Tuesday, 3 December 2013

I live!

Well for the majority of you that are unaware of the fact, I'm not dead...so far as I know anyway. Questions of purgatory and a ground-hog day like effect aside, I'm back on WoW!.

This post is mainly just to say hey I'm back and let anyone that reads the blog know that I won't be fully returning to the gold scene until later in Pandaria.  I want to get my infrastructure set up again before WoD comes out but I'm too busy with college to devote enough time to gold making for it to be worthwhile. Seeing as I'm still sitting at around 1.2 million gold I'm not in a dire need to build up capital for the next expansion.

Currently my only plans for the auction house are to sell off all my mid to high level crafting materials before they become worthless, all the low level materials I'm going to transfer to one of my storage guild banks for safe keeping so that I can trickle them back onto the auction house when prices come back up a few months into WoD.

Now when I say build up infrastructure for the next expansion I mean it in a big way.  Recently my server was merged with (incomprehensible mumbling) and my grand scheme is to make 8-10 bank alts on the other server, each with their own guild, including as many level 25 guilds as I can purchase for a reasonable price.
Additionally to that I'm going to restructure the professions on my current characters for more efficient crafting / distribution of professions (I still have 3 herbalists....*shudder*) Hopefully ending up with

5 x Alchemist
1 x Blacksmith, Jewelcrafter, Enchanter, Inscriptionist, Leatherworker, Engineer, Tailor

This leaves me with 10 free slots to fill as more information about crafting, gear and the economic state in general of WoD is revealed.

All other plans are trade secrets for now, thanks for reading the quick rant.


Saturday, 13 July 2013

Seven digits!

Gold Cap

Gold Cap baby!  It took just under 3 months since I started seriously making cash, and I've finally broke the milestone!  Now theres only one thing to do - see how much of it I can spend before next week rolls around.  I'd like to give thanks to everyone from the gold making IRC channel that motivated me at the beginning and got me to set up the blog (which has helped keep me on track more than you'd think), and also thanks to all my friends that I exploited for cheap materials.  Now to buy myself a well deserved present and walk around popping up a trade window with people on an alt and putting 750k up before running off giggling.

A final thanks to anyone whose followed me since I was a gold making neophyte, I hope to keep continue entertaining you with my ramblings for a long time to come.


Friday, 5 July 2013

Weekly Gold Report 05/07/2013

Well not much new or interesting this week, been able to actually get on and post auctions but I've been distracting myself with other things on the side, anyway on to the totals.

Current Balances:
Bank Balance - 890,000g
Altoholic total gold - 27,225g
Incoming AH Gold - 1244g

Grand Total: 918,469g

Only 82.5k to go and I hit goldcap for the first time, woot!  Relaunched my kits this week and immediately sold the an alchemy and jc kit, I've had surprising interest in the unfinished inscription kit, and it being fairly easy to produce I bet it could be a fairly good gold maker once I get a good stockpile ready.  I had a surprising amount of uber blues sell this week, almost two dozen since I started posting this week after building up half a bank tab of them (I purchased them and kept tossing them in the tab, never got around to posting them), I haven't made a twink character since early Cata so I'm not sure if there was any particular reasons to it, but the increase in sales was noticeable.  Not much else to say in the way of WoW, still just stockpiling resources in preparation for 5.4 and trying to get a few people to farm for me.  My side project this week has been teaching myself Java programming, can't tell if I'm any good at it or not seeing as I'm just using tutorials / wikis and hoping I don't accidentally create Skynet.  Anyways heres hoping you'll be seeing the big "woo-hoo I hit gold cap!" post out sometime in the next week, have a good weekend all.


Friday, 28 June 2013

Weekly Gold Report 28/06/2013

Phew back after missing a week, been inundated with work in real life so haven't had much time for gold making, anyway more on that after the totals.

Current Balances:
Bank Balance - 800,000g
Altoholic total gold - 33,025g
Incoming AH gold - 805g

Grand Total: 833,830g

Well not much of an increase for a week, much less two.  I do a lot of landscaping work and for the last week I've only been able to get on and post auctions once in the morning and once in the evening, additionally I temporarily shut down by profession kit services to rework them a bit.  I modified a few of the crafts to lower the amount of rarer materials I had to accumulate and added Blacksmithing and Inscription kits to my line up (BS takes a horrifying amount of metal).  Anyhow I've finally got some free time again so hopefully with the addition of the new kits I can reach goldcap within the next week or two, and no promises but I may see if I can scrounge up a little giveaway in celebration when I finally make it.  Anyway not much else to say for now and tomorrow will be the first day I can sleep in, have a good weekend as always and I'll see about getting something out to read tomorrow that isn't me complaining.


Sunday, 16 June 2013

The Big Unveil

Drumroll Please!
Well my secret project that I've been teasing about for the last few weeks is......Profession Kits!

Okay I never said it was an exciting project.

Anyway while browsing through The Consortium I came across an old post outlining the concept and a good few of the intricacies behind making, marketing and selling profession kits.  The post immediately intrigued me as I'd toyed with a similar idea beforehand considering I always hear people wanting to change professions, or finish levelling an alt characters professions, but don't want to put the time and effort in to farm the materials or keep an eye on the auction house for days at a time to find rarer materials.

For those of you unfamiliar with the concept, a profession kit is essentially a bulk package of all the materials needed to level from 1-600 in a profession, or any other level range if you want to tailor it to the individual customer.  When I decided I'd try my hand at it I noticed something; in my extensive (5 minutes on Google) research into the kits the most recent post with more than a passing comment on the topic was either almost a year old or had only been modified for MoP.  Now that is in no way taking a shot at the great post on The Consortium or any of the other posts, most of them are great and have wonderful amounts of detail, however after setting it up myself I feel I could add a few more notes and techniques, as well as outline how I set up my kits.  Let's take it from the top in a 5 step process:

Step 1: Storage
This is by no means a small undertaking.  I have 3 bank guilds at my disposal, all 11 of my alts have a minimum of four 20 slot bags, and 2 of my bank characters have full 28 slot Royal Satchels (which is a great investment for any selling character that requires lots of bag space), of those three banks 2 of them are designated towards my profession kits.  The level 25 guild I bought a few weeks back was entirely intended for this project and consists of 6 tabs dedicated to Jewelcrafting, Alchemy, Enchanting, Tailoring, Blacksmithing and Inscription kits, with the seventh tab used as overflow for kits that exceed 84 stacks of items (my enchanting kit takes 97 slots).  The second guild I use in the kits stores backup stock of all the materials needed, as I like to be able to restock within a day if need be.

Step 2: The Horrifying Logistics
I spent over two weeks gathering enough materials to start selling my Enchanting, Alchemy and Jewelcrafting kits in anticipation that they would have the highest demand, and I'm still gathering materials to complete the other three kits.  As a simple example most people can recognize the difficulty of, each enchanting kit requires 325 hypnotic dust, not the easiest thing to gather a stock of almost a thousand of.  The tailoring kit requires 1200+ Frostweave and almost 1000 Embersilk, thus be prepared to get your hands dirty and go out to farm materials.  Now here comes the most appealing part of selling the kits:  When you go out to farm scarce materials you can farm tons at once;  Purple Lotus shows up only a few at a time on my auction house, rarely more than 10 at a time and usually only every week or two.  The lotus only spawns in 4 spots in Felwood and only a stack is used in levelling any individual profession.  This means that the only influx of the herb is from those that want to make peanuts farming and selling it (hint: these people are far and few between) and those that go gather the bare minimum amount they need to get through levelling their professions before tossing the few extra on the AH.
I spent 20 minutes making 3 loops around Felwood and gathered almost 6 stacks of Lotus, enough for 5 alchemy / enchanting kits while at at the same time gathering almost 2 stacks of Gromsblood, another uncommon herb that I use in my alchemy kit.

Step 3: Only 5000 crafting recipes to choose from? Let's go with....um....
I'm a patient man, but I'd rather use a ghost pepper as a suppository than spend the time going through WoWHead looking at all the different crafting recipes, their materials, and what level those recipes go yellow/green/grey.  Thus I skipped over to WoW-Professions to get a rough outline of what to use.  A massive thank you to those that put the time into those lists, but I'll give the same advice about them that I give to people who defer to Noxxic, Icy Veins and AskMrRobot - DO NOT take the information at face value, what works in theory is not always right for you.  My strategy for preparing my shopping list of materials I'd need was to open up a word document and type along the lines of the following:

"2-70: Enchant Bracer - Minor Health   68 strange dust"

I then did this for the entirety of the guide, however as I said, what works in the guide was not necessarily the path of least resistance for myself.  In producing the bulk materials needed for a kit you may find yourself with large amount of materials that are ordinarily considered too expensive or rare to use for levelling, thus my next step was to modify my list.  The kits are meant to get you from 1-600, with little input on my end besides handing them instructions and all the materials needed, this means the less volatility in the process the better, which doesn't bode well when you have 20 levels where the item is cheapest to make overall, but only has around a 50% chance to give you a level.  To amend the problem of volatility I went down the list and picked out each area where I noticed 10 levels - 13 crafts, I then searched the materials relevant to the profession / level and sorted the "Reagent for" tab by level, if the item had a suitable replacement I substituted that, if not I added an extra stack of materials to help get past RNG.  It took me a good few hours to put together all my lists, so be prepared to do your research.

Step 4: Infrastructure
Now that you have your kits prepared what next? Walk up to random people and offer to get them quickly from 1-600 in a profession?  Well a dozen instances of being misidentified as a gold seller or shady dealer later and you'll decide maybe it's time to make it so people know your product.  Personally I've set up 8 different macros for selling my kits:

Sales pitch macro: All I say is that they will get 1-600 in 15 minutes (a blatant lie I admit, it takes more than 15 minutes just to craft everything, but catches interest), that instructions are included, and to whisper me for pricing / info.

Transaction:  Outline the details of how the transaction works.

Technical 1/2: Detail all of the finer points of how to use the package and offer them to mail the instructions in game or e-mail it to them if they consent to give me their address.

Assurances 1/2: I tell them that I 100% cover any issues with the kit free of charge, assure them that all their character names and email are confidential, and tell them that I only take payments up front in full.

Tidbits: I outline that I buy back any excess materials included and many of the items they craft in the process if they wish to resell them to me, and mention that I'd appreciate if they'd consent to me using them as a reference if they're pleased with the results.

Bags: I offer to include four 16 slot bags free of charge, four 20 slot bags at 1/2 of market price and four 28 slot bags at 2/3 of market price.

Step 5: Customer Server
Now that they've agreed to the sale make sure that you take good care of them.  I offer my battletag and tell them to let me know if there's any problems and that I'll take care of them ASAP.  If they want to immediately use the kit I will go and take care of my other sales while I wait for any questions / problems they may have and check in with them once in a while to make sure everything's going okay. If they happen to accidentally make the wrong item I assure them it's no problem and give them the materials they need to get back on track.  This is the important part where you build reputation,  it's a massive transaction by most peoples standards and you can't offer them anything in the way of assurance except for your good word, this is where you make your word count.

Now we get on to the details, we'll start off with pricing.  After I have my shopping list of all the materials that I need I price them at either market price or slightly under market price if I produce the materials for significantly cheaper.  When I have my total material cost I tack on a 50%+ markup for services.  If I come up with a price of say, 18k I'll take it down to 17.5k, it's a small amount and makes the price seem lower and less intimidating.  Remember that usually almost half of the sale price is your markup, so feel free to tack on extra materials, give people deals, or play with your profit margins.

The Sale:
For the sale I have them join my kit selling guild on an unguilded alt.  When they join the guild they are unable to view any of the tabs, and then are quickly promoted to an appropriate rank (labeled Alchemy, Enchanting, etc) that allows them to see the all the relevant tabs.  I insist on 100% of sales price deposited in the guild bank up front, which people may be wary of initially but will be more comfortable with as you build reputation and gather a list of references.  The second they've deposited the full amount I modify rank permissions to give them full access to all the relevant tabs and begin the customer service step of my process.

Sweeten the Deal
I took the advice of the original Consortium post and offer a 10% discount to repeat buyers and even larger discounts for package deals (though I haven't sold more than 2 kits at once yet),  as well as offering a 10% commission to anyone that brings me a paying customer.  When I think the buyer is seriously interested about purchasing I give them my bag macro offering to toss in 16 slots for free or larger bags for a good deal below market price.  I also offer to buy back many of the items produced through levelling:  JC items can be repurchased to disenchant for enchanting kit materials, alchemy potions can be purchased if they just want to get rid of all the items and then resold for 100% profit.
Most of your buyers will not be experience sellers, think of the position they're now in after hitting 600: They're happy that the kit worked out, pleased with the results, but also just dropped a large amount of money and find themselves with a large amount of materials that they're going to have to either vendor or sell over the course of days if not weeks.  It may sound a little shady but they're at a vulnerable point now, and if you offer to buy back everything (even if you're just going to vendor it yourself) they'll be happy to jump on the deal and make back some of their money.  Generally I offer 1/3-1/2 of the price I estimate that I can get for the useful pieces plus some to cover the vendor trash, and so far all my customers have readily accepted.

Closing Up
Ask people if they mind being used as a reference, I suggest telling them you'll tell people to only mail them and not to bug them with whispers, and keep your word.  Remind them of your deals and offerings, such as the discounts and commissions, you don't want to come across as "I've got your gold, now get out." so be friendly and reassuring until one of you has to run.

To take things a step further you can control the prices of all the items in your kits.  Buy up excess materials even if you're just going to toss them and fix prices at 50-100% above what you're getting the items for, though make sure to only resell on a different character.  This way if a wise customer takes time to look at the market prices your kit will seem all the more appealing, but make no mistake, this takes a lot of effort to keep on top of.

Anyway without making this into a book I'll sum it up here:  Customer service above all else.  Your main goal here is to build a reputation where people unquestionably get their monies worth, do that and be firm with your prices (if you give someone a lower price, make sure you express it as a special deal).
Good luck to anyone else that decides to undertake this project, so far I've sold at least one of every kit and have a waiting list for the enchanting kit.  It's a fun project to undertake but make sure you know what you're getting in to before you start buying out the auction house.


Friday, 14 June 2013

Weekly Gold Report 14/06/2013

Been a fun week for me so far, 2 days without power not withstanding, so here's the weekly totals:

Current Balances:
Bank Balance - 700,000g
Altoholic total gold - 53,400g
Incoming AH gold - 127g

Grand Total: 753,527g

Well I launched my secret project this week and got great reception on it, making around 20k profit on it so far which made up for the days I missed with the power outages (ah the WoWCrack withdrawl..).
Tomorrow I'll have a post out on that, but until then it still remains a secret.

Now on to the big topic for this week - the 5.4 patch notes.  I've been wracking my brains trying to come up with a good modus operandi for preparing for 5.4 but everything comes with a risk.  Generally I've been stockpiling windwool, ghost iron, trillium, magnificent hides, living steel, serpent's eyes and imperial silk.  According to the patch notes there will not only be new pvp crafted armor, but potentially crafted rings as well, and I'm sure anyone that's been around for a while remembers the crafted dreadful boom;  Additionally there will be new daily cd's for all the gear crafting professions including:

Balanced Trillium Ingot:  Costs 1 Trillium Bar
Hardened Magnificent Hide:  Costs 2 Magnificent Hide
Celestial Cloth: Costs 10 Bolts of Windwool

From what I can see crafted malevolent will be using the same materials as crafted dreadful, additionally there seems to be crafted malevolent rings, though no materials are listed, and crafted trinkets are listed along side them, which means it may be temporary / placeholder.  Don't take my advice as infallible but I'd start getting a nice heaping pile of raw materials and gems.

Next on the agenda is Virtual Realms, for those of you on high population servers this is a bit of a side note, but if you're on a med-low population server like I am..... well frankly it scares the crap out of me.   On the one hand I want to get a giant stock ready for 5.4, as I thought I was prepared for 5.3 which was the first content patch that I'd been doing anything but casually selling for, but I ended up almost running out of stock in the first 2 days and having to scramble to get materials to keep up with demand. On the other hand with Virtual Realms I could have purchased an item at 100g and find out that it's only worth 50g after the server merge.  Prices will likely be jumpy for a good week or two before things settle down after 5.4, with maybe a half dozen different servers all used to paying different prices, the high population server players will grab all the cheap items thinking they're getting a good deal, where as the people used to paying a low price will scoff at the low population server prices.

My advice is to watch any announcements from Blizzard related to Virtual Realms like a hawk and IMMEDIATELY start researching if/when they announce what realms will be merged.  Take a look on TUJ and see what the historical prices for the other servers items are.  If your server usually has 20 of an item up for 100g each and a server you're merging with has a average stock of 300 at 20g each, you'll find the value of your stock dropping threw the floor overnight.

Step 2 of watching the announcements: Go hog wild!  Once you know what servers your merging with and have a general idea if the impending price changes buy EVERYTHING you can get your hands on.  Big content patches will always see absolutely massive demand for the first few days, and with Virtual Realms even sleepy smaller sized servers will see a huge amount of sales.

My personal plans in preparation for 5.4 are to:
A. Gather lots of raw materials and magnificent hide to make crafted malevolent
B. Craft a ton of potions / flasks then turn all 5 of my alchemists to transmute mastery. I've set aside 2 stacks of every blue quality gem for if epic gems are announced (considering we've had epic gem transmutations for the last 2 expansions), and in the mean time I'll be pumping out a ton of living steel as I assume the new plate gear will still use it in addition to balanced trillium.
C. Cut a stack of every high demand gem, and keep at least 100 raw gems in reserve to restock as needed (sans blue gems).
D. Do the same as C with enchants.
E. Do as much research as possible ahead of time to take immediate advantage of any disparities in the merged realms.
F. Sit through 16 hours of extended server maintenance due to launch difficulties on Blizzards side.

Anyway I'll have more advice up as it comes along, and a post on my secret project up tomorrow, enjoy the weekend all.


Friday, 7 June 2013

Weekly Gold Report 07/06/2013

Lots to talk about (and I can't think of any intro ramblings) so lets get right into the totals and then on to what I've been up to this week.

Current Balances:
Bank Balance - 600,000g
Altoholic total gold - 38,240
Incoming AH gold - 1560g

Grand Total: 639,800g

So I started off the week in a grand way and bought a lvl 25 guild.  I caught the seller on their first trade spam and, having a need for a bank guild with high level perks, immediately whispered them asking to take a look.  After doing a quick appraisal of the guild by eye I came to a price of around 28k, with the cost of its 7 bank tabs being 19,350g and another 9k or so in miscellaneous lower level materials and patterns, with a few jewels tossed in (half a stack of trillium bars and two Arcanite Champion patterns anyone?).  The 28k appraised value made me prepare to drop up to around 40k with the guilds 25 levels being taken in to account.

A good rule before purchasing a guild is to check it's log and make sure that the GM's account hasn't been compromised.  After checking the guilds log I started chatting up the GM and seeing what the story behind the guilds decline was, as I remembered them from back in early Cata but couldn't remember hearing the guilds name in almost a year.  While the GM was telling the sad story of the guilds slow decline, they mentioned that they were looking to get around 9-15k for it.  Jackpot.  After weighing my options I decided that I'd like to try for a low price, but didn't want to scare off an opportunity like this, as if I started raising my price the seller would have leverage on me.  I offered 13.5k and winced as I anticipated the coming bartering - only to have her readily accept the price and agree to a 2/3 before 1/3 after deal.  Two trades for 9 and 4.5 grand later and I was the proud owner of a slightly less than brand spanking new guild.

For those of you keeping track this brings my total guild banks up to 3, which prompted me to also take this week to re-structure my set up for selling / storage.  My monk and rogue drew the shorts sticks to become the GM's of the additional guild banks and as a result my selling structure now goes as follows.

Lvl 2 Guild - 6 Tabs
GM: Warrior
Sells: All enchants / greater inscriptions / gems / item enhancement / wellfeds/ high-tier items
Stores: All the mentioned above + high end materials and a personal trash dump for items I keep telling myself I'll use in the future.

Lvl 1 Guild - 6 Tabs
GM: Rogue
Sells: Transmog
Stores: Surplus low level materials + transmog

Lvl 25 guild - 7 Tabs
GM: Monk
Sells: My little secret
Stores: Also my little secret

I godda say, having a designated transmog selling character has made my life a lot easier, especially as I was getting up to around 400 pieces of transmog if I include all my doubles.  The lvl 25 guild is going to be the storage for my project I've been working on, and as I said last week I'm going to be keeping quiet about it until I have everything set up.

Basically I have 2 selling guilds, 1 major storage guild and 1 surplus storage guild.  Restructuring this way should give me plenty of room to expand into more markets and keep everything uncluttered as I continue to gain market share.  I started making 5k a day, then jumped to 10k, now I'm inching my way to a 20k a day average and hope to keep on climbing.  With the increased need for stock and storage this will bring I think I'm now in fairly good shape for the next month or two, however I plan to acquire a second level 25 guild when the opportunity arises.

That's all for this week folks, as always enjoy the weekend!


Friday, 31 May 2013

Weekly Gold Report 31/05/2013

Well this week's been a busy one for me.  I had to spend most of Thursday and Friday in town so missed a few sales but I'm still up a reasonably good amount:

Current Balances:
Bank Balance - 490,000g
Altoholic total gold - 29,330g
Incoming AH gold - 2450g

Grand Total: 521,780g

Broke the half million market pretty early into the week which made me very happy, but I decided to buy myself a 40 grand gift off the Black Market Auction House to celebrate after seeing a nice pair of boots up.  I followed that with the purchase of a competitors guild bank for 6k and dropped another 10k on a personal project, then scrambled to make it back above 500k before closing my books for the week.

On the guild bank note, I'd been looking to buy a higher level guild that already had 7 tabs or that I'd be able to buy 7 for,  so when I saw a fringe competitor looking to sell theres I immediately jumped on my unguilded alt and told her I'd take a look.  Unfortunately the guild was only level one and the name wasn't out of the ordinary, but considering she was a big herb seller and a part time gem seller she did have a good stock of Cata/MoP herbs and almost 500 green quality gems among other things.
I appraised everything conservatively at 5955g and offered an even 6k which she readily accepted, and with which I should hopefully make at least a 100% return on.

On the personal project note..... well you'll have to wait and see.  I've heard and read about the concept  in a few different places but I want to try it out for myself and see if it's profitable before I say much else on the topic.  The information I will leak is that it takes an exorbitant amount of preparation and almost an entire guild bank worth of storage space, so it may a take a while before I see results.
If things work out I'll do a nice big beefy article about it with links and numbers and razzle-dazzle; and if it flops I'll quietly sweep it under the rug and we can all forget I ever mentioned it.

That's all for tonight folks, if I can think of a worthwhile topic I'll have the usual Saturday post up tomorrow.


Saturday, 25 May 2013

Public Relations

This topic's likely been covered a fair bit but I wanted to talk about it anyway: Your public image.

Getting People to Like You
When one's been selling for a long time you tend to gain a reputation.  This can be infamy, as with the case of Phatlewts transmog selling character, who is apparently quite renowned on his server as "the guy with all the overpriced greens".  However there's also the low end of the scale where you gain a bad reputation, which can come from a few sources:

Consistently massively overpricing items:
"They always charge too much, I know not to buy from them or else I'll be paying too much."

Being surly towards customers:
"A 5% discount? Not on your life."

Trade Chat:

Over time your handling of sales and conversations can garner you either a positive rep, bad rep, or keep you quietly anonymous, here's a few positive examples.

Personal Selling
I had a guy whisper me asking if I could sell him a Dragonling at a reduced price (costs maybe 75g to make on my server, prices were around 600g each), and so I agreed to toss it to him for 400g, and asked what cogwheels he wanted.  When we traded I'd pre-gemmed the Dragonling for him and told him not to worry about the cost.  Usually this is the point where I'd feel that I completed my good deed for the day (minus the whole 250% of material cost thing) and never hear from the guy again, however about 10 minutes later one of my friends wsp'd me about the guy.  Apparently I hadn't noticed the person I was selling to was in a levelling guild that one of my friends had an alt in, apparently shortly after the sale he had told the entire guild to buy from my bank toon if they ever noticed the selling name because "I was a really nice guy.".

Now this isn't something that's always going to happen, but according to my friend there was around 25 people on at the time, that's 25 people that now might be willing to pay another gold or two to specifically buy my auctions if I was undercut.  The lesson to be learned: Never underestimate word of mouth.

Trade Chat
I can't exactly cover all the aspects of trade, the horrible amorphous monstrosity it is, but I can assume most of us in the gold making business only tend to take to trade chat on two occasions:  To advertise a particularly unsought item, or to make a (hopefully) witty remark.  When advertising an item it's good to have catchy sales pitch to get people interested besides the usual "Blah-Blah-Blah in AH" that oozes across trade in a constant flow, however too much elaboration can turn people off as well.

Buy the new [Stick]! With this wooden harbinger of doom you'll be scoring critical homeruns all across Azeroth, your foes will run from your glory, all will look up to you as a paragon of all that is righteous in Warcraft. Legions of women and grovelling fans, and - etc,etc,etc.

If your sales pitch goes like this you better be selling the Ashbringer.

[Stick] now on the AH, unique transmog skin that overwrites the current enchant graphic. Perfect for those of you tired of watching the same pulsing weapon glow for hours on end.

To the point and it gets across why they should want it without saying "BUY IT".

The only advice I have for non selling comments in trade is to keep it high class.  Witty remarks that aren't particularly biting will maintain at least a positive reputation, and helpful comments will help accrue a "Nice Guy" image.

Say: "I'm sorry sir, I'd love to have a battle of wits with you, but you appear unarmed."
Rather than: "And what do you know about it, idiot."

This is the most intangible of the topics, on the one hand we want to demand a good price and get our monies worth out of the time and effort we put into acquiring an item for sale; even if it was 10 mouse clicks to buy / repost an item, or (the horror) 20 clicks to buy mats, craft and resell.  Market prices on high demand items can be hard to raise, you can of course reset market prices a little higher every time, but people are used to seeing a certain price range.  If a gem usually sells for 80-200g and suddenly you post them for 750g, you may see a desperation sale or two, but generally you'll immediately get undercut by a large margin from people who think "No one will buy at those prices, I'll sell quick if I post a lot lower!".  In this way posting at slightly higher prices (think 5-10%) can gradually get people used to paying / selling for a higher price, however this only applies to high demand markets.

For markets with intangible prices, it's both easier and A LOT harder to change prices.  Items that are hard to obtain and have no competition allow you to charge whatever price you want, within reason;
However with items like transmog, if people see "Pimpin Purple Armor" up for 7500g they might be interested, until they shop around a bit and see "Shiny Shoes" and "Kitten Mace of the Fluff" up for 500g.  They'll opt to go with the less appealing, but significantly cheaper option in a case like that, but if they look at the other items and see a price of 6000g then the armor doesn't seem like such a big leap.

In this way I can use the transmog market on my own server as an example, with four major sellers present when I first entered the market.  Three people with a 50/25/25% share of the market selling almost every piece for 300-750g and one guy posting everything for 2000-4000 (we're talking hideous gear up for an arm and a leg).  I started posting items at slightly higher prices and slowly the rest of the sellers started to raise some of their prices, now the 300g or less price range is reserved only for the moth eaten transmog and the general price range for medium to high tier transmog is 500-1500g, with upper tier items priced for 2000+.  The prices aren't exactly ideal but this shows how over time pricing can slowly change the norm.

In conclusion
Keep in mind in your everyday activities that although each individual encounter may not make or break you, over time your actions can have a large impact on your business. Be the person that makes people go "Oh yaaa, that guy!" not "Ugh...that guy."


Friday, 24 May 2013

Weekly Gold Report 24/05/2013: Getting close

What else need I say about this week? 5.3 made my mailbox explode from the sheer amount of sales on Tuesday and sales have been up ever since.

Current Balances:
Bank Balance - 430,000g
Altoholic total gold - 41,150g
Incoming AH gold - 2370g

Grand Total: 473,520g

Getting close to the half mil mark.  A second week of a 100k+ increase in liquid gold isn't half bad, especially considering the amount of purchases I made this week.  According to TSM I've spent 30,000g in purchases, and that doesn't count the personal trades I did, which I mentioned in the previous post where I bought out most of a larger guilds gem supply for 29k.  A day later I had the GM of the guild ask if I'd be interested in going through their guild bank and buying anything else interesting, which I of course had no qualms about.  After getting an alt into the guild and getting full access to the bank, sans withdrawls, I went through and split all the items in every tab into 3 groups:  Interested in buying, keep/not interest, and vendor trash.  I ended up appraising everything very conservatively (taking the price I'd like pay and dropping 25-50%) and ending up with a price tag of 3200g, then told the GM "Well looking at it I'd like to pay 3200g for the lot, so lets say 3400g" I think he appreciated me going through and sorting the rest of the bank for him as he readily agreed to the price.  The items I got from the deal were mostly odds and ends that I don't usually sell but thought I could get a good price for or put to good use, additionally there was 2 uber blues and a few pieces of transmog.

Back to purchases / sales, seeing as I've bought 30k in items, + 32.4k in unrecorded trades that means I had around 162,400g in sales this week, that's a lot of merchandise.  Considering I've had such a good week I think it's time for another Flips of the Week! (And it's not just cause I feel guilty about forgetting it last week.)

Flips of the Week
Item - Buy Price / Sell Price
Lionheart Blade, Reborn - 120g/3750g
Tiny Green Carp - 75g/ 4275g
Recipe: Flask of the Titans - 3g/ 750g (tad low resale)
Grakl's Gleaming Talisman - 150g/ 3500g
Scalebreaker Axe x 2 - 100g/ 1750g ea
Porter's Tooth Marked Mace - 50g / 2250g
Silver-Thread Armor - 3g / 750g

Going to have a new post out tomorrow if I'm not dead after work, have a great weekend all.


Wednesday, 22 May 2013

O it's on....

Well my gem market competition (the twit that tries to wall me) showed up again, after thankfully being absent for the release day of 5.3, and once again immediately tried to wall me.  Usually I'd keep my mouth shut and let the him dick around, as he's none too bright and thinks he's getting one up on my even while he does exactly what I want him too.  Basically I keep my mouth shut so he doesn't realize what I'm doing to him. 

Anyway enough stroking my own ego, I whispered him something along the lines of "Do you really want to do something like trying to (ineffectively) wall me when demand is this high?".  After getting a few responses that would make Call of Duty chat and 4chan nod in approval, including the implication that I had a VERY healthy love of my dog, I decide to give him an ultimatum and present him with 2 choices.

1. Work things diplomatically.
2. Continue as is and find out how low I'll go.

Considering how he's reacted / messaged me in the past (including a constant stream of insulting me then logging off, logging on 10 minutes later and repeating) I assumed he was both unlikely to take option 2, and mostly likely and arrogant little bugger that didn't realize when he was digging himself a hole. 

After waiting 10 minutes with no response I went ahead and undercut him again, to which he dropped prices to 90g ea (As I said in my prior post I had everything at 150-350) which I undercut, and so forth until some of the gems hit 80g each, at which point he whispered me "LOL all undercut, now you godda watch the AH all night", well that's the family friendly version of the message anyway.

How to handle it:
I figured I'd take this opportunity to point out what all the possibilities of how things can play out are, and how I intend to deal with them. Hopefully anyone having the same problem will find this useful.

1. He continues undercutting me down to around 70g.  This is slightly above my crafting price so I'll quite happily buy him out and reset the market at this price.  Who cares if you're paying your competition, you're also getting cheap stock if they're stupid enough to go this low.

2. Before option one takes place I've pulled all of my stock after he logged, sales will either burn through his 2 deep wall with how demand is currently, and anyone that undercuts him I can buy out.  All I need to do is watch my posting scans and only post ones that he's sold out of.

3. In the eventuality that he logs back on, undercut him ASAP to make it seem like I'm playing along with his little game. He drops prices further and I get closer to being able to take option 1.

Now depending on how much time people have this may not be viable, but this covers all the bases pretty well.  He keeps undercutting me, I get cheap stock, I win.  He doesn't come back on, prices recover, I win.  He logs back on, continues to think that I'm an idiot, and continues the process, I win.

Even though buying out his stock is giving him cash, for him to restock he has to buy materials at the raw material prices that I personally inflated, meaning for every gem I buy out I get stock I'd buy / craft anyway, and he has to spend an additional 10g per gem on materials.

The trick to dealing with competition: Don't let them realize they're digging their grave until you're sitting at the edge of the hole with a load of concrete and smiling at them.


Gem Scare

Well like most people that were in the cloud market yesterday and today I was riding on cloud nine.  Prices had been sitting at around 70-100g each on gems and I took the liberty of resetting all the good, and even tangibly good, gems to 350g a pop, and proceeded to sell them like got cakes all day.

Priceline Negotiator (tell me someone gets that reference):
I've heard varied results but as of 10am going from 12pm when servers came back up yesterday I've had sales of 29,780g with most of that coming from the gem market.  This was well and good until about 11pm when I saw someone spamming "[Gem] in AH".  This started to worry me after about the 20th gem had been linked so I checked out a few of his prices.  Every single gem had been undercut by 30-50g, and I knew I had maybe 2-3 hours until the guy that does a blanket undercut at 2am popped on and locked in the prices.  Crap.  So I messaged the seller and suggested he repost at higher prices, as buying him out would have cost me a good 40k, to which he replied that he was transferring his guild to a different server in 2 weeks and was liquidating the guild bank contents to make some cash for when they hit the new server.  After chatting with him for a bit I decided to wait for TUJ to update and give him a quote to buy all of his gems in a package deal + 300g to reimburse his posting costs, to which he was interested but had no idea what TUJ was.  When I gave him the quick and dirty on what TUJ is and said it'd update in roughly 30 mins he said that unfortunately he had to get up for work in and wouldn't be able to stay on that long. Crap x 2.  After contemplating my options for a bit I looked over his auctions again and found that most of them were the same as the ones I was selling (aka the good ones) so I asked him exactly how many gems he had on the AH to which he responded 134.

Me: "Well for 134 I can do....lets say 10k, for the lot of them"
*5 mins of no response*
Me: "Actually considering the effort you'd put in to cancel em, lets go 12k"
Seller immediately responds: "Ok 12k sounds good."

So hoping I hadn't just shot myself in the foot I emptied my bags and made my way to Stormwind while he cancelled all the auctions and traded him 6k up front 6k after.  He inquired as to whether I bought raws, which I was of course interested in for the right price.  He presented me with:

River's Heart (booo) x 51
Primordial Ruby x 51
Sunstone x 75
Wild Jade x 36
Imperial Amethyst x 14
Vermilion Onyx x 14
+160 green gems, 90 of which were mixed colours

Make or Break:
Although the blues aren't my cup of tea they would sell....eventually, and the rest were always in high demand.  Though mixed colours are my favourite buys they made up the minority of the transaction, but I offered him 14k for the lot.  Unfortunately he's good at math and realized he wasn't exactly getting screwed, but that he might be sore for a few days anyway, and offered 18k, to which I got him to agree to meet me in the middle at 16k.  After trading most of the gems he tossed in 2 cut vermilion onyx, that he said he'd forgot in the first sale, I'm always one to appreciate honesty even if I'd likely never buy from him again so I tacked an extra grand onto the second sale and wished him luck with the transfer.

Long story short after chatting for a bit I found out he was an old acquaintance and we ended up talking for another half hour (of which I admit I spent half of nervously glancing at the variety of cut, perfect cut, and raw gems in my bags just waiting to be audited) before he logged off.  Looking at the gems afterwards I found that he must have vendored all the crap cuts and only sold the relatively good ones, as the lowest selling gem I  could find was going for 120g,  considering I'd paid an average of 89g for them it wasn't half bad.  On reviewing the blue quality gems I found an average buy price (including my tip) of 70g, which is about my crafting price if I  don't count transmute proc's, plus around 1600g in green quality gems.

Overall I stand to double or triple my cash invested, although it'll take a while.  I anticipate that this gamble will pay off as demand should spike within the next 4 days as people who'd held off on leveling their 85 characters till 5.3 will start hitting 90, raising demand on enchants, crafted dreadful and gems.  Considering I kept prices from falling 30-50g across the board, and the point that I sold around 80 gems on the first day, if sales hold I just saved myself an additional 4000g.

I'll call it a win, although I might take a leaf out of GoblinRaset's book and go make myself a drink.


Saturday, 18 May 2013

Competition at it's finest...

Recently an on again off again gem market poster had been showing up again, one of my friends that used to work the gem market before I started gold making had told me horror stories about what she'd whispered him on occasion.  About a half hour ago she whispered me and I got to have the first hand experience.  I'm not one to spread hate against people so the person in question will be referred to as "Bubbles".

I'm too tired to screenshot / blot out all the names at the moment but I just find this too hilarious to believe, so I'll copy / paste the conversation.

*posting auctions*

Bubbles: Really, have you been a jcer for long… rule # 1 Never under cut the biggest bitch on the server while they are still in AH and online

Me: not sure whether to chuckle or facepalm at that one

Bubbles: well sweetie I have been around since the dawn of time

Bubbles: I am one of the Orig jcers

Me: mannerisms imply the dawn of time is closer to early 2000's, but carry on

Bubbles: DIVA was my former name

*ignored bubbles before she gets on a rant*

*5 mins pass till i get wsp'd by an alt*

Bubbles2: OMG Seriously you place me on Ignore lol this should be a blast now a gold capped toon who has been around since noha built the arc versus well you lol happy hunger games, may the odds forever be in your favour

Me: you really logged over for that -.-?

Bubbles2: IGNORED

*Bubbles2 logs off*

Sometimes there's competition that's fun to talk too or match wits with, other times they're a pleasure to work with or compete against.   Then there's competition that makes you wonder if humanity will last past the next generation or two...


Friday, 17 May 2013

Weekly Gold Report 17/05/2013: Busy Busy Busy

This week's been a busy one for me, both in life and in Auction Housing, but we'll get to that later. Without further ado here's the weekly gold total:

Current Balances:
Bank Balance - 330,000g
Altoholic total gold - 42,500g
Incoming AH gold - 1250g

Grand Total: 373,750g

Up 110k gold in one week, around a 42% increase, not half bad if I do say so myself.  I've had a lot of fun on the AH this week, with 3 little side stories to share.

Firstly I got around to heavily leaning on the gem market, crafting a starter stock of 8 of every high demand gem and 5 of all the tangible demand ones. The story here is that around Sunday morning I was sitting on my main bank alt half consciously feasting on a box of Mini Wheats when I noticed my main gem market competition get on.  There's only 3 people besides myself I'd count as major players in the gem market, the guy I mentioned, who's on around 18 hours of the day who I've never seen go more than an hour without running a cancel / posting scan, a second person that only posts once or twice a day late at night, and a part timer that posts 10-12 types of gems every once in a while.  Anyway back to my escapades, seeing my main competition just logging in to repost and having just fully entered the market myself I decided to test his mentality / patience and immediately undercut him every time he posted (for 1c undercut each time). After posting I waited a minute or two and ran a cancel scan, seeing that he'd almost immediately cancelled and undercut me.  Fun Time.  I proceeded to have a undercutting war for the next 20 minutes until he snapped and posted a 2-5 deep wall at 120g across the board (most of the gems being priced at 130-280g each), I was feeling playful so I undercut him once more, at which point he whispered me a condescending insult along the lines of me not knowing what I was doing and logged out.  At this point I would have been perfectly happy to negotiate with the guy after I'd had my fun, however every time he logged on for the rest of the day he'd whisper me another insult or condescending remark.  Continuing on to Wednesday market prices had semi-recovered so I started heavily posting again, although not as aggressively.  My competition seemed like he'd learned his lesson till he pulled the same stunt again a few hours in.  I'm a cautious man but I don't take well to idiots, and so since Wednesday evening have reduced all my posting minimums to my average costs and began relentlessly undercutting whenever he logged on, and plan to continue doing so until I've ridden prices into the ground enough that it's viable to reset the markets.
Among his comments was "Lol, i'm killing you, you can't make any profit!" that was at prices 40g above the current average, hopefully this will be a lesson in caution and tact for him.

My second project for the week was to take the Noah route and craft two of every Crafted Dreadful cloth item after finally learning all the patterns on my tailor. After setting up the TSM groups I tossed everything on the AH and was pleasantly surprised to make 3k in profit the first day.  I was feeling pretty good about it, and it was what was keeping me from taking a shot at the gem market guy until someone popped on and tried to wall me at 125g for every piece.  This proved to be the straw that broke the camels back and, simultaneously with the gem market, I once again lowered all my prices to cost of materials and began undercutting the new target of my ire with the same plans in mind that I had for the gem market.

Last but not least, I FINALLY got my transmog groups set up (as juggling 300 transmog items by hand was getting a bit tedious) and started posting en-mass.  Unfortunately the transmog markets' demand is fairly low on my server so items sell slow and low, but I hope with enough hocking and price hikes I can bolster demand and the generally accepted prices.

Anyway that's all I got for this week, enjoy the May long weekend all.


Monday, 13 May 2013

Easy Sha Crystals

Well I'd been feeling guilty that I hadn't put up a post in a while when I realized I should talk about one of my favourite ways to get easy Sha Crystals, and in turn high end weapon / bracer enchants.

Items that often get overlooked are the level 87, 440 ilvl epic leggings that drop off a few MOP rares, these include:

Spriggin's Sproggin' Leggin'
Qu'nas' Apocryphal Legplates
Go-Kan's Golden Trousers
Silent Leggings of the Ghostpaw
Cournith Waterstrider's Silken Finery
Torik-Ethis Gilded Legplates
Arness's Scaled Leggings
Gaarn's Leggings of Infestation

The thing about these leggings is they will never sell to anyone except morons, the rarely seen level 89 twink, and the knowledgeable goldmaker.  Usually people list them for 1000g or more when they're the only ones posting, to which people who are levelling will offer a slight chuckle before moving on, and anyone at level 90 can buy 458 gear to get more bang for their buck, therefore it'll stay right on the auction house till it either gets undercut or reposted into the ground at lower and lower prices.

The unsellability (hey I made a new word) of it means that eventually you'll end up with a half dozen or more of the same item on the auction house, and people being the "brilliant" entrepreneurs they are will keep undercutting each other till you see all of them at a 200g per, with the occasional ones being posted below 100g when people just want to get rid of them,  but can't D/E them and don't want to vendor them.

The trick here is to watch for cheap ones (Wowuction notifications, Undermine great deals page, staring half crazed at the screen and hitting "search" every 5 seconds) I usually pick up the leggings for 200g or less on my server (in one case buying out 8 at a time, big surprise for some people) and immediately send them off for disenchanting. With the price of Sha Crystals being 400g on average I've just doubled my money, and if I save the crystals I can turn them into the high tier enchants for an even bigger profit.

This being just one example, I hope this'll help people keep in mind to always be on the look out for items that can be used in the enchanting/disenchanting shuffle.


P.S. Also the whole Crafted Dreadful -> Ethereal Shards -> Sha Crystal strategy that's been beaten through the ground and won't be covered here for anyone who hasn't realized it's a thing yet.

Edit: Apparently this's already been mentioned a few times around (I only seem to find these posts right after I talk about an item / strategy, such as with the white bandit mask.....eh well it's still a good one.)

Friday, 10 May 2013

Weekly Gold Report 10/05/2013

Well this week's been a little slow, in addition to me having to babysit my niece for the better part of the week, additionally the market prices have been down so I've been embodying the "shut up and take my money" meme when it comes to materials (got 25 Golden Lotus at about 1/2 of the usual market price), anyway gold total time.

Current Balances:
Bank Balance - 220,000g
Altoholic total gold - 37,500g
Incoming AH gold - 6850g

Grand total: 264,3550g

Only up 59k this week but seeing as I've had a weak week and apparently everyones sales have been down I'll call it an ok.

I'd also like to add a little section to this for my best flips of the week:

Flips of the Week

Tiny Crimson Whelpling - Purchased 500g / Sold 5000g
Dorian's Necklace of Burgeoning Dreams - Purchased 50g / Sold 2500g
Ghost Shard - Purchased 26g / Sold 575g
Masterwork Ghost-Forged Blade - Purchased 255g / Sold 3325g
Bloodrazor - Purchased 6g / Sold 750g (shoulda gone more...)

Once again I'll try to have another tidbit to read out tomorrow, as soon as I think of a topic I can bang more than 3 sentences out on.


Saturday, 4 May 2013

Capital Utilization and Niche Markets

One of the simplest ways to increase your revenues is to add to the amount of items you're selling.  If you have TradeSkillMaster (And if you don't go download it. Yes, right now.) it will display a current total value of the buyout price of all your auctions.  As a rule of thumb, until you hit gold cap the first time I'd try to keep your total auction value (TAV) at around 30-40% of your total liquid gold, unless you're only in markets with a high turnover rate and don't carry very much inventory.

My method for gold making, without getting into the specifics, is to find a new market, toss a bit of money its way to explore its profitability and then work on fully developing it if it shows promise.  For instance let's take one of my favourite niche markets, the White Bandit Mask.  For reasons I can't remember I was looking for a good item to disenchant for Vision Dust and decided to check the comments on Wowhead, there I saw the mask suggested and conveniently already had the pattern on my tailor.  After buying half a stack of mageweave cloth and getting almost a stack of dust from the 4 masks it produced I got thinking that this could be a nice revenue stream if demand was high enough.  To test the market I tossed a mask on the AH for 150g and made another 50 for disenchant, all of this costing maybe 200g.  Though the materials didn't exactly fly off the shelf they did sell fairly quickly for a good price and the rough results were: 200 dust for 2.5g ea, about 15 lesser nether essence for 10-15g each and the 4 small radiant shards which I turned into a Fiery enchant and sold for 250g.

Total investment: 160g~ after additional materials
Total revenue: Give or take 800g after AH cut
Total profit: 640g

In the grand scheme of things this is mere pennies in both costs and sales, however three things stood out for me.  Firstly I had essentially no competition, secondly all the materials were readily available and processing didn't take much time, and thirdly a 400% profit.  A week later I'd added mageweave cloth to my regular materials searches, and it's been a nice revenue source ever since.

Now I'm not saying we shouldn't pay close attention to the main markets such as flasks, inscription, gems, armour, uber blues, etc. However it's always a good idea to try and find ways you can expand your inventory.  Try looking for markets that are unfilled on your server.  Markets with medium to high demand, or with items that are absolutely necessary when leveling a profession.  After finding one of these markets try to see if there's a way that you can easily obtain or produce these items with minimal effort on your side.

Generally the lower competition will mean you can let TSM do all your selling work for you on the side while you focus on keeping a stranglehold on the bigger markets. Though these little markets may seem like they're not worth the time, with the minimal maintenance required to sell in them, you can add as many as you like to your posting / cancelling scans, and eventually all those little revenue streams will add up to a river of gold (niche markets like these make up about 15-20% of my sales).

In summary my point is this: Put as much of your gold to work as you're comfortable with, and then toss another 20% in on top of that. Money that isn't working for you is just sitting there doing nothing, and so long as there's a reasonable chance it will sell, even flipping bulk materials for a measly 5-10% profit is better than nothing.  Now of course this all comes down to the amount of time you're willing to put in, but I'd say the best way is to maximize your profit is to make cash wherever possible rather than focusing on squeezing every last copper out of what you have. If I can take the same materials and make and item that'll make 1000% profit and sell once a week or make a different item that only nets 400% profit but that I can sell 5 times a week I'm not going to save my materials for the higher return, I'm going to produce as many of both as I can sell.

To close with keep this in mind, letting things stagnate is never a good idea and you should always be on the look out for new opportunities, and there's an old economics rule: Keep producing until Marginal Revenue = Marginal Cost, so long as you aren't losing money, you're making money.


Friday, 3 May 2013

Weekly Gold Report 03/05/2013

Yes day-month-year to some peoples disgruntlement, on to the gold total for the week!
Current Balances:
Bank Balance - 180,000g
Altoholic total gold - 24,400g
Incoming AH gold - 1260g

Grand total: 205,660g

Now this may seem like it's not a whole lot of an increase on last week, however some of you may have heard in the round table that I purchased a Big Battle Bear for 58k in the hopes that I would be able to flip it for a 10-40k profit, or at the very least get a nice rare TCG mount extra cheap for my personal collection. The 58k dropped on the bear plus various other large inventory purchases add up to around 70k on just from the big items, which means total sales for the week are around 75,000g. For a 33% return on total liquid assets I'm fairly happy, and hope to bite and claw my way farther into the green next week.

On a side note I finally came up with another topic to write about after having a run of writers block, so hopefully I'll have something interesting up for you all within the next day.


Friday, 26 April 2013

Not a half bad deal

Was checking the great deals page on Undermine and...well...that ain't a half bad way to end the night lol.

200,000 shiny ones!

Well I return from my week long vacation with the news that I made it to 200k gold via mobile AH while I was gone. A baby step towards world domination, but important none the less. I'd likely be closer to 230k or more but someone decided to post 10 stacks of Golden lotus for 60g ea, among various other purchases I made while I was gone this put a large dent in my efforts.

Anyway with that I'll now be posting a graph/update with my weekly gold balance (All alts total via Altoholic + Banker guild bank).

Minus the 20 degree change in temperature it's good to be back, and I'll have a few more posts coming soon.


Saturday, 20 April 2013

Multi million profit margins!

I was in Old Hillsbrad Foothills for unspecified reasons and decided to pick up a dozen starter clothing items for 1c each, posted them on the AH for a few different prices, and went to run my new lvl 90 through LFR.  Upon return the above is what I was presented with.

To save people the math that's a 1,000,000% and 2,000,000% profit margin respectively.

So keep in mind everyone, it's not whether you think it'll sell, it's whether people will buy it ^_^.

A little something different

Accountant, Gentlemanly Banker, and apparently master sculptor!

Kang's Bindstone can be hilarious sometimes

Thursday, 18 April 2013

Price Experimentation

Well I had a fun time today.

I was sitting posting my morning auctions when I noticed a guy in trade spamming along the lines of the following.

Ghost Iron Ore, single stack, in ah 12g each, cheapest in the ah!
Exotic Leather, single stack, in ah 25g each, cheapest in the ah!
etc, etc

I didnt think much of it till he continued to do it for another dozen basic materials, including trillium, cooking materials, enchant mats etc.  The supposedly "cheapest" prices in the auction house piqued my interest seeing as though prices on base materials had been relatively high lately (GOI going for 4-7g ea on average, a fair bit above my buying price) most of the prices he advertised were between 300-500% higher than even the inflated prices of late.  Upon doing my master list search for materials in TSM I found that he was the only seller, and had apparently taken the liberty of buying out almost every basic materials market in the AH during it's slow afternoon times.  This did not sit well with me.

Usually I'd laugh and let the prices fall back to their normal values but this instance had 2 major differences.

1. I'd been wanting to attempt a little market manipulation as of late, as I'd never done it on a large scale.
2. The guy was from a guild that I have a long standing hatred for.

Considering I had a fairly large protection stock (4000 ghost iron ore, 800 exotic leather, 1200 green tea leaves, yada yada) I decided it was time to have a little fun.  */knuckles*

After sending 2-4 stacks of each item to a half dozen different alts I proceeded to post starting at the old market values, followed by undercuts of 20-40s each time, posting at various types of pricing (For example 37g exactly, 36g99s99c, 37g82s95c) and in various sized stacks to cover up that it was all posted by yours truly.  Now, having never done this before I was a bit nervous, but I'd posted every item for 20-80% above what I'd originally purchased for it so the worst possible outcome was me having low profit margins.

After cleaning my parrots cage, washing my car, coming back in and hacking away at Throne of Thunder for 4 hours I popped back on to my bank alt and checked how my little gambit had worked, with surprising results.  Ghost Iron Ore prices weren't only back down, they were below 3g a piece, and the lowest i'd posted any of it at was 3.75g.  Most of the Exotic Leather I posted had sold for a 200% profit and the ones that were left had helped the price continue to fall, likewise most of the low quality herbs were down from 3-4g to 2 gold a pop.

After checking a few other items I realized for a material cost maybe 1500g, which turned a profit of maybe 300g on the ones that sold (the rest I cancelled or left sit to keep the prices down) I'd crashed over half a dozen markets in the AH between 25 and 60 percent, fulfilling both my objectives of getting myself cheaper prices, and sending the guy that'd been spamming trade a nice big one fingered salute.

Not a half bad day....for me at least.

Saturday, 13 April 2013

Almost forgot!

Almost forgot to mention the new banner, a big thanks to Wowprofitz for making it for me, and in general I'd like to give thanks to him and everyone else thats been friendly and helpful to me as I set up the blog and blundered into the gold making community over the last week.

Thanks guys ;]


Thursday, 11 April 2013

The Power of The Bid

After reading Wowprofitz latest post on The Art of Patience this morning I figured I'd talk a bit about a topic I was going to save for next week: The gold making / saving power of bidding.

This may seem unrelated to self control, but it takes a lot of patience to bid on an item and spend the time waiting for it to go through, or for you to be outbid. Hypothetically lets say there's a stack Ghost Iron Ore selling for 60g on the AH, that's fairly low on my server but not "jump right in and grab all you can carry" low. Now lets say that you notice of the twenty stacks posted, all of them have a bid price of 50g a stack, which makes it look very appealing. You now have two options:

Option A: BUY BUY BUY!

Option B: Bid...Bid...Bid...Bid....waiting

For twenty stacks, buying out would cost you 1200g, where as winning it via bid would reduce your costs to 1000g. Now if we say living steel is selling for 500g in our hypothetical market, your profit margin (excluding transmute procs) just went from 28% to 40%, not a bad increase huh?

So that's the main, and essentially only, pro of bidding over buying, but now we need to ask "What are the risks of bidding?" and "How can it be used to our advantage?".

The Risks
It may seem like no risk at all, either you get cheap items or you get your cash back, how could you possibly lose? But we must keep in mind that if you don't buy that item, your competition likely will, and can now possibly undercut you below your cost of materials. This problem is mainly present in the popular item markets such as ore, leather, enchant materials, cloth, etc. In these markets I'd only bid on the auctions that have a high buyout compared to the rest of the market, if the bid price is below your buying price just bid on it regardless of the buyou,t and if the buyout price is already below your buying price just snatch it up, it doesn't always pay to be cheap.

For items that are rarely purchased, such as vanilla crafting materials, you've usually got a much lower risk of having the item bought or being outbid before the auction runs out, unless you need the item immediately, or its price is low enough that it might be snatched up by others in the know, it's usually a good idea to just bid and wait to see what happens.

(For an example I got 20 Arcane Crystals for 2g a pop when the minimum buyout was closer to 15g)

Using Bids To An Advantage
Bidding can be used to minimize your risk and manipulate the market at the same time however this is much more situational. For instance lets say you're presented with a market that has low prices that you want to be even lower, and a low bidding price. The smart thing to do is is to buy out most of the item, but leave a few stacks at different tiers for people to undercut.

Say we have an item that you want to buy below 5g, and you see 10 each of the item at 2g, 3g, 4g, and 5g. If you buy all but 2 stacks at each given level, your average seller isn't willing to post a higher price and wait until prices come up again to get their monies worth, and thus will likely undercut the competition. In the mean time you've placed bids on all of the stacks that you let sit in the AH.

With this strategy we can accomplish two things, we keep the market price falling unless someone else decides to buy all the low cost items, and we grab most of the cheap stuff for ourself, which lowers the risk of your competition getting a good price.

And So..
Now that we understand the different ways to go about it, leave a comment on what your buying strategy is. Are you a bidder? Are you a buyer? Or do you mix the two?

Tuesday, 9 April 2013

Auction Posting Times, Undercuts and Length

I haven't seen any posts that do more than gloss over the subjects of how and when to post your auctions, it may seem like an obvious thing but there are a few subtle things you can do to lower your posting costs.

Times (AKA Stalking The Competition)

When should I post my auctions to avoid competition?

If you post your auctions at the same time that everyone else in the market is on and keeping an eye on their auctions, you'll likely be undercut within an hour, if not within a few minutes.  One of the best ways to get a rough idea of when your competition posting is to go on Undermine, find your server, and search a few items in your market to see who's selling.  Once you know who your competition is its time to see when they post, upon plugging their names in you'll be presented with a statistics page on the seller, including a heat map of their posting activity.  Generally people on a server will be in about the same time zone and anywhere from 1/2 to 3/4 may have the same posting times, and with any luck the ones burning the midnight oil won't cover all the markets that you have your eyes set on.

(On a side note I'm working on a spreadsheet to compile the heat maps of different markets, I'll see how that goes and post the results sometime.)


How much should you undercut the next lowest seller by?

"Well Thairus, obviously I farmed the materials myself so i can put it up for a 50% undercut and sell it quick!"



Cold has a great article about this over on his blog, it is absolutely disgusting whenever I see someone toss 10-15 of an item in the auction house for a massive undercut, it can absolutely obliterate the price of an item, unless someone buys them out to clean up their mess. Although the "buying you out to clean up your mess" part may seem appealing, very few people are willing to do this until prices hit rock bottom, and in the mean time everyone loses cash. A good rule of thumb for undercutting? As small as possible, 1 copper, 1 silver, 1 gold, it may seem like a dick move but it'll be happening to you as much as you do it to them. For big ticket / specialty items a 10% undercut at maximum is a good rule of thumb (unless they're trying to sell a cracked boar tusk for gold cap, in that case you can undercut just a tad more).


How long should you post your auctions?

This one's fairly simple but can take people a while to start doing, and the entire point of it is to save yourself posting costs.  Generally in the gem, glyph, and enchant markets you're be likely be undercut within a day unless you're on VERY low population server, thus I suggest only post these items for 12 hours, 60s a blue gem might not seem like much but if you have to repost 10 items a day this will save you 180g a month on just gems.  The post low rule doesn't apply only to quick selling items, you should always adjust how long you post an auction to how fast they tend to sell.  I can't give any strict guidelines for this one, it's all about experience in the market.

Anyway I hope you enjoyed reading my first rant as much as I enjoyed nervously picking through it for spelling errors. Also check out Drunken Mogul and GetRichWow, two other new blog's  by GoblinRaset and Erogroth.


Monday, 8 April 2013

Well woohoo my first blog, in all it's hideous lack-a-layout glory. Anyway this blog'll be mainly devoted to any adventures, anecdotes and insights I have while attempting to dominate the wo- erm, that is, make gold on the auction house. Hopefully I'll have something worth the read to talk about soon so until then thanks for reading through the entry post.