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.

-Thairus

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 ;]

-Thairus

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.)


Undercuts

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!"

*SLAP*

"No."

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).


Length

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.

-Thairus

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.

-Thairus