Nearly three months after their first failed attempt to auction off motorbikes at Wadi Bunder yard, the Central Railways (CR) succeeded in selling all motorbikes in the third and final auction held on December 11, when 62 bikes were sold for a total of Rs 4,18,500.
On September 26, MiD DAY had reported about the first auction going awry after CR had allegedly placed reserve prices on the bikes without informing bidders (‘CR’s bike auction leaves bidders furious’). When the first bike auction was announced on September 25, 188 people visited the auction hoping to buy the bikes at cheaper prices.
However, it was only after bidding that it was revealed that many of the bikes were in poor condition and the reserve prices were allegedly higher than the market prices of new bikes. Out of the 40 two-wheelers being auctioned, only two were sold.
In the second auction on October 19, in spite of decreasing their reserved prices by 20 per cent, the railways did not manage to sell a single bike and only 18 people attended the auction.
Third time lucky
Tuesday’s auction however, was a different story, with the railways lifting reserve prices and managing to sell all 62 bikes including a Luna, Vespa, Kinetic and Hero Honda. Still, bidders were sceptical about the final prices.
“Why would we buy old and dirty bikes priced higher than or nearly equal to new ones? I have come here for the second time but am still disappointed. The bikes are still in bad condition but they were only bought because the railways lifted their reserve prices,” said Vinod Singhal, a garage worker from Nallasopara.
The auction didn’t see many individual buyers. “Most of the buyers were from garages and mechanic shops. There were hardly any buyers who came to buy the bikes for personal use,” said a CR official. Around 100 people attended the auction, held between 11 am and 7 pm. A Luna was sold for the lowest amount of Rs 550, while a Bajaj Pulsar was sold for Rs 30,300, the highest amount.
A K Singh, PRO, CR, said, “Lifting the reserve prices was our best option to sell them. The reserve prices were taken back for the benefit of buyers and we managed to sell all the bikes in the auction.”