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.

Small Business Saturday is here!

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

Illustration with festive holiday gifts

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

Illustration with Bonanza and Google Shopping logos

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.

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)


Bonanza Bulletin: Advertising Fees and Top Categories

BONANZA BULLETIN: SECOND QUARTER 2019

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.

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 ... (continued)


Extending Stripe to All Sellers

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

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:

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)


Bonanza Turns 11! Happy Anniversary Week

It’s already that time again — Anniversary Week has arrived! It feels like just yesterday we were celebrating last year’s 10th anniversary. We’re so excited to show our appreciation for the Bonanza community. Whether you’ve been with us since the beginning or are just starting out, I’d like to extend a wholehearted THANK YOU from all of us at Bonanza HQ.

$100 Gift Card Contest

This year, we’ve got tons of fun contests and giveaways lined up for Anniversary Week. First of all, we’re running a contest for all Bonanza buyers and sellers for the chance to win a $100 Bonanza gift card! It's super easy to enter – you can do that here.

We're also offering a special contest entry for our blog readers! 

Comment on this blog with one word to describe your favorite thing about Bonanza and we'll give you a bonus entry into the gift card contest. Here's some motivation to share a word: 

BonanzaGrace's One Word

My favorite word to describe Bonanza is INTENTIONAL. Here at Bonanza HQ, we work hard every day to build a site that makes ecommerce entrepreneurship accessible to all. We put effort and thought into building a company that serves... (continued)


Sales Tax Changes for Bonanza

Hello, Bonanzlers! Recently, several states have added Marketplace Facilitator Provisions to their sales tax laws.

What is a marketplace facilitator? A marketplace facilitator is a business or organization that contracts with third parties to sell goods and services on its platform and aids retail sales of at least $250,000 during a 12-month period.

That's us! 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 in that state.

As a business owner selling on Bonanza, you are responsible for collecting taxes when applicable. However, as of June 17, 2019, Bonanza will collect and remit sales tax on seller's behalf for all transactions where the buyer is located in Alabama, Iowa, New Jersey, and Washington State. This is thanks to a partnership with TaxCloud.

We recommend all sellers consult a tax professional in their state to determine their tax obligations. In this page and throughout our site, Bonanza is not acting... (continued)


3 Ways to Make the Most Out of Your Sustainable Packaging

This guest blog was written by a representative from noissue.co.

Ecommerce and sustainable packaging are two phrases that you rarely see together in the same sentence. Why? Because the combination is a bit of an oxymoron. When we think of eCommerce packaging, we think of miles of plastic wrapping, bubble-wrap and packing peanuts – nothing very eco-friendly! But this picture is slowly changing. Consumers now expect online businesses to integrate environmentally-friendly solutions into their operations – and this includes packaging! According to a European based study by Coleman Parkes Research in 2018, 92% of consumers would choose paper-based over plastic-based packaging, and 88% want more information written on packaging about its sustainability. If can you meet these consumer expectations, you stand to benefit massively as a brand.

In a nutshell, your packaging demonstrates to your consumers how sustainable your business is. After all, it’s the first thing your customer sees when their order arrives. And first impressions can significantly impact how brand loyal your customers remain. Just as a positive packaging experience can be incredibly beneficial, a negative experience can seriously damage brand perception, even with an excellent product.

Sustainable packaging can be a big selling point for your brand.... (continued)


CedCommerce’s Bonanza Shopify Integration App

This blog is part of our Bonanza Partners program. Bonanza did not pay for this app to be created, and does not make any money from the purchase of this app.
This guest blog was written by a representative from CedCommerce.

Many online sellers aim to diversify their businesses by listing their products on multiple sites that are popular among their targeted audiences. However, listing on several platforms has some downsides, like managing inventory and orders. This is where multi-channel sales apps come into the picture. These apps make inventory and order management hassle-free.

CedCommerce has designed a Bonanza Marketplace integration app that makes it easy to transfer your Shopify listings to Bonanza. We asked their team to share some of the highlights of this app – here’s what they said.

1. Bulk product upload

One of the greatest struggles of a multi-channel strategy is listing your items on every platform. With this app, you can upload your Shopify listings directly to Bonanza.

Learn more about how this process works

2. Profile-based product management

The app allows you to create item profiles and add details about an item before publishing to Bonanza. Similar to Bonanza’s shipping profiles, you can... (continued)


Importing Roadblocks that Sellers Forget to Ask About

This guest blog was written by a representative from Samuel Shapiro & Company, Inc.

You’ve probably heard the phrase “hindsight is 20/20.” Sometimes this phrase means “Now that I’ve experienced this situation, I know how to handle a similar one in the future.” Other times, it is used in lamentation — “This situation was unforeseeable, so there was nothing I could do to help it.”  

Although some things are unavoidable, there are ways to anticipate these proverbial “Road Work Ahead” signs and make changes before they slow down your momentum. Check out these tips from the international shipping experts at Shapiro.

1. Data doesn’t lie!
Look at your supply chain report card

If you aren’t tracking how your team is performing at each step in the process, you are missing out on important data. There are multiple factors (congestion, weather, holidays, provider quality, and so on) that determine how cargo moves. If you aren’t closely monitoring each link in your supply chain and reviewing your data, you won’t know who is responsible for the issue.

To help with this, some merchants create excel spreadsheets to collect data. If you use an international freight service like Shapiro, they have tools... (continued)


Seller Spotlight: At Peace Memorials

Good day! Back in June, we ran a contest as part of our 10th Anniversary. The lucky winner was At Peace Memorials (formerly AdamsUrns). We caught up with Adam to see how things are going, and to learn more about his story as an online seller.


How did At Peace Memorials get its start?
About 15 years ago, we had a passing in our family. When we met with the funeral home to discuss urns for cremation, the variety they offered was very limited and the prices were astronomical. I had a hard time finding something that really spoke to us and really defined who our loved one was. I thought to myself, "there has to be more out there,"" there has to be a better way to shop for urns. When I went online, I found a couple of sites, but still, the variety and pricing didn’t meet our expectations. I decided to make it my mission to help others find the perfect memorial product for their loved one, something that would really stand out and represent the interests and personality of the person they wish to memorialize.

Can you tell me more about your charity mission?
On one... (continued)


Bonanza Bulletin: First Quarter 2019

Extra, extra. Read all about it.

BONANZA BULLETIN: FIRST QUARTER 2019

Hello, Bonanzlers! It's nice to see you. After Punxsutawney Phil predicted an early spring, we hit the ground running in 2019. To that end, I’m happy to announce that we’re starting a new quarterly blog series called The Bonanza Bulletin. These posts will provide an overview of site updates and changes over the past few months. We’ll also include a sneak preview of what’s to come in the months ahead. Without further ado, here’s a recap of how our first quarter of 2019 went.

SELLER SURVEY RESULTS

As many of you might remember, we release a survey to our sellers at the end of each year. This feedback helps us identify and solve problems that Bonanza sellers face every day. We use this information to create a roadmap and plan our projects for the upcoming year. 

Marketing to past customers
One request from sellers was for more ways to market to past customers. This quarter, we're focusing on three key areas:

  • We are working on adding some seasonal marketing opportunities by identifying top-selling categories during key times of year and using that data to drive buyers to the site.
  • The Customer Marketing Toolis getting... (continued)


Preventing copyright infringement on Bonanza

Good day, Bonanzlers! Today, we’d like to discuss an important topic for online sellers: copyright infringement.

What is a copyright? A copyright is a form of intellectual property law. This means it protects original works of authorship including literary, dramatic, musical, and artistic works. Some examples are books, movies, songs, computer software, and photographs.

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 copyright rules.

Bonanza's LRP Team utilizes several tools to help remove and prevent copyright infringing items. They notify sellers of claims or items that have been removed, as well as work with brand contacts to remove listings reported by brands as infringing on copyrights.

In addition to these tools, we have a couple of tools in development right now that will allow our LRP team to proactively remove infringing items in bulk, as well as identify copyright infringement of images used in item listings. 

We get by with a little help from our friends

Despite our best efforts, it’s impossible for... (continued)


Holiday Marketing Recap

Hello, and happy Friday! Over the past few months, our marketing team has been busier than elves at the North Pole. We’ve devoted time, energy, and even money into increasing sales on behalf of our sellers during the busiest shopping season of the year. I’m excited to give you an update on Bonanza’s marketing efforts over the past few months. Our 4th quarter strategy was to focus on sales-driving events, like Halloween, Black Friday, and the myriad of December holidays.

Halloween

Costumes and Halloween accessories sell historically well on Bonanza, since buyers know we're a great place to find everything but the ordinary. With that in mind, wanted to make the most of this opportunity to drive new traffic to our sellers in advance of the major shopping season.

First, we created a listicle blog post called 100 Halloween Costume Ideas. We also created a series of video ads to promote costumes on Bonanza. The first video campaign advertised buying unique items on Bonanza and drove home our tagline – everything but the ordinary. The other three videos were stop-motion style ads that advertised the many different Halloween accessories that can be found on Bonanza. Here are the videos,... (continued)


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