Thursday, April 2, 2009

Fun's Fun but B.S. is B.S.

Ah... the favorite phase my Dad always used when things got out of control. It was also used when it was time to cut through the B.S. and get down to business. And I am starting to see that more sellers and Businesses need to heed the phrase....especially in the eCommerce world.

Online Selling is a business, and sadly there are too many people that are not treating it as such. With the economic downturn and soaring unemployment rate, many people are trying their hand at selling online. These same people, now at home, suddenly find themselves without the human interaction that the "real world" job market gave them. So when they find a marketplace with a friendly forum they join in. New friendships are formed and a whole new world becomes available. This is good, this is fun...but there is a point when the "Fun" becomes "B.S.".

Instead of learning skills to help them grow their new found business, they start joining into the games and B.S. threads that many of the forums have.....and that sadly too many of these marketplaces condone ...even encourage. Yes, it can be fun to play along in a " Three Word Story" thread....or "name that tune" and everyone deserves those fun breaks from listing and promoting. Where it crosses the line is when the games start affecting the entire site....and in turn, the bottom line for all sellers.

John "colderICE" Lawson is the host of a great podcast titled "B.S. Walks when Money Talks " Anyone who has tuned into John, seen any of his Video Blogs, read any of his articles, or have had ANY dealings with him know, this guy is a fun loving person! BUT, John is also a serious seller......VERY serious. And he makes the sales. Not by "Playing games" but by having fun and "knowing the game". Believe me, he has achieved his status NOT by any selling game on any site...but through hard work, quality items, and knowing that Selling IS a business... and although you should enjoy what you do, it is not a game.

Now I am NOT trying to tell anyone HOW to conduct their business and if you just want to play around, normally that would be fine. But when the fun and games start affecting MY business and MY bottom line, I am going to speak up. And since the games and craziness is picked up by Google and other search engines, not every customer out to buy something is going to think it's cute, and not only will they not take the selling venue seriously, they may not view any of the sellers on such venues as serious sellers.

Most sellers online ARE taking treating their business as it should be. As a BUSINESS. And the serious sellers KNOW that "Fun's Fun but B.S. is B.S." because "B.S. Walks...When Money Talks" .

What think you?

Later...........Renagade

28 comments:

attheboutique said...

Very well said Ren, B.S is not in my calendar either.

Phaedra

Bobbi85710 said...

There was nothing you said, that wasn't worth saying. I have seen some shenanigans the last few days & one example was by an independent selling info site. Ridiculous stuff. Shame on the shams being committed.

Good stuff Ren!

Dave White said...

I could not agree more!

The point to be made here is in my opinion right on target. If you can have fun while running your business that is great, but be sure your fun does not interfere with your business!

Sallie said...

Absolutely agree Ren...and too many of those "games" take up valuable space better put to use in the forums.

Henrietta said...

Me four!
There is a narrow line between being judgmental and reserving the right to your own opinion. It is narrow enough that sometimes it is a hard line to see clearly.

We all have our own ways of 'coping' mine has been to avoid the forums. They are a distraction I do not have time for and the sheer negativity that the incessant whining makes me feel is an added burden I can't afford.

Is that the cowards choice? I honestly don't know, I am not afraid of them but the mental energy needed to 'feed the trolls' is better spent learning something I need. Then of course, who wants to get dragged into the dirt?

Your post is something for me to mentally chew over today, thank you for sharing your thoughts.

Bill said...

I agree, partially. :)

I think the two primary reasons people sell are 1) to make money and 2) to enjoy themselves. People who find themselves selling on a site like Amazon are probably almost entirely in the first camp. People who sell on other sites will usually be a varying composition of the two. I'm not sure that one is any better than the other, seems to me mostly a matter of tastes.

I think that any site with forums is going to have people in those forums who have a variety of opinions.. some oriented toward selling, some not. But when a person Googles "Michael Jackson Thriller record", Google isn't going to tell them about the forums -- it's going to tell them about the King of Pop. In Googling an item, that buyer has indicated that they want to do business, so Google (and the site they arrive at, if it's well designed) is going to steer them toward reaching their business objective.

If a buyer DOES choose to exercise their right to visit the forums of a site, I think that they have indicated that they're interested in "B.S." (if B.S. is defined as "conversations that may or may not apply directly to buying and selling"). If they're a buyer, it doesn't mean they won't eventually buy something, and if they're a seller, it doesn't mean that they won't eventually sell something. I think it just means they want a break from that, and they're using the resources at their disposal to get that break.

Lame hours-long April Fools jokes at *certain* ecommerce sites notwithstanding, I think that buyers and sellers can usually keep business and "B.S." about as separate as they want to, while still crossing from business to B.S. when they need a break. To me, that seems like a "good thing." :)

Bill

Susan Berry said...

I am tolerant, slow to anger, and quick to forgive but I'm still stinging from the BS, now billed as an April Fools Joke. But I'm no fool.

For many hours my business was exposed to a real problem:
when a potential customer came from google, or twitter, or my blog and typed:
"Do you offer a discount on combined shipping?", or any inquiry or question contaning the word "on"

they were answered by a robot, not me, and the robot answers were rude.

I wasn't asked if I wanted "in on the joke" for my customers. I wasn't warned. I would have canceled a day's worth of client appointments which kept me from being able to answer inquiries personally but I didn't know that my customers would be subjected to that BS until it was happening.

A line was crossed, boundaries of respect and trust. I don't appreciating my venue communicating to my clients and customer-friends on my behalf, and in ways I find inappropriate and unprofessional. I find myself doing some soul searching today and feeling betrayed.

Bill said...

Susan,

Betrayed? Maybe? Purposely betrayed? Heck no.

Bizzy was only supposed to be activated by booth owners, and only if they typed the word "on" by itself. There was a period of a few hours (from early morning until about 11 AM PST) where, due to shoddy programming, she could have been activated by booth visitors. That was my blunder, and I take responsibility for it, even if it only affected a few people for a few hours.

Our history of ... many ... months together has hopefully taught you that we've been consistently committed to empowering the seller to make their own choices and run their own business. Even when we're having fun (which we try to do once/year or so :)), we wouldn't intentionally bring you along on our hare-brained adventures if it's *business* that you want to do.

Hopefully you appreciate that programming a site as large as Bonanzle with 0 bugs for 100% of the time is not so easy a task. Luckily, the bugs usually don't rub too many people the wrong way. This one obviously rubbed you the wrong way. I'd like to promise you we won't have bugs in the future, but the best I can do is to offer you that we'll remain committed to our philosophy of letting you make your own decisions about how to run your biz.

It's a pretty good offer, if you ask me! :)

Bill

Bill said...

P.S. Completely off topic, but did you know there's now an intermediate size for booth widgets? It could make the pics in your widget pop off the page a bit better... My Bonanzle -> Edit Widgets (under My Booth).

Renagade said...

Everyone...I deeply Appreciate all the input and fully respect everyones View points.
but I feel I must address some of the issues brought up.
True, Bill, If someone is searching for Micheal Jacksons Thriller on Google, that IS what it will bring up. And many of my sales are coming in, Directly off of the Cyber street. BUT If someone chooses the check out a venue that any seller is on, I know and you know that on many site, the forums are picked up upon by Google and other search engines. I am just wondering what kind of image is the game playing sending? Some may think "Wow! Fun site!" Others may think (to use one of John Lawson's favs WTF!??"

And it is not just the forum at issue here. In a marketplace enviroment every seller has three things going for them....
1. What customers they bring in due to their own promotions
2. What customers they recieve due to Google and other Search engines.
3. What customers they recieve due to being a member of that marketplace.
As a member of a marketplace, a seller is also relying on customers coming into the site as a whole to browse and shop. Some may feel the selling games and BS is fun, but many may not "get it" and go elsewhere to shop.

Giving people the choice on how to run their business is great AND is deeply aprreciated by all, but sometimes people just need a little guidence so that they can make informed decisions. Just trying to show how the actions of some on a site can affect all.
Games CAN be fun...and yes, some enjoy them....but I hope the game players do not lose focus of what is the most important thing on a marketplace...and that is to grow and to continually improve the buying experance for all who wishes to shop there....not just game players.

Renagade

PS ...and thank you for the hint on the widget sizing....I Assume that was for me not for Susan Berry! LOL

Bill said...

Other Susan: :)

Well put. Luckily for those of us wanting to do business, Google cares a lot more about our items than our message forums. Also on the bright side, negatively distracting messages represent maybe 1% of the overall volume of messages in Bonanzle's forums, by my unofficial estimate. Sometimes folks that have been around for awhile feel like it's more, since these minority posts can cause the biggest stir, but to a new user (or Google), an overwhelming majority of what happens in the forums is positive, relationship building, stress busting sort of stuff. That may vary on other marketplaces.

That said, I think that it *is* in every seller's best interests that, if they're going to choose to play selling games rather than add Google attributes, that they are aware of the decision they're making to opt for fun over sales. Personally, I don't have a problem with sellers that are in it mostly to have fun, but I do want to make sure it's a decision they know they're making.

To address this, we recently created the skeletal design for our "Booth Optimization Project," where we're going to do everything we can do help educate sellers about how the choices they make will impact their sales. Hoping that will launch in its early form next week. And actually, we're going to be soliciting articles for it from our more veteran sellers -- maybe there is the morsel of an article for our BOP from what you've started here...?

Bill

Kim said...

I actually like the games. Not so much the three word ones or things like that. I don't mind them but I don't visit them any more either I used to a while back.

I do like ones like tmt, fff, and Weekday challenge etc. I find it to be a nice way to have fun and meet other sellers on Bonanzle.

In my opinion, I think if someone googling came across a games thread it would not turn them off. If they are willing to shop on a site that is not Walmart or a big company basically, then they know that most of the sellers are just every day Joe's working from home so the games would not seem so out of place.

The only threads I do not like and usually they are quickly dealt with are the ones when someone has been there a couple weeks, or even some have been there a while but do not have google feed up etc. Come in to complain in the forums No Sales. That frustrates the heck out of me every time. If they want help there is a better way to title a thread. It also makes me wonder about the booth in general. If I have sold over 200 items on Bonanzle, what is wrong with your items that you are in such bad shape you felt it needed to come to a forum and make a spectacle of yourself (not YOU referring to those that do this lol).

I will take even that HUGE thread there was about who posts last over the whining threads any day!

That is just me though. I am sure there are many opinions on the subject.

I agree with what Bill said up there too though about it being our decision that we are making. I did a lot of thinking about this in the last few weeks about where to focus my time. I am coming to the conclusion as much as I love having fun while selling I really need to focus on my attributes and promotion more than having fun in the forums and use the forums more for a break in between my work. For a long time I have been doing the opposite and spending more time in forums and a break was more like when I worked. I believe I can make even more sales if I put more time into my listings and promoting etc. So basically I need to flip what I do and have been working on it. I am very easily sidetracked and I have had to come to the conclusion that it is probably hurting my business. Since this is how I support my family I can't let that continue.

Anyways, I am going on and on. Basically just wanted to add my opinion that I don't think most of the games really hurt in any way BUT I do think the drastic No Sales, when the people posting them have done nothing but put some items up... now I do believe those could hurt. I am happy to see they disappear faster each time someone decides to have a breakdown lol.

Luv ya Ren and completely respect your opinion. You know that though :)

Sally Williams said...

I agree with you whole-heartedly, Ren.

While I don't join in much with the games any more, I did the tagging for awhile, but that was about it, the forum issues are not my biggest concern over some of what I see happening as of late.

What I see is a lot of people running amok at times and letting things from forums spill into chat boxes in booths.

I see systems and programs put into place with apparently little testing before hand, to the exclusion of issues veteran sellers have mentioned repeatedly.

I see arbitrary decisions being made and apparent shock when sellers are concerned or upset over them.

These issues concern me.

At the end of the day, though, my biggest concern is that person that finds me via Google search. I have ONE CHANCE to make a first impression...and if a poorly executed 'joke' that I had no control over makes that first impression, where am I left?

I'll tell you where I am left. I am left with a business name I have worked on establishing for 10 years being associated with that poorly executed joke.

Not funny. No way, no how. But...perhaps I am being told, as I know others have been in a more direct fashion, that this isn't the venue for me.

Sincerely,
Sally Williams
Bleu Moon's Attic

Victoriansagejewelry said...

Ren..Thanks so much for saying what I wanted to say. And Bill, I appreciate your input here and I do appreciate the hard work you guys do but if any thought had gone into this at all, it would have never been done at all.
In this day of hardships and worry for many, and for people who had thought they had found a professional and understanding venue, it was a HUGE disappointment.
I have never been a "game" person, never have been and I would rather do more constructive things with my time. For those who like games, then that is their prerogative, but this was just over the top and wrong. I am all for having fun but not when it affects my ability to make a living.

Renagade said...

AGAIN... Thanks to all that have posted their opinions here!
The way I see it...and of course everyone has their own take on things ;)....Is Bill has a very unique consept and vision for his site. This consept IS what makes it so different from anything out there. That said, with ANY site, you are going to have things go on that are not suitable for everyone....BUT that does not mean the site is not for you and your business. No site is "Perfect". And as Pheadra from attheboutique has taught me:
"you look for and take what value that is there...and leave the rest" :)
I am just wanting to see a higher ratio of value Verus the things Serious Sellers must leave or ignore.
One thing you all must agree with is unlike other site owners...Bill has always taken into consideration the sellers viewpoints...and I think that is one thing that will make Bonanzle grow and thrive.

Bill, I am looking forward to seeing the "Booth Optimization Project" ....I know it will be a BIG help to all...newbies and Veterans alike! (Not that I think anything I write has THAT much value (lol)) but feel free to use anything you find here that will help!

ANY site that is set up as a marketplace needs growth... and "off the cyberstreet" customers and sales will bring that growth faster and sustain that growth better than any seller to sellers sales ever could. I look forward to seeing more sales...and of course I welcome any and all...sellers and strictly buyers alike!

Renagade said...

PS.... I think I need to go even BIGGER with the widget...LOL...still tweaking things here!

Victoriansagejewelry said...

You know..selling online is HARD WORK! We are expected to promote online and off, edit our listings to be more Bonanzle friendly, CROP those pics..write great descriptions, use Google attributes and tons of other things to make our selling experience a successful venture.We can't just throw some listings up and sit back and do nothing and expect to reap any benefits so we do these things and try to respect the owners of any site that we sell on by doing these things. We expect the same respect. Now I know that no one is perfect and we all make mistakes. And I also know and can probably only imagine how hard it must be to put a site like this together. It is a work in progress and should always be that. I am not so naive to think that they are going to make everyone happy 100% of the time. That is fine. Lets get on with the business of selling and buying, shall we?

blarney_stone said...

Ren, I agree wholeheartedly. TMT is designed as a machine, with an off site web address for management, and promoted off site, to bring the curious to Bonanzle. This stuff about 3 word games, and whatever FFF games there are selling to seller games, and I do not participate, or even look. To this minute I believe that a (very) few of the enduring "games" are effective to draw new people off the street. I have to figure that only a small percentage of the total membership of Bonanzle members participate in the forums, but by and large a much larger percentage than other sites.

I only hope, as Victoriansage said above that we all realize that no one is going to be happy all the time, and we will all make a mistake once in a while. A better game might be who can recruit the most members, or post off site the most, or something to make those buying eyes look our way!

Dede said...

Very well said Renagade! All of the time spent on trying to figure out what was going on and how to prevent it, could have been spent on something much more beneficial to business.

Anonymous said...

Good Grief........... Unless you add attributes and delimiters to this blog how in h e double hockey stick am I going to understand it??

ECBeauty said...

I'm sorry Renegade, but I disagree with your assertion that any forum game is going to hurt your business. The only activity on the forums that can potentially hurt your business is the "quarreling" and sometimes almost gang style attacks that so remind me of SC. I don't think these "quarrels" are going to turn buyers away, though I do think they will turn sellers away, especially those that have experienced being battered on SC or the FB on the bay. Sellers turning away will harm your business, because quantity is the game in increasing traffic. It is essential that we acquire as many (good) sellers as possible so the listings increase - more keywords - more traffic - more buyers..

I actually think the games will either have 0 effect or the potential buyer might think it is pretty cool to see some people having fun. The fact is the happier the seller the better service they will provide. People who hate what they do reflect that in everything related and that will create a negative experience for buyers and that will hurt your business.

I wouldn't choose not to buy from someone because they were having fun playing a game in a forum. We are people and people have fun once in a while- at least they should. There is nothing wrong with having fun - even if you are running a business. People don't expect someone who runs a business to be cold, rigid, and boring. I think more people would be drawn to someone who knows how to have fun than someone who is all business business business.

Here is a relevant article to the topic of games and social networks. If online people were so terribly offended by game playing do you think game sites and social networking sites would be the fastest growing online market right now. I don't think so.

http://www.nielsen-online.com/blog/2009/01/20/zynga-one-to-watch-in-2009/

View this slide show from neilsen too
http://www.nielsen-online.com/emc/09032_wb/Global_%20SNWebinar.pdf

I'm not sure Bill's vision of Bonanzle or all of the little yet significant innovations he has integrated into Bonanzle are understood.
What Bill is making (maybe not with intent I don't know) is a site that captures the 2 favorite online activities - shopping & socializing. The bulk of internet users are using the internet to have fun! That is a fact demonstrative by the massive usage of social networking sites.

I think Bill needs to expand activities on the site that will encourage people who do not sell to become a part of Bonanzle- a part of us. If this can be accomplished you will find yourself experiencing greater success than you imagine you will have if games were removed. People like people. The success of the internet itself is largely a result of the ability for people to participate in a global cyber culture. It is amazing to be able to meet people from other countries - get to know them - learn from them - teach them. This is what the internet is all about and more so everyday.

In essence, I think the games benefit your business more than they harm your business. Keep your booth professional - that is where people shop not the forums- and you'll be fine.

About the Bizzy issue. Did customers complain they were greeted by a joke telling virtual woman? I didn't have that on in my booth, but I was gone the whole day so didn't have opportunity. However, I did check it out in my friends booth that night and I didn't read any "rude" jokes. I think this is a slight over reaction to the joke. Not nearly as many people online are uptight boring bitchy people as there are people who like to have fun and would get a kick out of something telling him/her jokes. I prefer fun customers over uptight people anyway- I am willing to forgo that type of customer.

Relax people there are for more activities you can spend your time doing to ensure your success. Actively promoting your booth will benefit your business much more than any games in the forums can hurt your business.

Dakota said...

While I agree 100% with Renagade about how the games make the site and all of it's sellers look unprofessional, I would like to ad-

Concerning many of the games and the more recent "bonanza block party":

It is absolutely NOT right what is going on as the same people play each and every game and what they are doing is promoting and nothing more.

What gives them the right to also promote the games in the promotion forum if they are just for fun?!

If they had all listed that they were having a Bonanza in the promo thread, they would not have gotten 1/2 of the exposure that they did. Many of them are promoting in promos and bumping their threads all of the time.

Just how many threads do they need to advertise or promote their Bonanzas? Why are they allowed more oppotunity to promote their Bonanaza than anyone else? I haven’t time to play those “games” (they are really promotions and nothing more) so I don’t get the same exposure. That surely can not sound fair to anyone.

I absolutely see no enhancements to the buyers experience what so ever. Besides, if there is a buyer or a seller for that matter that wants to play games, go to the game forum. There is a forum for that already and if the threads are kept contained there, would be better for everyone (at least it would be more fair than the current system). Buyers are not going to come in off of Google to play those games and I can pretty surely bet that no buyers purposely go looking for those games. Check who is on those threads. It’s the same sellers over and over again because those threads are really promotions disguised as games.

It doesn’t make sense to have a separate forum for games that bleed into recent discussions.

What makes this bad for all sellers is that we have 5 promos in 3 days.

These people have the same 5 promos in 3 days each PLUS they have all of the times it rotates through recent discussions and it also shows on the games forums.

That seems a bit lopsided to some of us.

While they already get extra exposure because it is a Bonanza, they most certainly should not be allowed to also take advantage of loopholes in the site policies and or set up.

They should be made to make a choice.

It is either a promo or a game.
If it is a game, it should not be bleeding into general.
If it is a game, then it should not be listed on the promo forum.

All of this game stuff is out of hand partly because there are so many of them.

Here are some of your most recent quotes and my comments to them:

Posted by bharding, Seattle, WA. 431 total posts | Posted 2 days ago

In part states:

Hopefully this change will give sellers more flexibility to use their quota rapidly when they’re having an event, while still keeping the overall volume of posts in the promo forum to a level where buyers can visit it without being overwhelmed (and keeping away the possibility of posting 10+ “bump” messages in a day).
http://www.bonanzle.com/forums/4/topics/42600

>>Ok, so they are cleaning up the promo board so people aren’t going nuts over there but what about the bumps and crapola going on in general due to the “games”? I would say 650+ bumps to the same Bonanza thread is no better than any serial bumper. In fact if you do the math, it is worse! (bump per thread average)

Posted by bharding, Seattle, WA. 431 total posts | Posted 1 day ago

In part states:

We don’t think that in any circumstances somebody needs more than 5 messages in a day to get across what they are promoting. Usually, a seller needs one or two messages to broadcast a promotion, and the rest of the posts they make are “bumps” to the promotion.

What we found with having the promo forum setup the old way was that “bumps” were necessary because other sellers were bumping their thread. So the forum eventually devolved less into promoting and more into a cacophony of bumps. With a lower limit, almost all of the messages have content to them, and they disappear less quickly because nobody has a bunch of posts available to bump. This evens the playing field for all… you don’t have to sit on the site and bump to get your promotion notice. Which means you have more time to promote your booth elsewhere, like on Craigslist, which can bring fresh blood to the Bonanzle (our preference).

I don’t think it takes more than 5 posts to get a Bonanza (or whatever promotion you want to have in your booth) noticed. Again, what we’ve seen with high posting counts is that the first message or two are the meat, and the rest are just trying to keep the message current, which is only a problem when other people are locked into the same cycle you are. Less messages means less noise means less work for everyone to get noticed.

I worry when I see those that seem to rely on the promo forum for their business that they are missing the point of how Bonanzle will grow and succeed: it isn’t by spending hours per day mining the resources we have here — it’s by spreading the word abroad. Craigslist, Twitter, Blogging (blog widgets), Google attributes, emailing past customers…. if you have time to spend increasing your sales, these are the sustainable, non-limited ways to channel your efforts. By using these channels, you increase the overall pool of buyers from which everybody can draw, which is ultimately how Bonanzle will succeed.

http://www.bonanzle.com/forums/4/topics/42600?page=9

>>>The bonanza block party in just one of the many threads posted had 650+ posts in 6 days is far more than 5 messages in 3 days.

In a quick peek at the boards, the block party is showing:
1 thread with 373 replies
3 threads with 0 replies
1 thread with 4 replies
2 threads with 1 reply
4 thread with 2 replies
1 thread with 50 replies
1 thread with 662 replies

I am sure that there are more but I think that gives you the idea.
These threads are listing in General, Promote Your Booth and on the Games forum.

>>>In the second paragraph you are talking about a “level playing field”. That is all that we are asking for. Stop allowing certain members to game the rules or site set up to promote their stuff.

>>>The meat and potoes that he is talking about has been shredded into itsy bitsy pieces by these game players. They should not be allowed anymore coutesy than any other member. What they are doing is promoting and using WAY more than 5 posts per 3 day period and getting away with it simply by renaming a promotion to game.

>>>Bill said that people were missing the point and about helping Bonanzle grow… well there is a very obvious solution. Tell them promote outside of Bonanzle. Those games serve no purpose but to do what you said serial bumpers and responders to promos were doing. They are not helping with bonanzle growth whatsoever. If those people spent as much time outside of Bonanzle promoting as they do on those games, the growth rate would be even more amazing than it already is.

Posted by bharding, Seattle, WA. 431 total posts | Posted 1 day ago

In part states:
Plus, realistically, are messages #5-10 going to be that helpful for a seller to get their Bonanza noticed? Probably not, unless they are surrounded by other sellers that are bumping as well (again, returning to the original problem).

http://www.bonanzle.com/forums/4/topics/42600?page=12

>>>As stated above, the “game playing” sellers are playing Bonanzle for a fool because they are breaking the site rules and getting away with it. Why does anyone think that there are so many different games and so many new ones being created fairly frequently? Extra promotion is the answer and now that there are restrictions on the promo board, you can bet this is only going to get worse.

Posted by bharding, Seattle, WA. 431 total posts | Posted 1 day ago
In part states:

In closing, I’d like to reiterate the most important point here: no seller is limited to how much they can promote their booth per day, you’re only limited in how much you can promote it in the Bonanzle promotion forum!

We have undergone great traffic growth to this point, but Bonanzle only grows when our sellers are out on the Internet, banging the Bonanzle drum, and finding creative ways to bring new buyers to Bonanzle!

We can struggle amongst ourselves to get a share of the pie that’s already at Bonanzle, or we can go get more slices of pie at Craigslist, Twitter, on blogs, through Google, and in any of the numerous other places that buyers can be found (Hint: My Bonanzle → Make More Sales). Heck, you could go post Bonanzle flyers at your community college if you wanted to… there are hundreds of interesting ways to promote outside the promo forum.

We have seen repeatedly that small sellers are some of the most creative individuals on the Internet when it comes to using the tools available to reach their goals. Let’s use the time saved bumping promo threads to make inroads into the 99% of Internet buyers that don’t even know Bonanzle exists yet!

http://www.bonanzle.com/forums/4/topics/42600?page=14

>>>If sellers are limited on how much they can promote on Bonanzle, then there is a serious issue here as there are several members that are breaking that rule. Just because they call a promotion a game does not change the fact that it is still a promotion.

>>>Like I said before, they are not able to bang Bonanzle’s drum when they are so busy selfishly banging their own drum by cheating the system and or gaming the site set up within the forums.

>>>I don’t want more than my share of the pie but I am damned tired of watching others dig away at my share with those “games”. Put them in the promo forum or contain them in games forum and allow me the same number of promos as they get and please allow me to play on that "level playing field" I hear you talking about.

>>>While some may call disguising promtions as games (in title only – just read the contents of these games) and may be creative to some, it is unfair to those that do not play games because they are busy listing, taking pics, manipulating pics, ordering or collecting stock, promoting outside of Bonanzle, and simply having a life. There booth names are in in front far more than they deserve to be only because they are cheating the system.
//

Yet another problem is that the games are bogging down the recent discussions and making it hard to find people who need help or welcoming.

Then there is the fact of how we will look to those that find out about Bonz on the social networking sites and see all of these games. they are going to think that Bonz is a game! That in turn will make sellers on the site appear not to be serious sellers. Of course, if sellers are not deemed serious, how is a buyer to feel confident purchasing from us and returning later to purchase again?

I am really disenchanted at this point because of the allowance of a few to blatantly game the system without regards to the overall health of the site and/or to how all sellers look in the eye of the public due to this behavior.

Our reputations online are all we have and how we are preceived by others will either make or break us. All sellers on the site should be considering how what they do will affect the other sellers on the site.

Selling online is our sole source of income and I am really concerned about they way all of the games will reflect on my business and thus our income.

Do we want to be known as a selling site or just a game?

Kim said...

Dakota:

everyone and anyone could have participated in the block party.Even you. I just don't see why you are so angered. I respect your opinion but you are getting so angry

as far as games this is how the games forum is on Bonanzle, copied right off the site

Buying and Selling Games
This is the forum for games such as Tickle Me Tuesday, How Low Can You Go, and other games used by the community to help introduce people and enjoy buying and selling on Bonanzle.

It IS for buying and selling games.

Kim said...

Also selling online is the only way we can support our family so I am in the same boat as you Dakota.

Renagade said...

Thank you all again for such good input here! My main point is this ...some people think Bonanzle is a fun and games site. Although I am all for fun, and I don't mind if people want to play games...but when you put the two words together in reference to a Marketplace site, unless the main item sold is games....it is not a good combo.
The time "invested" in the games, which in my opion is WAY too much, could be better spent listing,working the attributes, and promoting their booth and wares OFF site.
Again I welcome sales from sellers and truly enjoy selling to other members, but in order for Bonanzle or any other site to grow and effectively compete in todays online world, customers are going to have to come in "off the streets" so to speak.

Moms Pennies said...

I personally don't choose to participate in any of the games...I was suckered into one, one time and had the rules thrown at me in a 30 second explanation, but missed the part that said, I may not have anyone buy from me.

I really don't have time for games and I question how serious those are who participate in them are. Listing, Promoting, Selling, and buying stock to list takes alot of time and effort. I take what I do very seriously and I would never want any of my customers to think that they are dealing with one who thinks online selling is a big game. I worry that the first impression they may get from a visit to Bonanzle is to arrive in a booth full of game listings and no apparent explanation as to why they are seeing these ads. Bonanzle Sellers will usually know what these are but those who come from Google or any other search engine may view them as a big joke and not only never come back, but spread misconceptions to others, therefore undermining our efforts to grow through word of mouth. This is one way bad PR is not as good as any PR.

I am one who strives to offer the best in Customer Service and I feel like our potential hits are making a customer feel confused and unsure about how serious we are about giving them a quality product at a great price. Online retailing is not a joke, and it's not a game. The games really only attract other sellers most of the time anyway, so those that use them as a way of getting sales are confused about the big picture.

I don't see it changing though, those that use these tactics will continue to do so without regard for how it effects everyone else on the venue. I just will choose not to participate.

When I purchase an item from a seller, I am very happy to pay them what they are asking. If I don't like their price, I move on to another item who's terms I find acceptable. I am not out to take anyone. An item is worth what someone is willing to pay for it, and I am yet to buy anything that is discounted or on sale. Everything I've purchased has been with a full price offer.

Bill, I would like to commend you on the job you are doing...no one but you knows how hard it is to keep up with the wants, needs, and demands of so many sellers with many different personalities. You have been very creative with your projects and I personally was amused by Bizzy. I think the forums will be your biggest challenge and I participate in them less and less everyday, usually only to be of assistance to someone or to provide a bit of helpful information. I used to enjoy the forums, but they have become another sort of game as well, and everyone thinks they can play by their own rules. I am going to focus on my booth more and what I can do to attract the right type of publicity for a venue I feel is most worthy of receiving it.

I am sorry if I have offended anyone with my comments but, it is time to get serious about what we are really all about in this business of online retailing.

What baby boomers pursue. said...

Ren...thanks for this blog post...spend little time in the forums. Productive posts that lead to promotions and well written suggestions for greater selling exposure are buried deep.

Do have to question if the "fun and socialization" has overstepped its bounds, for prospective new buyers to take a selling venue seriously.

jinx said...

WOW!!! This is like reading the Drama Forum. Ren your blog has definitely stirred some emotions.
I have to say that personally I do not see the advantage to playing games except from the social side. I personally do not play them - I have way too much work to do with listings etc. and I do try to do this 8hrs/day 5 or 6 days per week. I do have my own social life outside Bonanzle. I can respect the social side of this site ( I have met some great people) But I am treating my booth as a business and I wonder what impression buyers get when they see all these games. If you go to a brick and mortar mall you do not see games being played....do they have promotional days where they bring in entertainers yes. And that can be entertaining for those just browsing but buyers in that mall that are on a mission to shop do not usually pay any attention to that. This I know for a fact because our car club usually promotes the MADD program inside our mall and people will look at our street rods as they walk past but usually do not stop and talk. Maybe we should have "theme days" say once a month and let it be a free for all on that day only .. I think it would be fun and maybe the buyers and sellers would get a kick out of it. Idea being say "Mother's Day" ... every booth promote (on one thread)one item from their booth for Mother. I say ban the games or at least limit them. I think most sellers are there to sell not play. Hope I haven't offended anyone but Business is Business. If you want to socialize go to different booth and introduce yourself. You never know whom you will meet.