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,


Sunday, October 17, 2010

five hundred thousand gold

It's done. I was hoping it would happen before Cata and here we are:

The night of the patch I had 443,723g. Over the last 5 days the coffers have swelled with 56,312g to now put me over half a million.

I was prepared for this patch - on the morning before I put up 3500 glyphs, five at the market price (nothing below 20g though) and five at a 60g fallback for every single glyph in game. Just as well as once the patch came down I couldn't get on until Thursday evening. My glyphs timed out Thursday morning but even still when I finally was able to log on that evening I'd sold 440 glyphs, making over 25k gold. The rest came in quietly until Friday night and then in two big chunks over the weekend.

Prior to 4.0.1 I'd also been converting my entire herb stock to inks and ink stock to glyphs. I went into the shutdown with 10,000 glyphs in my inventory. : )

This is my glyph guy - he's enjoying the moment!

So where to now? I believe this is officially more than I could ever spend - still, I'm thinking 310 flight on all my toons is a good start, then I'll wait and see what Cata brings by way of fun gold sinks. ; )

I'll be taking my DK to level 75 (once I get used to blood tanking) and then starting on my lock. I'd like to have him up to level 20 or so before Cata drops so that I can outgun the horde levellers - Alli are considered rare spawn on our server so it's useful to have the advantage if you can get it.

And gold? Well, I still have a bunch of glyphs to burn through and will be riding what's left of the wave but believe this could be a very uncertain industry going forward. It's likely I'll be focusing on gems in Cata although I'll never give up glyphs; they're too much fun.

I'm fascinated to see what changes are coming in Cata and how my cadre of crafters can rise to meet new situations. Thank you all for taking the time to read my blog. : )

Stay liquid friends,


Wednesday, October 13, 2010


Stand aside you petty posters
With your one-copper undercuts
Your single-glyph postings
Your sticky insistence, dogging me for months
You are sticks before my steel
A paraphernalia of paucity

Gleaming in the firestorm’s blaze
Burnished and honed
I roll and I roll and I roll

Ten thousand glyphs thick my red hot rollers
Slapping paper down on the AH floor
Dare you post against me?
BAM! You’re gone!
And I, the glyph steamroller
Post on!

Anyone else feeling like this at the moment? : )

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

I was warned...

For the past two or three weeks my modem has been dropping out at odd times and I’ve needed to power cycle the unit and restart the PC. Now I’ve had this modem for about 4 years and replacing it was on my list of things to do. This morning it was functioning well until I started to download the patch – whereupon the modem and all peripherals were kicked offline. A freak occurrence – nope – 4 more tries gave the exact same response.

Obviously my modem knew that 4.0.1 was coming and tried to warm me. It’s done good work and needed to be retired. I just didn’t listen.

So a new modem today and hopefully online later this evening.

Should I have been surprised? No! Since I’ve been actively playing the AH (late last year) I’ve not been online for a single patch or release: ISP issues (for days), software corruption (entire OS reinstall and client download); moving house (even with forewarning no connection); and just plain ol glitchy downloads from Blizz.

At lease this time I threw up 3500 glyphs prior to patch – they oughta drop out tomorrow morning local time so I’m a whole heap better off than previous patches : )

Something else – I couldn’t get the ipod app to go either this morning. Has anyone heard whether it’s down?

Hope you’re all having fun out there in patchland guys!!


Sunday, October 10, 2010

wow economic review

This mogul shed a tear this morning for the passing of the wow economic review. A much-loved website for not only it's terrific linked content but also the great posts of it's owner.

I'll be updating my blog list in the next few days to try to capture all the great sites I previously went through the Review to find.

Stay liquid guys,


Friday, October 8, 2010


Since bidding for my jewel-encrusted bra in the eBay charity auction has exceeded our original expectations, I'm concerned that some of you may be confusing this bra for something that it's not.

- Britney Spears

The glyph industry makes me philosophical. It makes me think.

I can’t help it – it just does.

Here’s an example: Recently I’ve had issues with a camper. He only posts a single glyph of each sort at a time… that’s all he needs to do cause he’s always at the ready to post again. If I post at 7am in the morning – he’s there. 12 midnight – he’s there! During a day off from work – he’s there! At any time over the weekend or on a weeknight – he’s there ! It’s truly astonishing. And no, I don’t think he’s a bot as he’s offline and then logs on the instant I’ve logged to another toon.

To say the least this got to be quite frustrating.

I tried to think of ways to defeat this fellow and decided upon creating for him his very own category in QA3. He’s doesn’t carry a full contingent of glyphs so I now post glyphs under two separate sets of parameters. The camper’s glyphs get a 2g25s fallback with a 1g90s minimum – 4 glyph posting, every other glyph I have is set to a 59g fallback and a 4g80s minimum – two glyph posting. My process is to scan the AH and search under his name – every time he learns a new glyph it pops to the top of my search and I reassign it and crash it down to 2g25s. On a good day our little AH moves about 80 glyphs – now at 50g that’s 4K but at 2g25s it’s only 180g.

Unless he’s herbing himself and his herbs are therefore “free” ; ) surely this limited gold is sufficient to move him to another patch – after all, on each glyph he potentially has an investment of somewhere between 1g50s to 3g50s. So that really oughta crush his spirit and move him on – surely…

Apparently not. : )

So expectations then. For this fellow making 40s a glyph could be an incredible high – a windfall of unprecedented proportions. Or… he could be financially backed and working up to having the full contingent of glyphs. Been there myself – it’s fun! What I’m getting at is that his expectations of the process he and I are engaged in could well be being met and/or exceeded. He might be happy with a crashed glyph market – he may be exuberant in the knowledge that he is building his stake and not expecting to make much gold at all.

So where does that leave us?

With “my” expectations of course. They’re the only thing I really have any control over. Control over the glyph market – an illusion… control over a camper – doubly so! I used to expect to see a minimum of 8K glyph gold a week. Now I expect to see about 450g every 48 hours. …so this is still a good industry for me as my (adjusted) expectation are being met. ; ) Every non-camper-glyph sale is a success, every camper-glyph-sale a victory!

I’ve said it before – glyphs are a long game. Due to the general view that there is easy money to be made competitors tend to come and go. This fellow may be going back to school on Monday and his time investment may come to an end, or he might be independently wealthy and sit on the AH day and night for the next two years. So I’m fascinated to see how this plays out – I’ll keep you all posted.

Stay liquid guys,


Monday, October 4, 2010


Well well well… December is the month and the 7th is the big date but what does this mean to us oh gold-making members of the blogosphere?

Here we go then:
  1. Level all “profession” toons to level 75 so that you can max professions. This will get you around that embarrassing situation of all the other goblins laughing at you as you spend the first precious days of the new release levelling toon X (where X = your major gold maker)
  2. Stock up on a few things – are you levelling a toon come Cata? Yes? Then work out now what they’ll have as profs and get the mats together. Prices will start to peak soon but you should still have a bit of time to get together that alchemy 1-450 mat list for when your worgen gets up. There is some risk here as levelling mats may change but I'm thinking Blizz will have enough to worry about without changing too much here.
  3. Organise yourself. I said it before but I’ll say it again – clean up that bank vault and stock it with things that you know will move. The 10 stacks of BC healing potions can go now. This should also make you a little room to craft extra items and stockpile them for release date.
  4. Reserve your copy. Store clerk: “I’m sorry sir we just sold the last copy of Cata in the country to that guy”. You:
  5. Negotiate. You heard me! I think it’s time to chat with the other goblins on your server and get a nice little cartel going. I don’t mean one of those intricate cabals where people decide who’ll sell what on what day – I’m talking a bit of the old-fashioned price fixing. A million glyphs will hit the streets on patch day that have previously seen one sale per every 1000 of their more attractive cousins. I’m talking real back-catalogue stuff… Anyway, many people will soon be flocking to these dogs like Goths to vinyl – curiosity, amusement, completionism – who cares! Wouldn’t it be nice if they snaffled them for 25g a pop? Wouldn’t it be nice if you and the other glyphers started all glyphs at a 50g fallback and undercut from there. This process (or organising goblins) will be much akin to herding cats but for the potential profits it’s worth a try. Talking to goblins has worked for me in the past ; )
  6. Lastly – on glyphs remember there’s two dates to work from: 7 Dec AND … either tonight of next Tuesday shutdown for Patch 4.0.1. This patch is where a bunch of glyph changes are coming in. Likely not the new herbs/inks, maybe only the new template – I’m looking into this at the moment and will report back. If the capacity of toons to hold multiple glyphs happens with 4.0.1 then glyphers will be getting their present early and will need to be ready.
Oh and one more thing – DOUBLE CAP! I was going to post on this but then hit 440K and the moment had passed : )

Stay liquid folks,