Family Video Shutting Down eBay Site

Family Video is reaching its end.

The last national video rental chain, which in January 2021 announced it was closing all of its stores, is shutting down the last vestige of its business, an eBay site liquidating an assortment of discs, memorabilia and other items.

“Last Call! Our Website is Shutting Down!” read a March 28 email.

Announcing a “Site Closing Sale” the email read “Thank You for Your Support!” and offered a 10% off use code of “THANKYOU.” The email also offered shoppers an extra 15% off with the promo code “MOVIES.”

Items for sale on the site included DVDs of Reservoir Dogs for 99 cents and The Ring for $3.99. Also available were a Family Video “Novelty Employee Vest” for $14.95 and an “Ergotron Workfit S Dual Sit-Stand” for $399.99.

Family Video opened its first store  — Video Movie Club — in Springfield, Ohio, in 1978. The privately owned company ultimately grew to 800 stores, but more than a year ago announced it would begin liquidation of its remaining 250 stores, citing the pandemic as the reason.

“While we have faced digital competition from Netflix and others for years, nothing has been as devastating to our business as COVID-19,” Keith Hoogland, CEO of Highland Ventures, the Glenview, Ill.-based company that owns Family Video, said in a media statement. “We are very thankful to have been able to provide entertainment for many family movie nights.”

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The chain posted a letter from Hoogland on its website shortly before noon PST on Jan. 6, stating that the impact of COVID-19 combined with the lack of fresh theatrical product “pushed us to the end of an era.”

In November 2020, the chain mounted a brief  promotional campaign called #SaveTheVideoStore to drum up consumer support. The campaign was supported by studios and Hollywood talent such as Clerks. director Kevin Smith.

Family Video Winds Down With eBay Auction of Discs, Memorabilia

Family Video’s end is fast approaching.

The last national video rental chain, which in January announced it is closing down, is now liquidating an assortment of posters, memorabilia and other items on eBay.

The auction was supposed to end June 29, but 201 items remain up for bid or for sale on eBay as of July 2, including Family Video-logo director’s chairs (“Buy It Now” price $229.94, with a 15% quantity discount), a Family Video employee vest ($34.95), an autographed Stan Lee’s Mutants, Monsters & Marvels DVD (starting bid 99 cents, “Buy It Now” price $249.99), and dozens of DVDs and Blu-ray Discs.

“Yes, it’s really us,” the chain says on its eBay “shop” page. “We are the former #1 movie rental retail chain in the United States. Sadly we closed our stores in January 2021, but we still offer movies, video games and more online.”

Family Video opened its first store  — Video Movie Club — in Springfield, Ohio, in 1978. The privately-owned company ultimately grew to 800 stores, but in January announced it would begin liquidation of its remaining 250 stores, citing the pandemic as the reason.

“While we have faced digital competition from Netflix and others for years, nothing has been as devastating to our business as COVID-19,” Keith Hoogland, CEO of Highland Ventures, the Glenview, Ill.-based company that owns Family Video, said in a media statement. “We are very thankful to have been able to provide entertainment for many family movie nights.”

The chain posted a letter from Hoogland on its website shortly before noon PT on Jan. 6, stating that the impact of COVID-19 combined with the lack of fresh theatrical product “pushed us to the end of an era.”

In November 2020, the chain mounted a brief  promotional campaign called #SaveTheVideoStore to drum up consumer support. The campaign was supported by studios and Hollywood talent such as Clerks director Kevin Smith.

Other items available on eBay include Family Video T-shirts ($17.95), “Hunger Games” necklaces ($1.99 or $4.99), and a September 2020 issue of the Family Video “new release” in-store magazine (99 cents).

‘Sugar Rush’ Steering Wheel Auction to Benefit Charity

As part of the home video promotions for Ralph Breaks the Internet, Walt Disney Animation Studios has donated a replica of the Sugar Rush steering wheel for an eBay auction, with 100% of the proceeds to be donated to Make-A-Wish.

The auction began Feb. 26 and runs through 6 a.m. Pacific time March 5 at www.eBay.com/ralphbreakstheinternet.

In the film, the steering wheel on Vanellope’s Sugar Rush game breaks, prompting her and Ralph to head to the Internet to buy a new one, which they find for sale on eBay listed for $200.

The replica steering wheel has been autographed by cast members Sarah Silverman, Gal Gadot and Jane Lynch. The winning bidder will also receive a Blu-ray copy of the movie and a limited-edition autographed poster by the cast and filmmakers including Silverman, John C. Reilly, Taraji P. Henson, Jack McBrayer, Phil Johnston, Rich Moore and Clark.

The bid was up to $1,675 as of the morning of Monday, March 4.

Make-A-Wish helps grant life-changing wishes to children with critical illnesses. Since 1980, Disney has helped Make-A-Wish grant more than 130,000 wishes. More than 10,000 Disney wishes are granted every year.

Update: the winning bid was $1,725.

FCC Commissioner Sends Letter Asking Amazon and eBay to Help Stop Sale of Fraudulent Set-Top Boxes

FCC commissioner Mike O’Reilly May 25 sent a letter to Amazon chairman and CEO Jeff Bezos and eBay president and CEO Devin Wenig asking them to help stop the sale of fraudulent set-top boxes, many of which can be used to illegally view content.

“I am writing because certain manufacturers of video television set-top boxes are either failing to comply with Federal Communications Commission equipment authorization requirements or falsely using FCC branding on their devices,” O’Reilly wrote. “Although sufficiently disturbing on its own, these devices are particularly problematic as they are perpetrating intellectual property theft and consumer fraud. While the Commission has obligations on our end to prevent unauthorized set-top boxes from being available no matter their use, I seek your partnership in helping to remove these illegal products from the stream of commerce.”

FCC logo

O’Reilly noted that manufacturers using the FCC logo have demonstrated compliance with the commission’s regulations and that the logo’s use is required to market products such as set-top boxes in the United States.

“Disturbingly, some rogue set-top box manufacturers and distributors are exploiting the FCC’s trusted logo by fraudulently placing it on devices that have not been approved via the Commission’s equipment authorization process,” O’Reilly wrote. “Specifically, nine set top box distributors were referred to the FCC in October for enabling the unlawful streaming of copyrighted material, seven of which displayed the FCC logo, although there was no record of such compliance. Many of these sellers are attempting to distribute their non-compliant products through online marketplaces such as yours. Although outside the jurisdiction of the Commission, it is equally troubling that many of these devices are being used to illegally stream copyrighted content, exacerbating the theft of billions of dollars in American innovation and creativity.”

While recognizing the eBay and Amazon have taken steps to remove devices marketed as facilitating piracy from their websites, he asked for “further cooperation in assisting the FCC in taking steps to eliminate non-FCC compliant devices or devices that fraudulently bear the FCC logo.”

He also noted that many of the devices contain “harmful malware.”