Hello all, I've been intrigued by the RMAH ever since it was announced.
I'm wondering if it will be possible to trade it for real money profits. I do mean specifically trading, and not farming something then selling it on the RMAH. I mean banking on price fluctuations in the market to make some form of money out of it.
Anyway, I suspect many of you have given thought to this. Any consensus on whether or not this will be possible?
My take is that Gold is where the real money will be since it has the potential to act like a currency pair. We'll see, I guess.
I'm concerned about the ease of it, though. Will price charts be made available? What's the liquidity going to be like? How prohibitive is the spread? Any offering of leverage? Seems like there are too many unknowns at this time. :\
On the other hand, it would be fascinating to observe if equivalent patterns as those found in real-world market will emerge in D3. Game markets are, after all, becoming more sophisticated and I wouldn't entirely be surprised to see them. Again, we'll see.
Anyone has actual experience with real life auctions of unique items? After all, in D3, it's going to be very very rare to find 2 equip-able items that are exactly the same. Therefore price estimation will be rather difficult, for both the regular player and the trader. I think anyone who wants to make real money off of playing the RMAH will need to be very careful not to be tempted by bad deals.
When it comes to fixed items (commodities and gold), it'll probably be very hard to make any instant profit (by under-priced and sell for real price, like you can do with many items in WoW), and the only real way to make any profit is to be able to see the future and how the value is going to change over time. In the long run, though, the value of items will probably go down more than up, as more people farm more items the supply goes up but the number of players needing them does not (that is, after the initial period where players are still leveling up).
Anyone has actual experience with real life auctions of unique items? After all, in D3, it's going to be very very rare to find 2 equip-able items that are exactly the same. Therefore price estimation will be rather difficult, for both the regular player and the trader.
Funny you would bring this up, I've been talking to an antiques dealer trying to pick his mind on how he comes to different valuation decisions, and all I have to say is that it's not particularly simple or algorithmic at this point. I have a few models that I use to try and come to a decision right now, but right now it's mostly just obvious statistical models, nothing that would mimic an actual trader.
I don't think there will be a huge market for day trading. For one thing, items purchased on the AH will have a cooldown before they can be resold. That shouldn't matter too much, as item prices won't fluctuate much on a short term, so when you find a good deal, you buy it and re sell it a day or so later. The real trouble here is that you have to be extremely good at valuation, which as Zokar alluded to, is an art as much as a science.
As for commodities, there is little to no money to be gained buy day trading. The market prices will be pretty stationary over the short term. For one, everyone trying to buy/sell will be able to easily see what the market price is because you'll be provided average price of the last 10 transactions and average price over the last day. In addition you can find out immediately how much a given amount of the commodity costs by doing you own search of the AH. Given all the information available, people will not commonly be posting commodities for steep discounts. There will simply be too large of a supply for anything to change quickly enough.
The only true way to make money "playing" the commodities that I see is if you have some kind of an insight that the value of a particular common item will be going up at some point in the foreseeable future. Obviously, that requires market research and knowing what influences the price of that commodity. Things like knowing that a new patch is coming out that will require more gold or specific commodity, will likely cause people to start buying that commodity up which will temporarily raise the price, until the patch comes, then the gold will dump lowering the price and then get back to normal. Knowing and understanding how those fluctuations work will create opportunities for people who really know what they're doing.
I won't be one of those people. I'll just be making a few bucks here and there from what I gain on my quest.
That makes me thing that an unscrupulous Blizzard employee could make some real money by insider trading. I.E. The next patch will reduce the salvage rate of Magic Items. That person could then go in and buy up as much Subtle Essence or its NM/HL/IF versions of it. In the real world we have laws to prevent that and I'm sure Blizzard has guidelines for just such and instance. But, how many degrees of separation are they going to check?
If we're just talking about *strictly* AH money making, then painfully sifting through all of the items in search of something that is severely under-priced, sit on it for a day and flip it for double or triple is likely the only way one will actually make any money.
With the current fees structure, I don't see the market being favorable to working off really small margins.
As an example, an item that normally sells for $10.00 is listed for $9.00.
In order to purchase this item, you put out $9.00 plus $0.15 *per listing* and $0.65.
If it takes two times to list then there is a $0.05 profit, but if it takes more than that it is a loss.
So what kind of spread will be worth the risk? Personally, anything that is not under-priced by at least $4.00 is probably not worth the time and or risk for me.
This is where I personally see issues... How many things are going to be priced high enough that can actually be moved at those prices to be worth the time? If the high end gear goes for $5.00 an item, then there is hardly any room to do anything at all unless it gets listed and sold for $1.00. Looking at a few D2 items websites, the vast majority of gear seems to be listed for $0.50 - $20.00 an item (most of which were listed for under $5.00), with the occasional "perfect" rolls listing for two/three times that much.
With that, I'd venture to say that the vast majority of gear on the RMAH will not be worth the time or effort in re-listing. The exception being perfect rolled items. The question then is, how frequently will these perfect rolls happen and will it happen sufficiently frequently enough that there is enough opportunities to notice and capture the poorly priced ones... my guess: no. But, of course that's why we actually play the game and not just sit on a pot spouting theories right?
Time will tell, but I get the feeling, the money will come from ordinary grinding and listing the odd ends here and there for a buck or two.
Good to see this thread taking off. It's a subject I've been interested in since hearing about the RMAH.
In any case, yes, too many unknowns, but that shouldn't prevent a bit of healthy speculating.
I am increasingly coming to the conclusion that the only thing worth being traded will be Gold/USD for its volatility. If it acts anything like real-world currencies, I can assure anyone it WILL be volatile. Just wait for those with large bankrolls to come in the market as buyers and the Chinese farmers as the big sellers. That **** will be a total roller coaster!