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Thursday, February 10, 2011

Getting Your Feet Wet at the AH

Last month Cold's inaugural blogging carnival topic was about farming. I pouted around since I don't really farm as a regular gold making tactic and chose to sit that one out. This month, however, I feel I can at least ramble on and maybe make some sense!

What 3 Pieces Of Advice Would You Give A Little Goblin? (3 Top Tips For New Auctioneers?)

Because this is apparently aimed at Auctioneers and not just "gold-makers" (though many of us will often use the terms interchangeably) I'm going to try to focus on tips that deal with the auction house specifically.

Many players reach max level, clear raid content, achieve awesome PvP ratings, and do all of this oblivious to the real power of the Auction House. Many people will say the most powerful tool in a gold maker's arsenal is a transmute specced alchemist. Some will say it's knowing certain addons like Auctioneer inside and out. Others will say it's consistent and dedicated farming. But at the end of the day the single most important tool you have is the AH.

It can be frightening at first, and possibly overwhelming. Sure you can buy and sell now, but against the big dogs of your server you may feel overwhelmed with how many addons they use, how they always seem to undercut you. How can that guy sell something that cost you 50g to make for 25g? There's a lot to learn and a lot to practice with, but here's three of the biggest tips I can give you:

What 3 Pieces Of Advice Would You Give A Little Goblin? (3 Top Tips For New Auctioneers?)

Know how to use addons. Know how to function without them.

There are some amazing addons for using the AH. There are behemoths with many features like Auctioneer or Trade SkillMaster or there are less extreme ones like Auctionator. All of them have great uses and you can research each of them yourselves and find out which ones work best for you.
My advice here is to know how to function without them. If TSM breaks, like it's predecessor Quick Auctions 3 did on possibly the biggest day in the history of auctions, will you be able to make a profit or will you be stuck in the mud?

Do you know how to configure that addon you're using? I can't count the number of auctions I've bought up at <1% of their value because someone's addon malfunctioned and posted that Truegold for 7g instead of 700g. If you're not comfortable letting an addon post for you or buy for you don't. Things can go terribly wrong. Learn to buy and sell without addons, then use addons for ease. Don't rely on them completely. 

Don't be hasty. 

It's tempting to want to jump right in when you've found a good deal but take a step back if you're not knowledgable in the market. Personal anecdote time. It was BC, I was a level 68 Blood Elf mage. I was so excited because I'd just installed Auctioneer and was going to take on the world. I'd done two auction house scans and noticed that this particular market looked great! It was Fel Iron Bars and according to Auctioneer there were only 4 stacks up, all of them at 60% of normal price! I bought them all at 400g a stack! Yay, I'm going to make so much! Well, turns out of course, that they aren't worth nearly that much and Auctioneer, with such a small amount of data to go off of, was comparing an inflated price against an even more inflated price, making my deal look great when in fact it was just terrible. 

Learn about what you're buying. Watch the markets you're interested in for a while to notice trends, average prices, etc. And never ever ever buy something just because your addon tells you it's a good deal. Your brain > Addon brain!

Don't tie up all your assets in one market.

Many brand new auctioneers probably only have professions to hit one or two markets, or at least they may feel that way. Knowing one market inside and out is great, but if suddenly something happens to that market that makes it less lucrative you can be out in the cold with a bunch of inventory you can't move.

Diversify! Are you a miner/blacksmith? Don't just make Bloodied Pyrium! Sell belt buckles, enchanting rods, and open lockboxes with your keys. If your server prices are great for it buy Elementium and Volatile Earth, smelt it, and sell Hardened Elementium Bars at a markup. Just because you only have 2 professions doesn't mean you can only sell two things!


  1. I like your tip about learning how to function without addons. The 'glyphmas' patch threw me in the deep end with that one (I managed but could have done without the steep learning curve on that particular day).

    I'd love to start using TSM but I'm balking a little at the fact the tutorial video Markco put together is 1 hour long! I'm a little scared that it must be one hell of a complicated add-on and thus require a lot of set-up time!! I suppose that time will save me more time in future (considering I do my posting and pricing manually now)


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