Why I love buy orders... as a seller
Posted by Troll Racials are Overpowered [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 5 September 2012, 7:00 am
Can we agree that in WoW, 1 copper is utterly trivial?  Good.  Note that I won't say the same for Guild Wars 2, which so far isn't throwing piles of gold at me, though that's with the condition that the game is young and so is my character.

I don't mind price competition.  I do mind time competition.

If I post first, I lose.  The next person to come along can undercut by one copper, the agreed-on utterly trivial amount, and they get the sale.  I could pre-undercut and post at a copper less than I would have otherwise, but the next person in line can take a copper off of that.  I try two less, and he does three less, and so on.  Over many, many iterations we'll see the price drop by several silver.  Wow, competition sure is... not bringing down the price by any significant amount.

The person undercutting me isn't truly competing on price.  1c is trivial.  It has only one big effect: sorting the AH puts his goods higher up and therefore likely to be seen and therefore purchased first.  The effect isn't price competition, but time competition: he is able to get his goods listed higher because he got to the market after me.

Obviously if he were undercutting by silver per item and we were dealing with large volume stacks, then it's not so trivial.  This isn't about that.

Thankfully, GW2 has a buy order system.  Buyers can put up an offer for items which are filled as items come in.  As a seller I can enter a market knowing what buyers will pay.  Even better, I know that they are and will pay that.  If I post an item at an offered price it is guaranteed to sell.

Of course this only applies in a high-demand market.  If there are many sellers and buyers aren't around then it will look much like a WoW AH market: gradually descending prices as everyone tries to get something.  I avoid those markets.  As a buyer, I've found myself facing a similar situation of gradually descending prices from which I can pick the lowest or post my own offer and hope someone comes along to supply at that price.  Conversely, if it's a high-demand market and I'm buying with few sellers, then I'm stuck putting in an offer and hoping the next buyer doesn't bump it up slightly.

Any market system has tradeoffs and offers different benefits at different times, so don't take this post as me suggesting that the GW2 trading house is superior to the WoW AH.  While I think the offer system and cross-server aspects are great (smooths out prices and activity), I think WoW has a better interface, though I'm sure some of that is merely due to learning a new system.

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