An enthusiastic four-year-old placed a bid of $29,990 on a Trade Me auction for an English Electric train last night.
But the boy's dreams of owning the retired full-sized English Electric 2-carriage train unit had to be dashed by Trade Me staff, after a request from ''smiley134''.
''I'm really sorry, my 4 year old was playing and placed a bid, I dont actually want to buy the train, can my bid please be removed?''
Greater Wellington company Metlink's hopes of selling the train were also dashed, when its only bid was taken away today.
''For a moment I thought I was falling in love with you smiley! But then you blew it all,'' Metlink customer services manager Zelda MacKenzie replied.
Despite warning smiley134 to start looking for loose change down the back of the sofa, Trade Me allowed them to remove the bid.
''I find it fascinating because when you bid on something you have to click two or three times to confirm.
''The child has to be exceptionally bright if they can read all that,'' Ms MacKenzie said.
Trade Me spokesman Paul Ford said it was the seller's prerogative to remove the bid but ''it is annoying to have bids removed, and particularly annoying for the seller''.
The train unit, which operated in the Wellington area from the late 1940s, was taken out of service this week and put up for sale.
While no other bids have been made on the train, there are nearly 150 comments - ranging from genuine questions about how to transport the machine to various parts of New Zealand, to quips about trading it for a child's toy set.
''Is the Fat Controller included? The train might need to be kept in line,'' said nzfatmatt.
All comments had patient and witty responses.
rick1012 asked, ''Would you swap this for my wife?'', and was told ''Absolutely not, we're not into trafficking people, just trains. And if you don't want your wife, why would I?''
Ms MacKenzie hoped a genuine train fan would bid, either from an historical society or someone planning to do something ''weird and wacky'' with it.
The auction closes on Monday.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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