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.

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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:

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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.

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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