October 22, 2001 8:25 AM PDT

On sale: All that remains of Webvan

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Webvan, the once high-flying online grocer that has since shut down, is preparing to auction items from its corporate headquarters on Halloween, including "elegant" office furniture, a treadmill, even a lowly electric typewriter.

An advertisement for the upcoming auction in Monday's San Francisco Chronicle bills it as "The Dot-Com Auction of the Year!!". "Complete Closure of World Class Corporate Headquarters!! Something for everyone!!", the advertisement reads.

As dot-com companies fold, auctions are being held with regularity. But the upcoming Webvan auction, to be held at its Foster City, Calif., headquarters on Oct. 30 and Oct. 31, is likely to draw much attention.

It will provide some items for those who are nostalgic, as well as practical. According to Dovebid, the auctioneer, items for sale include computer and conference-room equipment, telephone systems, desktop computers and--in the tradition of dot-com grandeur--a room full of exercise equipment that includes a "Body Master" exercise machine to tone the "Pec/Rear."

And even in its highly automated, high-tech world, Webvan needed an electric typewriter for its business. A Brother model is up for sale.

Webvan shut down and filed for bankruptcy in July, a victim of competition, the dot-com downturn and management mistakes. Its backers included venture capitalists Benchmark Capital, Sequoia Capital and Softbank, as well as The Barksdale Group through Webvan's earlier buyout of Home Grocer.


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