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Posted on Apr 15th 2009 at 11:20:46 PM by (NES_Rules)
Posted under News, Game Gavel, Chase The ChuckWagon, Auctions, eBay, Auction Sites

As many of you already know, I dislike eBay, in fact one might say I hate it with a passion. In fact, I refuse to buy any type of gaming device from the site. So, I was extremely pleased when in January of 2008 I read a post on the Digital Press forums from Dragon Warrior Jasen, that he was fed up with eBay and toying with the idea of making his own auction site dedicated to video games with minimal fees. When he came up with a name and made the site public a couple months later, I made sure I was one of the first to join GameGavel.com. I listed numerous auctions but had very little success, but I believed in the theory behind the site of no fees whatsoever and stuck with it. Later on in 2008 I came across another site, ChaseTheChuckwagon.com, with a similar philosophy of only charging a modest final selling fee. I quickly joined that site and have been listing auctions on there since.

However, a couple days ago, I got the email that every other GameGavel member got from Jasen, stating that the site will be closing. Jasen blamed the closure on himself, but I do not believe that it was any one person's fault. I think the failure was the combined result of people not believing that a free auction site could work and sellers were charging the average eBay price instead of taking into account the fact that they're not paying 8%+ fees on their sale as they would with eBay.

Anyway, yesterday I got an email from GameGavel's Jasen Hicks and one from ChaseTheChuckwagon's Mike Kennedy, about half an hour apart stating that CTCW will be purchasing GameGavel's domain name and will be taking over operations.

Mike's plan is to co-brand both names, keeping the ChaseTheChuckwagon.comn name that some 2,000+ member knows and love and combining it with the more universal name of GameGavel.

So what this means for us, the gamers and collectors of the world, is a bigger and better site than has very modest final selling fees, that was built by gamers/collectors for gamers/collectors.

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Didn't know that CTCW was buying GameGavel.

I like the idea of an auction site dedicated to video games, but at the moment I'll have to stick with eBay, living in Europe.
Has any research been done comparing the final prices of Chase The Chuckwagon to the final prices of eBay?
To be honest I have went onto CTCW and found little to no reason to leave Ebay which I have never myself had any problems with at all. On CTCW to their credit most if not all the members are also collectors who understand the prices of the games and list them accordingly as they should. Problem with this is I am not interested in paying the book or guide prices for games and that is the one nice thing that on Ebay as its a general auction site there are often listings from those either unaware of the value of their items or they just are not interested in waiting around to get the top dollar and will be happy with what the end bid is.

Sure Ebay does have things which for the collector are I suppose annoying like the fact that most games listed now are not auctions and Ebay is little more then a storefront for some members. Though they do give you tools to filter out most of what is not of interest to you and I have purchased well over 70% of my collection via Ebay and saved untold hundreds of dollars so far compared to what I could have. The rest has come from hunting around junk/thrift stores and going to flea markets which often just is the most common stuff that I already have copies of.

Here are my issues with CTCW and why I do not see it in the end becoming a real solution or even competition for my business.
a. It is a community created by those who are themselves collectors of games and are in the know. Therefore the chance of anyone listing an item below its value is going to be extremely low which is fine but for me defeats the purpose of going online to hopefully get a steal.
b. Those who are selling will in all honesty not be parting with their best parts of their collections or with games they feel are truly gems and this shows in the sites listings. Pages of what most already have multiples of and little in the way of unique or odd finds that are worth getting.
c. The duration of auctions is just plain silly, some auctions are not going to be done for another 30 days or more on the website. With a duration this long the idea of what an auction to me is removed and replaced by giving those all the time in the world to bid the items value artificially higher then it should be.

I have seen more then once CTCW mentioned and it would seem there is support from some in the community which is always a good thing. Just when I look at the reality of the situation I have a hard time buying this concept that people would leave Ebay if they could. I have in my time on Ebay purchasing and selling games racked up over 100 feedback now and have seen what I paid to Ebay in fees etc over that time just for curiosity sake. When I saw the end figure I really saw no wrong in what I have paid them so far for their service. So to each their own but I wont be going back to CTCW anytime soon.
I have to agree with Zenki.
I use eBay because there is the chance to get a better eal.
Chuck Wagon/game gavel all the users know what they have meaning no chance for you to score a really low price or find a mislisted item.

Also last time i was on them they didn't have anything i was looking for :-/
I don't do much selling either and when i do i would rather the massive exposure of eBay compared to a limited but core base of gamers/collectors.
Ebay is fine. Dunno why everyone hates it so much. The sellers can be a bit dodgy, but that's not ebay's fault. I do poke fun at them, but all in all, my ebay experience has been fine. The fee's are to reduce advertisments on ebay. Come to think of it, are there any other than actual ebay ads?
Also i would rather have tons of advertisements and 0 fees.
CTCW obviously still needs to grow a lot before it can compete face to face with eBay and I think the site is on its way to doing that. In 15 months, they've grown to 2,200+ members and have sold over $80,000 worth of merchandise. Right now, there are over 3,700 items listed on CTCW which is admittedly a far cry from the 454,864 listed under "Video Games" on eBay. But eBay has been around since 1995, that's almost 14 years. But I believe if we, the gamers and collectors, can stick behind CTCW, it can be just as successful as eBay.

And there is still plenty of deals on CTCW, not from categorized items or misspelling, but from sellers who are smart enough to realize that they can sell their product on CTCW for 10% less than they would on eBay and make the same amount of money.

@BadEnoughDude: Not that I know of, but there is a forum topic on how much eBay is charging, it's obviously going to be more than at CTCW if people are selling more on eBay, but it gives you a little bit of an idea, http://www.chasingthechuckwagon.com/forum/showthread.php?t=1173

The fees at CTCW are very simple: A final sale fee of 3% for sales for under $100, 2% for $100-$1000 and 1% for $1000+. The only other fees are for auction enhancements like being featured on the front page or having a bold title listing, etc.
eBay fees are incredibly more complex. Insertion fees are between $0.10 to $4; plus 8.75% for final value of $0.01-$25, $2.19 plus 3.5% of the remaining closing value balance for a final value of $25.01- $1,000.00, and $36.31 plus 1.50% of the remaining closing value balance for $1000+; extra images are $0.15; Buy it Now is an extra fee; Reserve is $1.50 more than what it is at CTCW; just about any kind of enhancement costs extra.
In other words, a basic auction (with no enhancements) with a final sale price of $10 will cost about $1.25 on eBay and $0.00 at CTCW. The gap is considerably more if you look at using enhancements.

And plus, there's always the fact that since you're dealing with collectors and gamers, the descriptions (and pictures) are going to be more accurate and lead to less "surprises" when you open that box of games you bought. Someone on eBay who knows nothing about Atari games is may list the game with a missing end label as "excellent" because they didn't know it was supposed to have one or just don't care to bother saying that its missing and then use a stock image so you can't see the actual game you're buying. But, the same game being listed on CTCW is much more likely tO be described accurately and the idea of using "stock images" is practically nonexistent on CTCW.
@NES_Rules:Yeah, that's true. eBay charges a lot in selling fees. But when you're a buyer, like me, it doesn't matter much.

I think most of us would agree with what you are saying and in all the fee structure is more palletable for sellers so for them if the audience is there it will be a good service. Still though I think most who are collectors actively looking to add to their collection will find CTCW to not be the best place to go find a deal. Sure some sellers will be decent people and reduce their price to take into account the reduced fees but if they are at the same time going to be charging full prices then the item might just be higher in the end anyways.

For most I think eBay and its problems are easily avoidable by some common sense and caution on the part of the buyer.
1. Does the item you are buying have a picture of the actual item you are considering buying? Yes then that's a good start, No then I would be asking the seller before buying any questions.
2. Look at the sellers history, have they been around for years and years with overall good feedback which you can see in their profile looks honest and legit, another good mark.
3. Is the items description look like it was just a copy past job with the needed info plugged in, be careful then and ask any questions you might be worried about. Its rather easy to spot out the people who are taking their time and good sellers from those who are just trying to move product fast and without much thought.
4. Pay via a method which can protect you against fraud so that if by some reason you are taken advantage of you can hopefully get matters settled to make you whole again.

Please don't take my lack of confidence as just me trying to be a contrarian and just argue for the sake of it. Just when I hear their model and ideas I do not see it as the place where the collectors are going to be at least not the type I know. Think of it this way if you were a collector of comic books and you were looking for that rare first edition of your favorite series where are you going to look first? Yes you know there are specialty shops and sites where you can easily find one but you know as a collector your going to pay full value which might not be a problem for you. Most collectors I know though want to use their knowledge of the prices and enjoy going out into the "wild" with the hope they will find that great deal. This is why I think many will agree that CTCW is not by any means a bad idea but you have much better luck as a collector getting a deal on eBay with minimal risks.
CTCW is what you make of it, but the more people on board the stronger it'll grow. Essentially all the positives of eBay aside from its shorter and easier to remember name are all from its much bigger user base. So given time, who knows.
I checked out CtCW again today.
Just to be fair.
I saw an SNES system starting at 80 bucks and Mortal Kombat genny cart only games 2.99, 3.99 and up.

I'm sure like has been said once there gets to be more competition on there and it grows some it will get better but for now nothing i want is going to be cheaper on there than a mom&pop game store or eBay.
Hey all,

Glad to see we are at least a topic of discussion.  I hope some of you guys register and try it. Bidding and sales are up since we've started feeding all our auctions into classified site http://www.oodle.com and Google Base.  So sellers listings get triple the exposure and this also brings in new members to the site.

We are also growing nicely nearing 200 on average/month.  It's def going the right direction.  We have many people who have stopped using Ebay cold turkey and are doing quite well.  Just like on Ebay, how someone lists an item may affect whether it sells or not and for what price.  Don't automatically discount the auction site (Chuck or Ebay) as most of the time if an item doesn't sell it's the sellers fault for listing it incorrectly.

Also, not everything on Ebay sells.  Type in Atari or Nintendo or anything, goto completed listings and look at all the stuff that doesn't sell.  To see our activity click on our Listings button and check out the top-10 listings on a regular basis and I think you will see lots of positive activity.  Here is a link for you now:  http://www.chasethechuckwagon.com/html/topten.htm

And, be sure to check out and see what people are saying in our forums and I think you will see we are on the right track.  In just a little over a year we've surpassed 100,000 auctions and sold nearly $90,000 in merchandise and now have about 2,300 members. 

We have no listing fees, low selling fees as described above, no photo upload fees (up to two dozen), free seller homepage/storefronts, bulk upload system, free listing promotional tools to help you promote your auctions in forums and more.

And nothing feels better than selling something for the same price as you would on Ebay and not having any significant fees at the end of the month.

Give it a shot to work for you, list some things and test it out.  The balance of April there are no selling fees so won't cost you anything to list (unless you use our cheap listing enhancements).  At the end of April I am zeroing out everyones accounts so you got nothing to lose.

Thanks all,

Mike Kennedy, Founder
Well, I'll say it again: ebay isn't all that bad. CTCW could be better, but until then, it's what it is. Brilliant idea, and we'd love to see its popularity explode. All the best, either way... Cheers.
There are lots of people having issues with Ebay at this point.  And tons are leaving, looking for other places to sell.  And we are getting more and more non collector starting to list that are finding us on Google - search video game auctions or video game auction site or buy sell video games.

And to fill everyone in on me, I am a collector myself. I've been using Ebay since 1997 and have loved it in the past.  A year ago, about the time they were forcing their crappy new formats down my throat every week and the fact they had tons of ads popping up everywhere I decided to start my own site that I could sell on as well as everyone else.  Since I am an Atari guy for the most part I discovered that ChaseTheChuckwagon.com was an available URL and thought, hey what a great name for an auction site.  And it was born.

You can check out some of my Youtube vids here:  http://www.youtube.com/ctcw

So now we are growing pretty fast and things are def moving in the right direction.  What I ask of new members is to occasionally try some listings, especially for the rarer items as they have been selling quite well here.  Common items, just like on Ebay, may need to be relisted a few times before they sell but since there are no listing fees no big deal.

I think there are alot of advantages to  niche site like this and until you use it with some regularity you won't understand what I am talking about.  Many here have left Ebay completely and are doing quite well.

Remember to polk around our forums as there are lots of great gaming and auction discussions.  Here is a good link for reasons why to join the Chuck:  http://www.chasingthechuckwagon.com/forum/forumdisplay.php?f=17

So join us and help us continue to grow so we can cement ourselves as a much need auction alternative to Ebay for gamers Smiley

Oh, and thank you NES_Rules for blogging about us. I really appreciate it !!

Mike Kennedy, Founder
Oops.  Youtube vids here - check out the huge Craigslist score -

+1 for the founder coming here and posting Smiley

As said i hope the site really takes off.
I will keep checking it out but as it stands now there isn't anything i am looking for there.
I'm not much for selling either but i'll give it a shot next time i'm hard up Wink
@Izret101: I second that! Smiley

Hey all, 

Here is an example of an auction that came and went in only a few hours.  Great deal on these.  This stuff happens frequently on the site you just need to frequent the site enought to find the deals.  There are deals to be had here and it happens all the time.  This is just a quick example from an auction that was listed and closed just today.


There are deals to be had here so be on the lookout.

Mike Kennedy, Founder
And another cool thing we have worked our way to the top of both Google and Yahoo searches for any variation of:  video game auction, video gaming auctions, video game auction site, etc.  Bringing in lots of traffic.  And now that all the pages of GameGavel.com links are pointing us things are really starting to take off.  By years end I think there will be more than enought traffic Smiley 
So i just checked evilbay fees. Over 10% of the final price. Never mind the insertion fee and any other optional fees you use. Plus Paypals damn fees :-/

I got a Nomad that needs to help pay off the cost of all the other genny stuff i got and couldnt afford... I think i'm going to be tossing it up on CtCW...
Hopefully i can start recouping my losses... I only really wanted one game in my 150$ lot...

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