Booth subscription and premium updates

Hi everyone – there are a couple of changes to the site that I think you’ll be interested in.  The first change worth noting is something we call booth subscription.  Now any shopper can receive email updates when you add new products and/or a coupon if they sign-up.  Members can simply check a box making it super simple to get booth updates. 

Non members just have to type in their email address - there's no new account required. 

As we’ve mentioned in previous posts we’re working on email marketing functionality to drive repeat visitors and purchasers.  This is but one of the many efforts we’ll be rolling out over the next month and beyond.  Subscribers can easily unsubscribe from a link in the footer of every email so make sure your product updates are well considered. 

The second change is an enhancement to our premium subscription offering.  At the top of our search results we randomly pick four premiere items and feature them.  They have to be relevant to the search of course.  Similar to Google we clearly delineate these premiere results from the others.  Some of you might have received our subscriber survey a few weeks back. 

 We’ve been pouring over the feedback and are examining a number of ways to provide better value to plus and premium subscribers alike!  Look for more changes in this area in the future as well. Those are the highlights for this round of changes.   Please be sure to give detailed feedback and suggestions so we can continue improving Bonanzle!


39 responses to Booth subscription and premium updates

  • jsgeare says:
    09/07/10 at 04:48:40

    “Member-only prices?” What dioes THAT mean? A different price than what any old visitirs would pay. If so, how do we set it up.

    A very cool thing you’ve done – but please, tell me ’bout the prices.

  • AbbysAttic says:
    09/07/10 at 06:21:33

    I, too, am not sure what is meant by “members-only prices.” However, I love the possibliity of having an item of mine show up on top of a search list. Great way to attract new Premier members. Can’t waitto see what else is in store for Plus and Premier membership.

  • sofyblu2 says:
    09/07/10 at 08:18:25

    Having 3 booths there’s no way I’ll ever be able to pay 75.00 a month to get a chance to be seen. So when search page comes up any non-paying or plus member is flanked on the left and on the top with those with the ability to pay 25.00 a month…kinda feeling like I’m back on ebay :(

  • bogcandle says:
    09/07/10 at 08:23:54

    Lookin’ good to me! What do member-only prices mean if we accept offers?

    Really like the premiere items being featured at the top.

  • STBThreadworks says:
    09/07/10 at 08:31:41

    Have to say I agree with sofyblu2. Used to pay subscription, but no sales – had to cancel. Now we get hardly any hits at all. Less and less all the time. Less than 5 hits on even our larger booths per day.

  • STBThreadworks says:
    09/07/10 at 08:37:32

    One problem, if I am searching for a grape design on something, why would I want to know which booths have “grape” in their title? And, why do I want to see grape items that I have no interest in across the top of the page where I am laboring to get a good Search when there is already an abundance of grape items from Premier sellers down the left column? Why isn’t my booth avatar in that last statement just above this one?

  • CritterCreekRanch says:
    09/07/10 at 09:10:03

    “Member-only prices?” What dioes THAT mean?? repeating above,

  • CritterCreekRanch says:
    09/07/10 at 09:10:42

    and what happened to my avatar eeeek

  • bharding says:
    09/07/10 at 09:22:40

    “Members-only prices” is indeed vague. The intention in the future is to allow booth owners to be able to directly email people who have subscribed to their booth with special deals/coupons. So what I was trying to communicate was that “if you sign up to follow this booth, the seller may email you later with exclusive deals.” But the words “exclusive” and “deal” both smack of cheesy marketing-speak, so I was trying to find something that didn’t. If anyone can think of a better way to communicate the same idea, I’d be happy to hear it.

    @sofy: Our hope in the not-distant future is to use the left bar for premiere AND plus members, so a mere $10/month would get you featured there. Also, because we don’t have outline, bold, etc. listings, I think a more apt analogy would be comparing us to Google (who also sponsors their business with ads on the top and side), which is not a bad company to aspire to.

    Thanks for the feedback! P.S. I’ll fix the broken avatars shortly.

  • pugs says:
    09/07/10 at 09:33:39

    ROFL, even Bill is a generic avatar

    thanks for fixing them :), you know I like being me, or at least one of my own personalities :)

  • sofyblu2 says:
    09/07/10 at 09:40:00

    Thanks Bill :) getting a chuckle out of a “mere $10/month”..if I had it I would buy the plus but unfortunately there are many of us rely on that mere $10.00 a month to buy the essentials of daily living.

  • AntiquesRGreat says:
    09/07/10 at 10:11:58

    Great improvements :)

  • Indizona says:
    09/07/10 at 10:59:30

    Cool. Maybe “members-only discounts”??

  • bparkerhouse says:
    09/07/10 at 11:16:23

    I like it. I have done similar marketing tactics in a past life and it works like a charm. Keep me posted on when the “Members Only” pricing is up and running.

  • AntiquesRGreat says:
    09/07/10 at 11:21:33

    Bill how do I know who I followed? What if I go on a following spree? Where will I see who I followed & who is following me?

    How do I email those following me with special discounts if I can’t see who followed me?

    There’s just to much darn following going on around here but no one is quiet following this. rofl!! okay I’ll stop! LOL

  • Rdesigns says:
    09/07/10 at 12:44:11

    First of all, I should probably state that I think I see where you are going with the booth following thing and I like the idea in general. However, “members only prices” isn’t the only thing you have left vague. How this feature specifically works and how fine our control is over it is also pretty vague. So, how would we set up discounts only for followers? Can those discounts be applied only to certain items in my booth or will the discount have to be booth wide? Is there a way to preempt a booth update from being broadcast to my subscribers (or even better, a dialog box that will let us choose if we want that change emailed out to everybody or not)? For example if I edit pictures in an item listing, it messes up my storefront on Facebook that links back to my booth here. So I have to create a new listing for it. Or if I notice a misspelling in the title, I have to do the same thing. If those are going to be automatically emailed to all subscribers as new, how badly I want to improve the pictures of my listings or correct misspellings or other such product updates will have to be well considered.

    As for “members only pricing”, my first thought is that I should expect to see the prices go down as soon as I become a member of Bonanzle. Oh wait, I see. As soon as I start following a booth, I should see the prices drop to the “members only pricing”. When I don’t see that happen, should my next thought be “false advertising”? Because I assure you, it would be. I’m not sure that’s a label you want associated with your name. I’m quite sure that is not a label I want associated with mine. I’d rather it smack of cheesy marketing-speak, than have it smack of false advertising. “Members-only discounts” is pretty good. Or maybe “members-only offers”. Actually, I’m not entirely confident that people will necessarily understand the connection that “following” a booth makes you a “member” of that booth. A manner of wording that makes both of those words the same would be more clear. How about, “Get timely updates on new items and special offers.”?

  • SunflowerAntics says:
    09/07/10 at 17:46:49

    I like it idea, but it would be good to have ALL the pieces in place and introduce it all at one with GOOD instructions! ;)

    JMHO

  • bharding says:
    09/07/10 at 18:18:37

    More great ideas, keep the ideas on how to word the box coming, I am digging the variety we’re getting here.

    @antiques: They aren’t listed anywhere yet, but they will soon be listed on your “my user account” page and/or possibly your profile.

    @rdesigns: I agree that we don’t want to mislead people, I think it boils down to figuring out what the right wording is to describe what we’re offering. Preferably without sounding overly manipulative or marketing-y. :)

    Expect to see this functionality get more fleshed out over the next week. We already have more than 150 people signed up to follow booths — which is the reason why I wanted to get it launched before all of the are complete. The more followers the merrier.

  • AntiquesRGreat says:
    09/07/10 at 19:32:37

    Thanks Bill can’t wait to see it in full swing!

  • EclecticStuff says:
    09/08/10 at 00:31:03

    I would agree with Rdesigns if the booth following is across the board and there is no “opt out” and/or if every update is e-mailed out. I, too, correct spelling, change photos and sometimes have to clean up html that got skewed on its own [once had to go in to half my items and enlarge the print which had morphed it’s way from readable as listed to needing a magnifier] and I would not want those changes e-mailed out. Seems to me it should be limited to changes in price [deals] or quantity or item specifics [sizes, color, etc] only. I seriously doubt that any potential buyers would follow my booth anyway, because it is eclectic collectibles [not like one who specializes in a genre] but on the chance someone DID follow me, I suspect notifications of cosmetic updates would be a major irritant.

    Otherwise, it is a great idea ;=)

    How about “Booth Buddies” …? “Bonanzle Booth Buddies”

    Then just use “BBB”

    “Follow this Booth and be instantly privy to this seller’s BBB-only mark-downs, coupons or special offers”

    Booth “member” is confusing, and kinda stilted.

  • robinscornernest says:
    09/08/10 at 00:59:52

    So your not having buyers become members so they can search all the booths. They are to pick individual booths???
    I hate to bring this up but isn’t that going to create tension between booths? Or am I picking up a faint hint of the beginnings of fee hike and competition within the confines of bonanzle. At feebay being a member meant you would be privy to all the stores/booths with paying stores being higher on the search for awhile anyway. I like the idea but it sounds like you are leaving a lot of your booths out. A soon as I sell something here I plan to upgrade but I can’t sell anything if you are narrowing the sellers sight to deals on followed booths. I can’t pay you until I sell something. I can’t sell anything if you are going to make deals with your paying booths by giving them a shot at being featured by having them lower their prices. Is this what happened at ebay? Just thinking out loud Ps I do all the other stuff like Google account, blog, attributes, update booth twitter, my face etc. As I see it, what I hear is if you are not a paying member you will probably not get followed. Now I know that sounds like the down side. So please help me to see what I am either miss reading or not seeing that is great about this. I am hoping it will be a great thing
    As for being a buying member. What is wrong with becoming a member with a user and pass. Every site on God green earth requires this. No money account just a member

  • robinscornernest says:
    09/08/10 at 01:05:46

    Oh I think I might be understanding a little bit. Is all of this front page stuff because you do not want to go deeper with categories?

  • STBThreadworks says:
    09/08/10 at 05:40:22

    Bill, I think a bit of the concern for us is that Google right now has become hurky jerky to many of us. They changed their search format and stuff that used to come up in search no longer does. Many items from our booths doesn’t SHOW on Google, so modeling Bonanzle after them is a death knoll. Following them may be the biggest mistake in the history of history. I think Google eschewed Google, selling out to the top bidders may bring in more revenue stream for the home office, but it really totally disses the little people that were out there googling and bringing that search engine to heights of financial molecular excitement only to find out that their googling service no longer is the best way to go. They dumped us.

    We’ve been supportive and hopeful for several years now, is it just time for us to go?

  • alexwberg says:
    09/08/10 at 14:36:14

    @robinscornernest – Bill’s out for a bit, but let me try to help. I’m having a tough time following your comment, but I’ll try to address it as best I can. The booth following feature is simply a means to give fans of a booth a way to be notified if something of interest occurs. The featuring of premiere items in search and category pages is an effort to provide more value to subscribing customers through increased exposure. That’s it! ; )

  • robinscornernest says:
    09/08/10 at 14:37:08

    Hi again I just found a site that had me join to get coupons for bonanzle. Not a password just mt email. It then downloaded something and then I ran it and it took me to bonanzle but no coupon to me seen. Is this the thing you are working on? As I see it does seem to included the entire bonanzle family. But no coupons yet and nowhere to pick them up
    Hi Alex thanks for the quick response. You probably don’t know what I am talking about cuz I’m not sure I am understanding the changes. And I do get gabby .
    I found it . It is shop an home discounts.

  • alexwberg says:
    09/08/10 at 14:42:06

    @STBThreadworks – the Google reference was merely intended to describe the visual treatment for premium listings at the top of search. Clearly labeled and discoverable, but not too garish or consuming too much of the screen.

    As for leaving Google (assuming that’s who you were referring to after not understanding initially) I don’t think that would be wise. While we’re not always thrilled with Google’s results on a booth-by-booth basis they do provide Bonanzle with a great deal of traffic overall. Most of that goes right to item detail pages.

  • robinscornernest says:
    09/08/10 at 15:05:36

    I do want to tell you. I am not complaining. I do believe what motivates me at times is fear of being kicked to the curb again. The change at that bay place did not seem like a big deal until everything went core, all became auction format and my unique items were push wayyyyy down to the middle of the earth. It was like loosing a job, getting fired for no reason. I was making a nice monthly income and slowing growing.
    Here at bonanzle, well I love this place. I reaaly want this site to work I have made so many friends here it is amazing. But there is this part of my brain that has now taken on this roll as a watch dog to change. So when I talk or ask questions, it is because I want to completely understand the ramifications. This empowers me to problem solve and make informed decisions.
    I am even taking classes to network for business and have enrolled in a 6 week internet course my county has available called optimizing for search and getting to the best search engines. Then I hope to share this with others to optimize the sellers of bonanzle as a whole. I just wanted to you know this so you don’t say "oh here come negative Robin again.

  • robinscornernest says:
    09/08/10 at 15:14:00

    I see now. I went back to the shop at home discount site. In the search I put in bonanzle. This took me to a page where there are 3 sellers from bonanzle offering discounts. This will bring buyers to bonanzle as a whole. This is good. This is actually what I have been waiting for. Sorry for not understanding. I think this is a good thing.
    I don’t think Threadworks meant she was leaving. I think she was saying we need to leave google
    I will get off of my soap box and leave room for others. Have a great day

  • EclecticStuff says:
    09/08/10 at 16:26:16

    I wrote about the 4 premiere items up top in the middle of the early morn, then deleted it as there seemed enuf negativity – but your comment brings it back to the fore. You say above:

    “Clearly labeled and discoverable, but not too garish or consuming too much of the screen.”

    That is exactly what I wrote about. I saw the 4 premiere items on the top of a search BEFORE I read about them here in the blog, and I wondered why they looked so faded and small, esp. in comparison to the listed search results – and thus uninteresting and looking like inferior items.

    They would look much better if the photos were the same size and same resolution as the search results. In fact, they would look even better if they had some thicker outline to delineate them from the rest… or perhaps the entire background of those 4 photos could have a wash of Bonanzle color …a lighter shade of the bouncier pale green. What would be garish about it? (Aside from those who think the green and orange are garish. I don’t. I love the colors.]

    Seriously – they don’t look good. It’s of no personal matter to me, since I am not a premiere member, but aesthetically they bother me as is.

    As for the “following booths” – I don’t see how that “shuts out” other booths. Aside from my concern that every update would get teleported to followers, rather than having a choice of which updates can be e-mailed, I think it is an incentive for everyone to have sales and special deals. It has no effect whatsoever on the search, either here or at Google – does it?

  • audreygrace says:
    09/08/10 at 19:42:36

    I really like EclecticStuff’s idea for “BBB”, Bonanzle Booth Buddies. It looks good graphically and it sounds memorable and snappy too. And I think it accurately describes what it’s about.

    A side not on Google; their new search format has left me feeling abandoned. I recently listed Halloween Cards only to find that the first 100 or so Google pages are all almost one single seller. No one will ever see me on there. Not happy with that!

  • audreygrace says:
    09/08/10 at 19:47:25

    That should say “side note” and I meant the first 100 pages are all the same card shopping site. Kind of a killer for the little guy.

  • alexwberg says:
    09/09/10 at 00:22:51

    @ EclecticStuff – correct. Following booths has no effect whatsoever on search here or at Google.

    We’ll be refining the look of search results a bit over time, but sought out to keep them simple in comparison to the other results so they wouldn’t over shadow them. We may just disagree here. ; )

  • angiesjewelry says:
    09/09/10 at 19:29:59

    I really love the fact that customers will be able to get updates !

    I never did like the premium subscription thing as I do see a problem with it ..

    I find it unfair for those of us who pay fees for the sales we make. Some months we can be paying almost as much or even more then those who pay for plus and premium membership in sale fees.

    In the end, it ends up seeming unfair that some would get special treatment when they are paying just about as much as I am ans some months they pay less then me.

    I understand it’s important income for the site though, I wish it could be done differently and I have no idea as to how. lol Maybe a certain amount of sale fees could be included in the package ..

    All done my cry baby scene .. thanks again .. you guys do a wonderful job !

  • KanweieneaKreations says:
    09/10/10 at 05:15:39

    I just now saw this via Facebook… It is nice that the customers will be able to get updates. It is confusing with the “members-only” prices, but I read bhardings explanation to what it means. Another word to use could be “insider”, but I’m sure there are much better words to use than that. I just can’t think of any right now.

    Member-only prices to me (and I’m guessing I’m not the only one) indicates one has to pay to be a member, i.e. cost.

    I have to say the same as sofyblu2 on this, ten dollars might not sound like much, but too many of us it is. Personally if I can justify the cost for it and make up for it in revenue I would be able to, since most of my little income at this point goes straight to helping out with normal household bills and can’t be invested back in business.

    I don’t care for the premium subscription stuff either, but just like angiesjewelry said, I understand the site has to get income from somewhere.

    Letting people who pay more (premium subscriptions, more fees or what not) end up higher in search results seem to be common on some other sites too. It is just what selling sites do I suppose. However, I don’t think it’s fair. In my humble opinion, searches should be based on relevancy. The most relevant items should hit. Just because person A paid x amount more money then person B, shouldn’t cause person B’s item to show up way below A.

    That being said, I understand what massive amount of work is involved with running a website and a successful one at that.

    Overall, I think Bonanzle is an awesome site.

  • newmillenniumbeatnik says:
    09/10/10 at 07:19:31

    ATTENTION! THIS IS A POSITIVE REPLY! READ AT YOUR OWN RISK!!!!!!!!!
    With much negative discussion on this subject, many are focusing on the words to describe the people checking this box. I have heard lots of complaining but not many ideas. I admit I do not know what to call our customers who check this box, I think that subscriber is a good term. There seems to be a little bit of white space left next to the box, so maybe just a little re-wording would help.

    On the new search page subject, I, as a premium subscriber like the 4 pictures along the top showing. Yes, they are small, but they do attract some attention. And, I’m sorry if I offend anyone, but I do pay for this. I have a very small booth, and since coming to Bonanzle I have found a warm community and personal support, but not a lot of sales. I do some of my own marketing as well. HOWEVER I BELIEVE IN BONANZLE AND FEEL THE MANAGEMENT ARE WORKING HARD TO BRING TRAFFIC HERE. Someone has to help them pay to get this done. I feel that I should receive some preferential treatment for this. As has been noted above, sellers who run specials and Bonanzas also get higher priority as well, so feel free to have them to get your items noticed! Bonanzle supports us all in different ways. All the while, the management is personally available to us at just about any time. I have had a few support issues, and again, quick response. I worked in a corporate setting for 24 years and can tell you, this does not happen everywhere. I am glad to help pay thier salaries!!!!!

    I have a local retail booth that I pay rent for, up front, no matter how much I sell. This summer has been an especially slow period, and for the first time in 5 years, I did not make my rent for 2 of the months. The economy is terrible and people were spending money on vacations and such. However, this month things have already picked up and more people are starting to shop. THIS IS WHAT HAPPENS EVERY YEAR AND WILL CONTINUE THROUGH THE END OF THE YEAR. So get your booths ready now while you have the free time to do so. Lets all do what we can to get the Bonanzle name out there, while the Bonanzle staff is doing their jobs as well!! Thanks to all Bonanzlers! NMB

    While they are trying to run a business, they are still accessible to us and that does not happen everywhere.

  • MeAndMySweetPeas says:
    09/10/10 at 10:50:50

    I am a Premiere Member and I like the changes. You have to pay for good advertising wherever you sell. I appreciate Bill for wanting to do a little more for the Plus & Premiere Members. It’s a great feeling when I put a word in the search box and some of my items come up across the top.
    I know money is tight right now, for me as well, but if you consider the costs and overhead of a having a brick and mortar store you can’t beat Bonanzle’s Member’s Plus & Premiere costs.
    I totally agree with New Millenium Beatnik! Bonanzle is the best place to put up shop and because of all they do, I don’t mind helping to pay their salaries either!!

  • CollectMisc says:
    09/11/10 at 00:09:59

    I have specialty booths at Bonanzle. By combining these for the upcoming holidays I can have premier membership for less than a store elsewhere. WITH FREE LISTING!
    For the people who are feeding families with internet sales, RUN and get a day job now. Internet sales require an advertising budget. If you do not have it, other booths will always get the buy.
    Google is a paid search engine, they did good for me until I stopped paying. I am on their “forget her” list for eternity. Sign up for other search engines now since it takes a month to see a noticeable difference.
    Plus memberships give plus benefits. No since paying otherwise. A new enhancement with no fee raise in membership? Fantastic!
    I love the suggestion of Bonanzle Booth Buddies. No different than giving repeat buyers a discount. Getting the buyers to sign up is the mystery, everyone hates getting advertising in their email.
    All that said, the management here is something we need to cherish, appreciate, encourage and stand behind.

  • mical76 says:
    09/14/10 at 07:03:55

    The initiative taken for the concern is very serious and need an
    attention of every one. This is the concern which exists in the
    society and needs to be eliminated from the society as soon as
    possible.

    NichePLR

  • rumpelteazer says:
    10/07/10 at 14:49:30

    I know this post is several weeks old, but I’m just catching up on the blog. Since the comments aren’t closed, I’ll put in my 2¢ anyway.

    I’m not in favor of using “Bonanza Booth Buddies.” While I hope I don’t offend anyone, I do think a Bonanza Booth Buddy sounds like a child’s toy (along the lines of Ty’s Beanie Buddies). I appreciate the relatively informal, community nature of Bonanza, but it is ultimately a business for you and the sellers both. Bonanza Booth Buddies just seems a bit juvenile or cutesy for any business not geared toward selling children’s items.

    Again, I hope I do not offend anyone with my opinion!


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