Usually when we use the auction house we only use the buyout side. The auction house also has a bidding process and you can set your bid price differently from your buyout price. In markets where people are less concerned with getting the item right away this can be a very powerful tool.
Undercutting and overcutting at the same time?
The great advantage of setting a lower bid price is that you are essentially overcutting and undercutting at the same time. If the AH gets bought out people will pay for your full price auction. If you get undercut on the buyout your bid price might still be cheap enough that it is of interest for some people.
Obviously we need to make sure that the minimum bid is above our minimum price to guarantee a profit. We also need to set the bid price low enough that it looks like an actual deal.
When does this make sense
So when does it make sense to utilize a lower bid price than buyout? The most important part should be fairly obvious. This will only work in markets where people are actually willing to wait 48 hours to get the item in question. This will usually rule out anything that is bought to increase your character’s power as players will want access to those kinds of items right away. This means we will only expect this to work in cosmetic markets, such as battle pets, mounts and transmog.
The second aspect you need to look for is profit margins. You need to be in a market where you have some sizeable profit margins. Otherwise the bid price won’t look appealing enough. If the bid price is 30-40% off the buyout price it looks like an amazing deal and is much more likely to actually entice someone to bid than if it was a measly 5% discount.
You can compare the two screenshots below to see this illustrated. For the gilnean raven the discount is substantial and is much more likely to make someone click bid. half of is quite massive. Whereas the discount on the Son of Sethe is likely not going to be worth it for too many players.
Bid percent setting in TSM
Implementing this in TSM is luckily extremely simple. All TSM auctioning operations have an option named bid percent. This tells TSM how the bid price should be set as a percentage of the buyout price.
This setting will never set the bid price lower than your minimum price so you can set it as low as you want. Since you are likely to post auctions at your minimum price as the bid price you need to be careful that your minimum price gives you a strong enough profit margin. I am usually perfectly happy as long as I am getting at least 20% profit, but your preference might vary.
I encourage you to experiment with the level. I think 50-70% is the most logical range, but it depends on your minimum price and profit margins.
Main use case: Battle Pets
The main use case I have used this for is battle pets. This usually lands me 1-3 sales per repost scan on one of my 4 flipping realms. I use a bid percent of 60% currently. Battle pets are mostly only bought for how they look. The market can also have some very large profit margins when flipping cross realm. Together this makes it the perfect market to use bid percent to sneak in some extra sales.
Potential use case: Transmog
I haven’t personally tested this out on transmog, but I expect it would work there as well. It depends a lot on your realm and your cost of acquisition. If you have profit margins above 100% then I think it would make sense to market to players with more patience than gold as well.
I hope this was at an appropriate level of detail. I might do some more in-depth technique posts on TSM in the future. I am also planning a more in-depth beginners guide for TSM 4, but that will be at some point after the launch of the Patreon. I hope you’re all as excited as I am. It goes live next week on the 2nd of May!