|EcommerceBytes-NewsFlash, Number 2952 - December 07, 2012 - ISSN 1539-5065 1 of 5|
After two-and-a-half years of trying to build a sustainable online auction site, George Willard Sr. is calling it quits. The Chairman and CEO of Ranger Data Technologies confirmed on Thursday that it was shutting down Boocoo's operations on Friday, December 7, 2012.
A message on the Boocoo homepage read simply, "We thank you for all of the support we've received from the community, and apologize that boocoo has to shut down. Please contact us if you have questions or need assistance."
Boocoo launched in June 2010 with an interesting model - it would rely on partnerships with newspapers that would advertise the new auction site in return for a cut of the revenue.
Willard told EcommerceBytes on Thursday he never expected to compete with the large players, but rather, he set out to make Boocoo an alternative auction site - content to build a smaller site with an expectation of reasonable profitability.
"We tried to address the myriad of complaints sellers had about the evolution of the prominent auction sites," Willard said, including feedback, escalating fees, changes to search results, customer service, payment options and responsive attitude toward all customers. "While our efforts did yield a small and loyal customer base, the overwhelming majority of people expressing concerns proved to be unwilling to support a new and less established site."
"After 2 and a half years and massive expenditures for a company of our size, we still see no possibility of even reaching a break-even point in the foreseeable future," he continued. "We cannot, in good conscience continue to ask our newspaper partners to promote with no ROI expected."
The company sent an email to customers on Wednesday to let them know the site was closing. An EcommerceBytes reader wrote, "The interesting part is that they will close tomorrow December 7. Not even a break for seller over there to be ready for impact."
The company's email advised users, "If you have any outstanding sales please make sure to reply to this email or contact us at email@example.com so we can make sure to match you up with your buyers before boocoo ceases operation. We will also be contacting buyers who have not yet paid for their purchases."
On Facebook, users responded to Wednesday's announcement with sympathetic notes.
As for Willard, he said his company, Ranger Data Technologies, would continue its software business with newspapers.
About the author:
Ina Steiner is co-founder and Editor of EcommerceBytes and has been reporting on ecommerce since 1999. She's a widely cited authority on marketplace selling and is author of "Turn eBay Data Into Dollars" (McGraw-Hill 2006). Her blog was featured in the book, "Blogging Heroes" (Wiley 2008). Follow her on Twitter at @ecommercebytes and send news tips to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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