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Gold Capped: Auctionator addon helps you buy, sell and profit


Every week, WoW Insider brings you Gold Capped, in which Basil "Euripides" Berntsen aims to show you how to make money on the auction house, and Insider Trader, which is all about professions. For Gold Capped's inside line on crafting for disenchanting, transmutation, cross-faction arbitrage and more, check in here every Thursday, and email Basil with your comments, questions or hate mail! This week's gold blogosphere post is Kaliope's Cataclysm jewelcrafting coverage.

Auctionator is a simple, lightweight addon that allows you to do some pretty basic stuff very efficiently. I've said before that there are some serious problems with the auction house interface, and even though the last design pass left it in a better situation than it was before, it's still pretty bad for a few reasons:
  • You can't see the price of your competition when you are listing your auctions.
  • The default suggested price is absolute nonsense and doesn't contain a buyout.
  • You can't see the unit price for auctions when you buy.
  • You can't sort by anything useful when you buy.
  • You can't save searches to avoid retyping each time.
None of these are game-breaking, but they're the reason every single person with over 100,000g uses addons. I am still an Auctioneer user, but while its dev team was sitting on a nonfunctional development build when patch 4.0.1 broke the addon, I had to go elsewhere to avoid being tormented by the almost functional default interface. I discovered that of all the addons I played with, Auctionator is the one that will remain part of my toolbox going forward, simply because it has a few killer features that I find easier to use for some tasks.

All the obvious stuff works the way you'd expect it to: When you Alt-click or drag something from your bags into the auction window, it shows you your competition (price, volume, and stack size), a configurable and appropriate default price that undercuts your competition, and your deposit. This is something that does the same job as Auctioneer, though. The killer features are over in the buy tab.

Killer features? Tell me more ...

Here's the interface you use to buy:

Note the list of saved searches on the left? You can add a recently searched item to that with one click. I've not had to type the words "adder's tongue" since I installed this addon! Also important: Look at the way they display the stock for sale. Notice how it's not pages and pages of singles that you have to scroll past to get to the stacks? Even if it had been, each of those singles would be grouped into a single line item.

People used to get banned for posting unreasonable quantities of individual Infinite Dust, just to prevent reasonable players from being able to find the real prices easily (see my above comments about how badly the default AH interface needs an update). Well, the first answer to this was to prevent people from posting more than 30 of certain items in singles, but the proper response would have been to make the default interface more like Auctionator. Spam singles until you go over your monthly bandwidth limit on your internet account -- it's still only going to show up as one line on my screen.

If you want to buy out a bunch of stacks at the same price, here's the interface to do that:

The addon can be configured to show you vendor and disenchant values in the tooltips as well as auction house values, if you allow it to scan the AH in full.

The last killer feature is how it can help you focus in on auctions that have been undercut:

Once the scan is done, you're given the option of canceling your undercut auctions. If this is something you do a lot, I'd stick with APM, as it's considerably faster and a little more intelligent.

The right tool for the right job

There wouldn't be a choice between so many different addons, each with their own vocal communities, if they all did the exact same thing. Yes, they all share some features; however, each one of them has something that sets them apart as well as makes them suitable for a particular job.

Auctionator is awesome for markets with a manageable amount of types of auctions and is best in class when it comes to simply managing a long list of mats you need to keep stocked up on. APM, on the other hand, fares terribly when you're not using it to sell large quantities of different types of items over a long time. Auctioneer has a better snatch list that supports threshold prices and automated "do you want to buy this" windows, as well as auto-processing some of the grindy work we have to do.

Blizzard's not stupid

When Blizzard sees a feature it likes in an addon that's become mandatory, it makes it part of the UI. While auction house addons are not mandatory the way Omen was, they're so much better, simpler, and more intuitive than the tools we have in the base interface that I suspect Blizzard will eventually steal a few of these features for the native auction house UI.

Maximize your profits with more advice from Gold Capped, plus the author's Call to Auction podcast. Do you have questions about selling, reselling and building your financial empire on the auction house? Basil is now taking questions for a special series, "Ask an auctioneer," at basil@wow.com.

Filed under: Economy, Add-Ons, Gold Capped

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