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Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Companion Pets vs Battle Pets - Pricing Discrepancies & Warnings


Battle Pets, Rares, Pet Battles
Battle Pet Types
Companion Pets vs Battle Pets

During the early days of the new Mists of Pandaria expansion, there is much disparity when looking at the prices of Companion Pets and their equivalent Battle Pets.  In case you are unaware, there is a new category within the WoW auction house for the Caged Battle Pets, but the old Companion Pets category remains as well.  So you post and buy the unlearned Companion Pets in the same Companion Pet category and any of the Battle Pets that are tradeable / sellable are bought and sold within the new Battle Pets category.  The prices of an unlearned Companion Pet and the equivalent level 1 Battle Pet should be close to the same price, but they aren't.  In some cases there is a huge price discrepency between the Companion Pet and the same unleveled Battle Pet.  This disparity creates various opportunities for extra profits on the WoW auction house.

Why are the prices of Companion Pets and their Battle Pets so out of whack?

There are many potential reasons that these prices are out of balance.  Let's dig deeper into some of the factors contributing to the confusion.

  1. There is no historical add-on data for Caged Pets. - WoW gold making and auctioneering add-ons like TradeSkill Master, Auctionator, and Auctioneer often get players into relying on scans and historical data for posting at or near "market price".  Since the Caged Battle Pets are an entirely new category and new items just available since MoP, there is no historical data and therefore no normal "market price".  Thus, players that rely on add-on data for setting prices are posting blindly on items that have no competition.
  2. The Battle Pets Category search is broken on the Remote Auction House. - Currently, when searching for Caged Battle Pets or the entire Battle Pets category on the WoW Remote Auction House, you get a "Your search returned no results" message.  The Remote AH application is unable to be used for posting or buying any of the Caged Battle Pets.
  3. The Battle Pets are not showing up at The Undermine Journal either. - Another popular site used for price checking and comparing of items to help determine value is also not showing any of the auctions for the caged pets within the Battle Pet category. 
  4. Caged Pets Galore - In the last patch we saw all of our non-unique duplicate pets added to our Battle Pet roster.  Once MoP launched, many of those Battle Pets are now cageable and can be sold on the auction house.  Many player accounts have duplicates that can now be sold as Caged Battle Pets, which can easily lead to flooding on the more common caged companions, like I warned about in a previous post:  Battle Pet Flipping - Get Out While You Still Can!  Caged Sinister Squashlings had dropped to 75 gold each overnight after the refunded pets started to hit the auction house, yet players are still trying to sell them for hundreds of gold in the old Companion Pet auction category.
  5. Cross Server Sales - Since the Battle Pets are now truly account wide, players are free to cage up a pet from thier Account based Battle Pet log and post it on any WoW server.  Instead of deleting a pet, why not throw it up on another server to get some starter cash or to start moving gold around amongst your various servers?  Players may have their old server's prices engrained into their memory, when really that server's prices are not entirely relevant to a new server.
How To Take Advantage Of The Companion Pets vs Battle Pets Pricing Fiasco

There are currently opportunities to both save gold and to make more profit, until the pet markets stabilize.
  1. If You Are A Shopper - Be sure to check both the companion pet and the battle pet auction house categories.  A Companion Pet and a Caged Battle Pet are the exact same thing.  Once learned either can be used to battle and either can be used as a vanity pet to follow around your character.  The only difference is that a Caged Battle Pet can be higher than level 1, which is where all companion pets will start out once learned.  So buy the cheaper of the two.  There is no reason to buy an 800 gold Sinister Squashling companion pet, when you can buy a caged one for 75 gold.
  2. If You Are A Seller - Check both the companion pet and the battle pet auction house categories.  You may find it more profitable to go ahead and learn a companion pet, then cage it up and sell it in the Battle Pets category if the prices are higher for the caged versions.
  3. Hunt For Poorly Priced Hard To Obtain Battle Pets - Some ignorant players are posting some of the rare and hard to obtain pets in their caged forms for vastly underpriced amounts.  Probably due to ignorance, forgetting how hard they originally were to obtain, the lack of need for duplicate pets, lack of historical data for caged pets, and more of the "hey look, free stuff to sell" mentality.  Regardless, there are deals and steals out there to be obtained.  Try to snatch them up before the Remote AH and TUJ get fixed and these dirt cheap pets get found and bought out much quicker.
Right now the entire Battle Pet and Companion Pet markets are all over the place with pricing.  Until the markets stabilize and players start to understand the new systems for caging and selling Battle Pets, there will be extra chances to save big or make extra gold.  Be sure to check both markets and adjust your buying and / or selling plans accordingly.

More Warnings About Selling Pets

Once the general WoW population understands how the Battle Pet System truly works, there should be less and less of a demand for many of the companion pets that we've been able to make easy gold off of flipping on the auction house.  Why?  You can go out into the world and cage up many of the pets yourself without needing to purchase them.  Why pay 800 gold for a White Kitten ever again?  Just go out and throw a damn box on a white kitten and get it for free.  Need a snake?  You'll have more snakes in your Battle Pet log than you'll know what to do with and you'll be kicking yourself wondering why you wasted gold buying one of every color when the damn things are now free and everywhere!  Plus you can get better versions (uncommon and rare versions) of the same pet out in the wild, where many of the vendor bought pets are just common quality.  Many times when you find a better version, you are going to be releasing the pets you paid gold for because they are actually inferior Battle Pets!

If you are going to continue to be a pet seller in MoP, I recommend sticking to:
  • Rare Pets
  • Hard To Obtain Pets
  • Higher Level Pets
Pretty soon buyers should also wise up and see that buying cross faction moved pets for an inflated price, like the faction specific Argent Tournament Pets, is a waste of gold.  You can just as easily buy a pet with a character on the opposing faction, learn it, and see it in your account wide pet journal.  The same is true for sellers.  You don't need to risk getting your auction sniped trying to transfer it to the other faction.  you can just learn it and then sell the caged version, without a risk of getting sniped at all trying to move it through the neutral auction house.

Related Articles On Battle Pets:
  1. Guide To WoW TCG Pet Loot Codes (All Rare Battle Pets) - Many are cheaper than the Blizzard Store bought pets!
  2. Rare Battle Pets - A Breakdown Of Their Sources
  3. Get Out Of Flipping Holiday Pets
  4. MoP Pet Battles, 1st Impressions, & How To Make Gold - A Post by Nev at Auction House Addict.
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