Actually there are 2 problems. Both huge glaring problems.
1. You cannot view only sold listings.
I want to search for rings with 25% magic find, and see what the SOLD FOR not what morons list them for.
2. Sort by time left.
Nobody wants to wait 2 days for an item. But you cannot sort by time left, and 90% of items are always at 1.5-2 days left so nearly everything is purchased via buyout. This is terrible for figuring out the value of things.
The only way to figure out the true value of items is to see what people are willing to pay for them. Anyone can price things at a billion gold, that is easy. I saw a WHITE chestpiece on the AH a few nights ago for 2million gold. A few nights ago I placed a bid on a 2 million dollar ring. I big 180k (the min bid) guess what? I won it. I forgot all about it, no one else bid, and i won a 2 million ring for 180k. The thing is it was never a 2 million dollar ring! It was maybe a 200k ring.
I am pretty new here, but I am interested in the AH and I have been trying to play along with the PC forums, trying to help, and trying to give my honest evaluation of items and I often just totally floored by what I see and read.
a ring for 18% mf and +12 min damage valued at 1million?
A ring of 50 vit and 68 res all selling for 500k?
ANYTHING valued at 10 million?
These are insane numbers. This absolutely artificial inflation. Everyone talks about the value of things and prices them however they want making these items seem valuable. Why can't we sort by time left and let actual bidding decide the value of items? this is the worst auction house I have ever seen.
I'm sure some of the features you have mentioned will eventually be implemented. You can already see the average sale price for commodities (which are NON variable). The difficulty of this for other items is their random properties (6 variable properties (out of 300 affixes per item) x 100s of values for each variable is billions of possibilties per item)... Is a chest piece with 100 vit different than one with 101 vit? This would like only be solved if there is an Auction House API so that all of the information can be exported.
Keep in mind however, that this is a double-edged sword. Part of the fun of the AH is the ability to get that cheap item and resell it. If it was easy to just post your item at it's "Value", it because more of a store and less of an auction house. Those who are willing to put the time and effort into the knowledge around the value affixes and relative prices of items can recieve an increased benefit.
Sorting by time left is probably something they will implement at some point in the future... no real drawback (other than potential performance issues) to having this feature. This ability to sort probably favours the seller over the buyer however... you will be less likely to get a cheap item unless you are online as all of your auctions are ending.
The auction house is no different from the stock market in a lot of ways. There is a minimal amount of underlying "value" to an item; the price is set by what the market is willing pay. The price in Diablo 3 is based on a few things: Rarity of the Item (i.e. supply.. how many are available) and the *current* quality of the affixes on the item. The market then sets the price based on the supply and demand for each item.
A lot of the prices do seem fairly crazy, but this is all based on how much you value the money you currently have and how big an upgrade that the item is based on your current gear. Say for example... I have purchased each piece at around 100k and have a certain set of stats. I now want to improve on some of those stats... for example, I want to buy pieces with high "Resist All". Generally, I don't want to sacrifice what stats I already have, so I will search for the stats I have... plus Resist All. If I could have got the resist all pieces at 100k, I would have already bought them. Since I need these items in order to progress, I will pay a premium to get items that improve my character. I might need to pay 500k for each item. The next time I upgrade, I could be looking at 1 to 1.5 million, and so on.
At the extreme, if I've paid 5 million for each piece... I'm comfortable spending 10m on an upgrade. That's why those items with 5 high rolls command 10m and upwards... the people who need these incredibly rare items are willing to pay a MASSIVE premium to obtain them.
Although you can price a white chest piece at 20 million gold, it will never sell for that price. Eventually the market will dictate the price of item. If you continue to set your prices above what is comparable based on the rest of the items, they will not sell and you will eventually have to place your item at the going market price. For items that have more than 100 or so listings available, you can be reasonably sure that the items you see are the going market price. If they were below the price, they would have already been bought by people who are looking for upgrades or looking to resell the items at a profit.
For items that even more rare and there are 5-20 items available, it can often been different to determine the real value of the item, as there isn't enough supply to accurately set a price. Again, the value of the item is the price someone is willing to pay for it. If you have the only item available (I have a helm that has no equal or similar helm listed on the AH), then it can be extremely difficult to set a price. Typically, these are the types of items you see on the Price Check forum as people are unsure how to value them. Keep in mind that we are trying to specify the price that we feel the market will accept, not what we feel that the item is intrinsically "worth".
I appreciate your input. I only have limited success in the auction house so far. I have 0 items sold for more than 5 digits. My biggest was some ring for 95k. I think if I somehow stumble into millions of gold I will have a different opinion on spending millions of gold... But currently I can't even imagine an item I want to badly that I will shell out millions, but that might be due to the fact that earning millions of gold seems impossible to me.
That makes sense and it is unfortunate. Based on the amount of playtime I was able to have when the game was released (I took a week off of work), I was able to get a bit ahead of the curve and sell numerous items between 250k and 1m.
For those entering level 60 now, it is much, much more difficult to make that money as only 1 in 50 or 1 in 100 items is worth more than 250k. In the past, I could sell probably 1 in 5 items at that price.
I've probably earned/spent about 20 million gold at the AH since launch (around 300 items bought/sold).
From a different perspective, I make my gold through the good old "Buy Low" strategy. I have 864 transactions on the AH right now, with 12 million in liquid currency and 2-4 million in product that I need to sell. I have also pulled quite a bit of money out of my stash to get nice items for my monk and WD.
Most of my transactions are where I buy something for 50-200K and resell it for 200-500K. I have found a few niche categories which people are willing to pay for, and whenever I am not hunting demons I pound the market looking for underpriced items. My goal is to make a minimum of 50K on something I can flip quickly, and 200K on something that takes longer. That being said I sometimes luck into much better deals.
The biggest single sale I have ever done was on a pair of gloves that I paid a 6 million gold buyout for, when that was basically ALL OF MY MONEY. They were 17% IAS, 140ish Dex, 140ish Vit, 50ish resist all, and 4% crit. I put them up for a bid of 7.5m (to get my money back) and a buyout of 15m (in case of an incredibly rich player). They were the #1 best IAS/Dex/Vit gloves available, and were priced at 3rd highest. Ended up going for (after two days) a bid price of just over 10m, netting me 2.5m on the transaction. By far my biggest trade, and it gave me a lot of heartburn thinking I was going to have to sell them at a loss. When the first player bid the 7.5m, then I knew things were going to be OK.