Yesterday DKOldies listed a Super Mario 1 Factory Sealed NES game on ebay for 1 penny and it ended for over 30 thousand dollars. The news has created a firestorm of frustration, wonderment and accusations on social media. How could a game that everyone has owned sell for that much. Why is it special? Was it actually paid for?Ebay 30k winning bid from 7/27/17
I talked with the owner of DKOldies.com, Drew Steimel today and wanted to understand how this all happened.
Wow, this is exciting selling 1 game for $30 thousand dollars. How did you find the game?
I honestly don't know. We buy so many collections everyday. I remember it just showing up on my desk one day when I got into work a few years back. The guys here know that I have a box in my office with some new NES games in it. Out of everything we have here, those have always been my favorite and I don't like to sell them.
So wait? You bought a $30 thousand dollar game and didn't know?
When we bought it a few years back it would have never sold for that much. You have to buy things for what they are worth at the time and hope that you can get that price for it.
So why did you sell it now?
Well, I have had this box in my office for a long time now and I thought that it was silly to hang onto them here. We are in the buinsess of buying and selling games. If you don't sell what you buy then what are you doing?
When you did put it out for auction, what did you think it would sell for?
I put a bunch of games up, I had Zelda, Mario 3, Donkey Kong Classics, Kid Icarus, Mike Tyson's Punchout, Super Mario Bros and a few others. They were all in really mint condition and I thought they would all go for about 10 grand. altogether.
That is still a lot of money, when did you start to think it may be more?
Well, the Mario and Zelda jumped to 2k very quickly. I realized that the real bidding on ebay happens in the last 10 seconds, so started to think maybe 15 or so. Then when Kid Icarus jumped to 2k and Mario went to 6k in the last day I really started to think that somthing bigger may come, but not the 30k. Kid Icarus went from from 2k to 11k in the last 10 seconds and I started to think maybe this Mario could sell for 12 to 15 all on it's own. In the last 10 seconds or so it went from 6 to 30 thousand. I was shocked.
Were you freaking out? I know I would have been.
No, I was more stunned. I just started to verify everything to make sure what was happening was real. I don't like to get my hopes up and instead go into trying to verify everything. It was the same guy who won the Kid Icarus and he had already paid for it and he looked like (at least from his feedback) that he was a big time collector.
So have you talked to him and has he paid for it?
So yes, he paid with Paypal right away. We had already shipped out the Kid Icarus that he won and our shop was closed when the Mario ended. I'm glad because that night we had to figure out how best to ship it and do a little more research on if everything was real. I talked to a few guys who are big collectors and who are in the Nintendo Age forums who know of the buyer. Found out he really knows his stuff and understands the market and value of these rare games.
So, how do I know this isn't some kind of puplicity stunt?
I think you will see when we learn more about this game and when others like it start to surface and get similar or higher prices. The accusations were a suprise and I didn't like it. I don't think someone could ever get away with something like that for very long. Also, I've built DKOldies from nothing and would never think of pulling a stunt like that. I would never cheapen what we do here. I did speak to one person online who was mad that we sold a game for that much. I talked to him a little and he explained that he was mad because we sold a game in 1 day that was more than his yearly salary. I can understand now how that would be upsetting and I felt bad. Facebook can be an emotional place.
Why did it sell for so much? Isn't this a game that everyone has? Aren't games just like this selling for only a few hundred?
Well, I have been learning about it over the last day. There is a story and a history to this game. Mario Bros was always sold with the original Nintendo Entertainment System. This game has a different Nintendo Seal on it that tells us it's an early version of the game. Meaning it was the first of that particular Mario Bros game to be released. It also has a hang tag on the back and that means that it was a game that was never sold with the system, but sold on it's own like a regular game. I think we are all finding out together how rare this game actually is and I'm sure there is more to this game.
So, this makes it $30,000?
Well, not exactly. I mean I wouldn't pay $30,000 and you may not, but this guy did and he had to out bid others to get to that price. So, him and a few others know more about this game, it's rarity and it's value that we do. They value that game more than the 30k they had and that is how it all kind of works. It's a crazy business!
So, what do you do now?
Um... what do you mean?
Does this change things for you?
Haha, oh. No, we buy and sell video games and consoles just like we have done everyday for over 13 years. Nothing changes here. This may give us some more money to go out and buy more games this month and hopefully we can sell them, but that's all.
DKOldes.com is a unique small town business story. They have been around since the beginnings of ebay, through the rise of Google, the market crash of 2008 and into the Facebook age. Read more about DKOldies' story here.