How much is the American Dream worth? A Florida man pegs it at $US3.5 million, his asking price on eBay for three video game stores that brought him so much success -- and the nice homes, automobiles and collectibles going with it.
Shane Butcher, 29, is the owner of R U Game, an independent retailer with stores in Gainesville, Brandon, and Tampa, Florida. Although he says the chain is profitable -- and even promises to hang around for six months to advise the new owner -- he's getting out of the business. The $US3.5 million price tag, considering it comes with lots of other stuff, including three automobiles (one a low mileage Lotus Elise), a waterfront townhouse in Tampa, a rental condominium and, well, three kayaks, sounds a little low. But then, most people don't have $US3.5 million.
More than just the gaming store business, the buyer also gets Butcher's personal games collection, which include (from the listing) "Starfox Super Weekend cartridge, Little Samson NES, Zombie Revenge NES, Spider Man Web of Fire 32X, Panzer Dragoon Saga Saturn, Neo Geo system in box, Famicom system in box, Halo Reach 360 system in box with 4 Reach controllers, Halo 3 360 system in box, another Halo 3 360 with 4 green Halo 3 controllers, Halo green original xbox in box, Halo green original xbox, Red wii system, playstation 3 slim, super nintendo system, silver slim ps2, super scope in the box, 2 DS Lites, 3 GBA SPs, 2 Mario DSI XLs in box, 3DS system, 100s of other obscure video games and collectibles."
Butcher told The Baltimore Sun that he got the idea to sell his life, figuratively, by a man who auctioned off his possessions on eBay in 2008 after his wife left him. Butcher, who is married, said he's cashing out because "there's a lot of things we haven't seen or gotten to do while we've been working so hard to grow the business." If the sale goes through, he and his family plan to buy an RV and drive to the southwest, "just travel for a while, go see some family."
Re-speccing your life with $US3.5 million in cash sounds great, but it sounds to me like there's more going on here. Obviously, buying an entire business on eBay, to say nothing of the real estate, carries the highest of buyer-beware advisories.