Friday, January 1

WoW Auctioneer Strategy Guide

Gaming the Auction House is no doubt the most profitable way to earn gold in World of Warcraft. Best of all, it doesn't involve any grinding and doesn't get as repeatitive as MMORPGs usually do in the long run. Insteads you get the excitement of taking risks and playing with your gold like it was gambling.

Making money in the Auction House is all about your personal skills and having the right tools. Thanks to many helpful AddOns it doesn't take that much of your time. You'll need to do stuff on the Auction House constantly but you necessarily don't need to spend too many hours at a time on it. This guide teaches everything from getting started with the Auctioneer AddOn to some very advanced strategies that some people are using right now to make hundreds of gold per day.

Starting Out

1. Install Auctioneer AddOn - Must have

Auctioneer AddOn automatizes the process of finding great deals for you. It does in few minutes what would take you hours to do manually. This AddOn is a must for anyone planning to earn serious gold in the AH.

  • Auctioneer

2. Install CT Mail AddOn - Must have

CT Mail will simply make your mailbox usage quicker. It enables you to mail up to 21 items at one click of a button and also move multiple items at once from your mailbox to your bags.

3. Create a level 1 "mule" Character

You certainly don't want to play the Auction House with your main character. That would be a huge waste of because you can have an alternate character live in the Auction House city insteads doing nothing but bidding, selling and carrying tons of items. When your main character finds loot, you can mail it to your alternate character and save a slot in your bags.

4. Get to the closest city with an Auction House

Alliance Auction Houses are at Ironforge, Stormwind and Darnassus. Horde Auction Houses are at Undercity, Orgrimmar and Thunder Bluff. Starting points for most races are near cities so you shouldn't have much trouble getting your level 1 toon to the closest city.

How It Works

5. Do A Scan

When first starting out, you should do multiple scans per day. After a few days and 10+ scans your Auctioneer has enough information to start giving accurate price estimations. After that you should try to do scans as often as possible. The more you scan, the more deals you'll find. The important thing here is to not not rush to buying items after a couple of scans just because Auctioneer says that you will make a big profit. Remember that Auctioneer is probably way off on its price estimations at this point.

Just open the auction window and click Scan the button:

6. Find Some Good Deals

After doing scans for a few days Auctioneer should have a good enough grasp on historical average prices for the most common items. You can now start searching the Auction House for items with the biggest profit potential.

Use the Search Auctions tab:

Auctioneer search options:

At first you should concentrate on finding items with a small absolute profit (Minimum Profit) but a high relative profit (Minimum Percent Less). This enables you to quickly earn some gold that you can spend on higher profit auctions.

Guidelines for searching auctions:
  • Always search for Buyouts first, then for Bids. This is because your gold gets 'locked' in the auction for a while when you bid and that gold is out of your budget for making instant profit with Buyout auctions. Always set Maximum Time Left to Short or Medium when searching for Bids (not Buyouts). Otherwise you'll end up bidding on auctions with as much time as 24 hour left.
  • Search for high Minimum Percent Less first. This is pretty obvious. You want to make maximum profit so always prefer to put your money on as high margin auctions as possible. For example you could search for 90% Minimum Percent Less and move on to 80%, 50%, etc until you've spent all of your current cash.
  • Grow the Minimum Profit by time while you get richer. First you have to set the Minimum Profit to something like 50 silver because those are the only items you can afford. Then you should grow that over time to 1 gold, 2 gold, 5 gold and so forth as you get a bigger budget.

7. Pick up and relist the items

When you are just starting out you might want to relist your items immediately after buying them to grow your gold reserves as quickly as possible. Later when you deal with tons of items it might be wiser to empty your mailbox only once per day. This enables you to better stay on track with all the items you're dealing with.

8. Stay on the city and do scans as often as you can

Auctioneer bases it's estimations on historical information from your past scans so the accuracy of price estimation for an item completely depends on how many times the item has been up for bidding in the Auction House when ever you have scanned. This means that more you scan, the more deals you'll find and the more money you'll make. It's as simple as that. Remember that you can do what ever you want while scanning. Take a shower, eat, exercise or alt+tab to your desktop and surf the web.

Advanced Strategies

1. Beginner strategies

When you're just starting out it's naturally better to concentrate on low level items and keep your profit per item low. World of Warcraft charges higher listing fees for items that high level/rare items and you definedly don't want to put your too much gold to put on listing fees at this point. It's a good idea to put additional weight on buying enchants because those items have no listing fees at all.

2. When to scan and bid?

Scan as often as possible. You can run the scan while doing daily tasks elsewhere. Remember that every scan is an opportunity to find great deals before someone else does. The most important time to scan at is late Sunday or Monday morning when people are selling the loot they found during weekend. Also scan on late Tuesdays before the server goes down for maintenance.

3. Timing and pricing right

  • Try to sell your stuff on Sundays. That's when people have the most time to play so it's natural that people do msot of their shopping on Sundays too.
  • Always use 24 hour auctions. This is how you get the most bang for your buck. 24 hour auctions give you the biggest visibility and the listing fee isn't that much higher.
  • Always set a buyout price. There is just no reason to sell without a buyout price. Gamers expect things to happen instantly and winning an auction is no exception.
  • Use a low minimum bid even when your buyout price is higher than your competitor's. This is because the Auction Window is sorted by minimum bid price, not by buyout price and this way you can get to the top.
  • Use the 9.99 pricing format over an exact 10.00. There is a reason why real world stores do so and you should use it too. This type of pricing makes your auction look cheaper and it also signals that you carefully set a competitive price instead of just throwing an overpriced ballpark figure out there.

4. Be careful with uncommon items

Auctioneer often gets it's price estimations horribly wrong with less common items. A major reason for this is that there are people who constantly overprice their auctions either by accident or purposely. For less common items this may have a really heave effect on price estimations. You shouldn't blindly trust Auctioneer on what ever it says or you'll end up paying expensive listing fees for items that never sell for the price Auctioneer thinks they do. Be especially careful with high level blue and epic items have very expensive listing fees.

5. Watch the trade channels

You should keep an eye on the trade channels for people trying to sell items you're familiar with. Make them an offer that's something like 50% of the going price and if you're lucky you might do a nice profit. You can also go to buy stuff 'straight from the source' on the zone where you know something is being farmed/gathered and then mail it to the AH to be sold for profit.

6. Monopolize niche markets

Trying to monopolize a market in the Auction House is maybe the most exciting and most risky business move you can make in WoW. When doing this you should first identify a group of items that there is a constant demand but limited supply for. Then you decide on a price point to list your items for and commit to buy all competing auctions below that price point out of the market. Lastly you can relist your competitors' items at your own price and if everything goes well you'll own the market and sell at your own price. Doing this requires some effort but once you learn to do it right, it can be very profitable.

7. Limit your spendings

Once you start getting richer you need to start putting gold in reserve insteads of spending it on low profit auctions. This is very important because otherwise you could lose a huge deal just because you just spent all your gold on something that makes only a 10% profit.

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