This is one of those posts where I don't even know how to start. I can only guess that I should start at the beginning. Well, at least the beginning of this story. As may of you may know as of yesterday, I began having problems with my bonanza booth. I have been selling on bonanza for about four years, I moved all my ebay listing there a few weeks before ebay banned all meta sellers. Honestly, at first it was just a place to "park my listings". In other words, a place to put them so I would not lose all of them when ebay deleted my listings. I knew if I had to start all the listings over, it would be a nightmare, with over 300 listings, I would have to rewrite all of them and add pics to them, which could take weeks.
Importing them to bonanza was easy, but what I did not know was they had to all be edited and put into categories, and all the blank space for google filled in. For all sellers out there, this post should help you, at least I hope it does. And for the clients, I do hope it helps you understand how all this really works behind the scenes. When I first left ebay, I knew Artfire would be my main store, but I was also worried that any site could or would do what ebay had done. That they may ban all meta sellers and leave me again with no way to get in touch with my clients.
After I got my artfire store set up and running, I started on bonanza, edited all the listings which took a few weeks. I noticed all the glitches and problems when editing, things would not save you had to save changes five or six times to get them to stick. I emailed bonanza, and they did help me, but only after I sent many emails. The first emails I sent were replied to with canned automated responses. And if I emailed back, I again, would get the exact canned email as a response. It made the questions seem like no one was really reading the emails.
This was a example of one, I had problems saving changes. I emailed first and asked. " I am not able to save changes in my listings, can you help me" The answer that came back was nothing more than a copy of the directions off of bonanzas site. So I would email back, and say "I know I tried that it did not work" can you help me? Then, I would get a answer saying the EXACT same thing as the first email.
After the second email I began to get upset, It was clear no one was reading my emails. So, I emailed back and said." ARE YOUR READING THIS ARE YOU A PERSON? I NEED HELP PLEASE ANSWER MY QUESTIONS!
This would go on for days, and then they will send me a email saying my problem was resolved? How could that be when they did not help me at all?
When what had really happened was I just gave up asking, because bonanza was useless. This happened so many times over the course of four years, that I have lost count of how many times. Payment address would not save, bidder list would not save. Messages would not load, they would just sit and spin, all the things that worked right were small compared to the things that did not work. Even relisting was a nightmare. They lump all the sold listings together there is no way to sort them into what has sold out and what has not. So, you end up listing the same thing over and over because you can't see from the relisting page what is sold out. Or you think one is not sold out, and don't relist then search and find its not there, it is sold out.
The entire site when it comes to selling is a jumbled up nightmare. Within the first few months of selling a client wanted to send me a picture for castings. I messaged them with my email address so they could send it. I get the message from the bonanza client in my email, but you can not attach pictures to a bonanza message. I cannot reply from my email to a message from bonanza, and I am not shown the buyer real name, email address the only info I have is the user id. Anyway, the buyer emailed me the pictures, and within a matter of 2 hours, I got a nasty message from bonanza saying I had done something wrong because I gave my email address to the buyer.
Ok, now maybe I am wrong, but I think its important, for the client and me, to have each others email address. I had to explain to bonanza, in a email why In thought I needed to give a client my email, and they backed off. Again this happened after many emails and me finally yelling in all caps.
I could go to my payment processor and get the email, but I should not have to. I don't think that is really asking to much from bonanza.
It was clear, they were reading my messages, how else did they know I sent my email address?
It was a fact that they were reading each and every message bothered me, I know its their site, but something just felt wrong about it. So, for sellers and buyers on bonanza, if you don't know, they read all the messages. This includes all your personal info you send to meta sellers of spells. So, is it safe? I wish I knew, but honestly I don't, I don't know who is reading it, but someone at bonanza is.
Even answering messages as a seller is a pain, for one thing they won't load, and they won't send you have to keep trying over and over. The messages also did not contain, any of the info of the sale. So if you as a buyer or potential buyer sends a message there is no link and no mention of what item you are even emailing about in the message. I cannot count the times, I had to go to my sales list and find the user id, so I knew who I was answering. I cast using names and items, not user ids, so it was awful, each message had to be researched before I could even answer it.
I guess maybe I was used to ebay and artfire, where you got the name of the item at least when someone messaged you. Artfire went even further, you also got the name, and could email them back right from your own email.
The next crazy thing that happened, was about a year or so after I started selling there, I noticed that some of my listing were getting pulled, and many had no pictures in the listing they were gone. So, again I emailed them and fought the same fight over and over with the caned non human replies, I finally found out what happened, some items were "under review". Which meant bonanza had flagged them saying the pictures were to naughty. No mind you, anyone who knows me or my booth, knows I do not sell penis enlargement, or bust enhancements and there is NO nudity in any of my listings on any of my sites. But what I did not know was you could not have a picture that was of any person showing to much skin, by that I mean no underwear, slips, skimpy dresses etc. So, I changed all the pics they wanted, and even changed many that I THOUGHT might be a problem. But that was no where near the end of the pic problem.
Over the years I kept changing them, because they kept disappearing for no reason. Some disappeared that did not show anything. One was a picture of a face, just a face, and I had to replace it over and over, I still don't know why. I also never really knew how many sales I had unless I searched my email, I could never find a way to see it on bonanza, they did change this about a year ago. Now, I put up with the awfulness of the site, because it was a way to reach my clients, even though as a selling site it was a nightmare.
I do have to say, that in the beginning, when we all had to leave ebay, bonanza seemed to be a place that would welcome us. But that did not last long, it was only a matter of weeks before all the problems began.
Now you all know what its like to be a seller on bonanza, a never ending process of endless emails to support, and only getting the canned non human response. Things that never work or take forever to work, and someone , maybe the non human reading the messages clients send. Sellers getting little to no information from bonanza, and no help at all. I have sent emails to support asking them, ARE YOU HUMAN???? I really have, I am not kidding, I cannot remember one time in the four years, I sent a client to bonanza, I knew all the problems, so I sent everyone to artfire until I opened my website.
Now I should get to the point, what happened yesterday. After casting, I checked my email and got a bunch of "your offer has been canceled" from bonanza. I thought that was odd, because there were a lot of them. So, I tried to log on to bonanza, and when I tried, the screen kept saying, "you are logged out?: I thought maybe the site was down, so I googled it and checked and the site was fine. I went back to my email and searched all the bonanza messages, to see if there was some email from them besides the canceled offers. There was not one. I searched back over the past 30 days, none saying I did anything wrong, or that there was any problem. At this point I still had no idea why I could not log in, so I go back to bonanza to email support and I knew I would get some canned non human response.
But, when I tried to contact support from the site, I couldn't because the next screen wanted me to sign in, which I could not do, it would not let me. I then googled my listings on bonanza and saw they were all gone, and the booth had disappeared overnight. Crazy right? I thought so, back to my email I went, because I have the bonanza email saved, because something is always broke, so I have to email them at least a couple times a month. So, i sent a email asking why I could not log in? What happened to my booth and my listings? In the meantime, I had several emails from clients on bonanza with questions. Questions I could not answer, because a seller can only answer if they are logged in, they cannot answer any other way.
In other words, I could get messages, showing only the buyers user id, no name no item no email address and they could not be answered without logging in. After a couple hours I began to get angry, and posted a message to bonanza on facebook and twitter, finally after about 4 hours I got the canned non human email. All it said was that they had removed my booth and my listings, but did not tell me why or what I did. So I emailed the non human back, and asked, WHY DID YOU DO THIS? Within a matter of min, they sent me a copy of the user agreement, which did not answer my question. So, you would think after 4 years, I would be used to this, but I was not. Again I emailed and said YOU DID NOT ANSWER MY QUESTION, I CAN READ THE USER AGREEMENT, BUT WHAT DID I DO? Can you guess what happened next? Yep that's right, the same response, a copy of the user agreement.
Well by this point I was so angry, I could not even think, to make things worse I was still getting bonanza emails from clients, that I could not answer and also emails from bonanza wanting to know If I shipped items. So, I sent a copy of my canned emails to another seller, asking what I could have done wrong? You see you have to guess because bonanza won't tell you.
So, this is the breakdown
Were my fees paid - yes
Was my feedback fine-yes
Did I have another account -no
Did I have any open cases problems with buyers? -no
Did I have any naked or nasty pics in my listings - no
Did I get a warning from bonanza in the past ? - no (only one four years ago about the pics I changed)
Then I found it,
It said in the user agreement, that a seller cannot sell the same items on another site, at a lower price with or without running a sale.
My first thought was 'ARE YOU KIDDING ME?'
I had been selling on my own website and running sales since I started it a year and a half ago. I had no idea Bonanza could tell me how to run my own website? Tell me how much I can charge on other sites? But they can, its in the user agreement.
I do know amazon does the exact same thing, I know someone who sells there, and its not allowed. If you are a buyer or seller, read this post as a warning, sellers should be prepared for their booth to disappear overnight, for some unknown reason. Never only have your items on just one site, etsy does the exact same thing, you shop can disappear overnight, and you will have no idea why. They will not tell you, you will not get a warning, or even a email telling you why.
And buyers should know, if a seller disappears, it can be totally innocent, the seller may not have done anything that they thought was wrong. I honestly did not know I could not sell what I wanted for whatever price I wanted on my own website. But, if I had known, I would have shut down bonanza and just used my website, I know it works, I can answer emails without problems and no one reads my messages except me and the client.
The problem I have is that, if they would have told me, what I did wrong, I would not have been as angry as I was and still am. But to get no warning, no email nothing from a business website, is just not right. Then you have to go through the user agreement to figure out what you did, is nothing short of ridiculous. So, after all this I checked out all the complaints about bonanza, and guess what I found? Yep, its happening to others, all the time, here is a link so you can see what I mean
Notice the same canned response from bonanza and the same thing has happened to other sellers.
So if you are reading this and are one of my clients on bonanza, I will not be back on the site, even if they do agree to do so. I want no part in this site again. Please find the email address you used to make your payment to, and email me directly. I cannot answer you on bonanza, if you are a former buyer on bonanza please do the same. If you cannot find the email you can always contact me through my website at