$450,000 For boardgames.com; What Now?

In May, boardgames.com was sold to an undisclosed purchaser for $450,000. It was not the most ever paid for a board or card related website: poker.org sold for $1 million earlier this year. Casino.com sold for $5.5 million, gambling.com for $19.8 million, and poker.com is rumored to have sold for between $23 and $27 million.

Boardgames.com was previously owned by Andrew Beyfuss, Bob Brandes, and one other person, and incorporated in Hillsborough, NJ. The web business had been growing continuously, until at least 2008. Estimated annual sales were between $2.5 and $5 million and the company had a staff of between 5 to 9 people. I wish I could tell you more about why the site was sold and what happened to the staff and the inventory, but neither Andrew nor Bob returned my calls, emails, or Facebook messages (despite Bob being listed as PR contact).

I was curious as to who bought boardgames.com, and what they planned on doing with it. They did not buy the inventory, staff, or any other components of the store behind the URL.

Who bought it?

The URL was bought by a company called 1on1. I tracked down Nick Greer, the founder and president of 1on1, and gave him a call.

1on1 is an online advertisement company that connects consumers to businesses. In other words, someone looking for a university to a university. You can think of it as a glorified affiliate business, which is what it is.

Until purchasing boardgames.com, 1on1 had no background in board games, or even in developing an online business with actual inventory. This will be their first. In other words, boardgames.com will remain a full-fledged online site where you can buy board games – and more – but a new one, which they are creating from scratch.

How did the acquisition come about? It kind of fell into their lap. A local acquaintance of Nick’s saw the listing and passed it on to Nick, who thought about it and made the offer.

Since acquiring the site, 1on1 has hired an entirely new set of staff to create the business, including people knowledgeable in both the web and game industry. They are working on the site, making deals with distributors, and designing functionality that goes beyond the traditional board game store.

Nick wouldn’t provide exact details, but the social networking utilities that came up in the conversation included both ratings ala Amazon.com and forums. Possibly more.

Nick says:

September 15th we will roll out a new look and feel to the site and by November 1 will have social tools and other whiz bang tools that will allow better functionality for all users.