Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Crave.com closing it's doors...

I got this e-mail yesterday regarding Crave.com's demise...

We're writing to let you know that after almost two years of building up Crave to be the marketplace for fans, by fans, we will be closing the site next month.  We were working earlier in February on options to keep the site running, but unfortunately none of those came through, so we've sold the business to a new owner.

Our vision for Crave was to create a social marketplace for fans of anything collectible.  We heard your frustrations with eBay and we set out to deliver a better experience.  As a member of the Crave community, you played a big part in guiding what we built.  Thank you for all of your help and for making it the fun and engaging marketplace we were aiming for.  We are sad to see it end and will miss you terribly.
Although the marketplace did not grow fast enough to keep the business going, it has been a rewarding experience for us.  

What's next?  In the next couple weeks, the current site will be shut down.  All sales have already stopped and transactions in process have been completed.  The new owners have future plans, so stay tuned.  You are welcome to post farewell comments on Facebook or Twitter.  You can also email us at support@crave.com.   Our new permanent address will be crave.information@gmail.com.  We'd love to keep in touch.

All our best,
Erin, Kabe, Cole, Matt, Damon, Laura, and Jonathan

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I for one will miss their services.  Was Crave flawed?  Yes.  There were several things that needed to be improved upon, but it was nice having an alternative to eBay.  I've seen a lot of services come and go that tried to complete w/ eBay (Yahoo! Auctions, BidVille to name a few) and it's sad that no one can seem to stand up to the juggernaut that is eBay.  I had a lot of great experiences on Crave and I hope that whomever bought the company will resurrect it at some point...with a few improvements. 

I've had a link in the sidebar to my items for sale on Crave.com for awhile now.  During the month of March I plan on setting up a toy store of sorts here on the blog to continue selling my items as I still have Transformers, G.I.Joe and Marvel figures left over.  I may even sell off some of items you have seen reviewed here as well.  I'll make an announcement once the layout is in place.


  1. In my opinion, Crave didn't fail because it tried to compete with eBay; it failed because it tried to be a "social" marketplace, and there simply isn't demand for that. You want to compete with eBay? Emulate what they do well and get rid of all the shit that people hate. 10 or so years ago everyone still *loved* eBay. It's when eBay decided to reconfigure against sellers (especially small ones) and a whole bunch of other shit that everyone started to hate them. Get rid of that and you can compete, especially in a niche market like Transformers and that has an e-literate and knowledgeable fan base.

    Last year I got an email from Crave asking me to plug them on the Transformers Box Art Archive. This is how I responded:

    Thanks for dropping me a line and thinking of me. But I don't think you want me to write you guys up just yet.

    To be honest, I'm not sure yet what to think about Crave. The idea of a "social" marketplace doesn't appeal to me at all. I don't give a damn what anyone else thinks about various items for sale, and I don't understand why anyone else does other than a love of interaction for its own sake. People voting up a "good deal" is fine... if I cared about owning the items in question.

    I've looked up a few items that I'm interested in and found them to either be priced exactly as I would find on eBay and elsewhere (like G1 Headmasters) or missing (Perfect Effect Reflector, iGear Arcee). So as a buyer I don't feel there's much incentive to visit Crave yet.

    And as a seller, well, not dealing with eBay is great, but then eBay has the advantage of the much larger audience. Which is the Catch-22 with sales/auction sites, right? Can't attract the sellers without the buyers, can't attract the buyers without the sellers. (Personally, I'm waiting for Google to finally step into the online auction space as they're the only entity that can immediately produce both buyers and sellers.)

    So I don't think it would be worth my time to sell TFs on Crave (yet). And I don't feel there's any incentive to buy TFs on Crave (yet). That leaves the social aspect, which I just don't care about. I mean, I enjoy Facebook and Twitter and the interaction through my blog, but I don't have any interest in talking about whether something I'm not buying is a good deal or a bad deal, etc.

    And not to add insult to injury, but I really don't care for your "classification" system. When I search for "Cliffjumper" I don't want to see a categorized list of all the various Cliffjumpers ever. There's a G1 Cliffjumper! -- but there are none currently for sale. There's a Generations Cliffjumper! -- there are 2 for sale, but you have to click into this specific category to see them. I want to see a list of all the actively available Cliffjumpers (and not the unavailable ones) and I'll narrow by category afterwards if I want.

    Plus, categorization seems so insufficient for the multiplicity of varieties. Take a look at this "G1" Hardhead:

    With a completely hacked gun and a repaired and painted Duros arm... does this even belong in the G1 Hardhead category anymore?

    Anyway, forgive me if this all seems overly critical, but I figured you deserved my honest opinion, and that you'd rather read it here via email than on my blog. And believe it or not, I do wish you guys luck, because I really hate eBay.

  2. I only used Crave a few times as a buyer and it was a great experience for me personally. I was able to find things on there cheaper than on eBay and the transactions were pretty seamless. But I have to echo Botch's sentiments that their classification system was majorly screwed up. I had a difficult time finding what I was looking for; not to mention the fact that the picture on the site may or may not have been what I was actually buying. I remember more than one time where I saw a picture of a figure I wanted, clicked on it and realized someone had mislabeled the picture. And it was infuriating that they seemed more interested in expanding to other lines rather than work on their issues, so I guess I can't say I'm really surprised.

    I really hate it for sellers though, because I know what a pain in the ass eBay is and how badly they treat their small sellers. It was nice to have an eBay alternative even if it did have its flaws.

  3. hey, i've been trying to buy off you for a while now and just wanted to drop a line, if you still have your any of your 25th joes; baroness, hawk, bazooka and major bludd I'm definitely interested! you've got some great merch and some of the best deals ever. Sellers like you were a credit to this site. Guess its back to the "only show in town." Thanks!

    1. Please e-mail me directly at flywheels at yahoo dot com and we'll work out a deal!