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05 August 2011

Timing the trinket market

This is the 4th post in a series on Darkmoon Trinkets.
All markets have price variations.  Raid nights need flasks and potions before the raid starts, and gems and enchants after the raid finishes; creating periods of peak demand and higher prices.  Casual farmers and crafters work on nights that are not raid nights, creating peak supply and lower prices.

As I explored with yesterday's post, for darkmoon trinkets, the faire dominates the pricing cycle.  It's not enough to buy mats and expect to sell trinkets at profit. Timing the trinket market is more important than time in the market.

The basic process again is :
  • Gather herbs and volatile life
  • Mill herbs -> Inks (Blackfallow & Inferno)
  • Combine Inferno inks and Volatile life to create an individual card (Ace to Eight of one of the 4 standard card suites)
  • Combine 8 different cards of the same suite to create a deck. 
  • Turn the deck into a trinket during the Darkmoon Faire.
You can use the AH at any point (or even multiple points) in this cycle.  I only get mats from other farmers (sometimes direct ; usually off the AH).  Sometimes I mill herbs, other times I buy or even sell Inks.  I make, buy and sell cards.  I make, buy and sell decks.  I create trinkets during the faire and sell them later.

Each 'line' in the above process has it's peaks and troughs : related to each other but lagging.  Eg.  Peak ink prices occur during the time that Trinkets go from most expensive to cheapest.

Raw Mats Alliance Mean Min (Alliance Cael) Max (Alliance Cael)
Volatile Life 9.21 7.5 13.33
Whiptail 2.19 1.7 2.31
Inferno Ink 40.7 23 52.5
Blackfallow Ink 11.9 4.28 7
Milling value
Inferno Gold 2.04 1.15 2.63
Blackfallow Gold 3.57 1.28 2.1
Total Gold 5.61 2.43 4.73
Value increase 256% 143% 205%
Volcano 10,742 6,300 15,000
Tsunami 15,153 10,986 20,000
Earthquake 5,125 3,531 15,000
Hurricane 9,680 6,318 15,250
Average 10,175 6,784 16,313
Cost - no waste 5,471 3,644 7,404
186% 186% 220%
Cost 10% waste 6,018 4,009 8,144
169% 169% 200%
Cost 50% waste 8,206 5,467 11,105
124% 124% 147%

Pricing was established @30 June 2011, taken from theunderminejournal.com. The Alliance mean is the undermine journals 'US Alliance Mean pricing', and the minimum and maximum are taken from eyeballing the 14 day rolling window for Alliance Caelestrasz.  I make no warranties that trinkets were sold at any price, let alone 15,000 for the earthquake, but these are the listed prices my AH - and without any manipulation on my behalf.

First of all I am listing pricing for both the basic mats (Volatile life and Whiptail as a representative herb); as well as the pricing for Inferno & Blackfallow inks.

For my own reference, I have listed the notional value of milling a single whiptail, and it's markup; assuming you sold it as ink.

At the bottom I have included trinket prices - both individual and average; followed by costs and markups (from volatile life and ink prices) based on 3 scenarios : No waste; 10% allowance for wasted cards, and 50% allowance for wasted cards.

The first thing to note, is that if you look at only average pricing; OR only minimal pricing; OR only maximum prices; even allowing for 50% you can make a profit.

The next thing to note is that if you buy all your mats at the 'top' of the cycle (7400g no waste), and sell your trinkets at the bottom of the cycle (6800), then you will make a loss.  No brainer huh?  But look at the implications.

(Please note : the profit's mentioned below are theoretical only.  I doubt even the most rabid card maker would expect them on a regular basis.  However, it is still valid for illustration purposes).

Take the 10% allowance for waste cycle in 2 scenarios:
Scenario 1
  • Buy inks and volatile life at the bottom of the market for 1 trinket : 4000g.  
  • Craft cards
  • Sell completed trinket at the top of the market : 16,300 g
  • Profit 12,300g
 Scenario 2
  • Buy inks and volatile life at the bottom of the market for 1 trinket : 4,000g
  • Sell inks and volatile life at the top of the market for 1 trinket : 8,100g
  • Buy completed trinket at the bottom of the market : 6,800g
  • Sell Completed Trinket at the top of the market 16,300g
  • Profit = 4100g + 9500g = 13,600g
By hanging onto your cards for the entire cycle, selling at the top of the cycle; you loose 1,600g per card : or 10%.  If you miss the (hard to pick)

I have also skipped all the 'fun' that can be had by selling individual cards and decks. Any trinket maker is already playing with risk, at points in every cycle having crafted goods worth less than unprocessed mats.

In scenario 2, you do not need to be a scribe; Making greater just by buying low and selling high.

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