Tuesday, September 23, 2008

The Place To Find Everything But The Ordinary

Spunky startup Bonanzle.com brands itself as being the place to “find everything but the ordinary”

Bonanzle.com Best eBay Alternative

In July of 2008, eBay struck a deal with web mega-retailer Buy.com that allows Buy.com to sell millions of books, DVDs, electronics and other items on eBay with a different fee structure from other eBay users.

This move was not welcome by the core eBay community; which helped define eBay in the early days as a sort of “dynamic garage sale.” Those sellers that counted on eBay for their livelihood are now being pushed out by a deal that puts them on an uneven playing field with Buy.com. Many sellers believe this agreement sends a clear message that eBay is no longer interested in the unique items that so many sellers had peddled to build up eBay during its formative days.

For many sellers, the silver lining in this cloud has been the recent move by Kirkland, WA startup Bonanzle to brand itself as a “place to find everything but the ordinary.” Explains founder Bill Harding,

“It is no secret to buyers that Amazon already provides a great way to find and buy newer, mass-produced items. It’s the unique items, the collectibles, the designer clothing and purses, the memorabilia, that neither Amazon, nor eBay, nor anyone else, is catering to. In contrast, at Bonanzle, the small seller with unique items is the only party we cater to. Buyers will recognize Bonanzle as the place to go when they want a unique item, and our sellers will prosper.”

So far, Harding has been right. In the last month alone, Bonanzle has gone from about 5,000 listings to more than 110,000 at the time of this release. This inventory total is comprised primarily of relatively small sellers with unique items. This phenomenon has led marketplace expert Randy Smythe to recently remark in his popular My Blog Utopia!, “You can find eBay’s Soul at Bonanzle.” Smythe goes on to point out that “During eBay's formative years, the site grew as sellers sold their wares to other sellers. It was a real trading community… that changed after they went public… you might say they’ve lost their soul.”

eBay expert, PowerSeller and consultant Scott Pooler recently wrote about Bonanzle on the Trading Assistant Journal

It is more than an alternative to alternatives, Bonanzle is a new animal entirely.

Bonanzle has taken some of the basic concepts of Craigslist (clean design, fast browsing and minimalistic appearance) and the basic concepts of the original eBay marketplace (a socially built marketplace for online commerce, easy to sell and buy, with a graphically pleasing look) and they have trumped both major venues with features that improve the entire concept of selling and buying at an online Bazaar.

Bonanzle sellers, eager to move forward from this new incarnation of eBay, have collectively rolled up their sleeves to help build Bonanzle as their new home. Bonanzle Forums are regularly filled with sellers collaborating on grassroots marketing ideas, including one recent thread that had more than 50 sellers volunteering their personal time and resources to promote Bonanzle. As Bonanzle seller 'cleosgreatdeals' puts it, “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.”

Y'all come back

Related Stories and Links:

EBay Deal With Buy.com Angers Auction Site's Sellers – New York Times
"You Can Find eBay's Soul at Bonanzle.com" – My Blog Utopia
Bonanzle - Bodacious eBay Competitor Gives Birth to Fresh Merchandising Format - Trading Assistant Journal

eBay alternative Bonanzle is super simple, list in 60 seconds
Auction Wally
Auctions and Antiques Examiner for Examiner.com


Mitzi said...

I'm all signed up and am working on importing my eBay listings... I love it so far, I can't wait to see what happens!

Cleo said...

Bonanzle's Bill Harding has credibly demonstrated that building an alternative marketplace which incorporates the elements of simplicity, and a clear understanding of customer needs, growth is inevitable.

Looks to us, without any reservation, that "vision" and a clear understanding of basic business concepts, will lead this alternative venue moving rapidly ahead.

Add a mix of enthusiastic sellers to this selling platform and you have a success pattern that cannot be matched.

Every now and again, someone emerges, incorporating all the elements that will lead the pack. Pierre was there in the 90s, Harding is here in 2008!

Thanks for you blog!