Resource dependancy

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

How to become less dependant on a single resource and it's availability on the Auction House? As you might have noticed, my main source of income is the Obsidium Shuffle. This means of course I need quite a lot of Obsidium Ore. Usually I can get those without too much of a hassle but there will always be times when the much needed ores are too expensive. Little over a week ago the price for a single stack suddenly spiked to 180 gold on my server, it took about 5 days before dropping to normal levels.

If you're not prepared for these price spikes you're going to lose either potential profit from not being able to craft and sell or you're going to sell with a much smaller profit margin. So what can we do to get a little bit close to a Goblin's utopia, reaching our maximum profit every day?

Before I'm even going to mention any other options it's important to realize how the market works in WoW. Disregarding the presence of farmers (the evil kind) for now, a typical farmable item like Obsidium Ore will have significantly lower prices during the weekends. Many casual gamers will do less Auction House related activities during the week compared to the weekends, resulting in higher volumes of items sold but generally at lower prices.
Farmers (again the evil kind) mess up this pattern. Whenever a couple of farmers hit a server and reduce prices to rediculously low levels the motivation for regular farmers (the good kind) will drop. If the farmers leave after a couple of days, it takes a while before regular farmers have noticed they're gone and prices, and thus their profit, are back to normal. Occassionally this leads to prices as shown below where farmers reduced the price well below average (90g-100g), disappeared for a while and came back for another price reduction.
Obsidium Ore prices
If you know what price to expect, or more importantly know what price not to expect. I personally have a purchase price of 65g a stack. I know prices will fall below that mark on a regular basis and usually can purchase enough to keep me supplied during the days where prices are well above this 65g mark.
Doing a little bit of research and not being afraid to invest several thousands of gold will eventually pay off.

The second option is of course to include other materials in your daily gold making cycle. Increased prices for Obsidium or Elementium Ore do not mean leathers and herbs are expensive as well. In fact there's a good chance the farmers (the evil kind) aren't gone but have simply moved to another material. Following their activities and buying when they're selling is an excellent strategy to buy low and sell normal / high.

In order to properly diversify the markets you're currently active in it's important to realize which tradeskills each resource is being used in.
Main material
Black SmithingOres
EnchantingOres *
* Even though Enchanting uses dusts and essences as main materials, the prices for those are set by Jewelcrafters disenchanting rings and necklaces created by the Obsidium Shuffle.

Three tips for a starting goblin

Friday, January 14, 2011


This post has been specifically written for the February edition of Cold's Gold Blogging Carnival. Cold asks us "What 3 Pieces Of Advise Would You Give A Little Goblin? (3 Top Tips For New Auctioneers?)". Well, I've got three tips which I'm hoping are useful for starting auctioneers.

I am however going to start with a requirement instead of a tip, consider this a small bonus on top of the three tips ;)
If you want to start making serious gold in World of Warcraft it's going to cost you a lot of time, time you're not going to be able to spend on other activities like running heroics, pvp'ing, raiding or whatever else you can imagine. You can of course still do those things but it's going to cost you more time. If you're not willing to spend the time needed to start making serious gold, these tips might still be worth reading (I hope they are) but please don't expect major profit for minor effort.

Tip 1: Research
In order to start selling and start making a profit you need to identify the markets you can be successful in on your server. Spend some time doing research into what these markets could be while keeping in mind whatever limitations you have.
For example when I started out two and a half month ago I had two max level characters with both professions maxed out. I had a Jewelcrafter / Enchanter and a Herbalist / Alchemist, one of my characters also had Fishing and Cooking maxed. I started doing research on how to make gold with just those four professions and the small start capital I had available. I listed all available markets I could enter with just these two characters, which were:
 - Twink / alt Enchants
 - Flasks and Elixirs
 - Herbalism
 - Supplying raiders with Fish Feasts
 - High level Enchants
 - Transmutes
 - Rare and Epic gems

I quickly decided Herbalism was too time consuming for my liking, Flasks and Elixirs or Fish Feasts wouldn't be worth the effort at the end of the expansion. I had just returned from a several months long break so cutting Rare and Epic gems wouldn't be feasible since I had just a few cuts and no Jewelcrafting tokens. This left Enchanting and Transmutes so I started doing a more thorough research into those markets.

A spreadsheet listing the costs of the materials and calculation potential profit based on current Auction House prices is an excellent resource for this. I'd recommend creating one yourself since you'll get a better understanding of what you're actually going to sell. If you don't know how or don't want to create one there usually are good spreadsheets available at gold making forums like The Consortium or The JMTC forums.

After you have researched each potential market pick just a single one to start selling in, make sure you really understand this particular market before moving on to the second tip.

Advanced tip 2: Expand
You've succesfully started selling in your first market and making some profit on a daily basis, now is the time to start expanding. Re-use the research you've done before and enter the second best market. After you've succesfully entered the second market and are making some profit on that market as well it probably time to move on to the third step.

The idea behind this tip is quantity beats quality. You're also going to become more resilient, being active in a lot of different markets means you're less vulnerable to short-term changes to the economy.

This tip remains valid no matter how many markets you're currently managing, always keep on the lookout for new markets to enter. After having entered some or all markets identified during Tip 1 you can start expanding your horizon. Research the markets you currently cannot enter, with the gold you've already made leveling a new tradeskill just to make more gold might be a viable strategy. You won't know unless you've researched and by doing your research properly you're minimizing the risks of investing in an already lost cause.

Advanced tip 3: Automate
Listing a couple of items can easily be done manually, checking for undercutting, cancelling and relisting isn't too much of a hassle either. Now imagine doing this for dozens of items, you're going to spend more time at the Auctions House or the mailbox than anywhere else. Fortunately there are some excellent addons which take care of the most time consuming aspects of making gold. I'll give a short description of the addons I'm using and why I use them.

Auction Profit Master
Auction Profit Master is the addon I use to automatically create auctions, check for undercutting and cancel if needed. This is all based on previously defined groups.
For a small introduction to configuring APM see this Inside Trader article by Basil Berntsen.

I use this addon to collect all mails with just a couple of clicks, not having to worry about opening hundreds of mails and collecting hundreds attachments a day is pure bliss.

Auctioneer I use for the occasional full scan of the entire Auction House and regular scans of the items on my Snatch List. Auctioneer is a very extensive addon, take the time to understand it's functions and then decide which of those functions you would like to use.

New patchnotes 4.0.6: buy Volatile Life?

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

I've already discussed the new meta gems coming in patch 4.0.6 but I've found some more possible moneymakers in the new patchnotes.

The changes (besides the new meta gems) I find particularly interesting are:
  • A socket has been added to all crafted epic armor pieces that did not already have one.
  • Alchemist's Stones for Agility, Strength, and Intellect have been added
  • The number of herbs required to create flasks has been reduced, while the Volatile Life needed has been increased slightly
  • Vivid Dream Emerald (new gem) provides resilience/spell penetration and can be purchased for 3 Illustrious Tokens.
I don't think there is a huge amount of crafted epic armor pieces out there, but there might just be enough to have a noticable effect on the sales of rare gems. Combined with the requirements for the new meta gems I'm expecting a larger sale volume for cutted Inferno Rubies. Now would be the time to buy them cheap or hold on to the ones you're getting from the Obsidium Shuffle.

Jewelcrafter should also hold on to three Illustrious Jewelcrafter Tokens so you could purchase the new gem immediately and possibly make a profit from them while nobody else is selling them. Cut rare gems haven't been my most profitable market for a couple of weeks though so I'm most likely going to skip this.

The Alchemy changes might have the biggest impact of all currently announced changes. The newly added Alchemist Stones will most likely have similar reagents as Lifebound Alchemist Stone, some herbs and 50 Volatile Life. If we combine this information with the reduction for herbs and increase in Volatile Life needed to create flasks there's only one logical conclusion: The demand for Volatile Life is going to increase. The biggest question is if the increase will be enough to result to an increase in price. I'm going to take the risk and stock up on cheap Volatile Life, if it's a miss I'll have enough mats for Transmute: Living Elements and hopefully won't be at a large loss.

What do you think? Are we going to see a price for Volatile Life or am I taking a huge gamble here?

Incription - Selling Inks

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

I've heard some positive stories about milling Cataclysm herbs and selling the Inks for an amazing profit so I obviously had to check it out for myself. I started out with creating an Excel sheet just like the one I made for ores and realized a decent profit could be made indeed.
Not wanting to take a large risk I bought about 2.500 gold worth of herbs from the Auction House (10 stacks of Twilight Jasmin). After milling I had 61 Blackfallow Ink and 10 Inferno Ink and I proceded to list them all on the Auction House.

It wasn't worth the effort on my server, eventually I did make a profit from selling the Blackfallow Ink for 1.595 gold and the Inferno Ink for 2.150 gold but it took way too long. I think I've had a break of luck with the Inferno Inks because they where all bought by the same dude.
It took about three days of re-listing before all the inks had sold, not my idea of a market in which huge profits can be made. Even more so if you consider the current state of the market, prices are still fluctuating a lot so I'd rather put my money on a more risk free market.

I've combined the Cataclysm profit sheet for herbs with the sheet I've made earlier for prospecting ores, a preview for this sheet below shows I could make a decent profit per stack of Whiptail if I'd be willing to wait for the Inks to sell:

WoA stars for this market:
I'm not impressed at this moment, the sales volumes are too low and the risk is too high. If the prices for herbs drop a bit it might be worth checking again since milling can be done semi-afk and the inks can easily be sold from APM groups.

Patch 4.0.6 - New meta gems incoming

Monday, January 10, 2011

I was going to do a post about milling herbs and selling inks when I noticed this lovely bit of information:
  • Meta gems with the Chaotic and Relentless prefixes now have a requirement of 3 red gems.
  • New meta gems have been added: Agile Shadowspirit Diamond (Agility/3% critical damage), Reverberating Shadowspirit Diamond (Strength/3% critical damage), and Burning Shadowspirit Diamond (Intellect/3% critical damage). These new recipes are unbound and can drop from any Cataclysm creature. The new meta gems have a requirement of 3 red gems equipped.

Three new meta gems which will probably be much better for dps than Chaotic (basically fixing and making in worthless in one step).

This information means three things for Jewelcrafters:
  1. Stock up on meta gems, if you want to profit from the undoubtedly high demand for these meta gems you'll need a large supply of them.
  2. Get the designs asap, the first to cut them will make the most profit. Monitor the Auction House after 4.0.6 has been released and be prepared to spend thousands on these designs (and hope to make that investment back).
  3. Stock up on Inferno Rubies; Chaotic, Relentless and the three new meta gems all have three red gems as a requirement. This probably means a lot of blue/green/purple rare gems are going to be replaced by Brilliant, Bold or Delicate Inferno Rubies.
I'm going to prepare for this by doing all three of the above steps. I might even buy loads of Carnelians to be transmuted to Inferno Rubies by my Alchemist but I'll have to do a pricecheck on that first since herbs are quite expensive on my server.

Addon spotlight: MySales

Monday, January 3, 2011

My sales for this weekend, data collected by MySales
Download link: MySales

I absolutely love this addon! After it's installed and you've collected your first sold auctions from the mailbox you can open the main window by typing: "/ms window". It'll tell you how many sales you've made and exactly which sales you've made and how much you've earned since the addon was installed.

It can also tell you who your buyers are, so if one name pops up a lot for a particular item you might want to check out what's going on and/or make a nice deal to become that person's supplier.

The feature I'm most exited about is on the last tab, items sold. With this information it only takes seconds to see which items are your top sellers and for how much you've been selling them:

Enchanting: Buy now, sell later

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Just a random selection of enchants with threshold set to current market values

Many Enchants are currently priced way under market value, from the small example above let's highlight Enchant Shield - Blocking. This is an Enchants requiring 12 Hypnotic Dust, which on my server are 15g each on average. The Enchant should be worth about 200g yet due to increased supply from people leveling Enchanting it's currently available for a bit short of 12g.
I've bought about 50 scrolls of this particular Enchant so far, every single one below 15g. My reasoning for this is since there is only one alternative (Enchant Shield - Protection) which in my opinion is inferior to this one. Demand for this Enchant is going to increase while supply is going to decrease. However, don't forget prices for Enchanting mats are going decrease as well as lesser mats are needed to level professions. For this Enchant I'm buying risk free, Hypnotic Dust will never go as low as Infinite Dust did halfway through WotLK due to inflation. Infinite Dust bottomed out at 1g 50s on my server which calculated back to 18g for the Blocking Enchant.

The risk for every single Enchant can be calculated like this. When calculating also keep in mind there will always be people leveling Enchanting and they will dump their scrolls on the Auction House. If that supply beats the demand for a scroll it might never recover from the price deflation we're currently experiencing.

Note: It's probably going to take many months before reaching your ROI for these scrolls. Do not invest if you want some quick easy gold!