Difficulty level: average

In this unit, we will be talking about sales… Yes, again… You have to agree that it’s hard to get rich without selling anything ;).

After studying the mechanism behind shortage creation in the previous unit, we are going to focus on the human factor for sales in WoW.

It is obvious but easy to forget: fundamentally, behind WoW, you have players who are human beings like you and me. These real life people have, for primary goal, to have fun playing and evolving within a virtual world of fantasy.

What does this mean? Well, quite simply, that many rules valid in real life are also true in WoW. For sales as well…

If you know how to sell in real life, you will know how to sell in WoW. Therefore, we are going to review a few basic principles you need to know to be a good sale person.

However, do not worry, my intent is far from turning you into a compulsive sale person and we will only cover the basics.

First of all, there is the price people perceive.

Some “rules”:

Numbers ending with 7 (17, 27, 37, 47, …) are viewed as cheaper by a human being. Rather than posting an item for sale at 16 or 18g, choose 17g.

There are also some price ranges harder to go over psychologically. The first stage is at 20g, the second is 50g and then 100g.

It means, for example, that you will sell anything much easier at 45g than at 55g, but also, that you will sell it just as easily at 45g as 35g… The impact of this rule is that you need to carefully choose your batch sizes so that their prices match these psychological barriers. For example, if you have a batch of 10 items priced at 60g, it will be much wiser to sell them in 2 stacks priced at 30g.

I am taking the opportunity of this talk about prices to remind you that auctions are sorted by ascending auction price on the AH and not by ascending buyout price. A trick, a bit risky, is to post an item for a cheap auction price for example, so you stand at the top of the list, while its buyout price is very high. At least, be aware that it exists so you won’t be tricked.

Now we will talk about more realistic sales: direct sales. Until now, we only covered sales through the AH and using tools like Auctionneer or Auctionator.

But, you can also make some good profits taking advantage of the trade channel in major cities. You know, all the feed you get at the bottom left of your screen when you stand in a major city… by the way, messages that are not exclusively related to trade :)…

You can use the trade channel in two different ways.

First of all for purchases.

You must have noticed that some players regularly offer some items for sale.

There are two kinds of players.

Those who have a thorough knowledge of their market and are looking for sales at the best possible price.

And those who are in a hurry, who don’t know their market and with whom you can strike a good deal.

With the first type, you obviously stand little chances to buy at a bargain price however you can still make an offer.

When you find someone trying to sell an item or a stack, I therefore recommend you take some time to study his/her offer, to compare it with the market price you get for it with Auctioneer and to promptly make an offer to this vendor.

It is very important that you come across as forthcoming and polite. Do say hello, and if the price is not clearly stated, ask for it, then offer a lower price and kindly explain that your finances are a bit tight and that you are not able to offer more… without making a big fuss over it

You will either make it or break it, however you will find that, often, you will strike a deal. Respect and manners unlock many doors. If the answer is no, say thank you, good bye and move on to something else.

If you manage and get a good deal, do not forget to ask this person if he/she has other items for sale. You have started an interesting relationship, it’d be a pity to miss out on other bargains.

Such a practice is really efficient for large stacks of items. Players often stored their crops and they want to make quick and easy money. In this case, you can strike some good deals.

For reference, I remember buying after negotiation a batch of 60 Flasks of the Winds for less than 80g per unit… while their regular rate was around 120g on the AH. But here, my vendor was in a hurry, so when I kindly offered to buy the whole batch if he gave me a discount, an agreement was found. Around 2,000g of profit within a few minutes…

This is only one example amongst others.

The other way of using the trade channel is for sales.

In this case, you become the vendor and you will post one or several selling ads to attract some traffic and sell at the best possible price.

Why should you sell via the trade channel rather than the AH?

Because the impact is different.

There are many players who don’t take time to go on the AH, some others who do not know how to search on the AH, some others who simply don’t know anything about the item you are selling and last, many players who don’t have a clear idea of market prices and don’t have an AH near by.

By putting together a nice ad and posting it on the trade channel, you will directly touch this type of players and you stand a good chance of selling faster and at a better price.

Of course, you won’t use this for valuable items or small batches. For example, items carrying a high ilevel, crafted by professions, high level plans, ingredients with a strong demand like orbs or essence of destruction, sets of Darkmoon Cards, etc.

Work a minimum on your ads style showing some originality and FOR ALL OF THEM add a link to the item in your message (shift + left click). This way, those who do not know your item can check it out or see what it is.

So be careful not to get into the bad books of trade channel addicts who could blow off steam at you and accuse you of being a thief. Use common sense before stating your price or simply avoid stating it at all.

That’s it for the basics.

I do insist, do not forget you are facing other very real human beings and that direct sales are a solution not to be neglected to buy/resell better and faster.