Thursday, January 7, 2010

Real-Time vs. Turn-Based Strategy part 3

Trade Chat
Now if the AH is turn-based, then the Trade Channel is its real-time counterpart. Gone is the quiet speculation of 12-hour auctions and scanning. This is the home of trolls, flame wars, spam and quick sales.

The first benefit of using Trade over the AH is the lack of listing deposits and 5% sale fees. While these are nice, the real benefit is an audience that might not ever see your item in the AH. You have the potential to catch the eye of an impulse buyer that didn't know he even wanted those Saronite Swordbreakers until you linked them, let alone if he even needs them.

First you need to decide what toon(s) to use for Trade Chat advertising. Do you want them to be the same toon that made the item or unrelated? Using the same one might generate some name recognition from all your sales in the AH of similar items. Using a different toon and advertising lower sales than YOUR OWN AH items from a different toon might encourage the notion that it's a deal.

Do you want to respond to trolls that flame your prices in Trade? Do you have the quick wit necessary to diffuse their attempts while still coming out looking like the good guy? If not then just stay silent and wait for your serious replies. If you do have the talent to grammatically wrap a troll around your little finger, then you can gain a lot of good will from Trade Chat because they're probably sick of him as well.

Since you're saving 5% from the Auction House cut of a sale, what discount, if any, do you want to offer? Is it acceptable to go lower in favor of quick cash to you? I personally don't go below the 5% reduction. This is still cheaper than what is available. If you start a little high, you can afford to agree to people's counter offers while still getting the price you had in mind originally. I like to advertise for 2-3% off AH prices and have a little bargaining room with those that whisper me.

If you treat the Auction House as real-time strategy, you'll end up with high blood pressure and a lot of wasted time. It's not a viable strategy, nor can it be maintained. It, by nature, has timed intervals between choices that each person makes. Stick to this format and make the correct decisions here. If you just camp the AH and cancel/post every time you're undercut then you're losing out on a lot more than deposits.

Similarly, don't treat Trade Chat as turn-based strategy. If you think you can afford an experiment on how to respond to someone - think again. The temperature of the population can go south quicker than you can imagine and you'll draw more attention to yourself and lose out on the chance to sell that item anytime soon.

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