Confessions of a Diablo III Day Trader

The real-money auction house is live, and we have some quick tips for making the most of the new service for Diablo III.

Diablo III's real-money auction house has been live for a few days in North America, and it's already been flooded with weapons, armor, gems and all kinds of other objects you find in your Diablo III-playing travels. We asked our resident Diablo day trader to give some basic tips on how to use the real-money auction house and earn some cash:

1

Find out what gear people are after. Examples: Demon hunters want critical hit damage and high dexterity, as well as high armor, vitality, and all resist if possible. All resistance gear with high armor and stats with sockets is an easy sell.

2

Once you've established market demand, learn how prices fluctuate so you can take advantage of buying low and selling high.

3

Another rule of thumb: When you see something too good to be true and it just got posted (like 1 day, 12 hours), you better buy it right on the spot or someone else will. If you hesitate, you lose.

4

If you hesitate, you lose.
Blacksmithing can actually be profitable if you're lucky. You still have a chance to roll a terrible item, but there's always a chance to get that special item worth a couple million, which should easily recoup funds lost through trial and error. I sold plans that carried six properties for some bracers, which I somewhat regret.

5

Despite what you might think, gems are an odd commodity. For whatever reason, even with the plans, there's not much profit to be had with them at the moment.

6

The real-money auction house and the regular auction house both involve a lot of research and luck, especially when it comes to item drops worth selling or running into auctions that are selling good items at a stupidly low price.

7

Buy low on gold at the normal auction house, and sell it high at the real-money auction house. I believe at some point that gold will begin to plummet due to either duping or something similarly nefarious. I want to say the going price is anywhere from $4.00 to $7.00 for 1 million gold right now--so it averages out to about $5.00 per mil. But again, do your research.

8

If you're the highest bidder going into maintenance, you win.
If you see the server going down for maintenance, you can actually bid beforehand and win the bids the next day, assuming you time it based off the maintenance schedule. For example, if an auction has five hours left on it and the server is about to shut down for five hours, you better get your bid in before you get kicked off. If you're the highest bidder going into maintenance, you win.

9

If you're not sure how much something is worth, always check the auction house to compare prices, and either go higher or lower than what you see based on the time of the other auction. Also, while I don't believe in it, if you have time and you're unsure of something, put it on "Bid only" with a decent starting price to ensure that you get better value--sometimes you could get shorted on this though, so just be careful.

Have any other tips? Are you using the real-money auction house? Let us know in the comments below.

Written By

Producer of sorts, eSports enthusiast, hodgepodge streamer. Erick spelled with a C and K will often get upset if his nam

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112 comments
otanikun
otanikun

How sad, it's like throwing away your money to Blizzard even more than before, reminds me of the 5 Million idiots that invested in Call of Duty Elite.

minty_cbo
minty_cbo

Coming from my 12 yrs of D2 experience..people paying money for in-game items..nothing new at all..Diablo 2 ladder reset..first day-week of that reset..enigma runeword armor on ladder would cost $99.99-$300.00 from the item sites. And to those of you who never played D2..or haven't touched D2 in like? 9 years..all of the spam from those websites on D3..are the same item sites from D2 tryin to make a quick buck off of ya.Still haven't got to look at the RMAH..no time to play..On a fun note? to those that have/use D2jsp from d2..can turn that fg into D3 gold..etc...lolBlizzard fix and fail..and fail moar!

SKaREO
SKaREO

When they asked me to accept the ToS/EULA that encompassed the RMAH, I simply refused to accept that in my games. I asked for a refund and it was promptly addressed and refunded within 24 hours. Uninstalling the game was also very fast and efficient. It made me feel a bit better knowing that they made sure my exit from supporting their current business model was swift and painless.

halo-freak
halo-freak

I am not shocked that people are prepared to buy with real money, what shocks me is the insane prices people put up and then somehow it gets sold.

breakthruzero
breakthruzero

I really don't get all the negativity. It actually works out nicely. You play normally, run into something nice that you can't use, sell it on AH for money (or gold if you're into that kind of thing). By simply playing through the story in each difficulty level, you WILL find good items, even if you're not trying to, items that are worth more to others than yourself. Sell these. What could be a better idea?

 

Or are you somehow naive enough to think that item trading will not happen anyway even without AH? And who will benefit from these grey-market trades? Certainly not regular players like us. Some random third-world slaver maybe, not us. Despite the obvious money-making scheme, Blizzard actually gives regular players the chance to have a shot at doing something that was previously only doable by a handful of people - making money out of playing a game.

 

I honestly find something to be appreciated about that, maybe you should try the AH first and see how you feel after making your first dollar there.

Aeondeity
Aeondeity

I played until I reached inferno act II.

I tried farming, RMAH came out and I stopped.

Trying to find incentive to play a game focused on real money for progression.

 

The game's elements of "fun" are more so elements of "work to have fun".

Yagami-san
Yagami-san

My friend who is playing the game says that the sellers remain anonymous to everybody. Is this true? Anyone else think that blizzard are selling items in the RMAH? 

stricot
stricot

Really unethical move... And useless. Anyway normal auction house already breaks the game balance by allowing to get v good items on the cheap (filter below 3000 and you've got v good stuff already, much better than in-game loot)

Mehrdadmaskull
Mehrdadmaskull

Duh, somebody deleted my comment?

 I said, just like D3's trailer said, Darkness is coming.....first of all Free-to-play games, and now, Real money AH...and god knows what shall we see in future...

Tzunoy
Tzunoy

yeah yeah interview a blizzard employee. Fail . It will kiss the game ass you know

GetafixOz
GetafixOz

You shouldnt trade virtual things for real money....... Dont you know your doing someone in China out of a job :D

Yagami-san
Yagami-san

Terrible direction taken by Blizzard on this one. This game was designed right from the start to accomodate the Real Money Auction House. They made the monsters tougher and made an additional Inferno level so that you would have to buy items in order to progress. 

 

If not for this RMAH, this game would have been released years ago. Making money is good and all, but there should be a limit to that and not at the expense of game experience. The no LAN support says it all from the start. Greedy company is greedy.

snipeshot11
snipeshot11

Not sure if anyone realizes this but this isn't an MMO and me using the auction house does NOT affect anyone else. If I spent loads of money in the auction house and had all the best gear, this does not in anyway give me an advantage over Jimmy down the street. The auction house simply helps those who can't find the necessary gear to beat the game. If you were able to find everything you needed to beat Inferno without using the auction house then all the power to you.

FreedomPrime
FreedomPrime

So many troll's on here, it makes me sick.

xMoonDevilx
xMoonDevilx

I'd give you some tips...but that would be insider trading and I'd go to jail.

DomesticCatnip
DomesticCatnip

Funny fact is, you are all anonymous here, the only one with his reall name here is the writer of this article, so you might aswell say you hate D3 and its "Features" i think in the mean time you are all selling stuff on the Rmah, isnt that guilty pleasure?

AceBalls
AceBalls

I have only one suggestion to all fellow players. If you see anything 'legendary"- do NOT sell it now, or in the next year ;)))))) Hang on to it, especially if you find a full set !!!!

doremonhg9x
doremonhg9x

Find gear with big main stat and vitality... That's the only thing needed

BlackBaldwin
BlackBaldwin

if auction houses become the new plan for developers to gain a little income from I have to admit that as a consumer I feel like I'm just a street walker being taken advantage from like a pimp and a hoe.  Yes I know you don't have to use the auction house but still your doing most of the work getting the random equipment so blizzard getting a share of your work just seems wrong to me but hey its my opinion don't hate me cus I'm beautiful lol...

Master_Griever
Master_Griever

Having read so many complaints here I'm quite surprised.Just throwing this out there, but you can't complain that Blizzard is taking its share of your sales, because you never would have been able to make the sale in the first place if Blizzard hadn't supplied the platform for you to do so.And yes - buying items cheapens the experience of having them, and not having "earned them", but if this is how you feel then you just don't have to buy them. Your happiness is not affected by other people cheapening the game for themselves. I will retract this comment if this starts presenting balancing problems when PVP becomes available.

RavenXavier
RavenXavier

I'm a little confused in the article when he says  "I sold plans that carried six properties for some bracers". From what I remember every plan for something I've picked up has been bound to my account. Are there craftable plans for gear that's not account bound? Maybe I just haven't found any yet?

poopinpat
poopinpat

if 1.0.3 doesn't fix this game so that you don't have to spend millions to beat inferno I will be done with blizz...not impressed atm :(

TBear7130
TBear7130

Like Vegas, over time the only winner is the house that skims from each customers auction.

 

Also, more likely than not just like Vegas, the only people that will stick around are the professionals or gold sellers. Gold sellers are in almost every game and you made an auction house for them to make more money off Blizzard customers, let's not pretend this is anywhere close to an actual economy which despite all other things was done well by Eve Online.

gix47
gix47

all of these is pointless,you know for a fact that the gold sellers will control the market and the normal AH is dead becouse of the real money AH..D3  was made to make money with the AH and i hope everyone knows that blizz takes a 15% cut..

startman_1999
startman_1999

%$^&*&# disgrace to gaming.  Isn't the profit from sales enough for your corporations?  Always more.  The problem is the whole game is designed to accomodate this $%#^.   You #$%@^&% people disgust me. 

dwringer
dwringer

 @Yagami-san It would not surprise me, although I don't think it's necessary. Years of balancing and rebalancing WoW has given them some pretty sophisticated understanding of how to manipulate a system like this, so just taking a cut of the sales and relying on the extreme rarity of GOOD items might be enough. Then again, they could make the game 'easier' for everyone like a pay-to-play MMO does, which is basically what they're doing. Diablo 3 is a lot like Maple Story I guess.

cell_dweller
cell_dweller moderator moderator

 @Mehrdadmaskull It's all about nickel and dime tactics now.  You better believe I won't be using the real money AH at all.

Darnasian
Darnasian

 @Tzunoy So from your point of view 2012's games are made with asses!

Pure "genius" are you?

mska
mska

 @GetafixOz you know that a video game is basically a virtual thing and it actually costs money?

Senor_Kami
Senor_Kami

 @GetafixOz Nah, those folk over their are probably getting paid to play the game on the highest setting possible for like 12 hours a day to grind out quality loot.

s2thugskater
s2thugskater

 @snipeshot11 come back and let me know how it effects you when pvp is enabled and and little jimmy down the street takes his allowance from mommy and daddy and buys better gear than you and whoops your cheeks all over the arena.

Erick
Erick

 @snipeshot11 This is true currently, but won't be going forward depending on how PVP shakes out. Your higher level gear could destroy Jimmy down the street.

marc5477
marc5477

 @snipeshot11 Your results will not affect others however the difficulty of inferno does. If they purposely created inferno for the sole purpose of selling weapons in the real money auction house then everyone who does not want to participate basically got cheated out of their money since inferno is technically end game content.I think this game is a huge failure and will reflect in the sales of D3 expansions and future Diablo games. So many players are peeved by the online requirement, broken hardcore gameplay due to dying in a split second of lag, and many despise the auction house. One thing is for certain, people are not playing this game. I am lucky to find 2-3 people playing online at around 8p-12a in any level range. Makes me wonder where those 6m customers are and if those were actually "paid" sales or just phantom sales/accounts.

s2thugskater
s2thugskater

 @DomesticCatnip selling on the rmah is virtually pointless. in the aspect of making money anyway. you would have to play hours on end to get enough buyable items that would make 2-3$ tops and blizzard takes 30% +1$ every transaction. its just another way to nickle and dime the customers... if someone does make a decent profit off the game.. then good for them.. personally.. im not gunna waste my time trying

NBKNAS
NBKNAS

 @doremonhg9x haha no!  once you hit inferno, you won't make it past act 1 with those stats ;) 

BasiK3108
BasiK3108

 @BlackBaldwin i think is cool you can sell digital stuff that didn't cost you anything , don't care if blizzard takes a cut because i'm selling something they provided me. is free money for playing a game.

 

just so you know i'm not trying to hate is just that we have contrasting opinions and it seemed like the right place to post mine.

slotheater
slotheater

 @RavenXavier you can sell plans thats why theres a tab to sell them on the auction house <3s

Erick
Erick

 @RavenXavier Hey Raven, yeah there a blacksmith plans as well as jewel crafting plans later in the game that you have to find that are not just trainable without the pattern/plans.

Darnasian
Darnasian

 @poopinpat Or just work your ass hard enough to beat it without ah items XD

Koreans do this all the time....that's why is called Inferno ffs..>>INFERNO

s2thugskater
s2thugskater

 @gix47 30% if you want to withdraw all your funds into your personal account... and if youre putting it into something like paypal then they might charge a fee as well... youre making change every transaction...

ZOD777
ZOD777

 @gix47 I wonder how many people bought the game without knowing there would be an auction house, and on the other hand, I wonder how many bought the game solely because of the auction house.

FreedomPrime
FreedomPrime

 @startman_1999 You need to get a life and stop complaining about features in a game that are "optional"  BTW if Blizzard didn't add The AH to the game 3rd parties would have been selling gold and item's anyways just like they did with D2. At least this way the consumer/seller can have some control of the market by setting their own standard with prices and trade values. The Rmah is brilliant and you are just pissed cause you didn't come up\ with it yourself.

Kwiksilva
Kwiksilva

 @startman_1999 How about you quit acting like an entitled brat and accept the fact that each company needs to make money to survive just like you need money to eat. It is not forcing you to interact with the real money system but is a nice new feature to have in place for those that want to use it plus if it keeps servers up and things of that nature its a win win.

Darnasian
Darnasian

 @Erick  @snipeshot11 They will balance those things and you'll get matches only against players with your gear's level

deathblow3
deathblow3

 @marc5477 i play but i dont play a joinable game i just play with friends or alone. because you have the alone option is why you cant find anyone. not that people aren't playing. if that was true the auction house would be empty

marc5477
marc5477

Edit: Failure is a bad word to use. It certainly did not fail. It did great sales wise. It did horribly player review wise. Thus its a disappointment but not a failure.

deathblow3
deathblow3

 @BasiK3108 yeah my only question is why do they take a cut of the virtual gold. cash i under stand but what value is the in game gold currency to blizzard?

s2thugskater
s2thugskater

 @FreedomPrime idk if youve played this game at all... but there are third parties trying and are selling gold. have been since the game was released. theres no current  way around it.

maximo
maximo

 @Kwiksilva 

I think the idea of being able to buy your equipment without earning it in game is a flawed one. It really de-values the game in my opinion. There is nothing my satisfying than playing through a game earning loot. Anyone can pull out a credit card and buying all the loot they want.

 

This is a step backwards for gaming. Its driven by pure greed and devalues the game,

startman_1999
startman_1999

 @Kwiksilva You don't realize you're chewing off your own arm by defending this practice do you.

FreedomPrime
FreedomPrime

 @s2thugskater Of course Ive played the game, i have 2 level 60's and yes there is bot spammer's buuut, with he new AH the spammer's are not getting as much attention as they would be if the AH wasn't there. There would be far more bot spammer's and 3rd party people trying to sell gold.

deathblow3
deathblow3

 @maximo well here is the problem with your statment i have earn plenty of equipment in this game. none of it for me i have had 1 piece of equipment drop for me in 55 levels.what is this earn crap you speak of you can even make good equipment to later in the game and you can do squat in hell mode if your gear sucks. there is no earning in this game it is like a job you go out get gold then buy the gear/clothes you need. and occasionally you get some thing youcan use by shear blind luck. i  have had two legendary items drop for me both for a monk too bad i am a wizard. this game was built to make you use the ah real money or gold has down.

Kwiksilva
Kwiksilva

 @maximo I see your point in wanting everyone to earn their gear and yes that is a good feeling at the same time from an economics perspective it makes sense to charge for this service which will help generate revenue for the company. I understand why you hate just knowing that someone can buy their way through the game but overall it doesn't negatively effect you hopefully you are playing with friends that don't take the lazy way out but if it allows you to play on servers which run smoothly and allows you to keep enjoying your experience then ok. What other options are there though this is a serious question for developers. Yes, we need to make money and no we don't want to cheat the people buying our products but how can we make this work even if our game does't sell 10 million copies. It is interesting to think about how the industry will change to sustain game developers.

Zcary
Zcary

@Darnasian Like many of us who rather play the game than spend hours on forums I thank you for your time trying to explain to the "kidz" that they should shut it and grow up. To the "k's"... WHATS THE DEAL?!?! GO PLAY SOMETHING ELSE IF YOU DON'T LIKE IT... NOONE IS FORCING THIS ON YOU. (and if you have complaints... don't pretend your the spokesman of the vast majority. State your opinion in a serious manner and be done.)

Darnasian
Darnasian

 @maximo Just don't fking buy any equipment from the AH then and fking play the game the way it's meant to be....if you really have a problem with this let the losers and casual gamers /noobs buy the items u collect and u actually get their money

You get money for your work and they get no satisfaction...in the end u win

So where's the problem if a noob wants to be able to beat a game? It's not like he'll beat inferno mode with ah items....there you need some skill too