3 Biggest WoW Auction House Mistakes
Over the course of my WoW career I have made no shortage of mistakes and errors when trying to play the auction house. It’s just a fact of life, prospective financial systems…both in the real and virtual worlds, are subject to poor decision making. But, if you want to win you’ve got to play the game. Some of my mistakes hold a special place in my memory and these are those stories.
1. Arcane Dust Monopoly Experiment
It was about halfway through the Burning Crusade. I had been playing around with the idea of trying to monopolize a particular good and hold the entire market for a long period of time. At the time I was the wealthiest player on my server, with around 150,000 gold, so I was feeling pretty big and bad. So, after a few weeks of waiting I just did it…bought out the entire auction house of arcane dust and inflated the price 300%. At first it was going great, I was making sales and it was looking perfect. But very quickly the AH started to fill back up.
To maintain my monopoly I continued to buy the incoming dust and after and initial 5,000 gold investment and 2,500 gold of continuous buying I finally gave up. But it was far from over. After it was all said and done I had 2 complete tabs full of arcane dust stacks, which over the course of the next 2 years (…yes, 2 years) I sold for an average profit of 0.5 gold per dust.
So what did I learn from this? Don’t try to game the auction house and create a monopoly of a good that is easily supplied by virtually any player
2. Epic Item Failure
In my early days of AH farming I had always eye the big money items. Back in classic when a big epic item investment was 1 – 1.5K gold. There were big profit margins and I wanted in. So, after watching the market for what felt like a long time (in reality only a couple of weeks) I decided to make a go on a few different epic items. I spent nearly 2,000 gold on 2 weapons, which I thought were undervalued by around 50% for each item.
In any regard, I was unable to sell these items after around a month of listing and had to take a 30% loss on each of them just to move them before the expansion (TBC) was released. I today’s terms I didn’t lose a huge sum of gold, but back then 2,000g was a huge chunk of change and worth about $125 / 1000 gold on Chinese gold selling sites.
What did I learn? If you’re going to work in high value markets you’ve got to be 100% certain you know exactly what is going on in that market. High value items are risky and can burn you quickly if you don’t know all the facts.
3. Pricing Wars
This whole “mistake” is better said as, “don’t piss off the wrong people”. During TBC I was one of two gold making machines on my server. I always kept an eye on the other prominent gold making giant on my server, often watching the markets she was working and sneakily undercutting her. As time went on I wanted to push my gold making potential even further, so I started moving more and more into her markets and undercutting her dramatically.
Needles to say, she didn’t appreciate it this, and virtually over night began systematically targeted the item niches I was working in. Over the course of the next several months we battled it out, continuously undercutting each other. As WotLK drew near she disappeared once again, presumably to take a break, and when she returned it was as if nothing had happened. Either through forgetfulness or foregiveness the pricing war that wouldn’t end was finally over.
What I learned? Don’t engage in unnecessary pricing wars. In the end it just hurts the profit margins of everyone involved. Better to play nice and let everyone have their own share of the pie.