Bargain Hunting in the World of Warcraft
In the World of Warcraft, as in life, everything costs something. Also, just like in life the better the item, the more it is going to cost you. Unfortunately WoW doesn't have discount outlet malls though, so it takes a little bit of effort to find the bargains. Some players are lucky and find bargains every day, others have to search for weeks to find an item they want at a price they can afford.
This guide offers some helpful suggestions on how to find those bargains a little more often than just waiting to stumble across them. A critical thing to remember is that supply and demand determine the price of an item. Therefore the most basic tactic to remember is always try to buy while demand is low.
That isn't always possible though, so these other tactics should help you find the best deal possible.
Buy Items During the Week
An example of Auctioneer displaying an items value
Prices generally fluctuate fairly slowly over time. However, there is a weekly jump in prices that happens on the weekend when more players are on. More buyers available means that prices generally go up. This is true for the chat channels and the auction house. If you need something, plan it out and buy during the week.
Buy Items Off Peak Demand Time
The buy low - sell high theory applies to almost everything, however it applies even more so to certain items or at certain times. Some examples are:
- If you need that one last card for your Darkmoon Faire deck, it is best to plan ahead and buy it once the faire has just left. Card prices rise quite dramatically in the few days before the faire arrives and while it is active. Mid month after it has left though, the cards sell for much less.
- Gems, leather kits, enchanting materials, scopes, etc just before a big release of items. This has applied to every big release such as the arena seasons, Patch 2.4 badge loot and more. Once people gain access to new items, they need to re-gem, enchant, etc them. This drives up the prices significantly. For season 3 the price of a 12 stamina gem on 1 server was 50 gold the week before the release and 150 gold for 3 weeks after.
Check the Channels in Cities and Look for a Bargain
Many times you can post in a trade channel asking for an item for a set price and get it. This could be much less than the going auction house price. Sometimes players are even spamming great deals at busy times, just to clear out space and to not have to wait for an item to sell.
It never hurts to ask for an item you are looking for, and neither does it hurt to try to bargain with a seller trying to get a better price.
Ask your Friends and Guild mates
Maybe your guild bank has what you need?
This one may seem obvious, however many times people forget. I have had it occur several times where a fried bought something they needed, that I had just kicking around in my bank. I would have happily given it to them, or at least sold it to them at a discounted price.
If you are in a guild, you may want to check the guild bank as well. I know that our guild bank has more stuff than will ever realistically be used. Maybe it has what you need. Just remember to always ask first, before you take something.
Look For Bargains in the Auction House Tuesday Mornings
Many times players forget about downtime when posting auctions. Very often you can find items that have a short amount of time left on them in the auction house just before server restarts.
Put in a cheap bid just before the shutdown and scoop up the deals!
The ultimate way to find bargains is with the program Auctioneer, which can be found here in our UI Mods section.
The Auctioneer interface in the Auctionhouse
Auctioneer does many things, however, the two key things it does are:
- It tracks the price of every item it sees in a database for future reference. This can be found any time by loading Auctioneer and hovering over an item.
- It shows the relative price of an item in the auction house to its historical price. This means that if you see an item selling for 100 gold, it lets you know that the price is 50% of normal or 150% of normal, so that you can easily see if you are getting a deal or not.
Once you learn to use this tool, it is possible to find many bargains on items. Probably many of which you do not really need. Pick them up anyway, to turn around and sell them for a profit. That way, even when you have to pay full price for something, you will have the gold to do it.
For more details on Auctioneer itself and how to use it check out our Auctioneer guide.