I was reading the Se7en Samurai blog today and found an interesting post about gold sellers. Stormgaard went to a site advertised by one of those delightful spammers in Ironforge and discovered an open letter to their customers describing how they were currently conducting business and why they changed their methods.
It seems that the changes that Blizzard has made to the mail system has forced the gold sellers to change their tactics. They can no longer simply send gold through the in-game mail system because of the hour delay and the new "anti-transaction system". Face to face trades are out of the question for this particular company due to the time difference between their customers and their country.
Everybody now: awwwwwww!
Their new workaround is to have you put up Tough Jerky in the AH if you are Horde and Tough Hunks of Bread if you are Alliance for certain amounts (they provide a chart) using the character name you provided them. This bypasses the in-game mail security Blizzard put in by using the Auction House to conduct the transaction.
I went searching the Auction Houses where I keep my numerous alts to see if I could find any. As you can tell by the above picture, I did -- though it took me 5 servers to find one. Surprisingly, (to me) it is an RP server. Though it took a few tries to find this gold buyer, I assume that different companies are using different items to do the same thing. I would go looking at other gold selling sites but I don't want to give them the traffic or risk accidentally downloading nastiness.
No matter how many obstacles Blizzard puts in the way of Real Money Transactions, as long as there are customers, the gold sellers will find a way to satisfy them.
Have you seen any other easily obtained, cheap items up for sale on the AH for outrageous prices? How do you feel about spending real money on virtual property that you actually don't end up owning? Do cheaters really never prosper?
(Update: Help us get rid of the gold seller ads on our site by using the Contact Us Link under Resources on the sidebar.)