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Saturday, January 23, 2021

Auction house clearing out last of RadioShack items

It’s your last chance to grab those RadioShack memories or spare parts for that TRS-80 you’ve nursed along all these years.

Online auction house UBid Estate & Auction Services of Haltom City was hired by RadioShack to auction off a warehouse full of electroics and store memorabilia.

Auction house owner and auctioneer Michael Huff said on July 6 that about 575 items are up for bid.

“We’ve had more than 1,000 bidders and 90 percent are not from Texas,” Huff said.

There are a variety of items up for bid, ranging from TRS-80 systems to oil paintings of store interiors to photos of Charles Tandy to Lance Armstrong jerseys and even two of the athlete’s bicycles. 

As of Friday morning there are even samples of the old “CueCat,” a failed digital technology that RadioShack invested about $30 million in. They weren’t alone, Dallas Morning News parent Belo Corp. invested $37.5 million in the parent company to the system that was to help people read bar codes through their computers.

“There is a lot of interest among collectors of old vintage electronics,” Huff said.

At its peak, RadioShack operated over 7,300 stores with retail sales and operating revenue in the billions of dollars and its locations were famously within 3 miles of more than 95 percent of households across America. No one needed Amazon.com then.

After 96 years – the last few a parade of bankruptcy, layoffs and failed strategies – RadioShack pulled the plug on one of the most successful consumer electronics retail runs in history.

“You’ve got questions, we’ve got answers,” and this time, the answer is goodbye.

From the company press release in May:

“As we cleaned out our historic archives in Fort Worth, Texas, we uncovered a cache of iconic memorabilia in 12 huge legacy safes, including: unused original TRS-80 Microcomputers, Realistic Transistor Radios, Tandy computer software games, original brick cell phones, gold commemorative watches and so much more. We all remember coming into RadioShack whether it was for the battery-of-the-month, new walkie-talkies, or to check out the newest RC toy cars.”


The auction is online bidding only and sales began at 7 p.m. Monday with items to be sold about every 15 seconds.

No determination yet if unsold items will be placed up for auction again. There are many inexpensive items for people looking to own a piece of Fort Worth history.

Bidding has been open since the end of May.

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