Monday, December 3, 2007

What's The Frequency, Og?

You just done scanning the Auction House (AH) and you're looking at a sweet deal on something you have absolutely no clue what it is...two Dark Runes:

Practically practically a 600% markup! Heck, you might be able to push it a little and get an extra .5-1g. Woot! Or you could not make much on it at all. You could even loose a few coin. You're really not sure. What to do?

You can make some huge profits by buying and reselling items you have absolutely no clue about in the AH. You can also take a bath - loosing coin and time by repeated posts/mark downs to try and get the stuff to sell. OK, it's not normally quite that bad getting stuck with a "deal" that really isn't. The worst thing that will probably happen is you'll just about break even or lose a small percentage. It's more time, frustration and the annoying sound of my ego deflating (like a constant whine) than I want to deal with.

One of the first things I look at when I see a "killer" deal on something I know very little (or nothing) about is to look at how often it showed up in the AH. Auctioneer shows this when you hover over the item to bring up the tool (item?) tips....

It's kinda hard to see here, but you'll see on the third line down in the larger of the two transparent windows a line that says Seen 36 times at auction total. This means that while you've been scanning the AH religiously (you have been keeping up on your scanning, right?) this is the number of times Auctioneer saw this item.

Good information to know.

Why is this number important? It tells you a little about the demand of the item. Seeing high numbers can be good, or bad, depending on what the item is. For example, high numbers for armor and weapons are not a good thing (in this case "high" would mean more that 10 times over a four week period). But high numbers are good to see for Trade Goods because it means you'll sell it faster (high in this case is over 100). This doesn't mean that low numbers are bad in Trade Goods - it could be very high-level enchants or rare items - but I usually take it as a signal for a low-demand market.

This Dark Rune auction showed up in Trade Goods and it might be a great deal, but the frequency of how often it shows up isn't building my confidence. I will probably buy it (if it's still available after this post) to test the market. If I get burned on the profit it won't hurt me because I'm sitting on a nice pile of coin. I also have about 160 other auctions going on so this represents a very small risk for me.

I generally focus on four different categories in the auction house: Armor, Consumables, Trade Goods and Weapons. Off the cuff, these are my thresholds for what gives me the most incentive to buy a bargain in the AH (over a three week period):

  • Armor - less than 10 times seen
  • Consumable - more than 100 times seen
  • Trade Goods - more than 100 times seen
  • Weapon - less than 10 times seen

There are also several other pieces of data to look at before making a buy (medians, suggest BO, current prices, etc), but those will have to wait till another post.

Battle grounds are calling...

No comments: