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GSSH - #18 - I just won a bid auction and learned some things

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Well I just snagged one of the harder recipes in the contest, a Sunwell JC recipe , on a bid auction. Yep, no 10K, 50K or 100K buyout on this one. The poster was another multi-boxer from The Zerg and it seems his greed got the best of him. I'm not saying I wouldn't have done the same, but he made 3 key mistakes that allowed me to get it for 1594g.

1. He started the bid price way too low and created the opportunity for us to get a deal. He could have started it at 10K and I still would have bid.
2. He posted the auction in the early morning, limiting the number of people that can be online bidding when the auction ends 48 hours later.
3. He wasn't online to see that the auction was failing. He could have cancelled it and relisted it, only losing his posting fee.

So how did I go about getting it? Well I noticed it on the AH two days ago and went to the TUJ to see when it showed up in the scan. Now the odd thing was I didn't get a TUJ alert for this item, and when I went to TUJ it said there were zero for sale.

However, at the bottom of the page, it showed one current auction. I guess there is a bug with TUJ and bid auctions.

I clicked on the seller's name and got a window for the posting time:

I learned it was posted some time between 5:53 a.m. and 6:58 a.m. Now I knew when to be online to snag it Monday morning. So, Monday mornings for me involve going to work, as it does for many other goblins (see mistake #2 above). I normally would have woken up at 5:30, but this morning I got up 30 minutes early to track this auction. The thing I was interest in was watching the Time Left field.

I was trying to figure out when the auction would end so I could do the best impersonation of an eBay snipe as possible. Below are the time values that correspond to the text. I was trying to catch when it changed to Medium and Short.
  • Very Long - Between 12 hours and 48 hours
  • Long - Between 2 hours and 12 hours
  • Medium - Between 30 minutes and 2 hours
  • Short - Less than 30 minutes

Now if an auction receives a large number of bids in a short amount of time, the duration on that item will be automatically increased by the AH. The details to me are not exactly known, but I do know bidding wars suck in WoW. Short auctions can quickly become Medium auctions and another 2 hours to wait.

So this is how everything went down:
5:00 a.m. 1385g Time Left - Long (I know it has over 2 hours left)
5:50 a.m. 1385g Time Left - Long (Good news! My train leaves at 7:17 a.m. and I'll be able to login to my WoW client)
6:03 a.m. 1385g Time Left - Medium (some time between 7:50 a.m. and 8:03 a.m. the auction should end)
6:27 a.m. 1447g Time Left - Medium (The bid increased. Someone else is watching it...)
7:26 a.m. 1447g Time Left - Medium (I'm on the train now and all is quiet)
7:32 a.m. 1447g Time Left - Short (Damn it why did I go to the bathroom? I have a 6 minute window when it changed to Short. I decide to bid a 7:55 a.m.)
7:40 a.m. 1447g Time Left - Short (Unchanged)
7:44 a.m. 1519g Time Left - Short (The bid increased. That makes 2 people watching the end of this)
7:55 a.m. 1594g Time Left - Short (My bid, now I watch to be outbid)
7:59 a.m. ???????? (my computer DC'd!! Argghhhhh!!!!!!!)
8:01 a.m. 1594g Time Left - Just end already (Nobody outbid me during the downtime)
8:06 a.m. 1594g Time Left - Ah crap, did the timer reset?? (30 more minutes of watching the screen?????)
8:08 a.m. 1594g I won!!!! I can now blink.

For some reason the end of the auction didn't fall within my estimated 7:50 a.m. and 8:03 a.m. window. Probably because of the bidding activity, but I'm not really sure. That's part of the unknown with these bid type auctions.

I must say if it wasn't for mistake #2 I don't think I would have won this auction. I'm running low on gold and not having online competitors was great. My second lucky break was being able to use the WoW client. See the RAH is great but you can't get your gold from the mail once you've been outbid. I only would have lasted like 6 rounds of bidding on my phone.

I think I'm still going to try some bid auctions on my server for some big ticket items but I will make sure I avoid the 3 mistakes that helped me get this hard to find recipe.

Updated June 22nd, 2012 at 05:07 PM by Wanamaker

World of Warcraft , Journals


  1. theatermusic87's Avatar
    Not sure what happened to you, but my experience was almost identical... I did the same wake up to bid early routine figured it would end about the same time (6:30-7:30 was my estimate) however i don't have RAH... so i couldn't bid later in the morning while i was at work.

    Also a not about TUJ... I don't know if it tracks items that don't have a buyout... But i was able to find the listing time of the auction based on the post activity heat box thingy at the bottom of TUJ page. Same result just different methods...

    I figured it was you who got it... fortunately for me Pozy came through and had another one drop... paid 5k for it, but hey it was worth it in the end.
  2. Kathroman's Avatar
    Hmmm. Interesting observations about the bidding mechanics. Would be nice to hear a bit more about this if there's anyone out there with tangible experience with them.