Booty Bay’s economy is stronger than ever. Unemployment has reached an all-time low, with several new businesses opening their doors last year. Visitors will notice the hustle and bustle as cargo ships are rrive and depart throughout the day. However, the most clear sign of Booty Bay’s prosperity must be the incredible success of its auction house. Yesterday, the Booty Bay auction house announced that it has shattered its previous records for the most listings posted, most transactions, most gold transferred, and the most gold collected in listing fees, in a single day. By all estimates, the Booty Bay auction house is poised to become one of the largest markets in Azeroth. This reporter interviewed dozens of individuals with their ears to the ground to bring you the broadest perspective printed anywhere in Azeroth.
With growth in the Booty Bay auction house showing no signs of slumping, the citizens of Azeroth look to the bustling port city for answers. “Look, we’re not in the best shape here,” confesses an anonymous auctioneer in Stormwind, “We’ve got trade routes being closed down. Now we’ve even got pirates to worry about! Even if something gets to the market these days, no one seems to be buying. When half of Westfall is worrying about their next meal, there isn’t any silver for an axe! Now, I don’t trust these goblins half as far as could throw them, but they’ve got to be doing something right. At this point, we’re willing to try anything.”
With the eyes of the world upon them, the goblins of Booty Bay remain reluctant to share the secret to their success. When asked to explain the auction house’s prosperity, banker Viznik Goldgrubber was quoted as saying “we’re rolling in gold, and that’s all you need to know.” When asked the same question, Auctioneer O’reely declined to comment entirely.
Although Booty Bay’s trade secrets remain a mystery, several merchants have provided insight into what is fueling the rapid ascent. Most merchants credit the auction house’s success to its willingness to facilitate the exchange of goods between Alliance and Horde. As one of the only marketplaces on Azeroth that is not policed by Alliance or Horde authorities, the Booty Bay auction house attracts customers of all races, many of them searching for goods that may be illegal or unobtainable in their own faction’s territory. This reporter spoke with Captain Hecklebury Smotts who had a lot to say on the matter:
“All these people want what they can’t have, and they’re willing to pay anything to get it. Do you know how many Alliance noblemen want a pet raptor? Do you have any idea how many orcs want human armor to smash? I’ll tell you this much, it’s more than enough to keep me and my crew very wealthy. There’s no way the Alliance is ever going to legalize alcoholic beverages from the Undercity, but my customers just can’t get enough of the stuff. Heck, if the Horde dropped its embargo on those special Duskwood mushrooms, I’m not even sure I’d still be in business! As relations stand right now, this gold won’t ever stop pouring in.”
Although both Alliance and Horde law enforcement agencies are concerned about the increase in contraband, some interested parties maintain that following Booty Bay’s example could lead to a lasting peace between the factions. When questioned regarding his attitude towards the matter, Auctioneer Stampi of Thunder Bluff came out in firm support of free trade. The auctioneer explained his stance from the unique standpoint of a Tauren:
“All living things depend on one another. The Earth Mother was never meant to be divided by the imagined lines of politics. Booty Bay shows us that we can gain far more by exchanging goods, rather than steel, with the Alliance. I believe that we will see lasting change the moment that it is realized that peace is more profitable than war.”
Auctioneer Stampi is not alone in his strong feelings concerning free trade; while Horde leaders have remained silent on the issue thus far, Lady Katrana Prestor, advisor to King Anduin Wrynn, made a statement regarding Alliance trade policy earlier today:
“The Alliance needs nothing from the Horde. We are fully equipped to weather any hardship that may present itself. I have advised the King to mercilessly punish any Alliance citizens found in possession of illegal goods. We will not tolerate any who would profit at the expense of honest Alliance citizens seeking protection against cruel labor practices and the theft of intellectual property encouraged among the Horde.”It should be noted that His Majesty Anduin Wrynn himself has not made any further decisions regarding trade policy at this time.
While the future of free trade between the Alliance and the Horde can only be speculated at, the Booty Bay harbor will almost certainly continue to operate beyond the law of both factions. In doing so, it can be expected that auction house will also grow its share of transactions as a free market serving all of Azeroth.