ver since auction houses entered World of Warcraft the economy has never been the same. Auction houses are an NPC service offered in World of Warcraft's three major cities. Ironforge houses the Alliance-specific auction house while Orgrimmar runs the Horde-specific auction house. Alliance players can not use the Orgimmar auction house and Horde players can not use the Ironforge auction house. The one auction house that is an exception to this is the Gadgetzan auction house. The Gadgetzan auction house is run by the greedy Goblins and allows trade between Alliance and Horde players (they don't care what faction you are, only if you have money). The advantages and disadvantages to using the different auction houses will be discussed later.
Auction houses do not come without their risks. To place an item up for auction you will have to pay a deposit fee. If you sell the item the deposit fee is returned to you, but if the item fails to sell you loose the deposit fee. The deposit fee is based on three values: Base Value of an item, Starting Price, and the Duration of the auction. The goal is to manipulate these values so that you gain the most profit from the sale of an item while limiting the risks of losing a large deposit fee. The art of managing these risks and overall seller strategies will be discussed in the section titled The Art of Selling.
If you wish to sell or buy an item the first step is to visit your nearest auction house. The auction houses are usually filled with people and located close to a bank and a mailbox. The more lag you get, the closer you are to finding an auction house. Once you find the auction house you should see a number of vendors. You simply need to click on one of these auctioneers to open up the auction interface.
The auction interface is composed of three main tabs:
Browse: Allows you to search through all the auctions that are currently open for bidding.
Bids: Allows you to track all the auctions that you have bid on (and up your bid if outbid).
Auctions: This allows you to track any items that you have put up for auction.
The final part of any auction is retrieval. In the old World of Warcraft economy both players had to be logged in and meet in a central location. Using auction houses the product is automatically mailed to the buyer and the currency is w automatically mailed to the seller. If your item does not sell and the auction duration ends it is automatically sent back to your mailbox (the deposit fee is lost).
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