Blizzard Plans on Taking a Large Cut of Auction House Earnings

Blizzard Plans on Taking a Large Cut of Auction House Earnings

You do all the work, they reap the all rewards. HOORAY COMMUNISM!

Okay, not really… but if you were among the masses who planned on turning your soon-to-be Diablo 3 obsession into a lucrative, full-time career thanks to the real-money Auction House, you may want to hold off on dropping out of school. Blizzard has just released a brief document that details the ins and outs of the Diablo 3 Auction House, clearing up some of the mystery that has surrounded the feature since its first announcement, and crushing some dreams in the process

Diablo 3 is going to feature a near infinite amount of random weapons, armor, gems, and other hot commodities, but rather than simply cramming them into a chest a la Skyrim fashion to collect dust for the next decade you now have the option to turn around and sell said items to lusting players around the world via the in-game auction house. Selling items and accounts is nothing new in the Diablo universe, but this marks the first time that Blizzard has actually sanctioned the action with first-party support.

I know a good few people who were planning on obsessing over Diablo 3 for quite some time in an attempt to turn it into a way to pay their rent, and at first glance that seemed entirely possible. The only barrier to entry was a lot of time and a ridiculous amount of dedication and determination to find rare items. However, with Blizzard’s recent Auction House FAQ, some hopes and dreams may come crashing down.

Blizzard has announced that they will in fact be snagging 15% of the final sale price for any commodity such as gems and recipes that you sell through the auction house. Additionally, any equipment such as weapons and armor you sell is subject to Blizzard taking $1 per item.

Upon making a sale you only have two choices for what to do with the money you make:

  1. Transfer the funds to third-party payment service PayPal
  2. Transfer the funds to your Battle.Net Balance

Each choice has distinct advantages and disadvantages. If you transfer your funds to Paypal, you are subject to yet another 15% cut from Blizzard, which has been dubbed a ‘transfer fee’. This extra 15% cut does not include any fees that PayPal may charge on it’s own, so that means you could ultimately end up losing close to half of your total sale to fees.

If you decide to transfer your funds to your Battle.Net Balance you can avoid that second 15% cut, but lose the ability to turn that balance into cold hard cash. Your Battle.Net balance can then be used to purchase digital copies of Blizzard games or be put towards future purchases in the Diablo 3 Auction House. Unfortunately, once you transfer your funds to your Battle.Net Balance you can not transfer them out to a third-party payment service. They are there for good, until you spend them.

To prevent any one person from becoming a Battle.Net mogul and taking baths in mounds of currency, your Battle.net account will be capped at $250. Once that limit is reached you will no longer be able to put items up for sale and must run your balance down a bit. As such, the maximum bid you can place on any one item is $250, while the lowest is $1.

Sure, you can still make a good chunk of change through the Diablo 3 auction house, but it may require a bit more work than originally planned. You didn’t honestly think that Blizzard wasn’t going to go all ‘sticky fingers’ on this and let you keep all that hard earned money, did you?

If you want to find just exactly how the whole auction house is going to work, check out Blizzard’s ‘Diablo III Auction House – Functionality‘ FAQ.

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