website embedding, the burn widget reference. Otherwise, read on to learn the backstory, technical details, and future plans for the Background Burner.

Quest for Conversion


That background isn't helping

Ever since we founded Bonanza back in 2008, one of our guiding principles has been to make more sales for our merchants by maximizing their products' visibility, traffic and sell-through. We’ve created a huge amount of great tools and tech to help achieve those goals, and its been working: our conversion rates have steadily increased every year as a result of our continued efforts.

But when we looked at the differences between our top-selling merchants and those who were struggling, we noticed a clear trend popping up again and again: The top-selling merchants had great product photos (often shot in expensive photo studios), while the others had product photos that were, to put it gently, “meh.”

There are many studies... (continued)


Introducing Boncoin

Since Google Checkout was taken down late last year, we've been spending much time scouring the earth (or at least the Internet) for alternative payment methods for our sellers. Admittedly, progress has been slow. We've made some headway toward finding a partner to help sellers accept payments directly, but this effort has been hampered by our need to have a plan to curtail buyer fraud that could occur if the platform is not carefully implemented.
 
While we wait for the finer details of credit card processing to be ironed out, we need a better option for accepting payments. Today, I'm excited to announce that we will soon launch that option. As of next month, Bonanza will begin processing all payments in our exclusive new cryptocurrency, Boncoin!
 
 
Boncoin builds on the runaway success of its cryptocurrency brethren such as Bitcoin. Unlike Bitcoin, Boncoin can be mined with everything from a computer to an iPhone to a calculator. Unlike Bitcoin, Boncoin has not already caught the attention of government regulators. And, unlike Bitcoin, we made up Boncoin, so its design and implementation can be more special.
 
There are several advantages to Boncoin. Users too frugal... (continued)


Digital Downloads for All

Customize your items with Item Customization
Launching a feature twice, means
we get to celebrate twice!

It’s been just a couple of months since we launched our Digital Downloads feature for Bonanza Platinum Pro merchants. Since then, our seller community has offered some great feedback and made it clear that demand for the feature stretched far beyond our “full-time seller" contingent.

In fact, many sellers said they could move a whole heap of virtual merchandise (you might say, "mega bits") if only the digital sales channel was available to all membership levels. It seems that everybody wants a "byte" of the action.

MyTexasTreasures said: “Would it be possible to offer it to all sellers, but with a higher final value fee which would offset the cost? I can see tremendous potential in this, but would like to see it available to all Bonanza sellers.”

TheHotAttic said: "I can already sell my PDFs on another site without having to pay a monthly fee for any membership."

SunflowerAntics said: "As a buyer, I have purchased MANY times patterns and craft books via this instant download product availability (from other sites). I prefer this over having to WAIT for the paper product in the mail.”

You know what? We... (continued)


Print Shipping Labels, Variation Overhaul, and More

Cheers
Sellers who use Bonanza's advertising program
can sit back and watch the sales roll in!

I cannot believe how long it has been since we have chatted! February 2014 will be a month that we remember for many years to come. The majority of our team were in Hawaii enjoying Freedom February. Contrary to popular belief, it was not all fun and games.  In fact I would be willing to bet that those in Hawaii worked longer hours and pushed more code than they would if they were in Seattle. The only drawback to our team spending most of February on Oahu is that you may see Hawaiian Pidgin used in our content. Be sure to report dat to da support brah.

February produced great sales and the trend is Northbound for March. Why is that? Many reasons. One reason is our new advertising channels we have added for sellers ("Sell on Bonanza > Advertise items"). Sellers can now advertise their items with our award winning ("Awesome Award 2014" by Otto van Polar BearGoogle Shopping feed, TheFind, Nextag, eBay, and Pricegrabber.  That's five quality channels for you to market your items, at no risk and no upfront... (continued)


Bonanza Wins EcommerceBytes Sellers Choice 2014

Customize your items with Item Customization
Bonanza: Celebrating success,
but still workin' like a dog!

Its been about 5 short years since Bonanza opened its doors to our very first customers. If you were around back then, you might have thought we were a little crazy. Why would this young and inexperienced upstart of a marketplace think they could go up against the massive, heavily-funded, heavily-entrenched incumbents like eBay and Amazon?

And you might have been right. It was brazen to think we could compete with the Big Boys, armed only with a handful of quaint principles like "relentless simplicity," "listen to your community," and "maximize value for your customers."

But here we are, so many years later, and still growing in bounds. It seems like the strategy is working.

Having said that, it's still nice to get external validation that we're building something that users love to use. That's why we're super thrilled about being voted #1 Overall Best Marketplace in this year's EcommerceBytes 2014 Sellers Choice survey!

Winner: #1 Best Marketplace, #1 Communication, #1 Recommend to a Friend

Over 12,000 sellers participated in this year's survey, and you made yourselves heard. You voted Bonanza as the top overall marketplace, "Most Recommended" marketplace, and "Best... (continued)


Import and Synchronize your Amazon Products on Bonanza

Today we have launched an Amazon product importer.  Our importer will allow you to import your items from Amazon, and also to synchronize your Amazon inventory on Bonanza. You can access our Amazon importer via the "Sell on Bonanza" link (upper left corner of all Bonanza pages):

Once you are on our Amazon importer page you will see the prompts for importing along with a link to our help page:

This tool is free to use and available to all Bonanza sellers who have a Pro Account on Amazon (Per Amazon API rules). This feature is in beta. If you notice any abnormalities, please email our support team directly at support@bonanza.com or click on the "Contact" link on the bottom of all Bonanza pages to let us know.


New Platinum Feature: Item Personalization

Customize your items with Item Customization
This time, it's personal.

Are you a merchant with lots of sales but not a lot of time to process them all? Our Platinum Pro membership was hand-made for you - and you'll love our latest Platinum feature.

Item Personalization captures your customers' personalized messages, automatically. Right at the time of purchase.

Before now, you've had to send a follow-up email each time you sold a personalizable item. Then you had to wait around for the buyer's response before you could get to work fulfilling the order.

With Item Personalization, you can get the customer's message right from the order and fulfill it immediately, without any additional customer contact. That's a faster turnaround for you and for your customers. Not to mention, less time rummaging around your inbox.

You'll save time whether you sell personalized jewelry, business cards, greeting cards, T-shirts or anything else that buyers can personalize with a custom message.

To learn more and see examples, check out the Item Personalization help pages. For a complete list of other Platinum Pro features including Home Page Featuring, Digital Goods, and Sponsored Search, visit your membership page.

If you have any other ideas for how we can save... (continued)


Real-time Digital Downloads Now Available on Bonanza


Wanna buy my digitally-delivered eBook on how to sell digitally-delivered eBooks? ;-)

What if you could make huge margins? While you sleep? Without having to pack and ship anything at all?

Introducing the brand new Digital Downloads service on Bonanza. Now Bonanza sellers can upload and sell any digital good that can be downloaded and used by buyers [1]. 

What sorts of digital goods? Well, the possibilities are darned near endless. But here are some ideas to get your creative juices flowing:

  • MP3 music
  • Training videos
  • Sewing patterns
  • Recipes
  • Computer software
  • Digital art
  • PDF eBooks

The beauty of digital downloads is that it's a great source of passive income. Once you make the product, it can be sold and downloaded over and over again - without any seller intervention. And it's great for buyers, because they can get the product immediately after purchase. No more waiting around for the delivery truck.

This is a brand new feature [2], so we'll continue to improve and refine it. If you have any feedback for us, please let us know!

Learn how to sell Digital Downloadson the Bonanza help pages. Also, maybe this is common sense, but you must have the legal rights... (continued)


What's the best way to entice shoppers to buy more from your booth?


Just saying "trust me" isn't enough to build buyer trust.

Well, there are many tactics and techniques for increasing conversion and average order value. But none are as simple and as powerful as having a marketplace that's certified by trusted, third-party authorities - and displaying their seals of approval all across the website.

Why is that so powerful? These "trust seals" help buyers feel confident that the site they're buying from is legitimate, established and safe. And it lets them feel secure that if a problem does arise, they'll have a way to get it fixed - or they'll get their money back.

Bonanza is proud to have been certified by various authorities for many years now. Overall, we've seen conversion increase significantly with every certification. Some examples of the certificates that we display all across Bonanza include:

  • VeriSign Trusted
  • Better Business Bureau Accredited Business
  • PayPal Buyer Protection
  • Bonanza Trust Banner (shown only to new visitors)

Each of these partners are trusted authorities with great brand recognition, and each helps buyers feel more confident to open their wallets at your booth.

However, we're very excited to be exploring a new partnership with the Grand Daddy of trusted authorities: the Norton... (continued)


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