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.

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)


Seller Survey (Features you want to see on Bonanza)

Two weeks ago we asked Bonanza sellers to help guide us towards making the best possible marketplace in 2014. You responded in record numbers and provided us with some great feedback and let us know exactly what you would like to see happen in 2014. We wanted to share the results with you so you can get an idea of what to expect in the upcoming months. We have included the percentage the feature was voted for so you can get a sense of the most requested enhancements. Not all of the features will be implemented but this gives us a clear idea of what is important to you and we're all about making you happy!

 

Shipping Labels 19%
More Advertising 14%
Better Ability to Bulk List/ Bulk Edit Listings 8%
More Pictures/ Ability to Zoom 7%
Better Booth Analytics (visual) 6%
Auction 6%
More Payment Options/ Pay with Credit Card 6%
More Variables/ Sizing and Color Options on Individual Listings 5%
Better Categories (more concern for handmade items) 5%
Keep Closed Listings Available for Repeat Listings 4%
Offline Editing Tool for Listings 3%
Bonanza-made Templates Available for Listings 2%
More Customizable Booth/ Storefront 2%
Better End of Sale... (continued)


Remove Backgrounds from Images for Free on Bonanza

In 2012 Bonanza became the first online marketplace to provide a tool that allows you to automatically remove backgrounds from your images. Initially we charged a small fee to use this tool but we have now made the Bonanza Background Buner completely free to use. Additionally we have just added the ability for you to resize burned images. With this functionality (resizing images) you can customize your images so they meet the image guidelines for other marketplaces (ie, eBay) you sell on.

 

Background Burn your images for free on every item detail page (where you add images for single listings)

Background Burn your images from the item detail page

Alternatively you can also go to this link, which will take you to our main Background Burner landing page, and you can upload images there.

As Bill mentioned in our last blog, we are continuing to enhance our Background Burner and are also working on "bringing the whole show to mobile platforms" soon. We would love to hear any feedback you have about our Background Burner and sincerely appreciate you letting us know how we can make it better for all.

 

 


Rich Pins from Pinterest are now live on Bonanza

Rich Pins from Pinterest are now live on Bonanza. There is no difference in the way you use this feature on Bonanza. The only difference is that when you Pin an item from Bonanza, it will now include more information about the item when it is pinned on Pinterest. Buyers like more information.  A big thank you to Marsha from MyTexasTreasures for this suggestion and to Eric for programming it! Here are some tips from our dear friend Google, on how to use this feature to your advantage.

  

 

On another note, sales are popping on Bonanza (that means we are having a heavy volume of sales)!  Our support team is bombarded with Bonanza sellers asking the same question over and over, "How can I be a better seller, especially during this high volume sales period?"  So much so that we though we would include a list of the most popular questions your buyers have when they contact support.

When will my item be shipped? Sellers can already provide this information to buyers directly on Bonanza.  Just go to your items sold page, find the transaction and mark it as shipped.  You will be prompted to enter a tracking... (continued)


Preparations for Black Friday and Cyber Monday

It's hard to believe that we are less than 3 weeks away from Cyber Monday and Black Friday.  We have already noticed a steady bump in traffic and sales so all hands on deck!  In keeping with tradition, we would like to announce that we are changing our search algorithm.  Ha!  Just kidding...I crack myself up!  Actually we have been spending quality time the past 2 weeks tending to bugs and improvements on Bonanza, so your buyers (and our sellers) will have the best experience possible.  

The following list is only a summary of recently completed tasks:

  • Make eBay importer smarter for shipping, traits, and categories.  Our importers are getting full programmer love because importing your listings properly will mean less work for you and a more accurate buying experience
  • Make our category guesser and price guesser wicked smart
  • Improve our background burner
  • Enhance our CSV Importer
  • Speed up and enhance search results page.  Make search smarter about number queries
  • Make it so that favorite booths are removed from your profile page when the favorite booth no longer exists
  • Take multiple passes at shopping cart to ensure we are offering the most trouble free cart experience (also decreased checkout steps... (continued)


Improvements to Interpreted Search

I wanted to update everyone on some recent efforts we've made to promote diversity and reduce redundancy in search results. 

Say you wanted to search for "candle" in our old search:

 

They certainly look like candles! But all is not quite as well as it seems. Firstly, many of these results aren't actually candles, but candle holders. The first thing we need to do is figure out if the buyer intended to buy a candle or a candle holder. The second problem is that the likelihood you'll find exactly what you're looking for in these 8 results is extremely low. Instead of settling for arbitrary results (as other marketplaces have always done), we decided to try to come up with something better:

Notice how the results are now separated into groups that help the buyer quickly drill down to find what they're really after. Some of the groups are candle holders, some are candles. Some of the brands are handmade by our sellers ("Soytreasures LLC Candle"), some are major brands ("Yankee Candle"). Suddenly, instead of having a mix of eight arbitrary candles and candle handlers, we are representing more than 800 possible items to browse from our top... (continued)


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