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Wowscan: A new tool for making gold


I have had my hand in the cookie jar that is the Auction House a few times during Cataclysm, and if there's one thing I learned, it's that information is your best friend. I downloaded Auctioneer / Auctionator to spot cheap bids and track how my own sales were doing. I browsed The Undermine Journal for data like average prices, standard deviations, and recent auctions. Even WoW Insider's own Gold Capped column helped me identify potential markets and provided general advice. All of these things made my profits possible.

Well, a new tool has entered the mix: Wowscan. I have to admit, at first it struck me as a bit too much like The Undermine Journal. Certainly Wowscan works very similar in that it scans auction data and posts it on its site in a searchable format. Now, I'm no Basil or even a Fox, but after some experimentation it seems to me that there are a few advantages and disadvantages to a site like Wowscan in comparison to TUJ.

First of all, and probably the biggest difference that I've noticed, is that Wowscan has the ability to compile all of its realm data into one searchable list. For example, if you wanted to find the absolute cheapest auction of Reins of the Swift Spectral Tiger, all you have to do is select All Realms and search for it. From all of my dealings with TUJ, I have never found the option to search all of the realms at once. Since most of my use of TUJ was focused on a single realm, searching multiple realms at once never really became an issue for me. This function becomes valuable when you are looking to buy an ultra-rare item and don't care how much money you have to spend on realm transfers to get it.

Wowscan has a limited selection of searchable items. As of this moment, the site only has mounts, pets, recipes, and tabards in its database. Site administrators have said that they plan to expand the reach of the site to most, if not all, items in the game, but for now, TUJ has it beat hands down in this category.

Also, there is no indication of when the auctions for these items have been scanned or even how often they are scanned. Duplicate auctions are quite abundant on the site, as posters cancel their sales to repost at lower prices and Wowscan fails to remove the old information. Simply put, the inner workings of the site still need some spit and polish, at least in my opinion.

The UI is pretty clean, if a bit fishy-looking. I've always been wary of sites that have The Matrix look to them, with black backgrounds and bright green text and elements, though this is a minor point. The dropdown options are handy and don't overwhelm the user, though later on when it adds more items, I can imagine it will have to add an actual search field. The interface keeps things simple, which is good for promoting accessibility and ease of use. And you have to appreciate the Wowhead links to every item in its database.

In all, Wowscan looks like it could become another useful tool for those in the business of making gold. Sure, it has some work to do before it will seriously threaten to wrest a sizable chunk of traffic away from The Undermine Journal, but I think it has potential.

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