Friday, November 30, 2007

World of Warcraft 2.3 Patch Cheapens Markets

One of the changes in the 2.3 patch that came out just a few weeks ago on 11/3 was a change in the time periods. Instead of being able to post items for 2, 8 or 24 hours it was changed to 12, 24 or 48 hours.

My suspicion when I first heard about this was that it would drive down prices across most markets. My theory was that many item markets keep their market price, to a certain extent, through attrition - auctions expire. When other sellers' auctions expire it reduces the number of items on the market. That means you can generally charge higher prices (how high depends on the item, supply and competition).

With patch 2.3 auctions carry longer and there is less attrition which means more supply and lower buyouts. I'm seeing this on the realms I play where some prices have dropped 20%-40%! Of course there is still attrition, there are still opportunities to get the price you want, but the game has changed.

I don't see this as a bad or good thing. It's a change thing. For those out there who have been waiting for the gear you want to drop in price you are starting to get your wish - yay! Pricing habits die hard so it won't happen overnight. Your gold will definitely go farther - at least for the short-term. When you post items on the AH you are probably experiencing prices that are way below (sometimes waaaaaaaaay below) what they used to be. You can either wait for supply to dry up a little (there's always a window...just a question on how long you want to wait) or you take a the hit now.

My recommendation - unload your inventory and clear out your Auctioneer data for all your realms. Pre-2.3 pricing will skew the information you're getting. Sticking to old prices will just mark you as "that guy/gal who charges too much - never buy from 'em." It'll also be a source of depression as most of your mail contains the items from expired auctions instead of coin.

If you keep with some of the basics (like know your markets, make sure Auctioneer is up to date and don't invest too heavily in one or two types of markets) then you'll be fine. No sense complaining about it (ok, maybe just a little to vent).

But I'd like to hear from others. I'm only on two realms which hardly qualifies as a good sample. Even in those realms my view of the market is narrow (I don't trade in everything). So are you seeing changes in the markets on your realms? How does it change the way you farm, create or flip items?

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