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.

Did you miss out on our Holiday Workshop?

Don't worry! The Holiday Workshop is still available.

Did you sign up late for Bonanza's Holiday Workshop and miss out on the first few emails? Or - do you have FOMO (fear of missing out) about not signing up for the email series at all? Do you want to increase your sales this holiday season?

If you answered yes to any of those questions, you can still check out our Holiday Workshop articles. They are up on the site and are available for perusing to your heart's content. Here's a brief TL;DR rundown of each article. 

Part 1: Managing Your Brand

Key Takeaways

There are three main places to let your brand shine through your Bonanza booth. Use these locations to maintain a unified brand:

  • Your booth banner
  • Your profile
  • Your item listings

You can also control virtually every aspect of your online brand if you open up a Webstore. You will have a personalized domain, customized sorting options, and plenty more perks.


Part 2: Perfecting Your Item Images

Key Takeaways

Online selling can be trickier than in-person retail because buyers can't physically see your item before they purchase it. But providing amazing, high-quality... (continued)

Introducing: Bonanza's Global Shipping Service

At Bonanza, instead of just sleeping like regular humans, we dream about all of the fancy tricks we can do to make the lives of our sellers (and buyers) easier. We also dream about Swedish Fish, red Starburst, cats with weird haircuts, pugs, and taking over the world.


Re: Taking Over the World

The obvious first step toward taking over the world is to make international shipping seamless and affordable. With this in mind, we’ve partnered with Pitney Bowes to develop a Global Shipping Service. Our goal here is to help our sellers reach more buyers (and make more sales) by expanding their selling opportunities to more than 100 countries around the world.


What’s a Global Shipping Service?

The Global Shipping Service (or GSS to those of us in the know) makes shipping and tracking items to global online shoppers as easy as pie. All costs are calculated upfront, including duties, taxes and shipping fees. These fees are guaranteed in real-time at the checkout by Pitney Bowes, thus eliminating all unforeseen shipping and importation costs: there will never be any surprises for sellers or buyers when items are delivered.


How Do I Sign up for... (continued)

Get your booth ready for the holidays

Set yourself up for selling success.

It's never too early to start planning

The air is still warm, the days are still long, and pumpkin-flavored items are just starting to hit the shelves. It might seem like autumn has barely started, but the holiday season is right around the corner. And that means lots of shoppers are going to be looking for the perfect item to fit their holiday needs. This time of year is traditionally the busiest for online sellers, and it's important to be ready for anything that comes your way this holiday season. So, to help you prepare your online store for the holidays, we've created a Holiday Workshop that's chock-full of online selling secrets and tips to set your booth steps ahead of your competitors.

What is the Bonanza Holiday Workshop?

The Bonanza Holiday Workshopis a three-week email series consisting of six articles dedicated to helping you gear up for the holidays. The workshop was designed as a helpful way to share information with sellers like you. It will feature articles covering a variety of topics, including managing your brand, holiday shipping, customer experience, inventory management, and more. These articles are part of our Seller Success Program, where we aim to... (continued)

Becoming a Bonanza Top Rated Seller

Dedicated online sellers know that consistently providing excellent customer service is a crucial element of growing an online business. At Bonanza, we work hard to build a shopping environment that instills confidence in buyers, and we want to reward sellers who help foster that environment of trust.

Introducing: Bonanza Top Rated Sellers 

Many of you have already noticed our Top Rated Seller badge on select Bonanza listings and profiles. These badges have been awarded as recognition to sellers who consistently earn high ratings from buyers, thanks to fast shipping and excellent service. 

Going forward, Bonanza sellers who meet and maintain the performance standards outlined below will enjoy having this badge visible on their profile banner, as well as on their booth homepage, item listing pages, and thumbnail pictures. This badge will help you rake in more sales by instilling confidence in shoppers.

To achieve and maintain Bonanza Top Rated Seller status, you must meet these requirements and performance standards:

  • Maintain a minimum of 98% positive feedback
  • Be an active member on Bonanza for at least 90 days
  • Have 25+ transactions with US buyers within 1 year
  • Have a minimum of $250 in annual sales
  • Have a refund rate lower than... (continued)

Crafting Your Own Customized Marketing Campaigns

Good morning, good day, or good evening, depending on where in the world this blog post is reaching you. You might recall our previous blog post about the new Customer Marketing Tool that’s kicking ass and taking names - literally*. With this tool, you can access the usernames and purchasing history of your past customers, and use this data to craft personalized marketing campaigns that will encourage repeat buyers.

So, how exactly do you craft these personalized marketing campaigns? Lucky for you, I chatted up some of our programmers and found out exactly how sellers like you can make the most out of this feature.

Creating a Marketing Campaign

This week we launched the Marketing Campaign aspect of the Customer Marketing Tool. There are many benefits to using this tool. Here are a couple ideas on how to use this tool to build your business and create memorable customer experiences:

  • Offer a discount to buyers who have left negative feedback in an attempt to turn their experience into a positive one.
  • Offer targeted discounts on specific items to buyers who have bought similar items in the past.
  • Design and create your own customer loyalty program.

Now that we're feeling creative,... (continued)

Using Customer Data to Build Your Business

Hey everyone! Grace here. I'm a member of Bonanza's Communications Team. You might recognize my name from the Spotlight Series we ran last week in celebration of Bonanza's anniversary.

What Spotlight Series?? Check out all the details here >>

Customer Data: Essential for Encouraging Repeat Buyers

Most marketplaces like Amazon or eBay focus exclusively on promoting their brand to buyers. Amazon buyers rarely know which seller their product came from. As a result, customer loyalty is tied to the marketplace, not the specific seller.

Not only that, but these larger marketplaces don’t provide sellers with buyer information, so there is no opportunity for sellers to develop individual rapport with their customers. Without this personal connection, your success on these marketplaces is based on price, and price alone. Once a competitor gets your product at the same or better price, you become obsolete.

At Bonanza, our approach is different. As a seller-focused marketplace, we’re always looking for new ways to empower entrepreneurs to build a strong, lasting brand and create meaningful relationships with their customers.

I'm excited to share a new tool with you that is literally going to change your life. Seriously. "Yeah, sure. Okay, Grace," you say, rolling your... (continued)

Bonanza's 8th Anniversary: Recap

Our anniversary week has come to a close. Thank you for celebrating with us! We are very grateful to have such a loyal and supportive community here at Bonanza.

Did you miss out on on any of our Seller or Staff Spotlights this week? Lucky for you, we've got 'em all here.




              Reilly O'Connor                    James Spence                  Anna Piechowski                       Bill Harding              

West Ninth Vintage          Frog & Bear Creations    American Antique Hardware          DiVASHACK      


Thank you to those of you who participated in our Facebook scavenger hunt! It was a treat to see all the unique items you found on Bonanza. The winners are My Texas Treasures, Louise's Luxuries, and ccmom. Be sure to wish them congratulations!

Our mission is to empower entrepreneurs to build their dream businesses, while eliminating busywork. In the words of our fearless leader,... (continued)

Staff Spotlight Series: Bill Harding

Name: Bill | Title: CEO | Zodiac Sign: Libra 

What does a day in the life of Bonanza’s CEO look like?

My morning starts around 6am, when I descend a pearly staircase that stretches from the heavens down to Ballard. By 8am I'm ready to depart for Bonanza HQ. I hop into my pants (both legs at once) and jog to my car to improve the chances I might beat Jordan (our Chief Technical Officer) into the office (an effort lately in vain).

I open the door to HQ, passing through a sea of approving nods, as I stride toward my discontinued Ikea desk. I take a seat, and begin the work of delegating everything possible. What duties remain vary by day. It's usually some mix of attacking todo lists, building reports, and harassing people on Slack. A happy day for me is one with no meetings, and hopefully 10-15 items moved from my "TODO" list to my "TODONE" list. 

If I were to boil down my daily mission, I think it is to "listen hard, make the pragmatic choice." Even (especially) if it's a Hard Thing. As long as I cover that stuff, and ensure that the managers... (continued)

Seller Spotlight Series: DiVASHACK

A Business Model Built on Healing

For many domestic violence survivors, escaping an abusive relationship is only half the battle. Moving forward and creating an independent, self-sufficient life is a critical next step. Healing in the aftermath of domestic abuse is different for each survivor. For Diva, founder of DiVASHACK, her journey towards healing and rebuilding her life started with helping others to heal.

Diva's vision is to empower women to regain control of their lives and to embrace their femininity with her line of products. "With serious intimate partner abuse, it can rob women of their womanhood. They may feel that they are not beautiful and no one would love them," Diva says. "Helping them feel like a woman again is part of the healing process." She started selling lingerie and slowly added gowns and formal footwear. Now her booth showcases a wide variety of fashion, all meant to help women feel "fashionable, sexy, and comfortable.”

What were some of the biggest challenges you faced when you first started and how did you resolve them?

One of my biggest challenges is maintaining my inventory. I source my products from China, and it’s not uncommon for suppliers to change or... (continued)

Staff Spotlight Series: Anna Piechowski

Name: Anna | Title: Full-Stack Devleloper | Zodiac Sign: Sagittarius 

What do you do at Bonanza?

I am one of the fine folks writing the code that makes Bonanza fun and easy to use. My specialty is programming user interfaces and experiences. I don't just make features that work, I make them pretty, too.

What project are you most proud of / what was your favorite project you’ve worked on?

My favorite so far was the overhaul of our stats pages for sellers. The old stats page had a lot of data for sellers that was not easy to digest or use. Working with our stellar designer James, we were able to make that data accessible, beautiful, and really fun to explore. It also gave me the opportunity to listen to our sellers and implement feedback based on their needs. I love working on things that put more power into our sellers' hands and give them more control over their business.

Which Bonanza tool is a best-kept secret?

I love shopping via the hand-picked lists! Our curator Emma obviously makes some killer lists, but our users continue to amaze me with the sweet lists they put together. They come up with... (continued)

Seller Spotlight Series: American Antique Hardware

A Knack for Authentic Restoration

American Antique Hardware, founded by husband and wife duo Sarah and Keith Chilcote, evolved from the couple's love of architectural restoration. As the economy exploded in their hometown, these two observed as charming homes were transformed into condos or "re-muddled" by other restoration companies.

Sarah and Keith wanted to retain the original charm of the houses they restored, but finding authentic hardware proved to be challenging, especially before the ubiquity of ecommerce. They started scouring estate sales, and quickly accumulated a massive inventory. 25 years and over 18,000 transactions later, they are selling to homeowners, restoration companies, collectors, and hobbyists all over the world, all while maintaining a 100% feedback score.

How did you find your way to Bonanza?

It was so many years ago, I don't remember. We were looking for an alternative because eBay fees were eating into our profits too much. Of all the alternative marketplaces, we appreciated Bonanza's mission and how you encourage sellers to pass on savings gained from the lower fees to our customers. Since I import from eBay, I don't spend too much time on Bonanza. I make all of the necessary modifications on eBay and then sync... (continued)

Staff Spotlight Series: James Spence

Name: James | Title: VP of Product | Zodiac Sign: Sagittarius 

What does a typical work day look like for you?

My time is split pretty evenly between research, design, and support for the development and marketing teams. Mornings are usually for planning, strategy, and conceptual work and afternoons are focused more on production, bugs, and collaboration.

What project are you most proud of / what was your favorite project you’ve worked on?

The customer marketing tool, which is launching soon. It gives sellers much more control over their own customers and how they market to them. It was personally interesting to me, as I have a background in relationship marketing.

What about Bonanza inspires your work?

The emphasis on entrepreneurship. It's a big part of our team culture and affords a lot of opportunity to come up with ideas, try them out, and improve on them. It's also very gratifying to know that the work we're doing helps individuals and small businesses be successful.

What are some cool projects you have coming up that you can share?

Many of the projects right now are related to the marketing tool – either refining features for launch or thinking longer term... (continued)

Seller Spotlight Series: Frog and Bear Creations

Finding Meaning After Tragedy

1989 found Diane Wine retiring at the young age after injuring her back in a work-related incident. Limited by her injury, Diane searched for alternative means of employment, not to mention a way to keep her sane during her lengthy recovery. An artist at heart, Diane took the opportunity to develop her craft. She joined online forums, subscribed to magazines, and taught herself the art of lapidary, the cutting and polishing of stones. Today, she's made countless pieces of unique jewelry.

How did you find your way to Bonanza?

I joined Bonanza when you first opened, but I wasn't active. I was on around 88 sites before I settled on Bonanza. As traffic picked up on Bonanza, I decided to move some of my inventory over, especially since listings are free and do not expire. It was a small investment for me to make with potential for high rewards. And with the tiered membership system, I can go as high or as low as I want.

What were some of the biggest challenges you faced when you first started and how did you resolve them?

I started selling only in 1989. In order to list an... (continued)

Staff Spotlight Series: Reilly O'Connor

Name: Reilly | Title: Operations Assistant | Zodiac Sign: Virgo 

What are the biggest changes you’ve seen for Bonanza since you started here?

Well, feature-wise, things have changed tremendously. We've added webstores, the affiliate network, TurboTraffic, shipping labels, direct credit card checkout... the list goes on. Of course, we've also seen tremendous growth at Bonanza over the past two years, in terms of users and items for sale. I would say the most impressive and inspiring change I've seen is how much we've doubled down on improving the quality of our users' interactions with the site. With this growth rate, it would be easy to focus exclusively on upping the numbers. Instead, we're choosing to focus on making the site easier to use, more beautiful to look at, and more perfectly engineered for successful transactions. Combine great features, an emphasis on usability, and a personalized support experience- it's no wonder the community is growing all the time. 

How did your role as a Happiness Producer influence your role as Operations Assistant?

Working as a Happiness Producer granted me access to a depth of knowledge about the functionality of Bonanza, the website. That knowledge informs decisions I encounter now about the... (continued)

Seller Spotlight Series: West Ninth Vintage

A Gap in the Market

West Ninth Vintage, based in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, was founded about 5 years ago. Frank Iannucci and his wife had a hobby of renovating old homes on the side. They continually ran into the issue of finding light fixtures that fit the style and architecture of a historic home, but were also functional and updated for modern use. To solve this problem, Frank began designing light fixtures for the homes they renovated. About a year or so later, Frank quit his job in the finance sector to dedicate himself full-time to West Ninth Vintage. Today, West Ninth Vintage is run by a small team of mighty people and shows no signs of slowing down.

How did you find your way to Bonanza?

West Ninth Vintage is a unique company. We create our own designs and manufacture our lighting fixtures in-house. Because of this, we need to interact with customers directly. We were recommended to Bonanza by a friend who was using Bonanza to buy their own home decor and thought it would be a good place for West Ninth Vintage to explore.

What were some of the biggest challenges you faced when you first started and... (continued)

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