eCommerce Blog / Bonanza: An E-Commerce Site Analysis

Bonanza: An E-Commerce Site Analysis

Online sellers are always looking for new venues to distribute their inventory. Because gigantic companies such as eBay and Amazon have virtually monopolized the e-commerce market, any bright spots on the horizon are always met with a bit of fanfare.

Bonanza is just such a bright spot, and this post is a drop in the fanfare bucket. We're not talking about any TV westerns today: Bonanza is a powerful (if relatively late-coming) arrival on the online sales scene.

Today we'll be discussing this e-commerce site's history, past performance, and future prospects to see how it might benefit you in your online selling ventures.

The History of Bonanza

Formerly known as Bonanzle, Bonanza beta-launched in June 2008 and officially started business in September of the same year. The company was founded by Bill Harding, who offered the following quote about the company's mission statement:

"Bonanzle's goal is to be the simplest marketplace online, with an upbeat community that makes buying and selling fun again."

Short, sweet, and simple is always a recipe for successful strategy, and it's hard to argue that Harding hasn't met his goal to a large degree.

His statement that buying and selling online needed to be "fun again" is telling of the impetus behind the website's creation. Put simply, Harding was flat out fed up with the listing process on eBay.

It was too complicated, in too much flux, and an overall pain. Still, eBay is a big company, and it's not wise to directly challenge the biggest kid on the playground the first day of school. Likewise, Bonanza decided to take a tacit approach with e-commerce kingpin Amazon as well.

To avoid direct competition with the industry heavyweights, Harding decided to target niche markets exclusively. In his own words, "Our niche is everything but the ordinary. Things that one won't find on Amazon." 

True to his word, Harding ensured that the majority of offerings on Bonanza aren't listed anywhere else. The main offerings on Bonanza consist of oddball items such as jewelry, antiques, or collectibles, with collectibles leading the pack with approximately 1.5 million listings.

It's a Statistics Bonanza!

While they hype of Bonanza is palpable in forums and comment sections around the web, nothing is quite as telling as the available numbers themselves.

Take a look at the site's uptrend in traffic ranking via the fine statisticians at

As you can see, the website's traffic has always been pretty consistent, save for a bust period mid 2013. Once it climbed out of that valley, however, Bonanza soared to new heights of popularity, and is presently at an all-time high. If this upward trend in traffic continues, then the future looks very bright for Bonanza, and its community of niche sellers as a whole.

Perhaps even more encouraging are Bonanza's engagement metrics, which, despite the troublingly high bounce rate (nearly a third of incoming visitors decide they reached the wrong destination), show significant interaction among the average site users:

A typical visitor will scroll through more than 8 pages spending an average time of nearly seven and a half minutes on the site. Those number might not seem like much, but it's an eternity in terms of e-commerce averages.

As for the high bounce rate (which you'll note has decreased by 6 percent recently): This could be due to the site's niche selling focus. The average visitor may be looking for a fairly ordinary e-commerce offering, and when she arrives at Bonanza to find only the peculiar and unique niche items, she might just as soon look elsewhere.

The overwhelming point though, is that the loyal Bonanza users — buyers and sellers both — are distinctly engaged, entertained, and unlikely to bounce before their business is completed.

To put it into numerical terms, consider the following statistics. Bonanza has:

  • Over 2 million visitors per month.
  • More than 500,000 registered users.
  • In excess of 3.5 million items for sale.
  • A 150 percent increase in sales from year to year.

While it's not at the top of the food chain just yet, these are significant chunks of the e-commerce market, and the numbers definitely support Bonanza's overall viability to prospective sellers.

Why Sell on Bonanza?

Though the decent traffic volume in itself is an attractive reason to setup a store on Bonanza, it's far from the only incentive. Bonanza, like all e-commerce sites, has its pros and cons. Let's go through them one by one.

Bonanza Pros

First and foremost among the Bonanza benefits is ease of use. Sellers can import inventory lists from other websites such as eBay or Amazon, saving lots of time and tedium. But that's not the only thing you can transfer: you can bring over your feedback scores, too. This gives sellers the opportunity to parlay one online reputation onto another platform.

Additionally, Bonanza has an almost unlimited amount of potential items to sell, and there are no expiration dates for listings. The options for payment are many and varied, including major credit cards and Paypal. And once a month, sellers can choose to promote live events for their Bonanza stores. These consist of offering discounted sales or other equivalent opportunities to buyers.

Of course, it wouldn't truly be worth mentioning if Bonanza didn't have an attractive policy of zero listing fees, and no additional hidden fees in its payment structure.

Bonanza Cons

Though the numbers in traffic and views are encouraging, Bonanza is still a fledgling company. It can't hope to compete in terms of unique visitors with Amazon or eBay. The website is also highly competitive, with numerous sellers offering different variations on the same niche offerings. This being the case, it is extremely difficult to sell duplicate items on Bonanza. Opening an online store there necessitates unique inventory.

Related Guides: AliExpress Alternatives and eBay Alternatives

How to Sell on Bonanza

Like every great opportunity, there is first a requisite process that must be completed before you can meet with success on Bonanza. It begins with registration.


Remember that Bonanza's main offering is ease of use. Its registration process is straightforward and very intuitive. All in all, it shouldn't take longer than 10 minutes to complete. If you'd like to set up a booth now, go ahead and click here. Then take the following steps:

  1. Decide upon a name for your store, and select your preferred payment methods (pro tip: more is better when accepting payment methods).
  2. After step one is completed, select advanced options to set the different properties of your booth. These are odds and ends such as shipping time, coupons, return polices, or tax rules.
  3. Begin listing your inventory to your booth. You can either enter products manually, or as previously mentioned, import lists from eBay. Once you've listed your items, you'll be able to hit the "Activate Booth" button to begin selling.
  4. Next you'll finish filling out your seller account by providing your full name and the relevant details concerning your payment methods.
  5. Then simply review your choices and click OK to finish up.

Tips and Tricks

Since Bonanza isn't as popular as many other e-commerce sites, it's in your best interests to promote your web presence there. Here are some ways to do that:

Once your store has been set up and properly marketed, you'll want to start tracking your booth and inventory metrics to keep a close eye on what's selling and how to improve your offerings. To do this, click "My booth" and then "View item stats." This will redirect you to a page which will show you how many people have viewed either your booth or your individual items.

If you decide to get a Bonanza Pro account (which is $10 per month), you'll also receive a Google Analytics code that will show you where your booth's traffic is originating.

Bonanza is only increasing in sales and traffic volume. It's a wonderful site and a fantastic opportunity for niche sellers. If this sounds like a party you'd like to join, then start listing your products on Bonanza today.


Comments (8)

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Jay Taldov on 19:40 6 Mar
Have used bonanza for 4 months. Sorry, but nothing so major about this. Not with traffic and not with customer relations.
eunicebrowns on 22:07 17 Mar
Jay - would you recommend Bonanza for a new online seller? Just getting feet wet in this arena
Truth and TIps on 22:23 22 Feb
Truth and TIPs when signing up.

First Impressions. I was happy when I found Bonanza (MAINLY FOR THE EBAY AMAZON ETSY IMPORT FEATURE AND FREE LISTINGS) and had a good feeling before signing up and even better feeling when the import worked flawlessly, even better after I sold one item, even better after I sold 4 items in two weeks after I'd been told nothing ever sells on this site. Thought the site was a true gem, until I looked at my FEES.

In fact, after two weeks on the site and selling four items. One item under the basic 3.5% fee and the Bonanza site only rate package and thee items under the 9% fee package (which I never signed up for) (bonanza and google shopping).

AVOID 9% Marketing Fee on signup. Don't give Bonanza the 3.5 Ebay discount on signup unless you want to. THESE BOTH ARE THE DEFAULTS and are hard to see, signing up. If you end up leaving these Bonanza Defauts your basically paying 15.5% fees after you include the 3% paypal fee! THE SAME AS EBAY AND AMAZON, but with no buyer or seller protection, unless its through paypal protections.

Bonanza isn't special. They make you think the fees are only 3.5% plus normal paypal fees if those are used.
However the reality of the matter is, that when you sign up, they hide a 3.5% discount on your ebay imports. And hide the 9% actual fee they use for marketing on google shopping. So in reality your paying more or the same as if you would of just left your item on ebay.
They are marketing experts, and will sell your item with the highest amount of marketing money your willing to give up.

So if you have a best-seller, don't bother selling it on Bonanza, if you have something collecting dust USE Bonanza, cause it is true you can list for free until it sells (unlike ebay who you can only list for free if it sells), however on Bonanza many years may pass even at the 30% fee, the highest I've ever seen from any listing site.(seriously 10% fee for adding Bing Ads?!?!). And you get the feeling they just want you to keep selling you more and more advertising even if your literally selling a piece of cow pie.

So even if you remove the 3.5 discount for ebay imports, your still paying 9% if you actually really want to sell anything. If you already have an account on ebay or amazon, then this rate just isn't any good. Most sellers can get 6% on Computers and consumer electronics on other sites and I believe 9% is the standard high for ebay store sellers.
Their really isn't any incentive to use Bonanza. My next step might be to try Etsy.

Bonanza is the best when it comes to importing Ebay items (never tried the etsy or amazon import feature, and now probably won't) , Best at Marketing, but worst on principles and values and loyalty. They even moderate their message boards and remove any of your American 1st amendments rights to tell the truth!
Grace on 0:58 8 Mar
Hi there! I'm a member of the Bonanza Team, and I first wanted to say thanks for your feedback. It's helpful for us to hear what our users think about our platform and how they understand our features. I also wanted to give you (and other readers) some insight to the way our fees work.

Our standard commission fee starts at 3.5%, and if you enable your items to be discovered via Google Shopping, you can pay up to 9%. Those rates do not compound (you will never have to pay 9% + 3.5% on your item) but rather are a range you can expect to fall under. That information is provided upon registering for Bonanza.

We have several advertising percentage levels so that we can serve a wide variety of sellers. Most of our sellers don't end up paying the maximum fee, but it is wise for sellers to calculate the maximum potential fee percentage into the price of their items. Because it is free to list an item on Bonanza, you can ensure you will never lose money as long as your profit margins account for the advertising fee you've opted into.

I hope that answers some of your questions!
Carl Lundgren on 7:26 1 May
You would think that Bonanza would advertise on TV to get name recognition.
on 2:55 26 Sep
Bonanza was good when it was Bonanzle. But then the name changed and so did everything else. I've been a member since the beginning. Use to get a lot of sales but when they started making all kinds of changes, support got terrible and sales ceased. Then they started putting members listings on eBay if one paid for it. Made no sense as a person could put their own listings on eBay and get more sales then going thru Bonanza. They also started acting like eBay with policies. Many of the original members like myself left eBay because they were requiring people to use Palpal. When we all originally signed up on Bonanzle, they said we could take money orders and checks. Then earlier this summer they said no we had to take Paypal and if we didn't sign up for it they would close our booths, which they did. Gave us a two week notice. I had over 500 listings and summer is a busy time so all my listings got shut down. Then they let me open it for a couple weeks, got several sales, got closed then opened and again several sales. Now I'm closed again. So seems to me they don't want buyers. I was getting sales and buyers were paying with money orders or checks. So Bonanza is always making changes (few that benefit the sellers), finding new ways to charge people, don't care about the ones who have backed them from the beginning and has no customers - considering all this I would not recommend going to all the work of opening a booth and wasting your time listing. As soon as I can I will be moving all my listings to eCrater.
Joanna on 13:27 24 Dec
I can't figure out who the sellers are? How can I make sure I pick ethical sellers if there's no information about them?
Melissa Johnson on 3:36 2 Jan
With most online marketplaces your best bet is just to look at feedback scores on the items and the seller's history.
Lorrie W. on 15:39 18 Jul
You make it all sound so simple. I dont have a computer, setting up a store on Bonanza took over a week, with a cell phone and magnifying glass. Have you ever personally tried setting up a store?

Monthly Bonanza "advertising" fees to get your products seen can be as much as a car loan. Again, you make it all sound so simple.

Etsy is user friendly, and they drive your listings right to Google Shopping at no charge. Now that is simple.


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