Today, I am writing about the venue on which I own and operate an online store. Bonanzle.com. Errr I mean Bonanza.com. You see Bonanzle has very recently changed its name from Bonanzle.com to Bonanza.com. Stick with me, it gets better as I go on…need more coffee…you might want to get yours too, it’s a long one today…. but I feel it’s worth the read.
There has been much ado about this change and I hesitated blogging about it. But felt I must. I admit that I was more than a tad upset that the management chose this time of year to do the following:
- Change the name of the site when tons of sellers are gearing up for the holiday season.
- Many sellers have tons of links all over the internet that contain bonanzle.com not bonanza.com – it will take many hours of work to hunt down and correct all of those links – then wait for Google to pick them up again.
- Many many sellers have been promoting and marketing the “Bonanzle Brand” far & wide to spread the word to help make Bonanzle a household name.
- Many ordered Bonanzle merchandise – T-shirts, hats, totes, new business cards, thank you notes, stickers, vinyl ads for vehicles, banners for craft fairs, flea markets and the like.
- Aquire another selling venue (1000 Markets.com) An Etsy type spinoff that featured juried artisan vendors. Aquiring another venue creates more burden on servers and a huge learning curve for them and us.
- Change the entire look & feel of the site and introduce potential bugs and glitches right when we all should be full steam ahead and focused on marketing and promoting our products to the masses for the upcoming Christmas season.
That’s just the tip of the iceberg. Well, with all of this being said, and even still feeling a tad stung myself, I am choosing to move ahead. Moving onward and upward with my own plans, branding and marketing efforts.
The Bonanzle (now Bonanza) community always prided itself on a sense of co-ownership and fellowship with the site. The owners and management would always be open to and encourage suggestions and ideas from the body of sellers. It felt great to be a part of the site’s growth and success.
With this latest change, however, it feels like a “pulling away” of sorts has occurred between the management and the sellers. In some ways this is necessary for maturity and growth of the site. However; in some ways, it is detrimental. A business team that does not keep an ear to the community’s needs and concerns will end up in trouble.
For instance – The shipping calculator is still wonky for lack of a better term without coffee… (no, I have not gotten up to brew any yet but may be forced to soon for clarity of thought) 🙂
Anyway, the shipping calculator has been the bane of some sellers existence. It has been especially bad for those who rely upon sales from outside the U.S. Many sellers felt and still feel that a basic need for an online sales venue is not being met. Have voiced their concerns for many months only to have management work on other less imperative areas and even created a game for the site. Thus, some very good sellers gave up and left.
To have an accurate, functional shipping calculator that is reliable and dependable is crucial for one’s business. Nothing of any consequence was done and thus sellers became more and more impatient. Then management admitted defeat with figuring this out and recently asked the community for help! Read Here. A sign to some that it was time to move on and that the management could not handle what they had let alone improve a crucial piece of the venue to their level of satisfaction.
Then BOOM! The shipping calculator is still not fixed AND the powers that be, decide to change the name AND acquire a whole other venue? WOW! So you see how some of the veteran Bonanzlers would feel less than thrilled at the new developments.
Now, I fully understand the need for growth and opportunity in business. I also understand the need to keep things under wraps when undertaking new ventures. Like the secrecy regarding the re-branding of one venue and acquisition of another…..
However; I do not know what the answer would have been as far as “warning folks” to not spend money purchasing new merchandise, business cards and the like emblazoned boldly with the Bonanzle name and logo. I do feel that the management could have told / asked the sellers to not organize the Holiday Blitz Ad Campaign (of which they were full aware and encouraged yet again). Many raised and spent their own money to place ads all over the net for Bonanzle.
Management could have come up with a clever reason for folks to not throw their money away and spend hundreds of hours on this campaign. Many sellers felt betrayed and used. Just like when a the Boyz ask the seller community for help time and again but, when the sellers need help, (shipping calculator) the management does not return the favor and implements major changes and cause sellers to jump through hoops of fire to get back on track. i.e. (Coupon Available – applying a discount to all of the items in one’s booth not just the one’s intended for discounted sale.)
Management always encouraged the sellers to promote Bonanzle everywhere they went and many of us did that very dutifully and proudly as – again – we felt and were encouraged in our sense of co-ownership/ co-responsibility for the site’s success. So these are just a few of the many reasons why most sellers felt stung, betrayed, thrown off-balance and there are those flaming hoops yet again when these changes were announced.
Through all of this, I hope that the seller community rebounds from this as quickly as possible and chooses the path that is best for them, learns pertinent lessons from all of this and moves forward with their own plans to brand themselves and their own store/booth and products.
I truly hope the folks who migrated over from the acquisition of the 1000 markets venue give Bonanza a try. I feel that they have much to offer Bonanza. Likewise, I feel the existing sellers of Bonanzle umm.. Bonanza have much to offer to the 1000 markets folks. Bonanza has always been a very friendly and helpful site. Just one of the many attractive qualities that was unique to the venue. I hope it remains that way.
To all of my beloved fellow sellers I say, I think we have all indeed learned valuable lessons from this chain of events and I truly hope that each and every one of you focus your efforts and energies on your own business plan and move on. I am hoping for a wonderful holiday season filled with sales and success for all!
Just as a footnote, with re-doubling my efforts to focus on my own business, I tweaked some words and attributes for my listings. I checked my rank in Google today. I was pleasantly surprised when a generic search for “Handmade Olive Oil Soap Vegan” returned my Eco-Chic Boutique Booth on the First Page TWICE!
All The Very Best To You All!
~ Patti (Yeshuazgirl)