The Glengarry Drops

A short article on WoW.com today about pricing items for auction reminded of something. The article is about undercutting in the AH—have a glance.

The Good Leads

I was confronted, I was!

One day I went to the AH to sell my usual wares and there was one item, I forget what, that I’d been selling off and on so I knew what the price was like. I don’t recall precisely but it was something like 20 gp per stack.

When I spoke to the auctioneer I saw the price for the item was very high, 35 gp. Also, quite a bit of it had been bought by one person. Oh, someone’s trying to corner the market was the first and obvious thought that came to me.

I decided to sell to the corner guy—because if there’s any way to guarantee a sell, it’s to sell to the guy who’s buying everything.

‘Man doesn’t come on the lot lest he wants to buy.’

I don’t mind it in the slightest if I sell something to someone trying to corner the market. I price items to move and I make a profit by moving product because anything I sell is profit—I don’t actively farm anything for selling, my inventory comes from things that fall in my lap.

If anyone buys anything I’m happy. I don’t sweat losing 5 gp here or there. Frankly, it’s not worth my time to get that granular and eke out every possible coin. So I set my price at 25, which was still with fluxuation of normal price but significantly lower than the corner’s price of 35.

‘6,000 gold pieces. You just cost me 6,000 gold pieces.’

I almost immediately got an in-game mail telling me that I was doing it wrong and that “I was collapsing the market” and “didn’t I know what I was doing?”

I wasn’t collapsing the market and I did know what I was doing: Selling at a reasonable price, a price established by the buyers until that point, and a price that would move the product. You, kind sir, have only lost money because you’ve priced the item way higher than normal and are insane.

‘You know what it takes to sell on the Auction House?’

I don’t know if that fellow was acting alone or, as the article suggested, working as part of some kind of half-assed mythical consortium. It’s moot either way. Anyone may participate in the market and there is no “us” to either kowtow to or be afraid of. The Auction House is a free market where you may sell a purple for a copper piece or a gray for a thousand gold. The only risk is the AH fee for that item.

‘You see this watch?’

My stacks were bought up, the corner had priced things too high and his product de-listed, and the market returned to normal. Did I lose gold anywhere? Sure. But I’d already made money by selling anything, at all, at any price. In my mind, since I hadn’t made any effort to get the product anyway, the whole 25 was profit.

If he bought mine at 25 and sold it for 35, his profit is still less than half of mine, is how I looked at it.

‘I’m from downtown.’

I don’t have grand advice for selling on the AH other than the painfully obvious: Price to sell.

I used to use the addon Auctioneer but it became far too tiresome an activity for me, particularly waiting 15 minutes for it to scan the Auction House. So I abandoned it and used no auction addon for years.

But for the past few weeks I’ve been using Auctionator, which is really very simple: You drag an item to sell onto its panel, it scans the AH only for that item (which takes just a couple seconds, if that) and prices your item at just below the current lowest price by a couple gold.

In short, it does what I always do but quicker. No tricks, fancy math, or waiting 15 minutes doing nothing—just straight up focused selling. I’ve been making bank lately (I’m on my way to buying one of those fancy 16K mammoths) just from this simple process.

And, of course, from doing my daily quests. 😉

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Geek. (But so are you!)

Posted on March 17, 2010, in World of Warcraft. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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