Diablo 3’s Auction House Fees Swallow 83% of Profits

Posted by on February 23, 2012 - 4 Comments »

Ok, I’ll admit the title is a bit misleading, as the fees only take up 83% of the profits if the item is sold at the minimum allowed price of $1.50. However, at the same time, it does not include the cash-out fee or the Paypal fee, so the percentage will actually be higher if you add those.

A few days ago, Blizzard posted in their forums about some upcoming changes to the auction house pricing fees for Diablo 3. While it seems they’re moving in the right direction, they still don’t have it nailed down.

Below are the changes that will soon be implemented in the beta:

  • Listing fee is being removed.
  • Transaction fee is being increased to 1.25 Beta Bucks.
  • Minimum listing price is being raised to 1.50 Beta Bucks.
  • You will be limited to 10 active auctions per auction house.

While the removal of a listing fee is great, the successful sale transaction fee has been increased to $1.25. So let’s see how this affects items sold at the following price points.

Sold Price – Blizzard Percentage

  • $1.50 – 83%
  • $3.00 – 42%
  • $5.00 – 25%
  • 10.00 – 12.5%
  • $15.00 – 8.3%
  • $20.00 – 6.25%

Again, these percentages do not include the cash-out fee, or the Paypal fee, so players will be walking away with much less if they decide to cash-out often.With the transaction fee being as high as it is, it crushes the low-value item market, making it almost pointless to sell anything that is under $3.00; although, even at $5.00, players will be losing a quarter of their earnings.

Will this matter once the game is released? Who knows. Items that are sold for under $5.00 will probably be easy to get, so there’s a possibility of there not even being a market for them anyway. However, it begs to wonder why Blizzard doesn’t just use a flat percentage rate system, so it is even across the board. Seems like the logical solution to me, but perhaps we’ll see that before the launch.

One other thing to note is that players can only cash-out after a sale, so if they choose not to, the money earned will be turned into Blizzard Bucks and stuck in their Blizzard account. Players who wish to avoid the cash-out and Paypal fees after each successful auction will then have to take their Blizzard Bucks, purchase an expensive item, then hope they can re-sell that item at the same price to cash-out their money in one shot.

Of course, there is an added risk of not being able to resell the item at the same price you bought it for, and of course you’ll have to pay another transaction fee. Currently the setup is all in Blizzards favor, but hopefully we’ll see some more positive changes before the release.

Source: Tobold’s Blog