It is sometimes difficult to spot a good deal in the auction house. Sure, there are those times when something is obviously under priced but there are many other occasions of items at ambiguously attractive prices that we are just not 100% sure about. The problem is greatly exacerbated when the item for sale is outside of our normal trading niche. Another factor is that we are human- As much as we’d like to pretend that we are entirely analytic and cold calculating traders, we are still all humans and can make mistakes based on emotions or other impairment.
One way to help avoid such mistakes (aside from not taking large positions when you’re drunk) is to conduct what we call The Bulk Test. Before you press the buy button, ask yourself, “Would I buy this in bulk?” If you’re willing to purchase one or a few of an item, would you be willing to do the same deal with hundreds or thousands of them? Putting aside the issue of actual demand, if the very idea of this item at this price in bulk quantity makes you balk then you’re probably not getting that good of a deal. If, on the other hand, you find yourself saying, “I wish I could get thousands of these at this price,” then you’ve more than likely just found yourself a good opportunity.
Sometimes you’ll still make mistakes but this simple way of looking at opportunities can help us make better trading decisions. We are not sure why looking at an item from the bulk perspective can give traders a clearer understanding of value- Our suspicion is that the mind plays tricks on us by suggesting, “Well, if I’m wrong it is only a few gold lost” whereas with bulk quantity this is no longer a factor. But perhaps it would be best to leave those sorts of discussions to those that bloggers more apt at studying the psychology of WoW gamers.