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I use the auction service through Guild Wars Guru and I’ve had some issues with it lately. Some of them are from the service itself (which is much improved from what it was this time last year!) but most of them are from the people who bid.

First and foremost, be careful if you set your auctions to automatically relist. I recently had to delete and change nearly all of my auctions because they relisted automatically multiple times. This meant that I had anywhere from 3 to 12 of the same item listed in separate auctions (as if I was selling 3-12 of those items). Thankfully no one bid on one of these duplicates.

Secondly, why don’t people read auctions before bidding or asking questions? I’ve had several people ask questions on the auction site that are answered by reading the item description (or even the item title!). I always post the requirements and the stats to the items I list, with exception of common sense items like consumables. I even post the stats on Green Items even though they are easily found on Guildwiki. It takes less time to read four lines of text than it does to send me a message and wait for a response.

Thirdly, I understand that many people are unfamiliar with Dutch Auctions. I didn’t know what they were at first either, but I did some research on the auction site and on wikipedia and got the answer I needed very easily. I’ve taken the time to list in my Store (link on the right) how Dutch Auctions work and I list in the description how they work.

For those of you who don’t know, Dutch Auctions are Auctions where you bid on the price of individual items of which I am selling a large quantity. Say I have 5 Totem Axes to sell. I can sell them individually in 5 separate auctions, or I can sell them individually in one Dutch auction. Everyone bids on the price of the Totem Axe and lists how many Totem Axes they want. The winning bidder gets his or her quantity at his or her price (so let’s say 3 totem axes at 5k each). If any items are left (in this case 2 Totem Axes remain) then the next highest bidder gets his or her quantity at his or her price (say 1 Totem Axe at 4.9k) and so on and so forth until all items are sold. It is pretty straightforward really.

The important note to take home in Dutch Auctions is that the price you bid is for each individual item and not for the entire lot. If you bid 5k on the Totem Axe auction, you are bidding on as many Totem Axes you want at that price. If you win, you are expected to pay your bid price for each Totem Axe you wish to buy (so the above winning bidder would pay 15k or 5k for each Totem Axe). If you bid a ridiculously high number for the auction (as has happened in the past when people ignore the fact that it is a Dutch Auction and just bid for the price of all of the items), then I expect you to pay your winning bid price for all of the items you say you will buy, no matter how high the bid. It is your responsibility to read before bidding.

Finally, communication is a concern of mine. I have had several winning bidders who bid on an item and then drop off of the face of the earth. They do not contact me on the site and I don’t see them in game. Several of them don’t even respond to my PMs on the auction site. I’ve also had a couple of auctions recently where when I finally reached the winning bidder I was told “oh, I don’t want/need that anymore.” Frankly, I don’t care if you don’t want/need it, you bid and agreed to buy the item, you are expected to follow through with the agreement.

People who do the above things stop and/or delay me from selling my items to people who want/need them. This also retards my In-Game income. It’s the equivalent to blocking someone from farming an area for an hour or two. I lose out on Gold thanks to the ignorance of others.

Take Home Message

If you’re wondering “how can I be a better consumer?” Here are a few tips.

  1. Treat gaming auctions like eBay. Don’t buy something you can’t afford.
  2. Always read the auction all of the way through before bidding so you know you are getting what you pay for and not getting scammed. Ask the seller a question if you can’t find the information you need.
  3. Send a message to your seller when you’ve won your auction to set up at time to meet in game. Include your In Game name and Time Zone in the message.
  4. Visit the seller’s store if he/she has one to learn about deals or specific information regarding your transaction. Many sellers have a different policy and some sellers allow for trade in addition to buying with gold.
  5. Read a sellers reputation before you bid, and not just the 1-3 star responses. What do people have to say about the seller? It is easy to complain that the person wasn’t fast enough, but if 10 or 100 people say the trade was fast and only 1 or 2 say it was slow, who do you think you should listen to?
  6. Be Patient and Polite. Sellers are just like any other player and like to play the game too. If your seller is online, whisper him or her about the auction but understand that he or she might be involved in a mission or raid. I guarantee, the more you communicate with (not necessarily talk to) your seller, the better your service will be.