There's an app for that
The TradeSkillMaster application is something that you install on your PC that does a lot of things. The feature we're interested in is its ability to query Blizzard every hour for Auction House information. Every time you /reload or log into a character, the most recent scan will be loaded into TSM.
Installing the program is a multi-step process. That said, at the time this was written, the installation instructions on the site itself are a little out of date. You need to do the following:
- Create an account on the tradeskillmaster.com site
- Once logged in, generate an application key
- Install the program on your Windows or Mac PC. If you use a custom install location for the game, you'll have to specify it for everything to work
- During the initial set up, provide the application with your tradeskillmaster.com login and application key
- Pick your realms (up to 5)
Once this is done, you'll have up to date information refreshed hourly without ever needing to scan the AH again. But... why?
One of the first questions I expect you're asking yourself is why we need to scan at all? The primary reason you want an up to date scan is so that your crafting window can display accurate costs and prices.
A fresh scan updates the market values TSM uses to determine the profit margins, and that allows you to choose what you craft wisely. Without one, you may accidentally craft something that would have been worth more as its components.
It's also nice to have a recent picture of the auction house in your item tooltips. Knowing how to read these numbers can help you make decisions like whether you should use materials you get or sell them directly:
- Market value is a fairly complicated concept to program, but the developers of TSM went into gruesome detail on their wiki if that's the kind of thing you like to read. In essence, that's a number that reflects what you should be able to sell something for. If you post items at that price, they'll probably sell after being relisted a few times, in theory.
- In case you just want to know what the lowest price is regardless of the quantity or history, Min buyout is listed just below that. That's the lowest unit price as of the last time you scanned.
- Seen last scan is another useful piece of data -- if that number is lower than you're used to (like enchanting materials after the first Tuesday an LFR is released), it's a good indication that you might be able to sell materials at a nice margin.
All of these work with manual scans too, but they work better with the automatic frequent
(and functional) scans that the TSM app provides. Since it's installed already...
There are a couple of other features you might as well take advantage of since we've got this thing installed. Top on my list is the backups.
You can configure the application to keep a copy of all your TSM data, including your groups/categories, sales data, and other stuff. Basically everything that you'd hate to lose if you have to delete your WTF and addons folders.
The other feature you might like is the deal notifications
If you use the deal finding feature in TSM, the application can pop up a notification and/or send you an email when it gets a scan from Blizzard that has deals. The screenshot above shows a DealFinding list I've configured in game. So any time any of these items are available on the AH for less than my target, I'll get an email and a popup. I don't always install applications outside WoW, but when I do...
Lots of people resist installing programs that aren't addons. I'm one of them: I still update all my addons by manually downloading zip files and extracting them into my interface/addons folder. The reason I installed this TSM application is because it fixes a very serious bug (to auctioneers, at least) that makes playing the AH unbearably slow and glitchy.
The only thing worse than having an addon go stale and not be updated when patches are released is if an application like this goes stale. That said, the TSM team has a track record of being reliable in keeping the code up to date, as well as being trustworthy.
Maximize your profits with advice from Gold Capped. Want to know the very best ways to earn 10,000 gold? Top gold making strategies for auctioneers? How about how to reach 1 million gold -- or how one player got there and then gave it all away? Fox and Basil are taking your questions at firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com.