Realm Money vs. Gold Auction Houses… Which one to use?

There is a lot of misunderstanding about the RMAH (Realm Money Auction House) going around. It is my prediction that Diablo 3 will NOT be the ‘center’ of the Diablo 3 economy. It seems that the importance of the RMAH is being blown way out of proportion and someone needs to step in and help clarify what is going on and what we can expect to happen. If the RMAH was the only auction house in Diablo 3 then it would certainly be the center of the economy, but a much better and much casual-friendly version will be there to compete with it. This is, of course, the Gold Auction House (GAH).

Lower Fees?

The Gold Auction House will likely benefit from lower transaction and posting fees. While the beta Real-Money Auction House is suggesting fixed listing and transaction fees the GAH is suggesting percent based fees. If this is the case in the live version of Diablo 3 we will see some players calculating which fees are less and trying to place their auctions on that house but most players will just ignore this and go with the percentage fees because they will seem reasonable enough.

Avoiding Real Money

If the fees don’t work out as predicted, many players are going to want to avoid the risk of losing real money. Even if they would potentially lose more gold worth more real-money, they would rather see their gold balance go down in-game than a the same value of real-money go down in the RMAH. This is just the psychology of how people deal with money. The majority of casuals are going to use the easier to access and more casual-friendly gold based auction house.


You’ve got to admit, the gold based auction house is going to be a lot easier to access. You won’t have to deposit funds or worry about eventually withdrawing funds. Sure, you could go sell 10,000 gold on the RMAH to get started with real money, and a lot of people will probably do that, but most just won’t get into the real-money fiasco that will be the RMAH.

So who will use the RMAH?

Of course people will use the RMAH, even though the majority of transactions will go on through the GAH. These people will include casuals who want to ‘get rich quick’ but have no idea what they are doing. These will also include the ‘cash out’ type who has played Diablo 3 a lot saved up a lot of value in game through items and trade goods. They will go on the RMAH with the sole intent of cashing their in-game value into real-money to take elsewhere. If this group of people is smart, I think they will sell all their items for gold first and then sell the gold on the RMAH for real money. There will also be the ‘buy in’ type who will want to significantly upgrade their character with real money. They may have received a gift card or just deposited some of their own funds into the Balance account. Once they get that real money into the RMAH they will likely buy a huge lot of gold and take it to the GAH.

Combined, these three types of players and motivations will be the dominating force on the RMAH. The rest of the economic activities will take place on the casual-friendly gold based auction house.

Please subscribe to this blog by clicking one of the subscription links on the right. As the weeks before Diablo 3′s release go on, we’ll be discussing more aspects of the RMAH and how we can profit from the economic behavior mentioned above.


Important: Many of the strategies and tips I share here were originally inspired by the people at the Diablo 3 Gold Secrets Forum. If you're serious about making the big bucks in Diablo 3, or just being the best players, you need to signup ASAP.

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