In what looks like an attempt to mimic the competition, a Florida-based video game retailer is being put up for sale on eBay.
A few weeks back, a Florida man, in a rather bold move, decided to sell the American Dream on eBay. Shane Butcher is the owner of R U GAME, an independent video game retailer with three locations throughout the sunny state of Florida. He recently listed his retail franchise, real estate, automobiles, and gaming collection on eBay for a cool $3.5 million. While Butcher told the Baltimore Sun that the business was profitable, and that he would stick around to ensure that the transition went as smoothly as possible, many suspected that he never intended to sell his business, and that the eBay listing was simply a marketing ploy. Considering the lack of information provided in the eBay listing (Butcher did not provide any documentation to back up how profitable his franchise was), it’s no wonder that no one has made a bid. Regardless, the eBay listing seems to have done the trick, with multiple news outlets providing free advertising for Butcher’s stores.
But it seems like another competitor has entered the ring. Another independently-owned, Florida-based game retailer, Gamers HQ, has created their own listing on eBay. What’s interesting is not the fact that one store copied another, but the tone of the second listing. The Gamers HQ listing directly references Butcher’s listing, claiming to be “Better than the American Dream! An American reality!” Furthermore, the owners of Gamers HQ, Buddy and Dave, attempt to one-up their competition by not only selling their franchise for a lower price, but are also donating 10% of the winning bid to charity. While they aren’t offering any real estate or automobiles like Butcher is, they are offering up the same amount of stores (three total), which only serves to draw comparison between the two competing franchises. What strikes me as odd is that Buddy and Dave claim that you can make $4,180 a month in profit, which adds up to a grand total of…..$50,000? A bit odd for a listing that’s asking for over $2 million.
Having personally shopped at both stores, I was previously under the impression that their relationship was amicable, with employees from one store referring customers to another. But for every referral or positive review, I have heard first- and second-hand stories of price undercutting and employees getting the first pick on recently traded products. On the surface, it seems like the ‘copycat’ listing is nothing more than an attempt at gaining publicity, but it’s hard to not wonder if their intent was malicious. We’ve reached out to the owners of Gamers HQ for further comment, and will update you when we hear more.