Monday, March 7, 2011

Bonanza and eBay Update

The traffic to my Jennifer's Series Books booth never has returned to the previous level that it had before the name change from Bonanzle to Bonanza.  Traffic had rebounded somewhat in November and December, but it fell off again in January and February.  I am in just a slightly better position than I was in the first month after the name change. 

I have been aware that traffic is lagging a bit, but I decided not to worry about it since I have been busy.  I have some ideas which should help me in the future, but they are presently on hold.  At this point, I am simply maintaining.  What I am not going to do is rewrite my descriptions and titles, which is what people are told to do.  When I have changed up descriptions, I have never noticed an appreciable difference in Google traffic.  I believe that most buyers of series books do not utilize Google, and those that do cannot find my books because of too much clutter.

As can be seen above, my Google traffic is poor as compared to before the name change.  I changed up my descriptions soon after the name change and saw little increase in Google traffic.  In fact, I believe that the slight rebound in Google traffic had more to do with my other efforts, which consisted of writing blog posts.  Writing up blog posts about my items is a better use of my time than editing titles and descriptions. I just need to take the time to do it.

Back in November, I took two actions which have resulted in an improvement in traffic to my booth.  First, I placed a link at the top of the main page of with a mention of a 10% off coupon code.  That link is getting clicked a lot.

Notice the large increase in traffic from, which is a direct result of that one link placed near the top of the main page.

My widgets are surely bringing in traffic as well, but I can't track that traffic since it shows in Google Analytics as direct traffic.  Each widget is like a piece of inserted into, so Google thinks that the traffic is coming from Bonanza.  I have gotten a few recent sales attributed by Bonanza to widgets, so I know that they are producing steady traffic.

The second action involved writing a number of descriptive posts for my Jennifer's Series Books blog in November and placing links to some of those posts on

In turn, the traffic from the Jennifer's Series Books blog to my Bonanza booth also increased during the same time period.

What has not increased is traffic to my booth from this blog.

I have written very little about Bonanza in the last six months, so that is why traffic from this blog to my booth has dropped off.  I am sure that the widget in this blog is still pulling in a steady stream of traffic, but as already stated, I cannot track that traffic.

Changing the subject slightly, I have had several people comment that several sellers have extremely high prices on Bonanza and that they do not like Bonanza for that reason.  This is true, and it hurts all of us.  However, if you feel that the prices are high on Bonanza, try searching fixed-price only on eBay.  You will find many of the same books listed at the same prices by the same sellers.  The expensive books are easy to ignore on eBay because of the sheer volume of listings and because many buyers look only at the auctions.

Also, look more carefully on Bonanza, and you will find many very reasonably priced books.  As with all venues, some sellers list at high prices while others list at low prices.  Bargains can be found on all venues.

I still use eBay for my primary buying, since eBay is where all of the good books get listed by people who find them in their attics and at estate sales.  I have to use Bonanza to sell because of my continuing problems with eBay's DSR system and because eBay's listing fees are too high.  My sell-through rate is too low to justify paying listing fees to eBay.  I buy on eBay and sell on Bonanza.

What I would like to do is sell a small amount on eBay, provided that eBay continues its sporadic free auction listings.  I refuse to pay a listing fee to sell on eBay.  I finally returned to my primary ID to sell some items during eBay's last free listing promotion. I noticed that my return to my primary ID got the attention of past buyers, as I was contacted by someone who bought from me years ago. I really need to use my primary ID on eBay.

I have not used my primary ID on eBay much in the last two years due to my continuing problems with low DSRs. For the first time since the DSRs were implemented in 2008, my primary ID now has no low DSRs.  It took me three years to get rid of the "ones" that I kept receiving from buyers.  One seller of series books left me low DSRs three different times when purchasing from me, two of those times on my primary ID.  The first time it was done on my primary ID was back in 2008, which put me off to a bad start.   Also in 2008, I had a buyer give me a "one" for my description, because she thought that since the book listed to the previous title from the dust jacket that I had sold a mismatched book and jacket.

In 2009, I received a "one" for communication from a buyer with whom I did communicate a personal message with a shipping notice.  I'm not sure if that buyer needed a personal phone call instead or what.  In 2010, I received a "one" from a buyer who disputed whether a publication could be mailed media mail.  I received a "one" because I refused to mail the lot via media mail.  I learned from that last experience that if I ever sell such a lot again, I will raise the price by $10 and offer free shipping.  :)  Problem solved.

The "ones" are absolutely devastating to a seller on eBay.  Unless the seller is horrific, buyers should not leave "ones."  When I sold a lot of Nancy Drew books a few weeks ago on eBay on my primary ID, I got the most item views that I have had on an item on that ID since 2008.  I am certain that those "ones" were hiding my items from many, many buyers.  I probably should not mention any of this, because I will surely jinx myself again.

My hope is that I can avoid the low DSRs and continue using my primary ID which has a long history with buyers.  In that way, I might be able to pull more traffic over to Bonanza.  Even when I do list on eBay, it will only be sporadic and only during any free listing promotions.

In closing, I want to stress that I am still very happy with Bonanza and am successful selling on Bonanza.  Even though my traffic and sales remain down from the level that they were at prior to September, I am pleased with the venue.  I cannot sell at eBay in the capacity I once did for reasons already mentioned above.  I will be staying at Bonanza. 


Jennifer said...

This is just a quick note that Bonanza did a major overhaul overnight. The booth categories are now done differently, so all of us have to recreate our booth categories. Go to the main page of any booth and look at the left side. You will see that the categories have vanished.

I am excited, because I am a paying member and I will be able to create category hierarchies. Yay! I likely won't be able to get to mine until tonight. At least if some of you have time, you can fix yours a little sooner than I can.

If you are not a paying member, then you will just have to recreate your categories the way they were before.

Jennifer said...

I just read that the categories should show back up shortly, so there is no need to fix anything.

Jennifer said...

If you have manual categories, check to see if anything is in them. Mine are empty. People who have automatic categories seem to have their items displaying in the categories just fine.

I will have to batch edit all of my items back into the manual categories.

Jennifer said...

If you want to see how the custom category hierarchies work for people who are paying members, go to my booth and scroll down the category list to Trixie Belden. Click on it, and you will see all of my Trixie Belden books. On the left side of the screen, you will see the subcategories for Trixie Belden.

The Trixie Belden category is the only one that has anything in it right now, since it is the only one that I have repopulated.

Jennifer said...

I have most of my items back in their categories so that my booth looks normal. Around 10% or so of my items are not in their categories. I will get to them tomorrow.