Anelf’s guide to Alliance-Horde money exchange

Auctioneer BeardoTinuviel and I have made quite a killing recently selling Horde pets on the Alliance AH (and vice versa). With the new pet collecting achievements, demand for pets has rocketed. And where demand outstrips supply, the price goes up 😀 .

At its peak, we were getting up to 50g for pets you buy from vendors for around 40s each. Prices are now coming down to 10-15g on our server as other sellers join in. But that first week where we were one of two exclusive Antonidas suppliers was great fun, and made up for a lot of our laziness in not grinding the Quel’Danas dailies pre-expansion.

(We have a weekly Guild lottery as well – run by one of my alts –  where any guild member who has logged in that week is automatically entered in the draw. These pets have proven very popular as Lotto prizes).

Soldiers of Fortune used to have a sister guild on the Horde side – Soldiers of Misfortune. That guild has folded now, but while it was popular I posted a guide to transferring stuff to the Horde using the neutral AH. I was reminded of this as I was standing in Gadgetzan AH buying endless stocks of snakes, dragonhawks and prairie dogs, so I thought it would be fun to post it here as well.

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You’ve got your high level Alliance main with lots of cash and mats. Now you’re starting up a Horde alt with nothing. Wouldn’t it be so much easier if you could transfer stuff between factions to do a bit of twinking?

Well here’s how …

First, what you can’t do (with a caveat that things could change at any time with a patch):

  • You can’t trade directly between characters of opposing factions,
  • You can’t trade on the opposing factions AH, and (most importantly),
  • You can’t post an item on a neutral AH and then buy it with your own alt.

This means you’re going to need help from someone you trust.

Let’s say your main is Alliance and your alt is Horde. Take your main to any neutral AH, and ask a friend who also has characters in both factions to also take his Horde character to a neutral AH. (Booty Bay is probably easiest for a low level Horde, as you get there via Ratchet – which is quite low level. And it doesn’t have to be the same neutral AH unless you’re planning to use sign language to communicate).

To transfer items:

Timing is important here. Your low level alt doesn’t have much gold, so you need to post the item at a really low cost. If you post at 1c, then the AH won’t take a cut (15% of 1c is nothing). Your friend then has to quickly buy the item before anyone else notices that Netherweave Bag on sale for a pittance.

  • Remember to set the buyout price. You can’t make a quick transaction if there’s no buyout.
  • Make sure your friend knows exactly what you’re posting, so he can find it quickly. He can pre-set the auction list to sort on price, so your item appears at the top of the list if there are more than one posted. Alternatively, you can use an addon that allows searching by seller name.
  • Post your items one at a time and wait until that item sells before you post the next. The more items you have listed at once, the more chance someone else will buy it out from under you.
  • You need good communication with your friend. More on that now …

Remember you can’t speak to the opposing faction in-game, so you can’t just whisper him to tell him what you just posted. Nor can you setup in-game chat between factions. This means you have to setup an out-of-game chat. This could be one of the many internet chat applications (like MSN Messenger). Or, better still, voice communication – like Skype or other VOIP server. Best of all is to have your friend sitting next to you in the same room – that’s how Tin and I do it 🙂 .

If voice is absolutely out of the question, then you have to setup a signaling system with your friend in advance. Custom emotes come out as ‘X makes strange gestures at Y’ when used cross faction, so you have to agree some code with your friend before he switches to his Horde alt. Maybe a /hug means ‘buy the next item in the list’, and /facepalm means ‘you just screwed up and that level 10 gnome now owns my level 80 purple sword’. I’ve never had to use a non-voice method, and I really wouldn’t recommend it.

There is a risk to transferring. Someone could spot your auction if you’re too slow and start buying your cheap stuff. The neutral AHs aren’t very busy, but you can reduce this risk by choosing a quiet time. Tin and I buy the gear we’re posting within seconds, and have never had anything bought out from under us. But I have occasionally seen items that are obviously being transferred.

BTW The AH will take a deposit from you when you post your auction. This deposit will be returned to you by mail when your item is bought by your Horde friend. The only real problem with this is that you need enough money to pay the deposit when you post the item.

To transfer money:

Transferring money has no risk, but is more costly. Your Horde friend simply auctions a grey item for a stupidly large amount (however much you want to transfer), and your Alliance main buys it.

(And, if you’re really lucky, someone else will buyout the auction at the stupid price 🙂 .

It’s costly because the neutral AHs charge a big commission (15% for us). This can be slightly lower if you have higher rep, but it still hurts to give gold away. The benefit of money transfers is that timing isn’t so important, so you don’t need voice communication setup with your friend. He can take his time walking to the AH.

An alternative to transferring money is to transfer very sellable items (e.g. enchanting mats or blues) using the item transfer method. But learn the Horde AH first. (Don’t assume things sell for the same prices as the Alliance AH).

And of course, you’ll know you can really trust your friend when he hands over the items or money you transferred to him 😀 .

A word of warning about money transfers. I’ve only done it a couple of times (compared to hundreds for the item transfers). It worked for me, but Blizzard are said to watch for transactions like this, as its one indication of a  gold seller at work. 

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