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Guide to the Auction House

Updated Thu, Jun 06, 2013 by DarkFact



Auction House Overview

The Auction House (often abbreviated by players as AH) is one of the most important systems in World of Warcraft. This system allows players to trade there goods to other players in the game by bidding. The Auction House is a great place for players to earn extra gold, acquire new gear and trade goods, as well as a variety of other items. Some players spend so much time using the Auction House that they learn the secret to Auction House success. These players often dedicate large amounts of time, and sometimes money, in order to earn huge profits.

Auction House Locations

Currently players have access to Auction Houses in the following locations:


Horde Alliance Neutral
Orgrimmar Ironforge Gadgetzan
Undercity Stormwind Booty Bay
Thudner Bluff Darnassus Everlook
Silvermoon The Exodar Shattrath City
Dalaran Dalaran

Once you have reached any of the above listed cities, simply approach a city guard for more detailed directions to the nearest Auction House.

Auction House Interface

To use the Auction House simply seek out any Auctioneer in any of the above listed cities and right click on him or her. Usually there are 2-4 Auctioneers at any given locations, however, the Auction Houses can get crowded so Auctioneers may be difficult to see. This will bring up the Auction House interface. This interface will allow you to perform a variety of tasks, all of which are outlined below::

Browsing the Auction House

The Auction House interface will automatically bring users to the “Browse” tab. Here you may search the Auction House for any item your heart may desire. You may either choose to search for a specific item by name, level range, or rarity using the search tabs at the top of the screen. Using this feature will search the entire Auction House for any items that come close to matching the text provided.

If you truly want to simply browse the items for sale on the Auction House, or do not know the name of the item you are seeking, players can also search by category. Found on the left side of the Browse tab players may choose from a list of predetermined categories. Click on any of these categories (i.e. Weapon, Armor, Quest, ect) based on the type of item you wish to find. Some categories will display sub-categories, these should be handled the same way as a normal category, simply click on the sub-category that best fits your needs and then press the Search button that can be found at the top right of the screen. 

Once you have successfully completed a search a listing of the items you searched for will appear in the large right pane of the screen. Here players can view all the items that matched their search criteria and also find out crucial information about that item such as; item level, time left on the auction, who the seller is, and the current bid and buy out price (if there is one) of the item. Players may scroll through the listings using the slider bar directly to the right, or if there are more listings than can be shown on one page, players may also need to use the Next and Prev buttons found under the Search button at the top right of the screen.

Bidding

If you find an item you are interested in purchasing, left click on the item and it will become highlighted. Once the item is highlighted the Bid and Buyout (if available) buttons at the bottom of the interface will light up. Choose the Bid button to place a bid on the item for the price indicated. If you wish to skip the hassle of bidding, you can choose to buyout the item.

The buyout option is only available if the seller chooses to set a buyout price on the item. If an item has a buyout price you may choose to buy it instantly at this price, without waiting for what might be a lengthy bidding process. Keep in mind, that while the buyout option is convenient, especially in a pinch, often times items can be purchased for cheaper prices by bidding on them.

Players who choose the bidding route will most likely want to keep an eye on the auction in question in case they are out bid by another player, or to simply check and see how much time is left. To do this players will need to move on to the next tab in the Auction House interface and the next section of this guide: Managing Bids.

Managing Bids

By clicking on the Bids tab at the bottom of the Auction House interface players will be presented with a whole new screen, but with much fewer options than the Browse tab. Here players can view any items they have placed a bid on. As shown in the picture to the right, the item will be displayed as well as the following for each item you have bid on:

  • Item Icon (including quantity)
  • Item Name
  • Required Level
  • Time Left
  • Buyout Price
  • Bid Status
  • Current Bid

The most important piece of information found here are is the bid status. The bid status will let the player know right away if they are the current highest bidder on the item. If you are not the highest bidder you have the option of rebidding on the item, for the new bid price, by left clicking on the item then pressing the red Bid button found at the bottom left of the screen. Players can also buy out the item at this time for the listed buyout price, or they may simply decide to let the item go by doing nothing at all. The bid status will also let the player know if the auction has been cancelled by the seller.

The auction length is another key piece of information for bidders as it lets the player know how long is left on an auction and in turn how long they have left to bid. Currently the auction lengths are as follows:

  • Short - Less than 30 minutes.
  • Medium - Between 30 minutes and 2 hours.
  • Long - Between 2 hours and 12 hours.
  • Very Long - Between 12 hours and 48 hours. 

Now that we understand how to search for, buy, and watch items we are bidding on it is time to conquer selling, which will  take place in the final tab in the Auction House interface; Auctions. 

Creating Auctions

The final tab in the Auction House interface is the Auctions tab. It is from this tab that players can create and manage their very own auctions. Players wishing to start an auction should first drag the item (or stack of items) from your inventory to the box located under “Auction Item” in the top left of the screen. 

Once you have placed an item or a stack of items in the box you will be able to choose how large the stack size will be and the number of stacks you wish to sell. Now it is time to set a price for your item(s). Enter the price you wish the bidding to start under “Starting Price”, and if you wish to allow a Buyout Price place that amount under “Buyout Price”, however, adding a buyout price is completely optional. The Buyout Price and Starting Price can be the same or totally different, but the Buyout Price cannot be lower than the Starting Price.

Once the price has been set, move further down the left pane where you will have the option to set the duration of the option. Use the drop down menu to choose from one of the options here (12, 24, or 48 hours). After the duration has been set it will be time to post the auction by clicking the red “Create Auction” button at the bottom of the left pane. A Deposit fee will be charged when the item is posted. This fee is based on the length of the auction combined with the vendor value with the minimum fee being 1 Silver.

Also from this screen players can keep track of any of their current auctions. As seen in the picture to the right, when an auction has been created it will be displayed in the larger black box to the right of where the auction was created. Here you can view important information about the auction including:

  • Item Icon (including quantity)
  • Item Name
  • Time Left
  • High Bidder
  • Current Bid

If your item sells, this fee will be refunded but the Auction House will still take a cut of your profit to the tune of 5% of the total sale price in faction specific Auction Houses and 15% in Neutral Auction Houses. If the auction ends without any bids, the fee is lost. Any money gained from an auction will be mailed to the character who created the Auction via in-game mail.

Neutral Auctions Houses

Unlike Auction Houses found in Horde or Alliance cities Neutral Auction Houses are found in what are to be considered “neutral” zones. This means they are accessible to both Horde and Alliance and both factions may place items up for sale in them. This is an excellent way to get items that are hard to obtain for your faction. It should be noted that usually prices in these Auction Houses are much higher.

Tips and Tricks

  • Most players would prefer to buy items in complete stacks, unless the item is only used in a few recipes, or very few of the item are needed
  • Setting a buyout price is a good idea. While it may seem more beneficial to allow players to bid on your items, they are more likely to be bought at a better price and more quickly if a buyout price is established.
  • Keep a careful eye on what you are buying. A typical trick of scammers in the auction house is to list an item for 55 Gold when 55 Silver is closer to the correct value. This is done in the hopes that an unsuspecting buyer will buy the item and not notice the difference.
  • Just like in hotels in real life, weekend prices on the Auction House will usually be much different than prices during the week.
  • If you are selling goods commonly used by raiders, learn when most guilds on your server begin their raids, then place your items up for sale shortly before this time. This way your auctions are available for any raiders looking for last minute supplies.
  • Auctions still countdown during realm downtime!
  • Once you have committed a bid on an auction there is no way to retract it. If you are the highest bidder you will be obligated to pay for the auction, unless you are outbid before the auction ends or the seller cancels the auction.

Useful Addons

  • Auctioneer - Tracks auctions and items by doing a complete scan of the Auction House.
  • Postal - Allows for more control of your mailbox.

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