Mistakes I’ve Made In The Auction House

This post is my submission for Markco’s November Gold Blogging Carnival on Just My Two Copper. I am Miss Mediocre, and if this is your first time visiting my Blog, I’d like to welcome you and encourage you to leave a comment, as I do my best to reply to all of them! I’m not strictly a Gold Blogger, but I do very much enjoy making gold and try to share what I learn and how I succeed at this in many of my posts. Something I have never thought to share were the mistakes I’ve made along the way, but perhaps by sharing these errors, some of you can avoid making them!

The first mistake I made in regards to the Auction House, was avoiding it! It’s unfortunate to think about the amount of gold I missed out on during my first few years of playing WoW by vendoring everything I didn’t need. I’m not sure what exactly kept me from giving the Auction House a try, it seemed like something that was beyond me (I was a casual and very noobie player then), and it seemed like it just took too much time. The whole reason I started using the Auction House was because I’d managed to accumulate a comfortable little pile of gold (just by vendoring items and doing quests) and I thought one of my new characters deserved to wear some Auction House greens. When I checked the Auction House to see what was available for green gear under level 10, I was shocked to see how much some of it was going for. I’d just finished running a Guildie through the Deadmines, and had an inventory full of similar gear that I decided to put up for Auction, just to see if any of it would sell. Nearly everything had sold by the following day for up to twenty times what I’d get from the vendors, and it was then that my love for the Auction House was born.

The second mistake I made was believing that I could do something in game just as well as an add-on could. I’d check for undercuts, search for materials, bid on or buy what I believed to be under-priced items, but the difference between what I was managing to do without add-ons and what I do now with add-ons, is the time it took! I’d never have more than 10 auctions posted at once before I used add-ons because any more than that were just too difficult to keep track of and I didn’t sell a variety of different types of items because it was too much hassle to buy more than a few types of materials to craft them. I’d spend hours every week using the Auction House, but if I’d been using Auctioneer, those hours would have been minutes and the hundreds of gold I made back then, could have been thousands. Now if I’m ever without Auctioneer (like after 4.0.1) I hate trying to use the Auction House because everything just takes so long, lol.

The final mistake that I’ll mention making seems to be a very common one! I’d always believed that if I went out and farmed the materials to craft something, then it wasn’t costing me anything to make, and was the best way to maximize my profit. I assumed everyone who bought materials from the Auction House was just lazy and it was actually only very recently that I realized the error of my ways (thanks to JMTC)! As goblins (and savvy gold makers) like to say, “Time is Money, friend” and this is very true if you think about it! For a reference, lets say I can make 700g an hour doing quests after level 80 (which you can). If I want to post a few Crusader enchants in the Auction House while I’m away questing, but don’t have any Righteous Orbs, I have two options.

First, I could head out to Strathlome and farm them (which is what I would have done before). I can clear Strat Live in about 20 minutes and usually find 3-5 Righteous Orbs in each run. Second, I could buy the Righteous Orbs from the Auction House. The average price of a Righteous Orb on my server is about 16g, which I would have always assumed was too expensive, until you actually look at it. If I find 12 Righteous Orbs in an hour farming them in Strat then I have accumulated 192g worth of Righteous Orbs. That’s 500g less than I could have made if I’d spent my time questing in Northrend, rather than farming. Really it is worth it for me to just buy the Righteous Orbs from the Auction House, post the enchants for 100g each and go questing. A commenter, Indy, actually summed this up nicely on a previous post by saying, “If the asking price is much lower than you’d be willing to accept for spending the time farming, well, it is probably reasonable to buy them from the AH instead”. Now that I have this gold-per-hour way of thinking, and have stopped spending gold on silly things, I’ve managed to accumulate ten times more gold than I had ever been able to save up before, and my total keeps climbing.

I am still far from a WoW Millionaire, I know I have more to learn and more mistakes to make, but hopefully I can turn my current 50k into 250k, just like I turned my pitiful 5k into a decent 50k over the last few months!

Thank you for reading, and a huge thank you to Markco, because had I not started listening to his podcast Call to Auction, and started reading JMTC, I’m sure I’d still be sitting under 10k wondering how in the world people managed to afford Mekgineer’s Choppers and Traveler’s Tundra Mammoths!


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14 Responses to “Mistakes I’ve Made In The Auction House”

  1. Robert says:

    I was selling Mechanical Chicken pets. They go for at least 1400g on my server.

    I accidentally right clicked it… boom. Learned it. No undo. No takebacks.

    A nice 1400g mistake. Oops.

    Oh well, guess I have a Mechanical Chicken pet now on my alt 🙂

  2. Rivs says:

    I haves my chopper!, but why the hell would you want that ugly mammoth besides the portable vendors. Though I play a mage…need something…PORTAL!

  3. Miss Mediocre says:

    Robert : I had a similar thing happen to me when I was transferring a white kitten to the Horde. My friend was the one who right clicked it by accident though, so I didn’t even get to have it on an alt, they just got a free cat, lol. It wasn’t worth quite 1400g though, so I wasn’t too upset! Thank you for commenting! 🙂

  4. Miss Mediocre says:

    Rivs : Hehe, the chopper is way sweeter than the mammoth… but on all my characters other than my mage, portable vendors would be awesome! 🙂

  5. kammler says:

    Excellent summary of the opportunity cost factor when it comes to farming. And don’t feel badly–I made your first and second mistakes as well. Without an addon, I would look to see what other L55 plate armor a player could get and then decide what the item in my bag was worth, and post it. Fortunately for me, I am past those and on to (I’m sure) new, as of yet undiscovered mistakes.

  6. HarmfulEffect says:

    First Time Visitor. Great post regarding avoiding the auction house. I cant tell you how many times i filled up my bags with white items and just vendored them *facepalm

    I also like the thought on opportunity costs. I am finally understanding that concept. If i could only get my RL buddy to understand it. To him its just a game which would make it even more reason to value his time on the game.

    Anyways, im at the point you described (5k gold looking to grow). I feel a little overwhelmed on what to try. Any thoughts? I have been reading on some of the blogs around to get tips for cata.

  7. Cold says:

    Believe it or not, I too didn’t use the auction house until the release of BC. I was a poor and always broke wanna be raider in an upstart raiding guild. My main character back then was a rogue, poor thing didn’t even get his first riding skill and mount until he was level 48. That’s back when you got mounts at level 40. Took me an extra 8 levels of farming the best paying grey vendor trash I could get for my level (Some grey gorilla parts at the time in STV). Boy was I doing it all wrong.

    Farming for vendor trash and off a mob that didn’t drop coin at all. Boy, would I have made more money farming yetis and skinning them, then selling skins and hides on the auction house. Hey, we were all noobs once though.

  8. Miss Mediocre says:

    HarmfulEffect : What kind of access do you have to professions? I’ve made most of what I have now from enchanting, tailoring and flipping items, but there are ways to make good money with every profession! If you have your hearth set in Dalaran, check your Auction House and see if anyone is selling the pets purchased from Brenni in the Dal Pet Shop! I make about 750g a week just selling those, but I have a lot of competition, so you could make much more! I also have big success flipping high demand items like Pristine Black Diamonds and Blood of the Mountain.

  9. Kammler says:

    HarmfulEffect: my advice to you is to install an auction addon, Auctioneer is what I use, and keep your scans updated for a few days. Watch the prices of trade goods–namely, cloth, leather, elemental, and ore. Avoid armor and weapons.

    You will quickly find items that are selling at low percentages that you can flip for profit. (ekg, mote of water for 50s each is about 20% value, buy them and flip for 2g to 2.5g each, or use 10 to make a primal water and sell it for 15g).

    Don’t invest too much of your net worth in the AH. Set your investment ceiling at 1k, 500g, whatever you feel is comfortable and stick to it. Start slowly, feel your way through, and you will begin to generate some income.

    Miss Mediocre points out using your professions to earn money and that is (IMHO) the second step. Buying materials for cheap and making them into other things that sell for more is where you want to be, so watching and learning the raw materials markets is the first step. Depending on your professions you will have different things you can make and sell.

    There are many other tips in various places (and lots of the blog hosts have been on the Just My Two Cents site for this Carnival) that offer super tips. Read up on them and institute the low risk ones like turning on auto loot, get bigger bags to carry more loot from dungeon runs, etc.

    As I started really working the AH some time ago, I kept a scorecard of sorts that logged my starting gold every day so I could see what days I made more than others. This was a helpful tool for me.

    Good luck–you will do fine. There are lots of good tips out there from Miss Mediocre and others to help guide you.

  10. Fat Jack says:

    I’ve made alot of the same mistakes. I always had a gathering profession for every manufacturing profession until recently. I never realized how much more lucrative it would be to buy mats and have two crafting professions. When I think of how hard i worked to pay to learn to fly in TBC, and that was only 5,000g! I think it took me that many weeks to get it!

    With the rollout of patch 4.0 i felt how auction addon dependent i have become. I still was able to post and make sales but it was so tedious (especially glyphs) I’d do my auction postings, then log off and go to bed. (And I’m not a young kid, lol)

    Great Article, thanks for sharing!

  11. HarmfulEffect says:

    Thanks all for the great advise! I am a tailor/enchanter on my main and JC on alt. Gathering leather, mining, and herbs,

    I have installed auctioneer and started my scans. Ill check back in and give you updates 🙂

  12. Miss Mediocre says:

    Fat Jack : Thank You 🙂 I had a gathering profession to supply every crafting profession as well, but even went as far as having my Blacksmith be a Miner, my Jewelcrafter be a Miner, and my Engineer be a miner, lol. I guess it was good for just collecting mats as I leveled, but once they reached level cap, it’s such a waste to have so many characters with the same gathering professions. I ended up with 4 Alliance characters at the end of BC all with 375 mining, lol so silly.

  13. Miss Mediocre says:

    HarmfulEffect : Awesome, I look forward to hearing how it goes! That Kammler sure knows his stuff! 😀

  14. Kammler says:

    I’ll be sure to check back in a week or so to see if HarmfulEffect has good news in an update for us!

    Thanks for the kind words Miss Mediocre, much appreciated.

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