The Auction House is something that you've probably been using since you were a wee little thing, still counting coppers. Despite this experience, there may still be a few things about the system that you might not know, and these tricks will help you buy smart and sell with confidence.
i. Price per item
When asked what the focus of my public school math classes were, the first thing that comes to mind is grocery store navigation. Seriously. I'm pretty sure that we spent an ample amount of time, spread out over the years, working on making change, understanding tax, and learning that price per unit (such as $1 per pound) is sometimes convoluted in order to trick us into parting with more cash.
When looking at the basic, unmodified Auction House, you can quickly determine which stacks of cloth are selling each piece for the cheapest. This is easy to do when looking at several stacks of 20, but often, there are several partial stacks for sale as well, and sometimes you can actually get a bargain by snatching those up. Other times, they're priced at a huge mark-up!
Mouse-over the icon for the item, and the tooltip that appears will tell you the Bid Price Per Unit and the Buyout Price Per Unit. In seconds, you'll be able to tell what to bid on, what to buy out, and what to avoid.
Conducting searches can take a surprising amount of time. You may have many unique items to look up, and typing out the names each time can be a hassle. Instead, make sure that you are looking at the Browse tab, open a bag, and Shift + Click on the item that you want to look up. This will type out the entire name into the search bar, and you need only hit Search in order to get your results.
This trick is especially handy when you are checking your target markets. For example, an herbalist might only list their Lichbloom on days when it seems to be going for 65g+, their Icethorn for 55g+, and so on. In under a minute, this person could check each herb's demand that day, and know instantly whether or not to bother listing his or her goods.
iii. Setting up filters
Filters help you to narrow your search results. For example, when searching for cheap blues to disenchant into Dream Shards, you will want to make sure the following filters are set up:
- Make sure that "Usable Items" is not checked off. You aren't planning to wear the gear, so you don't want it showing you only cloth items if that is all you can equip.
- Change the Rarity from All to Rare. This will keep the greens out of your hunt for blues!
- Set the minimum level. Items from Northrend do not award Dream Shards unless they are at least level 73. Before that, they will most likely give you Small Dream Shards, which will likely not be worth the amount of money you paid for the blue.
i. Pricing Greens
Auctioning greens can be tricky and slow. It can also meet with disappointing results. First, decide if you are pricing your greens to be picked up by disenchanters, or whether you are going for top dollar.
When selling for disenchanting purposes, if your items are over level 73, you can sell them for 5g or more, and 10g+ for weapons. This is because these items will drop more dust, or materials of a higher quality. Always double check that you are pricing something over the vendor sell price! Many weapons, for example, will vendor for 10g or more. Don't pay for an auction when a vendor will do it in a pinch.
Selling to players for use is trickier. Use the filters to look up each item's market. For example, if you have a 72 leather hat, do the following:
- Go into Armor, choose Leather, and click Head. Unclick "Usable Items."
- Consider the market. Someone at level 70 might not be willing to buy a level 72 hat yet, while a 74 would probably not buy one that old. Try searching for 70-74 for wide parameters, or 71-73 for a tighter search.
- When examining the other hats, don't just price match them. A hat with intellect and spell power might sell better than your intellect and agility piece!
- Know which stat combinations sell. This isn't related to the Auction House, but rather to class and spec needs. If you are unsure, do some research or ask around.
Finally, consider taking advantage of the first concept that we explored, by changing the number in a stack in order to inflate the price.
Some things are naturally more likely to be bought in small quantities. Someone gathering mats so that they can buy an enchant might only want four Infinite Dust, and might be willing to buy them in stacks of one. Because there is a smaller market for the dust in high quantity, the stacks of 20 sell for much less than smaller quantities.