Friday, December 28, 2007

A Bad Experience With Auctioneer

Tobold was inspired by me to download Auctioneer and give it a whirl. Me! My head is so big I won't be able to fit through the Auction House (AH) door.

/deflate ego


First off, thanks for the link Tobold. I've got you in my personal feed. Not sure why you're not on the roll but will take care of that right after this post.

Second, his experience with Auctioneer was less than joyful. He brings up many good points about how the Auctioneer add-on experience can be about as much fun as getting ganked by an army of twink rogues in Warsong Gulch. And I'm sure he's not the only one. So I figured I'd share my perspective here.

Auctioneer's Prices Are Wrong

Correct-ish. I wrote about how the add-on can be misleading a couple weeks back. Auctioneer will give you good information as long as you feed it often. Over time the prices will even out and you can start trusting it. You do this by scanning the AH regularly.

How soon can you count on Auctioneer's data to give you good info? Glad you asked. Just wrote about this yesterday.

Tobold is right that it doesn't take into account world events, time of the week or anything else that can impact a market. This is why you should always stick to markets you kinda-sorta know when first starting off. Build your confidence in the tool and yourself before taking risks.

Auctioneer's Stats Aren't Perfect

Correct-ish. In Auctioneer Advanced the most prominent stats are the averages it displays. Averages are a good metric, but not great. They do roll in the uber-high-what-are-you-smoking prices as well as the really low ones. This can skew the info.

However, it does display the median price as well. For those that used to leave math class with a big red circle on your forhead and wiping drool from your cheek, the median is the middle price for all the auctions Auctioneer has seen. This means half of all auctions where below this number and half of all auctions where above this number. It's better than an average because those auctions for Refreshing Spring Water at 900 gold don't mess with it at all.

I find that the median price is a better guide for the market value and it's my main point of reference for my flips.

Auctioneer Advanced Is Too Confusing

You bet it is. Especially with the suite of tools. There are a lot of bells and whistles that make this add-on very powerful. The Auctioneer team continues to do a phenominal job at delivering a top-notch tool. My Crimson Felt Hat goes off to them.

/shake pom-poms

The downside is that it's very confusing, overwhelming and frustrating for new users. Even for seasoned users. Sounds like Tobold had BottomScanner on which can be as much fun as bamboo under the fingernails if it's not set correctly.

If you are just getting started, use Auctioneer Classic instead. I've got a slew of tips and examples of using it. It's a good starting point.

Profits Would Dry Up If Everyone Used Auctioneer

While I think this is a natural concern to have, I respectfully disagree. I'm surprised this hasn't been brought up before. Here's why I'll never be worried about how many people use auctioneer and being able to make lots of gold at it.

  1. Everyone has a different style of play. Not everyone will buy a La-Z-Boy recliner, roast smores in the fires of the Ironforge AH and snatch up all the bargains all day. Very few people enjoy flipping so much that it will be the vast majority of their play experience.
  2. Each flipper has a different risk aversion. This means that while some will be wheeling-and-dealing in Epics some will be extremely conservative. There's room for everyone.
  3. Each flipper will have a different market strategy. Some like to undercut everyone. Some like to target market price. Some like to wait till items dry up and sell for a premium. Others don't like waiting and will try and corner the market.
  4. Not everyone will use Auctioneer. People will get confused, get burned, not care and so on.
  5. There are always deals. There is always the next deal. The AH is open 24x7 and there are deals every minute. It will not dry up.


Long post.

So, are there any other bad experiences out there? Other things that drive you crazy about Auctioneer? I'm curious to know.


Furinur said...

"Profits Would Dry Up If Everyone Used Auctioneer"... yeah, i wasn't in agreement with Tobold on this either. There are tons of RL markets where people have all sorts of crazy/complicatd computer programs to help the "track the market" and see the great deals, (stockmarket, Ebay), and even though more and more people are becoming sauve marketeers in these arenas, people continue to make profits. WoW AH is no different and for exactly the same reasons you provided. Thanks for the post :)

Og said...

furinur - Gotta love capitalism and the invisible hand.