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Reader Comments (3)

Posted: Jan 23rd 2008 11:18AM Umgawa said

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To follow up my comment from yesterday, I think I've figured out the issue with the numbers game: They're flawed. The number at the top of the screen for items at Wowecon is simply incorrect, or at least it's not reflective of the actual daily prices.

Take, for example, Thick Clefthoof Leather, which actually traded yesterday at an average price of about 3g72s each, over 126 auctions tracked by Wowecon. This equates to 74.4 gold per stack, not 60, which leads me to believe that you're pulling your data from the Allakhazam line at the top of the item page. You'll find more accurate, daily pricing data under the Item/Price Stats option, and then you can track that for either an individual server or All Alliance, which is the best option for the reasons I'll now go into.

The method for pulling data to Wowecon involves an AddOn that only tracks your own auctions. Therefore, according to Wowecon, no one has sold Primal Might on the Stormrage server since the 15th of December. You can clearly see that underparticipation is a major flaw. However, the actual, according to Wowecon, average price of Primal Might has fluctuated between 83 and 88 gold, depending on the day. This may or may not be accurate, as the amount of sampling data varies from day to day, as well. For example, it only tracked three(!) auctions of Primal Might yesterday. As I said, it's an issue of underparticipation, which would have a tendency toward statistical error as the sample shrinks.

Hopefully, the comment system will accept this link to the Thick Clefthoof Leather pricing data page, so I don't have to type this dissertation a third time (the internet ate my first one). Thankfully, this is the short version.


Posted: Jan 23rd 2008 3:15PM ColbyWolf said

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I would like to saw, regardless of any potential flaws in the numbers that the above poster mentioned in their beautifully stated post...

well, I'd like to see this chart expanded out two more colums.

Include 'yesterday's price" and an "all time high".. and "all time low' might be spiffy too.

Posted: Jan 23rd 2008 10:16PM Umgawa said

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Well, if you go to Wowecon, you could see how easily the all-time highs and lows could be manipulated, unless you're talking about having Eloise track the daily averages and then start tracking the high points and low points of the averages, which would kind of make more sense.

By the way, Wowecon doesn't track the highest daily auction price as part of its data set, and here's why I think that is: Remember the day that the news media went crazy because the price of oil hit a hundred dollars a barrel? That was just one guy who deliberately bought 1000 barrels of oil for $100 each, then immediately sold them for a loss. He just wanted to be the first guy to buy oil for $100 a barrel. However, it's a statistical spike that screws up the interpretation of the market.

So, say someone sells a single Light Feather for the price of an entire stack of them, because the buyer accidentally clicked on the wrong line; it creates an anomalous high-buyout for the day of about twenty times what the average buyout price would be. And then the buyer will always come to look at Massively and say, "There's me! I'm the guy who bought a Light Feather for (x number of gold)!" And he'd be there forever.

Low-price buyouts are an equally insignificant statistic, because exceptionally low prices are likely to be bought out and re-listed by people like me. However, you won't find that many exceptionally low-priced buyouts on Wowecon, because the people running the Wowecon AddOn are people who probably know a fair bit about the economy and appropriate prices for the items that they're selling. More than likely, they're also running Auctioneer, which would further incline them to keep their prices around the average level. Now, if you got the Wowecon AddOn running on someone who's completely new to the game, you'd see terribly amusing data that's just all over the place.

Listing the trailing 30-day average probably wouldn't be too difficult, given that it's listed on the same Item/Price Stats page with the current and trailing four days, and I think it'd be a lot more useful than all-time highs or lows. Furthermore, all-time averages aren't available, but the 30-day is more useful because if you took the average daily price of Light Feather, it'd be up to maybe a silver, because it's only recently that the item came into any level of real demand.

As such, for the ease of posting data, I think that average prices for the day in question, previous day, and 30-day average should be about enough, and I think that the price fluctuations ought to be interesting talking points.

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