Diablo 3 introduces a Marketplace / Auction House much in the same way we're familiar to it in World of Warcraft. The exception being a cash money aspect, making your options for trading via Gold Market or Real Money Auction House (RMAH). Here is everything you'll want to know before participating:
Gold Auction House - Items for gold
- Minimum item listing: 100 gold
- Maximum item listing: 100,000,000,000 (100 billion) gold
Real-Money Auction House - Items/gold for real money
- Minimum item listing: $1.25 USD
- Maximum item listing: $250 USD
Useful Facts to be Aware of
- The RMAH is separated by game region. No, you can't buy an SOJ from a guy in China and in doing so give him a weeks salary for what you'd buy a hot dog for.
- The Gold auction house is not separated. This may actually provide an awkward balance in turn of what happens with the RMAH.
- Hardcore characters do not have a real money AH, only a gold AH.
- Commodities (stackable items) can not be bid on, the community determines the price based on availability and you will buyout the amount you desire immediately.
- Setting a maximum bid (for non commodities) makes the AH set the initial price at the lowest possible winning price (in 5% increments), however it will not go below 10 gold or .10 cents USD.
- Expired auction items in the "Completed" tab counts against your active auctions count. Moving it into your stash gives you your available slot back.
There is a currency cap on the maximum balance you can have on your battle.net account.
- USD 250
- MXN 3500
- BRL 450
- ARS 1,000
- CLP 127,000
- AUD 250
- GBP 170
- EUR 200
- RUB 8000
- KRW 500,000
- NTD 7,500
- If the sale of an item causes your balance to go over the maximum limit, you will need to provide Paypal information to lower your account balance funds in order to receive payments.
- The maximum limit your battle.net balance can hold is $250.00
- You can use your cash balance to purchase Blizzards other digital games or services for those games
- Buying items through the Auction House with a Paypal account linked to your battle.net balance can pull from Paypal fee free. Only receiving payment's charges you a 15% fee. Check our earlier post to Real-Money Auction House Fees.
Choosing a different region when you have characters already created in another will not show up in the new region.
- North America - U.S. Dollar (USD), Mexican Peso (MXN), Brazilian Real (BRL), Argentine Peso (ARS), Chilean Peso (CLP), Australian Dollar (AUD)
- Europe - British Pound Sterling (GBP), Euro (EUR), Russian Ruble (RUB)
- Asia - Coming soon (not available at launch)
Battle.net balances are stored on your account held by Blizzard. The limit of how much can be held here in USD is $250.00
- Paypal for buying and selling.
- Paypal Credit Card Payment - Unverified but may have fees associated with it in Paypal. Better to use the next option for this perhaps.
- Credit cards that are already linked up with your battle.net account.
Market Place - Pros
- Whom you know or your botting skills are no longer needed if you can fork over some cash.
- Spam may decrease in chat.
- The way Diablo 2 item resellers work will dissipate or have to find another way to profit.
- Search feature for specific equipment slots, level ranges, stats, and exact criteria that matches a requirement meant for your character build.
- By having no posting fee it will ensure that people can always put up fair value items because they don't -have- to get rid of them at the risk of losing their listing charge.
- Replay value that can be put to a real dollar amount.
- Stockpiling on mules is not required if you put items on the AH or trade your current gear in for better gear through the market. You can always buy it back later, though you still might want to keep the more rare items.
Market Place - Cons
- Obnoxiously huge fees will create a black market... again. In the RMAH, 15% on commodity items after sale and then 15% of that "earned" value again to convert real money into a source of income that you can obtain from Paypal and withdraw. Oh yeah, and then Paypal's basic fees applies once again for receiving money (based on what account level you are): Paypal Fees
- Like in the real economy, people who have the money to waste will get the ultimate power trip of an experience leaving the lower class left to work and grind their way up. Everything will be measured in money and gold prices will often reflect that relative value.
- Over time, the value of things you find will decrease the longer you hold onto them. Most items this will take a few months. Some of the more unique ones, this might take a few years.
Given that Blizzard was never able to eradicate farmers from D2, if they don't step it up, we'll have a worse problem this time since real money is involved.
Third party services may spring up to offer means a popular eBay practice known as "sniping".
Speculation for Abuse
- Just because realms are separated doesn't mean that 3rd party item vendors won't set up proxy's to allow their Chinese employees to play via US/UK connections. Then turning around to sell those items to local players making huge profits (and without the fee's auction houses are enforcing).
Since the gold auction house is shared, there may be a way for countries to launder real money between realms and then turn it back into their local real cash currencies. Of course, blizzard's fees still apply which will make this technique only useful for conversions between countries with significant dollar value differences.
- For example grinding gold/items in the Chinese Realm, selling the item to a pre determined/business partner US realm player. Then that player listing the goods on the US realm's RMAH. What might prevent this is that Blizzard has a system in which they may "hold" some items before a sale translation is made if it falls between odd parameters given the typical market value of the item at hand.
- Penny Arcade created a great video outlining a few of these scenarios in The Diablo III Market Place
- To get around fee penalization and $250 USD RMAH limits users may opt to sell their items on the gold market first (assuming the value of 100 billion gold is more than $250). I which case the value of 100 billion gold (minus 15% for the transaction of gold to cash, and then another 15% for the transaction of cash to Paypal) will be the real value of what you can obtain in real money. But lets not forget, Uncle Sam want's his 33% (if you're in that tax bracket). Yep, you'll need to report it as income. Using the AH in such an unconventional way will frustrate users searching for higher end items and having to jump through so many hoops.