What on earth does the TSM Tooltip mean

Tradeskillmaster is a powerful addon, that many of you use. I often get questions “Why is the price wrong?”. Today I’ll talk about why, and what the actual numbers mean.

The tooltip

The default tooltip looks something like this. The AuctionDB part is the part where the prices TSM assings to the item exist, and where we will have the focus. There’s 5 main price sources here, that all show a gold value, and then there are two numbers related to the sale rate of an item.

Min buyout

This is as straightforward as it sounds. It’s the lowest price found the last time TSM got data from the AH API. It can be up to an hour out of date, so be aware it’s not always accurate. I don’t personally use this for anything in my TSM settings. 

Market value

This one often trips people up. The market value is calculated based on prices over the last 14 days, where the most recent prices have the highest weight. This means that when a price changes by a large amount in a small amount of time the market value will take a couple of days to follow. This is even more noticeable early in new expansions where you only have 2 days worth of prices to calculate the market value.

Market value is great for items where the market has stabilized, but it can be misleading when a patch or expansion causes the market to shift.

Historical Price

Historical price is calculated similarly to the market price, except it uses 60 days of data in stead of 14. This makes it much slower to change, and only useful for items with very established markets. It can be useful for old world cosmetics to see if a price change is recent or not.

Region market value

The region market value is simply the market value averaged across realms. It can be very useful when flipping across realms, and will let you know if your realm is cheaper than average or not.

Region sale avg

This is often lower than all the other price sources. This is the average sale and purchase price for a particular item by TSM users as recorded in your accounting data. Since TSM users look for flipping deals this number often skews significantly lower than the market value. I don’t personally use it much at all, and I don’t think it is particularly important in most cases.

Sale rate

The sale rate is an estimate of the percentage of auctions that sell for a given item. It’s based on data from the TSM desktop app. I generally don’t use it too much, although it can be useful for prioritizing which items to craft or farm. A higher sale rate means you will make your gold back faster.

Region avg daily sold

This is the average number of items sold per realm per day. I find this to usually be the more useful sale rate number, as it can actually be understood. If this is below 0.1 then you are unlikely to sell more than 1 item a month unless you play on a high pop realm or spend a lot of time reposting. This can also be used to pick the right quantity to post at, although I think experimentation is the best method here.

Market value and region market value

These two are in my experience by far the most useful sources. I use these as a basis for most of my operations and they have carried me for years. Most others are unimportant except for picking markets, but I prefer to rely on game knowledge (which items do other players want?) rather than hardcore price analysis.

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