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.
As we prepare to close the books on 2016, I wanted to impart a few thoughts on what we learned from the past year of running Bonanza.
It was another promising year of growth for our sellers. The average Bonanza seller nows earns 164% more than three years ago. It was also an encouraging year for our company. We doubled office space yet again; this time we've grown all the way to an office with a view of local Mt. Rainier:
Dramatic re-enactment of our actual office view
With 25 million items listed and our sales per seller setting new highs each month, we feel immense optimism about what we will accomplish in the coming year.
More depth on the high points of 2016 (plus sneak peek at 2017) follows...
Seller Traffic on the Rise
Our 2016 roadmap for sellers started and ended with initiatives to drive more buyer traffic to booths. We made inroads into this goal on several fronts.
Our calling card has always been our top-flight integration with buyer channels in general, and Google Shopping in particular. Back in 2008 we were the first marketplace to be connected to Google Base (precursor to Google Shopping), and maintaining... (continued)
Some of you might remember the Seller Spotlights we featured on the blog during our Anniversary week celebration. We received a lot of great feedback from the Bonanza community about these spotlights, so we’ve decided to make these a monthly affair.
How does this work?
Each month, we’ll be interviewing a Bonanza seller to learn how their business started, what makes them tick, and what advice they have for other sellers. We'll share our findings here on the blog. We hope these blog posts will be educational and inspirational to our sellers.
Awesome! How do I get selected for a Seller Spotlight?
If you’re interested in being selected for a Seller Spotlight, you can fill out this form. Please note that submitting your name for consideration does not guarantee you will be selected for a spotlight.
Does this take the place of the “Dedicated Blog Post” we can purchase with our tokens?
Nope! Our goal with these Seller Spotlights is to encourage the Bonanza community to engage with each other in a new way. If you save 40,000 tokens, you can still redeem them for a blog post specific to your booth.
I have other questions about this. Who... (continued)
Our Bonz Merch booth is organized neatly at Bonanza HQ.
It's the most wonderful time of the year! The holiday season is a time for showing your friends and loved ones how much you appreciate having them in your life. This holiday season, give the gift of Bonanza swag. We've got something for everyone, all available in our Bonanza Merchandise booth. If you love selling on Bonanza, get something that lets you shout it from the rooftops. Check out our favorite apparel items below:
‘Twas the week of Thanksgiving and all through the land,
Bonanza sellers were concocting a plan.
Black Friday was coming, Cyber Monday after that,
and everyone was hoping their sales wouldn’t fall flat.
“Should we slash our prices?” they wondered, “Offer free shipping all day?
Surely there’s got to be a better way.”
As Black Friday and Cyber Monday quickly approach, there are many ways to set your Bonanza booth up for success. Discounting your items and offering special shipping deals are two great ways to encourage buyers to shop with you. But those tactics are used by many online sellers, and may not help you stand out from the crowd. However, Bonanza has a secret trick up its sleeve (don’t worry, it’s not a never-ending handkerchief). It’s TurboTraffic!
Hold on a second. I’ve heard about TurboTraffic, but I don’t really know what it is.
Well, imaginary voice in my head, I’m glad you asked. TurboTraffic is a unique Bonanza program that helps increase shopper traffic to our sellers. It works together with our advertising program, using the ad platforms you've selected to get maximum exposure for your store and listings.
Check it out - your TurboTraffic days... (continued)
Hi everyone! Grace here, excited to talk to you all about some cool new tricks for bettering yourself (and possibly making money in the process).
At Bonanza, part of what makes us unique among marketplaces is that we are highly focused on the needs of our sellers. Much of Bonanza’s success over the past several years is thanks to the sellers - both old and new - that make up the Bonanza community. In return, we aim to support that community by designing tools, creating content, and updating features that make selling online a breeze.
One of Bonanza’s core values is that growth is constant. We recognize that we don’t know it all but we are committed to making a better version of ourselves every day. In keeping with that mindset, I’d like to share with you some ways that Bonanza sellers can be even more successful.
Get to Know Your Community
You might be reading this and thinking to yourself, “Sure, there are some pretty active sellers on the site. But I’m still new to Bonanza - surely you’re not talking to me.” You’ll be happy to hear that yes, I amin fact talking to you! Everyone was... (continued)
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.
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)
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)
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)
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)
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.
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)
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.
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)
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)
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)
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)