The Auction House (abbreviated as AH) is a wonderful place to find what you need or even make some money for yourself. You can find or sell weapons, armor, trade goods, recipes and reagents. Each faction has its own Auction House, and the two factions share Auction Houses in neutral territory. Auctions are also one of the best money-sinks in the game. As of patch 1.9, each capital city has its own Auction House. All Auction Houses of the same faction are linked. With the release of the Burning Crusade expansion and patch 2.0.1, the Exodar's Auction House was added to Alliance-linked Auction Houses, and the Silvermoon City Auction House was added to Horde-linked Auction Houses.
Auction House locations
- Orgrimmar in Durotar — from the main entrance, it's the third building on the right. Several more were added in Cataclysm around the city (Valley of Honor and Valley of Strength).
- Thunder Bluff in Mulgore — at the two tents on the Lower Rise, near the bank and flight tower.
- Undercity in Tirisfal Glades — at all the raised platforms around the middle ring of the city, between the trade center and outer ring.
- Silvermoon City in Eversong Woods — one is in the center of the Bazaar; the other is in a large building in the middle of the Royal Exchange across from the inn.
- Shattrath City in Terrokar Forest, in the Aldor bank ( <Horde Auctioneer>) and in the Scryers bank ( <Horde Auctioneer>). Characters can only access the auction house of the faction they are neutral or better with Aldor or Scryers. Note: You can access either auction house (and bank) until you choose a faction.
- Look for <Steam-Powered Auctioneer> in the Like Clockwork engineering shop, Dalaran.
- Look for <Mechanical Auctioneer>ω ϖ in the Shrine of Two Moons, Vale of Eternal Blossoms.
- Ironforge in Dun Morogh — between the two passages leading from the main entrance, directly facing the bank across the footbridge.
- Stormwind City in Elwynn Forest — in the Trade District, slightly to the north, before you get to the Inn. It would be visible from the spot in the center where two guards are situated, and behind it is a passage to the Canals. There is also one in the Dwarven District in the building across from the bank.
- Darnassus in Teldrassil — the second northernmost building in the Tradesmen's Terrace, southwest of the Warrior's Terrace. It looks like a tipped over beaker on the map.
- The Exodar in Azuremyst Isle — in the Seat of the Naaru, off the southeast side of the seat, sign located out front.
- Shattrath City in Terrokar Forest, in the Aldor bank ( <Alliance Auctioneer>) and in the Scryer bank ( <Alliance Auctioneer>). Characters can only access the auction house of the faction they are neutral or better with. Note: You can access either auction house (and bank) until you choose a faction.
- Look for <Steam-Powered Auctioneer> in the Like Clockwork engineering shop, Dalaran.
- Look for <Mechanical Auctioneer>ω ϖ in the Shrine of Seven Stars, Vale of Eternal Blossoms.
- at Gadgetzan in Tanaris Desert — from the south entrance, it's the first building on the right (next to ). It's the only underground building there.
- , , and around Booty Bay in Stranglethorn Vale in the house in the lowest level closest to the inn and on crates outside the bank.
- at Everlook in Winterspring — inside the building with the huge telescope, where the bank is, too.
Auction system UI
The auction system has three parts:
- Search and bid on auctions, see "Finding items" and "Bidding on items" below.
- Bid status, see "Bidding on items" and "Checking bid status" below.
- Auction creation and status, see "Selling items" and "Check your auctions" below.
If you know the name of what you wish to find, simply enter all or part of it in the Name field, and click the Search button on the upper right, and the UI will return all the items that match the string you entered. Otherwise, you can search by category: on the left, there are some blue buttons that are preset to search specific categories of items. Click on the category of item you wish the find (i.e., weapon, armor, spell, recipe, etc.). Some category items will then display sub-categories. After choosing the category and sub-category, if applicable, click Search. A listing of the items you requested, if there are any available in that category, will be displayed in the right pane of the dialog.
Bidding on items
You bid on an item at the auction by clicking the item after doing a search (discussed above in Finding Items). This will put the initial bid amount or the default next highest bid amount in the entry areas at the bottom of the screen ([ ] [ ] [ ]). Enter a new amount you would like to bid or leave the default amount and click the Bid button. The amount of your bid is then removed from your character's available cash and placed in escrow until the auction is over.
Optionally, if the item has a "buyout" price, you can click the Buyout button after selecting the item and the amount will be immediately removed from your available cash and the item will be mailed to you. A confirmation alert will appear before your buyout is accepted.
If your bid wins, the item is mailed to you through the in-game mail system. If you are outbid or the auction is canceled, your bid that was previously placed in escrow is mailed to you instead.
All in all, the auctions are a convenient means of getting rid of excess inventory one might not be able use due to level or class restrictions, or products that one makes using their professions.
Auctions are also a great tool for finding items one might need. These items can get expensive, so be prepared when locating and pricing items at auctions. Prices also reflect, as well as directly influence, the inflation ratio of the economy.
Checking bid status
After you enter the auction system and make some bids, you can click the second Bid tab at the bottom to see the status of your bids.
You will see the following for each item you've bid on:
- Item icon (including quantity) and name.
- Required level to use item.
- Time left on auction (short, medium, long, or very long).
- Buyout Price.
- Whether your bid is the Highest Bid, you have been Outbid, or the Auction Cancelled.
- The current bid.
- Short - Less than 30 minutes.
- Medium - Between 30 minutes and 2 hours.
- Long - Between 2 hours and 12 hours.
- Very Long - Between 12 hours and 48 hours.
Note: If an item receives a large number of bids in a short amount of time, the duration on that item will be automatically increased by the AH (e.g., a Short length will be changed to Medium, and a Medium to Long). It appears that the change in length is to the minimum amount for that length, not the maximum. I.e., a change from Medium to Long changes the length to 2 hours, not 12.
To sell items at the AH, select the rightmost Auction tab at the bottom of the screen. When the auction pane comes up, drag an item from your inventory to the Auction Item slot on the upper left. Enter the price at which you want bidding to start ([ ] [ ] [ ]), and the Auction Duration (12, 24, or 48 hours). It is often a good idea to set a "buyout" price. These amounts may be the same, or different, as is the player's wish, but the buyout price cannot be lower than the minimum bid price.
A Deposit fee will be charged when you list an item for auction. This fee is based on the length of the auction as well as the vendor value of the item: minimum fee of 1 silver. If your item is bid on and eventually sells, the fee will be refunded, but a 5% cut will be taken by the auction house (15% in neutral auction houses). If the auction ends without a bid, the fee is lost (see Formulas: Auction House: Fees).
Any money from a successful auction sale will be mailed to the character who placed the item(s) for auction via the in-game mail system. As of Patch 2.2.0, Auction House generated emails for successful auction sales will now have a one-hour delay and is no longer instantaneous.
It is now possible to enter the bid amount and buyout price per stack or per individual item, as well as designate the stack size and how may stacks you wish to sell. This makes creating auctions simpler, as it allows you to create multiple auctions at once, but it has led to the auction house being flooded with single stack items. This could be beneficial to the seller, as it means that people can buy the exact amount of an item that they want, but it may also mean that people who sell in single stacks lose money, as many people will want to buy items in relatively large stacks (see Auction House tips).
Checking your auctions
To the right of where you create your auctions, there is a list of your current items up for auction and their status.
You will see the following for each item you've auctioned:
- Item name
- Time left on auction (short, medium, long or very long)
- The current bid
You can cancel any auction by clicking it and clicking the Cancel Auction button at the bottom of the screen. However, you will lose the deposit that you paid when first placing the item up for auction.
Auction House tips
- It is best to look up similar items before putting your item(s) up for auction. This gives you a view of supply and demand for items like yours. You can then make a more informed decision about whether to even put your item(s) up for auction, now or later, and how much to price the item for. As much as you may hate losing the extra money, sometimes it is simply more expedient and efficient to sell some items to a merchant NPC than to bother with the auction.
- Some customers prefer to buy complete stacks of cheap trade items (20 for most items). On the other hand, if the item is expensive, and is only used in a few recipes, and only a few are needed, selling in small lots may work better. Try to sell in a quantity that is useful to the customer. If the common recipe uses four, selling in stacks of four could work well.
- Quest completion items sell in the quantity the quest needs or less. One is a good stack size, because it lets the buyers select as many as they need and not buy excess. To the buyer, excess items are increased cost —- and a higher individual price is often cheaper.
- For some low-cost items, you can avoid a deposit fee by adjusting the stack size low enough. This works for low-end food items, which sell slowly, and would be unprofitable with a deposit fee.
- Set a buyout price. You will usually get a better price, and sell more often and more quickly. This is true for most items, but especially with trade goods and consumables, where people are often in a want-it-now situation. Most people do not want to wait for 8+ hours until they get their 20 light leather; they tend to buy out auctions instead of bidding and waiting. Above rules for reasonable pricing still apply.
- Get a sense of your realm's economy. If you see an item selling for substantially less than it normally does, you could buy it out and sell it for a profit!
- Beware of people setting ridiculously high prices. This is done on many items. If the item is a weapon or piece of armor, look at similar pieces. This can help you determine a fair price.
- There are people that set a buyout to 99g when 99s is the reasonable price. They hope to trick buyers into not noticing the difference. Of course, they could also have made a mistake when entering prices.
- Be careful when you are buying out large amounts of items (i.e., trade goods), and make sure you are not paying full-stack price for a stack that is not full.
- Since more people play on the weekends, weekend prices tend to be different from the weekdays' (Mon-Fri). High-demand items will tend to be priced higher during the weekend and lower during the week. Items that crafters make to skill up can flood the market with much seller competition and low prices over the weekend and much lower supply and higher prices during the week. Use these fluctuations to your advantage.
- Auctions will still count down during realm downtime, so you may be less likely to be outbid if bidding right before the server shuts down for extended maintenance. Of course, many others will have the same idea. This also means it may be wiser to wait until after an extended downtime to set up an auction.
- Addons such as Auctioneer, TradeSkillMaster or Auction Master might be of assistance for more advanced auctioners.
- To get a more detailed pricing information about a certain item (especially those which are rarely sold on AH), you can check online resources specialized in collecting and analyzing item pricing information. These sites can provide you with historical price information about item, as well as price on realms other than yours (e.g. WoWuction)
- The Auction House takes a 5% cut of any successful auction.
- Auction Deposit fees are significantly higher in the neutral auction houses.
- The Neutral Auction House takes a 15% cut. As of patch 3.3.3, the neutral auction house cut was reduced from 30% to 15%.
- As of Cataclysm, there are faction-specific auction houses in the Aldor and Scryer banks in Shattrath City. The neutral auction house however is not to be found here anymore.
- Players with trial accounts can see the items listed for an auction but cannot buy or sell through the Auction Houses.
- As of August 23 - 24, 2012, a subscription is no longer required to access the remote Auction House feature via the World of Warcraft Mobile Armory.
- Characters on the same account cannot bid on items put up for auction on any Auction House by a different character on the same account, even if the characters are of different factions (Alliance or Horde) using a neutral Auction House.
- Blizzard does not prohibit "giving away" items to friends on opposite factions by putting an item on the neutral auction house with a buyout fee of 1, and expecting their intended recipient to buyout on it quickly. However, anyone is entitled to buyout the item at that price, and even if someone is not the intended recipient of that item, "stealing" it is not punishable by GMs.
- Patch 5.0.5 (11 September 2012): Mechanical Auctioneers added to Shrine of Seven Stars and Shrine of Two Moons in the Vale of Eternal Blossoms.
- / Patch 4.0.1 (12-Oct-2010): Several more auctioneers added around main faction capital cities of Orgrimmar and Stormwind City.
- Patch 1.8.0 (10-Oct-2005):
- You can now search for random suffixes such as "of the Monkey" in the Auction House.
- When you place an auction up on the Auction House, the auctions tab now displays your minimum bid and buyout price even if there are no bids on the item.
- Patch 1.7.0 (13-Sep-2005): Rethban Ore, Black Diamonds, and Pristine Black Diamonds may now be found in the Miscellaneous Junk category of the Auction House.
While not noted in patch notes, these items have long since been returned to the Quest category.
- Patch 1.6.0 (12-Jul-2005): Librams are now considered to be Books when searching for these items in the Auction House.
- Patch 1.5.0 (2005-06-07): Players can no longer auction an item that they've just disenchanted.
- Patch 1.4.0 (2005-05-05):
- Recipes you already know will not show up in the auction listing if "Usable Items" is checked.
- Fixed sorting items in the auction house by current bid.
- Patch 1.3.0 (07-Mar-2005):
- Fixed bug with incorrect minimum bid display when outbid while monitoring your auctions at the auction house.
- The auction interface now displays the gold, silver, and copper values for all items, even if those values are zero. This should make it more difficult to "hide" an item that costs several gold among items that only cost several silver, for example.
- ^ Blizzard Entertainment 2012-08-24. Mobile Armory Guild Chat and Auction House Features Now Free. Official World of Warcraft Community site (US).
Blizzard Entertainment 2012-08-24. Mobile Armory Guild Chat and Auction House Features Now Free. Official World of Warcraft Community site (EU).
- Auction guide
- Auction House fees and deposits formulae
- Guide to making money
- Working the Auction House
- World of Warcraft Remote
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- Market info
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