Berkshire Hathaway's Warren Buffett dips bonbons with Victoria Melena May 4, 2013 during a visit to the See's Candies display at the 2013 Berkshire Hathaway Shareholders meeting in Omaha. Buffett is auctioning a personal tour of the See's factory
Billionaire investors don't often get to play Willy Wonka, but that's what Warren Buffett is going to do.
He is auctioning off an all-you-can-eat tour of the See's Candies factory in Los Angeles to benefit an educational charity he supports.
Bidding had already reached $30,000 by Monday, but it remains to be seen whether the final price of this auction will rival the annual auction of lunch with Buffett which routinely tops $1 million.
The online auction that runs through Aug. 13 will benefit Communities In Schools of Los Angeles. It is being offered on the charitybuzz.com website.
According to the site, Buffett will teach the auction winner the proper way to eat a bonbon during the half-day tour. Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway conglomerate has owned See's Candies since 1972, and he spends hours munching on See's treats while answering questions at Berkshire's annual meetings.
Buffett, known as the "Oracle of Omaha" for his investment acumen, is a philanthropist and the world's third richest man according to Forbes magazine. He did not immediately respond to questions about this new auction on Monday.
For more than a decade, the only time Buffett auctioned off a chance to meet with him was the lunch auction that helps fund the Glide Foundation's efforts to help the poor and homeless in San Francisco.
The winner of this year's lunch auction paid $1,000,100. That's a bargain compared to the previous five years when the winning bids all topped $2 million, including the record 2012 bid of $3,456,789.
The lunch auction winners get to spend several hours asking Buffett questions about business, philanthropy and life.
The fine print on the candy auction site promises only a meeting with Buffett (aka Willy Wonka) where the winner can take a picture with the renowned investor and get an item autographed, so the candy tour may not offer nearly as much opportunity to learn from Buffett.
Investors all over the world watch what Buffett does and try to copy his moves because of his remarkable track record of success. Through the end of 2012, Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway has delivered a compounded annual gain of 19.7 percent to investors — more than double the S&P 500's growth rate.
And Buffett, 82, has been gradually giving away his fortune since 2006. He plans to eventually divide most of his shares of Berkshire Hathaway stock between five charitable foundations, with the largest block going to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
First published July 29 2013, 11:29 AM