How to Sell on Bonanza?

Are you tired of competing with big brands on Amazon, eBay, or Etsy? Do you feel your marketing isn't working because your products remain invisible? You need a new marketplace that's less crowded and offers better advertising and store management options.


Try Bonanza. Despite being a fraction of the size of other popular platforms, 50,000 independent sellers voted Bonanza as the "Most Recommended Marketplace." It's ideal for startups or small businesses seeking to grow in a focused market. Longtime Bonanza users cite several reasons they love the platform.


  • Unlike Amazon, Bonanza doesn't compete with sellers. It doesn't private label or sell similar products.
  • Your product listings are automatically promoted across the platform, so you're not entirely on your own. On other platforms, you need to run paid ads to get some support.
  • Bonanza's selling fees are among the lowest on the market.
  • Multichannel integration allows sellers to import their products from other platforms seamlessly.
  • Multiple advertising options are available, and they partner with off-platform marketing channels.


In this guide, we’ll walk you through creating a booth in Bonanza, the benefits of having a Webstore, advertising your brand inside and outside the platform. We’ll also delve into the potential issues you might encounter when managing your account.


How to Sell on Bonanza


Creating an account and listing items on Bonanza might seem intimidating, even for experienced online sellers, because of Bonanza's distinctive features designed to simplify sales and marketing. Here's a brief guide to help you through the process.


Step 1: Create a booth.


A booth is your virtual storefront, where you list and sell your products. After your booth is set up and activated, any listed product becomes searchable through Bonanza.


To create one, go here. Hover above 'Sell on Bonanza' in the top left corner of the homepage and click 'Start selling in one click.' This will take you to the booth setup page, where you can create a Bonanza account and name your Bonanza booth.


You can create a Bonanza account using your email address or Facebook account. Your username must only contain letters, numbers, and underscores. Then, create a booth title. This title must be unique and represent your brand or niche.


To confirm that you've read and agreed to Bonanza's Terms and Conditions, tick the box below the booth title tab. Then, click 'Continue.'


The next step is to choose whether to import your listings on other platforms or upload an inventory sheet. Bonanza allows you to import inventory from Amazon, eBay, Shopify, and Etsy. This makes product listing easier as all that's left to do is tweak the description and settings to match Bonanza's required format.


You may also opt out of the platform-to-platform inventory import and upload an inventory sheet. This inventory sheet is a CSV file that contains all the necessary data about your products. Learn more about Bonanza's policy and guidelines on importing items from a CSV file here.


If your inventory isn't ready yet, skip this part. Just click 'Continue Booth Activation' in the bottom right corner of the page.


Here comes the tedious part.


You must fill out a form with your personal details. You also need to choose how to handle shipping: cover the costs yourself, add a markup to shipping fees, or pass the shipping costs on to buyers. Then, click 'Continue Setup' to move to the next step or 'Finish Later' if you want to continue another time.


How do you want to receive payments? Bonanza requires all sellers to connect their Bonanza booth with PayPal. If Stripe is available in your location, you can add it as a payment option. Bonanza advises logging out of PayPal before continuing the account setup for safety.


Decide whether or not to use Bonanza's advertising services. That will cost you up to 9% of each sale on top of the 3.5% commission Bonanza takes. That 3.5% covers basic advertising, so you get advertising services whether you opt for a higher ad service tier. You can adjust the rate anytime.


Bonanza account setup costs $10. This fee covers all associated administrative costs. Bonanza will automatically charge this to the credit or debit card you enter. This is the last step in the account setup process. Once you click 'Finish,' you're ready to list your products.


Step 2: List your products.


Return to the homepage and hover above 'Sell on Bonanza' in the top left corner again. Select 'Add or edit items' from the menu. In the top right corner, click the blue button that says 'Add a new item.'


Complete the form the same way you would on other marketplaces. Provide a clear title, crisp lifestyle photos, and a detailed description. You also need to choose a category and set a price.


The rest is optional, but it's better to include as much information as possible to maximize visibility. This is also an effective way to manage customer expectations and avoid complaints or returns.


Another way to list products is to import inventory from another platform or a CSV file. To do this, go back to 'Sell on Bonanza' and select the import option corresponding to the location of your inventory.


If you're importing from another platform, connect your booth with that platform, choose your preferred import settings, and click 'Import items.'


Step 3: Activate your booth.


Your listings will only be searchable through Bonanza if you activate your booth. Return to the homepage, navigate the drop-down menu, and select 'Add or edit items.'


Now that you have existing listings, a green button that says 'Open Booth' will appear on your account. Clicking this button will activate your booth.


It will take 4 to 6 hours before your listings become indexed on Bonanza. However, you can opt to make them visible on other platforms, such as Google Shopping, through Bonanza's advertising services.


What is a webstore?


Bonanza Webstores are online stores hosted on the Bonanza platform. These webstores allow sellers to create customized storefronts to showcase their products more creatively. Sellers can personalize their webstores with their branding, logos, and design elements to create a unique shopping experience for customers.


How does a webstore differ from a booth? Webstore is Bonanza's version of Amazon A+ and A++ Content. It's an upgrade for your Bonanza booth. Instead of a plain-looking store that resembles other stores, you get a landing page you can personalize using different themes and homepage slide styles to showcase your brand's unique attributes.


It's like having your own website within Bonanza. Unlike a booth, you own the entire page. No platform-supported ads or promos litter around your content and distract visitors. However, you still need a booth to set up a webstore since you're only shifting to a different interface.


Webstores offer many other perks besides customization. For instance, your webstore may serve as your booth's double. It can appear separately in front of the same audience, meaning your product listings are twice as visible as those of booth-only stores.


Like a website, your webstore can include different elements to educate your audience more effectively about your products. For example, you can include banners, GIF images, and promotional videos instead of the typical photo gallery available in your booth.


How much does selling on Bonanza cost?


Bonanza doesn't charge sellers an upfront listing fee. It only gets a commission from each sale you make. That commission depends on your store type—a booth or a webstore—and the final offer value (FOV) you and your buyer agree on.


FOV is the price of your product plus the excess shipping fee beyond $10. For example, if your product costs $20 and you charge $14 for shipping, the FOV is $24 ($20 product price + $4 excess of the shipping cost).


From here, Bonanza calculates the commission it will take from the transaction. For each sale, they will charge you a final value fee (FVF) and a $0.25 transaction fee. FVF is calculated based on the FOV. Specifically, they will charge 3.5% for a less than $500 FOV and 3.5% + 1.5% for an over $500 FOV. The 1.5% flat fee is only added after the first $500 FOV.


These charges only apply to sales made through a booth. If you're selling through a webstore, Bonanza will charge you zero selling fee. The $25 monthly or $225 annual membership fee + tax covers all costs.


How do you ship your products?


Like on other platforms, you can offer your customers a flat rate, free shipping, or calculated shipping and adjust the prices of your items to cover the incurred costs.


When someone orders and pays for an item, the "Buy Shipping" option will appear at the bottom of the transaction page. This will let you choose the shipping service to use. On Bonanza, you can buy and print USPS, UPS, and FedEx shipping labels.


They require sellers to do this on the platform to avoid the non-refundable $2 shipping assessment they charge for each label purchased outside the platform. You may be exempted from the shipping assessment charge if you meet these conditions:


  • If you manage order fulfillment through a third-party Bonanza-approved API partner.
  • If you obtain and fulfill inventory through a dropshipping service.
  • If you ship from outside the United States.


The shipping cost depends on the receiver's location, your chosen postage label, and product packaging. You can print the labels using any standard thermal or ink printer in ZPL, PDF, or PNG format.


If you don't have a printer at home and there's a USPS, FedEx, or UPS store near you, take the label saved on your phone in PDF to the store and ask them to print it for you. They'll print it for free.


Stick the label on the upper-right corner of your parcel with packaging tape or glue. Consider covering the entire label with clear tape to prevent it from coming loose during transit.


Tip: Offer free shipping. You can increase the price of your items to absorb the cost. Free shipping reduces the chance of cart abandonment. Buyers tend to gravitate toward listings with free shipping, even if the prices are slightly higher.


How do you promote your products?


Bonanza is smaller than Amazon, eBay, or Etsy. With only around 100,000 active users, finding buyers can be pretty hard, even with the advertising solutions the platform offers. However, there are several ways you can make your booth or webstore more visible.


1. Good ol' optimization.


Promotion is a two-milestone process. First, you want as many potential customers as possible to know your brand and how to buy your products. Second, you want those potential customers to buy your products more than once.


The second milestone can only be achieved by building customer trust and connections. To do that, you need to optimize your Bonanza seller profile.


  • Don't just type in your brand or business name. Mention what makes you unique or the scope of your services, too. For instance, include lines like "I sell designer bags and jewelry in Idaho" or "I can ship your items within the US in three days."


  • Use a clear photo of yourself or your brand logo, and include a business address and contact details. Buyers trust brands that don't hide behind aliases and are ready to communicate when they need more information.


  • If you have an existing store on eBay, import customer feedback from there. This feature is available on your profile page. This shows that you are an established brand with many satisfied customers.


  • Optimize your product listings as well. Price your items correctly and include as many sharp and crisp images of your products as possible. Use only essential words and phrases to maximize the title and description word count limit. If you're targeting a specific market, mention it in your content.


  • Be honest about your product's condition and traits, but only mention them in the description. Including them in the title could affect your search engine ranking.


2. Promote outside Bonanza.


Use social media and email marketing to spread the news about your Bonanza booth or webstore. Post announcements on Facebook and photos of your products on Instagram or Pinterest. Reach out to your followers on Twitter, Snapchat, or LinkedIn.


Just be careful when including links in your captions. Some social media sites prohibit sharing external links and restrict or ban accounts that do. You don't want to lose any of your marketing channels, especially when you've just launched your Bonanza business.


If you have existing stores on other marketplaces, chances are you've implemented lead-generation strategies before. Use your gathered data, including your email list, to connect to all your leads. Email marketing is four times more effective than social media marketing.


To make your promotion more interesting, share a private coupon with those who complete a simple task like following your page or reacting to your promotional posts. A private coupon is a code select people can use to access discounts or other offers. This will attract more traffic to your listings.


3. Advertise with Bonanza.


Combining organic and paid marketing solutions is critical to generating leads and driving traffic to your booth or webstore. Like other platforms, Bonanza offers a straightforward and wide-reaching advertising program that you can integrate into your marketing strategy to reach a bigger audience.


Despite being one of the smaller marketplaces, Bonanza has a proven record of successful ad campaigns, thanks to its solid partnership with Google, eBay, Turbo Traffic, and other marketing channels. The best part is that you only pay the advertising fee whenever you make a sale.


Bonanza advertising program comes in five tiers.


  • Economy (3.5%): Bonanza will promote your products whether or not you run ads for your listings. As mentioned, Bonanza sellers don't do all the work when advertising their products. They get a little help from Bonanza, as their products get advertised on the platform and associated social media channels.


  • Basic (9%): If you opt for the basic advertising tier, your products will be advertised through Google Shopping, Bonanza Promotions, and Bonanza's Affiliate Program. However, a $0.25 transaction fee will apply to every sale you make through Bonanza Promotions.


  • Standard (13%): Bonanza will publish your listings on eBay with this tier. Your product can then be purchased either on Bonanza or eBay. You only pay 13% if your products sell on Bonanza. If they sell on eBay, you pay eBay the corresponding FVF and Bonanza a 1.5% commission.


  • Superior (19%): Bonanza will promote your product listings on select advertising platforms, including the ones covered by the above advertising tiers.


  • Elite (30%): Paid advertising on Bonanza's search engine and marketplace partners involves bidding on keywords to target specific market segments more precisely. This advertising tier offers more reliable bids and, therefore, better exposure.


Issues You Might Encounter When Using Bonanza


Bonanza is a work in progress, but it has come a long way from being a typical marketplace where sellers must figure out many things independently. Despite its improvements, the platform still has its share of shortcomings that you may encounter when you open a booth or webstore.


  1. Restocking sold-out items is more complicated on Bonanza than on any other platform. On other platforms, you can search for sold-out or deactivated items on your product lists and renew them. On Bonanza, you must look for the most recent sale of the product and restock it from there. This means you must go through all your sales records to find it. To make matters worse, it pulls up along with other products sold on the same date.


  1. Bonanza changes the URL of your product listings whenever you restock. This can be tricky if you use the original lists on your off-platform ads. For instance, if you include the links in the captions of your social media posts, you need to replace them every time you restock.


  1. Your digital downloads may fail due to the browser you're using or your computer settings. The problem is, if you're subscribed to Webstore, you are only allowed ten digital downloads a month, including the ones that failed. If you want more, you must pay $25 on top of the monthly subscription fee.


  1. Sometimes, buyers can't check out products they've added to their carts. They'll click 'Add to cart,' but when they go to checkout, the system will tell them there's nothing in their cart. Frustrated customers who don't know it's the platform's inadequacy that's causing the problem might blame you and give your store negative feedback.


  1. There are also cases when switching to vacation mode puts your entire inventory on reserve. This means your products won't be visible to customers, which makes sense because you won't be around to fulfill orders. To make your products available for sale again, you can auto-batch your inventory and switch to 'sale.' The problem is that you probably have inventory that you want to keep as reserve products. If so, you need to reset them one by one.


  1. When creating an account, you must have a credit card on file. Bonanza will take out all fees due to them from that credit card. Once that credit card expires, you must replace it with a new one. Unfortunately, there have been instances when the 'Save' button is unclickable. You need to contact customer support to fix this problem.


Sell on Bonanza Today!


Bonanza is perfect for brands looking for an unpopulated and more affordable platform. If you're targeting a small market within North America and have limited resources to manage your store, selling on giant platforms like eBay or Amazon makes little financial sense. Consider growing your store in Bonanza until you can expand to larger markets.


Leverage Bonanza's multichannel integration to boost marketing and simplify product listing. Connect your BigCommerce, Magento, Prestashop, Woocommerce, or Shopify store and experience the best of both platforms. Navigate through the platform's advertising program to pick the tier that will bring your business the most organic traffic and conversion.