31 May 2011

Why I post glyphs aggressively

TL; DR
Post when the competition will be offline
Prices below your opposition's threshold allows sales even when you are undercut.


I was on the Horde AH the other night when a regular competitor and blogger (Breevok, with his horde toon Fringe), asked why I was destroying the glyph market.  He also pegged (correctly) that I had an undercut of 20g.

He stated he was selling something along the lines of 3k/day in glyphs, at an average sale price of 100g/glyph (meaning about 30 glyphs a day).  A couple of days ago, the undermine journal 'saw' that he sold about 20 glyphs for about 2k, (so 100g/glyph average profit) and had a threshold of 22.5g (possibly different for different glyphs).  Again the undermine journal said this was one of his better days.  However, the Undermine Journal only scans every hour, and will not see glyphs posted then sold between a scan, so is likely to understate his sales.  This toon also generally posts early in the morning, and is unlikely to be undercut untill mid afternoon / early evening.



I do not sell either the number of glyphs, nor at the same price, despite having a more aggressive undercut.  The Horde AH, on one of my better sales days, had (again according to the undermine journal) 1k of sales, 16 glyphs, for an average of 60g/glyph.  Again the undermine journal is underestimating my sales.  I post during the evening, and get undercut moderately quickly (generally within 2 hours - or even less).



As a set of crude rules:
  • Gross Earning = Number of Sales * Sale Price
  • Profit = Number of Sales * Margin.
  • Lower Sale Price -> Greater number of buyers, fewer competing sales
  • Last to post with cheapest price gets the sales.
At the moment, I am selling off surplus inventory (inks) that have been sitting in my bags for far too long.  Selling this ink as glyphs brings a better return (average 60g/3 = 20g , currently a minimum of 25/3=8g) than as raw ink (Blackfallow generally listed at 6g).  I am also looking at maximising Gross earnings, preferring return of investment over of return on investment.

The first thing I note is that Fringe sells 30% more glyphs than I do.  I also note that despite only a 20g undercut, I make 40g less per glyph than he does.  There is no difference in the glyphs that we know, or have available for posting.
  • Fringe traditionally posts when other glyph sellers are /AFK having many hours without competition; I traditionally post when competitors are still around, having only a short time before being undercut.  Tip 1: Post when the competition will be offline : For Horde Caelestrasz this means before work/school.  There are sufficient buyers on during the day to make selling worth your while.  It is a pity that I am usually unable to post first thing in the morning. However, to prove this point, I have spent a couple of mornings posting.  (Curiously this is not as important Alliance side).
  • 30% of my Horde sales in number (and 15% in value) are due to selling at my threshold.  I note that Fringe has an even lower threshold than I do. There are days that only my threshold priced glyphs sell.  Tip 2: Prices below your opposition's threshold allows sales even when you are undercut.
  • Deep undercutting (eg 20g) allows you to determine thresholds far faster than a shallow undercut.  Some glyphs have different thresholds than others; whether due to players with mutliple pricing strategies or simply different players with different glyphs.


PS.
Did you hear the one about the goblin having too much gold?  No?  Neither did I.

Grats to Breevok on reaching his gold target.  Now get out of my playground. (Well I can try)

    26 May 2011

    Muddying both ponds

    I had officially given up on the Alliance glyph market and moved to horde.  In fact, even now, I am willing to sell my entire stock of glyphs and surplus inks at a reasonable price, along with a comitment to not craft any glyphs for a period (depending on price).

    I occasionally to try out the horde market to other markets.  I started it when I was shifting horde <-> alliance only cooking recipees.  Shifting across the neutral AH often works out, sometimes it does not

    I have been working on options for glyphs for a while, tweaking stratgeies.  But failing to sell glyphs at 15g gets a bit tiresome after a while (yes - all glyphs really were down around 15g and still not selling), especially when there is this nice horde server just over the neutral auction house.

    The problem with giving up on glyph selling, was the excessive stockpile I had, not only of glyphs, but of inks as well.

    I had toyed with the idea of moving glyphs to the horde side some time ago, but put it aside.  Darkmoon faire cards are doing OK, but it makes me very uncomfortable.  I will cope with my discomfort, and continue to make them for a while at least.  Breevok blogged about his success in moving glyphs to horde side.  He has a successful racket, being:
    (A) he does not make waves
    (B) He posts early in the morning, when the rest are still asleep or at work (consequently getting far too many hours without competitors undercutting him).

    I generally make waves, for better and for worse.  I am available to post last thing at night, but not generally first thing in the morning.  My method of sales has generally been a deep undercut method.  During the times that I post; I have found that trivial undercut = no sales.  Even with the apparently ever so savage undercutting (i.e. 2 posting cycles) I appear to be 'destroying' the horde glyph market, with a largely underwhelming number of sales.

    Breevok was flattered by my imitation of 'his' idea.  I however did give him the 'social' respect of not posting horde side for 6 weeks after his post, in part annoyance at not having done it first.

    However, with Arios/b/t afk, Breevok and I both posting horde side only, Moonvengence has dissapeared again, for about 4 days (according to the undermine journal).  He has done it before, so I am unwilling to say that he has left for better markets, or when he will be back.  As Breevok noted, Nevica however, is enjoying the break.

    And yes, I did transfer my entire stock (minus some really awful glyphs).  It took a little while to re-build a (small) stockpile of alliance glyphs (still have warlock, warrior and part of rogue to go).  It had been too long since I needed to craft glyphs.  I will attempt to not smother the market; both having a higher threshold and insufficent stock to cover my best glyphs between crafting sessions.  However, I still have zero milling to do (did I mention too many inks?). If Moonvengence (or any other player) wishes to craft glyphs below my threshold, I will more easily withdraw.  There will also be breaks in my posting cycle (mostly real life driven); where prices can reset should others choose it.

    As I like my automation tools, I will continue to use Altaholic, KTQ and Gnomeworks.  When I want to craft glyphs for alliance side, I will 'delete' my horde toon (foostrait) from altaholic and craft my few of each glyph (eg /ktq queue 3 glyphs), mailing them to a posting toon.  When I want to craft horde side glyphs, I will hop back onto my horde toon to refresh altaholic (mail, AH, bank - he has no guild at the moment); hop back to my alliance crafting toon and craft away, using ktq to queue my horde+alliance stockpile, and post the surplus via the AH.

    23 May 2011

    Inventing Wheels

    The last week has been hectic in real life.  I have not been on much.  At one point,  I was trying to make a weapon enchant scroll for my priest.  After 20 minutes of 'what enchant to make; what are its mats; what enchant was that again?', I decided I was on more than I should have been, and went to bed.

    So, this week I have not had the time or mental resources to invent new wheels.  Fortunately, there are wheels that have previously been invented.

    I had too much runecloth from the closing days of the Lich King.  So a thanks go to Cold (also a recent addition to the 1/2 million club).  I am converting runecloth into headbands and then into enchanting mats.

    I am also tweaking my glyph strategy.  You are an idiot if you take 1/2 hour to collect glyph mail; sometimes getting as much as 1000g in sales (often getting less than 300g).  There is more than one auction house on a server; so if one AH has an average price of 20g, and another AH has an average price of 200g.  I have been posting on the '20g AH'.  Mind you, if I could sell out many glyphs at 20g, I would be content.  As I can't, I am looking for options.
    I have recntly tried :

    • Selling raw inks alliance side: Some success, but limited market.  Still worth doing, but at the current rates I will sell my ink stockpile sometime around patch 6.0.  
    • Selling inferno inks horde side.  No good.
    • Selling darkmoon trinkets.  I have some success here, but I don't like the market.  I prefer selling to the M&S market.  I also will buy individual cards from the horde market to complete trinkets.
    • Selling glyphs alliance side.  I am temporarily bowing out of this market.  
    Providing I can clear a stockpile, I will be a price follower. In roughly a months time, I may become a price setter, selling into whatever markets I can.

    20 May 2011

    JC in 4.2

    JC's rejoice - you will have bag space in 4.2

    First of all, we believe that cut gems will stack.  Currently, some JC's deliberatly hold low stocks of cut gems, others use mailboxes as storage (if only for expired auctions)

    Secondly, we will be getting a 36 slot gem bag (requiring 3 dreamcloth to make).

    I will be using my tailor to stockpile dreamcloth again when ever I log on to him.  It won't be a high priority as established JC's already survive on their existing bags, and will get some bag space back simply from stacking.  I do see some demand coming from:
    • the top 4 or 5 gem sellers in your markets buying 4+ bags each, 
    • many 'guild/personal use' JC's will buy a bag as well

    17 May 2011

    The undermine journal incorrect seller bug fixed.

    I also had the myserious sales bug that was first posted at CSAHF

    My bug report was listed at the Undermine Journal forums

    And a response.

    Hi, Foo!

    There was a bug in the auction parser for The Undermine Journal. This bug has been in there for a while, and took me about an hour to dig out. Breevok's friend probably fell victim to the same bug, so my conclusion at that time was probably incorrect. Your account is safe.


    And, for the record, the auction data is still accurate as far as what was posted, in what quantities, for what prices, and when. The only thing incorrect was the seller name for some auctions.

    ...
    Erorus


    For further details on the bug or the fix, please see the 'bug report'.

    11 May 2011

    Glyph Q & A

    I received a message from the player that triggered my glyph making process series.

    Thanks for the article mate. I've been posting glyphs pretty much twice a day and I'm dropping the prices of what they had to lower levels to see how long they want to stay in the market for. So all those 80's I'm bringing down and see if I can push them out so I can reset the market.


    I have heard no screams on anguish as yet but I'm sure they are coming.  What are you opinions about picking up low priced glyphs? Most scribes a rent really trying to make money, just levelling and throw them on for low prices, sometimes cheaper then it is to make.


    Also I'm building up a Tauren DK so i can herb my own product between glyph resells to drop costs down.  What price do you put on time? As its only time, does it allow you to drop prices lower since costs gold wise are minimal?

    Posting twice a day is nice; infrequently enough to be very time efficient; often enough to put thumbscrews on the opposition.  The screams will come. I loved it when I got my first 'your destroying my profits' email.

    In terms of buying cheap glyphs, well, I still have 60 glyphs of voidwalker that I purchased before Cata that I really need to vendor. The times to buy cheap glyphs are:
    • When you can't (or won't) make a glyph for that cost
    • When buying a few will reset the market
    Be careful when buying out glyphs, and re-read the first post in this series.  Often cheap glyphs come in the pointless, used for levelling inscription category (I think I mentioned glyph of voidwalker above?).  Now if you find a cheap glyph that you can't make or is below costs and you want to increase your stockpile, go for it.

    Regarding your levelling DK so you can gather your own herbs.  Really?  Don't.  Seriously.  You will be competing against professional farmers and robots.  My time is more valuable. Now, if you decide to take herbalism while levelling for an XP bonus, I am all in favour of it (also level as blood - very little downtime), but swap out herbalism later (probably for enchanting or jewelcrafiting).  You aleady have inscription - max your gold making opportunities there first; including selling inks, relics and if profitable, trinkets.

    If you want to make some extra gold from a gathering profession, take up fishing or skinning (Tol Barad crocks). According to gevlon's numbers, he puts those two professions at about 1,500g/hour.  Less than that, and your opportunity costs are too high.

    Looking at wowhead for whiptail, you will pick on average 3 whiptail / node, plus 1 volatile life / node.  Assuming a price of 2g75 and 9g respectivly, you gather 17g25 per node.  My understanding is that each glyph you sell has a much better return than 18g.  Based on these numbers, if you can gather 87 nodes/hour then gathering is equivalent to fishing or skinning.

    10 May 2011

    Trialling AH as bag space - my glyph making process

    I have used various storage strategies in my time : Guild banks (I have a few), mail storage (where you send an alt mail but don't pick it up), alts with full sets of large.  Once I got desperate enough to use the AH as storage - put the items on at just over market prices - if they sold great; otherwise I was only up for the deposit.

    One problem with glyph selling is the large amount of bag space it takes up.  Historically I used 3 toons with 4 bags of endless pockets, combined with a few banks spaces for surplus glyphs (where I had more than one stack). 

    This was 'obviously' the way to do it, as it was easy to sort glyphs, collect mail and post auctions.  Each toon had 3 classes of glyphs, with the 4th class split over 2 toons. 

    But then Moonvengence happened.  Selling all the glyphs on a single toon, 6 at a time, and it appears to be his active toon too - not just an alt.  How can you have 340 bag spaces (one for each glyph) on a single toon and still have room for gear and consumables.  While only he knows how he does it, it is my guess that he does not store any glyphs at all.  I think he maintains at least 4 bags of endless pockets, and probably another bag or two of inks.  I think he keeps a stock of 6 glyphs, all on the AH,  crafting as necessary to top up to 6. 

    My guess of his posting cycle is:
    • Empty bags of all non glyph related items
    • Swapping out all normal bags, equipping 4 bags of endless pockets
    • Cancell all undercut glyphs
    • Collect mail untill all bags are full, reserving one bag spot
    • Post all glyphs
    • Rinse and repeat above 2 actions until mail is empty
    • Craft missing glyphs - up to 6 of each.
    • Post missing glyphs
    Simple, bag space efficient, and I think I might try to emulate him. I also have toons dedicated to other things and no longer want to allocate 3 bank toons to glyphs.

    Of course, I still have more than 6 of each glyph, and I don't cancel undercut auctions.  So for me, I have a bank alt with all bank and toon bag spots equiped with endless pockets, and a private guild bank.  This means that my trial posting cycle is :

    • Sort glyphs in bag ( the genie addon is wonderful)
    • Empty any glyphs on my posting toon, filling bank then guild bank.  To fill the bank I just swap bags; to fill the guild bank, I have to click on every glyph stack.
    • Collect mail until all bags are full, reserving one spot
    • Post all glyphs
    • Rinse and repeat above 2 actions untill mail is empty
    • Gather all my glyphs from guild bank, and post again
    • Swap bags from bank and repost 
    • Again swap bags from bank and repost
    • Swap to my crafting toon, craft missing glyphs and mail them
    • Swap back to posting toon, posting glyphs.
    The two time consuming steps at the moment are collecting mail, and swapping toons.  Once I have reduced stocks back to my newly desired levels, I will also need to start milling and crafting (also time consuming); but it will be a while before I need to mill again.

    09 May 2011

    Sad story selling via the neutral AH

    I had been unconcerned about the risks of someone swiping you on the neutral AH.  I have shifted 10's of thousands of gold, and have never been swiped.  Untill now.

    My setup was : on the same computer, dual boxing (my son has his WoW account again - at least for now).  My selling toon in gadgetzahan, my buying toon in booty bay.

    My buying toon had the AH window up, with the search for inferno ready to go, auctioneer buyout key ready to go.

    My selling toon had the inferno inks - selling two partial stacks of inferno ink for a copper each, and pressed the sell.

    I immediatly hit the search button on the buying toon, and attempted to fast buy. 

    There was another toon standing next to me in booty bay.

    Yup.  Well played.  My inks were bought.  I will be more careful.

    06 May 2011

    Stockpiles for my glyph making process - post 5 of 6

    This is post 5 in a series - about my glyph making process.

    Lets assume you have nearly all the glyph recipees, and want to make 1 of every glyph - lets call it 300 glyphs.  Cheap enough right?  Lets say that you can make a glyph for 10g (even if you can't yet, you will be able to sooner or later).  That is still 3000g tied up; and 300 bag spots.

    Ok, instead you decide you want to hold a stack (20) of every glyph : That costs 20 * 3000g, or 60,000g, but still 300 bag spots.

    As well, you keep a ready supply of inks to make another 500 glyphs on demand; 5000g plus 75 bag spots.

    You also buy cheap herbs that you see of every type - a few thousand of the best herb from each ink type would be nice.  More gold, more bank space.

    One limitation is obviously space.  Many dedicated glyph makers have a bank alt or 3, kitted out with bags of endless pockets; and a banking guild; simply to cover the bag space requirements.  You could do something as cheap as have an alt with 50 incoming mail with 12 stacks per mail to store glyphs, inks or herbs.

    The next limitation is gold.  Some players have a lazy 100,000g to pick up a glyph business, but by no means all.

    What you want is to have enough stock to have at least 1 of your high value glyphs on the AH at all times.  Personally, my current desired stock levels are 2 of each sellable glyph on the AH, with 12 glyphs in my bags, but this is likely to change again soon.

    The desired stock levels of a particular glyph/herb/ink are just enough so you don't run out of it.
    • Are you happy to mill, and scribe every time you need a glyph?  Then you don't need many glyphs, just enough to keep your levels on the auction house.  
    • Will you mill/write glyphs once a week?  Then you still want enough of your best selling glyphs to keep the AH supplied, but this might be as many as 5-7 times the number you post (eg if you post 2 of each glyph at a time, once a day; then you may want a stockpile of 10-14).
    • Are your ink or herb prices and supply consistent?  No need to stockpile many of these
    • Are there wild price changes, sometimes running out entirely?  Then you may wish to have a stock of 1-2 weeks.
    In any case it is not ideal to run out.  Anything you run out on; you have lost sales at a higher price;
    It is also not ideal to have 6 months supply; depreciation (falling prices) hurts when you have too much stock.

    05 May 2011

    Costs in my glyph making process - part 4 of 6


    This is post 4 in a series - about my glyph making process.

    If you have an infinite supply of blackfallow ink costing silver each, have no competition, and are continuously selling 300g glyphs, you can skip this section.  Either that or tell me what realm, and I may come and visit.

    Herbs mill into two broad types of inks - normal and 'rare'.  Not all herbs created equal, and not all are available on the AH. Not all inks are created equal.  Not all 'rare' inks are valuable.
    I do know that farmers regularly pick a lot of whiptail.  Assuming your scribing skills are high enough, you can make all your glyphs using only whiptail, mill into blackfallow and inferno, and trade your inks in Dalaran, Ogrimar, or Stormwind at the ink trader (next to your scribe trainer).  Available, simple, and expensive.

    Whiptail produces two valuable products : Blackfallow and Inferno inks.  According to my spreadsheet, my current whiptail cost is 2g74s, and based on this it costs me 4g18s to make an blackfallow ink, and 29.7g to make an inferno ink, assuming we have not yet priced the cost to mill.  My spreadsheet is a mass of data, so I will walk through a few examples

    • B1 : CostToMillPerInk.  If for some reason you wish to add a cost to convert a herb into ink, add it here.  I often will pay people to mill inks.
    • Column A : Names of the herbs (stating the obvious)
    • Column B: These are the costs per individual herb or ink.  (I do everything in individual costs).
    • Column C :
      • for herbs :  If you mill a single herb, this is it's milled value (I know you can't but remember that I price everything individually).  The reason that Whiptail and Twilight Jasmine have a higher value is you get more pigments per herb than the other herbs in this bracket.
      • For inks, a reasonable cost of the ink.  This is a matter of angst among bloggers, with their own little flame wars.  Yes, I am pointing in Breevok's direction.
    • Column D : percentage markup turning herbs into inks.  Green is good profit, Yellow is acceptable profit, White is barely a profit, and Red is loss.
    • Column I (not shown) : the number of ashen pigments per herb (used for Blackfallow Ink)
    • Column P (not shown) : the number of burning embers per herb (used for Inferno Ink)
    • F107 ( and similar items across in column F) refer to how much your glyph costs are, based on that ink type.
    The numbers you need to keep track of and update for your server are all in column B, based on your reasonable AH (or direct sales) prices.

    How to determine the value of standard vs rare inks?  You buy a bunch of  herbs, and mill them ending up with X standard inks and Y Rare ones.  You know your costs, but not how much it cost you to make each standard or each rare ink.  First of all, Snowfall and Inferno inks are never truly worth more than 10 Blackfallow inks; you can swap them at your ink trader.  After that I use the AH to tell me their relative worths; currently Blackfallow are worth around 7g and Inferno are worth around 60g.  The spreadsheet uses these numbers to bias the different costs.  (Maths junkies can just read the spreadsheet and comment below if they would like).  To those that think that farming milling makes it free or that blackfallow ink is worthless, you may continue to be wrong.  (I think I mentioned flame wars above).

    There are a couple of scenarios :
    • Blackfallow is selling for 7g, but all your glyphs only sell for 20g or less.  Also your costs were only 4g20 for inks.  Sell inks and take your gold.
    • Alternatively, someone is selling inks at 3g, but your costs are 4g20.  Buy your inks instead.

    You might need snowfall ink for research, so again look at the sreadsheet, but up a few rows, where it lists northrend inks, and put a slightly higher value for snowfalls (you are now buying, not selling).  Or you need ink of the sea.  Compare the prices (and availability) making glyphs directly from northrend inks vs trading down snowfall inks.

    The same applies all the way back to midnight ink.  With the numbers I currently have in my spreadsheet, it is cheaper to make Lions and Shimmering inks, and Ink of the sea glyphs directly from herbs, but the others you are better off trading blackfallow inks.  These numbers will regularly change as farmers & stockpiles come and go.

    What do I do with my 'Rare' inks?  Generally I sell them where I can.  Some are so cheap that I am just sitting on them waiting for me to do some research about how to use them.  I am also sitting on a bucket full of darkmoon trinkets, and a few cards here and there.

    Keeping control of your costs per glyph can earn you an extra 8 or 9 gold per glyph in sellers markets, or allow you to match lower thresholds in buyers markets.


    Ps.  I thought I would be done in 4 posts.  I was wrong.  More walls of text to follow.

    04 May 2011

    Streamlining my glyph making process - part 3 of 4

    This is post 3 in a series - about my glyph making process.

    Glyph making takes time.  I gripe about it.  Others gripe about how they would like to get out of it, but it has been profitable.

    • Gathering herbs (optional)
    • Milling herbs into pigments. (optional)
    • Grinding pigments into inks (optional)
    • Converting inks (optional).  As an alternative to this step and those above, you may decide to simply buy inks from the AH, or from another scribe
    • Crafting glyphs
    • Posting glyphs
    • Collecting glyphs and sales
    1. Gather your inks.  For this article, I assume you are a good goblin and buy off the AH.  It is easier to buy off your own AH, but keep an eye occasionally on your opposing faction's AH.  If you need help in gathering your own herbs, you will need to read elsewhere.
    2. Milling herbs into pigments.  I use a macro, which I then bind to a key.
      /cast milling
      /use herb1 (eg whiptail)
      /use herb2 (eg icethorn)
      This macro can include about 20 different types of herbs.  It requires stacks of 5.  If you have a different amount of herbs (i.e. 1-4 left over), stick them in a bank, mail them to an alt, or edit your macro. 
      This is time consuming.  You need to use the macro for every mill.  Lag is a killer, so I often do it in an out of the way area.  As a goblin engineer getting to area 52 is very easy, and very very quiet.
      You may need to make sure you have enough bags space to guarantee you can put your milled ink.  It is very anoying to have to thow away a few pigments for lack of bag space.
    3. Grinding pigments into ink.  This bit is also time consuming, but in an AFK type of way.  After your time milling, you have an abundance of pigments, and are tired of your PC/WoW/clicking buttons.  Craft all, and walk away.  Come back after a bio break, cup of coffee, episode of your favourite TV show, or a good nights sleep depending on how many pigments you made.
    4. Converting inks
      You may decide to mill the correct types of inks, or use your Stormwind/Origmar/Dalaran ink trader.  If you are using gnomeworks, you can trade as many as you need with a click of the button from your queued glyphs window.
    5. Crafting glyphs.  This is where I use a variety of addons
      1. Altaholic : Remembers all your glyphs across all your toons, including if you use multiple accounts.  (I have in the past crafted on one account, and sold on another).  
      2. Gnomeworks : I find it a usefull trade skill window, and it works with KevTool Queue (KTQ)
      3. KTQ : A simple addon that allows me to craft all glyphs up to a desired amount, that relies on Gnomeworks, and if available Altaholic

        The process works soemthink like:
        Open inscription (showing my Gnomeworks)
        /ktq queue 10 glyphs
        This means that for any individual glyph if I have (on any toon):
        • 10+ glyphs, I dont queue glyphs
        • 8 glyphs, I queue 2 glyphs
        • 0 glyphs, I queue 10
        (etc)
    6. Posting glyphs : see the previous post in this series.
    7. Collecting glyphs.  This takes a remarkably long time.  I am not posting as much as I used to, but still might post as many as 150 auctions per session.  If you are posting a majority of glyphs, this could easily get up to 600 glyphs.  One glyph seller I mention with alarming regularity may have up around 1800 glyphs on the AH at any given time. At some stage, I will need to empty my mailbox.  
      1. I prefer 3 posting toons - all equiped with bags of endless pockets. Each toon is responsible for posting roughly an equal portion of glyph types.
      2. I use Mail Opener to open my mail.  It will allow me to auto loot all of my mail.  You can adjust it's mail collecting speed.  There is not much point in running much faster than 50 mail per minute as that is the limit of the mail loader.  You can speed it up if you use /reload ui, but the reload can take me 20-30 seconds, and occasionally causes disconnects.


    Note: Blogger did .. have fun with me. This post was originally intended to be posted after part 2, and a few bloggers (Shamaenie, and anonymous * 3) called me on it. With luck their original comments will be attached when this post is 'officially released'.

    Pricing - My glyph making process - part 2 of 4

    This is part 2 of a set of posts

    For pricing and posting glyphs, I use an addon Trade skill master, both the base addon, and the auctioning extension.  A guide exists at JMTC.  While I will talk about automation later, this addon allows me to post all my glyphs very very quickly - doing pricing and posting of 120 different glyphs in a few minutes.

    In essence I am going to start of listing all glyphs using the same pricing strategy.  I pay very little attention to any given glyph, but a lot of attention to the entire list.

    Using Tradeskill Master (or TSM), there are some numbers that are important to me: Minimum Price, Maximum Price, and Undercut.  Grouping similar items with the same pricing strategy is also incredibly valuable.

    I have a few glyphs that I want to sell.  (Ok I have every glyph and I want to sell them all, but Moonvengence happens).

    In the first instance, I will use TSM to create a group and put all my glyphs into it. (The guide above will help).

    For the purpose of this post, we are not doing any milling, and only buying blackfallow inks of the AH, converting them to lower value inks.  (Both assumptions are incorrect - but I will cover that in later posts.  It however does capture your maximum pricing).  Alliance Caelestrasz is full of blackfallow ink for around 7g each (I use unit pricing - not pricing per stack).  It takes 3 inks + 1 parchment to make a glyph, and we will assume resilient parchment (55s).  There is also ah AH cut of 5%, plus your time. This leaves a base cost per glyph of roughly (7*3g + 55s) * 105% or 22.7g.  Because my time is not free - even if I do make a sale, I will call my minimum price 24g.  In TSM's terms this is a threshold.

    I will have a look at the the Auction house, seeing what the maximum prices glyphs are being sold for.  On some servers, it will be 80g.  If your scribes are lazy or have insufficient competition, it might be 200g.  On my auction house it is 33g.  I will call my maximum price 33g, as I won't make sales above that price.  Most other servers, and even our Horde AH has a higher price than that.  In TSM's terms, this is a fallback.

    The cheapest glyph (of a given type) that is on the market when a buyer comes knocking is the one that sells.  There are exceptions, but they only serve to prove the rule.  Buyers come knocking - when you are on, and when you are not.  Ideally, you will be the cheapest regardless of when someone buys glyphs.  Reality is not idealistic.  So, I now need to decide how much to undercut someone else's auctions.  An older post by Gevlon describes Monopolists (buys out everything below a price) vs campers (constantly sniping you with 1c uncercuts) vs deep undercutters (price setters driving others out of the market) vs random sellers.

     It would be nearly impossible to profitably run with monopolist pricing - especially on our server, (I think that is another way of saying 'Bring it on').  Camping isn't my style.  (A) I am not on during the day, and (b) when I am on, I would rather be doing 'stuff'.  At the moment with a 7g range of prices, I am using a 1g undercut. With an 80g 'fallback' above, I would use a 5g undercut.  Others will set this according to their own strategies and price ranges. 

    TSM has other options to play with, but to me, none are imortant as common pricing among a set of items, set a minimum/maximum price, and an undercut.  It is also fast.  You can post with different addons, or even addon free, as your time commitments allow.

    Things to consider once you have the basics:

    • Split glyphs into different groups (sells well, sells poor; or by ink type)
    • Change durations, undercuts and pricing. 
    • Change number of glyphs posted.
    • Posting on the faction's AH
    • Selling inks as well as glyphs (on markets where glyphs are very cheap)

    03 May 2011

    My glyph making process - part 1 of 4

    This is post is primarily for someone I have regularly run with, who is about to server transfer his scribe.  Those poor glyph makers will not know what hit them. If he changes his mind, I have just released another goblin onto our glyph market. (I would normally claim it's all mine - but at the moment it's more Moonvengence's)

    However you may find it usefull too. It is largely an update on a previous post.

    The basis of my glyph selling has been :
    • make sure everthing is sold
    • cheaper than the competition  
    • Streamline & automate
    • Sell above cost, but cut costs
    Not all glyphs are created equal.  There are two sliders that determine a glyph's value, from worthless to riches.
    Availability
    • Vendor taught, used for levelling.  (Uggh)
    • Vendor taught, not used for levelling
    • Research based
    • Book Mastery based.
    • (And very occaisonally - can not be taught - Woo Hoo.  Consider this a 'feat of strength')
     Demand
    • Pointless.  All classes have some in this category.  Only collectors get these. (I am a collector)
    • Situational.  
    • Changed function.  (Whenever there is a release not saying that something has changed, it gets bought a little more.)
    • New.  (You would think that a newly released glyph would sell like hotcakes.  It won't, unless it also hits a category below)
    • Recommended. Either Elitist Jerks or Arena Junkies says this is needed.  Many re-rolling toons get these.
    • Newly recommended.  Elitist Jerks, or Arena Junkies change their recommendation.  It takes a few weeks for it to filter to the masses, but the demand definitly rises.
    Now apart from the fact I think a dedicated scribe should simply just learn everything, the gold comes from:
    • Selling research and book mastery; new or recommended glyphs.
    • Selling glyphs that are not otherwise covered by other glyph makers.
      That said, I have only ever worried about supply, if you supply everthing that is profitable, you have demand covered.  I let the market tell me what the flavour of the week is.

      To be continued ...

      02 May 2011

      The Dark Moon is ascendant - I hope

      A while ago, I tried buying darkmoon decks (i.e. completed trinkets but still needing handing in), and selling the completed cards.  It did not work as well as I wanted.  I failed to buy at the bottom of the market, and missed selling at the top, so only made a small profit.  I did make a profit, but insufficient to make up for the risk and tied up gold.  As such I had decided to abandon the market.  However ...

      I was used to selling surplus Inferno ink at 80+ gold, and was making sufficient sales from Glyphs to keep me happy.  All good things come to an end.  Moonvengence appears to be making sufficient glyphs to supply demand, and is keeping prices low to discourage competition.  I previously mentioned bank tabs of blackfallow ink, but ... somehow declined to mention several hundred inferno ink that I could not sell at expected prices, and inferno ink was heading south of 50g (and got as low as mid 40's - with Moonvengence selling at this price).  I have tried selling inferno ink horde side, with mixed results.

      With too much inferno ink, I started looking at how to sell it.  I know a previously busy card maker had withdrawn from the market due to previously falling trinket prices.  However those inferno ink's were not going to be worth any more just sitting in my bank, and I was unwilling to sell at or below mid 40's.  Crappy Allance AH ink sales; crappy Horde AH ink sales, runescrolls did not seem to be worth it; leaving inscription offhands and trinkets. 


      I had enough gold horde side to take advantage of the (at the time) lower horde volatile life prices, and started buying out cheap alliance volatile life; and made up a truck load of darkmoon cards.

      Before I started making up the cards, I made up my own spreadsheet for costs.  This has the advantage that I get to make my own assumptions and mistakes, rather than use other peoples.  For instance I mentally unit price items - price herbs, inks, cards, decks, and trinkets alike;  many other spreadsheets price herbs in either stacks of 5 or stacks of 20.  I have expanded my previous glyph/inks spreadsheet (available on google docs) to include some rough inferno ink -> deck pricing.  From what I see, an earthquake trinkets are a loss (possibly will rise due to call to arms), hurricane trinkets roughly break even, volcano trinkets turn a profit, and tsunami trinkets are the cream on top.

      Out of this I got average cost per card, and from a reasonable price per trinket, worked backwards to find a reasonable price per individual card per trinket type (i.e. different average pricing on stones, waves, embers, and wind cards).  Where I get 3 or more of an individual card, and the price is above average (according to auctioneer), I sell a card.  Where I need only one or two individual cards to make a deck, I will buy a card where it is below my 'reasonable price'.  As usual, my trading is done via the AH.

      On top of it all, I decided I should be able to do well, turning 45g Inferno inks into darkmoon cards, or at least defer a price crash; so I purchased Moonvengence's inferno inks.

      Regardless of whether I end up making a profit on the trinkets, I intend to sell (most of ) them between now and the next darkmoon faire, and I will have released the gold in the inferno inks.


      P.S.  The ario* triplets are taking an extended AFK, so I am selling my own glyphs again.  While it will take me a little while to come up to speed again to work out what I can sell profitably at 9-10g; I certainly know I can sell any glyph for 30g at a profit.  So hiya to the competition.

      I am also working on something else to fill the coffers, having found a sellers market.  It is definitely worth revisiting markets that you may have previously written off.  (To be continued ...)