As a Mage in my early levels I struggled to make gold. One reason for this was my lack of skill in the Auction House. Over the years I’ve sought out those players renowned for their gold making and compiled a list of some of their most successful Auction House strategies. In this post I will reveal some of these Auction House Secrets by comparing and contrasting the gold making strategies across two different Auction House markets. This post is part of Cold’s Gold Blogging Carnival.
Markets within Markets
When players come together in the Auction House to buy and sell goods, we have a market. There are literally thousands of items on the Auction House which can be overwhelming for players new to trading. So, it helps to group related item together to make things more manageable. These groups of traded items can also be thought of as individual markets. An example would be the markets of Jewelcrafting and Pets.
Some markets in WoW are bigger than others and all have their own particular characteristics such as volatility and competition. Jewelcrafting is a very popular profession among players and so can experience high levels of trading, depending on the population of the server; the market in pets, while being a smaller market, can be very competitive. Again, the level of competition and market volatility will vary from server to server, but in general these facts hold true.
Many players get frustrated when they enter a market for the first time and experience the heat of competition resulting in their trades lingering on the Auction House only to wither and expire. Players can reduce competition in a market by finding niche items to trade. These items are often overlooked by other players who focus only on the most popular items.
An example in the Jewelcrafting market might be trading in a particular cut of gem. If every player on your server is flooding the Auction House with cuts of Brilliant Inferno Ruby, you might have more success trading in cuts of Flashing Inferno Ruby or cuts of some of the lesser known gems. Finding niche items to trade in the bigger markets, such as Jewelcrafting, is often easier than some of the smaller markets. But it can still be done.
In the Pet market for example, I like to trade in all pets. These include both vendor and crafted pets. Competition in the vendor pet market can be very fierce (at least on my server) and so I tend to trade more in mechanical pets because I have an Engineering alt at the level of Illustrious Grand Master. This gives me enough of an edge to make a profit on most trades with a tolerable level of competition.
Become a Specialist
If you really want to want to reduce competition and make some serious profit then become a specialist in a particular market. Seek out all the hard to find recipes associated with your crafting profession (you do have one, right?) and craft those items that few other competitors have access to. An example in the Pet market would be the crafting of the Mechanical Toad which can sometimes sell for thousands of gold.
Don’t Blindly Uncut
You can be sure that when listing an item on the Auction House, someone will come along and uncut you. But that’s ok. Don’t panic, it’s their loss and not necessarily yours. You don’t have to always uncut a competitor, depending on the market. In the Jewelcrafting market I rarely uncut items that I know have a high turnover, such as certain cuts of Inferno Ruby or those uncommon gems required for the JC daily. Very often, I’ll list my items at or above the market price, knowing that eventually trade volumes will be enough to meet my price.
With the Pet market things can be a little different. Turnover is normally much less and those competitors undercutting have the advantage. In this market, where some items move more slowly, I’m more likely to undercut a competitor and even cancel an auction to re-list at a more competitive price. However, I’m not that crazy that I’ll undercut at any cost. In the end it’s about making a profit.
Does It Stack Up
I’ll often out-sell a competitor by varying the stack size of an item to make it more desirable or convenient for a potential buyer. When it comes to the listing of uncut gems in the JC market, I always list my items in stacks of three. This is because players participating in the JC daily need this number to complete the quest. I’ll always beat those players who list single items, even if my price is set slightly higher.
In the Pet Market, few players need more than one Mechanical Yeti, so I tend to list my mechanical pets as singles. I also tend to list just one or two items at a time because I know I’m likely to get undercut and will have to cancel my trade.
More Time Cost Money, Friend
It cost gold to list an item on the Auction House and the price rises in line with duration. In the JC market I save quite a bit of gold by listing frequently traded items for a duration of 12hrs rather than 48hrs.
In the Pet market where competition for Mechanical Yeti’s on my server is high, I’ll also list for a duration of 12hrs; however, for those items like the Mechanical Toad where there is less competition but less demand, I’m more inclined to list for the for 48hr duration.
The Auction House has many markets that you can participate in. Try to operate in several markets, but don’t become too stretched. It can take time to get to know the subtleties of any given market. I always recommend players try to specialise in those markets associated with one of their primary professions.
Reduce competition in a market by looking for the niche markets within a market. Try to specialise and become your server expert, giving you a trading edge. The master in this technique is Cold of Cold’s Gold Factory who has written a lovely guide on the selling of Mysterious Fortune Cards, a niche market within the bigger and highly competitive Inscription market.
Finally, don’t leave gold on the table by continual undercutting. This is often the result of players blindly following the settings of their Auction House addon. Keep a careful eye on stack size and remember it cost you gold the longer you list an item.
Related Posts, Articles and Guides by Marcus Ty
- On The Trading of Pets
- Jewelcrafting Gold Making Tips
- The 5 Goblin Principles of Auction House Trading