After Silicon Valley Bank filed for insolvency last week, people turned to eBay to sell their now-defunct company’s merchandise.
The various pieces of the company’s loot, including mugs, bags, cheese boards and even cardboard boxes, are attracting surprisingly high bids, a counterintuitive testament to the health of the American economy.
The official SVB mugs seemed to be attracting average bids of almost $100 and one of the cartons had the highest bid at $201.
Allegedly, having witnessed the high demand for that box, another seller listed his own cardboard box on Monday night and began bidding at $45.
Both vendors said they shipped their boxes, about 11′ x 11′ x 5′, after receiving job offers from the bank.
Silicon Valley Bank’s various pieces of merchandise, including mugs, bags, cheese boards, and even cardboard boxes (pictured), are attracting surprisingly high bids.
The box had attracted 29 offers in less than three days. The highest offer for the box on Monday night was $201
Silicon Valley Bank filed for insolvency and was taken over by the US Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) on Friday after a run on its deposits.
Another seller, who appeared to be based in Osseo, Minnesota, claimed to be a former employee of the bank and was selling an insulated mug that they claimed had been used at work.
“I worked for Silicon Valley Bank on the Enterprise Business Analytics team as a data scientist,” they wrote.
“I am completely shocked by what has happened and I am extremely worried about the future. Buying this mug helps me, but it also gives you a piece of the story of one of the fastest bank failures in US history.
The blemishes in the mug’s lining were not advertised as defects, but as evidence of the hard, but ultimately unsuccessful work they put in for the company.
‘This mug was used on a daily basis and shows signs of wear. But those details in the powder coating only tell my story of grinding, analyzing, and ultimately failing to help the bank use the data to help the bank and its clients succeed.”
The highest bid on his blue mug, which despite the listing appears to be in fairly good condition, is $76 and the item had received a total of 12 bids as of Monday night.
The seller of this light blue insulated mug claimed there was some damage to the powder coating, but said the dents were an indication of the hard, but ultimately unsuccessful, work he put in for the company.
This 1983 ‘deal bucket’ commemorating a public offering of 500,000 shares in the bank was put up for sale
The cube, which dates from 1983, the same year the bank was founded, sold for $100.
One of the unique listings up for sale was a 1983 ‘deal bucket’ commemorating a public offering of 500,000 shares in the bank in the year it was founded.
Inside the cube is a miniature prospectus, a document filed with the SEC detailing the nature of the offering. The mini booklet is frozen in a clear acrylic resin cube.
The miniature leaflet inside is dated July 17, 2983. The seller included a disclaimer in the item description: ‘Important Disclaimer: This is an authentic commemorative miniature leaflet. “It is not an offer to buy or sell securities”‘
‘Here is your once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to own an extraordinary piece of Silicon Valley venture banking history, an all-time collector’s item!’ they said.
‘Silicon Valley Bank would pioneer the technology banking industry and become the dominant supporter of the nation’s business landscape for the next four decades!’ they added.
The cube sold on Monday night for $100.
A hat and glass from SVB listed for just 99 cents, but within a day potential buyers had submitted bids of $100.
The person listed the merchandise as “Two pieces of genuine Silicon Valley Bank corporate loot.” Authentic and guaranteed to be “limited edition”.
A cheese board that included various utensils and a wooden board engraved with the bank’s logo went on sale for a fixed price of $230. Four people had seen the article in 24 hours. It was listed as having been lightly used.
This hat and tumbler from SVB were listed at 99 cents off, but within a day potential buyers had submitted offers of $100
The SVB brand cheese board was lightly used and listed for sale for a fixed price of $230
A glass and bottle set in its original plastic packaging had attracted a bid of up to $183.50 in less than a day.
Silicon Valley Bank was founded in the 1980s and quickly built a reputation as a tech-savvy lender to young, early-stage computer companies.
Over the course of the next 40 years, it grew to become the 16th largest bank in the US, serving technology companies around the world.
As the global tech industry grew during the pandemic, the bank’s services were in high demand and its deposits grew as companies used it to store cash for growing payrolls, among other things.
However, his demise began after he made significant investments in low-interest, mortgage-backed, US government bonds.
When the Fed started raising interest rates last year, the value of those bonds fell and the bank’s debt-to-asset ratio became increasingly precarious.
As Silicon Valley companies fell on hard times last year and tried to withdraw money from the bank, they struggled to meet the withdrawals and were forced to sell assets prematurely, incurring losses that spooked investors.
Last week SVB filed for insolvency and on Friday was taken over by the government after a run on its deposits and a collapse in its share price.
It became the largest bank to fail since the 2008 financial crisis.