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Going Once, Going Twice …

An Enron rubber ducky. An unopened code of ethics. A copy of “Money in Motion,” a 401(k) booklet printed in 1999. Those are just a few of the Enron relics we bought on eBay following the company’s bankruptcy filing. View the aftermath auctions here.

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There’s no better place in this wired world to watch a company fall apart than eBay. By late January, typing “Enron” into the auction site’s search box brought up between 1,300 and 1,400 items. They ranged from the benign — golf balls and intricate replicas of Enron Field — to the unsettling. Amid hundreds of stress balls and T-shirts were unopened codes of ethics, paperweights bearing the company’s “Visions and Values” statements, and corporate magazines outlining Enron’s 401(k) benefits. Among auctions for expensive Web addresses like enronsecrets.com (starting bid: $19,000), Enron employees expressed their anger and frustration. Some auctioneers were trying to make money for a plane ticket home; others joked that eBay was helping boost their decimated retirement plans. Here’s a snapshot of the Enron blow-out sale — a sampling of funny, ironic, somber items that we purchased on eBay early this year and the auction prices we paid.

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Enron rubber ducky: $15.50
Three Enron golf balls: $16
Unopened code of ethics: $122.50


Cowboy-boot mug: $16.50
Plastic megaphone: $24.03 (including shipping)
Money in Motion 401(k) magazine: $28
Enron survival kit: $24.99


“Vision and Values” T-shirt: $21.51 (including shipping)

Fara Warner (fwarner@fastcompany.com) is a Fast Company senior writer.