Rules of the auction house

This is a list of very important rules you should follow while dealing with the auction house. Scan the bold, and if you're curious about a topic, read the summary. If you're even more curious, leave a comment and I'll address the matter in a later post.

Don't post on your main
- Always use a bank alt. See my long list of reasons.

Buy raw materials
- A netherweave bag goes on the auction house for 9-15g on my server. The mats - 1 stack of netherweave and a rune thread - fluctuate in cost between 3 and 8 gold. That's a bargain for your bags.

Don't impulse purchase
- By not buying things right away, you can save a bundle. As the market becomes further saturated with a particular item, prices drop.
- Two examples I've watched closely are Frostweave Cloth and Titansteel Bars. When Wrath of the Lich King was brand new, I sold cloth on the auction house for 50g per stack. Now I see stacks for as low as 9g per, even lower sometimes. Titansteel was the same - once upon a time, I was able to sell them for 200g each. Now they go for less than 75.

BottomScanner SearchUI is your friend
- Although I'm not a big fan of the bloated Auctioneer Suite, BottomScanner SearchUI is a proven method for finding under-priced items that you can quickly buyout and re-post. It's also an excellent excuse to stretch your legs and refill your coffee. (SearchUI is included with the Auctioneer addon.)
- Please note that due to the size and scope of Auctioneer, I advise against running it at all on a laptop If you have to, only run it on one character.

Pennies matter
- A player will buy the cheapest item presented to them in the auction house - even if that item is only one copper cheaper than the alternatives. Undercutting a 6g cost with your own priced at 5g 99s 99c, you're equally as likely to find a buyer as if you had posted yours for 5g 80s.

Overprice enchanting materials
- Dust, essence, and shards have no cost to auction them. Even if your dream dust only goes for 1g normally, you're welcome to price it at 5, or even 10 gold if no others are up. If no one buys it, no problem, you can just re-list it later for a (slightly) more reasonable price. And fi they do buy it... then you're rich!

List auctions for 48 hours
- Always post your auctions using the longest time period possible. Over the course of one day, the market might not fluctuate much and someone could undercut you, negating any of your profits. But two days is a long time for the auction house, and once the other auctions have expired or been bought out, yours will be left standing, the only option for potential buyers.

Should you buy gold?

First of all, you should be informed that buying gold is against the World of Warcraft Terms of Service. Buying (or selling) gold can get your account banned if you're not careful.

The concept of buying in-game currency has touched on many gamers' minds throughout MMO history. The reason is simple: Those with the most gold have the easiest gaming experience.

I'll be examining the scenario of buying and selling to answer the question: Is it really worth your money?

The pros are easy to think of: buy BoE gear, epic flying, six mounts; never having to worry about repairs...

And the cons: bypass fun encounters; meeting fewer new people; missing opportunities to learn your class better; chance to get banned; loss of RL funds; supporting illegitimate trade, gold site spammers, farmers, etc...

In this scenario, we'll imagine a gold-farming company selling 1000g for $15. We'll also say that I have a job that pays $7.50/hr, and I can farm 400g in one hour when I put my mind to it.

If I go to work for two hours, I'll come home with $15, which I can spend to buy 1000g. That's 500g per hour I've made.

If I stay home and farm gold for two hours, I'll end up with 800g. That's 400g per hour (as noted) I've made.

In this case, you're better off buying gold if all other factors are equal. If you hate your boss, and your job is boring, and your co-workers are mean to you, and you have to deal with angry customers all day... then you're probably better off taking those two hours and just farming gold. You can talk to guildies, watch tv or listen to music, and generally have fun (as long as you're earning on schedule, of course).

The following chart shows when you should buy gold, as a function of the amount you can farm per hour and your hourly wage. This chart is based on a 1000g for $15 price. It doesn't vary a whole lot for the $12-14 price range.

300 350 400 450 500 550 600 650 700
$6.00 B U Y Buy Farm Farm Farm Farm Farm Farm Farm
Buy Buy Farm Farm Farm Farm Farm Farm
$7.00 B U Y Buy Buy Buy Farm Farm Farm Farm Farm
B U Y Buy Buy Farm Farm Farm Farm Farm
$8.00 B U Y
B U Y Buy Buy Farm Farm Farm Farm
B U Y Buy Buy Farm Farm Farm
$9.00 B U Y
Buy Buy Farm Farm Farm
Buy Buy Farm Farm
$10.00 B U Y
Buy Buy Farm
B U Y Buy Buy Farm
$11.00 B U Y
B U Y Buy Buy
B U Y Buy
$15.00 B U Y

With this trend, if you make $20/hr, you shouldn't farm your own gold until you can farm well over 1000g/hr. That's a lot! I personally can make anywhere from 400-600g/hr, so I don't ever buy since I don't value my [unemployed] job skills above $8.00/hr.

Other factors apply. Not everyone can secure a job (which means you're stuck farming anyways), and not everyone is privy to accepting extra hours.

As well, it's tough to accurately measure the amount of gold you make. You have to consider items that you're auctioning, the money looted, grey items vendored, and then cost for flight and repair.


Believe it or not, you can save (and even make) gold just by getting to know people.

Nine times out of ten, someone is only a jerk to you because they don't know who you are. Maybe you're in a pug or you've accidentally (or purposefully) tagged their quest mob. While situations like these are tough to avoid and it's impossible to please everybody, it doesn't hurt to get to know some people. Through a guild or instancing and questing together, or even just talking when you're both up late night and no one else is on to keep you entertained, getting to know people can make you money. Let me tell you about a scenario that has kept money in my pocket for well over four months now.

I have a good friend who's a jewelcrafter. Many 80s can tell you right off the bat that JCing is a very good profession to have at level 80. This particular JC I've known since vanilla. She's a good friend and although we generally walk different paths, we've remained good friends (or gone in and out, depending on who you ask). Because I hit 80 before any of my guildies, I was looking for people to run instances with. My lazy and casual friends were taking their time, but this JC of mine moved up pretty fast. Her guild is a bit more towards the hardcore end, and a lot of their members wanted to gear up in epics as fast as possible. I was more than happy to run with them, and at a time when there were very few heroic groups moving and H-AN was just about impossible, I always had a place in their party, even as a "replaceable" dps.

There were only two things I did that kept me in that group. The first... was to always try my hardest. I top damage meters and I make it a goal to keep up with my past dps records and contribute as much as possible. Beating a previous sustained-dps record for a particular instance is fun for me! Now, no one expects dps to be any good, but the fact that I was very good was just a perk. The real reason they kept me around was because I was nice. That's it: I was polite, always said my pleases and thank yous, always checked if anyone needed some refreshments, kept everyone buffed, and made quirky jokes (the only kind of humor I'm good at). Over all, I made everyone's life easier by taking care of myself and helping to take care of the rest of them.

Now how did this earn me gold? I can list a number of ways right off the top of my head. First of all, I got emblems which helped me to get new gear without buying Bind-on-Equip items from the auction house. That right there saved me 100-700g for each equipment slot. Also, I got money and vendorable loot from the corpses in the instances. I also rolled on the frozen orbs and received dream shards when I didn't get any loot.

Ah, an enchanter in the group. This brings me back to the mention of professions. With both an enchanter and a jewelcrafter on my good list, I had life made. Now, I could acquire the raw gems and I had someone to cut them. The JC was able to achieve exalted reputations with the instance factions and learn the rare-gem recipes quickly because I had helped her through the heroics. Ah, runed scarlet rubies reflected in my eyes! At 5g a tip and a slot in my helm, necklace, shoulder, cloak, two in my chest, bracers, gloves, a belt slot, and then two in my pants and one in my boots, I saved 60g right there. In the end, I'll save much more as I replace my old gear and need more gems.

And now that I was on the good side of an enchanter, I had someone who would accept my greens (mailed to her 12 at a time) and disenchant them, taking a very, very modest cut for herself each time. Anyone will tell you that you make much more money off of auction-housing enchanting dusts and essences than vendoring greens.

Every now and then, when I proc an alchemy mastery, I'll send either of them the bonus. I have friends to talk to whenever I need, and they've made me more money than they've cost me. Keeping them happy is not only a small part of the business, but something I would do even if their professions didn't work out in my favor.

It pays to network.

Learn first aid

While it can be expensive to learn first aid at the higher levels and skill-up by purchasing cloth from the auction house, first aid is still a very vital profession for all classes to have.

At level 42, my rogue has first aid up to craft mageweave bandages. They can restore 800 life over 8 seconds. That's 100 life every second! The food I can use is level 35 and restores 1392 life over 30 seconds. That's 46.4 life every second.

Using a bandaid instead of eating food will more than HALVE the time you spend restoring life between battles.

Bandages also have the bonus of being able to be used in combat, and they don't consume mana. This is especially nice on a healing class such as a shaman, because then you can use your precious mana to deal more damage instead of running out trying to keep your life bar at full.

As if that's not enough, using a bandaid can be handy when grouped in an instance during an emergency situation. The healer will probably be too busy keeping the tank alive to spare any thought for the DPS. Commonly, DPS players will be expected to step back and bandage themselves before jumping back into the fray.

The only reason you might not want to bandage in a group is if you're the tank. A stingy healer could interpret the tank bandaging himself as a sign that he doesn't trust the healer to keep him up. I would like to send a message to all those healers: A tank may bandage even if you're a GREAT healer! Bandaging is a reflexive skill to an experience player. Do not discourage your tank from doing so, it may save your life someday!

The perfect mount macro

This macro was taken from the Arena Junkies macros page and edited by myself.

/run if IsMounted()then return end local t if((GetRealZoneText()=="Dalaran") and (GetSubZoneText() ~="Krasus' Landing") or (GetZoneText()=="Wintergrasp") or not IsFlyableArea()) then t={9} else t={1} end CallCompanion("MOUNT",t[random(#t)])

You have to edit the t={9} and {1}. You want the 9 to be your ground-mount, and 1 to be your flying mount.

The numbers are taken straight from your mounts panel (Shift-P by default), your upper left mount is 1 and your bottom right mount is 12. The first mount on the second page is 13. For me, my Swift Palomino is the 9th mount in my mounts panel. The Azure Netherwing Drake is the first mount in my panel.

Mounts are arranged alphabetically in your mounts panel, so my Swift Palomino will become number 10 once I learn a new mount named "Cobalt Netherwing Drake".

Unfortunately, this macro takes 250 characters, which leaves no room for modularity. You can't put [mod:shift] conditionals to it to make it force-cast your ground mount (which it shouldn't need anyways, but might be nice to have).

I previously had an alt-click cast Slow Fall on myself as I love jumping off of high places and having a quick safety-button, but I won't be able to do that with this macro.

Players who don't have a 280% speed mount: If you haven't learned flying or are in Northrend and haven't learned cold-weather flying, you shouldn't use the above macros. If you are in Outland or Northrend, have the appropriate flying skill, and only have a 60% flying mount, then you might prefer a more modular approach, letting you cast your fast ground mount more often than your slow flier.

/cast [mod:shift] Slowflying Mount; Fast Ground Mount

The #showtooltip line is a convenience line, you'll find it comes in very handy. If you choose the Question Mark icon for your macro, it will change to show your preferred mount all the time.

This will always cast your Ground Mount unless you hold shift while clicking the macro. Other options are to cast your slow flier all the time in flying zones unless you specify otherwise.

/cast [mod:shift] Ground Mount; [flyable] Flying Mount; Ground Mount

This will cast Ground Mount if you hold shift, otherwise it will try to mount your flying mount, and then your non-flying. It works in any non-Dalaran, non-Wintergrasp scenario.


Hopefully, with these macros you'll be able to unclutter your action bars by removing multiple mount buttons and it will save you some confusion over choosing which mount to use and when.

Create a bank alt

Hearthing to a major city and then flying back to your quest hub can take a lot of time. But you need to do something when your bags are full and you just can't loot that one extra piece of cloth.

One method has gained popularity due to its ease and modularity. Bank alts hold an infinite amount of storage in their mailbox. Technically it's not infinite, as you can only view 50 mails at a time, and each mail can hold 12 items. (50*12=600 storage space possible.)

When you're far away from Dalaran, such as in Grizzly Hills, and you just can't carry anymore bear livers or wolf teeth, you can just visit a mailbox, drop in all the items you want to keep but don't need at that moment, and send the mail to your bank alt! Then you can get back of your way of questing, without ever leaving the zone. Worry about all those items later!

Bank alts should be parked in a major city with a bank and auction house that are near each other. A vendor is also preferred, but unnecessary. It's also very convenient to choose a city other players frequent. Stormwind and Ironforge are the preferred cities for the Alliance. The horde cities are Orgrimmar and Thunder Bluff. With a connection in a major city, your main character can now bind their hearthstone to the current zone they're questing in.

Using an alt to manage your money will also help you save it. Without having your stacks of gold on your main character, you'll be less likely to spend. Easily avoided will be spur-of-the-moment spending. By the time you log on to your bank alt, send the money over, and then log back to your main, you'll have realized you probably don't need to spend 50g for that 1 dps increase.

A bank alt will also let you free up some computer resources. Addons like the Auctioneer package use a lot of computer memory and processing power. When they're enabled and active alongside other addons, your computer can quickly become overwhelmed. When you use a bank alt for managing your auctions, you can disable Auctioneer on your other characters, leaving your precious RAM to be used for more important things.

They can also serve the purpose of taking the burden off logging on your main. Some tanks and healers in large guilds dread logging online due to the shear amount of group invites they'll be expected to accept, even if they only have a few moments of time. Using a bank alt unknown to your guild, you can check your stash of items and gold, and post and purchase auctions unhindered by those guildies you hardly know.

A few people feel the need to equip their bank alt in the best equipment... a haliscan suit and silver cufflinks with a monocle to match. However, many of those items are expensive and you needn't have them to utilize the bonuses of an alt. You simply need a snappy name (iamabankalt, dontrenameme, sirbanksalot, iliketobank, richrthanaig) to begin the trade.

Update: I've thought of a few more reasons you should have a bank alt.

Having multiple bank alts lets you sort items conveniently. Zul'Gurub and the Ruins of Ahn'Qiraj have zone- and faction-specific items that are only useful after saving up for a certain time. Now that those two instances are easily farmable on a regular basis, these items can become bulky on a main and take up your entire bank if you're not careful. Making an alt (named "zgfarmbank" maybe?) can be a good way to store those items until you have enough to use.

Placing and hawking items anonymously can find you prospective customers you might not have found on your main. If you've grouped with players who turned out not to like you, or your guild is infamous, people might be wary of your items and would not buy from you, even if you're offering the cheapest wares. Using a bank alt lets everyone buying from you know that you're an alt, clearly, but no one will know who your main is (as long as your have a dissimilar name, and aren't in your main's guild). And trust me: No one ever asks. Generally, no one cares because most people use or know people who use bank alts.

Having a handy bank alt will save you trouble! Sometimes I don't feel like going to town in the middle of a good grind/quest session to post my auctions and put up with trade chat. Other times, I'm in a group and don't want to abandon them or burden them to wait on me. With a bank alt, you can put off handling the tedious details of trading until you're more fit for the task. If you're not in the mood for it, it shouldn't be getting in your way until you do it.

And lets not forget the roleplaying opportunities. With a properly-equipped alt, you can partake in the major-city roleplay scenes quite seriously, with a very humorous character. Having a class you wouldn't like to roleplay as a bank alt can let you experience their character when you're in the mood, and keep to your main the rest of the time. Also, since no one knows the alt is you, you can have fun with comical gnome or undead characters, or a stuck-up blood elf. Just remember to respest your fellow roleplayers and the roleplay-realm rules, as always.