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.

Meet Bonanza's Support Team

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Hello Bonanza Community! Jackson here, reaching out on behalf of our amazing Support Team at Bonanza. The first thing we want to say is “thank you!” Thank you for being a huge part of what makes Bonanza the most unique, community-focused, and friendliest marketplace online. Thank you for recognizing this team as the best Support Team in e-commerce. We were (and remain) “over the moon” after seeing those results. While we are proud of your feedback, we understand that we have a long way to go to better care for your businesses.  You are the lifeblood of this company, and we're lucky to be able to work with you each and every day.  

For those of you we haven’t met yet, I’d like to tell you a little about our team!  First of all, contrary to some claims out there - we have no robots.  In fact, we have a dedicated team of breathing, thinking, and caring agents ready to offer our expertise when called upon. Our agents all manage booths on Bonanza and we enjoy purchasing from our sellers through a process called “dogfooding”. Our agents have an average of over 3.5 years of experience with... (continued)


Build Free Repeat Business with the Customer Marketing Tool

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Since Greg listed all of the methods we offer so that sellers can get free sales last week, I wanted to follow up on one of them, the Customer Marketing Tool. Bonanza has always placed emphasis on building a marketplace focused on the needs of sellers, and the goal of creating this tool was to give sellers the opportunity to encourage repeat buyers. You can use the Customer Marketing Tool to send coupon promotions directly to your customers, creating a personal relationship, and repeat sales. It sounds like it might be an expensive program to add to your booth, but it is the opposite. Not only is it free to use, but sales generated through this tool are free of final value fees. We waive our transaction commission fee to make it more comfortable for you to offer the discount. This is a clear win for sellers!

Where is it?

To get to the Customer Marketing Tool, click on the "Selling" link in the upper left-hand corner of any page. On the left side of your "Selling" dashboard is a navigation menu. Click on the "Customers" tab, then click on the "Marketing coupons" tab to access your Customer Marketing... (continued)


How to Sell for FREE on Bonanza!

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Hello Bonanzlers, Bonanza Greg here!  Still being relatively new to Bonanza, I wanted to share with you something I just learned (but some of you are already well aware of). As I do every day, I look through our daily sales transactions; scouring for trends, issues, and opportunities that could benefit our sellers. “What did you find that was so exciting that it prompted a blog post?” you ask. Well, I saw a terrific order from one of our veteran sellers which totaled $300 for 14 unique items. What astonished me, was that the Final Value Fee (commission fee) for the total order was 0, zip, zilch, nil, nada, zero!

Seeing this, I wanted to learn more and understand a couple of things:  

  1. Is this right? How could this be?
  2. If this is right, then are there other activities, policies, and tools that our selling community could leverage on a daily basis to make commission-free sales?

So I did what any other business leader would do. First, I validated with our team that sellers cansell without paying any commissions. Then, I held a Bonanza team member contest to find out who knew of the most methods for commission-free... (continued)


Join the Bonanza Seller Advisory Panel

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Hey, Bonanzlers! You may have noticed we've had some exciting updates on our blog lately. One of them is the addition of a new payment processor for all our sellers, Stripe. This was one of the top three requests we received from you, our seller community, and we're so excited that we made it happen. As always, if you experience any issues with this feature, please let us know at support@bonanza.com.

We value your feedback because experience has proven to us that listening to our sellers’feedback is the best opportunity we have to consistently improve our product. That’s why we’ve streamlined communication in a multitude of ways. We have a dedicated feedback site, conduct regular surveys, and take other no-nonsense measures to ensure we build the features you need without wasting time on the features you don’t. It’s no coincidence that the tools we offer can be customized to fit our sellers’ needs!

Join our Seller Advisory Panel

Now we have another way to work with our sellers to develop a best in class value proposition for you. We are creating a new Seller Advisory Panel and we are looking for sellers who would like to participate.... (continued)


eCommerce Tax Preparation

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Given all that is going on in the world and with businesses right now, the absolute last thing most of us want to take the time to prepare and review, let alone think about, is taxes. All across the eCommerce landscape, small businesses are trying to navigate the tax complexities that have been dumped on our front doors. As a small business built to support small businesses, our team at Bonanza understands. From figuring out tax automation in order to comply with state Marketplace Facilitator responsibilities to the processes that require an online business to find and print tax forms, we’ve been there. Because we’re not tax experts, we elected to interview several that are to assist us. Just like the story of the 3 Bears, some felt “too big”, some felt “too new” and then we found one that was “just right” for us. We think they could be "just right" for you too!

We elected to partner with TaxCloud for our small business to ensure compliance with the ever-changing state tax requirements. We chose TaxCloud for several reasons:  

  • They determine the applicable sales tax rate based on the type of product or service, the buyer’s location, and the... (continued)


Stripe Available to All Sellers

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Hi Bonanzlers. Shelly here. I am the seller happiness manager at Bonanza. This means I gather feedback from you, our sellers, about what you need from Bonanza and then I work closely with our designers and developers behind the scenes to make it happen. 

Stripe is now available to all sellers! 

We are very excited to be able to finally activate this option as it took us a bit more time than we anticipated. Stripe is a payments platform that provides smooth solutions for businesses of all sizes, giving buyers a choice besides PayPal on how to pay for their purchase. 

Buyers want options

Providing more payment options to buyers often invites a higher rate of conversion. We also know how important it is to allow buyers to check out easily with a debit or credit card. And we heard loud and clear from you, that you wanted Stripe to be available to all of our sellers and not just those with a paid membership subscription. Taking into account all this valuable feedback, our way forward was clear, and we can’t wait for you to try it out.

Where do I sign up?

You can create a Stripe account by visiting ... (continued)


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!

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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)


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