The Margin: SVB swag, like this fleece jacket, is selling for up to $1,000 on eBay
Despite the news of its collapse, Silicon Valley Bank lives on — at least to those who buy and sell via eBay
There’s a wave of SVB merchandise — essentially, corporate swag given to employees in years past — that is now being offered as collectible-worthy fare on the popular online auction site. Items range from baseball caps and water bottles, to even a meat-and-cheese board. And asking prices are going for as high as $1,000.
That’s the cost, in fact, of an SVB finance committee jacket (well, the official price is $1,000 or “best offer”). The seller says it’s “Genuine SVB swag” that was made for SVB by L.L. Bean. The size XL fleece jacket “was given to Finance Committee members of the Board of Directors,” the seller adds.
If that’s too pricey for you, there’s a tumbler-and-bottle set that is running $188.50 after 24 bids, as of Tuesday morning. It’s billed by the seller as an “Authentic piece of SVB history” that was “Given to SVB employees in 2021.”
Then, there’s an insulated coffee mug going for $76, as of Tuesday morning, that comes with quite a back story. The seller says: “I worked for Silicon Valley Bank in the Enterprise Business Analytics team as a data scientist. I am utterly shocked by what has happened and am extremely concerned about the future. Buying this mug helps me out but also gets you a piece of history to one of the fastest banking failures in US history.”
Looking for some SVB corporate swag? On eBay, you’ll find a branded meat-and-cheese board (left) for $229.99, and an insulated coffee mug for $76.
And the seller goes on from there, noting that, “This mug was used on the day to day and shows signs of wear. But those (nicks) in the powder coating just tell my story of grinding, analyzing, and ultimately failing to help the bank use data to help the bank and its customers have success.”
Other SVB items up for grabs include a wireless speaker ($99.99), a backpack ($92) and, yes, that meat-and-cheese board ($229.99). The board is billed as “lightly used.”
The items obviously speak to an of-the-moment situation, but will they hold much value as collectibles down the road? Memorabilia expert Vincent Zurzolo, president of the auction website ComicConnect, says that when the SVB story becomes old news, it’s doubtful that there will be much interest or value in these items, much less in years down the road.
“In 10 years, nobody is going to be saying, ‘Let me collect that cheese board from when that bank went under,’” Zurzolo told MarketWatch.