Buying and reselling BoE gear is a well-known and widely accepted way of making gold in WoW. It is beneficial to remember this old trick as we all sometimes have a habit of getting caught up in our own worlds of crafting and profit margins.
Because many players will not take the time to strategically analyze and compare their existing gear to the various items found while questing or scanning the AH, the traditional logic has always been that purple, or epic quality, items will sell for more. This is true even when the upgrade on a blue (rare) item might be the better improvement for the specific class or spec in question. Purple sells better than blue simply because many players have become trained to respond to this color system in a somewhat Pavlovian approach to gearing.
Similarly, players also respond to item levels of gear. It wasn’t until the release of patch 3.2 that players were able to display the item level of gear but after that change, many took advantage of the new interface option, and now the decision of ‘is it an upgrade’ has taken a new turn. Whereas it used to simply be ‘purple is better’ many player now also refer to the item level so we’ve now got several tiers of epic and upgrades. That’s actually a bit of a misnomer because we’ve always had these tiers; they just weren’t as accessible to the common player.
The lesson here is that you should always enable the ability to display item level in your interface, even if you’re capable of making your own decisions on upgrades. The reasons to do so are:
- It can help you better decide on suitable targets and buy and sell prices for resale.
- Assist in negotiations on price “Man, I’m not paying X for that item, it’s only ilevel 200.”
- It can help you develop a more effective marketing approach to selling BoE items, “Ulduar 25 hard mode equivalent bracers for sale.”
We’ve previously explained how to enable item levels for your interface in our article on selecting profitable quest rewards.
WoWWiki has a fantastic, if somewhat outdated, article on the hidden formula and mechanics of item level. (Pro tip: Gear resellers, be sure to give that WotLK chart at the very bottom of the page a careful look for marketing ideas.)