Guest Post: Bloodshrike

Please give a warm welcome to Bloodshrike who sent in the following guest post to Just My Two Copper!

If anyone else has a blog (or not) and would like to guest post as well please email me and I'll be more than happy to publish it.

Here's Bloodshrike who hosts the blog: "A Boy and His Death Rays"

“Carrot and Stick"– by Bloodshrike

Greetings all! This is my first guest post ever, prompted by Markco kindly offering to post my Auction House psychology theory.

Are you tired of seeing people undercut your Auction House postings into the ground? Tired of having your crafted items sell for LESS than the mats required to make them? Well, take heart, I have a few tips for you (well, one main one, really).

I noticed people's tendencies to undercut each other to the poverty level when I first started playing WOW over 2 years ago, and it hasn't really changed. These casual posters are just looking to make a few gold or silver, and the only way they know how to do that is to beat your price. That's it, they don't think of anything beyond that.

You, on the other hand, have tired of farming for stuff to sell on the AH, don't have time to do dailies, or only have a few minutes each day to devote to making gold to save up for your epic whatever.

Here's the secret. --- POST HIGH!

Whatever you're selling, send a few to an alt, and have them post the item for 48 hours at a very, very high price. Not a ridiculous price (like 10,000 gold) but definitely stretching it. For example, a blacksmith can make Arcanite Rods, which they tend to sell for ....... right around the price of 3 Arcanite bars, or even less. Where's the profit in that? I usually have my blacksmith make 2 extra rods for an alt to post for 48 hours at 160-180 gold, with my BS posting his at 125-130 gold for 24 hours. I come back the next day, and my BS usually has 300+ gold in his mailbox.

The same applies to glyphs and enchants. Minor Glyphs cost next to nothing to post, and enchants that you've put on scrolls don't have any posting cost whatsoever. 2 of my 3 enchanters are capped at 300 enchanting (they're both level 40), so Crusader/Lifestealing/Fiery/Icey are their bread and butter. If you make 5 Crusader enchants (I usually buy the Righteous Orbs, since I'm not high enough to do Strat) and have the alt post them for 200-230 gold, my enchanter will post theirs for 160-170 gold, and make a good profit, even though I'm buying all the mats off the AH.

I could go on, but each server is different, so you just have to get a sense for it. Trial and error, folks. I will say that with Inscription, it helps to have some knowledge of other classes abilities. For example, Minor Glyphs of Charge/Bloodlust/Battle sell well to Warriors (and my Warriors love them), but the Glyph of Thunder Clap (increases range by 2 yards) doesn’t do much for me, and didn’t do well on the AH.

Here’s why this works. By you keeping your high priced alt’s items in the AH, even when your low priced stuff gets sold out, those items will still be in there as a placeholder. Otherwise, when all your stuff gets sold, the first person to come along sets the price that other people undercut. So when other people come along to post their items, they’ll be undercutting a very high price, leaving you free to post a few more under them. I’ve been self-regulating the minor Glyph market on Demon Soul, Darrowmere, and Daggerspine using this strategy. When a glyph that’s extremely useful starts getting sold for only 5-6 gold, I start posting at 30-35 gold, and voila! the price starts trickling down from the 30 gold range. Like Markco said in his AH Psychology post, don’t flood the market. Post a few high, post a few normal, and check back in a few hours to collect your gold and repost.

Hope this was useful to you.
Bloodshrike

17 comments: on "Guest Post: Bloodshrike"

  1. How does that help? If you're cheaper than me and I can still make profit, I'll undercut you anyway.

  2. he's saying he becomes the undercutter now, but at a bigger profit for himself than before.

    [1] he has something he wants to sell for 25g each, he posts 2 of them on an alt at 50g each.
    [2] you enter AH, have some to sell, see them at 50g each. you undercut to 45g each.
    [3] person X comes in sees yours at 45g each and posts his at 42g each.
    [4], [5], [6].....[n] the undercutters come in and undercut each other down towards the price of the mats. the last person [n] posted his at 27g each.
    [n+1] bloodshrike comes in and posts his normal stock at 25g, like he wanted to in the first place. and he looks like a good price now.

    yes, if you hypothetically and chronologically come in after his second postings, and you can profit at 24g, you can undercut again. but say the market is now bound by margin at mats<--->finished product is profitable at 27g. you can't post at 24g. but maybe he can because of the stock he has, or the self farmed mats. so he just wants to sell all day at 25g each.

    and he set this up to be feasible by posting some alt ones at 50g.

    now granted, it's a market i'd tend to avoid myself. i stay clear of markets that i'd have to manipulate the final price to make the product > the mats. if the mats and product are that close in price, i'll leave it to bloodshrike to make his gold there.

  3. Let's assume the following:

    19:30 He lists his on his alt for 100g
    19:31 He lists his on his main for 50g
    19:32 I list mine for 49g

    I'll sell.

    19:30 He lists his on his alt for 100g
    19:31 I list mine for 99g
    19:32 He lists his on his main for 50g
    19:33 I relist mine for 49g

    I'll sell.

    19:30 He lists his on his alt for 100g
    19:31 I list mine for 99g
    19:32 People stack up before going to raid/dungeon
    I sell mine for 99g because there are no cheapers on the AH
    .
    .
    .
    20:15 He lists his on his main for 50g
    20:16 I list mine for 49g

    I'll sell and make more profit because he voluntairly stayed out of the marked during prime time.

    I'll undercut him and he won't sell.

  4. Kring you're running in circles...
    Here look at this example:
    3:29 - He posts on alt for 50 gold.
    3:30 - He posts for 30 gold.
    3:31 - Kring posts for 29 gold.
    3:32 - HokieJayBee posts for 25 gold.
    .
    .
    4:50 - Blood posts for 10 gold.

    Markco buys you all out and resells for 30 gold. Hehe.

    Seriously though what he's talking about (using a place holder) is an entirely legitemate method for making gold.

  5. i think you're missing the point. and i'm sure markco and bloodshrike enjoy negativity on a free blog they put out to help everyone.

    the point is, that he has a set price in his head, that he wants to sell his items at, at a margin he prefers, and at a specific minimum profit. if he just posts his items at that price, as you describe in your timeline example, you and others will undercut him and he won't sell.

    so, he sets a fake ceiling price. and you and others come in and undercut him. then he posts where he really wanted to in the first place and he sells more than he would have had he just posted at that price first.

    yes, you are correct. others, including you, can camp the AH and continually pull down and repost under him. this will always happen. he's just giving a strategy to sell more [than normal] at a price he wants to move things at. and, in your example, if you profit at 49g, then you should be posting there too. and you, in fact, now owe bloodshrike's alt a "thank you" for posting at 100g so that it could be undercut and you *could* post at 49g and now you're the low guy. rather than you posting at 49g first and then you get undercut and undercut. because of bloodshrike's alt's posting at 100g, all the undercutting has already occurred and you're golden at 49g each.

    i have seen this strategy all the time, it also helps to raise the average price in people's auctioneer databases. only i wouldn't waste time posting on multiple toons. people are lazy and stupid, they don't even notice, nor does auctioneer care, that the two highly priced ones are the same poster as the guy who is also currently the lowest price.

    he never said it was a fail safe system and you're guaranteed to sell all your stock everytime. he's just giving a suggestion to move more of your stock. and it does work, i've used it and seen it work.

    as for your examples and comments - you can never fight AH campers or constant re-posting undercutters. you just have to let them sell their shares and you move on with your strategy. so yes, kring, *if* you camped AH and constantly updated the search window for item X and constantly pulled your stock down and reposted, undercutting bloodshrike and the others undercutting him, you would sell more. hardly fun though. he gave a method to create a fake ceiling, then post your normal share to sell, and then spend that time that you're camping the AH [in prime time as you say] - he and others spend that prime time out *playing* the game. killing dragons and stuffs.

    should you not trust the system, take a gander at any finance, economics, or hell, even society. new 57" sony plasma TV technology comes out. best buy sells them for $11,000 for a month. some rich guys buy them, but mainly this month is just best buy setting up the market. they wait, circuit city and others price them down to $9,000. then best buy puts them "on sale" for $8,799 - the price they wanted to sell at in the first place to make their margins. and wham, "zomg that new sony plasma is on sale at best buy! i'm so getting one!". best buy 1, society-joe 0. but society-joe thinks he won, thinks he got a great price "on sale".

    iraq wars, rising oil prices from the middle east? gas stations raise and over inflate gas prices to nearly $4 / gallon. now their back "down" to ~$2 / gallon and we're all happy! [even though before the fake fears and oil "shortage" gas was $1.50 / gallon.]

  6. > i think you're missing the point. and i'm sure markco and
    > bloodshrike enjoy negativity on a free blog they put out
    > to help everyone.

    Feedback shows interest and therefore is good. You don't have
    to agree to appreciate something. And a healthy discussion
    can only improve the value of the post because the discussed
    topic has a better chance to be remembered.

    I did not get the point why that should or could work. That's
    why I'm asking.

    > so, he sets a fake ceiling price. and you and others come
    > in and undercut him. then he posts where he really wanted
    > to in the first place and he sells more than he would have
    > had he just posted at that price first.

    You have no control over the others. You can't force them all
    to list their items after you put up yours at your fake price.
    During an evening, people will constantly post items and they
    will undercut the cheapest one. You could announce in /trade
    that you put up item X for Y gold and hope that everyone
    selling this item recognizes that the price is to high and lists
    his items now. Don't think that would work wither. :-)

    > yes, you are correct. others, including you, can camp the AH
    > and continually pull down and repost under him. this will always
    > happen. he's just giving a strategy to sell more [than normal]
    > at a price he wants to move things at.

    Why would that happen? How do you determine that NOW is the time
    to post the items at the cheap price?

    > and, in your example, if you profit at 49g, then you should
    > be posting there too. and you, in fact, now owe bloodshrike's
    > alt a "thank you" for posting at 100g so that it could be
    > undercut and you *could* post at 49g and now you're the low guy.
    > rather than you posting at 49g first and then you get undercut
    > and undercut.

    When I log into my bank char, I'll list my items at the lowest
    price. I don't have any influence on the people who list the item
    after me. They will undercut me and it doesn't matter if there
    are much more expensive items than mine or not. They will
    undercut me.

    I, of course, could list the item higher two hours earlier and
    catch all the sellers who would list their items in these two
    hours. Is that the trick? But, if I get home early from work,
    why wouldn't I try to sell the item in these two hours too and
    just list low?

    > because of bloodshrike's alt's posting at 100g, all the
    > undercutting has already occurred and you're golden at 49g each.

    The problem is that people can list items all 24 hours and they do.

    > i have seen this strategy all the time, it also helps to raise
    > the average price in people's auctioneer databases.

    I one read that you also have to cancel them so auctioneer
    registers them as actually sold items.

    > he never said it was a fail safe system and you're guaranteed
    > to sell all your stock everytime. he's just giving a suggestion
    > to move more of your stock. and it does work, i've used it
    > and seen it work.

    How much time do you let pass between posting high and low?

    > as for your examples and comments - you can never fight AH
    > campers or constant re-posting undercutters.

    That's true. And I would love if Blozzard would change that.
    Automatic undercut agents or something like that would be nice. :-)

    > so yes, kring, *if* you camped AH and constantly updated
    > the search window for item X and constantly pulled your
    > stock down and reposted, undercutting bloodshrike and the
    > others undercutting him, you would sell more. hardly fun though.

    That's your opinion. It is fun for some people. Otherwise the
    gem marked wouldn't be controlled by 2-3 24h "relister".

    > he gave a method to create a fake ceiling, then post your
    > normal share to sell, and then spend that time that you're
    > camping the AH [in prime time as you say] - he and others
    > spend that prime time out *playing* the game. killing
    > dragons and stuffs.

    Camping the AH is more fun than trying to get into a heroic
    as DPS if you don't have a pocket healer and tank. :-(

    And the dragons have lockout IDs. :-)

  7. Auctioneer doens't know if someone else bought an item, it only knows if you bought the item. (Pretty sure on that but please correct me if I'm wrong).

    Perhaps I should make a quick video explaining this, always easier to show than to write about it.

  8. kring; yes, feedback shows interest and is, therefore, good. and you are correct, you don't have to agree with everything posted here. i just took your initial comment to be a little neener neener, nanny nanny boo boo - on a free blog of helpful hints. i typically just read and don't respond - but i did today because [1] the theory that bloodshrike posted to use, works, and [2] perhaps i'm confusing you with someone else's past comments, but i don't get your negativity to a free blog's helpfulness. if you want, i'm sure markco can refund your subscription fee to this blog :P.

    the main point of the idea, that i still feel you're missing in your examples - is to set a fake price level for the item. he's not talking about posting against a common opponent [undercutter] on a regular basis. his strategy might not even be talking about posting in a market with ANY competition - but just to make your 'normal' prices look better and get purchased.

    there is no timetable. you might even have an alt post the item at a high price for a full day and just watch the level that the undercutters take it down to - before you start posting your real items to sell. you don't necessarily post your alt's high item and your main's regularly priced item at the same exact moment [or as quick as you can log between toons].

    you don't have control over the other AH posters - but you know for 100% certain that they will undercut and the masses will continue to undercut down to a certain price level. your hopes, in creating a fake high end to this item's market - is that your starting price point is high enough that all the undercutters will only take it down so far, so that you can then post at a price you feel more comfortable at.

    or, in bloodshrike's example, where he's posting things that are not common on the AH. he posts a couple on an alt at 100g so that he can sell the ones he really wants to sell at 50g. the 50g price now looks really good to a naive buyer.

    it seems in the discussion between you and me, you're focusing on items that are more heavily posted/undercut as a whole. more common items. that, in fact, probably already have a price point set by the masses and you can't affect that with an alt posting two. high movers, like saronite ore, you couldn't post a couple stacks at a super high price and expect that to help the market and the undercutters. it's such a high mover in the market, the price is what it is and the undercutters are what they are. we're talking less volume items here. rare recipes, rarer than normal trade goods like enchanting rods, etc.

    an example of setting a fake high price could be done without even having 2 of the same item. say you had a nice purple boe drop from naxx25 - and you want to move it for 6k. there are none on the AH. should you post it for 6k and walk away and hope? you might not sell it because people don't have a good basis of its value and think it's over-priced; or you might get undercut. there are two [slightly] devious things you could do at this point to sell it for 6k. post it on an alt for 6k. then get on your main and:
    [1] say "WTS {item} for 7.5k, great price for {class}{ability}{stat}!!!!" - people will see the item link, they will see the stats, and they will have a basis of this item at 7.5k pricing. they will then, if near an AH, go search and see one for 6k, wow "only 6K!!!" and buy it immediately, or they will whisper you back if they're not near an AH [like in dalaran] and buy it. in which case you pull it down from AH at 6k, lose the deposit and still make money selling it for 7.5k".

    or

    [2] say, "any guild banks: i WTB {item} for 7.5k, it's a BoE item from naxx25, sell to me plz" - and someone in an AH will search for it and see it for 6k. hey wait a minute! they will buy it [from your alt] for 6k and then whisper you to sell it for 7.5k. in which case you reply, "sorry, just got one, ty". devious, bordering on greedy goblin strategy and douchebaggery? yes. successful plan to move an item? also yes.

    both of these are a modified version of the same thing bloodshrike is going for. setting a fake higher value ceiling for an item. which is what he does by posting items for higher on the AH with an alt than he wishes to truly move his entire normal stash at.



    as for the auctioneer information - it does track the sales so it has a history basis of value for an item [that you bought]. then it tracks the current prices. i mean, it gives %'s on the right of your window. this item is currently XX% of the average price right now. this item is currently YY% of the average price right now. so if there were two of that item up for 100g, a bunch for 75g-ish, and yours for 50g-ish - won't yours look like they're 67% of the "current average price"?

  9. I think here is where the confusion comes from. MOST people who post on the AH use a program like auctioneer to decide the going price for them, and don't have the prices that they want to sell at memorized for every item. In fact, memorizing prices (like I admit I used to do) is a sure way to NOT notice trends in prices either up or down and to be undercut eventually into the ground. This technique relies on the innate dumbness of programs to not notice an outlyer in the price. (Which, is augmented by the dumbness of people who would rather undercut something to less than vendor price than be patient enough to wait and make a fair buck.)

    Your argument is circular, and here is why:

    Imagine he hadn't done any price fixing, and instead listed the item at just above vendor price like everyone else. You come along and list it below his, at vendor price and viola! you are indeed the lowest poster, and you've made next to no profit. After yours sells (likely to someone who plans to relist it or vendor it for profit) someone else comes along that needs it and buys the others and eventually his.

    In the price fixing model, he's listed his at a profitable price (NOT a break even price as before) and then when you undercut him, you make profit too. Then other people come along and buy the rest of the undercutters and eventually him. Once the lowest undercut price is gone, the next highest price is the lowest undercut price, so that is what people will buy. Auctions don't stop selling when the first and most sever undercutter sells. The person who signs on thrity seconds after that one is bought doesn't know it ever existed and therefore thinks that the next lowest one is, and for all they know, always has been the lowest.

    In the argument you were posting, his item would never sell anyways, even at 1 silver because you would always be there right after him to undercut to 50 copper. In reality if the item was going to sell in the first place, it will likely sell at either price point. If the competition is too stiff or the item is too common you shouldn't be using this technique anyways.

    (I'm going to add a similar technique to do the same thing in another post)

    -Kiseki

  10. Here is another way to fix the price as Bloodshrike is doing. This technique of price fixing works if widget X is an item in medium/moderate supply (meaning not so common as linen cloth, but not so rare as a mini pet or an epic), and that item has at least a reasonably constant demand.

    If you habitually sell or farm for X and happen to notice that the price has dropped out on it, wait until it gets to a point that it has only a few posted up on the AH, buy them all, and relist them for higher than the stable price. This is different from Marco's bid low, sell normal technique in that you aren't really interested in trying to sell those items at that price, but rather that you are trying to raise the base price so that the ones you normally farm or find will sell at a more profitable price. If the dummy auctions sell, so much the better, but that isn't really the goal.

    -Kiseki

  11. /bump kiseki

    something i thought i had said, but maybe not so clearly:

    ""you aren't really interested in trying to sell those items at that price, but rather that you are trying to raise the base price so that the ones you normally farm or find will sell at a more profitable price. If the dummy auctions sell, so much the better, but that isn't really the goal.""

  12. This is a great strategy that I have used myself in the past. Just a quick comment regarding constant relisting of items to make sure you are lowest price. If you are selling an item that has a deposit cost, you are taking that value out of your profits everytime you relist, while simultaneously reducing your overall profit at the same time.

    Item x costs 50s to list. You bought this item to sell for 20G. You undercut Player A and sell your item at 50G.

    Player B undercuts you at 49G, you relist your item for 48G

    *This continues in 1G increments until you list your item at 30G*

    Now, *if* noone comes along and undercuts you *and* the auction is successful, here are the net results:

    1. You made 5G. Your relist costs (10 times) ate 5G of your profit.

    2. Consumers value this item less. After all, the item was selling at 50G before. Now it is selling for only 30G, and they just watched the price plummet in the span of an hour or so. What do they not know that makes this item worthless? Did they miss a patch note?

    3. Since the item is valued less per statement 2, people are not willing to buy the item at 30G; after all, the price will be even lower later.

    As with all strategies, the best method is to try it first. Use cheap items if you want, or items with no deposit cost. Try out some enchanting mats and see if you can increase the value of the items. worst case scenario, nothing happens to the price and you still have your mats to sell later.

    -Whø

  13. -HokieJayBee
    You understood my post perfectly. Thank you for your comments defending my reasoning.

    -Kring
    I guess I should have specified that I mainly deal in niche markets (Toughened Leather Gloves, Barbaric Bracers, Shadowskin Gloves, Arcanite Rods, Lifelike Mechanical Toads, and Fiery/Icey/Lifesteal/Crusader enchants. Basically, stuff that people don't make very often, because they're concerned with powerleveling to 450 in their profession as fast as possible, so they can make epics.

    But.....I used to do the same thing with low-mid level enchanting mats. And lower level markets such as wool or tin/silver/gold could be manipulated like this, especially if it's Ore, because level 80's will buy it whatever the price, just to powerlevel mining.

    -Kiseki
    Yup, I don't really want my overpriced items to sell. It would be more than I normally get for the item, but then I'd have to get that toon more of the items. For example, if you bring over the 12 cooking recipes from Stormwind to a Horde Auction House, you can expect to sell them each for 10-20 gold. I used to just have one toon post them, with not much luck. When I started having another post those same recipes at 25-30 gold each, my regularly priced recipes became MUCH more popular and sold out quicker.
    The buyers see the Stick (high price) and are attracted to the Carrot (low price), because it seems like such a good price.

    Markco- I then log in the next night and repost more for 10 gold, which you're welcome to buy. :)

  14. I think where your logic fails is when you have a seller that will list all glyphs for 10G regardless of what is currently on the market.

    On barthilas Alliance side, several people list all glyphs for 10G. I have often listed glyphs at 60G only to see these people list the same glyph at 10G.

    How would you deal with this?

    Options include
    1. Listing all at 9.8G
    2. Individually go through each glyph to set prices to undercut or inflate
    3. Move out of that market

    Any other options?

  15. To Anonymous: How much are the ink of the seas selling for? You might be able to make good money selling them the inks or the herbs for their constant glyph business.

  16. Ink sales are none existent given how cheap herbs are on Barthilas.

    I generally purchase all Pre-Wrath herbs if they are less than 50s each. I purchase all Wrath herbs if they are less than 1g.

    So at 10G per glyph these AH listers are still making a profit. What is annoying is that I will often post glyphs at 50G plus and they will sell quite easily.

    Might need to actually see what are the must have glyphs per spec and focus on them.

  17. Try starting with your own class's glyphs and see how you do.

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