A couple of weeks back I asked Go Banana a few questions about their website – They’re currently pitching their ‘online building supplies’ business on Seedrs.
I asked them to explain why one of their listings (a can of paint) was much cheaper in Homebase and why the listing neglected key details like the size of the can. I did this purely as an example of one product, there were more that exhibited the same attributes – high price, missing details.
I also pointed out my reservations with the model, pointing out that builders often use a variety of local merchants where delivery is often quick and free. In my experience builders also tend to know where things are cheapest and/or offer the best quality in the local area, so if a site like this doesn’t immediately show them known products at a cheaper price why would they bother?
The response I got was interesting. Immediately Rami Naori jumped on my single example and said “To take one of 105k products and say we are expensive was not real research” – No comment on why details were missing and the instant assumption that I had looked at just one. Apparently, the fact that buyers and sellers are brought together by Go Banana and if buyers are not happy with prices it may lead to sellers to reduce their prices – I’m sure builders are going to have plenty of free time to moan about prices on the site, even if they are allowed to do so. Further to this, he mentioned that a one stop shop will add convenience, citing the fact that they had 3,500 boilers listed. I’m not sure plumbers want to pick from 3,500 boilers.
He topped off the email with a complaint about my anonymity and the fact that my blog was nothing but negative – poor research on his part, there are at least two positive stories on this blog.
The reason I mention all this is because the campaign looks to be struggling with just over £89k raised of a £250k target and 43 days to go. I can’t say I am particularly surprised, the discussion board raises points similar to the above and the responses from Rami are somewhat defensive, dismissive or just plain secretive, he has no interest in releasing any meaningful information unless potential investors are prepared to sign an NDA!