Maybe I am not thinking straight, hopefully someone can help me out. My question is if your intention is to make money in the RMAH why would you want to sell an item on the gold auction house considering the fee structure? I'll try an example:
Say gold is roughly 100k for $10 for this example.
So you have this sword you found, looks like it's worth $10. So place it on RMAH and it sells for 10 bucks, you take home $7.65 ($1 fee +15% trans to PPal). Simple enough $7.65 (23.5% in fees).
Now say you took that same sword, placed it on the gold house and sold it for 100k gold (100k gold=$10). You then would make 85K after 15% auction fee. Then to get cash for the gold you just made you would list the 85k on the RMAH. When it sold you would have $8.50, after the 15% sales fee you would have around $7.22. Then you would transfer that $7.22 (another 15% trans to PPal fee) and you would take home $6.14 (38.6 % in fees).
That extra 15% is a pretty big difference and can add up substantially over time. I would think this would deter items from being placed on the gold house if the players intent was to make real money profit. Which in turn could upset players that did not wish to use the RMAH, because they are not seeing the quality/quantity of items on the gold house as compared to the RMAH. It would seem that this could create an imbalance between the two auction houses. I guess we will find out soon enough though.
If my above numbers are off base, please feel free to correct me.
The only reason to do it Cisgo would be to mitigate the risk of listing an item that's worth far more than than the maximum bid you can set (assuming that's just a max starting bid and not a ceiling on the RMAH prices, if it's a ceiling the reasons for using the GAH are obvious, it would bypass the ceiling) when you put the item up for sale.
Say you list something that the market values at ~$3000 (it's a big number to make this easy to demonstrate). You can only set the initial bid to $250 max. Now assume the absolute worst case scenario for bids, you get 1 bid for $250.
Now say you list it on the GAH for a starting bid of 200 million gold because you aren't willing to part with it for less than $2000 worth of gold (and assume that gold is currently trading at $1 per 100k gold). Now assume the absolute worst case scenario for bids again, you get 1 bid for 200 million. Well you've just sold it for the equivilant of $2000 of gold.
If no one wanted to pay that high you'd still have the item. On the RMAH you'd have let it go for $250.
So if the value of an item is high enough you can sell on the GAH first and pay that 15% to reduce your risk level. Obviously for 99.9% of items this doesn't matter at all.
Assuming the gold price is 100,000 gold = 10$, and it was like this for like 2 months and no change in game in foreseable future will make the gold keep his value (100,000 = 10$)...there is really no issue.
Sell the item in RMAH.
But, let's say that 100,000 gps = 10 $, and you are good at trading (a farmer will ALWAYS sell items in RMAH and not in GAH for gold and the gold in RMAH), read things, "feel" things, you might "feel" that in about 2 weeks, the gold price could steadily go up (or spike ) to something like 60,000 gold = 10$.
Now, it is easily understandable that you will sell in GAH, save the gold for the change you "feel" will come and you will have a slightly better profit.
But, if gold prices are stable and you are a farmer or just a lucky casual, sell the item in RMAH.
yep, your numbers are right, if its worth $4 and up, you want to use the rmah. this "rate cap" is a subtle way to modify player behavior, so as people wash cash around, it all winds up in blizzards pocket eventually. very cunning. too bad their gold floor is forced too high artificially. no one will buy gold, so no one can sell gold. because directionless, no cash players (90% of the playerbase, casuals if you will) dont have access to that trickle of in game cash, they wont be able to participate in the rmah. well, maybe mats could approach that one cent per item barrier a little more gently, but a inferno player will not be interested in nightmare mats. they should price gold per mil.
suppose you have a guy who makes a $25 sale, bliz gets a dollar, he cashes out and thats the end of it. now suppose he spends it on the rmah instead, buys up 5 $4 items, bliz just bumped up their profit margin by a factor of 6. those 5 sellers wheel and deal a little more, for simplicity, another $25 buyer sells to each of those 5 $4 sellers, those 5 now have the $6 to buy up a $4 item of their own. what might have been $2 is now $17 in blizzards pocket.
now I realize we can always farm more gold. there is only so much money in the market, try not to shovel it all into blizzards gaping maw.