The reason its strange is that sometimes a 0 level guy gets one, and then he's rich already! But its not a terribly useful item. With such a short equipment list, its kinda funny.
Two thoughts occur here...
1 - He's rich already. If a 10' chain is, as you claim, "not a terribly useful item," then the character is absolutely not rich - people do not take items in trade that they don't have a use for or know someone that does have a use for it that will help them profit in some way from accepting the chain in the first place... which means the chain, despite it's listed cost in gold on the equipment table, is going to prove extremely difficult to get anything at all for... it's value is, more often than not, zero.
It's like mentioned in so many places in DCC adventures - an item has no use to the party but might be valued at some amount to a collector/scholar/whatever that actually has interest in the item... the chain has no value to anyone except those few and far between that have a use for it, and those potential buyers are likely far enough away and hard enough to find that any perceived profit from the chain is going to be spent just getting to the buyer in the first place - so hopefully the first potential buyer actually buys.
DCC implies, with its mentions on the adventurer's effect upon a local economy, that all the prices listed on equipment charts should be considered to be either a) typical asking price from a merchant regularly dealing in that type of item or b) value of the item to the right person at the right time.
2 - Not a terribly useful item. Not that I can think of that many uses for a 10' chain off the cuff, I hate hearing a player say "not useful," about any piece of their inventory... mostly because it shows a close-minded approach to item usage that leads players to get frustrated by a simple challenge, declare themselves stumped, and give up... when they could have, had they taken a moment to check their inventory with a mind ready to find an unexpected use for an item.
I guess you could call it a pet peeve of mine... players selling down to one suit of armor because "no use" for extra suits, selling down to one melee and one ranged weapon because "no use" for backups, selling off mirrors, ducks, pigs, iron spikes, 10' poles, or whatever else because their is "no use" in keeping them around... and now someone says that a chain isn't that useful either...
Well... what about when you need to secure a heavy, sharp or jagged object - like a metal statue, or a big jagged bolder - so that you can haul it out of the way? A rope will break under the strain, especially as it rubs against the rough edges... a chain though, that gives you something you can attach to the troublesome object.
Same with having to bind low-heat flaming entities - rope burns long before chain melts.
Taking a giant prisoner? I'd bet a chain is a better bet than rope... assuming you don't want him getting free.
A chain, it would seem to me, is also a better improvised weapon than a rope.