Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Bringing More Buyers to Bonanzle

I have questioned in recent months whether I was still better off on Bonanzle than on eBay. After my recent experimentation with eBay's free auctions, I now know for certain that I am better off on Bonanzle. While I have sold quite a few books on eBay in the last six weeks, a large number of them have been to people who read this blog. If not for the publicity from this blog, my auction results would have been very poor.

On Bonanzle, I have had a good amount of success, and as far as I can tell, I have had far greater success than other sellers of series books. The reason why is because of my widgets that I have in this blog and on series-books.com. Those widgets draw buyers to Bonanzle. While the widgets work best for me since they link to my booth, they also help other sellers of series books indirectly. Someone followed one of my widgets to Bonanzle in just the last few days, purchased from me, and purchased books from at least one of you.

Even though the rest of you do not have a website like mine, you do have a means to draw buyers to Bonanzle if you still sell on eBay. All that you need is an eBay About Me page and a basic blog with only one post in it.

EBay has a two-click policy for the About Me page. It is permissible to link to a page that in turn contains a link to another venue with items for sale. What cannot be done is link directly from the About Me page to another venue. If an About Me page links to a blog that links to Bonanzle, then Bonanzle is two clicks away from the About Me page. This is fully within eBay's rules.

While eBay sellers can create a blog such as mine that is maintained with frequent posts, it is not necessary if all the seller wants is a gateway. Regular eBay sellers only need a gateway. I created a new blog to use as a gateway.

Jennifer's Series Books Blog

I wrote one post which mentions my Bonanzle booth. I also created a widget on Bonanzle and placed it on the right side of the blog. The creation of this blog was very quick and easy, and the only part that took me awhile was adding all of the items to my widget.

If you do not already have an eBay About Me page, you need to create one. EBay makes it hard to locate information, but you can use eBay's help pages with the search "about me." This is the page that I found with that query.

Creating an About Me page

Go to Blogger.com to set up a blog. The process is quick and easy. If you already have a Google account, use it to sign in. You will need to pick a name for the blog and a template. After those steps are completed, you will have a blog. Do what I did with my new blog, and you will be set.

It is not very likely that the average buyer will go from an eBay listing to the About Me page to the blog to Bonanzle and make a purchase. This, of course, is why eBay has the two-click policy. People do look at About Me pages, so it won't hurt to try. A coupon code mentioned in the blog might also help motivate buyers to check out the Bonanzle booth.

Sellers can mention their About Me pages in their items for sale on eBay. I have mentioned my About Me page in many of my listings. Sellers can suggest that buyers check out the About Me page and then provide a link to the blog that links to Bonanzle. For people who sell a lot on eBay, this could work out well.

Follow this link for Part 2 with specific directions.


Chris said...

Hi Jennifer, Great idea on the blog link to about me page and bonanzle. I started a blog, but how do you add the widget to the right side of the page? Not sure how to do that. Thanks.

Jennifer said...

Go to "Design," then click on "Add a gadget." Select "HTML/Javascript." Where it says "title," put the name of your booth or whatever you want. Where it says "content," paste in the code that Bonanzle provides for the widget. Save it, and the widget should appear in the sidebar of your blog. Let me know if you need any further information.

Chris said...

Thanks Jennifer. That worked, however it only listed 12 items, not 36 like it said on Bonanzle. However, if they click on the very top wording, it goes to my booth, rather than a single item. Not sure why the rest aren't showing, but guess I'll leave it, as I'm not good with html stuff and don't want to mess it up! LOL
Thanks again!

Jennifer said...

I think your widget got cut off at the bottom so that you cannot see the links to the 2nd and 3rd pages containing the other items. The bottom of my widget is partially cut off, and I don't know how to fix it. I find that the Bonanzle widgets are glitchy at times.

A workaround would be to create multiple widgets with just 12 items and place all of them in the sidebar. I may do that for mine. You can add as many gadgets to the sidebar as you want, so adding more of them will not mess up the first one you added.

Brandi said...

This is a great idea! I plan on using some of the free 99 cent listings on ebay to sell some paperback books (hopefully!) since my one seller negative dropped my ratings from 5 to 4.94 and I was unable to take advantage of the free any price listings. I don't do well with HTML... so this should be a learning experience! I have always wanted to make a widget! I've just never had anyplace to put one yet.

Jennifer said...

That's too bad that a negative caused you not to be able to participate in the promotion. Sellers are at the mercy of buyers, and what's worse is that the buyers are sometimes the seller's competitors. What keeps happening to me is that other sellers of series books like to leave me one to three stars on my DSRs in order to bring my averages down. I guess this is an attempt to lower my ranking in search. Perhaps they don't realize that my selling level is so low that I know exactly who leaves me the low ratings. Do you know how that makes me feel?

EBay has pitted buyers against sellers, and sellers against sellers. This is why so many of us no longer enjoy using eBay.

Brandi said...

I realized that you ratings were low in some areas and I couldn't figure out why! You are one of the most informed, honest sellers I know. You ship items quickly, packaged well and at a fair shipping rate.

I personally agree with your statement about how you don't like to be overly informed that your item has shipped. I delete all of my 'your item shipped!' emails without reading too.

I understand why the ratings are like that now. How awful! People actually do that! That is a HORRIBLE way to conduct business to tear the competition down. I guess that is another reason I like Bonanzle so much. They don't pick apart a transaction to unnecessary extremes. Ebay is a good way to move things quickly... other then that, I won't sell there much anymore. It's just not worth it in my opinion. I have given one negative in my life and that was after 3 attempts to contact the seller and was, in my opinion, deserved.

How awful to hear that. I'm a little disgusted with them!

Jennifer said...

EBay is now a very hostile environment, and they created it when they switched to Best Match search, added the DSRs, and made sellers' exposure be determined by the DSRs. It is pathetic.

I also get buyers who leave me low ratings for communication when I don't remember to send a special message, never mind the fact that I know very well that PayPal sent them a message. It's a horrible situation, and my DSRs have been a little low ever since the beginning, so you can see how I was demoralized and had to quit selling there on a regular basis. The stress is not worth it.

There is always a chance that in some cases I deserve a low rating, but I wish the buyers would let me know what the problem is if that is the case. I send a note in the packages requesting that buyers let me know what I am doing wrong if they cannot leave fives. I have had not one buyer tell me why.

I had a situation recently on Bonanzle where a buyer contacted me about two of the books from her purchase that had a page of text ripped out. I fully refunded the cost of those two books and told her to keep them or do whatever she wanted with them. She left me a positive and made another purchase on a later date. I thanked her for contacting me instead of leaving feedback first. If it had been an eBay transaction, I would have probably either received a negative or low DSRs without knowing why. EBay buyers have been trained to shoot sellers down at every opportunity since all eBay sellers are supposedly very bad people.

Brandi said...

I have found, and quite possibly, I am wrong, that on Bonanzle... people hold it to a different standard then people on Ebay. People are more understanding... and nice!

I haven't had anyone be mean or nasty to me even when I had a substitute mail man that didn't take my packages from the normal spot (mind you, there were two different buyers!) and it took them 3 days longer to get mailed out because I didn't know that there was a substitute mailman and he didn't know where to look (which in all honesty, wasn't too hard to find, but that's neither here nor there). I promptly told them as soon as I figured out what happened, and still received positive feedback.

My opinions are still not as reliable as people who regularly sell on ebay, therefore, I hope I don't offend anyone because they are just that, my opinion.

Your whole situation still upsets me though... I couldn't imagine someone being so spiteful. I think that is just nasty of people!

Jennifer said...

Good has come of people leaving me low DSRs, because I would not have gone to Bonanzle if not for my lowered search ranking caused by the low (4.7!) DSRs that I had at that time. All of the people who left me low DSRs in 2008 did me a favor in the long run. I am now on Bonanzle and much happier.