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I needed a gem to test something and bought just one, priced at 116 gold in the auction house.

When I went to the completed tab to send it to my stash, I had the gem and 16 gold refunded.

Why did this happen?
The paid price lists 100 gold, even though in the search screen it said 116.

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Did you place a bid or buy it out? –  Koviko Jul 25 '12 at 23:14
    
buyout (you can't bid on gems) –  jmfsg Jul 25 '12 at 23:15

2 Answers 2

up vote 7 down vote accepted

That happened because when your screen refreshed the lowest price for that gem was 116 gold.

And while you were moving your mouse and clicking on Buyout somebody set another gem(the same one) on the AH for 100 gold. The screen was still saying 116, but at the time of your buyout the lowest price was 100, so the game took 116 gold and then refunded the 16 gold that are the difference between the price you paid and the lowest price at that time.

Hope you understood that.

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1  
So, Blizz gives you the better price without you constantly refreshing and harming the server? I like it! –  Koviko Jul 25 '12 at 23:23
4  
I don't think this is true - I've gotten refunds literally EVERY time I've EVER bought a gem. And I've bought a lot of gems. I find it hard to believe that I can refresh 30 times and the price will stay relatively constant, but in the two seconds it takes for me to click buy, the price has gone done 15%. Every time. –  BlueRaja - Danny Pflughoeft Jul 26 '12 at 2:43

For commodities that are only purchased on buyout (gems, crafting materials, blacksmith recipes), the price displayed is just the highest amount you will pay for it. In most cases, you get some amount of refund, this could be because:

  • Someone else offered it for lower: As @Novarg pointed out, this is probably what happened in your case.
  • The order was split into different lots: If you buy 100 Fallen Tooth for 50 gold each (acc. to UI), but maybe there is someone selling 23 @ 35g, another person selling 50 @41g etc. ... then Blizzard automatically splits your order and buys the lowest priced ones first, and then refunds the difference.

Also, I'm not sure if the purchase price displayed is the actual current price or some sort of moving average (or just a heavily cached version that is updated rarely). It seems to give you refunds way too often to be entirely attributable to reason #1.

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2  
In order to account for the case where someone else hits buy at the same time as you, it likely overestimates the price slightly. That way you always pay enough, and it refunds you the difference based on the price at the instant you hit buy. –  bwarner Jul 26 '12 at 0:37
    
@bwarner That's probably the case; but there is no indication of how it does the overestimation afaik –  Alok Jul 26 '12 at 0:41

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