Auction House WoW Gold Guide

Introduction: Welcome to the auction house, where the goblins take your items and sell them for you at a small fee. Problem is, a large majority of the community lacks the basic understanding of the fact that the auction house is not just somewhere to sell items. The auction house is a fountain of knowledge regarding item pricing. It is the Azeroth stock market we all invest in. Most importantly, it is the foundation for our economy. Now, mastering the foundation of an economy is next to impossible in real life, as there are thousands of aspects of it. But in Warcraft, you have only to master; the auction house. Master this, and the magic chariot carrying the all those gold coins will arrive right on your doorstep.

Welcome, to Auction House 101, an in-depth guide by the one and only Venorize, exclusively written for X-Elerated Warcraft Guides

Disclaimer: This guide will not a guide to farm auctioneers themself. Leave the poor auctioneers alone, they only have ~3k health and can not defend for themselves! Thanks. -The GCA (The Goblin Community of Auctioneers).

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Table of Contents:

1: General Information
1-A: Auction Houses, Who What Where When WHY !
1-B: Mechanics Of The Auction Window.
1-C: Deposit's and Auction Cuts.
1-D: The Hard Facts

2: Preparing for World Auction House Domination
2-A: Another Life To Stash Your Cash
2-B: Learning The Needs Of The People
2-C: Mastering The Professions

3: Bribing The Goblins & Farming Their House
3-A: The Categories of the Economy
3-B: Time Left: Short
3-C: Creating a Monopoly
3-D: Taking care of advantage of the weak.

4: The Best Advantage Of All: Addons
4-A: About These Wonders
4-B: Auctioneer
4-C: Auctioneer
4-D: Market Watcher

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1: General Information

1-A: Auction Houses, Who What Where When WHY !

Auction houses are located in every major city for both the Horde and Alliance. Horde auction houses can only display items up for sale by horde, and likewise for the alliance. There is an auction house in Dalaran and Shattrath, but these link back to your home cities. The other faction may not see these auctions either.

Auction houses can also be found in Gadgetzan, Everlook, and Booty Bay. Ratchet does not have one, as auctioneers lives were in danger from the crossfire of alliance attacks. These auction houses are Neutral Auctions... also called Cross-Faction Auction Houses. Any auctions here are viewable by any player, regardless of faction. They do not link to the city auctions however, so viewing auctions here means you only see items posted at neutral auctions. There is two upsides and one downside. The upsides are that a different audience of players can view your items now, and faction-specific items can be exchanged here (Example; Horde buying pets from Alliance Rewards at the Argent Tournament Grounds). The downside, other than the extra travel time to get here, is that the auction house costs are higher. More on this topic covered in 1-C.

Generally when doing some heavy auction house farming for long periods of time, you want to move away from the capital cities. Ironforge and Stormwind are generally the most crowded for the alliance, Orgrimmar for the horde. Generally you would want to avoid these if you experience any type of lag at all. Dalaran is generally one of the more lag-related cities, although now very peaceful and quiet. Every other city is pretty good, and there are banks close to every auction house.

1-B: Mechanics Of The Auction Window.

Okay so now were past the very basics, now onto some mechanics. You know the window, but do you know the mechanics Believe it or not, there are players who do not know that if you click on the "Time Left" button, it sort's the entire auction house by the time remaining on each auction. So lets cut right to those tabs.

Rarity | Lvl | Time Left | Seller | Current Bid

Rarity - Sorting by rarity does two features. First, obviously it sort's by the rarity of the item. Poor -> Common -> Uncommon (Green) -> Rare (Blue) -> Epic (EPIX!). Second, if sorted with epic's listed first. it places the Cheapest item first.

Lvl - Sorting by level, enough said.

Time Left - An extremely profitable mechanic. Sorts by the auctions that are going to expire the quickest. Short (1-30 min), Medium (30min-2hr), Long(2hr-12hr), Very Long(12hr-48hr). More tips and tricks about this in section: 3-B.

Seller - Not really a big deal except in rare circumstances.

Current Bid - Okay now were talking tricky! No really, pay attention. It's called CURRENT BID. Not current 'buyout' or current 'price'. If you sort by this feature, it will sort the lowest bidding prices. (EXAMPLE: Someone with an item at 3g bid and 10g buyout, will have their item listed before an item at 5g bid and 5g buyout.) Generally most people just buyout an item they want rather than wait. Buyout prices won't be listed cheapest first with this tab, only the rarity tab.

1-C: Deposit's and Auction Cuts.

When placing an auction, it costs a deposit. When an auction sells, we get our deposit back, but we lose a cut of the final price. We lose our deposit if the auction does not sell, which is to prevent people from asking completely unbelievable prices (and hoping someone mis-clicks) without having to pay to do so. Generally, these are common things we all know, but here it will be broken down to it's math. Just how much money are we losing

Every item has an MSV, a Merchant Sell Value. The MSV determines the costs for deposits.

Alliance/Horde Auction Houses
Deposit (12hr) = 15% of item's MSV
Deposit (24hr) = 30% of item's MSV
Deposit (48hr) = 60% of item's MSV

Neutral Auction Houses (These are much more expensive, hence the downside listed in section 1-A.)
Deposit (12hr) = 75% of item's MSV
Deposit (24hr) = 150% of item's MSV
Deposit (48hr) = 300% of item's MSV

So for example, an item with an MSV of 100 gold, will cost you a pretty 60 gold deposit to auction up for 48 hours.

When an auction is sold, those greedy goblins running the show take a cut. In City auction houses, you only lose 5% of your total sale. However in neutral ones, you lose a whooping 15% of your profits!

1-D: The Hard Facts

Here's a quick list of auction house facts.

- The Auction House timer for expiring auctions works off server time. Even if a server is offline, that timer will tick, and auctions can expire during offline hours, server restarts, and maintenance days.
- You can NOT switch to a character on the same account, and buyout your own auctions to save a deposit fee.

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2: Preparing for World Auction House Domination

2-A: Another Life To Stash Your Cash

How many Common (White) items have come across your path, entered your bags, and then been sold straight to the vendor How many times have you needed something that in the past you know you've vendored
Let's face it, when it comes to bank and bag space, blizzard really knows how to limit us, to make us think and have to make decisions. That is why the community invented things called Bank Characters long before WoW even existed. A "Bank Character" is an alt character on your account, used basically as storage. Most bank characters are in their own guild by themselves, for the purpose of using a guild bank for extended space. With 7 bag slots at 20 or more slots, and dozens more in a guild bank window, you have all the space you would ever need. While guild tabs can get costly, generally most people only need one or two at most.

Note: The following is considered a Long-Term plan to help with future auction house endeavors.
So what's this all getting at SAVE EVERYTHING. Do not vendor white trash. Do not vendor anything that has potential value to another player in the game. Over months or years, depending how often you play and your play-style, you can accumulate hundreds of stacks of items that you would have otherwise never farmed or thought twice about. At this point you can start selling stacks of things that almost nobody farms, but a fair amount of players want. This is proven, and a lot of people do it, but it is a long term idea.

In a few months, check that banker's stash in full. You should have been keeping up on things mailed to it and sorted them as you played. You'll find you have stacks and stacks of gems, gear, cloths, materials, and so on. It's incredible how quickly these things add up, and how valuable the stacks can be.
How does this relate to the auction house Well you'll find that there are times you've stored up stacks of an item that nobody farms. Hence they are worth money. These sell usually pretty quick, so go!

Even without using the long term plan of hoarding items from main characters, you'll find that once you get into the auction house, buying and selling in large quantities will cause your bags to fill quickly... and the extra space on your bank character will come in handy very quickly.

2-B: Learning The Needs Of The People

This is generally the thinking portion. If you don't like to think, too bad! I command you, go get a snack and then come back to learn!

Now lets break down the entire world of warcraft game into sections of what comes into the auction house and what leaves the auction house.

Types of players (and yes, people can be more than one type):
- Quester - Farmer - Raider - PvPer

Quester - Generally a player who quests bring's in everything, because you farm as you quest just by looting creatures. Quest rewards means easy gold, increasing the economy cash flow, and quest items. All disenchanters will disenchant gear they no longer use, and many sell the materials they do not need. So questers provide materials for professions, mostly for enchanting, leatherworking, and tailoring.
- What do they take Many questers use very little, some use potions but most survive on their own. Questers are usually players leveling, and upgrading gear. So it's safe to say questers generally take out almost as much gear as they put into the auction house, as well as up the Glyph sales.

Farmer - Farmers generally bring in everything. They bring in at least half of all items listed on an auction house. They generally only take out what they need such as potions/elixers, but and very seldomly as they get many from farming to begin with. Generally, they buy/have the best bags to make their time out in the open the most valuable.

Raider - Raiders generally bring in rare and epic BoE equipment. They do bring in enchanting mats from their upgrades, but they buy far more materials from professions that they provide. Raiders also have the greatest need for potions/elixers/flasks/scrolls, and over half of the market for gems are sold to raiders.

PvPer - Providing nearly nothing to the auction house, they generally takes out the same as a raider, considerably less potions/flasks, but nearly the same amounts of gems and enchanting materials.

Generally everything discussed above is simplified like this:



See a few terms show up a few more than others Well now you know what sells faster than other items. Faster sellers generally have lower costs, as Supply and Demand works it's magic fingers. Items with lower demand will have higher costs. we also see that questers and farmers supply the auction house, raiders and pvpers demand and take from it.

WHY IS THIS ALL IMPORTANT : Remember that 'thinking' stuff I said we would have to do We learned that Raiders and PvPvers Demand the most. Farmers and Questers Supply the most. With me here Good, lets break this down one last time:

Quester - Consistently active, consistently questing.

Farmer - Consistently active and farming. Farmers tend to be more hardcore players, which play all week long.

Raider - 90% of guilds raid on weekdays. Most start monday-friday (or thursday for 4-day raiding guilds). Tuesday is the biggest raiding day, and when all guilds raid. All raids reset, and nearly everyone raids. Flasks, potions, will sell best on this day to raiders, mostly during the afternoon and evening server hours. Gems and enchants, will sell best in the late evening through the early morning hours, as raiders show up with what gear they snatched at their raids.

PvPer - Generally, Pvpers pvp all week long, but more-so on the weekends becuse well... theres more of them, and Battleground-Holiday-Weekends. On the weekends, there is more players online and more players doing battlegrounds. Also, theres rarely many raid's on weekends, so players take this time to pvp. So the economic effect from pvpers will be active most at this time.

Ah, you are starting to understand, young grasshopper. Certian days and certian hours are Much better for attempting to manipulate the auction house! Every server and every guild and every player is different, but these are the most popular trends world-wide.

2-C: Mastering The Professions

There are two big things to realize here. You can profit by leveling a profession, and you can profit after it's maxed. Let's look at every profession and see it's strengths and weaknesses in relation towards auction house success.

Alchemy: You've got it made. Most guild leaders require raiders to flask or pot up. Most riders do so on their own trying to accomplish raids. So 5 times a week, the auction house gets bombarded for hours on end by raiders stocking up for their upcoming raid. You've got a dozen other ways to make profits, and the auction house will help you even more.

Archaeology: The only profit is when you Survey a node, you can get artifact tablets. These tablets are items that can help you complete an artifact faster. They are BoE, and sellable on the auction house.

Blacksmithing: Not much to say here. Pull up your beastly hammer, make rare armors and weapons, sell for profit! There is not a high demand for these, so selling is difficult, AH cuts will be high, but one sale can pay the electric bill for a month! As long as new patterns come out in raids, this profession can continue to flourish throughout the entire expansion.

Cooking: Consumables for raiders and pvpers are a common must, and if you can cook those special foods that are used so often to boost stats, your looking at good profits. Bigger profits for those who have fishing up to par with their cooking.

Enchanting: Selling enchants is rough on the auction house unless someone wants a specific enchant. There is no valid system of browsing enchanted Vellums. All Vellums are considered level 1, and every enchant of every level type will show up on a vague search. Your best profits lay in selling extra materials from your own disenchanting. HOWEVER, you can search the AH.. search all armors by certain level ranges, buy gear that's cheap, disenchant it, and sell the materials for more. An example would be buying level 83-85 greens for 1-30 gold, disenchanting, and reselling the materials you got for 25-75 gold.

Engineering: Generally not a money making profession. Profession-Bags you can create are so common, their price is incredibly low. Anything else you can make is only useable by other engineers. Your best profits rely in selling raw materials you make or farm from mechanical creatures. As of Cata, engineering has more pets with higher value to sell as well. Finally, we have guns. Yet sadly, we have no ammo. With ammunition changes to the game, engineers no longer make it because it currently does not exist. So life is a bit harder for engineers and their ammo farming market... and guns is a difficult market due to the expenses and low needs for them.

First Aid: No market here. Anyone who can use bandages sold on the auction house can make them cheaper.

Fishing: Bigger profits for those who have cooking up to par with their fishing.

Flying: Yes, blizzard has classified this as a profession. No, you can not profit from it by using the auction house. No, you can not fly a goblin auctioneer over the ocean and threaten to drop him if he doesn't give you all the battered hilt's on the auction house. No, I will not be your accomplice.

Herbalism: A farming profession, so naturally profits follows suite. Farm and sell. Research the most common potions made, and try to nab more of the herbs that make them. Flask related mats are crucial.

Inscription: Very profitable to a point. Every new character will need to buy glyphs eventually. An alt that progresses towards max level will need all glyphs. Problem is, your competing against many other inscriptionists and a very small market of players to sell to. Stick towards selling consumables such as scrolls. Scrolls are counted as elixers, and are very strong since cataclysm. The ability to stack scrolls with buffs and cast on friends can make these very appealing once word spreads.

Jewelcrafting: Gems, Gems, Gems. Enough said. Basically all max level players will need and want them. And raiders and PvPers will gem each new piece they get as they progress. There is a big market here, as there has been since the burning crusade. One of the greatest tricks many jewelcrafters pick up on is that raw gems are easy to come by, and sold cheaper than any cut gems on the auction house. Purchase raw gems, cut them into the lovely jewels we all hate, and then repost them for the going rate.

Leatherworking: Like blacksmithing, you make equipment, you sell it. As long as new patterns appear throughout the future, rare and powerful BoE equipment can profit greatly in it's small market. Leg Enchants are most important, being consumable, raiders and pvpers will require these consistantly.

Mining: A farming profession, so naturally profits follows suite. Farm and sell. Generally with mining, hardcore farming for long hours and selling the bars can go a long way, as simple as it sounds.

Riding: Yes, blizzard classified this as a profession as well. No, this does not entitle a dirty sexual act with specific goblin auctioneers to profit. Sorry.

Skinning: A farming profession, so naturally profits follows suite. Farm and sell. Unlike Mining and Herbalism, Skinning only provides to one profession, mainly to leatherworking. So hard-farming will have a lesser benifit, but still a profitable. Due to this, it is best paired with leatherworking.

Tailoring: Like Leatherworking, you make equipment, you sell it. As long as new patterns appear in the future, you'll be set to make important BoE rares/epics to sell. Leg Enchants are most important, being consumable, raiders and pvpers will require these consistantly.

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3: Bribing The Goblins & Farming Their House

3-A: The Categories of the Economy

Okay time to get to the charts. We all know what the Auction House window looks like. We know the categories... or do we Below, each category is explained, and you can see the areas in which the most focus should be given.



Breaking down the profit area categories will help you get started. Now this ball gets rolling (hope it kills a gnome on it's way!).

Weapon / Armor: This category serves a few purposes. Crafting professions can benifit greatly here, but it is completely dependent on blizzard's release of patterns. As long as new patterns come out as the game and dungeons/gear progress, then this can be a very profitable area for blacksmithing/tailoring/leatherworking. Gear is difficult to sell here, and unless you greatly undercut a going rate, you should not attempt to make this a primary way to make money unless you are experienced in this area. BoE crafted items created from patterns dropped in dungeons and raids (or reputation rewards from raids), are the most valuable and often fetch the highest amounts. If you do not raid, then you have yet another reason to not make this a primary way to profit. Without new patterns, in a few months nobody will want the items you can already make now, and your looking at being unable to sell expensive crafted items. Another feature of these categories as mentioned earlier is for enchanters to search up gear by specific levels to give the maximum amount of dust/shards for an item. In cataclysm, level 83-85 items reap the most benefit. Buying items that are typically cheaper than the cost of dust and shards mean you can double or tripple your money or more, by buying and disenchanting the gear.

Consumable: A big thing about this category is everything is a 1-time use. Meaning there is high demand.. meaning... PROFIT!

Glyph: Once a glyph is learned, you have it forever. This is almost common knowledge now. This means that over time, nearly every max level (and the most active) of players will have all their glyphs. Your market for sales will then turn to new-players and new alts as they level only. With such a selective market, this will make prices fluctuate very high and low amounts on dozens of different glyphs. The market is unpredictable and difficult to farm or profit from. It is not recommend to spend any amount of time in this area.

Trade Goods: There is a lot to cover here. Cloth is the first important thing here. Humanoids drop cloths, and nearly EVERY cloth is worth money. Even linen, yes. Every cloth has it's values, and all clothes should be kept and sold. They are most commonly used in reputation of numerous factions as well as the home city factions. Metal and stone, coves arch stones and mining ores. Meat and Herb are good sections to scavenge through because often people get these without meaning to, and put them onto the auction house and very low prices just to rid them for quick money. Buying and Re-Selling these are fantastic and easy ways to profit. Jewelcrafting doesn't cover gems because obviously gem's has its own meta category. Item enhancement is pretty much a dead category. The only thing that show's on here is Enchanting Vellum, and that is now purchasable from a vendor.

Gem: A jewelcrafter's home, and possibly the bane of existence to a raider and pvper. We all get stuck gemming our gear, and it gets expensive. Gems come from numerous sources other than just being a jewelcrafter or miner. Specific areas, creatures, chests, dungeons, so on... you can find them (I believe in you!).

Okay that's great, we just listed the purpose of each area, but HOW DO WE FARM THEM! Simple, work the auction house as if it was a running stock market. Treat it like you were a stock broker. Buy low, sell high.

3-B: Time Left: Short

Here begins an important section. A trick not often learned by people trying to master the auction house. We learned earlier in the guide about sorting the auctions by the time limit left before they expire. So let's try this. Open the auction house window, and just press search. This will search EVERY ITEM on your faction's auction house. Usually 20-50 thousand items, depending on your server's size. Now press the "Time Left" tab until all items displayed on the page are listed as 'Short'. You'll see something like this.



So above we see auctions sorted by short. Some glyphs, useless holiday items, not much to see on the very first page. So we keep browsing down and find something of interest.



Okay now you see the type of things you are looking for. I guarantee you that even something as vanilla as Solid Stone has a value more than 1 silver 50 copper. There are people who usually do not give a damn about the bid price, they just want their auction buyout price and forget the rest. You could bid on those, knowing they will expire in the next 1-30 minutes and there are slim chances anyone else will bid on it. Obviously the further down the list, the more time is left on an auction.

Eventually you'll start hitting auctions that have a "medium" time limit. Medium is still good to browse, it means there is 30 mintues to 2 hours remaining. Obviously the further down the list of mediums you get, the longer they have from 30 minutes. You won't always find enough prizes in the "shorts", and the mediums are good enough to look at also. Lets look.



Okay now we have something most interesting. full stacks of Tin Bars, an old vanilla item but something nobody really wants to farm. The fact that there is nearly no supply for it makes it worth more on many servers, as goes many old world vanilla profession items. Don't forget, people will need these still to make alt gear, level engineering/blacksmithing, and more. This looks like it has potential, so let's put 'Tin Bar' in the auction house search box and see what comes up. (Yes you would lose your current search, but you can come back to it, those same auctions will still be there in the next 30 minutes - 2 hours).



Now were showing promise! The tin bar stacks we just saw had a bid price of just over 1 gold. Their 15 gold buyout means nearly nobody will even see them when there is better deals on the page. So the current going rate for Tin Bar stacks of 20 is about 7-8 gold. If you buy all 4 stacks in your original search by just placing the bid (and you'll probably win them), that costs you just over 4 gold. Now if you even re-sell them at an undercut of the going rate of (for example) 7 gold even, all 4 stacks would bring in almost 28 gold after cuts. And after these cuts and the cost of buying them, you still profit at least 22 gold. And all of this takes what, 30 seconds to a minute's worth of work 22 gold a minute could put bread on the table at dinner time, don't you think Better than minimum wage!

These are examples remember. There are times where you might find items worth hundreds of gold, and the careless player who placed them up with a bid of a few gold... well..... I think were starting to get the picture. This system takes about 5 to 10 minutes of your time to work, and has potential for very easy profits without having to know much about pricing at all. It's also a fantastic starting point for those who have difficulty farming or figuring out how to get rich like every other player seems to do these days.

3-C: Creating a Monopoly

Follow the example of Walmart and absorb the competition. Without any competitors, your the only Supplier. In an economy of supply and demand, the higher the demand is, the higher the supply must be. With fewer sources to supply something, the few left supplying it can manipulate the situation and take advantage of the poor customers. How this works is simply buying out the other players. I'll give an example to start it off;

Lets say *YOU* put up 25 stacks of cloth, 8 gold each.
Lets say GEORGE puts up 25 stacks of cloth, 5 gold each.
Lets say RALPH puts up 25 stack of cloth, 4 gold each.

Problem is, who is going to buy your cloth at 8 gold each, when there's cheaper right in the same list. So this is where you eliminate them. This can be tricky, and the more popular an item is the harder it is to create a monopoly for it since there will be more suppliers.
Basically you can purchase all of GEORGE's and RALPH's cloths. Now put those cloths back up for 8 gold each. Now you have 75 cloth for 8 gold each, and nobody else is there to compete with you. Now yes your taking a risk. You've created a monopoly and you have to hope nobody else will undercut you. If someone wants that cloth, they will buy it, because you have just created the "going rate". As long as the rate you choose seems reasonable. Putting the cloth at 25 gold a piece would not attract enough attention, and someone else would just go cheaper and have their own monopoly to control. The hardest part about the monopoly is that you have to KEEP AN EYE OUT, and CONTINUE TO BUY the cloth as other people put it up there. Otherwise you've defeated the purpose and cost yourself money.

This is a very effective, but risky and time consuming business, and very difficult to master.

REMEMBER! ** The more popular an item is the harder it is to create a monopoly for it since there will be more suppliers. **

3-D: Taking care of advantage of the weak.

Earlier we discussed sorting the auctions by Seller. In doing so it sort's them alphabetically. Sadly, with thousands of auctions, finding a specific name can take a quite few minutes of clicking the next button. However there is one way this feature can be helpful.

Over time, as your exploring the auction house, you will find an auction Extremely Cheap. I'm talking about (for example) seeing a stack of 20 cloth for 5g when you know that specific cloth should easily sell for 75g a stack. If something like this happens, count your blessings and write the seller's name down. Once written, now search up the full auction house, a blank search. Sort by Seller (sort it alphabetically so that your sellers name is closer to the top. If the name is 'Xifa', reverse sort it with the letter Z on top, to get to the letter 'X' faster.

Once you have found your seller's name, scroll through his list of auctions. Chances are the player either was in a hurry, didn't know the value, or just didn't care. Either way, you can profit. By checking through their auctions there's a fair chance their other auctions have valuable items that are priced to sell fast. Now you can apply that "Buy Low Sell High" tactic.

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4: The Best Advantage Of All: Addons

4-A: About These Wonders

Why addons Well its true, you can do very well and profit just fine without them. However you really need to think twice about just how long all this takes. Addons can cut down all the leg work to a fraction of the time. Time is money, and less time means more money. You can profit just by saving yourself time. Besides, we all have character to get to max level, who has time to auction all day Another great reason is that many addons give you features and tricks that simply can not be done in blizzard's interface. A note, many auction addons do take a hefty amount of memory. If your computer is on the slower side of the world, you might want to disable it when you don' plan on using it for a while.

4-B: Auctioneer - http://auctioneeraddon.com


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