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Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Exploring the Core Values of the CEO Club

It's me, Susan Berry, of Oshun Spirit Earth Friendly Goods. At Oshun Spirit, our focus is on personal development, health and wellness, and global consciousness as paths to transformation. Since 1994, my mission has been to support those who share my values and commitment to the well-being of people and the planet, knowing that all positive changes must first come from within ourselves. My business model includes transparency, a commitment to excellence and extraordinary customer service.

And so I closed my store on Bonanza.com. It was a difficult decision to make, but I decided to cut my losses rather than to sell my soul. But that is old news.

About a week ago Bonanza.com CEO Bill Harding started an open group on facebook. A self-proclaimed funny guy, with a known penchant for sarcastic-humor, he named his social drinking and think-tank group with the acronym CHUBS. Now, I know what that means in young-hip-guy-slang but in case you do not, you can look it up here in the urban dictionary. I'll let you decide which definition you want to use. Then you can read the core values of the association.

Unpredictability is an understatement. I just never know when this company is going to come back up on my radar screen. It's like a bad penny so to speak.

Anyway, start-up types are invited to booze with Bill and discuss just how unpredictable they're going to be. Bill states he most often ends up free and thirsty on Mondays, but his boozing can also be unpredictable. So if you are still selling on Bonanza I imagine you can expect enhancements like the condescending shipping notifications to your customers:

"Your order has shipped! Huzzah!
Slip on your celebratin’ shoes and dust off your dancin’ pants — someone’s about to get a big, fat pack of awesome!

or this trust-inspiring message on the help blog:

"Please do not send payments for merchandise to this address. If you would like to buy an item from a seller, please contact that seller directly. If you send us money, we will take it and use it to buy candy and toys and your item will never arrive."

...on Tuesdays.

I'm not sure if I got the unicorn treatment on a Tuesday or not. Bizzy might have been conceived on a thirsty Monday but then she took some programming and made her debut on Wednesday, April 1 2009. She probably seemed like a great idea at the local watering hole. Note to developers: leave your laptop in its case after your third drink.
No matter. Bill is no longer the CEO directing the trajectory of my company, nor representing it in public. He can booze Monday thru Friday for all I care, and I wish him deep hydration and a lifetime supply of alka-seltzer to help him along. Bless you and your chub chuggin' chums. May you be served free nachos, dudes.

See, hip and professional CAN go hand-in-hand. I was told that early on.

But... I now have a real concern.

A track record of unaccountability to customers, a lack of professional ethics, core values of unpredictability and boozing, and a club name that essentially means "manparts out-of-order" is juvenile and socially akward at best. Maybe even a bit creepy when all else is taken into consideration. 

But more unsettling, and for me scarier than being redrawn as a unicorn, is not being able to change my personal information that they keep. Meeting these guys in this light (their chubs club), for the first time, would I give them access to all my financial information? No.

But they have it. 

This stands now as public record on this date.  Game over.


  1. Perfectly written and expresses my concerns also Susan.

    All I can say on this one is OMG and shake my head. I am not a prude and believe in fun, but I also believe it is possible to do so while still maintaining a professional image and not having customers concerned over what type of people have access to their financial information.

  2. "Trust me" said the unicorn. "No not I" said the mortal. "Why not?" he laughed. "Because you are a devious being" said I.

    All jokes aside I can only say how unprofessional once again Bonanza management shows themselves to be. How irresponsible and how silly and how childish.

    So glad I don't have a credit card on file there. With all the glitches on site daily what's next???? - "Gee we're sorry but all our database info leaked out to never never land and you're data is poofed"

    They should dmv themselves. Bad bad bad... sigh.

  3. I could live with the fact that Bonanza business ethics were not in alignment with my own, and when Jeremy was so rude to Mary again – I thought these guys just have no life experience never mind business savvy. But this speaks to an immaturity and attitude that is beyond youth or a generation gap. It is disturbing.

  4. Because of the shipped email mentioned in your blog Susan, i.e., the "Your order has shipped! Huzzah! Slip on your celebratin’ shoes and dust off your dancin’ pants — someone’s about to get a big, fat pack of awesome!" I lost a 5 time repeat customer.

    My impression of Bonanza turned from a positive to a negative in less than 24 hours. Regrettably, I do not see a return to a positive feeling about the site in the near future.

  5. Thank you for your comment Anon. I know how you feel. I found myself apologizing to my customers far too often.

  6. "Anyway, start-up types are invited to booze with Bill and discuss just how unpredictable they're going to be. Bill states he most often ends up free and thirsty on Mondays, but his boozing can also be unpredictable. "
    ...Shaking my head in complete disgust....This is more then worrisome that the CEO of Bonanza is announcing his need for alcohol, that he makes business decisions while under the influence..and encourages his employees to join him....

    I have more then lost respect for the "boozing CEO's" and employees of this company.....what a disgraceful way to run a company and they have public disgraced themselves as far as I am concerned.

  7. As if I needed more inspiration to get the PHP tweeked on rdesignsco.com........

  8. Very sad indeed.
    Ever see men in the "man-0-pause stage" of life, trying to act like young studly men?
    This is what they remind me of. Except that the party money is coming from the paying members. How can a good conscience live with that? Make your listing now... Support a Beer, Buy Here!

  9. "Make your listing now... Support a Beer, Buy Here!"


  10. Just have to wonder how serious these people are about this business. It once had promise, where most things worked. Too much fun perhaps?

  11. I wish I could say it's unbelievable.. but, I do believe it and not even surprised. I think it is a disgrace.

    Bill never has understood, nor Mark for that matter, how in the position they are in that their public appearance is important, what reflects on them reflects on their company.

    It does seem to explain a lot. But, I think for sometime now we have all known that the site is nothing more than a big game to Bill.

    LOL @ ECB

  12. You don't see other professional people doing what they have done. It really makes a person wonder just what is going through their minds.

  13. I'm guessing a complete disassociation from any responsibility to their customers, and indifference to any consequences derived from their behavior...

  14. "What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas". It should be an interesting meet for all those attending. Topics covered - How To Alienate Your Customer Base - Using The Social Media To Make Fools Of Yourself - Drawing Stick Figures 101 - Captive Audiences, Dominion Over All - CHUBS Explained, Controlling How U Booze Safely.

    We Don't Care name tags will be distributed at the door...

    This is why I am vacationing indefinitely.

  15. That could be why they kept messing up my membership, because someone was loaded all the time. I pay for membership and 5 days later they turn it off. This happened so many times it isn't even funny. I left 2 negative feedback's for Ghost aka Mark and only for Mark to retaliate and hit me with bogus forum violations and suspended me to 2016 and locked my account down. I was not able to communicate with my customers..

    Oh and so everyone knows Mark removed the 2 negative feedback's I left.

    I asked Ghost to remove their free membership and Judy replied back and removed it. A couple of days later Mark turned it on again. He told me by giving me free membership he can remove the negs!

    That site sucks!

  16. From Mark regarding their Feedback policy:


    Feedback on Bonanza is to be used to gauge a seller and buyers reputation. The Ghost (aka Seller) did everything in their power to assist you and make the situation better. Additionally you were refunded your money and you were given the product for free. That does not warrant negative feedback. Had the seller not responded or not attempted to make good on the transaction then your feedback would be warranted. That is why the feedback was removed. We have been consistent on our feedback policy since day one.

  17. I had such high hopes for Bonanza when I joined a couple of years ago; I was one of their biggest fans and cheerleaders. Not any more...

    Between all of the constant unannounced irrational changes, the glitches, constant upheaval and now the silly shenanigans of the owners/cohorts I no longer want people to know about Bonanza. Managements actions reflect on me as a seller and I have no control over what they do; it's a shame that I feel I have to apologize to my customers for everything that's been going on lately with Bonanza. It's time to move on...

  18. And I thought it was just me....I had an ethical tug of war with these guys over a year ago. At that time, I knew their moral compass was way off....but I remained... thinking I was being too harsh and arbitrary. Now I know my inner voice was right all along. I can't believe it took me this long to say adios and cancel my booth.

  19. Thank you everyone for your heartfelt comments and for supporting each other in what for many is a painful awakening. I would like to invite all to feel free to comment anonymously on this blog. I will warn you that if you are still selling on Bonanza and use your real name, and care to still sell there, management has been known to hunt and trap those who comment without pompoms in hand. "Seattle" has been monitoring this blog all day and is reading your comments, but you do have a voice and a safe place to express yourself.

  20. Amazing, simply amazing. I agree, it once was a very promising selling venue with great communication between sellers and buyers. The constant "improvements" and changes have rendered the site almost unusable. Everyday there is some sort of "glitch" that you just don't see at other sites. Couple that with a complete lack of business acumen, and the fact that the owners don't seem willing to invest in the future with advertising...the handwriting is on the wall.

  21. I only wish that I could save the newcomers and the ones that are living in hope of Bonanza being a successful site-ain't gonna happen I am sorry to say. When will those Boyz turn into men and start being accountable for their actions rather than playing games with deception? I am appalled at the readings of late and where the Boyz put their priorities. Actions speak louder than words. Quit screaming at me Bonanza.

  22. Isn't that a personal site for him & his friends? Not allowed to have a life away from work?

  23. Congratulations on having the good sense to make that a private party. Now maybe you could use some of that brainpower to fix your checkout. I see by way of the forums that it is still a disaster and that you are still removing all mention of it. Same old, same old.

  24. It is a shame the site has become so unreliable. Glitches everywhere, updates that caused more glitches, and the support that was so great at one time, is sadly lacking.

    When my paid membership expires, I will not be renewing it. I have found two other sites that are showing great promise and those are the sites I am going to be spending my time and money on.

    I don't need another ebay site where they sensor things that do not need to be sensored. They could do away with some of their New updates, and fix the glitches that have been ongoing for several months.

    It use to be their moto keep it simple, but apparently they threw that out with the baby.

  25. Sorry Susan
    I am not who you are implying I am.
    I have nothing to do with the workings of Bonanza!

    Just saying - "Isn't that a personal site for him & his friends? Not allowed to have a life away from work?"

  26. Oh I know that anon – no need to apologize, actually I was not addressing your post directly, rather commenting to "Seattle" who has been monitoring this blog. And yes, of course everyone should have a private life.

  27. Something like that should have been kept private, but I guess the little boys have no common sense, or they just don't care!

    Boozing groups are more important than all the site glitches?

    This site is all cover-up. Anything negative in the forums is deleted. Any negative feedbacks are removed as they see fit.

    I have to say not only have you lost another seller, but you lost another buyer as well.

    The love and feeling is all gone!

    Bonanza is falling off the auction charts on Power Seller Unites... going down!

  28. Well now my account on Bonanza has been wiped out. I asked them to close my account before and Mark told me they can't do that. I didn't get any email to let me know it was wiped out. I just got a lot of emails that said The offer to you on this item has been canceled. These were from all the transactions I had on Bonanza.

    Hey Bonanza, while you're at it remove my feedback page also. Why is it still up and searchable? Is it to boost your numbers with all the accounts that are no longer on your site?

    For anyone who is no longer on Bonanza beware that your profile and feeedback is still searchable.

    All I can say is you boys need to take the thumb out of your mouth and pull up your big boy diapers and try to be like a man! All little boys have to grow up sometime!

  29. So Susan what site would you recommend selling on? In your own opinion. Thanks Joe L.

  30. IMO, your best option is your own website where you have complete control. As a marketplace venue, ebay has the most traffic and constistently generates the most sales, and I just think of the fees as an advertising cost. All my outgoing ebay packages contain a customer appreciation coupon for my website making conversion easy. There are many up and coming niche sites and social marketing sites, each with its own flavor. I have a small shop on addoway which I like for it's management's professionalism and the glitch-free features, sales are pretty good there as well.