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The Sad, Tarnished Afterlife of RadioShack's Name

With nothing material left to sell, RadioShack is auctioning off its name and the names of its shoppers. Bankrupt brands tend to fetch less than derelict real estate does
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Photographer: Daniel Oines/Flickr
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The bankrupt corpse of RadioShack has nearly been picked clean, with corporate scavengers putting prices on just about everything of value left at the once-proud company. All that's left are the rights to reuse the name itself in the U.S.—and the names of millions of RadioShack shoppers. The defunct electronics retailer is selling those off in what should be the last major action in its bankruptcy proceedings. Bids are due on Wednesday, and an auction will follow next week, if there are multiple bidders. A court hearing to approve the sale could take place on May 20. 

RadioShack has been selling off everything since it declared bankruptcy in February, and the results can be surprising. Who would have guessed that 17,244 leftover phones (auction price: $1.8 million) would be be worth more than rights to use the RadioShack brand name in the Middle East ($1.5 million)? Assorted international rights to the name have sold for millions of dollars more. Standard General, a RadioShack creditor, already bought about 1,700 stores for more than $145 million; GameStop, the video game retailer, bought an additional 160 locations at $15,000 apiece