Saturday, June 11, 2011

The Single Meanest, Cruelest Technique to Use on the Auction House

Itty Bitty Poker Kitty

I have seen a lot of crazy stuff at the AH.  I have seen massive undercutting.  I have seen people trying to drive markets down.  I have even seen people for insanely high prices.  However, I would like to think that I have come up with the single cruelist technique to use on the AH.  This technique actually punishes people for not using addons like Auctioneer.  It also punishes people who use the remote AH.  But the biggest people it screws over is people who don't pay attention.

Let me set up the scenario I like to use.  Let's say that Fortune Cookies are the following on the AH:

Seller 1: Fortune Cookies X 20 for 400 g (5 stacks)
Seller 2: Fortune Cookies X 20 for 399 g, 99 s, 99c (3 stacks)
Seller 3: Fortune Cookies X 20 for 390 g (10 stacks)

Now, most normal people playing the AH would set up a stack of 20 Fortune Cookies for 389 g, 99 s, 99 c.  If you sell it, you would be getting approximately 19 gold per 1 Fortune Cookie.  Not bad in any market.  But how can you improve it.  You can't post it for higher without buying the other 18 stacks which let's be honest gets expensive.  Plus, you know more than likely all the sellers will come back and undercut you.

This is where the single meanest, cruelest AH technique comes into play.  What if you were to sell only 5 Fortune Cookies for 389 g, 99 s, 99 c?  You just increased the price for one Fortune Cookie up to approximately 77 gold per 1 Fortune Cookie. 

But the biggest advantage is how you played your hand.  If this was a game of poker, this would be equivalent to a bluff.  Someone who uses Auctioneer would see that your price to market price percentage is too high and would not buy it.  However, someone who doesn't have addons, like weekend players, or someone who is using the remote AH may buy it thinking they are getting a stack of 20 since your price lines up with the other stacks of 20.  When they buy it, they will realize they were bluffed out of 15 Fortune Cookies and you are walking away with the money.

And in this case, the best thing in the world could somebody come in and undercut you.  If you are posting stacks of heavy savage leather or bolts of embersilk cloth, you will be surrounded by both higher and lower by people posting stacks of 20, which means they are even more likely to click yours thinking it is a stack of 20.

Is this applicable to other MMOs?  Well, the Rift AH is kind of messed up right now.  However, as more people are getting to level 50 and having established characters, this technique would probably work even better since they don't have addons yet.  When they get addons, it would only be punishing people who don't use the addons.

So, I would encourage you to try.  It feels a little dirty and a little underhanded, but it is a technique that can make your profit margin higher.  Much higher.  And if you feel really bad about it, think of it as playing poker and you just pulled off a really great bluff.


Anonymous said...

A: For the love of all things holy, don't do this on your main. It's a good way to get booted from your guild if the leader/officers are feeling picky about the guild representation.

B: If you need justification for doing it, you're not punishing those who don't pay attention, you're rewarding those who do pay attention. Gogo sophistry!

Redhawks said...


A: Agreed. This adds to the list of arguments why you should have a low level bank alt that has his own guild. You can't kick yourself out of your own bank alt guild.

B: Very true. It is rewarding those who actually look at the quantity of the item before they hit the buy button.