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 item back then you had to know how to code. I didn't realize you could copy and paste the code so for each site that I listed on, I would type out the code from scratch. It was very time consuming and tedious. The technology has gotten better and it's very easy to list on Bonanza so it's not a problem any more. The other challenge is being an artist and selling your work online. People will copy your work. You have to constantly innovate to stay ahead of the game.
What has surprised you the most about becoming an online seller?
I'm surprised at how easy it is to reach people from all over the world. Four or five years ago, I joined Facebook and it's been a game changer. I'm part of 50-60 Facebook groups where I can go to draw inspiration for my work, ask questions about techniques, and even promote my own work.
If you could start all over again, would you have approached online selling differently?
Nothing. I would do everything the same way. Keep it simple and cost effective, especially when you're first starting out. You don't have to invest in backdrops for you images or a fancy camera. I used my scanner for my images.
What advice would you share to those looking to enter ecommerce?
For new sellers, specifically artists like myself, don't rely on your online business to drive all of your sales. During the first five years, expect to put time into promoting yourself at festivals, fairs, carnivals, etc. When I first out, I made the bulk of my sales from shows. I also promoted my work at a gift shop at the local bed and breakfast. You really have to hustle and get your brand out there.
For those selling on Bonanza, learn to use the batch editor tool. It'll save you so much time. Learn to write good descriptions, but don't be too wordy. People won't read it. Instead, make yourself available for questions via email or over the phone.
Delightful Data from Diane
- What was the last book/article you read? E-Myth by Michael Gerber.
- When you’re not busy working on your online business, what do you do for fun? Spend time with my family, surf and eat donuts.
- What is your favorite part about online selling? Everyday is something different and the opportunities are endless.
- If you could get on a plane tomorrow and go anywhere for free, where would you go? Barcelona, Spain.
Today's scavenger hunt item is: something loved by someone 8 and 80. Once you find something on Bonanza that fits this criteria, share it on Bonanza's Facebook page. The guidelines to participate in the Facebook contest are as follows:
- Users may participate in all 8 days of scavenger hunts, but you only NEED to participate once to be eligible for the contest.
- Users may post a maximum of twice per day.
- Users must post an item from Bonanza.
- Users may post their own item if relevant to the day's theme.
The winner(s) will be selected at the end of the week, with responses from all 8 days considered. The winner(s) will receive our Great 8 Prize Package. This package includes:
- 1 TurboTraffic Package
- 1 month of Background Burner Personal
- A booth consultation
- Item(s) from your booth featured in a homepage HPL
- A Custom Badge for profile
- An Item feature on Facebook / Twitter
- A Bonanza T-shirt
- A Bonanza Sticker variety pack
Be sure to check back here to find out each day's theme. Happy Hunting!
We want to say thank you for being loyal users of Bonanza. Without your feedback and input, we wouldn't be able to build a site that sellers recommend over Amazon, Etsy, and eBay. This week, we are featuring huge discounts from Bonanza sellers on the homepage. Discounts start at 20%. Don't miss out - check out the homepage for hand-picked lists that feature great deals throughout the anniversary promotion.
We’ll also be offering a steep discount on annual memberships during our anniversary celebration. Enjoy an additional 25% off when you sign up for a new annual membership, upgrade from a monthly membership to an annual membership, or upgrade your current annual membership to a higher annual membership level. Don’t miss this opportunity for huge savings on membership-only features that will benefit your store long-term!