Shopping Discussion

do you use Bunz Trading Zone?

  • Last Updated:
  • Jun 10th, 2016 11:55 pm
Deal Addict
May 2, 2013
1959 posts

do you use Bunz Trading Zone? ... -1.3512823

Bunz, Canadian Facebook swap group, draws fans, investors
CBC News Posted: Mar 31, 2016
A once-private Canadian Facebook group where members trade items ranging from old furniture to an "unfortunately used" diamond engagement ring has grown to more than 40,000 members, developed its own app and recently got a cash infusion from an angel investor.
But Bunz, officially known as the Bunz Trading Zone, now faces the tricky proposition of dealing with its astounding growth.
It also must find a way to monetize a business model that began with a small, community-based group of mostly millennials who found a way to get value out of things they no longer needed instead of throwing them away.
"It's tough," said Bunz founder Emily Bitze. "We really believe in this project, and we really want to make it work. But we need the money to continue the project."
Ironic, considering money is banned on Bunz.
Funding from the angel investment is paying for a downtown Toronto office, three app developers and seven employees, but there is no business model as yet.
Humble beginnings
Bitze, 32, a musician who also worked in a clothing store in Toronto's hip Queen West neighbourhood, started the group about three years ago, essentially because she was broke and hungry.
"I wasn't able to make ends meet, which meant that I couldn't always buy food," said Bitze.
"So, I figured that my friends nearby would have something I needed if I could provide what they needed."
Bitze started a private Facebook group where she and a few friends would trade, say, books or records for food or perhaps booze.
Those few friends told a few other friends, and they told a few other friends, and the numbers exploded.
Within about 18 months, there were more than 12,000 members.
The original name, Bumz (think "bum a smoke") morphed into Bunz after some members objected to the negative connotations of the former, and the items being traded became more and more varied.
Just about anything goes
"Bunz who are into bums" read one recent post from a member looking to trade two sex toys. "Got these two glass sceptres from two different girlfriends (what are the chances?)," wrote the user.
"Well, I can guarantee these have never been used," he added. "Not that there's anything wrong with people who are into that sort of thing."
The user was ISO (in search of) "an office chair/computer chair or random weird things like militaria."
Another member was offering a $50 gift card for Mountain Equipment Co-op ("bought this for my ex, but turns out he sucks").
Someone else was looking to trade one "unfortunately used" white gold, 1.0 carat, brilliant-cut diamond engagement ring for a motorcycle. "Toss in a few beers (or a helmet)," he wrote, "I'll throw in the whole story."
It gets (very) personal
Between its app, which is available for both iOS and Android, and on the website, Bunz is now seeing an average of 250 trades per day.
There are now Bunz groups in Montreal, Winnipeg, Edmonton, Vancouver, London, Ont., San Francisco and Los Angeles, although the largest is still in Toronto.
While there's no money allowed, many Bunz members ask for transit tokens or tall boys of beer, which have become sort of unofficial currencies for Bunz members. ... -1.3512823
2 replies
Deal Addict
User avatar
Apr 7, 2012
2541 posts
Yep! And it's an amazing community.
The things people post are always amazingly random!