Auction House Psychology

Here are some simple rules you should follow when posting on the world of warcraft auction house. These will help you increase the number of auctions you sell.

#1. Always have a buyout.
Players want your auctions and they want them an hour ago. Always allow them the option of paying extra to have the item now.

#2. Don't use round numbers, instead add/subtract a few silver/copper to make the price look like an addon created it.
Lots of numbers make the item look automated and set to an addon's price. The buyer will often assume that this price is fair. Avoid undercutting by one silver or one copper because a price of 99.99 really sticks out as a rude undercut. Change that 99 silver 99 copper to 72 silver 88 copper and people will barely notice.

#3. Make sure that your bid price is still a profitable amount for the item.
The reason my bid low sell normal strategy works is because people post really low bids in the hopes that a bidding war will ensue. Well who in their right mind is going to keep bidding once the price gets as high as the other items on the auction house? Play it smart and post a bid that will still make you some money.

#4. Post often but in small amounts. Low Supply really helps keep the price nice and inflated.
If you see an item at a great price to sell and dump twenty items, then you will end up enticing others to undercut you and drop the price. Supply and Demand is not something you want to try and muscle through. My post on saronite bars is an excellent example of this strategy.

#5. Diversify, don't focus on any one item.
If you use auctioneer then most likely you will have hundreds of completely random items to sell, which is fantastic. Do your best to diversify and never put all your effort into any one item.

For help with using auctioneer to make tons of gold, check out my 22 steps to using auctioneer correctly.

14 comments: on "Auction House Psychology"

  1. This comment has been removed by the author.
  2. > Don't use round numbers, instead
    > add/subtract a few silver/copper
    > to make the price look like an
    > addon created it.

    I read that all the time but I think people just want an item and want the cheapest on the auction house. I don't care if it looks rude as long as I make maximum profit. (It probably only looks rude to the person I undercutted by 1 copper.)

    Or is there something to back the claim up that people will buy the more expensive item because they think I'm a rude seller?

  3. Great question Kring, I find that people will always buy the cheapest item, however, if they see .99.99 then they are more prone to shop around for a better deal. It's extremely subliminal.

  4. That's a good point and probably the reason why a TV costs 598.- and not 599.99. I'll have to try that.

    But, if an external fire is on the ah for 49.75.33 I would still post mine for 49.75.32. I'm sorted to the top, have a "unround" number and the highest possible profit.

    (Of course, if I don't want to camp the AH and just get rid of the item I might list mine for 43g to discourage others to undercut me. But that's another topic again.)

  5. HI Markco
    On my server it seems that people abuse the way of getting enchanting materials. i have seen one person posting 2 pages of Cosmic Essence. Thats ridiculous. HOw do you deal with the people posting extremely amount of items at once. Eventually another person will do the same and undercut the price. Finally the material will become worthless. Well at least 60% off of the price of what it was supposed to be.

  6. I have sometimes bought a more expensive item when there's a 1 copper undercut. There's two options as a buyer:

    #1 - Wow, I saved 1 copper on this item!
    #2 - For the cost of one copper I thwart your evil schemes, muahaha!

    I really need to work on #4 though, I'm usually lazy and post everything that I have. I try hard but the will is weak!

  7. To Anonymous: If an item becomes 'worthless' buy it out and wait for when the price goes back up. In order to avoid seeing the prices drop once you're ready to sell, post very few of the item every day. As long as you are not 'threatening' to the player's monopoly he will not mass undercut you. I did this with infinite dust selling no more than 20 each day even with an auction house nut posting 2-3 pages every day. Patience and understanding the market really help in these situations.

    To Phizuol: LoL I love your #2 option and I think people underestimate the number of players who also think that way.

  8. "If an item becomes 'worthless' buy it out and wait for when the price goes back up." -Marcko

    I think that is the best advice you can get on the whole internet. it makes os much sence.

  9. Markco: How viable a strategy would it be to deliberately post a lot of an item in high demand at a low price to force market prices to drop, and then use your aforementioned strategy? (Buy everything out and then sell them at normal prices)

  10. You can achieve the same results by posting lots of the item in question at normal rates (that way you won't lose money by selling them). Simply flood the market by a page or two and watch the chaos of undercutting and wildly low prices that follows. Best to try this strategy with free to post items like enchanting mats.

  11. Marko, I go through and spam buy/bid and then it takes like a half hour to catch up..any hints?

  12. You forgot to mention something important: don't be a jerk.

    I've paid six gold more for something than the cheapest item on the auction house just because I didn't want to help out the jerk.

    Did I waste money? Sure!

    Did I feel damn good about doing it? You betcha!

  13. @Aeryn: And when you make anywhere from 800-200 gold in a day, who cares if you waste 6g? I agree with you, based upon a matter of principle I would buy the more expensive item.

  14. Jeff: If you bid/buy an item that has several hundred of the same type on the auction house your auctioneer will scan all of those along with the one you wanted. This can cause a slight slow down and it's ok to work ahead of your auctioneer.

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