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Sunday, March 13, 2011

Bonan'ZEN: One Last Story

In 2008 and into 2009, Bonan'ZEN was my weekly contribution to a forum on Bonanzle (recently re-branded as Bonanza.com) called "Inspire Simplicity." During the time I posted there my intention was to add a bit of perspective and wisdom, often peppered with a dash of humor and wit, to the community of online merchants there who were laboring to work around the site glitches of the newly launched start-up marketplace. 

In those days frustration ran high, although spirits could be buoyed with a kind word or two. Merchants bought and sold from each other to troubleshoot the issues their customers were having, worked along side management to develop the site, and promoted the fledgling venue on every blog, lense, podcast and portal that would stand for it.

Sellers were dismayed because nothing worked quite right, sales were hard to come by and then often had to be completed off -site because customers simply could not navigate the process. So the inspirational quotes, parables, wisdom tales and motivational fables Bonan'ZEN offered were deeply appreciated. Even Bill Harding said, "keep 'em coming!"

Well, all good things must come to an end. 

Bonanzle and I eventually parted ways and I am no longer compelled to offer weekly words of wisdom in that direction.  I do, however, watch and learn and I do keep in contact with many sellers there, wonderful people whom I care about deeply. I do on occasion, express my gratitude for those friendships, and for those experiences which have made me a savvy seller on-line and a wiser woman all-around. 

Recent events have placed Bonanza back on my radar screen. And a storm is brewing.

So today, as I see the merchants upset and frustrated, posting on Facebook and Twitter and the Bonanza Forums I am compelled to offer one last wisdom tale. But it's not for the sellers. It's for my one-time "partners" in hopes they catch the spark of insight offered and start looking out for their customers, my seller-friends.

This is a true story, taken from my own life. We all make mistakes.

Someone once gave me a little Bonsai tree. Because I was good with plants I took the snippers to it immediately and started shaping –  excited to create something new and wonderful!

Soon the ends began to wither so I snipped a little more. I tweaked it and I tweaked it until I finally tweaked it to death. 

It wasn't until I had an empty pot that it occurred to me that I should have consulted someone with experience instead of imagining I was already an expert...

May you be blessed!


  1. Well, there are so many good people whose livelihoods at least in some part depend on the efforts they have made to do business there. These fine people deserve better. Hire an expert for goodness sake so these people have something.

  2. I'm sure they think they have the experts working for them now. It is a shame the Experts can't fix what is really wrong with that site.

  3. I was not there in beginning but came in summer of 2009 and for the most part it was simple..fixes sometimes creative but I could manage. Constant adding, and updating now adds more layers of problems and more work-a-rounds are needed..we lost the 'KISS'
    I feel some days I too am tweaking myself to death..

  4. Thank you for posting Alilbirdy, I know you have given your heart and soul to Bonanza. CindyBear, many sellers did tweak til it was insanity to tweak again, many more are on the verge, and at equal risk is the viability of the newbies without the lifeblood which has sustained the project thus far. Unless, perhaps, by design.

  5. It really saddens me that what I invested in has now gone sour. My question is what is/was their intentions? Looking back, the site had the highest potential for a successfull selling site with top notch sellers support. Now, it is different.

    My reward is the friendship of the savy sellers that I respect and great regard who learned from their experience and moved on.
    I have just returned from vacation and see the glitches are still not fixed with hype of buying memberships to help/consult to assist sellers. Seasoned savy sellers do not need consultations they need a site that works. Do I join the stressfull situation and re-open my booth?

    This is just like a car..change oil, wash and polish but if it has four flat tires you get nowhere fast. You have to do the things that will get you there.

    Sellers will always land where they can sell with confidence in the site. That is something that is lacking now for me on Bonanza.


  6. I am sorry for your pain, when trust is broken, the heart breaks too. And that is the real crime here, the breach of the USP (unique selling proposition) of the concept which was "If you got screwed on ebay, trust us we'll never screw you, so help us build this site." Well, live and learn and build your own website, you now have all the skills you need. Let Lady Karma take care of the rest of the details. Chin up, boobies out, carry on!

  7. "Well, live and learn and build your own website,"

    Funny, I was just talking to the people who will be hosting the next generation of my site right before I read this.

  8. Please give it a rest already!

    If you all are so dis-satisfied with the site...move on.
    I am very sorry for those who had bad experiences, but these things can/will happen on other sites as well.
    Many people are doing well on Bonanza and have not had problems.
    Many people (who you call your "friends") need this selling venue!
    There are so many other venues to sell on.
    If Bonanza does not meet your standards, I'm sure there is one out there that will.

    Put the grudge down. You must be tired of carrying it around so long!

  9. Thank you for posting "Anonymous" but a true friend will tell you when you are being bamboozled. No grudge, just the facts.

  10. "long time listener first time caller"

  11. Not everyone feels that they are being bamboozled.
    As I said, many people are happy on the Bonanza site.
    I am sorry tp those who had a bad experience. I had a bad experience on another site...want to hear about it? NO...as you said "Let Lady Karma take care of the rest"

  12. You are welcome to ignore this blog, unfriend me on facebook and unfollow me on twitter if you do not wish to read my commentary about my experiences.

    Yesterday Today Ina Steiner wrote in AuctionBytes: "eBay's new policy on Opened Cases flies in the face of common sense. In fact, I wonder sometimes if eBay has a psychologist on staff advising them of how to demoralize their sellers."


    She makes an observation of questionable business practices, and writes a blog to discuss them. It is a common occurrance, not to ruffle feathers but to inform... this blog is no different.

  13. Funny, LOL, Anonymous you are the one here on the private site of another voicing your negative opinion. I thought it was your belief that one should not do that and that the site had every right to kick you off for this.

  14. W anonymous

    Blogs are for peoples opinions, thoughts and feelings

    People have every right to post what they see wrong with a selling site

    some do it professionally, like Ina Steiner

    like her Susan has blogged the good and the bad as she sees it .. there is no grudge... for one it shows you know nothing about Susan

    just as you say we are free to leave the site if we don't like it... you are free not to read the blog if you do not like it

    Do you realize nothing in life would ever change for the better if everyone just smiled and never pointed out the issues

  15. Susan does not deserve to be treated the way Bonz has treated her.. in fact no one deserves to be treated like that. It is very scary now to post your opinion regarding things that are broke and need to be fixed. If you do so then you have to be worried about being attacked and treated like crap for saying something..

    Wow is all I can say and I am very disgusted on the way Bonanza is handling things!

  16. Thank you all for your commentary. There is more to the story, as was suggested, and although it is all water under the bridge now, I will once again share my personal experience for the benefit of those care to know: http://oshunspirit.blogspot.com/2010/07/bonanzlecom-launches-two-new-games.html

  17. This comment has been removed by the author.

  18. I posted the email response to "Business as Usual on Bonanza" by Alex Berg under this entry by mistake, and so I removed it to avoid confusion of topics.

  19. I am truly disappointed in what the site has become. I was a loyal "rah rah" cheerleader for the site. No more!

    I started losing faith in them when I came back from the Christmas holiday to find my store ads a scrambled up mess. All kinds of weird code through the descriptions and the descriptions messed up to the point that they were no more than a bunch of gobbeldee gook. When I asked support for help with this, the first and about only response I got was,"what did you do to cause these reactions". WTH
    My reply, "logged in"

    The forums have become so over run with self righteous folks that unless you are posting nonsense drivel like "what did you have for dinner or where do you come from" you risk getting smacked for your hones opinions and views.

    It really broke what spirit I DID have remaining for the site, when they got that million dollar investment and said point blank they weren't using any of it for advertising WTF??

    Doesn't everyone tell sellers they need to advertise and promote their business on line if they want to succeed ?

    Well isn't Bonanza a business, and doesn't the owner have the same obligation to advertise and promote it ?

    I used to advertise the site, but no more. If they want ME to do the work for their business that THEY should be doing, then they can pay me for it !!!

  20. Thank you for your post Rayvens Rarities. Your sentiments have been shared by many, and again I will ask, why on Earth would anyone want to incorporate this model into your business, now that you know? The guessing game is over.