The Problem With Listing Fees

Posted by Daeity On Monday, September 26, 2011

While discussing the monetary risks involved in the RMAH, I just realized another new facet of the non-refundable Listing Fee.

  • Blizzard will be crediting players with a certain number of free auctions per week (or month.)
  • It's much like casinos comping players, or giving them weekly coupons for a couple free slot machine pulls. It's free, there's no risk, it's not really gambling, but it gets them comfortable and hopefully addicted to the thrill.
  • Even if the item sold, you're still paying for the Transaction Fee and Cash Out fee.
  • Diablo 3 is a VERY "item centric" game, meaning that even if you sold 5 free items per week, your chances of getting even more items that week are very high. If you were to wait and sell the following week, your stash would just keep growing and growing.
  • Compound that with the item selling in the first place. I mean, what's even the point of having Free Listing Fees if the item doesn't sell? You could use up all 5 Free Lists per week all on the same item. It will keep being undercut by other players (with free listings too) to the point where your single item never sells and you're all out of Free Listings.
  • Compound that even further with player psychology! How many of you have experienced "auction house fervor" or "competition rage" when someone keeps undercutting you? Once your free listings are used up, you'll be on such a streak that you'll start spending money in order to beat your competitor.
So really, what is the point of Free Listing fees if there's a high probability you'll burn through them before even being able to sell an item?

Also, on a related note; it was stated that "Blizzard does not plan to post items that affect gameplay, such as gear or character-enhancing runestones, for sale in the auction house."

The system is anonymous and in no way transparent. Blizzard has "no plans" to post items right now. And, they're only prohibiting "item sales".. they didn't say anything about not selling characters or gold. :)