Some Helpful Selling Tips

This post was taken from the world of warcraft forums and written by Somuchblood.

This is a short guide that should help almost anyone become a better seller, which is handy
because it means you'll be making more money. Any profession with the right seller behind it can be profitable...well except maybe Engineering. <.< I. Be Upfront
This is a big one!!! Be upfront about what you're looking for. There's typically 2 ways trades can occur, tips or fees. The difference is huge, and misuse of these can potentially make you lose customers faster than you can bat an eyelash.

Tip =/= guaranteed payment. A tip is an optional giving of money chosen by your customer. You can't say "tip 10g". That doesn't make sense, that's a fee. Do not get angry when you put up accepting tips and don't get money, it's your fault about not being upfront about what you want, just be honest to your customers and be up front about what you are looking for. Feel free to say you're accepting tips, feel free to not mention it at all, but whatever you do, remember that tips are optional.

Fee = guaranteed payment. A fee is a forced payment of an amount of your chosing on top of any other additional costs (ie: mats).

The difference is small, but it makes all the difference in the world. A lot of people would sooner pay a 15g fee than someone looking for a 10g tip, simply because the 15g fee guy is upfront about what he wants and is direct, whereas the 10g tip guy is sneaky and underhanded about what he's looking for, which doesn't gel with most people.

II. Be Polite
Seems basic, but is easily forgotten. Be polite to your customers, and they'll tend to reply in kind. Don't be pushy, don't be egotistical, don't be impolite, don't get angry. Your word language can be the importance between getting a sale or not or even determining how much Gold someone will be willing to part. This means even if you're only looking for money, you have to treat your customer like a human.

III. Be Efficient
You know the old saying, "Time is money"? Well, turns out it's true. If you want to make more money, you need to keep your trades short. Not too short, that gives the impression you're just seeking gold now (even if that is the case, it's a bad impression to give off), not too long, that weakens your ability to get gold faster.

Assist your customer if they ask questions (what mats do I need? what do you have? etc), but make sure to keep the conversation flowing fluidly. If someone is being too slow or not responding, quite simply tell them that you need to go and it was nice talking to them, hope they have a nice day. Quick and to the point, without showing any anger or impoliteness.

IV. Have a Plan to Deal with Everyone you Meet
This kinda ties into with Be Efficient, but have a plan on how your trades will go down before they do. Know what you're offering, know the answer to any potential questions that come up, essentially, know everything related to what you're trading. This will help speed up your trades because you're going into them with a plan and already have it set out what you will or won't do, which means more money over time for you..

V. Learn Marketing Techniques
While these are techniques you might not be able to apply often in the virtual world, they are still techniques you should know and utilize none-the-less.

If you have a really rare item or an item that a lot of people want but no one is around at this point and time that can make it, you can utilize Haggling. Essentially, to get the most out of this, you raise the price of the item you're trying to market by about 10-20%, but will secretly be willing to part for it at its normal price (or slightly lower). If people really want the item, they might quickly accept it and you're 10-20% richer. Some smart people might haggle with you for the lower normal price, in which case you don't lose anything (but this will be rare, so expect to make more money!). It's key you only apply this in that situation though, otherwise people will just ignore you.

Another rare technique you can utilize is if you have an item you don't need and can't really sell, and have a product someone really wants (and your item can be useful to them in some way), you can make a Buy 1 Get 1 Free Sale. Essentially, you raise the price of your "real" item by approx. 5-30% depending on what the item you don't need is, and then trade both items at this price. You will make some cash this way since your other item wasn't really marketable anyways. It also plays on the mind a bit, it seems like a deal (and it technically is) so people can sometimes really buy into this concept so long as the "free" item is something remotely useful in some way.

VI. Build Connections
Your customer is more than just the gold he parts with you, he's also the path to more money. If you find a good customer who knows what he wants, seems friendly (means he probably has friends!), and is also efficient about his trades, make a connection with him. Friend him, make small talk every now and then, tell him if his friends/guild need anything you can make it for a reduced cost, and offer the same deal to your connection.

I know a discount seems a bit odd giving the whole deal of this is to get more money, but in the long run a lower fee will make them use your more over other competitors which means you will wind up making more money than normal from these folks.

To give an example of how a very good seller can utilize this concept, I used to know avery established Rogue on another server, who made a unique Pick Locking service. He did things in person, charged a flat fee based on various factors (Player Level, Item Level of the Lock Boxes, base fee), but also had special deals where doing multiple lockboxes would make all the lockboxes beyond the 1st 50% cheaper to do, etc.

He also had a "subscription" plan with 3 tiers, these players would pay a flat fee (depending on tier, all are cheaper than coming to him repeatedly tho, meaning the more loyal customers would buy in) and each tier had benefits, from better customer support to support for mail transactions for when they couldn't meet in person (time zones etc) to better deals and such. The real special thing about the sub plan was that each tier awarded players "tickets" that he would then use every 2 weeks for random drawings of free loot (like a free Gyro-Balanced Khorium Destroyer), special bonuses, and so on.

In the end, he made his tradeskill a business and he made quite a deal of profit off of Pick Locking alone, but you don't have to do anything this fancy at all. Find people who you can live to deal with day in and day out, and connect with them, all it takes is to find the right person, and then you're connected to all his friends, and when they see how awesome you are, you're connected to their friends, and so on and so forth. It's a bit time consuming to start with, but it can really pay off for you in the end.


Anyways, I hope this helps someone, after seeing a few bad sellers earlier today, I really just felt like maybe some of this stuff isn't obvious and could help someone. :)

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6 comments: on "Some Helpful Selling Tips"

  1. Finally, someone knows the difference between a fee and a tip. Usually I don't even bother buying from someone that wants a
    "20g tip."

  2. The headers reminds me of TF2

  3. Speaking of tips - as a buyer, just how much *should* I be tipping? A percentage of the cost of mats? An amount based on the item level/trade skill level? What's the right way to decide how much to tip?

  4. Being from a civilized part of the world that knows the meaning off the word tip, I'd say you should tip what you think the seller/crafter deserves for any extra effort/discount he gave you. None of this "i-have-to-tip-because-their-employers-pay-them-less-than-minimum-wage"-crap you have in the states.

  5. Yes Mr Tordenflesk, I agree that the tipping culture in the US is severely flawed, but that has nothing to do with what I asked. How do YOU determine what the seller/crafter deserves when YOU supply the mats? Do you only ever tip 1 copper because you are such a tight-ass, or do you tip an amount based on the effort involved, cost of mats, or what. Try giving some constructive advice instead of leaving contentless snipes.

  6. tip
    –noun
    1. a small present of money given directly to someone for performing a service or menial task; gratuity: He gave the waiter a dollar as a tip.

    I ask for a tip instead of a fee because I don't charge a set fee price for a service. I ask for a tip - I let the customer decide how much they feel my work is worth.

    When I call it a fee, people ask how much. When I call it a tip, people use their own judgment and I sometimes get 10 gold, I sometimes get 50 gold, I sometimes get more.

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