My Bonanza Selling Experience

My Bonanaza Selling Experience

Here’s the rundown on my recent Bonanza selling experience.

Bonanza (Bonanza.com) is an online selling marketplace that has positioned itself as an eBay alternative.

In fact, Bonanza touts itself as being “the best ebay alternative”.

Actually, on their website, Bonanza even goes as far to claim they are the “Most Recommended Marketplace over eBay, Amazon, and Etsy”.

Wow, that’s quite the claim, and it sure sounds pretty impressive.

Well, needless to say, I was excited and intrigued when I first heard of them a couple months back, so I jumped right on board.

Here’s the rundown on my Bonanza Selling Experience.

I jumped into selling on Bonanza around the end of November or it might have been the first week of December.  So, basically, right in the heart of the Christmas selling season.

Sales from our three online stores were doing better than ever (standalone stores we run on WooCommerce), and my biggest worry about venturing in to selling on Bonanza in the 2 or 4 weeks before Christmas was whether I’d have any problems with orders arriving in time for Christmas.  Shipping and delivery times are still one thing we’d like to improve with our online stores, and we’re working on fine tuning and improving this, but we’re not there yet.  I was worried I might be biting off more than I could chew by selling on a new marketplace in the weeks before Christmas. What if I couldn’t keep up with the additional orders?

I’d never heard of Bonanza.com before, but I stumbled upon a mention of them in an ecommerce forum, so I headed directly over to check them out.  Signed up that same day and started stocking my Bonanza storefront with some of the top selling merchandise from our three online stores. Our 3 online stores are all in adjacent product niches (but we’ve separated them out into different “themes”), so blending merchandise from all 3 of our stores into one Bonanza storefront worked well.

I really wasn’t sure of what to expect from selling on Bonanza, I’d never even heard of them before, so I figured, just how worthwhile could it be?  But I like to have an open mind, and I’m the type who believes you won’t know unless you try, so I figured it was worth a whirl.

Well, here we are, pretty much 2 full months later, and not a single sale on Bonanza. Nadda.

Meanwhile, this has been our best two months for 2 of our 3 ecommerce stores (the longest established ones).  Even after Christmas, and through the early part of January, sales have remained strong in those 2 ecommerce stores, quite to my surprise. I always expect sales to slump in the month after Christmas, but this year its been quite the opposite for us, with this January being one of our strongest months ever.

And yet, not a nibble from Bonanza.  Not so much as a product inquiry.  In fact, our products are getting very few page views on Bonanza at all, to the point that I’m wondering if anyone even goes there….

I contrast this to when I started selling on Etsy nearly two years ago. I started getting orders rolling in almost from day one. Our products and storefront were certainly getting visibility and traffic on Etsy right from the start.

Of course, Etsy isn’t the right marketplace for everyone. On Etsy, you have to have the right type of product. You can’t sell just anything there (they won’t allow it and restrict the types of products you can sell). It’s pretty much got to be handmade, a vintage item or collectable, or a supply used in making crafts, etc.

Using basic SEO techniques, I was able to rank our products really well on Etsy and get them showing up high in the search results right from the start – it was pretty exciting. I mean, by the second day, our products were ranking. I was, like, “WooHooooo!”.

But based on my personal Bonanza selling experience, its a whole different show over there at Bonanza.com

In fact, and again, and this is purely based on my personal Bonanza selling experience (necessary disclaimer there), I really have to wonder about all those “better than eBay claims”.

Now mind you, I don’t sell on eBay, and never have. Never even tried it. Maybe one day I will still – it would be interesting to see how it would go.

My impression is that the “hay-day” of selling on eBay are long over, unless you are already an established seller over there, since that marketplace is so crowded.  But I could very well be wrong about that.

I don’t know, because I never really took interest in selling on eBay and haven’t looked into the current viability of it.

When I decided I wanted to get into selling physical merchandise online a few years back, I just went ahead and set up my own online stores on my own domains, rather than trying to sell on a marketplace like eBay.

Later, I tried Etsy (with success, as mentioned), and now most recently Bonanza, because I liked the idea of getting extra traction for my products, and exposure for my store, on a marketplace that wasn’t already overly crowded, but yet could offer me visibility.  At this time, I don’t sell exclusive merchandise. I hope to in the future, that’s the ultimate plan, but at this time, I sell the same merchandise that oodles of other merchants are selling. We all have the same suppliers. So it seemed to me that trying to sell the same stuff so many others are already selling on eBay, would be an uphill battle, and my time could likely be much better spent on other efforts.

Perhaps its odd that I took that view, since I do sell on Amazon, and with considerable success. Somehow, I just felt instinctively that Amazon would be an easier platform to sell on than eBay. I can’t verify whether that is true or not since I’ve not tried eBay, but its just the impression I’ve always sort of had, and I went with it.

I guess maybe that’s where the claim of “the best eBay alternative” comes from.  With eBay being so crowded for sellers, Bonanza’s USP is that you can get better visibility there – I guess. But again, based solely on my Bonanza selling experience, it was a complete waste of my time to set up the store on their marketplace and load it up with my products. There just doesn’t seem to be sufficient customer traffic there.

On Amazon and Etsy I starting making sales within the first day or two of listing my products. I believe on Amazon I sold my first item with the first 24 hours, and with Etsy it was within 2, maybe 3 days. It was fast on both platforms, and I was very pleased.

Though I am  not experienced with selling on eBay (yet – may still try), I am experienced with Etsy and Amazon, and there is a complete night and day difference. Those two platforms actually have traffic, and therefore your products get exposure (assuming you’ve set up your listings well for rankings). I can’t imagine who is actually doing well on Bonanza, but I guess there are sellers who are, because Bonanza has apparently been around for a number of years (even thought I’ve just heard of them recently, which perhaps says everything there is to say, since I spend a lot of my time learning, hanging out in ecommerce forums, etc….), but based on my personal Bonanza selling experience, this marketplace gets a FAIL from me.

If you’re curious to try it, and you have the free time on your hands — that you can’t find a way of doing ANYTHING else with that would be useful for your business — then the only way to know is to try it for yourself and see.

I’m all for trying anything once, and like I said, my personal philosophy when it comes to my online business(es) is that you never know until you try, so it never hurts to just get in there and see what happens if you think there could be potential in something.

But my opinion would be – and again, this is based purely on my personal Bonanza selling experience – that if there is another task that you could be doing for your online business, it might be more worth it to put your time and effort into that, and save setting up a Bonanza store for a time when you really can’t think of ANYTHING else that needs to be done (like that’s going to happen, right?).

I don’t mean to be hating on Bonanza.com, but for me, it just killed of a pile of my time and effort that could have been much better put to use elsewhere.  As a busy online marketer, there’s already never enough hours in the day, so doing something that ends up being complete waste of time makes me cranky. 😉

Hope this review of my Bonanza selling experience has been helpful.

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