Diablo 3 Items Selling for WAY Too Much Money

Caveat emptor.

No, that’s not the name of some randomly generated Diablo 3 rare item. That’s Latin for “Buyer beware.” If you’re considering purchasing an item from the game‘s Real Money Auction House, I suggest you heed that warning.

The RMAH released last week, and its effects on the Gold Auction House were immediately apparent. I had picked up the item flipping trade shortly before the RMAH’s release and was seeing new items pop up constantly; once the RMAH released, virtual tumbleweeds blew across my screen.

While I’m certain the situation will normalize in a few weeks — or perhaps once Blizzard enables the ability to trade cash for gold — for the time being, the RMAH is flooded with items put up by people trying to make a couple bucks. If there’s a chance someone will buy what you’re selling, why not?

But with the RMAH economy being so fresh, the majority of its users — both buyers and sellers — don’t understand the worth of items in dollars. The result? Buyers are getting screwed.

Current estimates — based on gold vendor prices and RMAH to GAH conversion fees — place the value of one million gold coins at approximately $5. That means that the most expensive items on the RMAH, priced at $250, should be worth 50 million gold. Should be.

Famed Diablo 3 YouTuber Kripparian paid 500,000 gold for a Justice Lantern ring on the GAH, then sold it on the RMAH for $250. What does that mean? He essentially bought an item for $2.5 and sold it for $250 — that’s nearly a 1000% mark up.

In his video, below, Kripparian explains the probable mentality of his buyer: “Some people are going to search for ‘Justice Lantern.’ They’re going to look at the first page; ‘Oh, this one’s $250 — it must be the best one!’ *Buy*.”

Kripparian’s isn’t an isolated case — items are selling on the RMAH. Not just cheap items, but $250 items as well.

Who would buy these items?

A successful Diablo 2 item seller explained how he met with every client of his and spoke with them about the reason for their purchase. “Every customer I chatted with was an adult with a high paying job (doctors, lawyers, etc),” he wrote.

“Every one enjoyed the game but didn’t enjoy the grind. They just wanted to progress in the game and the way to do that was with items. Time was more valuable to them than money, it’s as simple as that. They didn’t care about fair play, they didn’t care about if it was ‘wrong,’ they just wanted to have fun for the hour or 2 they had in their day to play the game.”

Other anecdotal evidence supports that these are the same types of people making big purchases in the D3 RMAH — people who don’t mind spending money on convenience. Sure, one could save a few dollars by picking up a pizza at the restaurant, but it’s more convenient to just tip the delivery man. Taking two buses and the subway to get home will save you some green, but a taxi ride is just more convenient.

Of course, many would argue that those are false analogies — that in this case, the “convenience” is paying to not play the game you paid to play. I’m not making an argument for either side of the argument — I’m simply explaining the mentality of the buyer.

While there are certainly smart shoppers out there, the people who have limited time to play the game are likely to have limited time to research which items are best to buy — and are thus more likely to drop a couple hundred dollars on an item that is only worth a fraction of that amount.

I don’t believe the reason items are currently overpriced is because sellers are trying to screw people over. The market will mature; prices will drop, like they did in the GAH, as sellers begin to understand the worth of items in dollars. But until then, buyers are getting screwed.

Save your money. Wait for the market to mature.

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5 Comments on Diablo 3 Items Selling for WAY Too Much Money

Naug

On June 20, 2012 at 12:33 pm

Buyers aren’t getting screwed until they click the buy button, and then they’re screwing themselves. There’s nothing unfair about these deals (no fine print, no hidden payments, etc). Caveat Emptor uncalled for.

Peggle20

On June 20, 2012 at 12:36 pm

A fool and his money are soon parted.

Anime

On June 20, 2012 at 1:01 pm

i put them low price as 1-9 euro but now i will do it at least 100 euro

Kevin

On June 20, 2012 at 5:59 pm

Caveat emptor doesn’t neccessarily imply that the seller is being unethical. It simply tells the buyer to be an informed buyer. If you can sell an item for 250, why wouldn’t you?

When you actually do the research, the buyer is being “screwed”, if he were an intelligent buyer. Obviously, they aren’t. It really depends on the type of person playing D3. Will more intelligent and discerning buyers player? Or will it mainly be the morons who just want to brag about getting through inferno? if it’s the latter, they are going to overpay. The seller is not responsible for the ignorance of the buyer.

And I say that as someone who has built massive economic empires in 3 MMO’s. In game currency, real money, the principles are the same, even if you change a few things here and there.

Nik00117

On January 6, 2013 at 6:34 pm

I am a successful sales consultant. I work many, many hours even weekends. I make in excess of 6 figures yearly. I have no issues with dropping $30-$40 to get something I want in game. Now I’m sure I’m a small example and I’m confident their are many people who are much more successful then myself who spend more money then me.

Think of this way the most expensive item sold for approx $20,000. Sounds like a large sum of money right? Well the guy who purchased it claims he makes 36k a month. That’s 432,000 a year. He spent 4% of his yearly income on an in game item. I’ve spent that easily on motorcycle cloths this year. (not 20k 4% of my yearly income)