The fire sale of Bear Stearns last week meant a four-alarm wake-up call for company’s 14,000 staff members, many of whom will be spending some time in the unemployment line soon. But a few enterprising employees are creating their own Bear market on eBay, where items branded with the company name are stacking up. So far, more than 40 items have been listed, from t-shirts to teddy bears, cafeteria cards to stock certificates. On one cafeteria card auction, the description includes the forlorn phrase ‘no longer needed, unfortunately.’
Most of the items have bids, although whether it’s due to a collecting frenzy or just trying to help some folks in need, no one can say. Yeah, we’re pretty sure it’s a collecting frenzy, too. At least one seller came with a sense of humor, toting a toy bear with the description, “Do not delay, bail out a Bear today! Money upfront only-no ‘loansies’-we’ve already got into enough trouble with that.“
Another auction featured a Bear Stearns hard hat, a lovely, poetic bit of irony, since it couldn’t protect its owner much from falling stock prices. Although you have to wonder, considering what bears do in the woods, did anyone issue hard hats before that hit the fan?
Tired of your daily routine? Buy a whole new life from one man in Perth, Australia. Ian Usher is packaging up his life after a heartbreaking divorce and selling it all, from his ride to the knives and forks in his kitchen drawers, and even his job, on eBay. The jilted Aussie is offering up all his material possessions, and a few non-tangibles, such as his friends, who have promised to like the purchaser of Mr. Usher’s life just as much as they like Ian, which is either a stunning demonstration of loyalty, or a case of ‘meh, we were ready to replace you, anyway.’
The three things this man wants to walk away with at the end of the deal? His newly fattened wallet, his passport, and a story, which he would also be willing to sell to Hollywood.
Fanboys, start saving your pennies to get out of that basement, because Mr. Usher hopes to clear at least 500,000 in Australian dollars with the sale, which begins on June 22. He’s even offering a preview of the livelihood goods at www.alife4sale.com.
Tired of virtual social networking? Want to create your own real-life community? Then head on over to eBay and bid on the tiny town of Albert, Texas. The miniscule metro has a healthy price tag of $2.5 million, but the seller is including his plan for turning the town into a tourist attraction. The historic little burg comes complete with a dance hall, community center, tavern, and a house for the ‘mayor’ (or dictator, Queen, Big Cheese– rich eccentrics fill in your own title here). So far, Albert has 55 bids, up to $351,000; still far short of the reserve price. Even if you can’t afford to buy, stop by, browse, and take a moment to imagine what you’d do with your very own town. One thing’s for sure, city council meetings would be a breeze.