Bonanza is a website dedicated to the buying and selling of many unique items. These are generally not mass produced merchandise, but hand made, unique and completely original pieces. Users can post their creations for sale or browse listings to find something to buy. It is a marketplace full of items that cannot be found just anywhere. The site’s motto, “Find everything but the ordinary” seems to be pretty accurate. Item categories include antiques, art, books, collectibles, crafts, coins and paper money, home and garden, stamps, toys and hobbies, pottery and glass, DVDs and movies, entertainment memorabilia, sports memorabilia and cards, and clothing. There is even a category for “everything else.”
Founder Bill Harding created Bonanza in January of 2007. He reminisced about the days before buying online, when people met face to face and experienced the transaction. Although users don’t meet face to face, they can find unique items that massive sites like Amazon simply cannot offer. Today, Bonanza still adheres to its motto and offers users a long list of very unique, very uncommon items for sale.
Bonanza is a retail site, which in itself is not unique. However the items the site offers are. Here, users can find one of a kind merchandise that is not mass produced. The user can also offer up their newest creations for sale to earn money and encourage the habit of creating something new rather than buying from the list of available items at almost every discount store around.
The Bonanza website really puts the items it sells in the limelight. New users are greeted with a very basic web design, including a green header and white background. However at the center, an ever changing collection of images that depict the various unique items found on Bonanza take up most of the available space. Users can easily get a feel for what is available, and may even be enticed to look further into the item categories conveniently positioned at the bottom of the homepage.
Visitors can begin registration by clicking the white “My Bonanza” link at the top of the homepage. This directs the user to the login area. At the top, in small green print is a “Register here” link. After clicking the link, the user is asked for a username, email address, password and postal code. The monthly email updates check box is automatically checked, but the user can opt out by un checking it. The account creation process is completed by clicking the green “Create Account” button at the bottom of the form. Users can also choose to login using an existing Facebook profile or Google account.
Bonanza keeps it simple for users. Anyone can create an account and browse items for free. There is no premium account option. Everyone gets the same access. Buyers can purchase items and only pay the amount they agree to, which is posted by the seller. Buyers do not pay anything to Bonanza. Sellers also do not have to pay anything to make an account or list items, but there is a small fee taken out of all sales. The current rates for 2010 are reasonable, with items selling for under $10 paying about 50 cents, items under $50 paying about $1. Items of $1,000 are about $10.
Bonanza is definitely a site for people with unique tastes. For anyone disgruntled by the current selection of “common” goods found on mainstream sites, Bonanza is a shopping haven. Users looking for a specialized marketplace to bring their handmade or unique items can also really appreciate Bonanza.