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Tuesday, January 26, 2010

How I Sold Nintendo World Championships Gold

I bought Nintendo World Championships Gold in June 2009 and the process was full of highs and lows and took quite a bit of effort. In December 2009 I sold the game in a charity auction and selling the game turned out to be almost as hard as buying it.

I decided to sell Nintendo World Championships Gold because the game was just sitting in a safe deposit box. I didn't need the money so I thought it would be better to give the money to a charity instead of keeping the proceeds. I chose World Vision.

On December 11th the auction for the game started on ebay. It was a 10 day listing with no reserve and a $0.99 starting price. It was set up as a 100% charity auction so all the proceeds would automatically be donated to the charity if the auction closed successfully.

Ten days, thousands of refreshes, and a couple tums later the auction ended with a final price of $13,600.

I contacted the high bidder, told them congratulation, and sent them a paypal invoice for the total. The next morning the high bidder emailed me back saying they didn't have the money to pay and wanted to cancel the listing.
Please Cancel Auction Email

I thought to myself, "Why can't buying or selling this game be easy? It must be cursed."

Luckily two other ebay users contacted me after the auction ended saying their bids hadn't gone through successfully and they were interested in the game if the high bidder backed out. I emailed both of these bidders, told them the winner flaked out, and said two people emailed with interest in the game. I would sell it to the buyer who was willing to pay the most instead of relisting it on ebay.

The highest price one of them was willing to pay was $18,000.

On December 26th the new high bidder sent me $1,000 in earnest money so I knew they were really going to pay for the game and not back out like the ebay winner. The buyer wanted to pick-up the game in person though and pay the rest of the money then.

For tax reasons I gave World Vision the full $18,000 donation on December 26th even though I had not received the full payment from the buyer. Because I had the earnest money I knew the seller would make the full payment or they would lose the $1,000.


Seven days later on January 5th 2010 the buyer flew out to Denver. We met at a Starbuck's near the bank where the NWC Gold game was kept and talked for a about an hour about game collecting, recent video games, and why he wanted NWC. It was great to sit and talk with a fellow gamer and game collector about something we are both passionate about.

The buyer showed me the confirmation of the money transfer on his laptop. Then we headed to the bank across the street.

I got the game out of the safe deposit box, we got a private viewing room and I showed the buyer the Holy Grail of Gaming. I opened the game up, showed him the circuit board on the inside, told him a few ways to verify its authenticity, and then sealed it back up.

We shook hands. I waved good-bye to the game forever. And we went our separate ways.

The buyer wishes to remain anonymous partly because he saw the angry comments people left on this blog about my purchase. He didn't want to receive hate mail too.

He plans to keep the game as long as he can and mentioned giving it to a museum when he does get rid of it. Maybe the Smithsonian will have a Nintendo World Championships Gold on display someday for the whole world to see.

PS: A couple people had contacted me or left comments online saying they thought the whole sale was a fraud and a publicity stunt and I never gave the money away at all. I wrote this article partly to satisfy some of these doubters. I also wrote the article because I thought game collectors would find it interesting.

37 comments :

mduraney said...

Cheers to you for doing a very good deed

Anonymous said...

is world vision helping in haiti right now?

JJ Hendricks said...

Yes, World Vision is helping in Haiti right now. Here is a page that describes their work in Haiti:
http://www.worldvision.org/content.nsf/sponsor/sponsor-haiti

mndrix said...

It's just like in the movies. Laptop verification of transferred funds, safe deposit boxes, a private viewing room at the bank. If only it had happened in Monte Carlo instead of Denver.

GamesOgre said...

JJ, Thanks as always for keeping us all posted about this game. Naturally, we retro video game collectors get a kick out of anything rare. Best of luck & happy retro gaming!

Anonymous said...

hi I have a question for you you said in this article you showed the guy who bought it how to prove it was real- how do you prove it's real or authentic? just wanted to know email me please and let me know I have a copy and want to check it's authenticity so I can sell it selltuffonebay76@yahoo.com thanks

Anonymous said...

You might want to update the wikipedia article about NWC... It currently states:

To date, of the 26 NWC gold cartridges produced, only 12 copies have ever surfaced. In 2008, a gold cartridge went for $15,000,[11] and the next copy to surface sold in June 2009 for $17,500.[7] Most recently, in December 2009, JJGames presented a copy on eBay as part of a charity auction for World Vision; the auction ended with a winning bid of $13,600. The bid was retracted and the cartridge was said to have sold privately. To date, no documentation has not been provided that World Vision received any proceeds of the sale.[12]

JJ Hendricks said...

Thank you for letting me know. I have changed the wikipedia entry to reflect this updated data and documentation of the donation.

Anonymous said...

I would like to know how you check for ways to verify its authenticity.

Ovakil said...

There is a once a year Museum Exhibitin in the Melbourne Museum, of Australia, that showcases the history of gaming... wonder if its the only one

Anonymous said...

Nice work, JJ; for gaming and for the Haitian people.

phatgamer

marc said...

$13,500 for NWC Gold would have been such a steal. It would have been a great long term investment or the guy could have turned around and sold it for around $20,000. If I only knew about this auction

Dythor said...

I would like to know why you keep not answering questions about how you verified its authenticity.

JJ Hendricks said...

@dythor - please email the question to us at the contact link above? I will respond to you there.

Anonymous said...

It makes me feel so weird when i read about what people do with their money.

and for someone who found the so called holy grail of collecting, you sure didnt enjoy it for that long.

I wonder what you would do if you found the actual holy grail

Anonymous said...

ARE YOU KIDDING, YOU GAVE THE MONEY TO CHARITY!!!!!!!!!

JayTwister said...

Why did you sell it... i would give both my pinkies for a copy of nwc gold!... both of them... what games do you look for?

Anonymous said...

The Angry Video Game Nerd bought this game, check out his latest video. It's the exact cartridge, with the dings and everything.

Anonymous said...

No he didnt. He doesn't own a copy of this game (apart from the $50 re-release).
Pat The NES Punk owns this game, as well as the gray copy.

Anonymous said...

Great. A religious charity. Food with bibles attached. Try giving to UNICEF or Amnesty international next time; you redneck.

Verx said...

To be able to part with one of the world's most sort after video games and donate the money away to charity... you deserve a pat on the shoulder. I salute you dude.

Anonymous said...

.... Just wow. Idiots all round. 18k to charity.... let alone for a game that some one could make in their basement if they knew the "authenticity checks". FAIL

Anonymous said...

Don't listen to the haters. Good job on selling it.

Trey Yancey said...

People will hate on you whatever you do. I think you should have kept it. But whatever just an opinion and opinions are like butt holes, we all got them.

DJ Lucky 21 said...

As someone who is new to this site I just have to say, what is up with all the hate? Grats on your getting the game as well as selling it. I just can't believe all the posts I saw between the two stories with people first telling you your crazy for buying then saying your dishonest about donating. To be honest I would trust in the value of this game way more then I do 95% of the stocks out there so even if you aren't "rich" it was still a smart INVESTMENT. If all the haters spent even 1/2 of the time they spend hating on this site doing something good for a charity the world would be a better place.

Anonymous said...

Haha, and my dad is raging over the 10$ I occasionally spend on NES games. This is a tale for the grandchildren mate=)

Anonymous said...

You are a horrible person.

Anonymous said...

What a cool story. I know you can't say because you promised the buyer. But I wonder if this copy is actually the one that the Pat the NES punk purchased. I also wonder where all the missing copies are. It is safe to say that I would love to come across one in a pawn shop in the Boondocks some day.

Anonymous said...

I'd love to know the methods of checking the authenticity you used too. I'm also rather confused at the fact that the question was asked and you have to discuss it privately? Whys it gotta be a mystery?

JJ Hendricks said...

@anonymous - If the methods for checking authenticity were publicly known and easy to find then it would be fairly easy for unscrupulous people to make fakes. So I would rather not share that information in a public venue.

TheParkourGamester said...

Good for you! But where did you get the money to buy it in the first place!

JJ Hendricks said...

@TheParkourGamester - I paid for the game from savings. I own this website and some others and had saved up money for some collecting and charitable purposes.

Archaznable said...

And I though that you have sold it to the Angry Video Game Nerd for the gold one ... lol ...

Anonymous said...

For those who are wondering, the private buyer was indeed pat the nes punk if you compare the pictures with the cart in the AVGN episode they are exactly the same, also pat has mentioned somewhere, that he paid nearly 20 thousand dollars for it, it all adds up.

DreamStar said...

Well I'm the guy who bought Mr.Hendricks grey NWC cart a while back and I couldn't be happier.But to clearify something that an above poster stated Pat the Nes punk purchase his Gold NWC off the original Nintendo Power sweepstakes giveway.He stated that on PawnStars, and even had proof of that in the way of paper work and the original Nintendo Power list of winners of the gold edtion NWC.

DreamStar said...

I might to say Pat purchase his Gold NWC off the original Nintendo Power give a way winner.

DreamStar said...

If you listen to the whole segment in that episode of PawnStars that Pat appears in ,he even states he purchase the cart from the original owner/winner of the cart.

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