In this post I want to talk a little about the /trade channel. In theory it is a global channel only accessible to people of your faction while in a capital city and is used for making offers of items or services that you wish to sell to other players. In reality it is often full of spam of various types – insults, rampant e-peening, gold sellers, power levelling services and other questionable contributions.
My most basic question is “Would it be more profitable to leave the trade channel or should I stay?”
How Much Money does /Trade Make for You? *
Everyone has a favourite story about the time the bought “X” for a song and made a huge profit, but how often does that happen, really? Many players hawking their wares in /trade are trying to sell at overinflated prices designed to catch the unwary. On my home server, my (generous) estimate is perhaps 5% of activity on /trade is actually anything useful (trade related) and reasonably priced. This means that 95% of the chat is completely useless and a waste of time to read.
Remember – “Time is money, friend!” (Horde AH Goblin auctioneer)
It is this lack of any profit making potential, along with the sheer amount of spam and trolling that occurs that has caused me to make the decision to leave the /trade channel. This is a personal decision and of course yours may differ. I am somewhat saddened to do so, as I like to help new players or anyone with a serious question, but overall leaving /trade has made my time more profitable and perhaps more importantly has improved my enjoyment of the game.
But Trade is Important to my Gold Making Strategy! *
Of course, trade does still have its uses:
- selling expensive items and avoiding the auction house commission
- selling items with large deposits, thus increasing profitability by avoiding relisting costs
- selling services, such as portals, 2 seater flights, boosts and other services that cannot be sold via the auction house
So, if you want to remain in /trade and not end up with your brains being fried by the level of spam, trolling and abuse what can you do?
Dealing with SPAM *
There are a number of addons that can help reduce spam. An addon called “Badboy” is one I use myself and recommend without hesitation. It is modular and that means that you can block whispers from level 1 toons (usually gold sellers) as well as blocking and semi-automatically reporting those that trigger the spam filter and other undesirables. This addon can also block multiline listings in /say (ascii art and the like) as well as guild recruitment spam that also routinely occurs in /trade.
Badboy can be downloaded from Curse.
No matter how good an addon it is it will never block 100% of spam and it certainly cannot tell if someone is asking a legitimate question or merely trolling for the laughs. Here Blizzard comes to our aid.
Right Click to Report *
This feature is often maligned on Warcraft forums as not working, but in my experience it works brilliantly. Someone swearing excessively or trolling in chat? Right click to report and you no longer see their ramblings. If enough people do the same then that person will get notification of a violation in chat and perhaps a 48 hour ban. This serves as an encouragement to behave better in future without costing them their account. If others do not agree with your report, then of course it will have no effect other than blocking their chat until the next time you log in. This seems fair, at least to me.
Using Your /Ignore List *
Another feature that can be used is “/ignore charactername”, or “/ignore charactername-realmname” if on a merged server.
This option can also be accessed via a right click on the characters speech in chat or on the player frame if you have them targetted.
Some people take great delight in trolling or otherwise being offensive in /trade and sometimes using /ignore is the simplest or most effective means of dealing with them. Ignore can be a great option for players who are not breaching game rules, but you find undesirable to listen to for some reason. As an example on my home server a player would spend most of the day linking (fake) achievements in /trade and asking other players if they could do better. Despite being unmasked for his trickery numerous time he continued to do this many times a day. Ignore solved the problem wonderfully.
Note: Blizzard only allows 50 people on your /ignore list and it is not shared between your characters.
Leaving the Trade Channel *
As mentioned earlier, I decided to leave /trade and have found that it has not had any significant impact on my gold making. If you would like to leave the trade channel you can do this simply by typing “/leave trade” (without the quotation marks) in your chat window.
If you believe that staying in the trade channel has benefited your gold making strategy, please drop me a line in the comments section and tell me about it. I would love to hear from you.