Saturday, February 11, 2012

Pricing & Your Realm’s Population Part 3

This is part 3 of a 5 part series of articles concerning; Pricing Theories, Criteria for Pricing, Methods of Pricing, Customer Influences on Pricing, and Pricing Walls. When you have finished reading this series of articles you should have an excellent understanding of the many tactics used in the auction houses on every realm regardless of faction. You should also come away with an understanding of the basics for how to manipulate markets, and a grasp how much of an influence your servers population has on the “value” of items placed on the auction house.

Methods of Pricing

      Part 1 dealt with the theories that are employed when developing a price. In Part 2 we discussed the Criteria to consider when pricing. Here we discus the actual process for determining of pricing. In short, what to do to turn that hard earned loot in to digital gold. It sounds simple, put a price in the price slot on the auction house and then post it. And it is that easy. What that price is though is not so easy. I present you with five methods of pricing that have a return consistent with the amount of time taken to perform them.

Online Research
 I can not stress enough how important it is to understand what you are selling. Knowing what you are selling will help you price your items in an appropriate manner. If, for example, it is a rare item you may not know it just because the text is white and it is of a low level. The Roasted Moongraze Tenderloin recipe fits that criteria and yet sells for thousands on some servers. I recommend when determining a baseline for your prices, and then a trip over to to gauge if your chosen price is consistent with what is available on your realm.

Using an Addon to set your pricing
There is an old phrase, “you get what you pay for”, this is true with addons for the auction house. Yes they can be wonderful tools and help you post thousands of items at prices you like. They can also be used incorrectly and cost you thousands in gold for simple errors. Time is what you pay when using an addon. Be familiar with the addon, before you allow it to “peanut butter spread” your pricing. I know of one banker in particular, (points in the mirror), that understands the auction house addons and intentionally forces errors in the data gleaned by these programs.
When in doubt fix price your high ticket items when using an addon. Of course if you are posting in doubt then you are not paying attention, and truly deserve what you will get.

Using Server History to set your pricing
Server Histories are an interesting method to use. It works on the idea that what was, will continue. It is not the best method to use when pricing, as many items have changed over the history of the game. Some items that were “rare” are now common, for example, the Deviate Delight recipe. Once it was ludicrously hard to acquire and demanded hundreds of gold on the auction house. Now it drops like flies in the barrens and sells for silver on my realm’s horde side, and single digit gold on the Alliance side.

Using Price Check to set your pricing
The theory is a bad by itself. Actually using this method to price your items is… well let me say it’s like winning an argument on the internet. If you trust the population enough to post your items at their prices you WILL lose out. It is not in your best interest to price to the lowest common denominator. Never, let me repeat that, Never price according to the Price Check method.

Using consistent pricing
Consistent pricing is simple and can be very productive. If you find that you sell an item regularly at a particular price and there is little to no competition you are already practicing consistent pricing. It requires that you have done the research on the items you sell, the research on the realm you occupy, and you understand your auction house addons. This is truly a case of; do all the front work and then relax while the gold rolls in. It may not be massive amounts of gold, but it will be regular and consistent. Once the front work is done fine tuning on a single item by item basis is all that needs to be addressed.
This type of pricing easily allows for hundreds different items to be posted, and depending on the addons used, adjusted quickly and easily. The only time consistent pricing can hurt you is if the price you have chosen is inordinately high. This means you will list the items over and over and lose gold on the listing fees.        

I hope that this article has given you some ideas on how to price your items for sale. It makes references to auction house addons and I suggest that you go and do some research on them. is a good place to start that research. Next time we will look at the Customer’s Influences on pricing.  

Until then, remember, Time is Money, and if you spent time reading, then this article was worth the money.

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