You know that little warning window that pops up when you attempt to buyout an item in the auction house? The one that says “Buyout auction for:” and the amount of gold you’re about to spend? Have you noticed that you don’t see this warning when bidding on, and not buying out, an item? Well others notice the warning too. In fact, the mere existence of such an alert is bound to turn off some buyers. The warning gives them a last chance to second guess their purchase and use that final moment to change their minds. Now, obviously not everyone will change his or her mind. It goes without saying that many of us are pretty sure that when we attempt to buyout an item we mean to do just that and purchase it outright- no second guessing required. But here’s the thing, it does stop some people, some times, from buying out an item. Every time this happens it is another lost sale. Why give your buyers a chance to change their minds? Why encourage buyer’s remorse?
It can be summed up with this simple, WoWenomics philosophy: sell items for an amount that is both reasonable (i.e. a price at which you can expect it to sell) and profitable (the means of attaining the item were cheaper than the price you wish to sell for). If the price is both reasonable and profitable, set it at that price. Setting a bid lower than the price you actually wish to sell it for is self-defeating in that it can, and often will, result in selling an item for a low price.
The mechanics of the WoW auction house system allow for bids to be instant sales with no warning whereas a buyout is given a warning. By setting the bid and buyout the same every time you auction an item you catch all the people who would otherwise only bid on an item as well as all the players who wish to buy it outright (with the additional benefit of not annoying buyout-only customers with having to click twice to purchase your goods). Further, the default item ranking within the auction house is based on buyout price, not bid. Making the bid lower won’t attract anyone except the profiteers (like us) that hope to get your item cheaply for immediate resale at a higher price. Of course we’re assuming that if you’re reading this now you already understand to never, ever not include a buyout price. If you still need convincing that you should always make the bid = buyout, consider this study which concludes, among other interesting findings, that the completed sales percentage increases the closer bid and buyout prices are to each other.
There are a few occasions when you might wish to use the bid system to help the chances of a sale. One example might be when you want to ‘trick’ a potential buyer into thinking that someone has already bid on the item and thus create a false sense of security in bidding and a manufactured urgency. But these occasions are few and far between. For the most part, if you want to sell an item, set your reasonable and profitable price the same for bid as for buy out. Your completed sales percentage will increase and you will get the amount of gold you want for an item every time it sells.