WoW economics

Why on earth do people put stuff in the auction house for less than a merchant would pay them for it as a buy out price.

It used to be you had to actually go to a merchant to find the price, but the game now tells you the merchant price for everything when you select it. So they must have seen.

Where is the logic in selling for less than the going rate?

Maybe I am missing something.


  1. Yup, been noticing the same thing on Saurfang realm recently. Plus people selling things at very slightly above vendor price. Either they are stupid or they are deliberately trying to bring prices right down.

  2. My characters are in the lower levels on Argent Dawn (15-30), so the loot I am selling is not the highly desirable stuff.

    If there are other examples for auction I match their buyout prices, otherwise I generally put it on with a starting price of 80% of the disenchant value, and a buyout of ten times that.

    I sell about 90% of what I put up, and have enough cash most of the time.

  3. BTW, was the 'unusually high' evening demand on AAISPs network a couple of weeks back caused by the WoW patch?

  4. I don't know how the auction house in WoW works, but in a real-world auction setup (including web auctions like eBay), it's worth doing this in order to tempt people into bidding (hey, easy money selling it on at the second hand price). Once someone's bidding in the auction, the psychology of "losing" the auction can cause them to keep bidding, until they're paying well over the odds.

  5. Indeed, there is some logic in starting at low price, but these are people putting on with a "buy out" price below what they could get selling to a merchant so no way to get more than that via the auction. But they also pay an auction house commission. They really are crazy!

  6. Knowing nothing about WoW, couldn't you just make a load of money by buying from the crazy people and selling to a merchant?

  7. Or, on thinking about this some more, are the crazy people selling for more than a merchant's buy price would be? In which case, what they're doing makes sense - selling for more than they'd otherwise get and pretty much guaranteeing the sale by undercutting the merchant.

  8. They are selling outright for less than they would get by walking to next building and selling to merchant!

  9. You could indeed make a bit of gold by buying them from the Auction house and selling to a vendor for a small profit. But to be honest it would not be worth the effort most of the time. You can make alot more just by going out and killing things.

    I would guess people are using an addon to auction everything in their bags and its setting the price that low as it would only know the market value (what other people have been selling them for previously.

    So if someone was to list lots of one item at exactly the same price as the vendor, Then the addon would see that and undercut it by 5% which is the standard setting. People being lazy more than anything

  10. The auctioneer addon has a feature to scan the auction house for exactly this, so you can buy them and vendor them for profit. It also spots items where the bid price is below the vendor price so you can see if a low bid wins it.

    Never seem to make much gold with it, but can usually make a little.


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