Bonanza.com VS EblueJay.com Seller Experience

Bonanza.com VS EblueJay.com Seller Experience

 Bonanza.com VS EblueJay.com Seller Experience

As an online marketplace reviewer, I operate several stealth mystery shopper accounts on multiple marketplaces.  Some of these marketplaces never end up resulting in a written or video review for various reasons. 

For instance, I have mystery shopper accounts on several new marketplaces that have not implemented SSL, a form of data encryption between your web browser and that marketplace to help keep information private.  This kind of marketplace will not be reviewed, instead it gets monitored until security and problem areas are corrected.  On occasion, if I believe the marketplace has potential of becoming a valuable marketplace for sellers in the future, I will reach out covertly through their contact system and provide suggestions on how they can make improvements, while still maintaining the covertness of the mystery shopper accounts.

 Once I have reviewed a marketplace more than once, or have a history with the marketplace, I will often take less covert mystery shopper forms of contact with a marketplace, and this brings the Bonanza.com VS EblueJay.com Seller Experience Review to the foreground.

I have operated several mystery shopper accounts over the past three years on Bonanza.com.  As I often have done, I researched, monitored, sold and interacted with customer service representatives in order to get a genuine anonymous seller experience before writing or video recording a review on the marketplace. I am now in my third year on Bonanza.com.

With EblueJay I have five year history, in fact the first video reviews I ever conducted on EblueJay, known as BluJay back then, were to help sellers on that marketplace attracted and retain new customers.  BluJay was rebuilt from the bottom-up into EblueJay, with an entirely new marketplace framework and officially came out of Beta at the beginning of 2016.  As a reviewer, I would call it currently being in the Meta phase - in that there are still areas being developed and remaining to be implemented.

A key difference between Bonanza.com and EblueJay.com is found in their length of existence, the costs associated with selling on these marketplaces, and their customer support.


Bonanza.com began much earlier than BluJay or EblueJay.  Bonanza.com launched as an alternative to eBay.com in 2008.  In 2008 on eBay, there was a massive backlash of sellers against policy changes that its then president implemented that ultimately changed the seller experience on eBay going forward, with a high level of seller distrust being embedded into eBay's future.

Bonanza.com attempted to capitalize on eBay's blunder that created its mass exodus.  Beginning in 2014 similar has began to occur at the Etsy marketplace.

As a reviewer, though I am currently refraining from doing a full-blown review on EblueJay.com until 2017, since EblueJay is no BluJay, despite being launched as a replacement marketplace by the same owners, I am taking the opportunity to comment on the experience of selling and interacting with EblueJay during the year.

(You may be interested in watching the Extreme Bonanza.Com Sellers Review on YouTube)



Most notably I begin with this comparison of a seller experience that involved similar kinds of issues related to these two marketplaces, using PayPal and both occurring within days of each other.

Bonanza.com VS EblueJay.com 


Bonanza has a medium sized staff, they push sales to their paid memberships, search results are often throttled, they charge for regular inclusion of your products appearing in Google Shopping, Bing, Etc. based on a commission fee if you decide not to participate in the paid memberships.

Bonanza's commission rates range from  3.5% for organic marketplace only search results, up to 30% commission fee rates.  In other words, unlike on eBay, where eBay advertises in order to bring shoppers to their marketplace, on Bonanza.com, the seller is charged a commission fee in order to promote that sellers products, or in other words, on eBay the advertising is paid for by eBay and on Bonanza the advertising is paid for by its sellers.  This is a key reason, why in eight years, most people have never heard of Bonanza, but everyone has heard of eBay.

Then there is EblueJay.com which has a completely different operating method and has the potential of eventually becoming a competitive force in the online shopping world.

Ebluejay has no fees other than a one time seller registration fee.  After that, their are no listing fees or final value fees, no commissions, no memberships, no costs to have a store.  Instead, EblueJay operates on the funding it generated from a Kick Start fund raising campaign, seller registration signups and advertising.

Ebluejay does not charge its sellers an advertisement placement fee for Google Shopping inclusion like Bonanza does, you'll find your products in Google's Shopping Search Engine right alongside eBay and Bonanza's listings.  Wait, you can't find your Bonanza marketplace product in Google's Shopping Search Engine?  Opps! Guess you better increase your final value closing fee in their advertising options.


EblueJay has a small support staff compared to Bonanza.com, but the difference in quite impressive, and that is the focus of this review. (Watch the YouTube Version Below if you prefer!)



I recently had two sales come in that were not from the better known marketplaces like eBay, Amazon, Etsy, etc.  The first notification of sale came in from Bonanza.com.  The following day a sale came in from EblueJay.com.

Both sales had a PayPal related problem occur.  On Bonanza, I had recently made some changes to the graphics, store name.  I had also changed the paypal e-mail address associated with all of the marketplaces I sell on.  Its a security measure, I take once in a while to decrease scam mails and spam. Unfortunately, I must have been extra tired that night and accidentally entered the wrong last part of the e-mail address.  This e-mail address went to a non-existent PayPal account.

I became aware of the problem, when Bonanza.com's automated system, sent me an e-mail saying a sale had come in and paid for through PayPal, but was unable to be processed.  It stated I needed to correct the information on Bonanza, let the customer know, and cancel the transaction.

I immediately contacted Bonanza.com support asking for steps to resolve the problem, since there is not cancel sale option on Bonanza.  I had already corrected the e-mail address, contacted the customer notifying them of the problem, and spent an hour with PayPal on the phone.

PayPal was unable to locate the transaction information provided by Bonanza as associated with the buyer names, Bonanza transaction number, nor the PayPal ID number that Bonanza showed with the invoice information.

In the video below, I present some thoughts on Shopping on Bonanza.com




It took me a day to locate the invoice in the first place, when referring to Bonanza's automated mail.  The invoice didn't appear in recent sales history, nor in recent offers.  The following day, I noticed a new section I hadn't seen before called, "Other Offers" where the invoice was located.

Several e-mail exchanges with Bonanza resulted in no resolution or troubleshooting advice other than blaming the situation on PayPal and insisting that PayPal had to resolve the invoice appearing on Bonanza.  Bonanza also refused to contact PayPal with a Service ID Reference number PayPal provided to me to give to Bonanza, since they were unable to contact Bonanza by phone.  (Bonanza phone support is only available to those paying for its top two membership levels.)

It was a simple situation to resolve. Bonanza needed to e-mail or call PayPal support with the Service ID Reference number and provide information that is not provided to sellers on Bonanza.com. 


Instead, after several days of delay, Bonanza's representative's responded with another e-mail blaming PayPal, insisting that only PayPal could resolve it, and suggesting that the PayPal representative I had been working with didn't know how to locate transactions.  Bonanza's representative suggested I call PayPal back, and tell them that PayPal had changed their website.   They even sent me a screen capture as shown blown.

This is the actual statement from Bonanza.

"PayPal did recently update their platform, and sometimes it is difficult to locate the order ID using the new interface. The agent you work with can revert to the traditional view and use the Transaction ID above to locate the payment and cancel it or send it to the correct account. You may want to advise the PayPal agent you are working with to locate the payment via this method. Attached is a screenshot for reference."

 Bonanza.com customer support comparison to EblueJay.com customer support

It was one of the most ridiculous suggestions a marketplace customer support person has ever given me, the suggestion that PayPal's technical team is limited to search for transactions with the same troubleshooting tools as its sellers, or more funny is the idea that PayPal's technical team might be searching in the new mobile friendly customer version of their website.

To be honest, I busted up laughing when I saw that Bonanza.com's customer support person sent me a screen capture of the bottom page of a PayPal account showing how to get to the "Classic View".

Ultimately, after 5 attempts to receive any kind of useful troubleshooting help from Bonanza, multiple messages updating the customer who made the purchase, and wasting hours on the phone with PayPal, for a marketplace where sales are often as rare as spotting the rare Dodo Bird...

(The dodo is an extinct flightless bird that was endemic to the island of Mauritius, east of Madagascar in the Indian Ocean. Wikipedia)


... I finally sent the customer a message asking them to contact PayPal or check their PayPal history and cancel the sale or open a resolution case at PayPal to close it.

Now this was a brand new shopper on Bonanza.com.  They had opened the account the same day in order to purchase the product I have in stock.  This is the kind of failure that a marketplace like Bonanza honestly can not afford.  The reality is, had this situation been able to be resolved quickly, Bonanza's marketplace would have gained a potentially long term repeat shopper to its marketplace.
As the seller, this customer would have had a very positive and responsive shopping experience that would of established trust for shopping on Bonanza, regardless if they ever made a purchase from my store again.


In the YouTube Video below, I present some suggestions about shopping and buying on EblueJay.com



So what about Ebluejay?


The EblueJay.com situation also involved PayPal, though a little different.  On EblueJay, a new shopper made a purchase via PayPal which was unable to be processed.  The customer messaged me, compared to on Bonanza where their automated system messaged me.

Similar to Bonanza.com an invoice was created. Similar to Bonanza.com I contacted the customer immediately, letting them know that I was working on troubleshooting the situation and attempting to obtain support from the marketplace.

Within an hour I had sent in a support ticket to EblueJay.com and the following day I received a reply, with a link to the solution on PayPal's website.

The EblueJay support representative had gone to PayPal's website, conducted a search related to that particular PayPal issue, copied the link to send me as a reference, and provided knowledgeable information for steps I needed to take to correct the processing error within my EblueJay account.

EblueJay - "No runarounds, no blaming PayPal, no pointless exchange of e-mails." 


Similar to on Bonanza.com, I made the necessary adjustments in my EblueJay.com account and the issue with the non-process-able invoice was resolved.  I messaged the customer, knowing that the issue on my end had been resolved, and because of EBlueJay's was of setting up their invoices, the customer simply had to resubmit their payment and the payment was processed.

Because this customer was a new customer to my store and EblueJay, and because I have do not pay commission fees on the sale, I sent the customer a free bonus product and upgraded their shipping to US Priority Mail.

Why? Because that customer will now have confidence in my store if they decided to make a future purchase, but also because that customer will have confidence in making a purchase on the EblueJay marketplace in the future..... and that my friends, is what providing quality customer service and customer retention is all about, regardless of the marketplace you are selling on.

When the marketplace you sell on spends as much time, thought and energy on bringing in new customers, providing quality shopper experiences, committed to helping its sellers troubleshoot issues on its marketplace effectively and quickly, and is committed to customer retention, then you have have found a marketplace worth selling on.   A quality marketplace will be just as committed to its sellers as it is to its shoppers, and that may be Bonanza.com's weakness.  Over the years, Bonanza has become known for its ratings from sellers because of it tools, but you n\ever hear about Bonanza being known for its shoppers or customer experience.

You will not get many sales on a marketplace that is not customer focused from advertising through shipment of the product. 

I have only provided a first hand experience, dealing with these two marketplaces within the same week for similar kinds of PayPal related invoice transaction issues.  I have presented the facts, I have presented some basic pros and cons and though I sell on both marketplaces, I am not intentionally telling you as the reader to sell on one marketplace or the other, neither or both.