There are bargains in the Auction House (AH) all the time. If you can find these bargains, and have a little coin, you can buy out the auction and flip it - post it back in the AH for a profit. I've made anywhere from 20s to over 100g on individual items by flipping them. And anybody can do this - it's not rocket science. But there is a hitch - you have to find the bargains first.
The good news is that if you have the Auctioneer addon for World of Warcraft you have just the tool you need. When this addon is installed and loaded you will be able to search auctions for items that are priced 30%, 40%, 90% or any % under their market price. You do this through the Search Auctions tab that shows up in the AH interface (see screenshot).
Before I go any further, let me say that if you are not regularly scanning the AH with Auctioneer this tab can't help you. That's because searching auctions for bargains relies on the Auctioneer database which is only populated by YOU...by scanning the AH.
Assuming you are keeping Auctioneer fed with market data, here's what the different settings on this screen mean...
Search: There are five items in this drop-down to choose from - Bid, Buyout, Competition, Item and Seller. I only use the Bid and Buyout options. This is partially out of ignorance and mostly out of not-feeling-the-need-to-use-the-other-options. The Bid option searches the bid prices in the AH and the Buyout searches the, you guessed it, buyout prices.
Minimum Profit: Here's where you tell Auctioneer which items you want to see from the search based on their profit potential. The profit is based on what the item's buyout or bid price is (depending on what you set for the Search option) compared to the market price. You can set it based on copper (um, why?), silver and/or gold. I tend to set this for 20s because the way Auctioneer determines market price is good, but far from perfect...that's fodder for another post.
Min Pct Less: Restricts which items are shown based on potential profit. For example, setting this at 30 means auctioneer will only show those items that it believes can turn a 30% profit, or more, if you flip it.
Min Bid %: I don't use this. Min Pct Less works pretty well for me for both Bids and Buyouts.
Category Restriction: Tells Auctioneer which categories to scan for bargains.
Minimum Quality: Defaults to "Poor." I don't touch it because I don't want to filter out any items and I want to see everything.
Search for Item: I don't use this either since I'm not looking for specific items but bargains in general.
OK, so once you've got all your criteria setup you hit the "Search" button. In the example screenshot here I scanned the Consumable market. When the results come back from the search you'll get five columns:
Qty - The quantity of the item.
Name - Duh.
Buyout (or Bid) - The buyout (or bid) price.
Profit - Amount Auctioneer thinks you could make if you flipped this item.
Pct - Percent profit based on the differenece between the buyout (or bid) price and the estimated market price.
When these results come back, I immediately click on the Pct column to reverse the order and show those items that have the biggest profit margins. On the surface, the results shown here don't look spectacular but I see where I can probably make 4g and only spend about 2g. Plus this is just one category.
A couple of things to keep in mind when using the Search Auctions functionality in Auctioneer:
- The results shown here is based off your last scan of the AH categories you have selected. Make sure you scan right before you search.
- If you are just starting out, stick to buying items that you at least have an idea of what the market is for them.
- The % of profit and amount of profit shown are not entirely accurate.
- Before buying an item, browse the items that are currently listed (your competition if you buy). This will give you an idea of whether the projected profit is lower or higher than what Auctioneer shows.
- It should be obvious from the first three points, but don't just blindly start buying out all the items in the search results.
It might take a few times before you get a good feel for what to buy and what to pass on, but it will come. And so will the profits! Happy hunting!