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Posts Tagged ‘auction house’

postheadericon Warcraft Advanced Gold Guide – Single Market Approach II

While we are on this, you will note we are not making a special section for looted weapons and armor.

The reason for this is because you are unable to plan for these items, they take up a full inventory space for each item, and as time goes on, all but the very best items have only gone one way in value …down!

The very best items being (generally)

Well those prefixed “Champion’s” are always reasonable, as are the very highest level items.

Look at the stats. Plate with high Str and Stam will often sell because Warriors are the most equipment reliant class to level with and therefore need to upgrade more often.

Having said that – weapons and armour are still not a good investment – overall the value of these items is still generally down.

The reason being that a very large number of the lower level ’toons you see running around are alt’s of high level characters, and while the high level character “could” afford to equip them with the best greens all the time from the AH..they generally don’t because;

a) It’s not very cost efficient. Leveling at an appropriate level is pretty easy and does not require up to date equipment.

b) The higher level character will provide the stuff themselves, either with a quick solo instance run (always fun) or by using their trade skill to make decent kit for the lower level ‘toon.


Weapons and Armour Prices for Warcraft

This is an graph of the average price of several green ”Champion’s” items and blue weapons and armor we tracked over a period of 18 months across several servers.

The overall trend is down, and continues to be down, we see no reason for this trend to change. By all means sell for the best you can, but these items are not a good investment option.


Later we show you how to set up your own guild for your auction house alt’s, you might think that with a guild bank you have loads of storage.

Well, for a single market approach, you really don’t. Of course it’s a lot more than most people, but it really isn’t enough.

Early on, if you have say 5 ‘toons on the go, consider setting up the rest. (you have a maximum of 50 altogether though only 10 per server) Set up the other 5 for your main server, level them until they can safely reach the major local town and get to the bank.

All characters come with a basic bank facility where you can store more items. Consider posting the stuff you want storing long term to these ‘toons and banking them in the initial free accounts they have (as you will need to log on as them , to get to them)

You do not want to fill your available storage space with slow moving low profit items. This costs you profit in the long run.

With a single market approach, keep the quicker moving stuff in your local bank or guild bank so you can get to it quickly. The slower moving stuff put in your lower level “storage mule” banks, and make a note of what you have !

If you are REALLY desperate for space there is one more short term thing you can do…

Post it to a ‘toon

The postal system will keep it for 28 days. It is VERY risky. We have “forgotten” about items like this in the past, after 28 days the server deletes them.

But if you are desperate,  make a note of what went to which ‘toon, assure yourself it is only a short term measure then do it. One advantage is it is very cheap.

Now, without buying a single extra bag space, you can store a lot more than most people would ever think.

Warcraft Character at Bank

postheadericon Warcraft Advanced Gold Guide – Single Market Approach I

Unless you track the prices of an item over time, you cannot really tell if you are getting a bargain or not.

So it’s a five stage process.

  •   Decide which items have the largest price variance
  •   Decide which subset of these items are within your effective price range
  •   Track these items over a period of time to establish trends
  •   When confident that the price is low – buy a mix of items (mix to minimize risk)
  •   Store in the most effective manner possible.
  •   When the price is high – sell

Most of that is common sense. However, actually achieving this in practice can take a long time
If you don’t approach the tasks in the right way and with the right tools.

An easy (but slightly inaccurate) way of doing this is to check each item from your portfolio on your server every day. List them in price order (“Auctioneer” allows you to do this)  then record the highest asking price, and the lowest asking price, taking a mean average of the two as that days figure.

Do this over a period of time. A bare minimum of 8 readings. (include weekends) to check the variance.
However, there is more to it than this. You see Warcraft prices are also very seasonal.
The seasons Warcraft follow do not correspond to “real “seasons.
Here are a list of Warcraft “seasonal” factors

  • Weekends
  • School holidays
  • Real Winter
  • Warcraft holiday seasons
  • Major patch time (leading up to and immediately after)
  • Expansions (leading up to and immediately after)


Some might quibble at the word “seasonal” in this context, but this phrase allows us to relate these events to the real world, because our responses need to be the same as the real world.

Our subset of items is the list of items that you can afford to speculate in. As mentioned before the Material Master has over 150 items. Unless you have a remarkable memory, and a lot of time on your hands, you are not going to master the seasonal subtleties of all these items. Nor should you.

Early on in your game some are going to be far too high a value for you.


Even if you can afford a couple of pieces of Titansteel at level 22. You really shouldn’t. Don’t over-reach yourself. Look at the list in the previous chapter and the tips on how to specialize in a portfolio.

Likewise when you are level 80 and have a couple of thousand gold, then dabbling in Ruined Leather Scraps is probably a waste of time .

We will come to “Return on Investment” later. Your time is a major investment, we don’t want you to waste it.

Pick a subset of items appropriate to your level (oh and include the appropriate cloth items)
Tracking items over time.
With a single market approach tracking the average cost over time is vital.
Have a look at this graph for Felweed prices over a two week period.


Warcraft Price Over Time

Above is a graph showing the price of 20 Felweed, from Terrokar in February /March 2010.

The time period shown on this graph range here is 28 days

The issue you can see with a single market approach is that, although Felweed has a decent price variation, you would really need to buy, then hold on to your stock for several days before reselling. This means you need to store it, and profit cannot be made straight away. A cross market approach, properly researched, gives you profit much more quickly



In general, school and work holidays in the real world seem to trigger a “feeding frenzy” .. but not straight away. A few other people seem to sense the tide, and look to offload straight away (within 6 hours of getting home from school or work). These characters have been getting a nice stash of stock together, they are vaguely aware that it’s now a good time to sell..then they generally mess the whole process up by flooding the market, and pricing too high at first..then too low.

Why does this happen?

This seemed odd to us, until we realized that it was caused by FEAR!

People understood the seasonality, had managed to gather loads of stock, went to the Auction House on the day the “real” holiday started, saw a couple of others doing the same, and panicked.

Within that first couple of hours, you might even be able to get items CHEAPER than they have been all along. But a weekend is longer than that. If you have the gold – and the confidence BUY
Judge the best time to re-market your new items – probably late Friday night or early Saturday morning.
Look to use the 12 hour auction option (it is cheaper if it fails)

Overall we wouldn’t try and “buy out” the market until you have a feel for it. Other guides prompt you to do this, our evidence suggests it should only be done when you are supremely confident, but it is worth bearing in mind now and again.

Patch 3.4 seemed to shake things up a bit. We will keep this guide updated for Gold consortium members and try and predict the effect that upcoming major patches and updates may bring.

For now, it is key to understand that markets are primarily driven by emotion. In the real world AND in Warcraft. Whether that emotion is greed, fear or apathy, the prices charged and accepted are, to a larger degree than most would realize, a product of how people feel. You want an example ?

Imagine Gromdor has just been farming for Titanium ore – he has managed to get 12 pieces. He is only 75 gold short of the 5000 he really wants for his Epic training. He wants to train NOW.  He looks on the auction house and sees Titanium is 9 gold per ore – but he wants 80 REALLY quick.

What’s the betting he puts all 12 on for 75 gold – because he is simply impatient ? It’s that certain I wouldn’t even give odds. You buy it. You are sensible and patient  – you make (after AH cut) almost 30 for just stepping to the post box and reselling.

postheadericon Warcraft Advanced Gold Guide – Portfolio Management


Mageweave Cloth ALLIANCE image 26 24 28 31 33 35 35 21
Mageweave Cloth HORDE image 44 45 51 53 67 66 44 29

Above is the data for the item “Mageweave Cloth” taken from European server “Anachronos” over a period of 16 days in August 2009. The prices are in silver pieces per individual piece of cloth.


This data in the Material master will give you some clues as to whether this item is a potential profit maker.

Firstly, the average price in Alliance auction house is 29.13 silver pieces per cloth
The average price in horde auction house is 50 silver pieces per cloth

So instantly we know that to buy from alliance and sell from horde gives us a very good average profit (the price difference is 72%)

Buying from Alliance and selling to Horde is a no-brainer.

The standard deviation is 5.22 on Alliance and 12.44 for Horde.

This tells us that buying from alliance to sell at a later date to the same market is not a particularly good choice. A standard deviation in single figures is a pretty good indicator of a low margin potential.

Horde however is a different matter. 12.44 tells you that buying low and selling high in the Horde auction house  is a great idea for  someone playing a single market strategy.

However, there is an issue. Closer examination of the data shows that we have a “rogue” figure.
7 of the 8 data points for horde are between 44 and 67 silver pieces per cloth. One point is however 29, silver pieces per cloth.


This low figure is capable of skewing the figures quite a bit. However, if you replaced that figure with the average of 50 would give you a standard deviation of just below 10, and an average even higher at 52.63

These are still great figures for either a single market or a cross market selling strategy.

Okay, to normalize the figures and obtain a price index take the following steps.

  •   Work out which is the “Buy From” market  – in this case Alliance.
  •   Take the worst buy price from this market (i.e the highest price) – In this case 35 silver pieces.
  •   Give this 35 silver pieces the Index rating of 1.00 (one point zero zero).
  •   Rate every other price as a ratio of this price

Another option is to take the average price and give that an index rating of 1.0. You would use this if you were comparing prices across servers, or comparing PvP servers with PvE for example.


image 26 24 28 31 33 35 35 21
image 0.74 0.69 0.8 0.89 0.94 1 1 0.6


Once indexed, here are the Alliance prices. Below are the Horde prices. Remember they are indexed as an average price over time across BOTH factions auction house readings.


image 44 46 51 53 67 66 44 29
image 1.26 1.31 1.46 1.51 1.91 1.89 1.26 1.43

The top row of each factions data set shows the actual prices, the bottom row the “price index” As you can see 35 silver pieces is rated as 1, every other price is a ratio of this price. In this way you can compare item against item, even server against server without worry.


Below is a video we have added showing the Material Master spreadsheet. This will be a download on this site once the serialization of the Advanced Gold Guide is complete.