Friday, July 25, 2014

How to Succeed in the DDO AH (Without Really Trying)

Three words:  Don't Be Greedy.

It is pretty much that simple.  I would also suggest you remember who you're selling to; that is, if you're trying to sell lowbie stuff, then sell it at lowbie prices.

It is actually relatively easy to acquire plat in DDO.  You can, of course, just sell all the "vendor trash" to vendors at approx. 1/10 the Base Value (BV) price (assuming little to no haggle skills).  This has the advantage of being able to "buy back" items (for a limited time), if you made a mistake in selling them.

Or you can sell it to brokers for a bit more than you can to vendors.  This would require you to locate the various brokers for the various items, as brokers will only take the items they 'specialize' in:  weapons brokers only deal with weapons, armor brokers only deal with armor, etc.  This does have the advantage of allowing other players to buy the items you sell from the brokers (which the same cannot be said for regular vendors), but does not provide a "buy back" feature*.  The cost of items at brokers (and vendors, for that matter) is "BV times a mark-up multiplier"; and the multiplier is dependent on your haggle skill - with a high enough haggle, you can actually buy items for less than BV.

Or you can take non-named, mundane items (weapons, armor, trinkets, jewelry, and clothing [boots, hats, and gloves]) to a Cannith crafting station and deconstruct them and get a small "recycling payment" for your efforts (which I think is stupid, but hey - whatever, man).  Depending on how you deconstruct, you can then either then try and sell the essences or the "blank".

Or you can try and sell stuff through the trade channel.  I have used it on occasion - most notably during events such as Mabar, when people are looking to buy motes.  But other than that, I don't use it.  I assume that most people only try and sell "non-mundane" and rare items here.

Or you can try and sell stuff on the Auction House (AH).  I have had great success here.  Mainly because I adhere to the previously mentioned axiom of "Don't Be Greedy".

It is astonishing to see some of the outlandishly, beyond insane asking price some people put on regular, not-that-special items in the AH.  I've seen a +1 longsword with an initial bid price of over 10k plat and a buyout of 20k.  It's a 400 plat BV item, people.  And the only ones who are even LOOKING for such a low-level item are low-level toons - and non-TR (that's "True Reincarnated") toons don't typically have that much plat.  So who's going to buy it at that price?  Only someone with more plat than brains.  And I guess that's what these greedy mountebanks are counting on.

Then there are the medium**, exclusive bags.  Newsflash - you can buy them from a vendor in just about any quarter of the city for under $10k plat (and that's if you have a terrible haggle skill).  So why do these greedy blackguards put them in the AH with initial prices over 10k?  Is it sheer stupidity?  Does anyone EVER actually buy them for those prices?  Again, maybe someone with more plat than brains, but no one who knows anything about the game would.  Ever.

And don't get me started on +1 stat tomes.  Ay-yi-yi!  Seriously?  100k for a +1 stat tome?  And if you happen to be the one person in the entire game buying these things, at these prices, STOP IT!!!  If the greedy parasites can't sell them, they'll have to stop doing it (won't they?).

With the exception of few (very, very, very few) items, I will not buy anything that is more than about 10x the BV price.  And that's for "rare" items.  Mundane vendor trash?  Pffft - around 2x BV.  But only if I really want it.

When I first started playing (about 4 years ago, now), my lowbie was looking for a stupid, mundane +1 weapon.  I had terrible luck and couldn't even pull one (that I could use) from rare chests.  So I looked at the AH.  And shook my head and walked away.  Asking prices were more than I had even had a chance to accumulate - for a stupid, +1 weapon.  So I made the decision pretty much right then that, again, with the exception of a few rare/ultra rare items, I would refuse to post anything with a buyout higher than BV (plus or minus rounding).  AND my initial prices would be approx. 20% of the buyout price.  Guess what?  I sold a lot of stuff and made a lot of plat.

With the release of Cannith crafting, and the reading of a Geoff Hanna post about how he would buy tons and tons of mundane stuff off the AH for deconstructing - as long as it was under a specific plat cost, I have since modified my selling policy a little.  But just a little.  All non-named, mundane vendor trash has a "plus value" located in the upper right-hand corner of the item's description pop-up; the higher the number, the "better" the item, and the more essences can be obtained when deconstructed.  This number does not have a direct correlation to the item's possible Minimum Level (ML) value, per se, but low ML items are not going to have very high "plus values".  For instance, a regular +1 longsword (with no other enhancements) is going to have "+1" in the corner.  A "flaming +1 longsword" might have a "+2".  So my buyout prices are now typically the "plus value" in thousands of plat OR BV - whichever is higher.  My initial prices are still about 20% of buyout.

There are exceptions; a regular +1 weapon (with no other enhancements) will only have a buyout of BV.  Mainly because if you deconstruct it, you're not going to get any essences - you can only get a blank or the equivalent ("+1" in this case) "power spirit".  Not to mention lowbies might actually be able to afford it, should they not find one while questing.

But I still sell a lot of stuff, so I get more plat from the AH than I would by selling it to vendors OR brokers, AND other people can buy stuff for less than what they can from said vendors or brokers, too (if they are patient).  It's a win-win.  That which doesn't sell (with exceptions, of course - there are always exceptions) gets deconstructed by my designated Cannith crafting toon.  So, win-win-win.

I do wish that DDO would list the name of the character that posted the item in the AH.  LotRO does this (as does "that other D&D-based MMORPG that's not shutting down after less than a year of being active"); maybe then we could all shame those greedy charlatans enough that they might stop.  Though probably not; they seldom learn.  Anything.

Any good salesman will tell you that it's better to make several, smaller sales, then rely on only making one big one.  I may not make 1.4 million plat in one sale, but I do make millions of plat over time.  You can, too.

Just - "Don't Be Greedy".

* You can buy the stuff you sold to a broker, but you'll pay the "full price", like anyone else.  Which is more than you received for selling it.  Unless, of course, you have a very, very good haggle skill.

** "Small" if it's green (and maybe soul bags?).


  1. Ch3z C0mic R31i3f25 July, 2014 12:35

    On swtor when I use the AH I look up similar items, see what people are selling them at and then sell mine for their price -10%. My item sells, theirs doesn't :)

  2. The auction house in DDO is an interesting "game" in itself. I tend to post things at double their price, adding a little bit extra for single straight stat gear or a decent weapon, but I never put anything up on the auction for huge amounts of money. I tend to sell a lot of items as well, and like yourself, those that come back I deconstruct.

    I've started to use this philosophy on the astral shard auction house as well, but that is a more complicated beast...

  3. I have a similar AH strategy. But I am willing to shoot for the moon on items now and then if it seems that others are pricing something really high.

  4. For rare tiems, sure - I sometimes do that too. But I'm talking about everyday, mundane items that are usually considered "vendor trash". Some of them are nice and others may like to have them. If they know how to search for them, of course.

  5. But of course. Again, for rare items, the rules change. But mundane vendor trash...