Auction House Pitfalls - How to Avoid Auction House Scams

The auction house can be an extremely messy place to do business so you should be aware of the kinds of sinister tricks some auctioneers have waiting for you. I'll go through three simple yet dangerous traps you might one day be faced with.

I. The Trade Post Scam - I have done my share of trolling the internet on many gold guide sites (I even bought a few for research purposes) and I can tell you that most guides tell you to 'try' this. Every time they describe this dirty way of selling your items they preface the discussion with "Oh I did this once but please don't do it" or "This is good once but after that your reputation will suffer." It's all BS. They want people to do this because it works and is an easy way to make money.

  • Step 1: Player places a semi-rare item on the AH for about 120% of what it is worth.

  • Step 2: Said player gets on an alt and asks in trade for the item at 130% of normal value. They will most likely be in shattrath.

  • Step 3: You go on the ah and buy it thinking you are going to resell for that little bit extra right away.

  • Step 4: BAM! You got hosed.

If you ever see an item selling for MORE then it's normal value and someone asking in trade for it at an EVEN MORE EXTREME value... don't buy it. This trick is down right dirty trading and not worth the fallout.

II. The AH King Pin - You're going to run into complete AH jerks more then once, I guarantee it. Anytime you enter a new market watch out for these people as they will see you as a serious threat and attempt to drive you away. First off, always check auctions for a few days before you begin serious trading (more then 5 stacks of whatever item per day). If you see the same person posting DIFFERENT prices each day depending on the market then this person is most likely an AH snob. They will undercut you by a silver and do it in tremendous quantities so it's better to spot these goons early rather then after you've saved up 50 stacks worth of an item. Getting into a bidding war is often risky since they will most likely have way more items saved then you and eventually they'll beat you down, regardless of their individual losses.

So how do you avoid this person? Well I did mention that you should check to see if these people exist in a market before entering it in force (selling one or two of any item will not set these people into a bidding war) but the #1 way to prevent a confrontation is to set a price with the person. Maybe you will sell stacks of 5 and he'll sell stacks of 20 or something along those lines. If they want to be a pain then just sell one or two items a day at prime time and avoid stockpiling the items beyond two or three stacks.

Remember that you don't want to put all your eggs into one basket, so diversify your options and never get bottleknecked into selling only one item. This strategy is the best way to make money on the AH and buffers against AH king pins barging in with guild banks stocked with any one item.

III. The Hidden Overpriced Buyout - Anyone who has fallen to this trick was probably tired or rushed or a combination of both. Basically, a person puts items up in stacks of let's say 5 each for 20 gold. Say they put up ten stacks of the item but one of the stacks only has one item in it instead of five. Unfortuenately, the AH won't sort this item out of the list of other ones, so you will end up with a 'trick' stack costing the same as the others and looking almost identical to a weary or rushed buyer. Only way to avoid this is to pay attention to what you're doing at all times.

Hopefully this post openned your eyes to some things to expect from this greedy wow world we live in. Another scam to watch out for is loot cards. DON'T EVER BUY LOOT CODES. They are going to be 99.999999999999(repeating)% of the time scams.

4 comments: on "Auction House Pitfalls - How to Avoid Auction House Scams"

  1. even if you're the only person on the AH with a certain item, selling tons of them all at once is never a good idea. There is no way that 20 glyphs of hamstrings is going to sell in one bid period. Plus you're likely to be undercut rather than competitevly priced against. Putting 2-3 up at a time is a good way to save some gold by avoiding AH fees.

  2. Excellent point, I'm glad you mentioned it. The concept of 'bid periods' is something I plan on covering soon.

  3. This comment has been removed by the author.
  4. I know this is a bit old, but as for loot codes...

    I guess I was in the very minute percentage when I sold mine. I was saving for my epic mount back in the day, and got the bananas pet card.

    I sold it for 500g, and the buyer used it to get the pet -- he gave me another 500g.

    However, we were both weary of being scammed. It basically came down to reputation of our guilds, and that they all knew what was going on.

    But, in the end, he got the pet, and I got my money.

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