The Auctioneer AddOn was created by the amazing Norganna.
This AddOn is the core of the Auctioneer Suite package of AddOns which includes Auctioneer, BeanCounter, Enchantrix, Informant, and Stubby. The Auctioneer AddOn and Auctioneer Suite compilation are maintained by an international team of active developers lead by Nechckn and MentalPower.
Auctioneer obtains its data through scanning the Auction House. Scanning is initiated by the user and no further action is required until the process is complete. There are two different scans possible, a "slow" scan using /Auc Scan or a "fast" scan using /Auc GetAll. The first method, used when clicking the "Scan" button or the "play" button from the "Scan Control Console", located in the upper left of the "Browse" frame, takes about 10-15 minutes, all depending upon the number of items/pages on the Auction House at a given time. When using the "fast forward" button, from the "Scan Control Console", your client pulls the entire Auction House contents at once, so the scan is extremely fast, taking roughly three to five minutes to complete the scan and the statistical processing. Each client is limited by Blizzard to using the GetAll command once every fifteen minutes. Both scans obtain nearly the same data; the "GetAll" ignores the name of the seller, which allows its faster speed.
Partial scans of a single item may be done from Auctioneer's "Post" frame or the "Appraiser" frame, which will quickly compare the price of the item being placed for sale to the current listings/auctions of that item.
It is highly recommended that, even when using partial scans, a full "slow" or "fast" scan should be completed roughly each game session or two. Doing so ensures that an accurate price history is recorded for all items, even those a player does not currently have in their inventory. When starting out, users should ignore the pricing recommendations until they have scanned the Auction House once or twice a day for at least a week; that will allow Auctioneer to gather the data needed to make accurate recommendations.
Outside the Auction House, users may mouse over item icons or links to bring up an extended tooltip, which will include a fully configurable set of data. The user can decide to show the Market Price, which uses Probability Distribution Functions from all active statistic modules to recommend a purchase/sales price, numerous outputs from each of the Statistic Modules, and the vendor sales/purchase prices. All are extremely useful when deciding whether to pick a certain quest reward, purchase an item directly from another player, et cetera.
The developers take care to help ensure that people are not able to "fool" the statistics by placing some items on the Auction House for outrageously high or low prices. This used to be an issue, but, there are internal functions to help ensure that only the "real", valid auctions are counted. Keep in mind that, even though steps are taken to ensure that the pricing recommendations are correct, Auctioneer should only be one input into the mind of a user who knows their marketplace! In addition, there have been many reports that so-called "gold guides" copy much of their information from the Norganna's AddOns Wiki and Forums, so users can save their ducats and read the information for free on the official site.
Auctioneer is the key component of the Auctioneer Suite, which is the version packaged and uploaded to the main Auctioneer Download page, Curse, and WoWInterface.Com. The Suite is completely modular, so that a user can pick and choose which modules they would like to be active, and which they would prefer not to load/use.
In October, 2006 the BottomFeeder portion of Auctioneer was removed due to potential conflicts with botting and automated program policies. The following was released by the creator of auctioneer on the website's news page:
Norganna - 2006-10-13 01:43:53: Because of so much dispute amongst whether BottomFeeder is or is not legal, I have contacted Blizzard to see what they thought. I have been informed that this addon does not please them, and they want it gone, so I am voluntarily removing it from this site as of now.Upon the advent of WoW 2.x, BottomScanner was added to the Auctioneer Suite, retaining most of BottomFeeder's utility; however, without automatic buying and selling that called its use into question. The BottomScanner functionality was expanded upon and included with the new SearchUI, which was included in the 5.2 release of the Auctioneer Suite.
- There is some sort of coordination and resource sharing (mostly web and forum hosting, probably) between the Auctioneer developers and the Gatherer AddOn developers, but the extent is not clear.
- JustMyTwoCopper A succinct guide to using Auctioneer.