Twitter is auctioning off hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of stuff from its headquarters after Elon Musk took over the company and gutted its staff. Would you love a $1,000 office chair for half its retail price? A digital whiteboard? An espresso machine that once poured lattes for Twitter’s engineering team? What about a three-foot-tall wooden version of the Twitter logo? They can all be yours, courtesy of a public auction that will begin next month.
The auction house Heritage Global Partners is running the auction, which will begin on January 18. Pictures and descriptions of the lots are available on BidSpotter and through Heritage’s website. The print catalog contains more than 800 items, most of them office equipment and industrial appliances that wouldn’t be out of place in a very nice restaurant’s kitchen.
Among the items are a Twitter bird statue and a six foot tall “@” symbol planter. “Currently Artificial Plants but can be placed with real plants,” the auction listing explained. Both items start at $25 and are located at Twitter’s office in downtown San Francisco. Those are the only two “Twitter” branded items in the auction. The listings are overwhelmingly for office furniture, and Eames loungers that retail for around $2,000.
Silicon Valley companies are famous (or, depending on who you ask, infamous) for their luxurious employee amenities. Offices on Market Street are filled with iPads doing the job of white boards, cereal bars, expensive espresso machines, and full kitchens worked by staff there just to make meals for white collar employees. By the looks of it, Twitter was feeding an army. The auction reflects the ways new owner Elon Musk is rewriting the culture, and it’s also a window into the luxury once enjoyed by Twitter’s previously more numerous employees.
Among the kitchen gear is a La Marzocco Strada espresso machine, a piece of equipment that sells for more than $20,000. There’s a high-end manual meat slicer worth more than $10,000, an industrial vegetable dryer, and a $17,000 industrial braising pan. Like with so much of the other industrial kitchen equipment, the bids for all these items begin at $25.
Those rock bottom prices probably won’t stay in the basement. As the auction proceeds over five days, those numbers are sure to climb and Twitter will recoup some of the loss. But it will take more than the auction of espresso machines for Musk to make Twitter profitable.
He took out a $44 billion loan to buy the company and servicing the debt will cost him $1 billion a year. Twitter was already barely skating by when he took over. He’s fired most of the company’s staff, including people who would not sign on to a pledge to be “hardcore” and others who have criticized him.
The liquidation of kitchen equipment and chairs doesn’t mean Musk isn’t investing in decor, though. He’s built bedrooms in the headquarters that look like hotel rooms.