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.
Another week, another megafeature launch at Bonanza. This is one we’ve been working on for several months now, based on the belief that it will (slowly) become our #1 or #2 source of buyer traffic.
Banner ad for affiliates
What is it?
Judging by the title of this blog post, it is the Bonanza Affiliates Program!
Affiliate programs are not a new idea. eBay has one. Amazon has one, which is purported to drive up to 40% of their buyer traffic. The basic concept is that if you run a blog, reviews site, or some other web property that generates meaningful traffic, you can turn that traffic into revenue by joining an affiliate program. Ideally, ours.
What makes Bonanza’s Affiliate Program different?
We made a list. But in a nutshell: we pay about twice as much as the “web's most popular affiliate program" (Amazon). And unlike other affiliate programs, we pay the publisher not only in dollars, but in new subscribers to their blog or website.
I’m a Bonanza seller (or prospective seller). What does this mean for me?
More sales. That you don’t have to pay a dime for until we find buyers for you.
One of Bonanza's most requested features is now live and ready for use, direct checkout! Beginning today, sellers who meet the criteria for this feature can now accept credit and debit cards for buyer purchases on Bonanza. Direct checkout will take Bonanza's checkout process from 5 pages and 3-5 minutes (mostly spent waiting for PayPal to load) to 2 pages and under one minute for return buyers. We expect that this increased ease of checkout will drive higher conversion rates, as well as an increase in return customers.
Direct checkout will help pave the way for fun initiatives like allowing shoppers to add an additional item to their order after checkout, or subscribe to getting regular items from sellers. Neither of these ideas will be implemented immediately, but are representative of the increased latitude we now have with direct checkout being live. Direct checkout will allow shoppers from around the world to use a Visa, MasterCard, American Express, or Discover card when they are shopping on Bonanza from sellers who have enabled this payment method, without shoppers being redirected away from Bonanza.
Direct checkout is currently available for sellers who:
Have an active Bonanza selling account with multiple transactions... (continued)
At Bonanza, we work hard to help our sellers be successful. For example, we all know that setting your product images against a white background (instead of your messy garage floor) looks nicer for shoppers and can increase sales conversion. That's why we built and launched our Background Burner tool in 2012 to do exactly that: remove the backgrounds from your product images, automatically.
Our seller community has already made Background Burner a huge success, with millions of product images Burned. But it's always nice to get some "formal" recognition! This week, no less than TIME Magazine recognized Background Burner in its 50 Best Websites of 2014 for being a great service.
If you haven’t tried Background Burner yet, there are two ways to use it:
- Integrated with Bonanza seller tools. While editing any of your product listings, click the "Background Burner" button under the product photo to remove the background.
- As a stand-alone web app. Go to http://www.bonanza.com/background_burner to upload any photo, and even replace the background with a different image. (Also great for Photochopping your buddy Mark.)
We're honored and humbled at this international media recognition.... (continued)
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)
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)
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.
"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)
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)
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.
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)
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)
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 Bear) Google 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: 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)
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 firstname.lastname@example.org or click on the "Contact" link on the bottom of all Bonanza pages to let us know.