09 July 2011

I'm not interested in owning our glyph market

Critical goblin thinks that it is possible to own the Cael glyph market, and drive the competitors away.  Now his comments are worth reading; and are a valid strategy for many servers.

With all due respect, for our server. Sorry : Nope : Not going to happen.



How do I know this?
  • We have been there.
  • There are 5-6 scribes with a full set of recipees, with sufficient alts having maxed tradeskills (I have all 8 tradeskills @ 525, as do many others)
  • We know how the other toons responds to campers, deep undercuts, walls of glyphs, below cost glyphs.
For a history of glyphs on our server, if you have the time, read glyphs on this site, and Breevok's glyph experiment


The deep undercut, wall of glyphs have been played on our server.  A very long time ago we had gold robots selling glyphs.  We drove them out.  I have maintained a wall: here, here, here and here. I outsourced the posting of glyphs here and here, Moonvengence (a competitor) maintained a glyph wall here and camping 1c undercut here.

We have had intense competition for the majority of my time in the glyph market, since May 2010.  With the exception of Moonvengence's time, when he started his wall of glyphs below herb costs (he did his own farming), I have historically been a (and possibly even the) dominant seller in terms of setting the market prices.  We have sold glyphs at less than 1g profit over the cost of herbs and parchments for extended periods. 

At the moment, with me following the market; given the current pricing and competition, I am pleased to say that I have never made more gold for as little effort as in our current glyph market.  This post will introduce additional competition, but Critical Goblin's comments already have stirred the pot.


The glyph sellers appear to be deliberately working around other toons without demanding 100% of sales, and I at least am making much more gold because of it. My posting is restricted to a few days per week, before I go to work, deliberately only having 12 hour posts, but posting on both auction houses. This returns on average 1500g per ah, per post cycle (3k per day that I post), roughly 80% profit.

This is not to say that we are 'kind' to each other. I can not successfully sell glyphs in the evening without crashing prices, but it is easier if I post in the morning.  I also post on both Horde and Alliance AH's, as does Breevok.


To own our AH glyph, I would need to start posting a wall at 30g, with a threshhold of 18g, eventually moving my threshold down to 25g (or even lower following whiptail pricing), and hold it there for months. Within days of the margins being increased - even by a small amount, competition would return.

So my choices are :
  • Share the market, and accomodate other sellers, and make 3k per day, or
  • Own the market for months, for paper thin profits, and when I attempt to raise prices a little, be undercut.

While I am in an position to make my gold the easy way, I will.  At the moment, this does not involve paper thin profits.

P.S.  Breevok - As the leading advocate of not maintaining a deep undercut wall, any comments?

9 comments:

  1. I've done the deep undercut wall for months to teach the cartel on my server a lesson. It's very time consuming and it works but it's lot better for everyone involved once the competition finally learns that lesson and starts sharing sales at higher prices.

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  2. Hmmmm... I need time to gather my thoughts. But my initial response has already been summarised.

    In fact I invite Critical Goblin to server transfer - and when you do it select Moonvengence as your character name.

    What CG is suggesting has been done - and I have no doubt Moonvengence made a butt load of gold. However his gold/hour (which people feel is important ) was very low.

    In short the deep undercut will allow you to own the Cael market and make gold - but you will have no life. Once you get bored the rest of us will have made our gold elsewhere and will also have done all our dailies, run our heroics, been raiding in Firelands and dancing in the streets of Stormwind. We will then wander back into the Auction House - stepping around the blubbering broken man that once was Critical Goblin - and repost our glyphs.

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  3. Let me start off by saying it was arrogant of me to say I know your server better than you for that yes I apologize. I dont live on your server nor have I read your historical almanacs.

    However, you both claim this has been done before by a Moonvegeance.

    Now my question to you is: was it successful? Did he make a buttload of gold? How do you know his G/H was very low? If you do not know how much gold he earns (G) and how much time it takes (H) you cannot claim to know his G/H and therefore judge whether it is low or high. It is a lazy writer that makes such statement without facts when inferring someone else's method is inferior eg yes your method works but its bad because your G/H will be low. It might be high or low for you because you know your own manufacturing process, but you dont know mine. And even if I or Moonvegeance or anyone else tells/shows you, it still can be misinformation which is a tool in every professional goblin's armory.

    I do however commend your (Breevok) creative writing ability, weaving the story about a no-life gold maker who blubbers around broken and weighed down in Azeroth by his heavy pockets full of gold vs the dancing, happy explorer adventuring in new lands filled with fire, danger and excitement. It is an exceptional writer who can paint such a 2-halved picture and by describing the sad and happy sides in such detail that he can manage to convince the reader to side with him on the "happy" side. Truly a master of words.

    However on the other hand I am sad that you pulled out the "well transfer to my server and prove it" argument aka the lazy IWIN button of the internet. Would you pay $25 to win an argument on the internet? Why would you expect anyone else to? Effective because I wont be transferring and therefore you win by default, but I hope to maintain your writing integrity you will consider not using this IWIN button in the future.

    Anyway Foo: thank you for declining respectfully and with such detail. I have read through the linked posts. If you tried exactly my method in the past and it has failed, then you know for yourself it is ineffective. If you have tried something similar but missed out one step it could be the piece of the puzzle that unlocks the box. That is the reason why i posted the method in such detail, because each and every step is critical.

    Read Breevok's post. It is negatively written to make it sounds like Moonvengeance is a dummy with poor G/H and he paints the picture that I Critical have no-life and do not raid Firelands nor do dailies or heroics. But if you read between the lines you will notice he admits certain things ie Moonvengeance did get it right and that while I Critical blunders around I do it with gold filled pockets. Breevok may be a fellow blogger but like a sales person trying to sell you insurance, is he your blood brother or a salesman? He is even worse, he is a competitor who is highly skilled at social manipulation.

    It is easy to trust him because you "know" him for XX months and it is easy to distrust me because i am new and my name is unappealing. Examine the facts that: a) i gave you a full point by point battle plan. b) Breevok's comments are full of hot air trying to convince you this is a loser strategy.

    No plan is fool proof, what i gave is a starting point. He has a copy of this battle plan so of course he will work out how to foil this plan. To win the war you must adapt faster and better than the competitor.

    Breevok: as I have mentioned on your blog I admire your writing ability. Your post above shows again your fantastic social coercion skills. Just no more IWINs, poor form old chap.

    The good thing about Critical is if you dont like his opinion he is only a delete button away.

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  4. Foo - do you have a copy of CGs deleted comment from the last post? I was preparing to respond but I cant without that comment.

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  5. You made one small error in your comment CG - I (and Foo) watched MoonV - the time he was milling, the time he was making glyphs, the time he was at the mailbox, the time he was in the AH. We know how much time he spent on his glyph industry. We also knew when he removed glyphs to repost. We knew how long that took.

    Moonv was posting 3000+ glyphs at a time - thats a hour per relist just at the mailbox...

    We knew...

    We know how long this takes because we are glyphers ourselves - and so we know how much time he spent with his business.

    We also knew the prices of herbs, and even if he farmed them all himself, we knew that the prices he was selling the glyphs at was barely covering his costs - profit was minimal per glyph.

    I dont dispute he sold a lot of glyphs - 100s and 100s and 100s. But 10000 glyphs sold at 5g profit is only 50k.

    And for the time he spent - he was making 200g an hour at a rough guess. Not something I was willing to do, and eventually Foo saw the light as well. If he was farming herbs, his profit was even lower.

    As for my relationship with Foo - I have never been an advocate for the deep undercut - there are too many very well set up glyph businesses on Cael. We all sit and watch and wait for the undercutter to realise they are making 200g an hour and that being the lord and master of 'not a great deal' isnt all its cracked up to be.

    Foo and I have disagreed on this for over a year - but I believe he is now more in line with my way of thinking.

    I dont consider myself a 'social manipulator' - only occasionally dabbling in this as a sales technique. It seems a cheap way to make money - but you only have my word for this.

    I have ALWAYS advocated for techniques not specifics. What works on Cael doesnt work on Frostmourne. What works on horde doesnt work on alliance in many cases. Each server is its own microcosm - and yes CG I found your comment arrogant. Your technique may work on 90% of servers - it may well work on Cael in its current state - short term. But I would never let my ego write that cheque.

    In short, Cael has seen gold sellers sitting in the AH 24/7. We have seen MoonV locking down the glyph market for 9 months. And here I still am selling glyphs. And there's Foo. And Nevica. The same three people that you believe will leave when the profits arent there.

    We dont leave, we just sit and watch. If fact for a while it was me who locked MoonV in, never letting him raise his prices. If he wanted minimal profits and wasnt willing to share the wealth I was going to make sure his profits were as small as possible. Harsh but I felt fair.

    The deep under cut does work - but its not guaranteed. You have to take the risk that your patience, time and resources can hold out. Against another gold capped player you are going to struggle to do this.

    The deep undercut is nothing more than glorified bullying - and you occasionally pick on the wrong person when you bully - and get bodyslammed. In the case of glyphs on Cael the best technique for making gold is sharing the market with others, because if someone starts throwing too much weight around they are likely to end up with the bloody nose.

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  6. Umm Critical Goblin... Being that I know Breevok better than anyone... I can assure you he WOULD spend $25 to server transfer to make a point. So although you wouldnt , he didnt play an IWIN button...

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  7. When someone else does it, its call glorified bullying. When you do the same thing you call it being harsh and fair. I honestly admire your writing skills, superb to say the least and never fails to impress me.

    Setting my admiration aside I appreciate you pointing out my error. I would like to return the favor and point out that you've made one error too. Watching Moonvengeance and timing him only gives you time (H). You don't know his incoming gold (G). Or do you know a method of finding out someone's Sales info that you dont mind sharing. I hope you dont say TUJ. If anyone dared to say your G/H is XX you would be screaming liar!! because quite rightly no one knows your G.

    FYI I apologized already and immediately for my arrogance. It is a nasty habit that comes with receiving the first name Critical at birth.

    If you are keen to jump over to my servers and have a spare $75 lying around by all means. But I believe you love challenges hence my challenge to you is this: find which servers Critical subside on. I will give you a hint: I sell full glyphs on 3 servers both factions, and only 1 is Oceanic. Ok thats too hard I will give you another hint, see the Posting Time patterns. When you find 6 that match, you will have found the evil Critical Goblin that dared to share with the world one way to sell glyphs.

    Hope to see you soon Bree, ta ta. PS: Come alone dont bring Cat. Its not fair 2 ganging up on 1. Even if Critical is a hulking monster of a goblin.

    PPS: why not make your own post on your own blog. How about detailing how Critical is a no-life bumbling old fool that gets bodyslammed for daring to deep undercut. Critical gives you his permission. That way you can delete Critical posts at will instead of pushing Foo's visitor count up.

    PPPS: I too am confused. Why do you readers expect Bree to come out roaring at me. I am his biggest fan. He enjoys pointing out an error here and there and I likewise. That's called sparring. Bree says stay out of the ring if you aint invited.

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  8. The ONLY reason I occasionally nuke the price on every glyph is because my main competition camps at some of the best times to sell and relentlessly so. He just sits there for hours cancel-reposting.

    Nuking and deep undercut has a very specific purpose for me, it's about killing my glyph campers gold per hour. Hell if he's online I don't get sales besides the ones that slip through his 7-15 minute cancel-repost cycle.

    Also you can't assume what your competition's price per glyph is. Think about what a good price for Whiptail is on your server. I mean a SCREAMING good deal. Got that number in your head? Now knock 5-10g off of that and it throws a lot of this anti deep undercut sentiment out the window.

    I just hit one of the warcraftecon milestones (not that it matters) but in the glyph section of the interview I put in some old Gevlon quotes because I also have had some great success in deep undercut. Keep in mind though that even Gevlon says there is no I-Win button. One posting behavior beats another which beats another, and on some servers it can get pretty brutal.

    "There is a thing called demand curve: the lower your price is, the more customers you'll have." -Gevlon source: http://greedygoblin.blogspot.com/2010/04/auction-house-etiquette.html

    I think us gold makers drink too much of our own kool-aid sometimes. What I mean by this is, roll a new server. Ding 25. Try to buy a glyph. Imagine you are a normal player. On one server as a normal player, I would have been able to afford a glyph and on the other server someone never got the sale because they listed 285g. This is why I don't agree that deep undercut is glorified bullying...to us it is because we are drawn to these AH pvp mindsets but there is also the potential buyers to consider.

    One last thing, it's way out of date but check out gevlon's opinions on different posting styles...it's pretty extensive. http://greedygoblin.blogspot.com/2009/09/industry-part-2.html

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  9. Edit: Even though my post above seemed awfully one-sided I do not always deep undercut. I like to keep competition on their toes. Also your server sounds a lot more cut-throat than mine. In your situation i MIGHT just leave glyphs entirely for a period to see how competition reacts.

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