Relentless Simplicity - The Bonanza Blog

Welcome to the Bonanza Blog! Find all the latest news about our online marketplace, with information about getting the most out of selling online and effectively managing your online shop.

It's been 90 days???

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Hello Bonanzlers! Greg here. I’m sure that I’m dramatically understating the obvious, but it’s hard to believe all that has happened in the last 90 days – yet here we are! It’s our hope that during this unprecedented time that you first care for your families and yourself – everything else pales in comparison. For our sellers that are struggling right now, know that the Bonanza team has your back. Please let us know how we can be of assistance during this challenging time, talk to us at support@bonanza.com.  

We provide free tools to help you manage your listings and set buyer expectations. If you will be delayed in shipping out items, we recommend that you update your shipping information. If you need to make items temporarily unavailable it is always free to place listings in reserve.

As we committed to in January, if you provided regular and candid feedback, we would reciprocate with clarity on our direction and plan. Based on the feedback we have received from you, either directly or through the Sellers Survey and polls, we feel that we have an accurate understanding of what you are asking for:

  • Update our membership value proposition and... (continued)


SEO on Bonanza

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Hi Bonanza Community, Shelly here. Being located in Seattle, we at Bonanza are uniquely aware of the concerns the COVID-19 virus presents. Our primary focus is on the safety of our sellers, buyers, and staff during this pandemic. We know that as a community we can make it through this. We remain open for business to support you and your business needs.   

Search Engine Optimization on Bonanza

In my last blog, I promised that we would have some tips for optimizing your listings, also called SEO or 'search engine optimization’. Learning about SEO on Bonanza was the top request that we received from our community in our recent seller survey.

We've built some great programs into our site to optimize your listings for you behind the scenes, but there's more you can do if you want to maximize your sales and get even more views from Google Shopping and our affiliates. From how to write your listing title to adding traits, I’m here to provide you with the details your listings need to include so that shoppers can find them!

Image of things to include in a listing as described in this article

Listing Title

  • Always follow the “Left to Right” rule: Brand, Gender, Product Type, Color, Size, Keyword Phrases
  • Make full use... (continued)


Sales Tax Update on Bonanza

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Hello, Bonanzlers! Shelly here, with an update on everyone's favorite topic - taxes! As you are aware, many states have added Marketplace Facilitator Provisions to their sales tax laws. This means that Bonanza has sales tax nexus in those states, and is thereby responsible for calculating, collecting, and remitting tax for all sales made to buyers located in those states.

What is sales tax nexus? Sales tax nexus is the connection between a seller and a state that requires the seller to collect and remit tax on sales made to buyers in that state.

As a business owner selling on Bonanza, you are responsible for collecting taxes when applicable. However, thanks to a partnership with TaxCloud, Bonanza will collect and remit sales tax on seller's behalf for all transactions where the buyer is located in the following states:

Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington D.C., Washington State, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming

We recommend all sellers consult a tax... (continued)


We're Listening!

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Hi Bonanzlers! Shelly here, your new Seller Happiness Manager. What does that mean? It means that I will be listening to you, sharing information and advocating for you behind the scenes. It also means that I’ll be communicating with you during every step of our evolution. I’ve been with Bonanza from the start, previously working in customer support and assisting sellers with Google Shopping feeds. I enjoy helping our dedicated sellers and have seen many of the wonderful ideas you’ve had over the years get implemented on the site. I’m excited to put together your feedback for the team to drive future improvement. 

First, a big thank you to all of you who participated in our recent Seller Survey! We’ve finished reading through your responses. Several items stood out as most important to you. These include understanding SEO (Search Engine Optimization) on Bonanza, shopper traffic, implementing Stripe for all seller accounts, ensuring our importers are reliable, and that our pricing for optional subscription plans is matched with value for your dollar. We hear you and are placing all of these on our product road map.

We also learned that many of you are selling online for supplemental income or as... (continued)


Message From Our Vice President

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Hello! Greg Braukus, here. Thank you to all for your warm messages welcoming me to Bonanza, they’re greatly appreciated!  As a customer-centric minded individual, I have begun to ask a lot of questions and have asked to see lots of data to understand where/how the plan deviated from our course. One of the most significant elements missing is the direct, on-going feedback from you, our sellers.  I’d like to establish an agreement with all of you. If you all regularly provide us with thoughtful, detailed insights (both positive and not so positive), I will consistently share with this group our priorities to improve. In this business, there are no magic wands - only terrific people who are passionate about your businesses, your booths and Bonanza's long term success.

 

So, I’d like to ask you to set aside the years of frustration and welcome this opportunity to go forward together desiring the same goal.  To lead this effort with you, I have appointed Shelly Breuer as our Seller Happiness Manager. Shelly has been a Bonanzler for over 5 years. She has a great understanding of what it takes for you to be successful and she also knows our business very... (continued)


Removing Pesticides from Bonanza

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Hello, Bonanzlers! Today, we’d like to discuss an important update to our prohibited items policy: pesticides. We have recently updated our policy to prohibit ALL pesticides and insecticides. This change was made to ensure that products sold on Bonanza are safe for the environment and the purchaser.

What is a pesticide? Any substance or mixture of substances intended for preventing, destroying, repelling, or mitigating any pest. Any substance or mixture of substances intended for use as a plant regulator, defoliant, or desiccant.

We trust that everyone on Bonanza is here to make an honest living. However, even the best intentions can go wrong, and people sometimes break the rules, knowingly or unknowingly. For these situations, we have a dedicated Loss / Risk Prevention (LRP) team that enforces our prohibited items rules.

Bonanza's LRP Team utilizes several tools to help proactively remove and prevent prohibited items. They notify sellers of claims or items that have been removed.

We get by with a little help from our friends

Despite our best efforts, it’s impossible for us to catch 100% of violations on our own. That’s why, in addition to our LRP team, we also have the Bonanza community helping us when possible.... (continued)


Introducing Our New Vice President

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Hello, Bonanzlers! We hope your 2020 is off to a great start. We have some exciting news to share with you, our community.

Effective January 2, 2020 Alloy and Bonanza Chief Executive Officer Bill Harding appointed Greg Braukus as Bonanza’s Vice President. Braukus will have complete responsibility for the Bonanza business including product and seller strategy, development priorities, and support. Bill will transition his full attention to the company’s exciting new projects, Amplenote (tasks and note taking) and GitClear (developer metrics, git analytics). 

 

This transition in Bonanza Leadership is happening at a great time for Bonanza and its sellers. In recent years, Bill has gradually stepped back from day-to-day operations at Bonanza, as he works to build the tools that can help medium-sized operations like Bonanza maximize their productive output. According to Mr. Harding, “our sellers will appreciate the strategic vision and critical eye that Greg brings to Bonanza. His 20+ years in Customer Service, eCommerce and Operational Excellence will serve us well in our mission to help Sellers grow the most profitable, trust-worthy and sustainable online stores with Bonanza. Greg has quickly come in and identified a path forward that will deliver a high-quality, seller-centric experience. I expect... (continued)


Ecommerce in 2019 and Beyond

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Have you heard of Narvar? They help retailers around the world (think Sephora, Patagonia, Home Depot, and LVMH, among many others) improve their ecommerce business. These well-known retailers represent many of the popular brands that people are buying online, and the data that Narvar gathers and reviews for them can often be indicative of the current state of ecommerce.

Luckily for ecommerce sellers everywhere, Narvar periodically shares this data in reports. Earlier in 2019 they released their “Magical Moments Report”. This report surveys 650+ retailers and 350+ carriers across 9 retail categories and 38 countries regarding online shopping behaviour and customer expectations in 2019. It also recommends ways that ecommerce sellers can apply this knowledge to increase customer satisfaction, build repeat business, and sustain loyalty. 

With the New Year right around the corner and the holiday rush (mostly) behind us, now is a great time to reflect on these findings and consider how you might apply them to your business in 2020. Narvar’s report is 70 pages long, however, and you probably have holiday visitors causing a ruckus in the living room. So, we’ve done the hard work for you and summarized key points below. 

We’ll also... (continued)


Bonanza Dogfood

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Dogfood: it’s what’s for dinner

Hello, Bonanzlers! I hope you’ve been enjoying the 2019 Holiday Season. As we approach the end-of-year survey season (keep a lookout for our seller survey coming soon!) I wanted to share some information about how Bonanza handles feedback.

The most common way we receive feedback from users is through the feature request form. The feature request inbox is monitored daily for new submissions from your brilliant minds. The submissions are then shared with the product team, and we do our best to map suggestions to our quarterly initiatives. Occasionally, feedback comes to our support team as part of a help request, and we also hold a Product Office Hour on Wednesdays for all sellers that are eligible for chat support.

Other methods for feedback and improvement

Internally, we use a process called dogfooding — and we’re not talking about kibble for your pup. In this context, dogfood refers to “an employee’s use of a product or service developed by their company to test it for customers.” The term originated in the 1970s, with widespread adoption within the tech community taking place in the late 80s (starting at one of our neighboring Seattle tech companies, Microsoft!).

... (continued)


Small Business Saturday is here!

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Hooray! It's Small Business Saturday

We are so excited to celebrate this day with you. As a small business supporting small businesses, this day means a lot to us. Our entire company was built upon the foundation of providing a place for small businesses to sell their products online. Thanks for being a part of this community — it means more to us than you'll ever know! Bonanza is proud to support so many amazing businesses. 

Speaking of businesses, did you know that only 36% of businesses are women-owned? Of those, almost all (99.8%) are classified as small businesses. To celebrate this entrepreneurship, we caught up with a few of our most established female sellers for a special Small Business Saturday spotlight.

EmpressDepot

Sharon’s 17-year history of selling online all started with a passion for thrifting. Before her online days, Sharon had a brick-and-mortar thrift store. In her store, she allowed for bartering, which led to a lot of eBay sellers coming into the store to try and find inventory they could sell online. Sharon was confident that she could take her store to the internet — it was something she loved doing, and she’d always had a knack for... (continued)


Top Selling Categories for the Holidays

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It’s always the same: every year after Halloween is over, we’re hit with a feeling of surprise. It’s already November?! Black Friday is 2 weeks away?! It’s probably a matter of mere hours until you see a Christmas tree on sale in town.

Ready or not, the holiday shopping season is upon us once again. This means it’s also time to review something that changes every year: holiday shopping trends. Being ‘in the know’ about these not only helps your business maximize returns this year – it also helps you prepare for the next.

After much analysis and hot chocolate, we’d like to share last holiday season’s top 5 searches on Google Shopping and compare our projections for this holiday season’s top selling categories on Bonanza to last season’s results.

We’ll also share the average FVF rate used by successful sellers in those top selling category projections so that you can make similar adjustments in your Bonanza Broadcaster and maximize your advertising efforts on Bonanza during the holidays.

Last holiday season's top 5 searches on Google Shopping

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Many shoppers find items online by Googling an item’s name and/or clicking on an ad generated by Google Shopping, which makes Google Shopping... (continued)


Using Color to Build an E-commerce Brand with Instagram

This guest blog was written by a representative from Instasize.

If you are looking to start an e-commerce business, there is no better time to start than right now. It has been estimated that in 2019, there will be 1.92 billion digital buyers worldwide, and that number is projected to keep growing every year.  

Even social media is adapting to meet the growing demand. Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram, for example, have evolved to help brands reach new audiences and sell products and services through content marketing. Instagram alone reportedly has as many as 25 million business profiles on its platform, with 200 million app users visiting at least one brand page a day.

Example of Instagram poll branding Example of Instagram discount branding Example of hashtags in Instagram stories

But what makes content marketing on Instagram so useful for online businesses? First would be the large audience it attracts: to date, the platform has more than 500 million active users browsing through feeds and liking posts every single day.

Second would be the nature of the platform itself. Compared to other social media, Instagram is all about visuals above everything else — making it the perfect platform to create an online catalogue for your e-commerce site. Browsing through brand pages and scrolling through content... (continued)


Advertising Fees and Top Categories

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Hello, and Happy Monday! As our team is hard at work on backend projects related to taxes and payments, I’m going to share some information that is good to keep in mind as we start to plan for Halloween (and soon, the Holidays!). As mentioned in last week's blog, I'm here to give you a refresher in how Bonanza's Advertising program works. 

Bonanza’s Broadcaster Fees

When you opt-in to Bonanza’s advertising program, you decide how you much you want to pay and we cover the advertising costs until your item sells. Higher advertising levels unlock access to additional shopping channels. They also include a higher ad spend to drive more buyer traffic to your listings.

Graphic comparing Bonanza advertising levels

We offer four advertising levels:

  • Basic (9% fee) — Access to Google Shopping’s powerful shopping engine, our network of affiliate bloggers, and Bonanza Promotions.
  • Standard (13% fee) — All the channels of Basic, plus publishing to eBay.
  • Superior (19% fee) — All the channels of Standard, plus BingAds.
  • Elite (30% fee) — All the channels of Superior, plus an even higher ad spend.

How much will I pay once my item sells?

When you sell an item, you'll pay up tothe max fee... (continued)


Extending Stripe to All Sellers

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Stripe will soon be available to all

A leopard might not be able to change its spots, but soon we’ll be changing our stripes. You asked and we listened — we’re offering Stripe as a payment processor to all sellers! This has been long requested by our community, and we are excited to make this dream a reality.

Initially, we launched Stripe to paying members only. This was to ensure that the Stripe’s technology worked seamlessly with Bonanza’s technology and minimize the number of sellers affected by bugs or kinks. Additionally, Bonanza absorbs the integration costs of each seller, so we wanted to be sure that Stripe was truly an added benefit to sellers.

When will this change go into effect?

We plan on launching Stripe to all by the end of September. Be on the lookout for more information about the official launch date — rest assured, we’ll let all sellers know once Stripe is officially available to all. We thank you for your patience as we work hard to integrate Stripe for all sellers.

How much will this cost me?

There are no additional fees from Bonanza, aside from the final value fees you’re familiar with, which will... (continued)


11th Anniversary Recap

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Anniversary Week has come to a close, and as much as we love to celebrate with you, we also love to look ahead to the future and the many projects we're working on. Stay tuned in the next couple of weeks for the second quarter blog update.

Thank you to everyone who used the Anniversary Coupon template through the Customer Marketing Tool! We loved seeing all of your items. Our staff created several curated Hand-Picked Lists using items from many lucky sellers who sent out anniversary coupons. Here are some of our faves:

link images of handmade soaps

link image of a rug a woven wall hanging square decorative pillows and a hanging plant holder

link images of blue gem earings with diamond trim a leather handbag colorful lipgloss aquamarine necklace and gray gem bracelet

Want to see even more items from anniversary winners?

Check them out: Let's Get Crafty | Plush Love | Shades and Sunnies | Clutches

Anniversary Contest Winners

This Anniversary, we ran a contest with ten $100 gift cards to Bonanza as the prizes. Please join me in congratulating our contest winners!

  • Vaibhav V.
  • David E.
  • Michael W.
  • Jennifer D.
  • Allan H.
  • Simon S.
  • Tom A.
  • Stacey P.
  • Martin R.
  • Monica M.

We also had a seller-focused giveaway this year. Noissue generously donated three prize packages to sellers who purchased a new membership or upgraded their current membership during Anniversary Week. In case you missed it,noissue... (continued)


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