New York City is trying to auction off the last 535 abandoned vehicles of more than 3,300 that were displaced during Hurricane Sandy. To deal with the leftovers from the flood, NYC hired David R. Maltz auction house in Long Island to see if they could turn a profit from the orphaned cars. Maltz made a total of 125 sales during the initial auction; proof he's working with a market worth catering towards.
“We’ve sold one as low as $300 and we had one above $10, 000,” said auctioneer Richard Maltz. “Just because a vehicle is titled as flood-damaged doesn’t mean it’s inoperable.”
Two additional auctions are scheduled for May 2 and May 7. The New York Post reports the city is paying Maltz up to $1 million for towing and storage fees. All the money raised from his sales goes to the city, save for a 10 percent buyer’s premium which goes to Maltz.
News of the sales brings to mind reports earlier this year that abandoned cars from Hurricane Sandy were being auctioned to private parties, title washed and sold to consumers across the country who were unaware of the vehicles' true history.
Although there are no guarantees the cars sold at Maltz’s auctions will be able to pass mandatory state inspections to become road legal again, bidders will at least be aware of the risk they’re taking. More importantly, New York City stands to receive a little financial help cleaning up after one horrendous disaster.