Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Auctioneer Advanced Overview - Part II

In the first part of this series that attempts to give an overview of Auctioneer Advanced (AA) I touched on the general layout, how you can use it to scan for bargains and, my favorite, BeanCounter.

This post will deal entirely with Appraiser - my other favorite.

Appraiser At First Blush

Appraiser is where you will be posting all your auctions and the Auctioneer crack team really hit it out of the park with this new interface. I spend MUCH less time posting my auctions with Appraiser now. And that leaves me oodles more time to spend procrastinating. That I do very well.

When you click on the Appraiser tab you'll see one of two interfaces. If you don't see the interface that I have in my examples click the SwitchUI button at the bottom of the interface. I really don't like the other interface for Appraiser, but it's been so long I don't remember why. I'm a creature of habit. My habits die kicking and screaming and taking down anyone within striking distance.

But I'm pretty sure my way is the better way.

Now when the tab is clicked, you'll see the interface below.

You probably noticed the annotations on the screenshot. These are the most important pieces to understand. It's not rocket science. Forgive me if I'm rehashing stuff you already understand.

  • Pricing Model: There are a number of models to choose from in this drop-down. I use two: Fixed Price and Market Value.

    • Fixed Price will get selected as soon as you name your own price by changing either the Bid or Buyout price. Or, if you like Market Value and want to keep that price for future auctions, you can select Market Value to get the Bid/BO and then select Fixed Price to lock it in for future auctions(AA will remember what your settings are for each item you post).
    • Market Value uses the sophisticated algorithms of AA to tell you what's a fair Bid/BO for an item based on historical prices (you are scanning regularly, right?). This value tends to be spot on for what a fair price should be.

    Of course what really helps determine the price I set is...

  • The Competition: At a glance you can see what your competition is pricing their wares at. This is based on the last scan for this item and it'll tell you how old this data is. If it's not recent (like right now!) hit the Refresh button.

    Never, NEVER, NEVER post an auction without seeing what the current competition is.

    These prices are color coded based on how their price relates to what AA feels is the fair market value. This is very handy because I can quickly see how many are...

    • Blue - a steal
    • Green - a good deal
    • Yellow - a fair price
    • Red - Rip Off City - price much higher than Market Value

  • Auto Stack Splitting: Pre-AA I spent oodles of time splitting my stacks. Smaller stacks is a great strategy that I use a lot, and AA allows you to enter in how many stacks you want and what size to make each stack. When you post it will automatically split and post them all. Automagically! It might be super lame for me to be so excited about this feature but it really saves a lot of time.

UPDATE: I've been schooled in the comments - Auctioneer Classic could split stacks as well. I didn't know that! All that time I was splitting manually. The agony. The pain. The stupidity. /cast [Doh! Rank 5]

Simple Example Using Appraiser

So I've got 20 Essence of Air that I need to unload. You can see from the previous screenshot that the last time I sold a few I was aiming for a BO of about 42 silver. There was much more competition then. Now there's none.

Oh sure there are a couple up for auction, but they've priced themselves out of the picture now that I'm about the flood the market.


My guess is that I can charge the market rate for these and make more than what I was making the last time I posted these. Changing the pricing model to Market Value confirms that - 54-ish silver each. That's a 28% increase. That's an additional 2.5 gold in my pocket. I'm a happy camper.

The screen shot doesn't show it but I upped my # of stacks to 10 while keeping a stack size of 2. When I hit the Post Items AA does all the work for me...

Part II Wrap-Up

Basically AA is worth having loaded for better "manual" scanning enhancements and BeanCounter (both explained in Part I of this series), Appraiser (this post) and BottomScanner (to be discussed later). Appraiser can save you a boat load of time and you will make better pricing decisions to boot.

The next part of this series will be the configuration settings for AA. Then I'll tackle BottomScanner but that will probably be it's own series because of all the settings (a beast).

For those pros out there, did I miss anything on Appraiser?

For those that are experiencing AA for the first time, how's this series so far? Be honest. I'm a big boy and can take it.

Plus you can't tell when I curl up in the fetal position anyway.


Trollin' said...

I use the other Appraiser UI, but same as you, I have no idea why. At a glance, it seems both views shwo the same info. I know the one I use has a side bar, though, but I can't picture what's on it without being in game. =(

Great wrap up! I'm looking forward to the BottomScanner section, it truly is a beast.

Ellende said...

Thanks for all the nice and very usefull info. Written nice and clear. And yes, I want my epic flightform so I will try to use AH a bit more serious now, since I don't have too much time to grind :)

Og said...

Trollin' - Like minds! Habits are good. They keep me from thinking.

Ellende - Appreciate the comment and good luck on getting that coin. I know you can do it.

/shake pom poms.

Topknot said...

I think I'll be moving on to AA tonight.. the auto splitting feature should save me a lot of time and clicks :)

Copra said...

The autosplit was in the AC, too, but it was hidden in the posting screen... where it says in that one in your example, Og, 1 stacks of 5 it stated only 1 x 5, which is exactly the same.

It's just the change of features, baby.

I have gotten used to the 'new look' instead of this AC lookalike. The new one is exactly the same, except you get more info from the side window and the amount of goods can be changed with slide rulers... cool. NOT!

Nice writing, looking forward on the knee deep details on how to break it or make it!


Og said...

Copra - Doh!

/feels sheepish

Wish I new that months

Awesome insights and I'll keep writing.

Abdiel on Bronzebeard EU said...

I've been using Auctioneer Classic for some time and recently switched to running them both, just because AA doesn't yet have the Search feature.

... and I think the classic version had the auto-stack split built in as well (the same, specify stack size and number of stacks).

Also, a point of caution regarding market value pricing model - since it's an average of the StdDev and Mean market price, it's a little more sesitive to outliers. So if you're on a server with lots of gold sellers (who sell light shot for 20000g), like I am, just go with StdDev alone.

Keep up the good work - you've got great insights and tips that keep me coming for more! Daily.

Og said...

Abdiel - Thanks for the kind words and pointing out that AC split stacks too (along with Copra). I'm not the sharpest Ogre Pocket Knife in the drawer so I really appreciate these corrections, clarifications and different perspectives.

Advanced is supposed to remove outliers, even in the averages, but I could be wrong. You are right on the Hunter's Mark about watching out for skewed suggestions from AA. You should always look at what the competition is pricing when selling your items. Except for non-commodity rares and epics, what the current competition and volume is for an item should weigh in heavily into what you set your price to be.

Those gold sellers are a pain. Hopefully some of the tips that show up in this blog will put a nice, big dent in their business.

Og said...

Topknot - Apparently the wonder that is stack splitting was in AC as well.


Time to update the post.

ilwil said...

Just installed AA last Thursday and felt very overwhelmed when i tried to start using it - so this series couldn't have been timed more perfectly. :-)

I have posted a couple of auctions using Appraiser and though I've scanned the AH at least once a day over the last week. I really haven't had much luck as the items I've sold aren't the suggested starting items (mostly green drops that I had no price for so I couldn't get appraiser to put a price in).

I'll add the the other interface that you mentioned isn't nearly as user friendly when starting out so to see something that more closely matches the regular posting is very cool.

Keep up the great work on the series and I hope to spend some time working with AA this weekend. Only need about 1750 for epic flight - and I think AH can help me out.

Copra said...

The wonderfull part of the AA is the fact that you can tell it what outliers it takes out of the equation in the configuration screen. I think the configurations for BtmScn, Appraiser and Enchantrix are somewhat mixed, but there is a place where you can inform the addon to disregard the prices which exceed the by some percentage. This has helped me to narrow down the scale, making it way easier to go around AH.

Because I'm not at my game 'puter, I cannot check the whereabouts of the slider, but I'm sure you can find it without the [Broken I.W.I.N. Button].


Og said...

Ilwil - Glad the info is useful and thanks for your comments. Those green drops can be tough to sell sometimes, but if you keep up on scanning the AH you'll be getting good advice in no time.

Good luck on getting that coin for the mount. Stick with what you know for most of your purchases and sprinkle with educated risks from time to time. Be patient and your mount will come.

Copra - Outlier filtering rocks hands down. I know where that setting is. When I wrap this series it will be with the configuration options. I'll be sure to point that out.

ilwil said...

Do you need to do anything else beside clicking the "SwitchUI" button in Appraiser to access the other interface? I tried just clicking the button and nothing happened. Do you need to close and reopen the Auction screen? Change the currently viewed tab to something else?

What am I doing wrong? Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Og said...

Ilwil - That should be it. Not able to check it out now, but I will later on.

Robb said...

This is a great series, and a great blog! It's the AA manual that should be on the AA website!

Copra said...

One thing I'm sure that will help you people trading with several products of different type at same time can be found from the 'new' side of the UI.

You see, the AA new UI lists the contents of your bags directly to the left side panel for 'easy viewing' and you can see immediately the color coded amounts of the products (if you have just scanned your data) alongside with the amount you have with you.

I call this the one click sales: if you have a set price for your products, AA remembers that. If you're using one of AA's pricing models, it remembers what you use. Which leads to the postings: you just check the settings of the product at the upper frame, competition at lower frame and puch the button to post the auction. Most of the time with fast moving commodities or recipies you are dealing with constantly you don't have to touch anything and the posting is very fast indeed.

It took me some while to realise that if you have a separate AH Mule, you will have in your bags only what you are selling, and it makes perfect sense to speed the posting part. It took me time 'cause I have AH Trader toons, whom I also level on the side. They have their gear with them just in case...

Hope this helps you to consider trying the new UI, too, as the benefits are manyfold.


Og said...

Copra - Great adds. You definitely know what you're talking about and I think it really adds to the topic.

/puts recruiting hat on

Since you're pretty well versed in the wrong, I mean other, UI for appraiser, and I know others would like something more in depth and I'd like to add it to this series but I've got other posts on deck...if you are interested in doing a guest post on this e-mail me.

(My 7th grade English teacher would love that last sentence)

These comments are very informative, but not everyone sees them.

/takes hat off

Thanks for the contributions.

Copra said...

Wow, talk about a compliment!

I'm flattered beyond measure... though I deem myself not worthy of such praise, given the (un)success rate of my recent trading.

I might be tempted to put up a short recap on the normal AA screen later. You see, I purchased a new vid card which really messed up my WoW, leading to the current situation in which I have to reinstall the game... and still I have to find the right settings to run it nicely!

Lesson: when you're shopping for yourself, the lowest price isn't the best choice... even if the product seems nice.

Og said...

Copra - Ouch. I've learned that lesson too many times - cheapest is rarely worth it. There's a lot of extra baggage that comes from the bargain basement. Glad you're back in action.

And it's OK if things aren't selling. That's called the learning process. Every once in a while we all need to take a step back and see what's working and what doesn't. Sometimes I try to force a profit that just won't happen. Or go whole hog on stacks galore that has very little demand. Or something else that makes me go...


You've got to make mistakes to be successful.