Tobold's Blog
Friday, May 11, 2012
Free Diablo 3 Gold Guide

The Internet is full of get-rich-quick scams. And with the release of Diablo 3 next week, a lot of new scams are going to exploit player's dreams of paying their rent by playing Diablo 3. Selling virtual items for real money sounds like a dream job. So scammers will gladly promise you the secrets of making $25 per hour, if only you buy their Diablo 3 secret gold guide for $19.95. Only after you paid that will they tell you that they meant you'll make $25 per week, of which you spend 1 hour on the auction house, not 40 times $25 for $1,000 per week. And all the tips in the gold guide will be so common sense, that I can tell you those secrets for free in this post:

1) Know the prices: Imagine you checked the AH several times per week and found each time several copies of the sword of uberness listed for between $10 and $50. What do you think was the average price of all the swords of uberness that sold that week? You might be surprised to hear that the average selling price probably was around $8! Because what you can see is not the price of the swords that sold, but the prices of the failed offers nobody bought. The highest price anybody paid was $9.99, which is why the $10 sword is still there. Don't overestimate at what price you can sell your stuff.

2) Watch the market: Different populations play online games at different times. The fabled Chinese gold farmer plays 24/7, while the equally fabled casual player with more money than time or sense plays mostly on evenings and weekends. Caricature aside, all virtual economics always have predictable price fluctuations over the week. Just observe the market for a week or two, and you will know at what time you can buy low, and when to sell high.

3) Undercut: In Diablo 3 you will be limited in the number of auctions you can have up at the same time (10 per AH). Thus anything which doesn't sell fast will block one of your selling slots for 48 hours or until you cancel the auction (only possible for commodities). There is no use of putting anything up that isn't the cheapest of its kind if you want to actually make a sale. Putting something up for a price where you think it might sell later, when prices have gone up, only makes sense if you didn't plan to be online for some time anyway.

4) Consider the fees: The Diablo 3 auction houses all work on a fee at sale basis. That has consequences if you want to buy for resale: You would need to up the price considerably for this to work. For example if you buy an item for $7 and resell it on the real money AH for $10 with the proceeds going to your Paypal account, you just barely break even, due to two times 15% being deducted. You need to sell items for 50% more than you bought them for to make a profit.

5) Watch the floor: Sometimes there are considerably more sellers for an item than buyers, and because of undercutting the price drops a lot. At some point the crafting materials into which the item disenchants are worth more than the item. At this point you might make better money by buying and disenchanting.

6) Mind the competition: There are considerably more participants on the regional Diablo 3 auction houses than on the auction houses of other games, where they are only server wide. The more players are on the market, the less likely it becomes that you find a good money-maker without everybody else jumping on it and ruining the opportunity. Do not believe tips that promise endless supplies of free money, e.g. by mass disenchanting vendor bought items. In fact because everybody can and will do that whenever crafting materials get too expensive, there is an effective price cap on all materials which you can get from vendor bought items.

7) Use both auction houses: The real money AH is mostly suitable for the rarer and thus more expensive items, or materials. But don't waste the 10 slots you have on the gold AH! You can always sell a large stack of gold on the real money AH later.

8) Prices will fall: All virtual worlds suffer from the same effect of AH prices going down with time, called "mudflation". During the first weeks some prices on the Diablo 3 AH will still be rather high. Don't take those as your point of reference. After a month or two the prices will stabilize somewhere lower. Do not hoard items for sale later, rather sell everything now, and if you need something later, buy it back for half the price.

Most of this is just common sense, or the result of very basic knowledge in economics. If you have other good tips, feel free to add them in the comment section.

9) Stack magic find gear!

The first run-throughs will be trivially easily. Benefit from mudflation by getting rares and selling them before the market stablises.

You can switch to gold find gear if rares drop to the level where looting and selling them on the AH is inefficient in comparison with continued movement.
I am just wondering by how much Tobold's Guide will outrank the scammers on the search engines. I feel strangely compelled to link to it.
Tip N5: Try to think and follow metagame closely and catch fotm builds early.

Tip N6: Take the paypal out but few bucks in you bnet account that are used for day to day trades.
Adapt to changes in patch notes. If a class is getting buffed, save items for that class to sell after the patch is released. Some players will see the changes and decide to put some investment into the class after the patch. The same goes for legendary items that get buffed or nerfed in patches.
#0: Diablo III is a GAME. If you think you can get rich playing a game, I have a wonderful bridge to sell you in San Fransisco!
@Gevlon - nobody is getting rich. But the goal is to make the most of the gear drops that you will have that you don't need and gear your toon properly with minimum cost.
Very good analysis except one thing:

"Only after you paid that will they tell you that they meant you'll make $25 per week, of which you spend 1 hour on the auction house, not 40 times $25 for $1,000 per week."

Surely this means that the $19.95 is actually a good investment, if it's $25 you otherwise wouldn't make (and if $25/hour is an acceptable rate to you).

I think the gold guide could be worth buying if you're a fairly serious player wanting to optimise. It is not going to change a 2 hour a week casual into a millionaire but could change someone who gets $40 a week playing $20 into someone who gets $50-$60.
Kreegor: Minimum cost will be zero. Playing the AH is something you just do if it's fun.
Your logic on not buying a guide that pays itself off in an hour seems flawed...

I like some of your tips, they definitely will lead to good decisions on the rmah.

You've got some flaws though, two pretty big factual ones. See if you can find them!
The best way to make money from Diablo 3 would be to buy a gold-guide for $19.95, reword it enough they can't sue you, then sell it for $14.95.

For the amount of energy and study you will put into to trying to make money in Diablo 3, you could probably ace at least one test, get into better shape, work a job, or any number of other things that will be more productive and beneficial to your life than working a gig that will certainly pay less than minimum wage, if you don't end up losing money outright.
Your logic on not buying a guide that pays itself off in an hour seems flawed...

No, it only PROMISES to pay itself of in an hour. In reality it doesn't. Added value of a $19.95 gold guide over the free tips in this post and the comments is very close to zero, so the guide never pays itself off.

The gold guide might even have negative value, because in order for the fake math to add up it might encourage people to try to sell items at exaggerated prices, which only serves to block their slots. Or to buy stuff for resale which then never sells with a profit.

The gold guide seller makes his money when he sells the guide. The guide only needs to *look* good, it doesn't have to actually enable people to make money.
Came in expecting to see Marcko in the comments disapproving of this post.

Did not leave disappointed.
@Zethlar: Exactly the same reason why I came to the comments
Lol! I love the numbers you use to try and prove your point. It seems you have embraced fake math in spectacular and hypocritical fashion.

This post is a start, it has no strategies or value outside of initial concepts. What you do after you know this stuff separates the free content from the paid.

You're right, you can get this information for free with a quick google search.

Welcome to the big leagues.
@Zethlar: Yeah, Markco has to keep up the pretense that there is valuable secret information in his gold guide. As if secrets were even possible in a game which will have millions of players. By the time the buyer finds out what a piece of crap the gold guide is, the seller is gone with the money.

While Gevlon is right that you can't get rich by playing the game, you can sure get rich by scamming its players. I'd like to get the word out to prevent such scams.
I think what you fail to grasp is that d3 gold secrets is not about a once and done gold guide. It's a community and an ongoing process. Much like this blog, with frequent updates and new information daily.

You are doing a great disservice to your readers, but you don't care about reporting facts, only pushing personal agendas.

As a blogger it's important to share both sides of every story or else you become jaded and twist facts to meet your own whims.

You don't like gold guides and that's fine, but be careful how it effects your judgment and blogging.
#1 is wrong, because prices move during the course of the day or week. So the uberitem for $10 will sell if the lowest sale during the last day was $9. Becuase of the larger amounts of traders on the action house, the volume trade will be larger, which will lead to bigger swings intraday than for example in the standard WoW AH. You can observe similar effects in EVE Online quite well.

#4 is partially wrong, because you only have to pay 15% twice for stackable items, for all others it is a base fee for the AH +15% for paypal.
Nice ariantes ;)
There's a reason why the only people willing to farm virtual items are in China (per capita GDP -- $8300 bucks), and gold farmers are the absolute bottom of the wage totem pole even there.

There's no money in it. Even when you are cheating your balls off, booting, hacking, scamming, and doing everything you can, there's no money in it. For $1 you can buy a thousand gold.

WoW Gold guides advertise that you too can make 1000+ an HOUR!!!!

Gee willikers, if you get a gold guide and carefully follow its prescriptions, you can make as much money as if you spent an hour looking for change people accidentally left in a vending machine.

If your average gold farmer can quadruple the advertised take from these gold guides, he's making $4/hour.

Basically this is a bullshit topic that is frankly not really worth anyone's time. Back when you were making 5000 gold a day on the AH or whatever it was, you were clearing $5 a day. Big deal.

Unless you get lucky and hit some ultra rare item that someone will pay $1000 for, you will never make an appreciable amount of money off this or any other RMT game. Buying a guide and trying to game the system is a joke. Unless you just really enjoy really crappy economics games, you are absolutely wasting your time. You are basically day trading in a stock that has no actual value, will only decrease in value over time as demand is sated, players decide to dump all their crap on the AH for cash right before they quit, or whatever.
It's a community

... where the members of the community had to pay cash to get in, and are united in their greed and hope to make more cash. A scammers paradise.
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Markco, I kind of wish you luck in your effort to successfully adapt the direct marketing scam to the MMO world. Hopefully it will be an educational experience for your marks and it's an important lesson for the scam prone to learn early before they have something worth stealing. So in a weird way you might be doing a community service.

Aside from the fact that the amount of effort you guys will be putting will far outweigh whatever cash you actually manage to extract from the system, I see two problems with D3 money making. There's only two ways to make your bankroll: grinding a tremendous amount of crap, or actually putting your own money in the system to purchase "under priced" goods you think you can flip. The grinding a tremendous amount of crap thing doesn't really work too well, and you need some kind of major gold bankroll to be able to pull off the kind of trades that will net $25 an hour... so basically I'm seeing a strong need for your community members to inject a few hundred bucks into the economy to get started.

Here's the D3 economy: it grows for maybe 6 months after release. Then people get bored and move on and the population decays. Since there is now cash involved, everyone who quits will probably drop everything they can on the cash AH on their way out, so it's not like the quitters will be locking up a ton of wealth.

So basically the economy is like a ballon that will start slowly deflating almost immediately. You are advocating that people who are broke, stupid, and desperate enough to think that D3 AH manipulation is worth their time dump their already meager cash resources into a slowly deflating ballon.

It seems like a pretty irresponsible position. Your protestations about spreadsheets and how Tobold got the math wrong don't cut the mustard. If your community is all operating on the same information, won't your community more or less compete against itself so well as to eliminate the arbitrage profit you're hoping to eek out?
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I am so not going to allow Markco to further spam this thread with links to his scam gold guide.
Hey Tobold. While I don't agree with EVERY tip you have some of them could prove useful. You may know about our site for Free Diablo 3 Guide. If you want to swap links hit us up. Would love to give people more options than just us!
What I always find amazing is that if there is so much money to be made, then why would you sell that information for all to see? I mean really, if you could get rich, then keep the secret for yourself, make a crap ton of money and retire to some island somewhere.
I played the market pretty heavily when Aion came out. I took everything Gevlon had said, this is back when he pretty much only preached AH economics, then when I went back to WoW I applied it there.

When crafting, or in D3's case finding, magic items the problem was that you were making your money on a single quality item. The sell price had to be substantially larger because you were selling to a specific market, the class/level looking for that specific item. I steered away from those high price items. You also got very little repeat customers.

I found a market in items that had the highest amount of potential customers, for Aion on my server it was potions. Since they were consumable that meant people repeatedly bought them, unlike most items. I think consumable goods will be one of the more consistent forms of cash flow if you are going that route in D3. If you find The Godly Plate of the Whale, by all means sell it for alot; however I wouldn't count on that being your "cash flow".

I spent alot of free time my first 3 weeks with a spread sheeting calculating the times of days prices dropped and prices rose. I also had a floor, never buy above and never sell below prices. At the end of the 3 weeks I had a routine down to the point that I took around 10 minutes actively on the AH or crafting and I had enough cash to buy whatever I want. I'm actually looking forward to the D3 AH because I can play with it. It's like the stock market but safer. :)

I intend to play D3 to find gear, however if there is a specific item I'm looking for I won't have a problem spending a bit of my $$ on it on the AH.
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Tobold, where do I send you the $19.95? :)

My tip for working the AH: powerlevel to get the good high-level rares before the market is saturated.
I have a more realistic proposition: how about $1 an hour? I've thought about making money in D3 a lot and I, for one, won't make this the absolute focus of my time spent in the game. But I would imagine it is very possible to make around $1 an hour by playing normally and selling the stuff that you find and don't need, in addition to mats and gold.

The $1 is just a ballpark figure. It might be $0.10 an hour or less, once "mudflation" sets in. What I'm trying to get at is that once the market stabilizes, most of us can expect a minimum "income" from playing the game casually, and assuming we don't use that money to buy gear for ourselves.

If I only make $100 in a year of playing D3, that's still pretty amazing. I've not only paid for the game but I've also paid for the next expansion. That's how I choose to look at it.
Tobold, where do I send you the $19.95? :)

Just click on the "buy me a coffee" button in the upper right corner. :)
I'm an internet marketer, just dropping by to tell you all if you see someone selling anything from clickbank, there's a 90% chance that it's going to be a sleazy low quality product. And in this case, as well as all mmo/game related products, clickbank is nothing but a shit factory.

You will always find better info for free, from real gamers, who would love for you to join their communities.

Also if you already got suckered in cause you're a newbie who can't google for info, clickbank has a 60 day money back guarantee. Your credit card or paypal has a 90 day chargeback window, no matter what the vendor says. So do a chargeback.

Don't let sleaze seep into the gaming niche. There's already too much sleaze going on in the niches I work, I hate to see it here too.
Sell everything is excellent advice.

So you start leveling a new character in an mmorpg. Say you want to gather all items you find to level your profession once you're at top level one month from now.

Sounds sensible at first but those items will now sell for a lot more then they will in three weeks. You're better off selling now and using that money to buy those items three weeks from now.

It's all good advice, everyone with some experience in mmorpgs should already know most of them.
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I realized today gear is never bound to the character.

So the only way to remove a piece of gear from the economy is to store it in the stash or disenchant it.


I think we're all going to witness a race to the bottom except for the rarest of items.

Well I suppose you can also sell the gear to an NPC or wear it yourself. But I'm thinking about the gear I've collected and then replace through an upgrade.

My point just the same is that if gear isn't forced to be sold to an NPC merchant, there will be more gear on the AH. More supply lowers cost. Even the rarest of items may suffer from this.

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Deleting Markco's posts on the contrived excuse that you do not want himn spamming links to his Gold site is low.

Useful information comes from seeing both sides of arguments. He was not spamming his own gold site, he was providing counter points to your own views.

But seeing as you chose to censor his posts you clearly do have an agenda and aren't open to crticism of your own views so people who read here can gain better insights to this topic. This is a shame
Markco spams this thread with 10 comments, several of which containing links or advertising to his gold guide, or personal insults, and if I delete the 6 most offensive of those comments it is me who has an agenda?

Sorry, the man is a scammer living of the stupidity of others, and the only reason he came here at all is because a free guide threatens his livelihood. He wasn't even trying to give useful information or the other side to an argument.

Anyway, reality caught up with Markco, and he had to admit on his own site that many of his beta tips were plain wrong for the release version. Prices are much lower in the real version than in beta, so making money by disenchanting items simply doesn't work. For many blue items selling them to a vendor is now the best strategy.
"Anyway, reality caught up with Markco, and he had to admit on his own site that many of his beta tips were plain wrong for the release version. Prices are much lower in the real version than in beta, so making money by disenchanting items simply doesn't work. For many blue items selling them to a vendor is now the best strategy."

Can we have the source of this?
Sure, just follow this indirect link.
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