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Diablo III player makes $10,000 from real-money auction house

A gamer has made over $10,000 on Diablo III's real-money auction house, showing that with a lot of work there is real potential to make a living off the game.

A gamer has made over $10,000 on Diablo III's real-money auction house, showing that with a lot of work there is real potential to make a living off the game.

A Reddit user by the name of WishboneTheDog revealed the shocking figures, with screenshots of PayPal transactions and auction house sales to prove the impressive claim. 
The pictures show payments ranging from $18.02 to a whopping $211.65, not far off the $250 cap set by Blizzard for a sale, and likely this figure was higher before Blizzard and PayPal took their cut, which is as much as 15 percent each.
“I have never botted, scammed, used any of the number of exploits, or cheated in any way whatsoever,” the gamer said. “Before this game, I never made any money off of what I did because it was against the rules. Investing and trading in the item markets is part of how I have my fun, it wouldn't make sense for me to cheat.”
He would not reveal the items that are going for these insane prices, nor his techniques and trade secrets, some of which he acquired through an overall interest in economics, past experience with game item trading (such as in Neopets ten years ago), stock market experience, and a current business education at a top university.
However, he did talk about the play time required to make such profits. “During the first 2 months of the game's release I would say I averaged 8 hours a day, although there were days I was on for as much as 14 hours,” he revealed. “My playtime now has dropped off because of the slowing economy and lots of [in real life] responsibilities. Some days in the past week I have only logged to repost auctions and do a quick 20 minute scan. I'm back to playing other games now, too.”
Casual players are unlikely to come close to these kind of profits, given that players need to first invest in their own characters and play through to the highest difficulty to get a chance at the best loot. It is also somewhat random which loot drops, though some gear affects the quality and chance of rare drops. 8 hours is a traditional working day, while 14 hours a day would have an employer arrested for breaking work laws. Then there is time spent purely on the auction house, trying to shift the warehouse of acquired in-game stock.
The auction house pictures also show that for every item sold there are dozens that did not sell, so users would need to not only invest extensive game time, they would have to endure a constant regime of re-listing failed sales. The chances of making successful sales are also likely slimmer for the average user without the same kind of economics background.
A final consideration is tax. Technically this money is an income and is subject to tax. “I plan on reporting this and paying the tax on it, partly because of my relationship with taxes so far in my life,” the user said. “I also trade in the stock market and I once didn't make a trade that I knew I should have because I wouldn't have to pay taxes on it if I waited two weeks later. I missed out on thousands of dollars because of it… Also, my grandpa always told me to pay my taxes.”
So there you have it. There is definitely money to be made, but it isn't easy, and chances are that what makes a game fun will become as much of a chore as a standard 9 to 5 job when trying to make a decent wage from it. In an age with high unemployment rates, however, this may be just the opportunity some people are looking for.

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