Monday, September 15, 2008

You Can Find eBay's Soul At!

Over the past few months, I've heard quite a bit about a new ecommerce site called Bonanzle, so I finally took a look at it. I was surprised to find a fresh looking, easy to use site, that has a sense of community and reminds me a lot of the early days of eBay.
During eBay's formative years, the site grew as sellers sold their wares to other sellers. It was a real trading community. Soon after going public, eBay began to change and if you look at the site now you might say they've lost their soul.
Bonanzle, has a fresh, 2008 look and feel, is easy to navigate and has some nice Web 2.0 features that help facilitate a sense of community. Many of the sellers there, sell to each other, raising the comparison to the early days at eBay.
Many of my readers are small sellers, who are struggling to find an alternative to eBay and while there are many choices out there, each of them has there own issues. Bonanzle has the "soul" of eBay and is benefiting from the network effect that helped eBay grow.
Bonanzle, allows eBay sellers to import their hard earned feedback, as well as their current eBay listings and sellers can be up and running in no time. The site has a merchandising feature called a Bonanza, that allows sellers to participate in a sale or promotion and benefit from focused traffic. 
I reached out to the Founder, Bill Harding, to get some information on traffic and other statistics and here's what I came up with:
  • As of last week there were 1714 registered users, and they are growing by 50 users a day on avg.
  • There are 58,000 items listed on the site. They are adding about 1,000 new items a day.
  • Their Alexa ranking was 1,857,292 on Aug 2nd and they are at 344,257 today
  • They are averaging [3000] plus visits a day with over [2,000] uniques and growing.
The site just came out of Beta and is ramping up for the holiday season and based on what I've seen and heard from those who've already set-up shop there, Bonanzle is putting the fun back into online selling.
For many large sellers, fun is not part of the equation, but for the small sellers who make-up the backbone of eBay, online selling is more of a lifestyle choice and they want to enjoy what they do.
If you are an eBay seller and looking for an alternative to eBay for your product, I would suggest you try out
For those of you who have already setup shop there, please use the comments section to share your impressions.

Just my 15%


Rich said...

Several email questions to Bonanzle were all politely answered in under ten minutes max.

This is the BEST newbie and I've tried them all.

But, the little matter of sales... And, are they in it for the long-term?

Chris @ TameBay said...

I'd have to disagree with "the site grew as sellers sold their wares to other sellers", my friend. I'd say "eBay grew as normal people sold their unwanted goods to buyers". In the early days there weren't many "sellers" and they certainly weren't selling to sellers.

Think of eBay (Bonazle/other site) as a pot of money. Buyers pour money into the pot, sellers take it out. If you have a site where there's only sellers everyone is trying to take more out (ie make a profit!) than they put in. A site of sellers means most people will make a loss. A site of buyers is what these new sites should be aiming to be.

Randy Smythe said...

Chris, I probably should have used the word traders and the idea of sellers really wasn't formulated in the early days.

Sure, this comparison with the early days of eBay is not 100% accurate because the online world is much more mature and many of the folks moving over to Bonanzle are "sellers" not traders.

Anonymous said...

Whether Ebay "deteriorates" by their own stupidity or the veteran small sellers all wear out and quit, this company will never again be Ebay. Buyers will still want to buy collectibles and used commodities. Why would that change now?

I'm using Ebay while I can but setting up shop at other sites. This makes good sense to me.

Henrietta said...

Good analogy Randy, Bonanzle is heaven for the microseller (GMV sub $1K) a month.

Bonanzle has been out of beta for 15 days and I have made more sales there than anywhere other than my website since May.

I am finding reasonably priced collectibles there that are 'unfindable' on eBay. I like to buy as much as sell, this is very typical of small sellers and a fact that eBay either ignored or was oblivious to.

Without a crystal ball nobody can tell if a venue is in it for the long haul. eBay is not viable long term for the small sellers of unique, funky and non-barcoded product.

Lets talk facts and forget the warm fuzzies:
If you were smart enough to recognize opportunity when it knocked, while Bonanzle was in beta, and signed up (free), put a few items up for sale (free), you were rewarded by six months after exiting beta fee free.

There are no listing fees. Commission is 50c under $10 sale price, $1 under $50 sale price and a whopping $3 under $100. The two final tranches are $5 from $100 to $1000 and $10 for items sold over $1000.


No, we are not ready for JanandMarie yet, but we will be.

I have a whole 142 listings, increasing daily (I stopped selling on eBay in May so have no listings to import). If I need to make a change, using the bulk editor (I asked for and got within 24 hours) it will take me less than a minute. I can prepend and/or append text to every listing with 3 clicks.

I can take PayPal, Google Checkout, cash, Money Orders or checks, Bonanzle thinks that is my business not theirs.

Bonanzle has taken Randy's mantra to heart. They have enabled sellers and gotten out of the way. I am a believer :~)

ms.pat said...

I've tried a lot of the other sites. I even have two shops on Etsy - but there it is mostly sellers buying from other sellers. I love my shop on bonanzle - love the way its set up and I've had good sales this week....from my buyers on Ebay who switched over ;-) I think sellers set up on another site and then sit and wait to be - I have a 10 year long list of people who bought from me on Ebay and I'm making it part of my business to reach out to them and let most of them know where they can find me now.

Take a peek - its really a nice setup.

Anonymous said...

My favorite is the Visit Random Booth feature. Forget Best Match- had ebay implemented View Random Seller instead, the serendipity woulda been there in spades!

Ebay- those sterile, hermetically sealed fools

Anonymous said...

Your booth looks really nice. I like Bonanzle's seller page a lot better than's Ebay's. I've got an account there but now I'm inspired.

I hope about 200,000 people read this blog.

Beth in NY said...

I just signed up a few days ago. Planning on copying all my items from ebay over there to see what happens. I figure it can't do any harm. I think everyone is hoping for another site to pop up that has as much appeal as ebay did in its beginnings. I remember spending hours upon hours perusing ebay when I first found them in 1997. It was like being a kid in the candy store. There were so many one of a kind things I'd never seen before and I learned so much. Oh, the good old days.

ms.pat said...

anonymous - thanks. I'm glad you got inspired - and don't forget to tell your buyers where you are ;-)

Renagade said...

I must say Bonanzle is one of the freshest places I have seen! You know if the seller is "online" and can send message by leaving it in their booth...if they are not there...wait a minute or two...they will be! The place is full of good sellers and with the owners being so active on the is bound to become the next best thing on the web! Step aside eBay!...Today it's Bonanzle!
PS...Yes I am a can visit me at

Cliff Aliperti said...

No doubt, the sellers have found Bonanzle and fallen in love, I'm there too, though I agree with Chris' comment to some degree--we need buyers to fall in love next.

I signed up on July 30 after reading this article on The site had approximately 250 members at that time, as I check right now it's grown to 1,945 users--not bad for 45 days. Among those nearly 2,000 users I see just 740 booths, so that's at least a nice percentage of folks who aren't selling, at least at the moment.

I'm not really getting any sales at this time, but to be honest I'm not really putting any work into it yet. I did the eBay import, I held a 3-hour Bonanza, which was a lot of fun--I chatted for an hour with a seller I'd never met, then for another couple with each of the owners and Henrietta--had a couple of sales there, but that's all. I've given the site a mention in my newsletter, on blogs like this, twitter, put a discreet banner on one of my pages which I hope to give more attention later. I've also heavily recommended it as my top choice of eBay alternative to anyone I've spoken to about selling.

Bonanzle is exciting. It's pulled in the best features of eBay, eBay alternatives, added a touch of their own personality and has an open ear towards users on future developments.

I'm planning on devoting more attention to the site in 2009 and optimistic that efforts will pay off down the line.

And since others have done so, I'll finish up my Bonanzle pep talk with a link to my own booth.


Razmear said...

To aid some of my buyers who were having trouble getting used to the new format I made a little tutorial that will show some of the checkout process. It is located at:


cleosgreatdeals said...

It was nice to be greeted at the door. Shortly after signing up, I received a text message from staff member Mark, welcoming me. That was a first for any site!

Signed up to sell on August 20, setting up quickly. On a simple 1/3 page the first item was listed.

The unique item market is what Pierre had in mind for eBay and it worked for many years. When it stopped working for us it was time to move into a new marketplace and learn about promoting.

We intend to ride the wave on Bonanzle because in three weeks, our experience has been more than refreshing.

Sellers only want to ride the wave when a site is established. In all selling venues, booths/stores need to be promoted by sellers. Your success selling anywhere is only driven by the effort you put into it. Bonanzle has offered the vehicle we found most comfortable!

Bonanzle is the attractive, simple, venue that offers unique sellers more than we have seen on any other site.

Chat/answer questions from customers live.

List on a simple list page.

Receive full support from the ownership. Questions are answered by real live people!

Owners Bill and Mark, keep sellers informed about site changes.

Bonanzle feeds items to google and oodle shopping and product searches.

Visit our booth:

Cabanalolita said...

I signed up during beta in August excited at the prospect of joining a new and fresh looking online marketplace. I have sold and bought on Bonanzle since joining and love the fact that you can actually find collectibles by every seller. No "best match" search showing favortism to certain sellers in place at Bonanzle!

I bought a great pair of collectible antique salt & pepper shakers at a Bonanza sale over the weekend at 50% off. Enjoyed the live chat with the seller, and all questions were answered in real time! I'm happy to be part of the Bonanzle community. The folks there are friendly and helpful. I can't believe how fast it's growing! Stocking up for the coming holiday season! Looks like the buyers are finding their way there! I love the contest Bonanzle is having to promote organic growth.

Feel free to visit my Squidoo lens about a Bonanza sale or my booth at Bonanzle.

My Squidoo lens about Bonanzle is located here:

Etta said...

We joined Bonanzle on Aug 24th after checking out several other alternatives. Reading the Bonanzle policies, help pages, signing up, importing our eBay feedback and listing our first few items took less time than it would have to read through some of those "other" sites' policies!

Listing is stress-free, you can get an IM when someone enters your booth and then chat in real time with them!

The fees are insanely simple to understand. The community is fun and helpful. The owners actual come on and reply to topics and ask for user opinions! They even reply to your emails! *faint*

Check it out you will find selling and buying can be fun again!

Our Booth:

Susan said...

Although I'm still a powerseller on ebay, and these days sell primarily from my own website, I have been looking for an online marketplace to replace my ebay presence for obvious reasons. I wanted to do business in an atmosphere that supported community, communication, and creative forward thinking. I found that in Bonanzle.

Anonymous said...

The 'Nanze is ebay's Kryptonite.
So long, suckers!

Anonymous said...

I signed up for Bonanzle while it was still in beta, within record time, I had all my listings transferred over and my booth set up, a definitive example of their motto "relentless simplicity".
I have gotten sales, during my bonanza (sale), and from previous clients that contacted me, wondering where I went.
But recently, I have been getting sales completely unsolicited by me, and not from other sellers. That for me marks the beginning of a wonderful relationship!
Add that to a wonderful, positive, helpful community spirit, and we have a winner folks!

sallenblanchard said...

I joined Bonanzle after a search for Ebay alternatives turned up the site's name. I thought "why not!?" - and the rest is history. I'm there to stay, closing my Ebay store on 10/1, and have advised all my past bidders. I've had nothing but positive responses from my bidders, with several looking to come over as well. Bonanzle is EASY. Selling is much more FUN on Bonanzle - like it used to be on Ebay. Fees are low, people are friendly, and you don't have to worry about all the rules and restrictions of Ebay. Payments are not restricted to Paypal only - you can pay by electronic or paper means - or even (gasp) good old American cash.

Check it out - you'll be glad you did!

Cindy said...

I'm a fairly new seller on the internet. Some of the sites I looked into were hard to figure out. With me not being expierenced on the computer I stayed away. This site is easy to list on, I can do what I want to do. I think if I want to give a free gift for someone purchasing a lot that's my choice and here you can do it without a hassle. This is a great site and I understand completely why the number of people signing up is so large. I'd like to say THANK YOU BILL for giving us this site.

nightgirl said...

After being scared to sell on ebay anymore, having been a small time seller there for 8 years, I have finally found my selling home!

For 8 months I reviewed and observed many different auction/selling sites, I registered at a few of them, but not one has met and exceeded my selling needs like Bonanzle has!

I could go on about all the exciting and fun features at Bonanzle but I would probably miss a few as there are so many!

So you'll have to come see for yourself!!

Anonymous said...

BONANZLE...Better then ice cream on a hot summer day!!
Enough said!
Come over and visit my booth...

tree411 said...

Bonanzle is the place to be...Bonanzle is the place for me... Stop by and say Hi at hhtp://

Jim S. said...

Catching up on your blogs today (9/24). I went to Bonanzle but none of their links seem to be working at the moment.

Randy Smythe said...

Hey Jim,

Looks like they are working for me. May be something else going on. I checked them with the Google Chrome browser.

Anonymous said...

Bonanzle is fantastic. Easy to list, easy to shop, friendly community and most importantly as a seller they give you the tools to track your progress and promote your booth/store. It's the best place I've found to sell and believe me I've tried almost all of them!

Selena said...

I love this site! I imported 35 Ebay listings with one click in 13 seconds. It also let me import all of my feedback! In less than a minute you can transfer your entire Ebay business to this site FOR FREE! This site really knows how to treat its customers...buyers and sellers! I am watching it grow by leaps and bounds. LOVE IT, LOVE IT, LOVE IT! NO MORE FEEBAY FOR ME:) Check out my booth at

Selena said...

sorry this is the link to my booth:

SusanM11556 said...

I have been a book seller on eBay for the past 5 years. I have done well over the years building a repeat customer base and welcoming new customers every day. I still have my eBay site. I have also imported all of my listing to a new site

Bonanzle is free to list and free to have up to 4 photos. The guys who run the show there are very good at what they do. They will personally answer you and even ask your opinion in the forums. You can chat live with a person who is browsing your items and interact with other sellers.

I guess after researching the many alternatives, I have found this to be the best. The display when you first log in to Bonanzle is professional. It is a clean, easy to use site with "booths" for the sellers who offer what ever payment type they choose.

The beauty of it is that the seller can be linked to Google Base where your items will eventually appear at the top of the pages when your item is searched. And this is free! There are FVF's, but minimal compared to eBay.

The site is growing leaps and bounds everyday. Of course, it doesn't have the notoriety that eBay does, YET. If you, as a seller, want a great alternative and grow with this site, it can't hurt at all to list your items parallel to what you currently have listed on eBay and eventually get out from under the grips of a "sinking ship".

So, come on over and check it out. You will find many eBay refugees, in fact most of the sellers are. Many former PowerSellers that are making the transition, one of them is me.

ECBeauty said...

Time for another article on Bonanzle's Growth.

I love the title of this blog post - gives me chills

Check out my squidoo lens to see the growth of Bonanzle

Randy Smythe said...


Very nice Squidoo lens. Glad to see Bonanzle is doing so well. Bill and Mark are executing very well right now.

I believe good things are in store for Bonanzle.

ECBeauty said...

yes everything is moving along "swimmingly" LOL.

I feel pure exuberance when I am on Bonanzle. It really is the best site and Bill & Mark are top notch people!

sandycourtney said...

I have tried many selling venues on the internet and stopped looking when I spotted Bonanzle. I joined the site in August, 2008 and was the 1,115 th member to join. Today, February 11th, 2009 there are nearly 30,000 members and the site continues to boom. There are too many good things about Bonanzle to mention here, so I would just say check out the site yourself.

grandmakaffee said...

Absolutely right! I have been a power seller on ebay for ten years, two ids, and left for good when I discovered bonanzle. No more nostalgia for the early Wild West days on ebay, bonanzle has captured the fun, variety, and community spirit with an elegantly simple, fun site.

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