Gold Capped: Buying with Auctioneer's snatch list

Want to get Gold Capped? This column will show you how, and is written by Basil "Euripides" Berntsen, also of, the Hunting Party podcast, and the Call to Auction podcast.

Auctioneer has a myriad of uses. I've covered selling, and this week, I'll be covering buying. This addon has way more functionality than most people use, but because of the incredible quantity of complex options, many people never do any of the really cool things with it.

The best way to buy lots of types of items with Auctioneer is with their "snatch" search. The way it works is it goes through your most recent snapshot of the auction house, and presents you with a box that allows you to buy or bid on items you've defined as a "good deal."

Configuring snatch

First, we need to tell snatch what we want to buy. Click on the "search" tab on the bottom, and on the left menu, select "snatch." Here you will be able to tell the searcher what you're interested in, and at what price.

To the right, you'll see the stuff I've added in. Every time you add something, you have a choice between specifying a fixed value below which you are interested, or choosing a percentage discount of market price. I don't trust the algorithm for the percent off market -- if there's a change to supply and demand from a patch, there will be a period of a few weeks where I'm being asked to buy overpriced stuff. I always enter in a specific amount.

If you happen to have one of whatever you want to watch for in your bag, just drag it into the box and you can specify a price (right under the item name -- the other field only works if you check another box). If, however, you don't have one in your bag, you'll need to left click on a link to it. In case you're wondering, that's why when you're minding your own business at the AH, you see people just randomly saying things like "[Eternal Life]." They're linking it in chat so they can add it to snatch.

Now, if you want to be a little more discreet about your business, you can always go to the WowHead page for your item, click on the link button, copy the script it pops up, and then enter that into your chat window in game.

The code to link a Cardinal Ruby is:

/script DEFAULT_CHAT_FRAME:AddMessage("\124cffa335ee\124Hitem:36919:0:0:0:0:0:0:0:0\124h[Cardinal Ruby]\124h\124r");

Paste that into your chat window, and you'll see this message in your general chat window:

Using snatch

Now just think back over your last week -- what did you buy? Is that something you buy a lot? If so, add it to this list with a price cap. Any time your scan contains an item under that price and you run a snatch, you'll be able to automatically buy or bid with a single click.

This particular feature requires a recent snapshot, so click the fast "getall" scan button to update your database. It's important to remember that since you're not filtering the actual auction house data, you should run your snatch search right after a fresh scan, or else all the good deals you find will already have been taken.

Once your scan is ready, you're ready to run the snatch search. Click on the search button to get started!

Now it goes through your latest scan and finds all the good deals for you.

Notice that I've sorted by profit -- it's a dumb name, but what it means is that the stuff that's farthest below my desired prices will show up first. Also, oops! It looks like I've stupidly forgotten to take out Frost Lotus and Eternal Fire, both of which are undergoing changes to their supply and demand. I'll have to be sure to not buy those. For now, let's go down and actually buy one of the good deals here! Under the "reason" header, snatch tells me whether my price is matched with a bid or a buyout. Obviously, buyouts are the best deals because you don't need to worry about someone else coming and out-bidding you, however bidding costs nothing but a little time and often yields prices well below market.

Now, if your list were clear of all these false positives that mine isn't, you could ctrl-alt-shift click the purchase button and be presented with a series of "do you want to buy/bid on [whatever] for [some price]?" It's a very efficient way to spend your time. I took so long between my scan and my purchasing that everything was gone, just about. That's what I get for screenshotting and writing instead of buying!

Automate everything!

This is the most efficient way of buying things on the auction house in volume -- all the decisions are made automatically and all you need to do is confirm that you indeed want to bid or buy. Once you find yourself searching for the same things every time you log onto your buyer, you might be able to use this feature to save yourself valuable play-time. Until Blizzard implements my idea about open orders, that is!

Now you can efficiently buy and sell, but stay tuned as we talk about ways to automate every other part of your auction house business!

bringin' sexy back!

Being an auctioneer is like being able to print money. Or gold, as it were. Wait, that doesn't make sense... you can print on gold, but you can't print gold. That would be closer to transmutation? I can transmute titanium, but that's only worth it if the price of saronite is low enough to justify the time spent making it. I need some sort of analogy here. Whatever, I'll figure it out later. Making gold? Every week, Gold Capped will teach you the tricks of the trade. From setting up your auction addons and user interface, to cross faction arbitrage, to learning how to use your tradeskills.