If you’re a fan of the 1990s sitcom Seinfeld, you probably remember the episode where Jerry’s zany neighbor Kramer discovers the old Merv Griffin Show set in a New York City dumpster.
He then collects the chairs and set pieces, which reek of garbage, takes them to his apartment and turns his life into a simulation of a 1970s talk show, much to the chagrin of his friends.
If you’ve ever harbored fantasies of conducting such a simulation in your own life, now’s your chance for a distinctly 21st century version.
Starting today, you can bid on furniture, equipment and memorabilia from Twitter and—with a little luck and deep enough pockets—turn your home or office into a simulacrum of a troubled San Francisco tech company, while potentially helping Elon Musk improve its troubled financials.
It’s a tempting opportunity, and we at The Standard were not immune.
We decided to place a small bid in hopes of snagging one (or 12) of the metaphoric chairs off the deck of the seemingly sinking social media Titanic. Here’s how we did it.
Twitter announced its intention to auction off furnishings from its San Francisco headquarters last month. The bidding began on the morning of Jan. 17 and will conclude at 10 a.m. Jan. 18, giving people who would like to own a piece of Twitter’s glory years 24 hours to participate.
Officially, the auction has nothing to do with Twitter’s troubled financial state, according to auctioneer Heritage Global Partners.
“They’ve sold for $44 billion, and we’re selling a couple of chairs and desks and computers,” Heritage representative Nick Dove told Fortune last month. “So if anyone genuinely thinks that the revenue from selling a couple computers and chairs will pay for the mountain there, then they’re a moron.”
Count us among the morons, and the skeptics.
Regardless of the motivations, the auction is happening and the goods up for grabs are … interesting, to say the least.
A big, blue statue of the company’s iconic bird logo? It’s currently going for $16,000. Bidders are offering $17,500 for a hanging, neon version of the same bird.
A La Marzocco Strada Espresso Machine will cost you at least $11,000. The current bid on a Hobart Legacy Floor Mixer—for producing pizza dough on an industrial scale—is $6,750. If cured meat is more to your taste, there’s a Berkel 330M-STD Manual Fly Wheel Slicer (with stand) going $7,000.
A set of 18 Knoll Saarinen Executive Swivel armchairs in “Rivington Sapphire” is currently going for $4,100. (Heritage’s site offers no insight into whether the caboose of Twitter’s most famous executive ever graced any of them.)
Downwind of the high-tag items are a variety of other furnishings and equipment, from the broadly useful to the more specialized.
So what did The Standard need? Beggars can’t be choosers.
The neon blue Twitter logo was out of our price range—and would probably raise questions about our objectivity in future coverage of the social media giant.
Instead, we bid on a more modest lot: 12 Andreu World Lineal Comfort Stools in lime green. Will they look good in our office? Opinions differ.
Regardless, it wasn’t difficult. The Standard created an account on the Heritage Global Partners website and placed its bid. We didn’t even have to put in a credit card.
The chairs were going for $60. We bid $80. As of publication time, we are the highest bidder among seven. Should we win, we’ll also have to pay an 18% buyer’s premium and sales tax (8.63%).
Only after casting the bid did we realize we had failed to take one small feature of the auction into consideration: If no one outbids us, we will have to arrange the transportation of the 12 stools to our office. That could add quite a bit to the lot’s price tag.
If you’ve never seen 12 journalists marching down Market Street carrying office furniture, it’s sure to be a sight to behold—albeit not necessarily a pleasant one. (Note to self: Next time, bid on desk chairs that we can simply roll down the street.)
So if you dream of pretending to own a bar from the comfort of your home and need some lime green stools, you too can cast a bid and save us from our fate. Please? Pretty please?
Matthew Kupfer can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org