Boondockers Welcome launched in 2012, with our first paying customer signing up on October 11th, so almost exactly 7 years ago. At that time, our pricing was $19.95/year for a guest membership if you could host and $24.95/year if you couldn't host. (We didn't realize back then how many people would want to host without using the site as a guest!) Two years ago we implemented our only price increase so far, coinciding with the launch of our new site - it was a small increase to $30 for guest privileges if you couldn't host, but we actually reduced the price for those who wanted to be guests but could host to $15 (50% off), so the two offset each other overall.
When we first launched, we had 200 hosts. We're now just a bit shy of 2000 hosts, so almost 10x what we started with. There's no doubt that we provide a lot of value to our members, and we hear regularly from them that we're the best value for money of all their memberships.
While we love being a great value, we also love providing a great service, and we want to invest in that service so we can continue to do amazing things for this community. To do that, we've decided to raise our prices to more reflect the value we provide, and to fund the work that we know we need to do to continue to grow.
As of November 15th, our prices will be going up to $50/year for a guest privileges subscription.
Hosts will still receive 50% off the annual subscription rate, and will still earn credits for 3-months of guest privileges for each guest stay.
We still think this is a great value, and we hope you will agree. $50 is still around the price of a single night in many campgrounds. It's a small price to pay for all that our hosts provide.
We have lots still to do. One of the most common questions we get is about whether we have a mobile app. The truth is that the entire site was built by me, a hardworking team of one person. I have the skills to do web development, but mobile app development is another kettle of fish entirely. Getting that done will require hiring someone, and that will cost money. So we plan to use the income from this pricing increase to fund that development. We know that it will provide a great improvement in usability to those of you on the road with only your phones or tablets, so it's a priority for us to get done over the next year. There is always a long list of other improvements that we need to make too, some of which may be visible to the end-users but many of which are back-end improvements that help keep our site fast and secure. Things that aren't sexy, but necessary.
At the same time, even though I think all our members will understand and support us through this, we want to reward those of you who have been loyal hosts, guests, followers and advocates for us up until now.
That's why, until our official price increase on November 15th, you'll still be able to renew at our current $30/year rate. And those who have an active subscription or host location before the increase will get that rate locked-in for as long as they renew or host.
So if your subscription is currently lapsed but you're planning to renew in the next year, or you're thinking of joining as a guest or a host for the first time, you'll want to do it before November 15th.
We look forward to continuing to provide this amazing community with a service that brings so many people joy, new friends, and financial savings.
CTO & Co-Founder