Bonza Seeds Review, 2023Our full review recounts all of the good, bad, and ugly about the now-defunct British seed bank, Bonza Seeds.
Bonza Seeds was a well-known and popular seed bank for many years. However, this seed bank has since been purchased by ILGM (I Love Growing Marijuana), and “Bonza Seeds” is now a thing of the past. Though this was probably the best thing that could have happened for the struggling seed bank. Bonza Seeds was rife with customer complaints and in desperate need of overhauls and improvements. Fortunately, ILGM was (and still is) one of the best seed banks out there, and we recommend anyone who once considered ordering from Bonza to place their order with ILGM instead.
We’ve decided to keep our Bonza Seeds review up for anyone curious about what doing business with this now-defunct seed bank was like – and what led its owners to the point where they had no choice but to sell the business.
About Bonza Seeds
Bonza Seeds, founded in the UK in 2009, was a seed retailer with the intention to create an online one-stop-shop for seeds from a wide variety of breeders. Bonza did gain some popularity and built a large enough following to stay in business for over a decade. As we mentioned at the beginning of this review, Bonza Seeds was purchased by ILGM in 2020, after the company’s reputation and performance had begun to decline severely. Instead of continuing to operate the foundering Bonza seed bank, ILGM made the wise decision to incorporate what was left of Bonza Seeds into its own already successful business.
Bonza Seeds Quality and Selection
Throughout its decade of operation, Bonza Seeds maintained a loyal customer base and had a decent number of positive reviews across popular grower’s forums to show for it. Bonza Seeds was a reseller, not a breeder, and they stocked an inventory of seeds from around 100 different breeders. Bonza Seeds offered buyers the popular option to purchase “by the seed” in the form of pick ‘n mix packs.
However, the quality of Bonza Seeds was inconsistent at best. While, of course, some buyers were happy with their seeds and resulting crops, far too many customers had the disappointing experience of receiving small, white, obviously immature seeds, or dry, cracked ones that never sprouted at all.
Online seed retailers that sell strains from dozens of different breeders must be vigilant to ensure customer satisfaction. A thorough initial assessment and consistent quality control process are required to maintain trust. One of the many failures of Bonza Seeds may have been that there were too many up-and-coming seed banks operating under their name without the due diligence required to ensure quality. The cannabis community is exceptionally vocal online, and it only takes a few negative reviews to seriously damage a reputation beyond repair.
So, while the selection was impressive, quality and consistency was a major concern.
Bonza’s Strain Reviews
The site is still live and can be used as a resource if you need to find information on strains. Bonza includes height, yield estimates, cannabinoid content, flowering times, and detailed descriptions for thousands of strains. While you can’t place an order, you may find information on an obscure variety on Bonza Seeds website.
Bonza Seeds Mix from ILGM
Loyal Bonza Seed customers will be happy to find at least one relic from the past on the ILGM platform. You can purchase Bonza Seed mix from ILGM featuring 3 iconic strains for a great price. The mix contains:
- Durban Poison
- Banana Kush
- Sour Diesel
The mix packages are available in 15, 30, and 60 seeds for as low as $6.65 per seed.
Shipping Range and Stealth Methods
Bonza Seeds shipped worldwide; however, this company had a particularly bad reputation when it came to shipping. Bonza’s website stated that seed orders would take between 10-14 days to arrive. Some buyers contacted Bonza with inquiries about orders not arriving in that timeframe, only to be told that no shipping investigations could be conducted until the order had gone unreceived for 30 days. Most of the time, even those buyers who paid extra for “stealth shipping,” failed to receive tracking numbers for their orders, making this occurrence even more frustrating.
Toward the end of Bonza’s existence, the company began receiving frequent complaints from buyers who had never received their orders and were upset with how little help they got from Bonza’s customer service team in figuring out what went wrong. It was also common practice for Bonza to tack on new charges for expensive “handling fees” after checkout, without alerting the customer that such charges would apply.
Packaging and Stealth
Bonza Seeds shipped all seed orders in disc-shaped containers designed to keep seeds safe and secure during transit. However, many patrons found this packaging cumbersome, puzzling, and physically difficult to open – especially for those with limited dexterity. Despite the difficult packaging and expensive international handling fees Bonza Seeds often tacked on, it still was not uncommon for orders from this seed bank to be intercepted at customs.
Website and User Experience
One of the most significant issues facing Bonza Seeds was the website’s layout. The site doesn’t look too bad, but the organization could have definitely used some work and a substantial design refresh was needed to compete with prominent seed banks. However, there still is some helpful information that is still accessible in 2023.
Side-by-Side Product Comparisons
Our favorite aspect of shopping with Bonza Seeds was the product comparison feature. When browsing the thousands of stains, you can check the ‘compare’ radio button and view up to 4 strains side-by-side. This way, you could decide between multiple strains using an image, price, brand, availability, and summary for each on the same page.
The most valuable part of the Bonza Seeds website you can still use today is the blog. Bonza was extremely active, frequently posting extensive strain reviews up untill 2019. After reading about a variety’s odor, flavor, effects, and cultivation tips, you can head over to a reputable seed bank like ILGM, where you’ll likely find the seeds ready for purchase with a germination guarantee.
While there were some good things about the Bonza Seeds website, the organization wasn’t one of them. The site’s categories are seemingly endless, with essential web pages like ‘store credit’ and ‘shipping’ hidden among an extensive list of seed banks.
Price and Payment Options
Bonza Seeds accepted payment via credit cards and Bitcoin. Bonza had declared that Bitcoin was its preferred payment method, and offered free seeds to customers who opted to pay with cryptocurrency. Unfortunately, these free seeds weren’t always sent out as promised, causing disappointment for buyers who had paid with Bitcoin specifically so they would get the bonus seeds. Near the end of Bonza’s existence, there were a couple of suspicious incidents where Bonza insisted they hadn’t received customers’ Bitcoin payments.
Some buyers were unpleasantly surprised to find a “currency conversion fee” tacked onto their order, post-checkout. Sometimes these conversions bore strange and unnecessary-sounding billing descriptions, such as Chinese yen conversion – for a United States buyer purchasing directly from the British Bonza Seeds.
Bonza Seeds Prices
As for their prices, Bonza Seeds’ weren’t extravagantly high, but they were still noticeably more expensive than most of their comparable competitors. The worst part though, the $300 order minimum. That’s right! Forget buying single seeds, you had to add an entire garden into your cart before getting to check out!
Freebies and Promotions
The seed bank did regularly offer a number of discounts and free seed promos, though, which made those high prices and excessive purchase minimum a little more palatable.
Bonza Seeds Customer Service
Bonza Seeds’ customer service unfortunately also grew worse and worse over time. The customer service department was notoriously difficult to get in touch with, with emails going unanswered and the Live Chat website feature frequently offline.
When buyers with problems did receive emails back, it wasn’t uncommon for the answers to be unhelpful (“Just give it more time” in response to excessively delayed shipping) to downright rude (negative one-word responses made to a buyer inquiring whether seeds could be shipped in disability-friendly packaging instead of the complicated disc package). One customer reported receiving only half of their order and being told by Bonza staff that such a thing was impossible due to the company’s “quality control,” when they brought it up.
No Recourse for Germination Problems
When it came to germination and genetic problems, Bonza Seeds’ customer service reps tended to be particularly unhelpful, falling back on the excuse that their seeds were only sold as “souvenirs,” and therefore could not address germination issues of any sort. This meant that even in cases where the totally wrong strains were sent or “feminized” seeds grew into male plants, Bonza’s response to buyers was essentially that they were out of luck. The standard solution Bonza presented to buyers with germination problems was placing a new order – upon which the seed bank would promise to throw in extra free seeds. Understandably, spending more money in order to achieve a potential solution did not sit well with most buyers.
Conclusion, Bonza Seeds Review, 2023
Bonza Seeds is no longer in business, which we see as a good thing for new and unsuspecting cannabis growers who might have come across them. Problems with shipping, customer service, seed quality, and a dated website eventually pushed this seed bank’s owners to the necessary point of selling the business. Fortunately, seasoned seed bank ILGM stepped in and incorporated the remains of struggling Bonza Seeds into its own business model. ILGM gets right the very things that Bonza Seeds got wrong, and we do recommend ILGM as a trusted, reliable seed resource.
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