Tuesday, May 24, 2011

2 Common WoW Auction House Buyers | Are You Forgetting One?

Buyers on the WoW AH

When broken down to the simplest basics of the auction house, there are 2 main types of buyers on the World of Warcraft auction house.  These 2 main types I will refer to as Purchasers and Shoppers.  Obviously, these are both types of buyers, but they tend to think quite differently from one another.  When profiting on the auction house, it is important to remember that these two types of buyers exist.  Catering to both the Shoppers and the Purchasers will bring you better profits than if you were focusing on just one of the two types of WoW auction house buyers.


A Purchaser is a player that just wants to get a specific item and heads to the auction house to buy it.  The purchaser is only in the auction house to buy the item that they are in immediate need of.  They do not look for a cheaper way to get the item.  They head straight in and search for what they are after and then they buy whichever one is listed for the lowest price in the auction house at the time that they need it.

When selling to the Purchaser type of player, you want to have the lowest priced item on the auction house.  The purchaser will come and search what they are after and buy the one that costs the least.  These buyers may or may not know what they are looking for when they enter the auction house.  They may be looking for a "red gem" or for a specific Bold Inferno Ruby.  What is common with the Purchasers is that they will always be looking for and buying an end product.  This could be a crafted item, a cut gem, an item for an achievement, etc.  They tend to be find it and buy it types of thinkers.  They aren't really the type to hunt for a way to get the item cheaper.


A Shopper is a type of WoW player that still uses the auction house, but they tend to "Shop Around" for the best use of their gold to end up with the same item that a Purchaser would just buy outright.  Shoppers are the ones that could be seen as a little more thrifty or you could consider them more of a smarter shopper that the Purchaser.  They don't buy a finished product unless that is the cheapest option.  A Shopper is more likely to ask to see the crafting recipe for an item, buy the materials themselves, and then have it crafted for a fee or a tip.  The Shopper can often get the same items for a cheaper overall price because they are willing to invest a bit of time and energy searching for the best deal.

Using the same example of a Bold Inferno Ruby, the Shopper is much more likely to compare the prices of the cut gems versus the uncut gem prices.  If a gem can be created for cheaper by buying the raw material and just paying a jewelcrafter a tip, then this is the route the Shopper will take.  Why buy an item for full price, if you can get the parts for cheaper and just tip the crafter?

When selling items for Shopper types, you need to list some materials for common items to be crafted.  A good example can be seen from a previous post of mine on Selling Deepstone Oils in Stacks of 8 since the Vial of Sands recipe requires 8 Deepstone Oil.  A Shopper type, may be another auctioneer.  A Shopper could also be looking for materials on the auction house to craft into finished products to post for a profit on the auction house.  These types of Shoppers are great repeat buyers and you can profit from them if you are able to supply some of the rarer materials they need in their crafting strategy.  You can sell Large Fangs for Shoppers looking to craft Barbaric Bracers.  You can sell Spider's Silk to those looking to make Spidersilk Boots.  You get the point.

Supplying Both Purchasers and Shoppers

Remember to not forget about the Shoppers.  As auctioneers, we tend to cater more towards the Purchasers who are in the auction house to buy our finished products.  Don't forget the Shoppers!  Enchanting is a great example of a profession that can make much more gold from catering to both the Shopper and Purchaser markets.  I myself sell item enhancement scrolls with the enchants already on the vellums, but I also sell the raw materials too.  Why?  To cover both markets!  A Purchaser may come to the auction house to buy an Enchant Scroll - Fiery Weapon so I sell those ready to buy and enchant your weapon.  I also will sell overpriced Small Radiant Shards and Essense of Fire for those Shoppers just looking to gather the materials.

Are you forgetting to cater to the Shoppers as well as the Purchasers?


  1. That's a fantastic post, and makes a really good point. As auctioneers we do usually cater to purchasers. Fighting undercutting wars and what not. However, we forget about the shopper and can easily win them over with some clever posting strategies.

    One I like to employee myself is with the posting of Volatile Fire, Air, and Water. I always posts these in stacks of ten. The reasons is two fold. I want to move them in volume, but also I'm reaching out to the lazy Truegold Alchemist. They are much more likely to pick up my ten stacks, then buy ten singles. Even if they are smart shoppers, they'll often still buy mine.

  2. Sometimes I like to think they are willing to pay a tad extra for the service we are providing instead of just to save their own time.

  3. Wes, When ever I buy the volatiles I will buy the stacks even if the singles are a little cheaper, just for the convenience.

  4. It kind of ties in with buyer. Supplying other market movers is something else to to look at. Your fiery example is pretty good; selling small radiant shards in stacks of 20 for people wanting to make and sell the enchant. Another good example would be the raw gem market.

  5. Back to the "time is money".. Me I am a buyer mainly, because 20 minutes of "shopping" is not worth 20 gold savings...

    I love both types, the "buyers" believe time is money or are in a hurry and need to git and git... Shoppers have gold collected from dailies? that I collect...

    Gold is created by NPCs the quest rewards/vendoring and mob drops (now also guilds "cash flow")

    Through the AH that gold is redistributed and collected. Goblins are redistribution artists, redistributing gold into their own coffers.

    I am a shopper, in that I have a shopping list and check it regularly for items to buy cheap, and also to keep tabs on markets moving and shifting... but, that also makes me a buyer, if its not on my list I aint looking...


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