Auction houses (often abbreviated as AH) are wonderful places to find what you need, or make some money for yourself. You can find or sell weapons, armor, trade goods, recipes, and reagents. Each faction has their own auction house, and the two factions have a shared auction house in neutral territory. Auctions are also one of the best money-sinks in the game as well. As of 1.9 patch, all playable races for each faction have their own auction house in their capital city. All auction houses of the same faction are linked.
Auction House Locations
- Orgrimmar in Durotar – From the main entrance, it's the third building on the right.
- 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.
- Ironforge in Dun Morogh – From the main entrance, pick either the right hall and turn left once you enter The Commons or take the left hall and turn right. Look for the building front with the blue cloth hanging from various spots across from the bank entrance with the Mailbox.
- Stormwind in Elwynn Forest – In the trade district, slightly 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.
- Darnassus in Teldrassil – In the Tradesmen's Terrace, the northernmost building to the north, slightly south of the warrior terrace. It is west of another building.
- The Exodar in Azuremyst Isle – In the Seat of the Naaru, off the southeast side of the seat, sign located out front.
- Gadgetzan in Tanaris Desert – From the south entrance, it's the first building on the right (next to Marin Noggenfogger). It's the only underground building there.
- Booty Bay in Stranglethorn Vale – Auctioneers stand on crates outside the Bank and elsewhere.
- 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.
By right-clicking on the auctioneer NPC, a dialog box is opened where one can interface with the auction system at the default Search screen. This is the default screen, but you can reach it from other auction screens by clicking the Search tab at the extreme bottom-left.
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, press the Search button in the upper right of the dialog. 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. -- Arath
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 (Template:Money field). 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 tradeskills.
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. This is not always the case, but you can figure that everyone is out to get as much as the market will bear for their item. Prices also reflect, as well as directly influence, the inflation ratio of the economy at any given time as well. -- Arath
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 Auction Cancelled
- The current bid
- Short - Less than 30 minutes.
- Medium - Between 30 minutes and 2 hours.
- Long - Between 2 hours and 8 hours.
- Very Long - Between 8 hours and 24 hours.
To sell items at the auction, choose the rightmost Auction tab at the bottom of the auctioneer screen. When the auction pane comes up, place your item in the right pane and decide what asking price you want (Template:Money field). You may optionally 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. You can also select the duration of the auction: Two, eight, or twenty-four hours.
A 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. If your item is bid on and eventually sells, the fee will be refunded. 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, Auction House generated emails for successful auction sales will now have a one-hour delay and is no longer instantaneous, although a notification mail is sent immediately.
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 have looked up similar items before putting your item(s) up for auction. This gives you a pretty realistic view of supply and demand, and shows you at the same time what items such as yours are bringing on the open market. You then have some rough estimate of your item's worth and whether or not there is a glut of that item currently on the market. You can then make a more informed final decision about whether or not 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.
- It is best to save up and sell trade items in their max stacks (20 for most items) since workers tend to want the most they can get as quickly as they can get.
- It is recommended to set a buyout price, especially with trade goods. As most people do not want to wait for 8+ hours until they get their 20 light leather, they tend to buyout auctions instead of bidding and waiting. So if you want to make good money, set buyouts. Above rules for reasonable pricing still apply.
- Get a sense for your realm's economy. If you see an item selling for substantially less than it normally does, 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.
- Beware when you are buying out large amounts of items (IE. Trade goods), some people will sell a non full stack for the price of a stack of 20, in hopes to trick the buyers into not noticing the stack is not full.
- Since more people tend to play on the weekends, prices typically tend to be somewhat lower during the weekdays (mon-fri) and higher over the weekend. BUY during the week, and SELL on the weekend!
- 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.