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How to sell on Bonanza
Learn how to set yourself up for success if you’ve decided to start selling on the Bonanza marketplace.
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Bonanza is an online marketplace designed to connect online sellers with buyers all around the globe. You can sell everything from fashion accessories to auto parts on the platform without having to pay any listing fees.
But setting up a Bonanza booth and understanding fees on the platform can be a little complicated, especially if you're based in Australia, so keep reading to find out how selling on Bonanza works.
How do I decide what to sell on Bonanza?
You can sell a diverse range of items on Bonanza, with sellers able to list items across a variety of categories, including the following:
- Womens fashion
- Mens fashion
- Business and industrial
- Cameras and photo
- Cell phones and accessories
- Coins and paper money
- Computers/tablets and networking
- Consumer electronics
- Digital goods
- Dolls and bears
- DVDs and movies
- Entertainment memorabilia
- Home and garden
- Health and beauty
- Jewellery and watches
- Musical instruments and gear
- Parts and accessories
- Pet supplies
- Pottery and glass
- Specialty services
- Sporting goods
- Sports memorabilia
- Tickets and experiences
- Toys and hobbies
- Video games and consoles
How to find products to sell
If you're just starting out in the world of online selling, there are a few steps you can take to find products to sell on Bonanza:
- Sell what you know. If you have a passion for fashion or a love of cute dog accessories, you might want to turn your hobby into an online business.
- Research popular categories. Browse the Bonanza marketplace to find out which categories and items are the most popular sellers. This will help you work out whether there will be a market for the items you plan on selling.
- Use a dropshipping service. Third-party dropshipping services can help you find products to sell without having to deal with the hassle of storing and shipping them.
How much does it cost to sell on Bonanza?
Bonanza's fee structure is a little bit complicated. The good news is that it's free to sign up for an account and there are no listing fees.
However, you will need to factor transaction fees and optional advertising and membership costs into your budget. And because Bonanza is targeted more at a US audience than at sellers based in Australia, you'll need to be mindful that fees are listed in USD.
Bonanza charges a Final Value Fee (FVF) based on what it calls the Final Offer Value (FOV). This FOV is the amount the buyer pays you to purchase an item, plus whatever portion of the shipping fee exceeds $10.
- If the FOV is under US$500, this fee is 3.5% for a standard booth.
- If the FOV is over US$500, the fee is 3.5% for a standard booth plus a flat 1.5% of the amount over US$500. However, sellers who opt into the Bonanza Promotions advertising program will have their Final Value Fee calculated on the full price of the order, regardless of whether that price is above US$500.
The minimum fee on any item is US$0.50.
However, if you decide to opt in to Bonanza's advertising program, the fees mentioned above increase as follows:
- Basic: 9% maximum fee. This advertising program allows access to Google Shopping, Bonanza's network of affiliate bloggers and Bonanza Promotions.
- Standard: 13% maximum fee. This program includes all the same features but also allows you to publish your booth items to eBay.
- Superior: 19% maximum fee. This program includes all of the same shopping channels as the Standard program but adds access to Bing Ads.
- Elite: 30% maximum fee. This includes access to all of Bonanza's shopping channels with the extra bonus of a higher ad spend.
But whenever you're able to sell an item without maxing out your ad spend, Bonanza will charge you less than the maximum fee.
Finally, you also have the option of signing up for a Bonanza membership. There are three main membership tiers to choose from:
|Cost (when billed annually)||US$25/month||US$55/month||US$167/month|
|TurboTraffic (advertising tool designed to increase booth traffic)||Available for purchase||Includes up to 7 days a month||Includes up to 25 days a month|
|Coupons and discounts|
|Maximum items per booth||75,000||75,000||100,000|
Two other membership tiers are also offered:
- Silver: US$12/month. This membership allows you to use Google Analytics to track your customers.
- Titan Ad Pro: US$250/month. This offers all the same benefits as a Titan membership but with twice the monthly advertising budget.
Let's crunch the numbers
John sells a vintage book for $30 plus $20 for shipping. Bonanza's fees are as follows:
If John has a standard booth
- He'll pay a Final Value Fee of $1.40. The fee is 3.5% of $40, which is the Final Order Value (sale price plus portion of shipping costs that exceed $10).
- This fee represents 2.8% of the total sale price.
If John has signed up for the Basic advertising program
- He'll pay a Final Value Fee of $3.60. The fee is 9% of $40, which is the Final Order Value (sale price plus portion of shipping costs that exceed $10).
- This fee represents 7.2% of the total sale price.
Is selling on Bonanza worth it?
This depends on a number of factors. The costs of selling online can add up, and as is the case with any other business venture, there's no guarantee that you'll be able to make money selling on Bonanza from Australia.
However, there are a few simple steps you can take to maximise your chances of running a profitable online business:
- Research the market. Do some market research to find out what products are popular on Bonanza and how they're priced. This will help you determine whether there's a niche in the market you might be able to fill.
- Create a high-quality booth and listings. Make sure your Bonanza profile contains plenty of useful information about you and your business, and that your booth is designed to be as user-friendly as possible. In addition, use high-quality photos and optimise the titles and descriptions of your listings to be SEO-friendly.
- Market your products. If you simply sign up for a standard account and don't promote your items, it can be hard to get your booth noticed. You can overcome this barrier by signing up for an advertising program, using Bonanza's Customer Marketing Tool and creating discount coupons.
- Consider international shipping costs. Bonanza receives comparatively little web traffic from Australia, with most site visitors based in the USA. As a result, if you want to target your products at the largest possible audience, you'll need to find a fast and affordable way to ship items overseas.
How do I start selling on Bonanza?
You can sign up and start selling on Bonanza by completing a few simple steps.
How to price your items
You'll need to consider two major factors when determining how to price items on Bonanza:
- Your costs. Calculate how much it costs you to source/manufacture and ship items to customers, including overseas shipping costs from Australia. Remember to factor Bonanza's transaction, advertising and membership fees into your calculations as well as any other overhead you may have. You'll then be able to work out a desirable profit margin you'd like to make on each sale.
- Buyer budgets. Next, consider what would represent a fair price to buyers. Do some research to find out how much other sellers are charging for similar products – this should give you an idea of how much buyers are reasonably willing to pay.
What types of payment does Bonanza accept?
Australia-based sellers can accept the following payment types:
- PayPal (required for all sellers)
- Stripe (requires a Gold membership or higher)
How to get paid by international buyers
Based in Australia and selling on Bonanza? If you receive payment from a customer via PayPal or Stripe, you'll then need to convert the funds you receive back into Australian dollars. However, if you convert currency using PayPal or Stripe, you'll be charged a mark-up of 2-2.5% on the mid-market exchange rate.
A simple way around this hefty currency conversion fee is to open an online sellers account. These multi-currency accounts allow you to receive and hold payments in multiple currencies, ensuring fast transactions and giving you the freedom to lock in a better exchange rate when you repatriate your profits to AUD.
Check out the table below to compare the fees and features of a range of leading online sellers accounts.
How to organise shipping
Bonanza doesn't have its own fulfilment centre, so you have two options when shipping items to customers:
- Ship items yourself. You can ship items within Australia and around the world using Australia Post or a dedicated courier service. It's worth comparing quotes from a number of providers to find out costs and shipping time frames, and you can then set your default shipping preferences in the "Booth Settings" menu of your Bonanza account selling dashboard.
It's also worth pointing out that Bonanza is largely targeted at a US audience, so if you want to access a larger target market outside Australia, working out a fast and cost-effective international shipping method will be vital.
- Use a third-party fulfilment service. These third-party providers can store products, prepare orders and then ship them for you.
Bonanza also lists details of its preferred shipping partners, although most are only relevant for US-based sellers.
How do I market my Bonanza products?
There are several ways you can promote your listings on Bonanza, including the following:
- Sign up for an advertising program. There are four programs available that allow you to advertise on different online channels, but each comes at an extra cost.
- Bonanza Promotions. Offered as part of Bonanza's advertising programs, this program sees Bonanza waive the sales commission fee it would collect from you and pass this amount on to the buyer as a discount.
- TurboTraffic. Available to Platinum and Titan members, or to those who purchase a TurboTraffic pack, this service works with your advertising program to drive up to 300% more traffic to your booth.
- Customer Marketing Tool. This free tool allows you to sort and manage the data of previous customers as well as use that data to create customised marketing campaigns.
- Customer Marketing Coupons. You can select from pre-made coupon templates or create your own coupons to encourage repeat business. You can also use the system to create your own customer loyalty program.
- Bonanza Webstores. Bonanza also offers the option of creating your own Webstore outside the Bonanza marketplace. There are no listing or transaction fees for your store, but hosting costs US$255 a year.
What to watch out for with Bonanza
The following are a few important drawbacks and potential traps to be aware of when selling on Bonanza:
- Confusing fee structure. Bonanza's fee structure can take a little while to understand at first, so make sure you know exactly how much you'll pay in fees on each sale.
- Less reach than other marketplaces. Bonanza doesn't reach as many buyers as other major marketplaces, such as eBay and Amazon. Read more on this in our comparison of eBay and Bonanza back-to-back.
- Getting noticed. With more than 25,000 sellers listing approximately 35 million items on Bonanza, it can be difficult to help your booth stand out from the crowd.
- Limited customisation options.There's a limited range of options available if you want to customise your listings and booth to suit your needs.
- Geared to a US audience. The Bonanza marketplace seems to be geared more towards US rather than Australian buyers. For example, when you're trying to wrap your head around Bonanza's fee structure, you'll need to also deal with the fact that all costs are quoted in US dollars. According to SimilarWeb data, more than 64% of visitors to Bonanza on desktop devices were from the USA.
Watch: How to become a successful online seller
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