What Affects Auction House Values

Supply/Demand

I am not going to get into a summary of this economic term or even go down the path of the elasticity of demand (college memories flooding my brain). In its simplest form, the auction house is a mini economy specific to each WoW server. High demand with low supply will lead to larger profit margins. Low demand with high supply will lead to smaller profits. That sounds pretty straight forward however it can’t be overstressed. When evaluating your auctioneer plan, you need to find a balance between not enough planning and over thinking.

Server

Each WoW server presents its own little economy. What sells well on one server may not sell well on another server. There are too many factors for me to cover but some main factors are population size, average population level , age of server, and number of twink characters.

Population size will generally increase both supply and demand which is important because the greater the data pool the more accurate auctioneer tends to be. 

Average population level is important as servers with higher level characters will mean more high end items for sale (good if you are looking to buy these items but bad if you are looking to sell these items for a big premium) and likely more raiding guilds (which can really drive up items like potions).

Age of server is important as older servers will have a broad range of characters which leads to more stable prices while a newer server will see much higher volatility. 

Lastly, the number of twinks will greatly increase the demand for x8 and x9 level items and all enchanting mats.

Days/Times

While auctioneer has no date or time limit, there are times that can be better or worse for buying or selling items. Also, certain events such as the fairs or a WoW updates can create or change the values of items.

Fees

When is a $1 profit not equal to a $1 profit? When you include the Auction House listing fees of course. I am sure that I could work in a no free lunch or death and taxes anecdote but why bother. When selling item in the Auction House, you will have to factor in two fees: Listing Fees and Selling Commissions.

Listing Fees: You will have to pay a listing fee upfront whenever you list an item in the Auction House.   These listing fees are based on the WoW established merchant sell value (msv) and the length of time that you list the item for sale. These fees are refunded if the item sells but are lost if the item does not sell.

In faction houses:

Deposit ( 2hr) =  5% of MSV
Deposit ( 8hr) = 20% of MSV
Deposit (24hr) = 60% of MSV

and in the neutral house:

Deposit ( 2hr) =  25% of MSV
Deposit ( 8hr) = 100% of MSV
Deposit (24hr) = 300% of MSV

Selling Commission: When a listing does sell, you will pay a fee for the sale.

Cut = 0.05 * Winning Bid

In the neutral house:

Cut = 0.15 * Winning Bid

It is important to note when/how these fees are paid. Listing fees are paid up-front, at the time of listing. Commissions are paid at the time of sale. The proceeds will then be mailed to you.

Example: You list an item with a 1G MSV in your faction AH for 10G for 24 hours and it sells. You will pay 60s for the listing fee which will be deducted from your current money supply. You will receive an email that will include 10G for the sale – 50s for the AH commission + 60s for the listing fee for a total of 10G1s. Since 60s of that amount is just the return of your listing fee, you are actually getting 9G50s for the sale.

Also, while you can cancel a listing, you will forfeit your listing fee.

How

General

There are so many things that you can do with the Auctioneer add-on. I will however cover just the basics needed to help you put the strategies listed below to work.

When you go to the Auction House, there are the 3 original tabs: Browse, bids, and auctions. Auctioneer adds 4 new tabs: Search auctions, post auctions, BottomScanner, and Transaction Log. The following is a quick summary of each tab.

Browse – This is the default page which you will see each time you visit the Auction House and talk to any auctioneer. There are three main things you can do on this tab. Search using the categories on the left side. Search your user input data using the search field located approximately top left. Scan using the scan button near the bottom left. I will cover scan more later as it is key.

Bids – Here is a list of the items which you have placed buying bids (not buyouts) which are still open auctions.

Auctions – Here is a list of the items for sale which you have listed which are still open auctions.

Search Auctions – Here is one of Auctioneer’s most powerful tools. You can search by bid, buyout, competition, etc. as well as set some further parameters such as estimate profit, item level, item quality, and auction time remaining. This tab is used to identify the items that are way underpriced and could be purchased for resale at a much higher price.

Post Auctions – While you can list items for sale on the Auction tab, this tab give you more control and is very easy to use. An easy shortcut is to Alt-click on items in you bags to quickly place a single item up for auction.

BottomsScanner – If you get the Auctioneer Complete version, you will get this additional add-on. You can use this to scan the last couple items of each page (ie. the most recent listings). This option appears to allow you to scan the available auction listings faster than a standard scan however it also captures less data and I have yet to find a solid use for it.

Transaction Log – This tab keeps track of all your purchases, sales, listing etc. It has a vast amount of Auction House info available to you and can even replace some basic note keeping on transactions.

Ok. So now that you know the basic layout of the auction house screen with the Auctioneer add-on, how do I suggest that you get started? Like most things in WoW, Auctioneer is not a get rich quick scheme. It takes some time especially if you wish to limit your potential losses. Auctioneer depends on one many item. Data and tons of it.

Perform an Auction House scan two times a day (morning and evening) every single day for two week (four week would be even better). After this period, scan the auction house every time you visit the auction house.  These scans have short term and long term benefits. Short term it allows you to identify the items to purchase right away for resell when pairing a scan with a search.  Long term it gives you all the information necessary for your Auctioneer profit plan.

While this section was longer than most in this mini-guide, it will become second nature to you after using Auctioneer 2-3 times. Now on to some strategies.


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Last Updated: Mar 13, 2016

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Xerin 1
Get in the bush with David "Xerin" Piner as he leverages his spectacular insanity to ask the serious questions such as is Master Yi and Illidan the same person? What's for dinner? What are ways to elevate your gaming experience? David's column, Respawn, is updated near daily with some of the coolest things you'll read online, while David tackles ways to improve the game experience across the board with various hype guides to cool games.

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