What I am doing now

You are most likely here because you enjoy crafting. I have been reading up on some of the WoW issues regarding gold making, which make me realize that WoW is not the game for me.

If you want to play a game where gathering and crafting is the cornerstone of the economy, and are not faint of heart, I recommend EVE Online. EVE even has releases purely to support industry. You can play for free if you are good enough manufacturer or trader.

Be the builder in a villainous world.

My journey can be seen at http://foo-eve.blogspot.com.au

For a 21 day free trial, click here (Disclaimer: I do get a bonus if you become a paid subscriber)

12 June 2012

Bob wants a MoP stockpile

Bob (not his real name) had some questions about making gold with an eye to Mists of Pandaria, and managed to track me down while not playing WoW

I have not prettied up the spelling.  I find it hard enough to spell properly when writing a post, and it's even harder to do when typing instead of talking.

Please add your own advice for Bob as a comment.

Bob: Hi foo.
Bob: umm I'm looking to jump into auction house stuff with release of MoP
Bob: and I have read quite a bit of your blog and others
Foo: Cool.  :)
Bob: and have no idea where to start
Foo: Thats a start :)
Bob: blacksmithing
Bob: and enchanting
Bob: are the 2 main proffessions i have
Foo: Ok.  First of all - do you have 525 in those professions yet?
Bob: yes
Foo: Ok.  Do you have either TSM or auctioneer installed?
Bob: i have 525 mining and bs on 1 character and 525 enchanting and herbalism on another
Bob: auctioneer
Foo: Ok. First thing you need to learn is how to disenchant for a profit using auctioneer; and probably a spreadsheet.
Bob: okay
Foo: How much gold do you have at the moment?
Bob: 30k between all characters
Foo: Same server?  30K is a start.
Bob: umm not same server atm but is going to be because i switched and want to switch back
Foo: Regardless; its something to work with.
Bob: i like farming and have farmed up about 800 elementium ore as well in the last few days
Bob: but there is bugger all profit in elementium
Bob: hardened elementium yes but it sells very slow
Foo: Ok.  Sell it slow then.  Set up an alt  next to an AH.  Give it your elementium bars to sell - probably on a 48 hour auction.  Log on to him every day or two - collect mail and repost.  If he runs low - then craft more.
Foo: Next thing to look at is belt buckles.  Do they sell at a profit?  (some spreadsheet skills would come in handy).
Foo: Some servers - yes; others no.
Bob: mine yes and they are extremely highly priced atm
Bob: with bugger all on AH
Foo: Ok.  You have a blacksmith.  Fix that problem for buyers :)
Bob: do i do little undercuts or buy out the 21 that are there and repost at even higher prices or do i do the moral thing and do decent undercuts to gain a lot of profit but not be greedy like hte 21 or w.e that re there atm?
Foo: I dont like buying for resale.  If they are below your costs and you know they will sell is one thing.  speculative buying to relist (especially when you only have 30k) is a good way to lose gold.
Bob: okay
Bob: so small undercuts will still get me like 4x the cost to make them
Bob: or large undercuts pick a price i think is fair?
Bob: say 2x cost
Foo: try both.  Start of with smaller undercuts and see how it sells
Foo: If they sell - then its fine
Foo: If they don't then go for a larger undercut.
Bob: small undercuts post for 12hours or longer?
Foo: The smallest impact is 12 hour small undercut.
Foo: If you get immediately undercut you know you need to go harder.
Bob: okay
Bob: if it ends up i need to do large undercuts but then someone just keeps undercutting me what do i do if i want to own that market?
Bob: i assume post for no profit for a large period of time
Bob: until they go away?
Foo: Read the TL;DR summary of my last post : http://foo-wow.blogspot.com.au/2012/06/glyph-thresholds.html
Foo: It applies here too.
Foo: There is no *need* to own a market.  You may make more gold with an unofficial cartel.
Bob: okay
Bob: i have other motives other than gold for owning markets
Foo: Ok.  Then (A) hope that they don't mine.  and (B) sell for 50s above what you would get for selling raw mats.
Bob: i want to make the server like me lol
Bob: so
Bob: cheap prices
Bob: im restarting guild
Bob: and want some fame
Bob: as that really nice warrior blacksmith
Foo: You can't buy 'like' from decent players.
Bob: with the lovely guild haha
Foo: You can buy like from leeches that can't dance.
Bob: hmm
Bob: okay
Bob: ture
Bob: true*
Foo: For those you want to attract; they will see your belt buckles and your ore.  You can even put your selling alt in your main guild (though there are reasons not to)
Bob: okay 1 more thing. with the enormous amount of elementium ore i seem to be addicted to farming
Foo: You really want a JC in that mix
Foo: JC's can consume guild banks of ore without problems.
Foo: (profitably)
Bob: should i wait and use it in release of MoP to make cash, or use it to help level those early 525-5xx of bs
Bob: for my guildmates and myself
Foo: If you can - do both.
Bob: okay
Bob: well i plan to get about 2k
Bob: ore
Foo: 2k is not huge amounts.
Bob: no
Foo: Its a lot but not huge.
Bob: well if i can
Bob: i will fill my 4 32 slot mining bags
Bob: and inventory
Foo: 6 months in - elementium ore will be in very much demand.
Foo: Guild banks.  See if you can buy a couple and fill them.
Foo: Max your alts on your server; get all personal bank slots and fill them.
Foo: Put some bags - at least netherweave - bigger if you want on those toons.
Foo: (by max I mean 10 toons - not 10 85's)
Bob: so the demand for elementium ore will be larger at the very start of mists or 3 months in or 6 motnhs?
Bob: months*
Bob: do you thinkk
Foo: I don't know the answer to that.  My educated guess is that Pyreite ore will be in demand for the first week; demand for ore might fall off as players unload their stock.  Once everyone else has run out - that is the time to sell.
Bob: so post little amounts of pyrium and elementium all the time
Bob: and then really go hard once i see a decrease in the amount of people in market
Foo: First there should be no need to go hard.  For a longer term stockpile (like ore for levelling toons), wait untill you see very little ore on the AH.
Foo: But you are essentiall waiting for 2 things.  Stockpiles to run out; and new levelling toons.  This means you probably should not sell to the initial wave of pandas.  But should start to sell when you see guildies/friends levelling new toons rather than quiesting on their mains.
Bob: yeah
Bob: from what i can tell your theory is the more markets you dip your toe in, the more profit there is to be made
Foo: Yes.  There are good arguments *not* to level a new toon to 85 (or 90).  But any max level toon should have 2 professions that can be used to make gold.
Bob: one of my closest friends is a JC willing to prospect all the ore in the world for free. (I provide him with all the repair/flask and food/gearing gold I can)
Bob: should i use this to get gems
Foo: But you should still try to understand one profession at a time.
Bob: are gems more profitable in general?
Foo: It depends on your market and prices of gold; but as a rule the 'ore shuffle' of the day is very profitable
Foo: web search  'elementium ore shuffle'; You can replace elementium with any ore of your choice.  for any expansion including Mop when it gets here.
Bob: the shuffle is when you get alchemists and stuff to change gems into other gems and you craft some items and disenchant etc?
Bob: it's why JC is like the most flexible gold making proffession
Foo: Ok.  Shuffle is traditionally : Miner mines and posts on AH;  JC buys ore and prospects.  Crafts rings etc with cheap gems.  Sells any random blue item that is produced.  Sends rest of green items to enchanter for Disenchanting.  Cuts Rare gems and puts on AH.
Foo: Enchanter can then use mats in scrolls for extra profit.
Foo: Alchemist can transmute gems too.
Bob: hmm
Bob: so with my enchanter and miner and my friend as JC we could do that
Bob: for quite substantial gold
Foo: Yes.  Especially at the start of MoP when gems and enchants are needed.  There was a 'gold rush' at the start of Cata.  There should be at the start of MoP too.
Foo: Do not be afraid to mine your way to Lvl 90.  The one time that a gatherer makes more than a crafter is in the first week of a new expansion.
Bob: apparently the absolute fastest yo ucan level from 85-90 is 8 hours thats with addons to ignore all quest text and to accept quests by running near the quest givers
Bob: so i think mining to level
Bob: woul take a long time
Bob: would*
Foo: 1 mining node gives the same XP as killing 4 mobs in the same area.
Foo: Would it take longer than the fastest possible way?  sure.
Foo: Would it make more gold for a gatherer in the first week than they would see in a month ore more of mining at the end of an expansion?  Yes to that too.
Bob: okay seriously final thing. bars or ore
Foo: Yes.  one of them.  maybe even both.
Bob: haha
Bob: okay
Foo: Ore is usefull for everyone; but takes up space.
Foo: Ore is also a shortcut for levelling miners.
Bob: yeah
Foo: But bars take up less space and are usefull for Blacksmiths and Engineers.
Foo: Do 50/50 : that way you can be 1/2 right.
Bob: hmm
Bob: i like 30/70
Bob: bars/ore
Bob: bars are too limited
Bob: when i think about it
Foo: Simply by stockpiling now and selling later - you will be in front.
Bob: okay
Bob: the current belt buckles completel useless next expansion?
Foo: Only useless if you want a new belt.
Foo: (thats a clever donkey way of saying yes)
Bob: yeah i picked up on that lol
Foo: By the way - these questions are meaningful - and not just for you.  I am changing names to protect the guilty - but will be posting this conversation as a blog post.
Bob: i assumed you might =)

07 June 2012

Glyph thresholds

TL: DR; If you are determined to own the market at any price; sometimes you will only be able to own it at a very low price.   Sometimes you will make more when you mix it up.

Definitions for this post:
  • threshold is that price that you are willing to sell an item (glyph) (If you are not willing to sell at your threshold - then it is too low)
  • fallback is that price you want to sell an item (glyph)

These definitions apply regardless of the tool you use to post auctions and regardless of the numbers you put into those tools.

I will cope with 'my' market going below my threshold and hence being knocked out of it.  What gets me irritable is the constant sniping where other scribes are obviously prepared to sell for less but try to maintain an overpriced market.

So: I asked the other scribes where their thresholds are : That cheapest point where they are still willing to sell glyphs.  I did not however ask them personally.  People lie or simply do not really know what their threshold really is (and I am not- I used the AH for that.  The answer was that the fiercest of the competitors was prepared at the time to log out at 18g.

Since then they have reconsidered their positions and decided that they really can do glyphs for 15g.  That makes sense to me:  Even buying my herbs I price the most expensive glyphs around 6-8g each in mats; so 15g is double that.  For farmers (both the herb and inferno ink milling variety) that place zero value on their time or byproducts their 'cost' price is even lower.

Sometimes a competitor wants some (or all) of your market.  If you wish to 'own' a market at any cost; you will need a low threshold.  If you are willing to work for your threshold for longer than your competitor is; you can own it.  Nothing personal; the competition is simply working for their own interests to get the best they can for themselves.  In trying to own the market - for them - you are the competition doing the same thing.

Anyone can have a 'sale' below their long term threshold.  Sometimes the results of that sale can make you reconsider what your threshold should be.  Sales can drive competition out of business.  In WoW where players can have many alts with different skills, we can put a business section on ice, to be brought out when prices rise back to our real thresholds.

I showed the market that 14g 50s per glyph was achievable.  In turn it showed me that people's belief was that their thresholds are actually lower.  There are several players all scrambling to post glyphs at the 14g.

Names hidden to protect the guilty

Players can set their threshold wherever they like and can afford.  They can post as often or as rarely as suits them; I have little direct influence over their behaviour.

What I can influence is setting the price in such a way that maximises my total earnings. Failing that I can ensure that the heavily fought over glyphs that will be immediately undercut are below my threshold, so I they don't consume my time collecting unsold auctions.

I made more horde glyph profit in 24 hours by crashing the prices than I had in the previous month.  The market has decided that for the majority of glyphs the price really should be 14g.  I merely showed scribe the water; they chose to drink from it.

However, if you want prices to rise, you have to let them.  Yes you will miss out on a sale and will no longer 'own' the market.  Set your threshold closer to your fallback (i.e. where you want to sell glyphs); get it right and you will in turn make more gold.

By then raising the prices I again make more profit.  Apart from when I crashed the glyphs, this too represented more profit than I had for many days.

Profit at last

I got these prices by walking away from the market for 3 days, letting others work themselves into a frenzy to defend 'their' patches and forgetting (or not being able to) re-craft replacements. 

P.s. for those that are wondering - yes I am using my blog to talk to competitors.  However this conversation applies to most realms and factions.

03 June 2012

Glyph insanity

Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.
Albert Einstein

I was making a comfortable amount of gold by selling horde side glyphs.  Something I have done before, and will do again.  However recently I have been shutout by a very efficient 1c camping undercutter.  This was to the point where I have sold no glyphs all week, despite posting twice a day.  This compares to 5K per week posting once every 2 days about 3 months ago.

About a month ago, I decided it was time to start restocking glyphs - herb prices were not going down any more and I was out of many of them.  My stock levels are 20 horde glyphs, 20 alliance glyphs.  Even if you have glyphs to start with - that is a blessed lot of glyphs to make.

About a fortnight ago, I put a ceiling on glyph prices of 60g.  Over the weekend I brought over the last of my horde backlog.

I am not capable of 1copper undercutting and camping; either mentally or (normally) timewise.  Over the weekend I made an exception.  To the camping bit - not the 1c. 

This wall of glyphs was brought to you by a 1c undercutter and myself.  Every time he 1c undercut; I posted deeper undercuts in return.  You note that he cancelled postings; I kept postings.

Over the last week, I made zero in glyph sales; today, I made a profit.  Not a large profit but even at 14g I am still in front.  I also stopped posting once I stopped being undercut.  This glyph was in my last batch (about 1/3 of glpyhs) and I waited for an undercut that never happened - so I stopped posting.  My competition however is still stuck with the 18g50 wall on almost all glyphs.

If you try to own a large market at large profit margins, it is inevitable that someone will ... allow you to own the market at negligible profit margins.  This has happened to plenty of players - myself included.

To those fellow competitors on Horde Caelestrasz, nothing personal.  I just am not going to be hounded out of a large profit on glyphs.  I am however perfectly prepared to be hounded out of a negligible market profit.