In World of Warcraft as in real life having money cant make you happy, but it sure helps out! There are many articles about how to make gold in the World of Warcraft out there, many are very good. For example check out our very own Xerins Ultimate Gold Making Guide for World of Warcraft posted just last week. One of the things that many of these guides talk about is playing the auction house to buy low and sell high. This is very basic and logical advise, however what is a low price and what is a high price?
What the base prices are of common items is the question that many guides leave unanswered. For players new to level 80, or players that have switched servers, or even players that have just started to seriously try to earn some gold, they may have no idea what a fair price on the many common items are.
Conditions That Affected Pricing
While this guide walks you through several ways to find the fair market value, realize up front though that many things affect fair market value and all of them should be kept in mind when you are trying to sell items or find the price. Before we look at finding out base pricing we are going to look at some of the adjustments that must be considered. When trying to figure out the base price you need to think about these items. Just a few of the things that affect the price are things like the day of the week, patches, and arena seasons.
Day of the week Typically prices for everything go up slightly on the weekend and on Tuesdays. This is due to more players being online on the weekend and therefore more buyers being available so someone will likely buy the item at any price. Prices typically go up on Tuesday on flasks, potions, elixirs, and food due to most raid groups restarting raid lockouts on that night.
Around Patches Prices typically go up on gems, enchants, enchant materials, glyphs, and crafting materials around any patch that introduces new items. Prices start going up slightly when patches are announced as players start stocking up for their anticipated needs. Prices then sky rocket for several days to several weeks after a patch depending on how many items become available in the patch. Many times prices on specific items such as gems can triple or quadruple over night.
Arena Seasons Arena seasons or new battleground PvP gear generates huge price spikes, generally even higher than a normal patch since many players can replace several pieces of gear as soon as the season starts.
Server Age / Population The age of your server or population of your faction will dramatically affect the cost of items. If you have just moved to a new server or changed factions be prepared for some possibly huge price differentials. Some players have changed characters from high population Alliance servers to a low population Horde server and made many thousands as gems in inventory went from being worth 50 gold each to 300 gold each.
In Game Options to Find Pricing
Finding the base price of items can be done in several ways. The easiest and most common is simply watching things in game. This includes watching the auction house, watching trade channel, and Auctioneer or Auctionator.
Check the Auction House This is the simplest way, however it can be inaccurate. It really comes down to how many of the item are listed online. If you check for an item and there is only 2 online, even if they are both 100 gold each, you have no idea if that is a fair price or not. If the item is listed 60 times at prices ranging from 75 to 150 gold, then you know that 100-120 would be a fairly good guess at a fair base price.
Watch Trade Trade channel can be a good place to watch as well. However, realize that in general trade channel is a lower price than the auction house since players are online and want the gold right away, therefore they are generally selling for 10-20% less than auction house prices.
Auctioneer / Auctionator If you are really serious about finding the base price of an item then you really need to have one of these two great apps installed. Both function fairly similarly and can scan the auction house and watch for trends and display high, low, and median pricing. You can find them at the following links: Auctioner and Auctionator.
Out of Game Options to Find Pricing
If you want to find the price of an item but are not in game, or just want to be really sure on pricing there are several out of game options.
Remote Auction House This is Blizzards newest addition to the game and is currently still in free beta. Currently you can log on and view the auction house on your server(s), however, once it goes live you will be able to view, buy, or sell items from your browser, iPod touch, iPhone, or iPad. You can find more details at Blizzards page here: WoW Remote Auction House.
WoWhead This database site provides a quick fact panel on each item that displays the average buyout price for that item across all servers. For example you can see that Cardinal Rubies have a current average price of 102 gold as of the writing of this article. While a good base guide, it is of limited use because it is an average, not server specific.
Allakhazam This database site also provides some average price details on each item. They show a bit more historical information so the prices may be a little more accurate but again it is an average across servers. Cardinal Rubies show an average price of 190 gold at this time.
Economy Sites There are a few database sites out there that specifically look at the economy of individual WoW servers. While they can be more accurate and there were several very good free ones online, they now unfortunately use gold sellers to support them therefore I refuse to use them. Another gold free one may appear at some point in time though so they are worth watching for.
What Items Sell on Your Server
The simplest way is to find the exact items that sell on your server is to watch the auction house for large numbers of items that move. However, basically anything used in high level crafting, ore, herbs, flasks and epics will sell well. Gems always sell well especially when cut for characters best stats. Also any BoE items of blue or higher quality will generally sell for a fair amount.
Something to keep in mind too is that as a server matures there are more players with more gold. These players tend to go back and level alternate characters and now have more money to spend, but there are fewer players levelling so less items for sale at any given level. Therefore farming low level items can become quite lucrative on a mature server.
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