25 August 2011

What to do with that camper?

On the Auction house, there are dominant names in some fields, often a 'camping' player.  That is, someone who does nothing but sit on the auction house, and undercut's you by a copper or two within moments of you posting something.  You could camp in responce.  I don't.

In response to a recent comment.  I will illustrate my methods to combat this.

First of all, learn everything for your chosen profession.  The harder the recipee is to get, the greater the chances it will be profitable.  Your camper may not have the time to learn these recipees.
  • For jewelcrafters, this includes dalaran JC dailies as well as Stormwind/Origmar dailies.  
  • For scribes, do your research (minor and major), and pick up books of glyph mastery (though they may become somewhat redundant later - with research also being able to do this too).
  • Bored enchanter's should organise older content to pickup patterns - either for maxing out low level pvp toons, BOA enchants, or just cater to the low level rich player.
  • Bored leather workers, tailors and blacksmiths should also consider farming older content for the patterns that look 'cool' for transmogrification.  Caveat Emptor : I have no idea what 'cool' would look like.
  • Engineers should get pet recipees.
Second, do your market research as to what is profitable to make.  There are addon's like Lil Sparky's workshop, spreadsheets (both on the web and one's you do yourself), and even TradeSkillMaster has a tool.  You will sometimes craft stuff no-one ever needs, and sometimes will find genuine niche markets.  Your camper may avoid these recipees.

Post when your camper is AFK.  My Horde glyph camper has this posting activity (from http://theunderminejournal.com/seller.php?realm=H-Caelestrasz&seller=Massterbank)


I respond with this posting activity (from http://theunderminejournal.com/seller.php?realm=H-Caelestrasz&seller=Foostrait)

I suspect that Massterbank's overall earnings are higher than mine.  However, I have a much greater gold/hour than he does. There is absolutly zero value in 1c undercutting Massterbank when he is online.  He is prepared to outwait you.


If all the above don't work or are undesireable, look at cost based options option of dealing with campers.

Learn exactly how much it costs you to make something (gems, glyphs, belt buckles, pets - whatever).  Work out how little you are prepared to sell something for above costs.  This is your threshold.

Will your camper buy out your auctions if you post at your threshold?  Then sell away.  He may build a stockpile, but you are making gold (i.e. you are above your cost).  Easy sales.  I have several times had competition buy out my glyphs.  I then sent a note thanking them for their support, posted more on the AH, and asked them how many more they wanted COD?  Apparently this is demoralising for a wannabe monopolist.

Will your camper undercut you anyway?  Then sell a 48 hour 'wall'.  You are not making any sales as he continues to undercut you.  However, you are making his life hell.  There are still levelling toons posting things below cost - taking away his sales.  You are not allowing him to make a huge profit.  Your time commitment is picking up mail every 2 days and reposting (i.e. blessed all).  His is crafting, posting, ah fees, and doing this for less than questing gold/hour with a huge time commitment.  All it requires is patience, and the willingness to 'destroy the market' (buyers still think its great). 

It may take a month or two to drive off a particularly determined camper.  That's OK.  I am developing other markets while he is grinding for no reward.

8 comments:

  1. If only my competition had such a convenient posting schedule. Here is one sample from my server:

    http://theunderminejournal.com/seller.php?realm=H-Draka&seller=Bestprice

    Now, maybe this person likes playing the auction house more than sleeping, but it seems likely that this is not a person but a bot. I would like to see some acknowledgement from the gold blogging community about the problem of botting. I'm not going to post the links or mention names but the software to do this is out there.

    Your suggestions for dealing with a human camper sound good, but will not work with a bot that has all the time in the world, can work with much lower margins and never gets frustrated.

    ReplyDelete
  2. My server is infested with persistent obsessive campers including a few bots. I use blanket coverage with 48 hour posts, steep undercuts and mini walls to combat them. I generally post 2 or 3 times a day. I almost never cancel my posts, I just leave them up. Their choice then comes down to spending a lot of time camping for low profits or let mine sell.

    When the campers go nuts I don't sell a whole lot but I do still make a profit. The campers have to sell an awful lot at very little profit to do that. When the campers slow down, I sell a lot at higher profits than they were getting trying to stop my sales.

    Sometimes I'll catch one of the botters leaving his bot running unattended for a while. They pretty much all have me blacklisted so when I catch one running unattended I'll get it posting stuff well under cost and buy it all out. :)

    ReplyDelete
  3. lol here is my post history (im the other end and im not a bot)...
    http://theunderminejournal.com/seller.php?realm=H-Fizzcrank&seller=Aardv%C3%A1rk

    ReplyDelete
  4. Maybe I gave you the solution too early and you didnt have a serious undercutting camper problem then, but the CG method is the counter to exactly this.

    - full glyphs
    - load up 20 of each
    - low ceiling 24g
    - high ceiling 59g
    - undercut 18g
    - 4 singles per glyph
    - 48hrs

    Let me ask you the reader a question. Have you ever posted up a bunch of glyphs, left it and the next day come back with either no sales or something pitiful like 100g? And the same thing the next day and the next. Very demoralizing and "smart" sellers will stop selling and wait for blue skies and rainbows to start again.

    A camper only has 1 advantage: he gets the sale (because his goods are always the cheapest and therefore get bought first). Use his advantage to your advantage. Let him get the sale, but squeeze it down. Dont let him get even one of those 300g one glyph sales, this rejuvenates him and makes him happy and keeps him in the game. Let him get lots of small sales, then make the sales smaller and smaller until he pops like a zit and rages and quits (ahhhhh the dream of all glyph scribes).

    For example:

    Day 2 squeeze
    - low ceiling 21g
    - high ceiling 39g
    - undercut 9g

    Day 3:
    - low ceiling 18g
    - high ceiling 29g
    - undercut 6g

    To be honest my method is not dissimilar to what Moxnix prescribes. Having a look at his blog he actually covers very similar points in his June post. The difference is I formalized it into a easy to follow instruction sheet. Rename CG method to Glyphs 201 for Dummies if you like.

    Recommended reading, a modern 2011 view on a similar topic as Gevlon's original glyph post:
    http://thegoldmint.blogspot.com/2011/06/dealing-with-obsessive-campers_8018.html

    Moxxy gets it. I have a feeling he sells infernos (tsk tsk) but I will overlook it because I like his tough oneliner: "undercut steeply and drive prices down fast", fantastically straight to the point and absolutely correct. Do the opposite of the asshat 1cp camper, nothing gets them more riled up than someone coming along and undoing all their "hard" work. Dont send a zergling to fight the other guy's zergling, use the counter and its GG.

    /sigh as much as I try, glyph discussions are too irresistible for Critical to not comment on.

    ReplyDelete
  5. that nice thing when ppl do that a smart camper just does it till the low cap is reached then lets the other guys sell. while i put back those glyphs in the bank (to try posting up often) ... with the right addons constant camping and always being under the next highest will always be profitable from 1g - 270g. its just a matter of time till ppl give up cause its not worth it to them. this is while u still watch the low glyphs for low numbers and u will see ones that sell that if you buy and repost will get u back ur 15g-50g and then 250+ gold (and some times free glyphs)

    ReplyDelete
  6. CG - welcome back - I think.

    At the moment I don't have a problem with campers. Remember - I'm still mostly AFK, earning my gold by loging in briefly in the morning and collecting my gold in the evening.

    This is for the others. Please see my bodycheck approach on the next post. For the record, I have been willing to body check since Sep 10, and probably even earlier than that.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Thanks, all, for your thoughts, suggestions and info on this stuff, I get the idea now and plan on giving it a try. Cheers!

    ReplyDelete
  8. From the other side, i'm a camper. I work from home on computer all day, I have 2 monitors, so its easy to have the AH open in the background, and just run a cancel/repost with very little effort while doing other things.

    Work, reading, tv, etc. AH is a secondary activity, not a constant timesink.

    I do it because the auction pvp is my favorite part of the game. I already have oodles of money, so won't be driven out of a market, in fact I drove the glyph market into the ground for 2 months to annoy other competitors once.

    This is for fun =)

    ReplyDelete

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