Olympic souvineers collected from the public will be auctioned off on August 8th, the first anniversary of the 2008 Beijing games, the China Beijing Equity Exchange (CBEX) announced Tuesday, according to the Beijing Youth Daily. Opening bids for many items will start at zero yuan.
The items on sale will include an Olympic torch autographed by Juan Antonio Samaranch, a former head of the International Olympic Committee, which could go for as little as 1 yuan (US$0.15) if no one offers a higher price than the first bidder, CBEX said.
The starting price for some items will be a little higher, however. For instance, an opening ceremony package, which includes an opening ceremony brochure autographed by the ceremony's director Zhang Yimou will start at 200 yuan (US$29). A set of "lucky clouds sofas" which visiting world leaders used during the Olympics will begin at 2,000 yuan (US$ 292), far less than their market price.
An unnamed staffer from CBEX , the state company appointed by Games organizers to dispose of remaining Olympic goods, said the Saturday's auction would be a great opportunity for bidders. Valuable items would be available for unusually cheap prices because not many people would come, the staffer predicted.
"It's normal for people's enthusiasm for the Beijing Olympics to decrease, since the Games happened a year ago", the staffer said.
However, other auction experts believe there is plenty of room for the prices to increase, especially when the next Olympics comes.