Author’s note: This post had begun creation before yesterday’s infodump by Blizzard. That said, Blizzard’s information still contradicts itself from one place to the next. I am using the most recently updated pages as fact. Some FAQs and other sources list wrong numbers or statements. Ask me, and I will do my best to get the right answer for you.
I’ve been asked several questions recently about the nature of the auction house. There are a good number of misconceptions about the AHs that people have, for good reason. Blizzard’s information in several locations is outdated. I’ve compiled some non-basic information that I feel is noteworthy. Some may or may not be obvious, depending on how well you’ve kept up. I’ll link some sources toward the end. You will also see colour commentary on what a topic means.
Game Accounts are Global, Auction Houses are Region-Locked
Simply put, you are allowed to play on any server in the world with Diablo 3. However, characters and items do not transfer over. Each thing is region locked. Most importantly for this project, you may only access the auction house in your region.
There are RM AHs in Your Region for Each Supported Currency
Each auction house deals purely in one currency. For example, North American servers support USD and AUD auction houses (among others) that are not exchangeable. Each currency has its own auction market. You cannot pay USD in the AUD market, and vice versa.
There is no longer is a Listing Fee for RMAHs
This one is self-explanatory. Blizzard did not want to scare people away from the real money auction interactions by making players lose every time someone doesn’t buy things, or someone underbids them.
You may only have Ten (10) RMAH Listings at one time.
Most people have ten fingers. You have that number of listings.
What this means: You only get to spotlight ten things to sell, so make them count. Waiting to list an object has its benefits and risks. Generally speaking, you want to put the ten items you are sure to sell up on the house. As soon as they sell, you can put something else up to replace it. Think of it like a grocery store: most people want bread and milk. You put bread and milk among your ten items. They sell quickly, and when you have a gap on your store shelf, that’s when you put out those strange organic cookies that may or may not sell. Otherwise, you essentially have ‘food’ rotting in your back room. If the price for that bread and milk is too low, though, you may be better off waiting. It’s a big ‘what-if’ – it’s a risk, but can pay off.
Flat Selling Fees exist for the RMAH
For most of the beta, the RMAH had a 15% listing fee. This was later changed to a 1.25 Beta Buck (fake currency) fee. At launch, D3 will have minimum item prices for the RMAH. This is because Blizzard will, as often as not, cash out straight to PayPal (depending on user preference and user currency). The reason it is not scalar is to prevent penny-sized sales, as Blizzard will be paying PayPal itself on a per-transaction basis. It would be financially costly to work purely on a percentage basis. If you had to pay the bank a dime every time someone bought a penny candy from your store, you’d stop selling candy.
Commodity Trading Works Differently than Item Trading on the RMAH
There are two different methods for two different resource types. Commodities are gold and crafting materials. These are sold in bulk. The auction house finds the cheapest price, tells you what it is, and you buy a set amount of it. Blizzard then takes a 15% cut. With PayPal’s cut, this ends up being 72.25%
What this means: Unlike items that have variable stats, gold is gold. Everyone has it. As a result, gold selling will be fiercely competitive. There’s a good chance that if you were to list gold at the cheapest price and then shut off your computer, you would be underbid before the fans stop spinning. If I list gold to sell, I’ll be watching a movie on the other screen while I essentially nest on my listing, reposting it every couple minutes.
There is a flat fee for using the RMAH. The minimum listing you can place is for $1.25 USD
This is one of the big’uns. Every item you sell will cost a minimum 1.25 USD, with Blizzard getting 1.00 of that, while you get 0.25. However, any higher price gets you the full amount. Sell something for 2.00, get a full dollar in profit.
What this means: The pricier an item, the more it belongs on the RMAH. Chances are, if you are wondering if someone might pay $1.25 for that item you just grabbed, you are better off exchanging it for gold. You can then use gold from multiple of said sales to buy an item with gold that may be worth cash. However, if you find a very rare, top tier item, RMAH that beauty as fast as you can. The more an item costs, the bigger the percentage payout. Here is a link to a well-laid our table concerning this.
Blizzard Balance, PayPal, and Authenticators
Blizzard Balance is Blizzard’s internal currency tied to your account. It has a maximum balance of $250 USD. As a result, the maximum RMAH listing is $250 USD. Any more, and the hose is plugged. For most major currencies, Blizzard allows direct payment to PayPal instead. This is at a rate of 15%. This includes USD, MXN, AUD, EUR, and GBP. You must decide between Balance and PayPal for every auction you post, every single time.
You are NOT allowed to have a Blizzard Balance of $100 USD or greater without an Authenticator. This can be a physical authenticator, a phone one, etc.
What this means: Paypal will be taking a 15% fee, rather than a flat rate. I’ll be cashing out directly to PayPal most of the time, it looks like.
The RMAH will be Brought Online a week after Launch
There’s not going to be a mad dash to sell things before there is a single level 60 in the game. You will have time to get the game, play it, gather some items, and for the economy to start balancing before things go haywire.
That’s all I have for today. I’ve created a Facebook page for those of you without Tumblr. Here it is.