Wednesday, October 27, 2010

through ruby-tinted shades

Sometimes those of us who follow the golden path need to step back and have a think about who’s buying our stuff! It’s fine to sit in our gold-encrusted ruby-studded floating mage palaces (it really is) but part of moving product is understanding just what its worth. This knowledge of item worth becomes more important the more rivals you stomp into the dust. Oh sure the stomping is fun but as your competition wanes (as it will as we approach Cata, regardless of stomping) you could be paying a hidden price…

That price could be sales.

“You’re crazy Mogul,” I hear you shout through your platinum-plated sapphire-studded megaphone, “I’m selling plenty of stuffz! Look at all my goldzz. Look at mah hog!”

Oh but are you? The less competition you have the more you creep your product prices up – and the less likely you are to move that product.

Here’s an example: Cobalt sets are a must have for all 70s plate-wearing tanks. I stock these and they sell. The demand is constant but not high. I stock two of each piece of the cobalt set at all times. For those of you who don’t BS here’s a breakdown:

Now when this set does sell it sells all 9 pieces (or 8 if you’re a DK). Even at 2g50s per bar there is only 102g outlay here. I’m currently the only person selling these (bar levelling blow-ins) and I know there’s a demand – so what do I price them at? 100g each? That’s about 753 gold profit after the AH 5%. Sounds great, except that crafted epics on our server are having trouble holding 200g so what are the chances of selling these bad boys for 100g each? Slim is what they are… slim.

So what price do we sell these at? Okay, here’s where it gets a bit fuzzy. Put yourself in the shoes of a level-70 tank. Assume they don’t have your financial backing, assume it’s a standalone toon.

- steps inside tank’s head -
WOW, it’s cool in here… strategies, weapon skills, situational awareness, a neurotic concern for keeping my healer alive – umm… a bit dark – but roomy! Focus Mogul – hone in on the issue at hand… I’m excited about tanking Wrath instances – goood – and I’ve got some gold – excellent! – do I want to pay 900g for a tanking set I’ll replace relatively quickly – No! – for a full set I’d pay a max of 500g I reckon. It’s not too crippling and I can get tanking NOW which is what I want.
- steps out, shakes off urge to hit the gym -

So that’s about 55g a piece! There’s your price point. Yes it’s fluffy reasoning, yes you will find starter tanks out there who will pay more but what you’re aiming at is “moving product”. These items are cheap as chips to make and even at 55g return almost 370g on sale (bar listing costs).

Now I like price-gouging just as much as the next guy and when demand is high it has its place. But there is great opportunity over the next 6 weeks to move product with little competition as periodic posters fade out running up to Cata. Price like you were going to buy it and you’ll catch the “charge of the alts” and move more units and make more profit overall then you have in a while.

Stay liquid guys,


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