Three Lessons for Playing the Auction House

If you see this then you are 10 seconds from death.

Players frequently email me and ask me what professions they should take on their characters. Often they are their first two professions and they have leveled a gathering one perhaps but that's it. They have big dreams of playing the auction house and making lots of gold so the first thing they assume they should do is level a crafting profession to max level. What happens next is their enthusiasm eventually wanes because they don't like the vast amount of gold they're losing while skilling up in comparison to how easily they made gold leveling their gathering profession. Soon they give up and go back to gathering to make their gold.

Are you one of these people? Want to know the best way to start playing the auction house for the first time?

I. Farming and Posting

  • Step 0: Get auctioneer and scan every 12 hours if possible.
  • Step 1: Go kill boars or crawlers.
  • Step 2: Look at the auction house for the items you picked up.
  • Step 3: Ask yourself, what is someone willing to pay for this item? Would I buy a piece of boar meat for 1 gold if I needed to skill up my cooking?
  • Step 4: Analyze the values on the auction house and ignore ridiculously priced items while buying up really cheap ones. Use auctioneer to see how the values match up against market value using the PCT column.
  • Step 5: Relist your items but do not flood the market. Estimate how many you think you'll sell in one day or however long you list your items for.
  • Step 6: Using trial and error, see how many sell and when depending on day of the week and amount posted as well as competition present. It's a learning experience even at this level.

II. Vendors and Market Management

  • Step 1: Buy vendor items such as enchanting mats or pets.
  • Step 2: Analyze the auction house. Post one to two of each pet but no more.
  • Step 3: Manage your inventory based on how many pets you can sell in a week. Do you only sell two snakes per week? Buy two to three each week to keep your stock up.
  • Step 4: Cancel pets when you get on the auction house that are below the lowest value as long as you're still making a profit. Buy out pets below or darn close to vendor value.
  • Step 5: Experiment with posting more expensive than normal when there is no competition.

III. Craftables

  • Step 1: Figure out if you can get the mats for an item cheap through trade or the auction house by looking every day. Learn when the cheapest deals appear when demand becomes bigger than the supply of the materials in question. Stay completely stocked, buy out all items below the price you're willing to pay for it.
  • Step 2: Figure out what range you'd like to sell your items at. Undercut down to your range and buy out people below your range.
  • Step 3: Craft and sell. Keep as many on stock as possible of high selling items.
  • Step 4: Let some undercutters exist if your market has steady demand. You don't have to be the lowest price to sell in a 48 hour period on most items.

3 comments: on "Three Lessons for Playing the Auction House"

  1. Most of the time for myself at least, I find myself being unable to get past a set amount of gold. I generally don't do the math and spend more on my mats then I get on the final products or I buy in game items and even sometimes waste gold.

    Such as turning all my Ink of the Sea into Snowfall Inks by mistake, I've done that twice already. >.<

  2. I'm glad you're posting more in-depth stuff now, Markco. For a while it was mainly guest tips and updates for the most part.

  3. Yup Matthias, hence the insane boost in subscribers.

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