Avoiding the Auction House in World of Warcraft

Here's a question and my response that you may find interesting:

"Recently I've found that while many players abuse the auction house, some do not at all, and simply sell outside of it. I think this is because the Auction House seems time consuming, unfair, and unsure to many players, and they turn to a more "controlled" "hands-on" option. They advertise erratically, sometimes for hours, sometimes maybe only for a few minutes, some are dead-set on a certain price, while others do not know what they are doing at all, and will settle for anything you offer. Here's an example for you...On my server, I'm currently buying Frozen Orbs outside of the auction house any time they are advertised. About half the players that want to sell them, are thinking they are going to get AH price, which is bullshit, because usually there is around 3-4 postings up there, split two ways between me and my Alt, so it only takes about two seconds to figure out if I can drive them downwards. I usually confront them with a very low price, like "Hey, I'll give you 30/a pop for those." they will refuse at first and say "No, man they're 80 on Auction House." so I go "Oh, what? That's BS." Don't you realize that there is only one guy selling those things?" I go like this for a couple of minutes, haggling. Usually I can get them for no more than 40, sometimes even less, for maybe 25 each. I then go to Auction house, and resell them for 80 gold within a couple of hours, a pretty quick and easy profit. If anyone goes to undercut me at the normal price, such as 60, or maybe even something so bold as 40 or 50, I buy them out immediately, and then put them back up for much higher prices (+50% or more) on numerous alts. Basically, I'm starting to do the same thing with many other items, and I'm getting better and better at it. Haggling is actually very easy to do because just like the general population, the WoW population is extremely ignorant and easy to fool. I know this is a very inconsistent way to make gold, sometimes just down right frustrating and sterile, but it is very exciting at times, and it is something any proficient auctioneer can do whenever he gets tired of the normal search. destroy. manipulate. over the auction house. Hell, you can do it while your doing all those things too.

Just tell me what you think about it, I'd like to see your feedback through your website. That'd be awesome!

-Linus"

Linus, there are three 'selling routes' in world of warcraft: guild/social, trade, and the auction house. If you are a clever auctioneer you can take advantage of all three. For instance, when dealing with guildies often they will sell you items just because they don't' feel like using the auction house; do them the favor of buying their stuff! I've had countless guildies come to me because they know I have money to burn and say things like: "Hey I have a dozen stacks of infinite dust, will you buy them for 200 gold?"

The next 'selling route' is through trade. Here you can spam away (keep it to once per minute) looking for deals and always be sure to be in the most frequented city of your faction (orgrimmar or stormwind). Quite often you can make a killing getting other people's professions to do your work for you such as cutting a gem for 5 gold then reselling it for 40 gold profit. But most frequently you'll get the attention of someone looking to dump the item you're trying to buy. I find trade is most useful for buying, not selling.

The last 'selling route' is the auction house. We all know just how painful and large this can look at first, and also how rewarding it is to put that little bit of effort into becoming good at it.

That little bit of effort is what seperates a poor man from a rich one and a challenger from a gladiator.

10 comments: on "Avoiding the Auction House in World of Warcraft"

  1. Ugh, sounds way too much like hard work to me.

  2. this rarely works on my server. Anvilmar seems to be a very educated server. A lot of people seem to come here and to other places, and keep up on whats happening.

  3. This is also a personality issue.

    For me, trade is a non option. Im an overviewing "think twice"-guy, so the instant person to person haggle doesnt fit me. The controlled setting of the AH fits me perfectly. Easily (well, sort of anyways :) making 5-10k a week in buy/sell alone.

    In trade however, I would probably be on the losing side...

  4. I'm not using it as much nowadays but when I was new to the AH and spent most of my time buying/selling the trade chat was a great way to find good bargains.

  5. This comment has been removed by the author.
  6. I've found that there are times when I'd rather use trade than AH. Even though goods I sell on AH sell reliably and at a higher price, I prefer keeping raw mats on me rather than finished goods and just selling an item when I know I'll have a buyer.

    There is also the auction house cut. While it is trivial for most items, it begins to hurt for high priced epics (which is what I sell the most). And especially for things like Mekgineer's Chopper, where the usual auction house cut is more than 800g!

    In the end, I post most of my goods on auction house, but I always check trade first, and never AH the really expensive things.

  7. I will never sit in trade with an item, but I usually keep an eye out for a deal.

  8. As always a clever businessman will know, when a bargain is possible.

    I've snatched some real good deals outside the AH, but to be honest there's usually only a small number of items available.
    So 1 Titansteel bar, where I can make a profit of 50g just by putting it on AH is really nice, but not something which makes me hang around in /2 constantly, or even try to talk someone into giving me even bigger discounts.


    And btw - where on earth can anyone sell frozen orbs for 80 anymore? Since patch 3.2 and daily heroic runs for emblems, the prices for frozen orbs have dropped to about 20-30g on my server.

  9. Hosing stupid people makes me glow on the inside.

    As someone who flips blues, the BEST bargains, other than the occasional knob who posts a Staff of Jordan for 20g, are the people who use /2 to try to sell things.

    If they say "Offer", like the wuotable George W. Bush says...I'm not going to negotiate with myself.

    Fair offer? The only fair offer is the offer a person accepts, so I throw out the lowball. I am stunned how many times people accept the lowball, or move it up a gold or two.

  10. $5k-$10k/week...

    sheesh. i guess i really am just total M&S (to borrow another blogger's common term. ;)

    i just don't get how that's possible using just the AH. Gevlon seems to make it sound like farming isn't necessary, and then JM2C always seems to post about farming...

    i guess the best way is to have thousands saved up already to just 'invest' in things in the AH, and then start reselling and such, or mill herbs, or DE mats, etc... depending on your tradeskills.

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