Monday, April 16, 2012

Cross Faction Transferring - How To Avoid Getting Sniped

Watch out for WoW auction house snipers
He's Waiting To Snipe Your Auctions

Transferring Items Across Factions Via The Neutral AH

One of the strategies for making gold in World of Warcraft involves transferring items via the neutral auction house from one faction to the other. There can be a great difference in price when comparing the same item on both the Horde and the Alliance auction houses. This leaves an opportunity to transfer items from the cheaper side to the more expensive side to make even more gold. Sometimes you may need an item that is rarely available on your faction, but is readily available on the other. Or you could be looking for a way to transfer some nice gear from your Horde characters to your newly formed Alliance alts on the same server. There are plenty of reasons why someone would want to transfer an item across factions, but there is a major risk involved. Someone else could end up buying the item right out from under you!

Sniping - Sniping is the term we use to describe the act of snatching these items off of the neutral auction house before the intended buyer can buy them.

How Not To Transfer Items Cross Faction

In order to transfer items from one faction to the other, you must use the neutral auction house. The basic premise is this:
  1. You post an item on the neutral auction house on 1 character.
  2. You buy it out on a character on the other faction. 
The absolute worst way to attempt a cross faction transfer is to:
  1. Post the item on character 1.
  2. Log out of character 1.
  3. Log into character 2 on the opposing faction.
  4. Attempt to buy your own item off the auction house.
With this method, you run the highest risk of getting your auction sniped by another player because you are leaving a large window of opportunity for sniping during your character swapping process. This risk can be lowered if you get a friend to be waiting on the other faction waiting to buy your auctioned item for you.
Since the auction house fees are very expensive on the neutral auction house, many players will post their items to transfer at very low prices, which makes them easy to identify as items trying to be transferred. Posting your item for more than a few copper will make it less obvious to an inexperienced sniper, but if you are trying to do all of the work on a single account, then you are still leaving yourself at high risk for sniping. Auction House add-ons can still search for items priced too low and alert the scanner that they are posted at great deal finding prices. So what is the safest way to transfer items across the neutral auction house?

How I Transfer Items Safely Across The Neutral Auction House

I have a 100% success rate for transferring my own items across to the other faction. I have never been sniped in any of my arbitrage attempts. Here is the method that I use and that I consider the fastest, safest, and best way to transfer anything via the neutral auction house.
Common sense should tell you to look around at the neutral auction house auctioning area. Is there someone shopping on the neutral AH already? Wait until that person leaves the area. I've actually been impatient and used my own strategy while the neutral auction house is busy, because even with someone looking to snipe you, odds are your can get the item before they can using my tactics. Here's how I do it.
The safest way to transfer anything via the neutral AH is to use 2 seperate WoW accounts and the Remote Auction House application on a phone. This combination make sit damn near impossible for anyone to snipe your items, even if they are there searching for items to snatch. If done right, you'll have bought your item before their search scan even finishes.
How It's Done:
  1. Log into the selling WoW account on your computer.
  2. Park the seller at any of the neutral auction houses.
  3. Log into buying account on the Remote Auction House Application on your smart phone.
  4. The buyer is buying from the RAH app, so the character's in game location doesn't matter.
  5. On the buying account, pre-fill the search terms for the item you are transferring and going to buy.
  6. On the seller account, pre-fill all of the posting price data for that same item.
  7. Hit the post button on the computer.
  8. Immediately hit the search function on the phone and buyout the item you just posted.
  9. Repeat this process one item at a time.
This process minimizing that window of opportunity for a sniper to search for and find your item before you have a chance to buy it yourself. Using the RAH app also prevents you from having to park a character near the neutral auction house. If you have two accounts or a friend helping with both the buyer and seller near the same auctioneer, you are just asking for trouble. Trying to compete the transferring process all by yourself on a single account is also just screaming for someone to come snipe you. To be the safest, use two seperate accounts and a smart phone with the RAH application. This method has never got me into trouble. You can do the same thing with just 2 WoW accounts, but the RAH adds an even faster and less obvious sign that you are cross faction transferring.

Is Sniping A Reportable Offense?   

Hell no! All the sniper did was buy an item off of the auction house that you priced horribly low. By posting items on the neutral auction house, you are offering them for sale at the chosen price, which is no different than you posting items on any other auction house. If you don't get to buy them first, then you lose out on the items, but no crime has been committed. Once you get nabbed once, you will hopefully try to be smarter about how you cross faction transfer.
Many players frown upon the notion of someone even thinking of sniping someone's items off the auction house. Pshh! Probably the same people who jump at the chance to buy a mispriced item off of the normal auction house. It's no different really. You are just preying upon people making mistakes in their posting process. You can find some good deals on both the faction and neutral auction house system. If they are that cheap, why wouldn't you buy them?

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  1. It's worth pointing out that you cannot buy out an item on the auction house posted by any other character from the same account. So if you post on character 1 and log over to character 2 (as per your "worst case" example), you'll get an error message telling you that you can't buy out that auction at all.

    I'm not sure if the Mobile app is smart enough to utilize this restriction as well.

  2. This is a great idea, it also helps to be vigilant with who is a round the area though so it's always good to check the names of sellers on the AH and check suspicious postings.

    As Alto said in his post about being the sniper, "List 10-15 of a very low value item like Course Stone, Simple Flour, etc., for 99c." If that person is in any of the Neutral AH zones walkaway and try later.

  3. Your posting is lacking some very critical information like listing price. There are NAH snipers that wait for toons to appear in booty bay and begin spamming searches on desireable items. The best way to combat this is to pay an appropriate price for it on the Neutral AH.
    AS an example, I routinely buy LW goods on Alliance side that are priced at 40% of what they sell for on Horde side. Sometimes for not much more than the cost of the mats. So I will buy them on an alliance toon for 400g, mail it to another toon in Booty bay, list it for 400g and then buy it with a Horde toon on another account. I usually use 2 laptops to accomplish this but since the price I'm paying is what it's worth it does not get sniped out from under me. The purchase price is also low enough that it offsets the transfer cost.

    So if you dont want items to get sniped and you dont have 2 computers, just list and buy the item for what it is worth. This also maintains a constant balance of funds between your horde and alliance side toons involved in Neutral AH transfers.

  4. I disagree. Using my tactic even if a sniper is looking to snatch my item, they have less than a second to search and buy out the item. I post no higher than 2copper buyout and there just isn't a fast enough way to catch my sales, especially when they have no idea what I'm listing.

    1. There is at least one person on my server (Skywall) that still uses a bot to snipe on the neutral AH, and you cannot beat it. I've caused several bans for these bots, but I suspect the same professional botter just starts a new account. The current one I check for first is a level 2 undead warlock named Drzed, in the guild Cherry Blossom, who is always (24/7) in Winterspring. The bots are usually in the Wintersprint AH, sitting or lying down behind the boxes to be less visible, or doing the same at the basement auctioneer in Booty Bay.

      I have two accounts, two separate installs of WoW on my main PC, I have it installed on a laptop, and I have the remote app. I set up at the AH on the purchasing character, so all I have to do is search & click the item. The bots will buyout a vulnerable auction in less time than it takes for me to switch windows, or to execute the purchase with my laptop or phone literally on my lap. The buyout is instant, clearly less than one second.

      I usually list items at higher prices & pay the 15% "Anti-bot tax" when I move items now. They seem to use a threshold of about 100g, so if I list desirable items for minimum 150g I have not had any trouble.

      Sometimes the bots are set up poorly, though. I sold one of them several Molten Core epics for 50g each that normally go for 20g or less.


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