Monday, February 2, 2009 again voted the best eBay alternative!

In the uncertain and ever-changing world of online eBay alternatives, one has risen to the top of the list. And risen fast. came out of beta in the start of September 2008, and in that time has grown phenomenally.

Some milestones to consider:
Bonanzle was named the best eBay alternative in July, 2008 by Ecommerce Guide. (Before even coming out of beta!)

Bonanzle was again named the best eBay alternative last week, this time by SmallBusinessComputing!

Bonanzle officially launched on September 3rd 2008- only 5 months ago.
Bonanzle reached 10,000 members on November 23rd 2008
January 6th 2009 - 670,409 listings, 5686 Booths, and 3,488 sellers, & 18,000 members.
January 27th 2009 Bonanzle hit 1,000,000 listings
January 30th 2009 Bonanzle had 1,031,856 listings, 7,735 Booths, 7,101 Sellers & 24,185 members.
February 2, 2009 Bonanzle has 1,074,292 listings, 8,282 Booths, 7,625 Sellers & 26,160 members.

A lot of us Bonanzle Sellers are actively recruiting buyers and sellers to come to Disgruntled eBay sellers have been looking for a viable alternative for years, and the large majority of us that are selling on Bonanzle agree that a truly viable alternative has finally appeared.

We are purposefully rolling the Bonanzle snowball all over the web, picking up buyers and sellers by the thousands. Most all that we attract with our campaign very much like what they see and stay at Bonanzle to buy, sell, or both. And then many join us in pushing our snowball around the web and bringing in even more buyers and sellers.

Why do they stay? Why do they actively join us in recruiting? Why do we believe so strongly in Bonanzle? Because Bill Harding and Mark Dorsey took the time to figure out what small online sellers wanted and then added their very own personal and personable touch.

No listing fees. Zero. Zip. None. Low final value fees. Ease of listing. Top notch support. The ability to negotiate and share info in real time right in your Bonanzle Booth. A warm and helpful community. Importation of your hard won feedback. The ability to upload your items to Google Base. (Which many Bonanzle Sellers will tell you is the absolute best way to get people into your booth.) And wonder of wonders, Bill and Mark actually listen to the users on Bonanzle, implementing a 'suggest then vote for what improvement you want next' system.

They talk to and with us. They keep us apprised of what they are doing, and what they will do in the future by way of Bill's blog. If they have an issue they need help with, they ask us to help resolve it. And all of this is done with a warm, wacky, and sometimes not so subtle sense of humor that users see pervading throughout the Bonanzle site. Now I ask you, would the management at eBay ever do any of that? No. They, in fact, do the exact opposite.

You may be thinking, "Ok, that sounds good for sellers, but what about buyers? Are they there?" Yes. They are. If you reference the numbers above, you will see that there are over 18,000 potential buyers on Bonanzle. Now compared to eBay's numbers, Bonanzle's numbers may seem small. But once you throw in the fact that the site is less than 6 months out of beta, those numbers take on a whole new aspect.

When buyers first arrive on the Bonanzle homepage, they see a colorful and attractive interface with an ever-changing block of items for sale. There are Hand Picked Lists, where users can surf through all the listings and add 15 items that they like randomly, or as a theme. (Creating and/or looking through these lists can be a bit addicting.) The Search system on Bonanzle has undergone a few changes per the member's requests, making it easier to use. You can either search directly for what you want, (no "best match" leaving out many seller's items), or cruise through all the listings using the homepage portal, the categories/browse page, or the Hand Picked lists, or choose from these or a variety of ways to search by clicking the main "buy" button at the top of the page. These things make shopping and buying on Bonanzle just plain fun. And yes, people really are buying. Oh, and did I mention that buyers can pay with Google Checkout, money orders, Paypal, and in some cases, even personal checks?

We've got a long way to go to reach eBay's numbers. But considering that Bonanzle is just 6 months out of beta, we've got a very good start. (I can't even imagine how well Bonanzle would be doing if the economy wasn't in the mess it currently is.) I encourage all those small sellers who are looking for a viable place to sell their items to come over to Bonanzle and see for yourselves what it is that makes this site the award winning, fastest growing sales venue on the web.

Thanks for reading,
mrsmoondog of Graphics by mOOndog and catspaw on Bonanzle

(Special thanks to EyeCatchingBeauty who put together some of the numbers I listed above. Click this link to go to her amazingly informative squidoo lens on selling on Bonanzle.)

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Bonanzle Promotion for Dummies Like Me!

Squidoo and Facebook and Myspace Oh My!

Delicious and Digg and Blogging I'm Scared!

Google and Twitter and Stumble What's That?

Makes my head spin just looking at the names!

So there I was a few weeks ago, cruising the forums at Bonanzle and psu, and I kept reading about all those things mentioned above. Everyone said "Promote! Promote! Promote!" so I jumped in with both feet and started Stumbling and Squidooing and reading peoples blogs and adding comments and favorites and zipping around randomly and having no clue whatsoever as to what I was doing. I very quickly got myself all confused and overwhelmed.

So I stopped. Didn't do anything but read and occasionally post on the forums at Bonanzle. I didn't even think about that stuff; my eyes glazed whenever I came across any mention of them while I was reading. But I knew I'd have to bite the bullet concerning them again eventually, so it was always bubbling in the back of my mind.

Then after several days I decided I had better approach this project rationally. (Yah right. Me rational. snicker) I decided to focus on just 3 of them to keep myself from getting overwhelmed again, and choose Squidoo, (which I had started several months ago pre-Bonanzle and never finished), Twitter, and (gulp) blogging.

I do need to take just a minute and talk about Google before I get to my 3 choices, tho.
The Google rss feed is the single most important thing you can do for your Bonanzle Booth. This feed puts your items onto Google Base and Google search pages, and most of our t-shirt sales come from buyers coming from Google. From what I've heard on the forums, most all Sellers will agree that many of their buyers come in from Google, too. So if you haven't done it already, you need to. Now. The following will help to get you started:

On your Bonanzle "My Bonanzle" page there is a large green link in the center that says: "Add your booth to Google Products search". Click that and then go through the options, choosing what is best for you, then following the instructions. And yes, you do need a Google account. If you need a gmail email address, message me and I'll send you an invitation to get one. And if you need help working through the process of adding the rss feed, ask on the forums or email Mark at

Oh, if you purchase a membership and want to set up Google Analytics, (great tool), the number you are given that looks like this: "UA-123456-8", when you add it on your Google apps page, do not put the quotes in. Like I did. And then couldn't figure out why it didn't work. (rolls eyes) (Thanks again, Mark, for helping me figure that out!)

So onto Twitter.

Twitter is probably the easiest (and quite possibly the most fun) promotion task you can do. Go to, sign up, add me (mrsmoondog), and use my "following" list to start adding Bonanzle Twitter people. Not quite all of them are Bonanzlers, but if you join this wonderful Twitter/Bonanzle group, you can also use this list of group members to add to your own list:
Then start Tweeting!

A strong word of caution: Twitter recommends that you do not add more than 10 people a day. Spammers tend to add a whole lot of people at once, and adding more then 10 people a day could get you locked out of your Twitter account. So, stick to adding just 10 or less new people a day and you will be fine.

Easy peasy!

And now Squidoo, which is a bit more complicated. But you know what? The more I mess with my lens, the more I'm enjoying it. It's fun!

If you've never seen a Squidoo lens, here is mine:

The best advice I can give you about Squidoo is to just start something, anything. It is all fully editable all the time, so you can change it at any time. And there are so many hints, tips, and tricks available at SquidU, the help pages, and from other lenses, that you can figure out how to do just about anything.

Here is a great thread with lots of info by one of Bonanzle's resident Squidoo Gurus:

And here is a popular Bonanzle lens group by another Bonanzler on Squidoo:

Once you get started on Squidoo, there are a few things you can do to connect your lens to other Bonanzler's lenses thus helping not only them, but your own lens as well. (Find these Bonanzle Squidoo people on the group lens page by clicking the link above.) You can rank other Bonanzlers lenses by clicking on the little stars at the top left side of the lens, 1 to 5 stars. Over on the right side menu you can "favorite" a lens and "lensroll" as well. Lensrolling puts a list of lenses in that right side menu. On many lenses you can leave little comments, answer questions the lens owner asks, and/or add a link back to your Bonanzle booth there.

All the things that you do to your own lens and to your friend's lenses increase your ranking in the Squidoo world. They also invite other Squidoo lens owners to come to your lens and rank, lensroll, comment on, and add links to, which also increases your ranking. They higher your ranking, the better your chances of people seeing your lens.

When you have your lens in the edit mode, at the very top on the right side there is a line of 4 buttons. If you click the one that says "Health" it will show you 6 quick options to improve your lens, or tell you if you did a good job. (Love that!)

As for blogging, that is the thing that you just have to jump in feet first and do. If you are just starting out and are a bit uncertain about what to write, I suggest that you not try to do any heavy promoting or any such thing. Write your blog about something you care about, want to share knowledge about, pets, kids, shoes, Twinkies, whatever interests you that you are somewhat knowledgeable about. Just something to break the ice. If you have a Google email address, then the Google blog is a good one to use. (This one.) I know there are others, but as I am such a newb at this myself, I don't know what they are.

So that's my Bonanzle Promotion for Dummies Like Me! blog. I hope it at least helps to get you started. Thanks for reading!

AJ aka mrsmoondog
Twitter username: mrsmoondog on
Squidoo Lens:

Monday, January 19, 2009

These Historical Times

What a country! - Luke Russert, via Tim Russert, via 'Big Russ' Russert.

I know I should be blogging about selling online, specifically about selling our t-shirts at Graphics by mOOndog on Bonanzle, and itself, but today and tomorrow are too much on my mind.
Tomorrow Barack Obama becomes the 44th President of the United States. What an amazement that is.

Like so many Americans, my feelings about this are intense, deep, and very complicated. The Race Issue. Americans voting an African American man to be President in the year 2008 is an astounding tribute to the American Spirit. The issue of Race has been such a horrible stain on the face of our country, and the fact that Americans everywhere looked past the color of this man's skin to vote him in office is a magnificent event. Is the issue of Race settled here? No, it's not. But did it ever take a turn towards finally being delegated to being in 'The Past' instead of being in 'The Present' and most regrettably, in 'The Future' of our country.

For me personally, a white woman born in 1959 and raised in a tiny community where there were no African American people, and who has felt since a very young age that the words "All men are created equal." are true of every man and woman and not just the ones that look like me, the results of the election on November 4th, 2008, were, among other things, an absolute relief. The weight and sadness that I had carried deep in my heart all these years about the issue of Race in this country lifted and were carried away with the words spoken by President Elect Barack Obama and the tears of joy that streamed down my face that night.

The man himself, President Elect Barack Obama, (known in some circles as 'PEBO' lol), is the choice of Americans to lead and guide us through these very difficult times. He was chosen from a large field of contenders, some good and some not so good, and he was our choice because many of us feel he is the only person who can successfully do this. His dynamic yet calm personality inspires us and gives us hope, and his intelligence and obvious confidence in himself gives us confidence in him. One of the pundits said in the recent campaign, "I want the really smart guy to win!", in reference to PEBO and I couldn't agree more.

Soon to be First Lady Michelle Obama. Smart. Confident. Grounded. Beautiful. Stylish. Wow. There is no doubt whatsoever that she will be one of the most celebrated First Ladies ever for so many reasons. If you are like me, you are looking forward to seeing what she will do as First Lady. Whatever it is, we all know it will be done with intelligence, grace, and poise. Can you see as I can the vision in your head of her confidently standing in State somewhere with Queen Elizabeth of England? Which of the two of them will
you be looking at?

I don't know about the rest of you, but the thought of those two beautiful little girls, Malia and Natasha (Sasha) Obama, giggling and chasing a puppy through the hallways of The White House just tickles me to my toes. I know their parents will make sure that the two of them lead as normal a life as possible in their very special circumstances, and very rightly so, but I'm looking forward to occasional glimpses into their lives as our First Daughters.

So, in brief, that's what has been on my mind lately. This is an exciting, history-making time in our American lives, and the lives of many more around the World.
And the words I started with are the words still in my heart:

What a country!