Could eBid drive traffic à la Bonanza?
There have been a lot of comments concerning eBid and whether it’s a venue that a serious business can use or if it should be relegated as a site for listing stock which just doesn’t sell on eBay but if constantly relisted for free on eBid some will sell producing some pocket money income.
The real question isn’t what eBid is good for, but when will they market the site according to their strengths giving an accurate assessment of how to get the best from offering goods for sale on the site. A US based site with the same challenges is Bonanza (previously known as Bonanzle), but rather than sit on the sidelines with the loss of free traffic from Google Shopping, Bonanza have decided to do something about it.
Bonanza looked at ways to drive sales for their merchants and decided that there were two ways they could assist their customers and that was to offer a paid for option to drive traffic from Google and eBay.com. They also plan to add Bing Shopping and at least one other shopping platform
How Bonanza aim to drive traffic
It might seem strange to consider eBay when running an alternative marketplace, as is charging for traffic from Google -One of the things you pay your eBay and Amazon fees for is that they advertise heavily on search engines and provide you with traffic. Sites such as Bonanza (low fees) and eBid (Free fees with £50 lifetime membership) simply can’t afford to do this.
So what are Bonanza doing? Their standard final value fees are 3.5%. Merchants will now have the option of opting to pay a higher final value fee – 5% will get you some paid exposure on the new Google Product Listing Ads, although they recommend you opt for 9% or more. Choosing a final value fee of 13% will get your products automatically listed on eBay as fixed price listings and you’ll pay your fees directly to eBay.
If you choose to have products originally listed on Bonanza ported onto eBay then you’ll pay the normal eBay.com fees if the product sells on eBay. You’ll also pay 1.5% final value fee to Bonanza. I can’t quite get my head around the listing fees as Bonanza are under the impression that all eBay sellers get some free listings each month, but that’s generally for auctions, not for fixed price listings. However you can select which products you want to appear on eBay and so can control the listing fees incurred.
A bonus for Bonanza is that each listing launched on eBay on behalf of their members will carry a credit link (as most listing programs insert) so potentially the name Bonanza will become more familiar to buyers and sellers who browse these listings.
Google Product Listing Ads – Pay only when you sell
The interesting part is the Google fees, in what I believe is a world first Bonanza will pay up front for exposure on Google, and you’ll only end up paying if and when your product sells. It also saves small merchants the effort of learning the complexities of running Google campaigns, you can opt to pay more when an item sells and let Bonanza’s experts run Google advertising for you.
There are a lot of questions around Bonanza’s new offering, some of which have been answered on the Bonanza blog. It’ll take time for their merchants to understand their options, one of which is to do nothing and continue listing on Bonanza as normal paying existing fees. What is impressive however is a site introducing new innovative features for their sellers giving them more options for driving traffic to their listings.
Should other sites copy Bonanza?
I don’t suggest eBid copy the new Bonanza model, firstly why copy when you can adapt and improve? What I would suggest is that the eBid management watch Bonanza closely and consider new ways to drive traffic to their merchants listings and find ways to raise the profile of eBid to the general public.
eBid have a large number of fiercely loyal sellers on their site, they deserve the very best service and as much traffic as eBid can reasonably drive, even if that means starting to charge fees to fund the new traffic. Sellers, whilst attracted to free insertion fees and free final value fees, will in most cases if they see sales happily pay for increased faster sales.
Bonanza’s new features do also open up questions for eBay and Amazon sellers: Would you be willing to pay a higher final value fee on eBay and/or Amazon if you knew that your products would get higher paid for exposure on Google and Bing shopping engines? Both sites already do a pretty good job of driving traffic, but I don’t know many sellers who wouldn’t pay a small premium to have their sell through rates dramatically increased.