Diablo III Auction House General Information
What is the Diablo® III auction house system?
Acquiring epic new gear for your characters has always been a big part of the Diablo® experience. Because of this, players found numerous ways to trade and otherwise obtain items both within and outside of the game. Many of these methods were inconvenient and either tedious (e. g. advertising for a desired trade in Battle. net® chat channels and waiting for responses) or unsafe (e. g. giving credit card information to third-party trading sites). With Diablo III, we’re introducing a powerful auction house system that will provide a safe, fun, and easy-to-use way for players to buy and sell the loot they find in the game. Two different versions of the auction house will be available in Diablo III: one based on in-game gold, which players acquire through their adventures, and one based on real-world currency.
What’s the difference between the gold-based auction house and the real-money auction house?
The gold-based auction house uses in-game gold for purchases and sales. With the real-money auction house, players will be able to conduct these transactions using actual currency from an authorized payment method or using their Battle. net Balance. Players can choose to participate in whichever version of the auction house they prefer, on a per-transaction basis. Note that the real-money auction house will not be available in all regions at launch. See the Regional section of this FAQ for more information.
How does the auction house system work?
Players can open the auction house interface prior to entering a game by clicking the “Auction House” button on the character screen. Items can be sold from the shared stash (storage shared among all the Diablo III characters in a game region on your Battle. net account) or from any individual character’s inventory. When posting the item, the seller picks whether it will be sold in the gold-based auction house or the real-money auction house. The item is then held by the auction house system until the listing expires (all listings last for a maximum of 48 hours) or a purchase is made. Items that are not sold are returned to the seller, and items that are sold are delivered to the winning bidder. In each case, the item appears on the player’s ”Completed” page in the auction house interface, where the item can then be moved to the player’s shared stash.
The auction house system will deduct a nominal transaction fee from the seller if the item was sold. For the real-money auction house, players will have a few different options for how to pay for item purchases and receive funds for item sales, as discussed elsewhere in this FAQ. Additionally, there are differences in how this system will work in different regions of the world -- see the Regional section of the FAQ for more information.
How is the transaction fee determined?
In the gold-based auction house, a 15% transaction fee will be deducted from the final sale price of a successful auction.
In the real-money auction-house, for equipment such as weapons and armor, a fixed transaction fee will be deducted from the seller for each piece of equipment successfully sold. This fee is assessed only if the item is sold. For commodities such as crafting materials, gems, gold, and other “stackable” items, a 15% transaction fee will be deducted from the total sale price. Specific details related to the transaction fee for each real-money auction house are as follows:
Note that additional fees apply for players who choose to receive the proceeds of their successful auction via PayPal™ (in regions where this option is available). See the Functionality section of this FAQ for further details.
Why is the transaction fee for commodities in the real-money auction house percentage-based rather than fixed, as it is for equipment?
Unlike equipment, which is bought and sold on a single-item basis, commodities can be listed in bulk amounts within a single listing, and it’s likely that that listing will be divided up and sold to multiple different buyers. Because of this difference, a fixed per-transaction fee for commodities could have resulted in scenarios where a seller was paying the flat-rate fee multiple times within a single listing. Ultimately, our goal was to come up with a fee structure that was both fair and straightforward, and a percentage-based fee made the most sense for commodities.
Is there a limit on how many active auctions I can have at a time?
Accounts can have a maximum of 10 active auctions per gold- and real-money auction house. (Note that each available currency has its own independent auction house, so this limit applies separately to each -- see the Regional section of this FAQ for further details. )#) Items that have expired and been returned to the seller will count toward this limit until the player moves the items to his or her stash.
Why are you creating a real-money version of the auction house?
Our goal with all of our games is to ensure players have a highly enjoyable, rewarding, and secure experience. Acquiring items has always been an important part of the Diablo series, but the previous games have not had a robust, centralized system for facilitating trades, and as a result players have turned to inconvenient and potentially unsafe alternatives, such as third-party real-money-trading organizations. Many of the transactions between players and these organizations led to a poor player experience and countless customer service issues involving scams and item/account theft, to name a few. To that end, we wanted to create a convenient, powerful, and fully integrated tool to meet the demand of players who wished to purchase or sell items for real-world currency, and who would likely have turned to a less-secure third-party service for this convenience.
How will the real-money auction house work?
Players will be able to make purchases in the real-money auction house using a registered form of payment attached to their Battle. net account. (Note that not all Battle. net payment methods are supported by the auction house. )#) In addition to these payment options, players will also have the option to use their Battle. net Balance to make auction house purchases. Battle. net Balance can also be used to purchase a range of digital products available directly through Battle. net, including digital Blizzard Entertainment games and paid services, to name a few examples.
When players place an item up for sale in the real-money auction house, they must first choose whether to receive the proceeds of the sale in their Battle. net Balance or through an approved third-party payment service such as PayPal (in regions where available). Players must decide which method to use at the time the auction is posted, and cannot switch methods after an item goes on sale.
Note that if receiving the proceeds of a sale into a player’s Battle. net Balance would put that player’s balance over the maximum permitted balance, the player must receive the proceeds through an approved third-party payment service such as PayPal (in regions where available). In regions where an approved third-party payment service is not available, once a player’s Battle. net Balance reaches the maximum permitted balance, the player cannot make further sales on the real-money auction house.
How do players get “cash” from real-money auction house sales, instead of having the proceeds go into their Battle. net Balance?
In certain regions, players will have the option of attaching an account with an approved third-party payment service such as PayPal to their Battle. net account. Once this has been completed, proceeds from the sale of items in the real-money auction house can be deposited into their third-party payment service account. “Cashing out” would then be handled through the third-party payment service. Note that sending proceeds to PayPal will be subject to an additional 15% transfer fee if the auction succeeds, calculated based on the amount being transferred. Note that additional fees from PayPal may apply. Also, any proceeds from the sale of items in the real-money auction house that have been sent to your Battle. net Balance will not be transferrable to the third-party payment service account. Not all regions will support this advanced feature at launch. For more information on cash-out availability and methods, see the Functionality section of this FAQ.
Is the real-money version of the auction house optional?
Yes, the real-money auction house is available as an option for players who wish to purchase or sell Diablo III items for real money. Players are also able to buy and sell items through the gold-based auction house, and they can trade items with each other as well through direct character-to-character in-game trading.
Why would I want to pay real money to buy or sell in-game items?
Acquiring items has always been a core part of the Diablo series. With the previous Diablo games, many players have shown a great interest in selling items they’ve acquired in the game or buying them for their characters using real-world currency, turning to potentially unsafe avenues to accomplish this goal. The currency-based version of the auction house provides players with an easy-to-use, Blizzard-sanctioned way to collect money for items obtained while playing Diablo III. And, it helps protect players from scams and disreputable third-party sites by providing a secure, in-game method to search for and purchase items posted by other players that are a perfect fit for their character and play style.
The real-money auction house is completely optional. Players who aren't interested in paying real money for items will still be able to rely on items they acquire through their own adventures, and they'll also be able to trade with friends and use the full-featured gold-based auction house.
Can i play on a server without a real-money version of the auction house?
We want to provide a secure, fun environment for our players to purchase and sell in-game items using gold or real money and have no plans to divide the community. Players are free to participate in the gold-based auction house or the real-money auction house, or to opt out of using any of the auction houses at all, progressing through Diablo III using only the items they obtain through their own adventures or direct trade with other players. Note that Hardcore characters will have access to an exclusive gold-only auction house that can only be accessed by other Hardcore characters.
Does Blizzard plan to post weapons, armor, and other such items for sale in the real-money version of the auction house?
The currency-based auction house is a place for players to purchase or sell items they’ve obtained within the game. Blizzard does not plan to post items that affect gameplay in the auction house directly.
Will Blizzard sell anything directly through the gold- or real-money auction house?
All items in the gold- and real-money auction house are placed up for sale by other players. We don't have any plans at this time to post items for sale in the gold- or real-money auction house directly.
Does the real-money auction house signify a shift in Blizzard’s business and revenue model?
We’ve always tailored our business models to match what we’ve felt would be most appropriate and effective for each game and in each region, and that’s the case with Diablo III as well. The item-based nature of Diablo gameplay has always lent itself to an active trade-based ecosystem, and a significant part of this trade has been conducted through unsecure third-party organizations. This has led to numerous customer-service and game-experience issues that we’ve needed to account for. Our primary goal with the Diablo III auction house system is for it to serve as the foundation for a player-driven economy that’s safe, fun, and accessible to everyone.
What’s Blizzard’s cut?
As with other online auction sites and real-world auction houses, our fee structure varies by region. We collect a fixed transaction fee for each piece of equipment sold in the real-money auction house, as well as a percentage-based transaction fee for commodities sold in the real-money auction house. These fees are only assessed if the items are sold. For players who opt to have the proceeds of their auction house sales go to their third-party payment service account (such as PayPal) instead of to their Battle. net Balance, or for those who have exceeded their maximum permitted Battle. net Balance and are required to use a third-party payment service, Blizzard will collect a separate transfer fee. See above for details on the transaction fee in each region; refer to the Functionality section for more information on transfer fees and maximum Battle. net Balance.
Why would I even want to use the gold-based auction house?
We recognize that not all players would prefer or have the means to participate in the real-money auction house, and it was important to us to provide these players with a full-featured alternative.
Can we buy gold from the real-money auction house?
Players will be able to buy and sell gold through the real-money auction house at whatever the current market price is, as established by the player community.
If i no longer need an item I bought in the auction house, can i relist it in the auction house?
Yes. Once you've purchased an item and sent it to your stash, you can do anything with it that you could if you had acquired it through your own adventures. You’re free to use it yourself, or trade it to another character or relist it in either the gold-based or real-money auction house. In fact, you can generally do any combination of these things -- for example, you can purchase an item in the auction house, use it for a while, and then relist it or trade it to another character. Aside from certain quest items, there will be very few (if any) items that will be “soulbound” to your character and therefore untradable.
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