How to play the auction house in World of Warcraft for fun and profit. Part 4
By jimbodan 07-06-2008 06:26 PM
Ok, in this installment of the series we are going to start actually searching the AH for deals! I'm going to do my best to walk you through a typical search and provide some general guidelines on what to look for and what to stay away from.
Oh yeah one more thing I probably should have mentioned earlier, you probably don't want to do all your auctioning with your main character. Just make a level 1 alt, run him/her to the nearest capital city and then only log on that character to scan and play the AH. That way you don't have to stop what you're doing and run your main around. You just have to log off and then log on to your auction house alt and you are reading to scan and buy/sell whenever you want. You also should send that character a little bit of gold to get started. How much is up to you, although I would recommend starting small until you build up some confidence. If you have a ton of gold already, maybe start with 50-100g. If you only have a couple hundred, then maybe start with 25g or so. If you have less then that then go with 5-10g. If you are starting fresh somewhere with no gold, then it is very important you get together at least 5 gold or so to start with asap. A good way to do this is to keep a couple alts in a busy capital city (Org. for Horde, or Stormwind for Alliance) and look for players that are paying people to sign their guild charter. Also I'd recommend taking 2 gathering professions and selling the stuff you get from them to help build your initial bankroll.
First off though I'm going to assume that you have read parts 1-3. If not, please go read them! I'm also going to assume that you have a basic grasp of auctioneer. IE: you know how to scan with both auctioneer classic and auctioneer advanced. I'm also going to assume that you have been scanning 2-3 times a day for at least 3-4 days. I can't stress enough how important it is that you give auctioneer a good amount of data before you start trying to play the auction house.
Now before we start I thought I'd give a little explanation about what we will be doing. Basically what we do by using auctioneer is get the average market price of every item that we have scanned multiple times. How we do this is of course by using auctioneer. Each time it sees something it remembers the price and computes the average price of the item based on every time it has seen it in a scan. This is called the "Market Price". Now we what we do, and how we make money is by scanning our searches and looking for stuff that is priced way below this market price, then we re-list it for closer to the market price and hopefully turn a profit. That is how we make our money.
Ok, now to start making money! First log on and make sure auctioneer is loaded (if you've installed it correctly and make sure to enable it in the add on menu it will load automatically when you talk to one of the in-game auctioneers). Head over to an auction house in one of the capital cities, Walk up to your favorite in-game auctioneer and right click on them. Then hit the scan button like you always do, to start scanning. It's important that you scan again first. The reason for this is we will be using auctioneers "Search Auctions" functions and this relies on first doing a scan so that it has recent data to search from. What this function does is take the data from your MOST RECENT scan of the AH and then search it for deals based on criteria you set.
Once your scan is finished, click any category and then click search. This is just to make sure Auctioneer Advanced processes the data you got from scanning with auctioneer classic (I've covered this in one of the other installments also). Next click on the "Search Auctions" tab down below. You will a bunch of different options to configure, there is the one I like to use:
Change the first option from "Bids" to "Buyouts" via the drop down menu. I should probably say right now I pretty much only use buyouts. I don't the patience to constantly monitor bids to see if I've been out bid and need to re-bid, you can mess around with bidding if you want, but this guide won't cover it. Next change the "Min. Profit" to between 2-3 gold I usually go with 3 gold, but if you aren't starting with much money you can go a little lower. Min. Bid should be blank. Now go and change "Min. Pct. less" to 50. This is the percent under the average that auctioneer will look for. you could go 30% percent less, although I prefer deals in the 50% or less range. In "Category Restrictions" change it to "all". Finally under "Quality" set it to "Common". Then in the top left box type in "All" (or whatever you want to call this search) and hit save. Now it will be saved for anytime you want to search with these options, which should be all the time! Finally hit search.
Now you will see a list of all the items that met your search criteria fill up the left side of the screen, click "Pct." to sort them all by how far under the average price they are. I start from 100% and work my way back. When you see something that looks like it may be a good deal move your mouse over the picture of the item and look at the data. The main thing you want to focus on are "Suggest Price", "7 Day Average", and lastly how many times auctioneer has seen the item. I wouldn't trust anything it hasn't seen at least 20 times.
Now go up and down the list and look for bargains! It's going to take time to know the stuff to jump on and the stuff to stay away from. I can't possibly list everything good and bad, but I will give some general tips.
Stay away from green weapons and armor. For the most part they don't sell for the high prices you may see. The exceptions to this are green weapons/armor that are level 19,29, or 39 and have stamina, intellect, agility, and strength. Stay away from anything with spirit on it, it's mostly a useless stat for people leveling or for twinks (the people that use the 19,29,39 stuff). Also stay away from anything that can be bought from a vendor. You may see a joker trying to sell stuff like Mining Picks, common food and water, etc... for high prices. Don't buy this crap. If you are unsure of something, that is what Wowhead and WoWecon are for. Don't be afraid to search for the item on those sites and see what prices they list and also where the item comes from. Stuff to look for includes trade goods, especially stuff like Ore, Herbs, Aldor/Scryer Rep items, Primals, etc.. Each server's economy is different so the prices will vary. Also look for blue (rare) patterns, weapons, and armor that are severely under priced. In fact, what I do is make another saved search just for trade goods. Keep all the other settings the same except change pct. less to 30 and category restrictions to trade goods. type in a new name and save that search also. Finally I like to manually scan weapons, armor and recipes. What I do is go back to the "Browse Tab", click on Weapons, change the rarity box to "Rare" then click search sort by pct. less and look for stuff in the 0%-50% range. I do the same for armor. Just remember there are multiple pages so look through them all. For recipes, I change the rarity to "Uncommon" as there are a lot of uncommon recipes that sell for a lot of gold and most people think that anything uncommon is junk and price them very cheap.
Now once you find and buy your deals, head over to your mailbox grab the items and head back over the auction house to sell them. I'll probably cover this in more detail later on in another part, but for right now I'll just tell you real quick what I like to do. First I look at the item and see what auctioneer's suggested price is, next I search for the item in the auction house to see what others are selling it for. Then I set my price based on the 2. I try to almost always undercut my competition as well as stay a little below auctioneers recommended price. I get the stuff super cheap, so my profit margins are big and I don't want to fool around with re-listing the same thing over and over. I want it to sell, and sell fast. Keep in mind that every item you list (with a few exceptions) carries a deposit when you list it. If the item doesn't sell you lose that money forever, so obviously you want your stuff to sell the first time you list it.
Well that's about it for now. Keep up the scanning and searching and hopefully you will begin to understand the AH as well as your servers economy and will start to a good grasp on what to buy. It will take some patience and some practice. You will also most likely make some mistakes, just try to limit them and learn from them. Remember, don't trust auctioneer 100%, use your brain and wowhead / wowecon if in doubt.
|Comments (Total Comments: 4)|
|lordwow - 07-06-2008, 08:05 PM|
|Prophet Five - 07-07-2008, 02:40 PM|
|jimbodan - 07-07-2008, 06:49 PM|
|Canadianhobo - 03-17-2009, 03:26 PM|
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