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This, just to save typing time.
I always, always, always buy the cheapest, though. Even if it's one copper, it's still money I'm saving.
You would be a fool to purchase something for more than you need to.
ok, please take this all with a grain of salt as they say because there are many approaches to working the ah and this is just one of those many:
I confess that I am one such person that undercuts by one copper but please allow me to explain and maybe you'll see that there is a reason (even if you don't agree with the intent or method). First, yes it puts your listing at the top of the list automatically and that makes your items far more likely to be purchased the the ones that are one copper more. Not because of the difference in price (or in this case more like a lack of difference in price) but because of the ease of just taking what is known to be at the top of a list that everyone knows is sorted by cheapest to highest price points. That being said, there is a much more pertinent reason that most people don't like so much to talk about but I for one am willing to be honest here.
That reason is dominance. The ah is no different than any other part of the game. When you step into an arena to duel the goal is dominance. Nobody cares if you win with only 10 life points left on your bar but rather just that you won. You victory is still the same. With the AH, if you want to have any real chance at selling a substantial quantity of whatever you are selling then you must dominate the market because your competition is not the ah nor is it the buyer but rather, it is all the other sellers that you are competing against. Just as in an arena, 10 points one way or the other, one copper one way or the other; it makes no difference. In the end it is about playing the game better than your competition.
In the end, however, the proof is in the pudding so to speak....I can easily make 50k overnight if I play my cards right.....how many can honestly say that? Of course I have a banker toon that has his own 6 tab guild for storage and his only job in life is to stand there at the mailbox/ah so i can just logout/in to make transactions without having to leave the area i'm working in....but that's just me......best of banking to you all!
Edited by Melchizidech on 3/5/2013 8:32 AM PST
Melch has good points.
But there is more to the story. Some people play to raid, to quest, to explore, to pvp... and some people play to make it rich.
There is almost always "that guy" on every server. And there is a reason for that too... Because each player trying to play the AH is directly in competition with all other sellers, especially the major ones.
You can look at it as virtual economics pvp, if that helps. It is highly competitive, and every strategy in the arsenal is employed to rake it as much of a profit as possible. So, why do people like this undercut by 1 copper?
Simple answer: It works.
It gets more sales. It preserves the items price point for future sales of the same variety. It reduces the gains your competition makes. The less effective your competition, the more likely they are to give up and seek their money elsewhere. End result: You make gold.
So why undercut by 1c? It is effective in increasing sale likelihood, preserves market value, crushes competition's spirits. All win win.
But... There are also reasons to uncut by larger amounts, in certain situations. That is the better question imo.
When should you NOT undercut by 1c?
To me it doesn't matter how much you undercut by, it's your item... Even though personally when someone undercuts by a single copper i tend to purchase the more expensive one.
Myself I undercut by large margins to either make people mad, sell quickly or get my stuff moved quickly (depends on the competition and how i feel).
I undercut by a lot, but not a huge amount. I usually don't have time to constantly repost items on the AH to have some 1 copper price war with someone. I post my things cheaper they sell quickly then everyone else can go back to their 1 copper wars. If something is at like 400g I'll post at 375g. I also rarely buy stuff that is undercut by 1 copper, I'll usually buy the things that are 1 copper more.
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