Wow Anchor Prices

Written by: Nick.

In my last article I talked about the economic technique of decoy pricing. This time I want
to talk about something similar; anchoring. Anchoring is when you suggest a price prior to
someone purchasing an item that sets the bar for their expectations and helps influence their
threshold.

For instance, if I asked you to write down the last two digits of your phone number and
then use that as a price for a variety of items like a stack of Arcane Dust, Thorium Ore, and
Netherweave Cloth. Then I asked you to write down how much you'd actually pay for each
stack, we'd find that the people who had phone numbers that ranged from 80-99 would be
more likely to pay more for each stack than people who had numbers ending in the range of
01-20. That's how anchoring works. If people aren't looking for an object, it doesn't affect
them and if they are, it sets up expectations and they don't realize it.

How do you anchor in Azeroth?


Some of you are already thinking about a way to do it, but I have two methods I prefer to
use. There are more, but none work quite as effectively as these in my experience.

Use a separate alt to advertise in General/Trade Chat at a price higher than your monopoly
sells for in the AH. It sets the expectation that the price is higher and so when they go to
look and see it lower, people will take advantage of the opportunity to get a deal and invest.
Use the front page auctions to set the price expectation. When you have a monopoly, you do
this by offering maybe 4 stacks of 5 Arcane Dust at a single price that's relatively high and
then put your stacks of 20 (under your second bank alt) for a price lower than those stacks of
5, but still much higher than people would have normally paid.

By setting the price expectation prior to people seeing the price you want them to pay, you
increase the likelihood that the individual will buy your items at a higher rate than if they
had simply stumbled upon your single price monopoly and were allowed to use prior notions
of what the price might have been. (Which may be significantly lower since you did buy up
everything to get that monopoly.)

Bonus Mini Tip:

When negotiating with people outside the AH to sell them materials like Frostweave Cloth,
always offer them next rank up in material (Embersilk) at an obscene price they might not
pay prior to negotiating the price for the lesser material. It suggests a price threshold that's
a little higher and can cause people to negotiate to a higher rate than they would have if
you hadn't mentioned it. Plus, when they come back next time for the cloth, your lower price
seems more reasonable.

  1. Another similar tactic is to fool others who use AH addons. List a rare item for a high price every once in a while (often enough for it to register in their AH database) and then offer it for half the price.

    They will see it as being only 50% the average value and determine that it must be a steal.

    Try this with rare items such as vanity pets, orb of deception, tome of polymorph turtle, teebu's blazing longsword etc.

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