Shane Butcher is auctioning off "the American Dream," or at least a video game enthusiast version of it. Via one of the most unique eBay listings one can come across, Butcher is selling his chain of three video game stores, called R.U. Game?, his two homes, cars and almost all earthly possessions.
The retail chain of the three Florida stores, which deal in new and used games and accessories, is the centerpiece of the listing, which has an asking price of $3.5 million, along with an immediate $10k good faith deposit required of the winning bidder.
Butcher insists that "the stores are very profitable. The hard work is getting the business off the ground, that part is already done." If Butcher is trying to offload toxic assets, which a cynic would have to assume when viewing the auction, his plan is certainly not to cut and run. Butcher, who founded the chain in 2009 with his wife, is intent on seeing it continue to succeed, and plans to stay on for six months to mentor the stores' lucky new owner.
To sweeten the pot and keep the stores open, Butcher also states in the listing that he "will also pay in full 1 entire year's worth of lease on all stores along with an entire year's worth of HOA fees on our properties so that the new owner can get situated with their new position in life without having to worry about large costs and can stack up huge profits."
So, if the stores are so profitable, why is Butcher tossing in his entire life on the block? "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," he says. "We'd like to see the landmarks throughout the country, the Grand Canyon, stuff like that. We'll probably buy a camper and just travel for a while, go see some family."
Butcher and his wife ultimately would like to settle in Florida to raise their family, so it's not as if the 29 year-old entrepreneur is planning on skipping town once the sale goes through. In fact he's realistic about his chances of liquidating his possessions.
"In this economy, I'm not expecting it to sell for that, even though it's a good price," he admits. In that eventuality, Butcher states he'd be "perfectly happy" remaining where he is and running his business.
Advertised in the listing alongside Butcher's business and two Florida properties are three cars including a 2006 Lotus Elise. As an avid gamer and fan of "Halo" and "Street Fighter," buying Butcher's life includes coming into many rare and imported games and accessories that would make up quite the collection on their own.
The inspiration for this stunt is at least partially drawn from Ian Usher, who in 2008 sold his entire life on eBay for just over $300,000. Usher had been left by his wife of six years after they emigrated from England to Australia, and the auction included his house, car, motorcycle and introduction into Usher's various networks.
Butcher lists his life as "the American Dream," which when asked he says simply means "being successful in whatever you want to do. There are tons of ways to be successful." If someone decides that they'd like to fast-track their way to the American dream, Butcher will have plenty of time (and $3.5 million) to figure out what his next version of that looks like.