Bonanzle is an auction site, which claims to be easier to use and more friendly than the current action giant, eBay. The team claims, that eBay is so popular, mainly because there's no competition, but online shopping should evolve, just like other aspects of online activities did.
The creators of Bonanzle became frustrated with the confusion and difficult search of eBay, loneliness and 'adult content' of Craigslist and high fees present in other auction sites. They decided to create aplace, which will be effective, attractive, cheap to use, and able to build a community of buyers and sellers.
The main point was to make the site as easy to use as possible. Another one was to create trust between users. Overall, Bonanzle is supposed to be not only a place for small business, but also for making friends, and having a pleasurable experience.
The main activities on Bonanzle, would be, of course, buying and selling. New users, who want to sell things, can either create a profile, to get the full benefits of the service, sell things without logging in, or import their information and auctions from eBay. Creating an auction is also much faster and easier, than on the main action sites, where you have to go through many detailed pages. The site has its own photo tool , which makes it easier to crop pictures, or create multiple photos from one group photo. This tool saves the time for people who want to post multiple auctions.
Buying things is equally easy. Users can browse objects through categories (not as detailed as on eBay), using keywords, or check on of the groups created by the users. This site has an interesting functionality, which allows users to group auctions that have te same main theme, (for example 'Feeling incomplete' for a group of auctions of busts and head sculptures)
This site puts much emphasis on creating a community, a friendly place for shopping, rather than a faceless mall. Here, the users can create their own personal profiles with a self-description, a map of their location, and a list of grpis they belong to and favourite objects they buy or sell. They can also use an instant messanger, or chat programmes. They can post comments not only about auctions they took part in, but also about other users sites and objects. All those possibilities really help to create a friendly atmosphere and a sense of community, much unlike eBay, where transactions usually dont lead to forming any lasting relationship.
The site, as the creators emphasize, is supposed to be user friendly, and they managed to create a layout, which goes well with this idea. The thumbnails of objects are large and clear, and the categories easy to browse, so the functionalities are ok, but the design itself could use a bit of an improvement.
The colors are lively, with maybe just a bit too much green all over the place. Maybe a less colourful background would work better with a site, whose main content are lots of detailed pictures. Now, some visitors could get dizzy from all the colours.
Bonanzle started in a niche which is difficult to conquer, because those who most of the potential users, are already using eBay. Creators of Bonanzle decided to focus on those features, that are lacking on eBay, to create a competition. EBay is huge and messy, so Bonanzle is a cozy site. EBay is all about business, timely payments, calculating points, while Bobanzle is more about friendly cooperation, and forming friendships. EBay is depersonalised, Bonanzle is personal.
I doubt that Bonanzle will ever take the giant's place, but it obviously tempted snough users who want to do their online shopping in a virtual cornershop, full of neighbours, than in a enormous mall.