How to Defeat a Goblin on your Server

This strategy was written quite a long time ago when snowfall inks sold like hotcakes (they still can for the faire but it's better to convert them into runescrolls and offhands now a days) and herbs were around 20 gold a stack on my server. The experiment went very well and I managed to raise the price of glyphs by several gold over the course of a month or two. Many bloggers still link to this post so I thought it needed this preface and a small update. Enjoy.

Points of this Strategy

  1. Glyph sellers who are trying to make gold by selling glyphs very cheap need to make up the cost of their original stack of herbs through the sale of snowfall inks. We are talking about true goblins who are camping with 2-3 gold thresholds here.
  2. By reducing the cost of snowfall ink the glyph sellers must raise their glyph prices or else they will lose money.
  3. Goblin gives up the market or moves towards a more average price of glyphs in the 5-8 gold range.
I've had numerous emails from people trying to discover the secret to out'ing a goblin on their server. Some even have an infestation of goblins running around undercutting glyphs down to 50 silver.

Before I explain how to defeat a goblin, perhaps I should discuss what exactly being a goblin entails? A goblin gets their herbs and focuses on selling the snowfall ink to make up for most of their herb expenses. If they sell their snowfall ink for 60-100% of the cost of their initial investment then they can sell their glyphs (using the average 6 inks per stack of herbs) for super cheap and that is where their profit comes from. This profit margin is entirely dependent on how much the goblin paid for his/her inks, but the key here is that the snowfall ink is always the linchpin for their profits.

How then, do you defeat the goblin and raise the price of glyphs on your server? I have a theory and I'm going to implement it very soon on my own server. There are currently three goblins I've found using approximately 3 gold threshold and QA2. They post a 40 gold glyph three times and if anyone undercuts they will in turn keep undercutting down to this 3 gold threshold. To defeat these goblins I've been recruiting dedicated farmers with these mouth watering prices for herbs:

10 gold a stack of lichbloom, icethorn, or adder's tongues
5 gold a stack for any other stacks of WOTLK herbs

Sounds delicious right? Well with that price I can sell snowfall inks for 7 gold and then glyphs for 1.1 gold and make a 10 silver profit (-50 silver each for resilient parchment). The only thing is... I'm not going to sell glyphs! In fact I have almost never sold glyphs (I only focus on the discovery ones), and instead sell armor vellum III's and weapon vellum III's, as well as the inks themselves.

So my plan is to focus on getting snowfall ink [EDIT: I wrote ink of the sea here by accident the first time this was posted... sorry!] down to the 10 gold range (It's going to take thousands probably over the course of several weeks, I'm currently down to the 13-14 gold range) and in a sense cut the legs right out of the goblin method. Next, I'm going to control the armor and weapon vellum markets so that they have no way to compete with my prices. They will be FORCED to sell glyphs for more in order to make any profit at all.

I like to think of it as out-goblining the goblins. What do you think of my master plan? Comment!

Ashegaming Gold Challenge and Youtube Videos

Many of you may know Ashe from his YouTube videos on making gold, well he's back again with a series this time... he's going to try to make as much gold as possible on a new server within two weeks. All the gold he acquires will go to his first YouTube subscriber that has apparently helped him greatly since he started putting videos up.

Here's the link:
2 Week Gold Challenge by Ashe

OK so what does this have to do with JMTC? Well I want you guys to get involved with this. Discuss it on the forums, in the comments section here, and on Ashe's YouTube channel. Get involved and see if you can help Ashe make as much gold as possible in two weeks. Who knows, maybe you'll learn something from this as well!

Good Luck Ashe!

The Art of Flipping

Flipping, like undercutting, is a true art form in world of warcraft. In order to perform a plethora of profitable purchases periodically you will need to have a grasp of how much an item is worth (ie auctioneer) as well as how much the item will normally sell for. Just because essences of earth sit at 10 gold almost all the time doesn't mean that people will actually buy them for that price.

What to flip?

Flipping is most frequently used to make money with enchanting mats and other items that require 0 posting cost fees. This allows for margins of error in the flipping and cuts the loss to the flipper tremendously should they fail. The most popular item to flip in the game is probably greater cosmic essences currently. Other items that should interest you are:

Essences of XX, max level glyphs selling less than 2 gold, Vellums, entry level meats, low to mid level herbs/ore, and even high profile epics like gems and armor/weapons... (fill the comments with other items you like to flip as I am deliberately keeping the list short).

How to flip?

Simply buy out when items reach [Normal Selling Value - X] and then repost for [Normal Selling Value]. Notice I said normal selling value, not auctioneer's price. You need to understand the market and have a feel for how much items will actually be purchased at, especially some of the low level stuff that could be ridiculously overpriced.

Deciding on that normal selling value and the X are what differentiates you from a good flipper and someone who is going to lose a lot of money quickly. Practice with enchanting mats first, then move on to items that have a posting cost.

Good Luck!

PS: Word of advice, be careful not to invest too much into flipping or else you will end up being pressured to selling your goods for less than optimal prices.

Suggestion Box Friday (11/17/09)

Happy day after turkey day! I hope you are having a blast with family/friends.

Feel free to write about anything regarding making gold in wow!

Discussion:

Will new glyphs that require snowfall inks in the next patch drive the price of snowfall inks back up to what they were a few months ago? Will the item level 200 trinkets (aka greatness) still hold enough market value to keep people buying snowfalls? Something to think about as many people have stopped producing the cards all together.

New Epic Ammunition

Some of you may have heard that new epic ammunition is coming out for engineers. It will require rep with a new reputation group poised against the lich king but I'm under the impression that the new 5 man dungeous will give you plenty of rep with this new faction.

Engineers create the ammunition using 2 crystallized shadow for the arrows or 2 crystallized earth for the bullets and I would definately advise buying up these materials in anticipation for the patch. Earths can spike heavily but crystallized shadow is often pretty cheap so look for some deals while you wait for this new ammunition to hit the scene.

Shadow can be farmed easily in wintersgrasp and the earth can be farmed off of Revenants in stormpeaks.

Declining Price of Epic Gems

Pots of Gold - On The Fall of Gem Prices

I loved this article on gems falling in value because it's spot on: Epic gems have been slowly decreasing in price since they were introduced. Many gems I paid 400 gold for when they first come out have dropped down to an measly 160. Why is this? Supply and Demand.

First off, more ways to get epic gems were introduced, everything from transmutes to honor purchases to badges to prospecting. More and more gems appeared but what's worse, gems could be gathered by anyone, not just jewelcrafters and in large supplies.

As supply rose with the easy methods for gathering gems demand could never keep up. People were getting the gems they needed for free and then selling off the extras. This led to lower and lower prices. Myself, I make around 600-1000 gold selling epic gems a week. I buy them wtih honor, badges, and the uncuts off the AH if they are 25 gold below a cut gem's average value.

I also pay attention to trade chat for people looking for cuts and have a few of each gem on hand for this. One word of warning: if you don't make use of the cheap methods of getting gems and just try to resell them you will have trouble maintaining a steady cash flow. Mix it up and look into the badge/honor/prospecting/transmuting route for the majority of your gems.

I fear that all we have done is to awaken a sleeping giant and fill him with a terrible resolve. ~ Isoroku Yamamoto

Besides being a proud American and an enterprising entrepreneur, I am also a member of the Roman Catholic Church (tithing ftl). This being said, I have always felt that getting to heaven was the number one goal to hold for myself. I apologize if you are atheist or of a different religion and that offends you, but I have no problem with you expressing your own beliefs anytime you want on my forums or blog. Although Gevlon's attacks against me were a planned (notice he waited 6 days to make his post on a Tuesday?), unprovoked, brutal and brilliant surgical strike against myself and my blog, to retaliate would in no way bring me closer to my number one goal. So therefore I am not going to retaliate, however I will do my best to provide a thorough explanation regarding what happened for you, my readers.

Gevlon's Intent

What Gevlon did was attempt to assassinate my character, because, for whatever reason and I won't pretend to understand his thinking on this, he actually views my blog as a threat to him. Why I am not sure, but the facts all point to this irrationality:

1. Gevlon deleted perhaps a hundred comments from his blog (75 that I know of for sure). Every single deleted post disagreed with him or called him out for his actions. Seems like someone wants it to look like 90% of the commenters agree with the greedy goblin.
2. Gevlon brought Tobold into the mess with the hopes of spreading the news deeper across the interwebs. Tobold accepted and in one of his comments made the accusation that I was performing tax evasion. This of course was based on 0 facts and made him look rather biased.
3. Gevlon posted my personal email. This was not a big deal because I did send it to him. However, when commenters started posting much more dangerous personal information about myself Gevlon left the comments as they were. Judging by how actively he deleted comments he obviously wanted those to remain visible and that speaks volumes to his intent with the tabloid post.
4. Gevlon misinterpreted what I was asking him to do and exploded like he always does. However, in the past the greedy goblin has linked to me talking about how JMTC is the place to go to learn about making gold in wow and this sudden outburst just didn't make sense to anyone who had read those previous posts. In my email I tried to explain (although I was pretty angry in the second) that I wanted him to honestly and truthfully compare my guide to other ones. Coming from him this would of created huge buzz and generated lots of sales, and this would be a wise business decision unless of course your goal is to destroy JMTC.
5. Gevlon used the words lie, scheme, and marketing tricks throughout his tabloid article. First off I never lied in either of those two emails. You can accuse me of stretching the truth on my numbers, however they were based off of projections of readership vs past conversion rates on other blogs/sites. Second, there's no scheme here and the fact that my sales have gone through the roof since Gevlon's post and yet only one person has asked for a refund speaks volumes on the content of my guide NOT being a scheme. Marketing tricks? Since when does the greedy goblin know ANYTHING about marketing? There were no 'tricks' in my sales pitch. You can doubt what I said but that doesn't mean it's false.
6. Gevlon waited 6 days to post his response to my emails and perform his attack. Somehow I feel that if his actions were genuine and if he truly believed that I had wronged him that he would of reacted a lot sooner. The way he wrote it sounds like I had infuriated him into immediate action, but he actually took the time to carefully plan and arrange his assassination attempt.

The Fallout

There were no apparent winners in this Pearl Harbor style attack. The wow blogosphere showed how shallow it really is, with many sites following the greedy goblin and feeding off his every word without thought to the possibility that he could be lying. I have never had the support of the vast majority of wow related sites, but luckily for this blog that has not made a difference on readership growth. Every week hits go up, subscriptions go up, and the forums grow ten people per day on average. This is without the support of wow.com, mmochampion.com and now the wow blogosphere. The real thing I lost in this was my pride, and that's something I am grateful to be rid of as it's one of the hardest things to shake off in your lifetime. I did learn some value life lessons from this, and I am prepared to move on as a better person.

Greedy Gevlon didn't win either. You see he lives off his subscription numbers like an IV to a dying child. This incident only made him cling to them more. Here is a true marketing tip for you Gevlon: hits are king in this business, not subscribers. Evenmore than subscription numbers Gevlon craves attention. This is why he will lie about anything that seems to put him in a negative light. Remember when he said that he was messing up on purpose in the raiding guild that he purchased a spot in? Yeah right, if he was good enough to raid with that quality of players then he wouldn't of needed to buy a spot in the first place. Throughout this dramatic story Gevlon proved himself to be the self indulged, greedy, and just flat out evil person I've guessed he might be all along. This whole incident smacks of him attempting to assassinate the character of someone he deems to be a threat and he's shot himself in the perverbial foot with this tabloid mess. What businessman will ever approach him now? What blogger in their right mind will trust him? In the end Gevlon has shown himself to be the very scum he accused me of being. I forgive him for it, and I pity him.

The True Winners

But someone must have won in this matter right? It's the clash of the titans! Do or die, someone must come up victorious, right?! Well I can tell you that there was one clear winner in this whole mess:

YOU. The readers of this blog.

I received 186 emails the day Gevlon posted. One email was from a 16 year old boy asking for help finding a job. Another email basically said I'm never coming back bai! 184 emails were sent by concerned fans and supportive members of this community. I was overwhelmed by this. Every time I opened an email that said "per the greedy goblin incident" I was expecting hate but got kind words instead. You are the reason I removed many of my comments on other blogs and took down my shameful post which attacked the greedy goblin back. You are the primary reason I managed to get my cool back after angrily reacting, and who wouldn't react angrily to what had happened? Who wouldn't want to lash out at the idea of those close to you being made vulnerable by a lunatic's actions?

I thank my loved ones for their support and the members of this great community for their overwhelming enthusiasm. This is the best gift I could of asked for regarding the one year anniversary. In fact I will go so far as to say that what Gevlon gave me for the blog's birthday was more than anyone could have: Determination.

Here's to another year, and thank you! I promise no more drama posts regarding this matter, I'd like to move on and get back to the gold tips. /cheer

Turkey Time! Price Changes on Auction House

A handful of items are going to see their values plummet during the thanksgiving turkey events:

Netherweave Cloth, Large Prismatic Shards, Ancient Lichen, and Adamantite ore.

These items drop in the instance Sethek Halls and it's part of the pilgrim's plight achievements to kill the final boss wearing the proper attire.

Keep an eye out for netherweave dropping as well as netherweave bags this week. Large prismatic shards aren't used that much but you should still look to flip them for moderate returns after the holidays. The ancient lichen and adamantite ore are not in very high demand but if the prices get low enough look to pick them up and flip just like the prismatic shards.

Drink too much, eat too much, and enjoy your time with your families!

2700 Rated Prot Warrior Tanks Team to 1000

I wanted to start carrying friends in 2's but it was getting really difficult because of my 2700+ mmr. Therefore I decided the only solution was to go 2v1 until I bottomed out at whatever rating. That rating ended up being 1,000. Here are some of my wins while I was tanking down from 2700, including the first one which was an ~1850 team. Enjoy!




I've had this article in my que for about two weeks now and I have made 10,600 gold so far from carrying teammates to 1800. Everyone I've carried so far has had an absolute blast (that's part of my goal to let them have fun) and I think many of them emerged a better player. Not to mention the fact that they walked away with a shiny weapon to pwn in bg's with.

Upgraded Saronite Shuffle

Some of you may not know what the Saronite Shuffle is, well in lay mans terms, it's the process of prospecting saronite ore, creating necks/rings, and disenchanting said rings or doing other things with the gems to make gold.

The game was recently patched (around two weeks ago) so that infinite dusts now drop around 1 more on average from level 71-80 greens. This greatly increased the value of greens for disenchanting, especially crafted greens.

Check out A Gnome's Conquest for this article on the Upgraded Saronite Shuffle to learn more.

Suggestion Box Friday (11/20/09)

Suggestion Box Friday is when I, the gold making guru, step down from my saronite plated frozen thrown (what else are you supposed to do with all that extra saronite anyay?) and allow you, the loveable auction house amateurs take a stab at making heads or tails of wow economics.

Feel free to discuss anything gold related, here are the comments of the week:

Regarding Vendoring Saronite Bars
Jeff said...
Stacks of green WotlK gems have been selling for 2g on my server. :-) Cut and sell for 5g, more if you get perfect cuts....

Regarding Titanium Bars vs Saronite Bars after Patch 3.3
Mus1k said...
I concur with Euripides mostly. I'd stack couple of tabs of saronite ore just in case, but won't be hasty to convert it to bars even, so that i can prospect em, if titanium hits the ground.
More interesting question is: how will the tit.bar price affect the ore price. One would think that the ore price must fall accordingly, but i feel it will not be the case for a while after the patch hits.


Discussion: Patch 3.3 2 weeks... 4 weeks.. 2 months away? What are your thoughts? I'm betting on 3-5 weeks with the arena season ending about 2 weeks after.

Knothide Leather

Knothide Leather is something that everyone has to burn through in order to level their leatherworking. I found an absolutely fantastic place to grab the knothide leather quickly and efficiently:

Talbuk Thorngrazers are your primary target, although you will find the occasional elek and Clefthoof Bull to skin as well. There are groups of four or so around every tree as well as by the lake which will provide you with a steady stream of fresh kills. What's more, by the time you finish killing them the original pack of 3 or 4 should have respawned, allowing for constant farming and skinning. One run through this place netted me almost 1 1/2 stacks in around 5 minutes. Not bad considering the heavy version of this leather can go for as much as 12 gold a piece.

Vendoring Saronite Bars

One of my favorite ways to make gold is by simply buying items people posted on the ah below the price that a vendor is willing to pay for it. Upon purchasing these items I either use them in one of my professions or simply vendor for usually a small profit. One item I consistently see falling below market value is Saronite Bars. Eventhough blizzard included a small tooltip which tells someone how much the item vendors for on mouse over, people still post below vendor value.

The vendor value of Saronite Bars is 1 gold 25 silver per.

I have probably bought and vendored thousands of saronite bars over the course of a month, each one netting as little as 3 silver or as much as 75 silver per. What's more, I often find these get sold in stacks of 20 when they are below vendor price so it makes for some nice profits.

Are there any items that you often find below vendor value?

Some vendor items which auctioneer confuses for being worth more than they actually are:

Fish feasts, corpse dust, and fel hides. Watch out for these!

One Year Anniversary of JMTC

Just My Two Copper's One Year Anniversary is today!

So much has happened and been going on that I didn't really even notice the time going by like a freight train. I hope this year has been an amazing time for you as well and that I provided you with the information, inspiration, and most imporantatly the intellectual enhancements you needed to become an expert at the world of warcraft auction house.

In celibration of the one year anniversary of the blog I've dropped my gold guide's price down to $27 for the holiday season as well as added an amazing update with a niche market I discovered that provides an average of 600% profit on investment depending on server prices (based on testing on a dozen live servers). The item involved will blow your mind because I gaurantee you weren't expecting it to be this valuable. Besides this sweet method, I've also upgraded the guide to include several walkthroughs for key addons that will make your life so much easier in world of warcraft. Guides for professions have been updated as well with a few minor specific methods.

Please comment on your experiences with the blog and how it has impacted your wow life, or perhaps your real life as well. As mentioned on the how I wow podcast (RIP), I'm a pretty good motivational speaker and I hope I've positively influenced your habbits both by my words and my achievements.

Never stop learning, reading, experimenting, and most importantly... HAVING FUN!

Thank you for this amazing year. Looking forward to another!

Do you dream of wow?

I've had several conversations in the past with both interviewers and friends who jokingly assumed that I must dream of wow to have all these ideas about making gold constantly pouring from my overused and abused brain. The truth is... no I have never dreamt of wow.

Have you dreamt of wow, whether it was your character, an action within the game, or just the world of warcraft universe in general? Share your stories in the comments section :D

All right this is a blog about making gold so here's a very easy to make potion that is great for raiding 80's, especially warlocks: Major Dreamless Sleep Potion. (New WOTLK Version here: Potion of Nightmares

Check the comments on wowhead for the locations for horde and alliance to buy this recipe.

Saronite Bars vs Titanium Bars After Patch 3.3

My Server Pre Patch 3.3
Saronite Bars - 2 gold each (16 gold for a transmute)
Titanium Bar - 30 gold each

If you buy out Saronite Bars now on my server at the current price you will be able to sell after patch 3.3 for 18+ gold and make a profit. Just how low will Titanium Bars drop? I guess I should pull out my crystal ball and tell you... 20 gold each. I am predicting that Titanium Bars will fall 33% in price and saronite bars will go up to the point where one stack is worth around 2.5 Titanium Bars.

So let's say my perfect storm happens and Titanium bars fall to 20 gold, Saronite Bars rise to 50 gold a stack. Regardless of how you stockpiled bars to resell them as titanium ore you would be selling for the same price as just selling the bars post patch. This is important however, for if you do buy up saronite bars for 2 gold a piece or lower pre patch 3.3 then you will be able to sell both titanium bars and saronite bars for the same profit margin, thus making it easier to unload your stock faster.

What do you think will happen with the prices, make a guess in the comment sections on the price of a stack of 20 saronite bars vs a titanium bar.

Onyxia Brawl Warcraft Free For All

If you'd like to participate in the next brawl plz contact myself or brutality (Alliance) on Onyxia.


Suggestion Box Friday (11/13/09)

This is your day to be heard. You can talk about anything related to world of warcraft, so go nuts :) !

Cool Contest at WowStability.com

Want to win a 60 day Wow time card? Check out this post at wowstability.com for more info. All you have to do to enter is leave a comment on the site with an answer to the question: "If Arthas took the job of Santa Claus, what kind of Christmas would it be?" Contest ends November 30th 2009. Go show your support for this new wow resource and maybe win that 60 day Wow time card!

Gold Guide Announcement

I have been making some serious changes to my gold guide, including dropping the price down to $27.00 for the holidays and adding a super secret gold making tip so powerful that it has made me 600% of my investment every day that I've tested it. Several minor updates were made for patch notes and changes to certain strategies as well.

Your Comments of the Week

Regarding How to Deal with Undercutters
Anonymous

I use to make gold with the 100+hp twink enchant, the mats are 2 X Small Brilliant Shard and the price per shard is about 1-2g/each on my server, still I manage to sell the enchant for ~70g, and I sell several each week. By simply buying out all of the shards, so I deny all my competition. I totally agree with Daxenos that buying out all the netherweave cloth would be the greatest strategy, if the mats are gone the competition will be gone soon tooGood luck

Regarding Endless Rage and Frost Wyrm Alchemist Spreadsheet
Zeran said...

I agree with you honors, but you have to think about the numbers. Even if tanks (I know I am) are twice as likely to flask as dpsers, there is a minimum of 2.5 dps per tank (using a 2tank 3healer 5dps setup) the ratio gets worse as you look at 25man raids (I've never seen more than 4 tanks in a 25man, but even if you had 5 and 5 healers you still have 3 dps per tank). Thus, while I wouldn't overlook stone blood, dps flasks will sell better.

Regarding Auction House Tycoon Gold Strategies
goth said...

I agree with you views on the auction house. While I myself don't feel that I have reached tycoon status, it is the next logical step to breaking into triple figures. I pay close attention to some of the big tymers on forums, but still feel it takes much longer for me to learn a new market. I am more the type that tries to hammer a square peg into a round hole until it finally dawns on me to try a different approach.Hopefully, they will open up the mail system for player characters on both factions. Right now it is a major pain to get good across factions, plus the fees are a killer.

Discussion

Will saronite bars rise in value with the removal of the titanium cooldown? Will titanium bar prices fall as the saronite bar prices rise? Is it worthwhile to start buying saronite bars at the current price and then sell titanium one week after the patch lower than everyone else?

How to Deal With Undercutters - Netherweave Bags

I received this email, my response is below it:

"Hi Markco, hanks for your blog. I've been following it for a few months now and managed to cross the 50k gold threshold for the first time this week ;)

I have a question for you regarding bidding wars. One of the tips I picked up from JM2C was making netherweave bags. The profit margin on these was pretty good. Mats on my server usually come to around 5.5G per bag and on a good day they were selling for 13G. There were already a few people selling large numbers of bags on the AH, so, not wanting to be seen as a threat, I would only post 3 or 4 bags at a time. This way, I figured, my bags would definitely sell and some of the competitions probably would too. I would do this three or four times a day (don't have time to be on all day long) and was turning a pretty nice profit.

Yesterday, however, disaster struck - a price war erupted between the major manufacturers. Each of the three main players started undercutting each other. And not just with three or four bags, but dozens at a time. This has meant that each time one guy got undercut he had no choice but to further undercut because with 30 to 40 bags on the AH cheaper than his there was no way they would sell out in 48 hours. Today bags are on the AH for 7G a piece - next to no profit for anyone. I'm not posting any new bags right now.

Any advice on how to deal with this situation? I guess I could try buying out the cheap bags until the price was back up to 13G, then resell them. But thats a significant investment and the (dumb) competition could just start another price war. Any ideas you have would be welcome.

Regards,

Whiteleaf"

Great question Whiteleaf and there are a few ways to go about beating your competition when they do this. First off, never assume that someone is not making money or that everyone has the same minimum profit range. It could be that the person posting has a farmer selling them items cheaper than you can get them.

Here's what I would do because it is unlikely that anyone farms the cloth for netherweave bags anymore (botters wouldn't anway):

Realise that this is just two or more people attempting to control the market. Buy out the bags below minimum profit and wait till after the weekend to sell your bags again. Continue doing what you're doing with a few here or there to allow for competetition and avoid price wars. Your competetition right now is too dumb to think like you did, so until they give up you will just have to wait it out and be patient.

Hope that helps!

Markco

Endless Rage Frost Wyrm Alchemist Spreadsheet

Check out this forum post on Whittaker's alchemy spreadsheet which he developed for his alchemy business. I really like his style and how he handled the creation of this spreadsheet. Definately worth the download!

The spreadsheet focuses on Endless Rage and Frost Wyrm flasks which are key dps raiding flasks at the moment and will be in high demand while raiders push to take down the lich king in icecrown.

Auction House Tycoon Gold Strategies

I'm no statician, but I'd bet money that less than 1% of the players in world of warcraft would be willing to try something as complicated as the Saronite Shuffle.

In building a strategy for becoming an auction house tycoon, you should keep in mind that the more steps involved in your schemes, the safer you will be against copy cats. You may be wondering what makes a scheme difficult to copy, so let me break it down for you in a quick list:

Having connections with the opposite faction (you will need friends for this since you cannot buy auctions from any of your own characters), commanding multiple professions on multiple characters, aquiring high amounts of startup cash, and managing to snag rare patterns or mats greatly distinquishes you from your fellow auction house tycoon. Less tangible and measurable assets would include: cyclical knowledge, understanding of supply vs demand, psychological understanding of buyers and sellers, as well as experience working with large amounts of auctions.

So the next time you come up with a clever way for making gold, be sure to always be on the look out for additional income paths stemming from your original idea which will complicate the way you're making gold and cover your wow auction house tycoon tracks. Work towards building up your own mini-cartel among your characters by getting them to atleast level 65 and maxed out in their professions. Something my girlfriend tried was making four alchemists and taking advantage of their gem transmutes. She makes thousands of gold each week doing almost nothing but transmutes and relying on alchemy procs for easy cash. Now how many people do you know who have four alchemists? Not many right? There's an example of covering your tracks by having complicated requirements for making gold.

Farmers are your friends

Silently Farming,
His dusty pickaxe in hand,
Making the Golds

Farmers are a wonderful thing in world of warcraft. Now I don't mean gold farmers who try to sell accounts or make gold and what not. Though I must admit I have a blast kiting bots to opposing faction cities... maybe I'll make a video of that some day hehe. Who I'm talking about are the people who devote an hour or two a day (sometimes more) to grabbing in game materials and then they simply dump them on the ah for the cheapest price in order to get instant gratification and fill their coffers.

Taking advantage of these people will not only give them the instant gratification they live for, but also give you the materials for crafting at excellent profit margins. It's all about ROI after all (return on investment).

How do you find a farmer? It's actually quite easy, you simply look at the auction house and whisper people who post everyday. Be kind but don't let them know why you want the items. Simply say that you leveling a profession, that's the easiest cover up for whatever devious plans you have for their materials.

Buyers are just as important as farmers. If you can find the ultimate cycle, you will have a farmer giving you materials, you'll be crafting some item for super cheap but making excellent profit, and you'll have a buyer waiting on the other end who can't wait to buy every last item you created. Everybody wins! This is the basis for the wow economy after all: farmers, crafters, and buyers.

Here's how I make 1-2k gold a day from inscription without selling a single glyph:

1. Get herbs from three different farmers for 15-17 gold a piece.
2. Mill everything while talking on the phone or reading a book or w/e.
3. Craft everything into inks and sell the mats to buyers who have sent letters requesting snowfall inks or inks of the sea for their own crafting desires.

That's not the most profitable way to make gold with inscription, after all I could change places in that pyramid of players so that I'm the person buying the crafted goods to resell for more profit, but it is a very profitable methods for making gold. I gave it a try and it was definately a great way to make gold without risking anything.

Give it a try with other trade skills such as disenchanting, prospecting, or any form of crafting. Find a farmer, craft your goods, sell to a person who will try to resell them or craft something else from your mats.

It's a lot of work but it's gauranteed gold for those that need it, so I definately recommend this for someone who is hard on their luck for cash. Also, be prepared to reinvest a lot of what you make to keep your business running, I tried this for a few days and found myself buying herbs with 75% of my profits each time and expanding by 100-200 herbs purchased every day.

The Art of Undercutting

Undercutting is an art form in its own right. Some players undercut by 1 copper, others by 10-50% of the original price. Some use the Quick Auction addon which you can find detailed in this thread on the JMTC forums.

Many of you are probably wondering, well what does Markco do? Does he play the 1 copper fiasco and sit at his computer for hours waiting to be undercut so that he can return the favor? Does he always stick to a 10% reduction of price, hoping to infuriate his competition? Does he enjoy talking in the third person?

I'd have to say no to all three of those questions.

What I do is gauge supply and demand. Price is merely the bow with which I play the perverbial auction house violin. Undercutting is a powerful tool which will always negatively effect the price of an item. By being wise about how much and how many items you undercut with you can keep the price from dropping too drastically, or you can send it into the stinking pits of the earth, dragging your competetition down with you.

A normal undercut is what I like to refer to as a 5% cut in which I am selling one or two items and want them to be the best deal when I think they are going to sell rather quickly. A severe undercut is when I want to drive off competetition and force both the auctioneers and then buyers to grab my goods. I find that the latter is far more profitable because 1. people will not undercut someone who drastically goes below their profitable price range and 2. you're now appealing to another market entirely: your fellow auctioneers.

Take armor vellum III's for example, I can sell these for 2 gold each and still make a minimum profit. So I post three hundred of them for 2.5 gold each on any given day and every single one will sell in 24 hours. The next morning I wake up and there are my armor vellum III's sitting pretty and being sold for 500% markup from what I was selling them at. In comes another 300 armor vellum III's for the auctioneers and buyers to pick up. I make oodles and oodles of cash and the people buying me out relist for oodles and oodles of cash. I win, they win, and the consumers win. What's more, no one else has the cahonies to do the same, and if they do I will simply run the price into the break even point which I know they can't compete with. That's my favorite way to undercut.

Keep in mind that undercutting drastically effects supply and demand. If you want your goods to sell quickly and efficiently then do not preform a small undercut with so many items that supply gets too far ahead of the demand for the item. You'll be stuck with items that quickly become undercut and never sell. Remember that undercutting is an artform, so don't go in there wildly waving giant paint brushes while drawing stick figures on a torn canvas.

Strategic Plan for the Wealthy Auctioneer

The large majority of players using the auction house are one time shoppers/sellers who are unaware of the eb and flow of the river they are temporarily traveling. Nor do they understand the dangers of attempting to cross without understanding the factors involved. Luckily, you are not one of those people. You came to this blog and the hundreds like it because you wanted to unlock the 'secrets' to making gold but mostly because you want to understand.

There are three 'pieces' to making gold that you need which mirror the factors required for success in real life:

1. Motivated to Learn
2. Organizaion
3. Determination to Stick to a Plan

Being motivated to learn is what will begin your quest for gold domination as well as keep it healthy and growing. If you ever stop learning you will soon fall prey to the person that didn't stop. When you first start out you want to be a voratious reader and be like a sponge to a current of knowledge. Experimentation is also part of being motivated, so feel free to take big risks and remember that even if you lose out you still learned something in the process.

Organization is what seperates two well learnt auctioneers from each other. If you have everything planned out into a system then you will not only save time but your customers will come to expect your goods. Organization is the key to creating a consistent income, as well as helps you learn your own markets because you are always present in them.

Determination to stick to your organized and motivated plan for success is what allows you survive tough times. Don't mistake determination for stupidy however, as a wise man once said: Consistency is a virtue if you aren't a screwup!

What should you do with this post?

First, get a piece of paper out and organize everything down to running to the mailbox for all your characters. Create a day by day to-do list as well as organize any cooldowns you might have on various cycles. Try to focus on a Tuesday to Tuesday cycle that you can follow along and repeat. Write down everything including which characters you log on, what you will sell and in what quantities, time you will spend farming, etc. In other words become a well oiled machine following an intricate plan for success.

Second, stick to your plan and ride the tough days out. Think long term, and always look to take advantage of those that aren't. Look for price gougers, people dumping stocks, etc.

Finally, keep learning and experimenting. You'll find that the time you save with your organization will allow you to mill around the auction house looking for deals or taste markets. Find farmers, play in trade chat, or do anything else you can think of to continue learning and exploring.

Most importantly... HAVE FUN!

Suggestion Box Friday (11/6/09)

Suggestion box friday is your chance to be the blog author. It's when I, the money making guru of glorious gold stacking glory descends from my frozen, saronite plated throne for a short time in order to provide you, the loveable rank amateur, a chance to try your luck at making heads or tails out of the living beast we call the auction house.

In short: You can basically write about anything you want, and I sort of take the day off to go get smashed on kungaloosh.

Comments of the Week

Regarding Two Manning Flame Leviathan for Gold

Thomas said...
Doomwalker can also be two manned (even soloed according to wowhead comments) and drops even more gold as well as level 70 BoE epics (which, granted, doesn't sell for all that much anymore)

Regarding Winter Veil Coming Soon

Deborah said...
Agreed. The holiday market is, at times, amazing. I sold much more ice cold milk and simple flour than I thought I would in the past 2 days. But the reason why is so obvious that it is easy to miss: no vendors in dalaran sell these items. Or they sell just one, I can't remember which now. Being a mage, I can port willynilly to get what I want (hint: exodar) and be back again quickly. Except when the bug for the bread of dead existed and it all went poof* when you ported.

In any case, don't underestimate the power of small items. And since these are such cheap investments, you can undercut way down to the quick. Also - if you end up with excess supply, keep it until the next holiday. Odds are that there is some item that will use them.

Cataclysm - The End of the Individual Auctioneer

I've been thinking lately about Cataclysm and how guild talent trees are going to play out. For one, I see these trees being very customizable but also restricting like a normal talent tree in that you have to choose specific talents for specific goals. There will most likely be a 'best' pve spec, pvp spec, but then there will be the hybrids as well.

There will be one hybrid that is going to be focused on making gold, lots of gold actually. Everything from increasing the amount of gold your guild farms from mobs to the amount of gold bosses drop are already talents on the trees, and I'm sure more will be developed.

A long time ago I made a joke talent tree for the auction house, this was before the Cataclysm was announced so the idea was pretty revolutionary. With the onslaught of guild talent points this 'farming spec' or even 'auction house spec' could become a reality.

Imagine guilds for your alts based solely on farming cash... will this destroy the individual aucitoneer? Everything about the cataclysm seems to suggest that blizzard wants to focus on group play... bgs and instances are going to require a guild to be effective and earn top gear. With talent points that boost your income while farming, how could you pass this up as an auctioneer?

Now obviously I haven't forgotten the fact that most of you savy auctioneers use your own single player owned guild banks and guilds, but this will not work in cataclysm. In order to get guild talent points you will need to build up some form of guild points (not yet announced) which will allow you to purchase those precious talent points. Ideas for accruing the points include daily heroics, bgs, arenas, and dungeon clears... how are you going to get all those points solo?

There is one final work around for those of you who do not want to lose your individual selling style and that's the purchasing of guilds already built with talent points and guild points for retalenting their trees (since you'll want to change their pvp/pve spec'd guild to a money making one). How hard will this be? Who knows, all I know is that guild cartels are going to start showing up, and it will be interesting to see what this does to the auction house. These cartels will be able to spend their guild points on raiding consumables and sell those to the various raiding guilds on the same server who might be saving points to buy more talents. The possibilities are endless and the speculation bottomless until more concrete information comes out. Just be ready to start making more friends on the auction house!

Two Manning Flame Leviathon for Easy Gold

This tip comes from Ashe, one of my favorite youtube gold making artists!

Hey again Markco!

Just thought I'd make a quick email about something I like to complete each week. This is not a new idea but I imagine a few people might not know about it.

Two manning Flame Leviathan in Ulduar 10 can be great fun and provide some real benefits. You usually receive around 150 gold as well as two epic ilevel 219 items that can be disenchanted. If you are an engineer the profit is even greater as you can disassemble the boss for extra items.

I have made a very quick youtube video showing how I two man the boss and I hope this cold be useful for some of you:

Winter Veil Coming Soon

I'm heading back home today and am looking forward to see how the scavenger hunt went last friday. Were you guys stuck on any of them? Now's your chance to finish it up!

There are a few major part to Winter's Veil which you can make money off of if you start preparing now.

Winter Squid

Catchable in Hinterlands, Azshara, Tanaris and Feralas.

As pointed out in a comment here:
September , October , November -> winter squid and summer bass
December , January , February -> winter squid only

Here's an interesting point:
June, July ,August -> summer bass only

So if you're patient you may want to sell your winter squid during the summer for some low supply, medium demand for cooking/fishing achievements.

Small Eggs - Zach wrote:

"Hello Markco, with the holidays fast approaching, I figured it might be a good time to remind everyone of the profit that can be made from small eggs. Once winter veil hits, those who still need achievements will pay decent sums of gold for these easily obtained items. The best place I have found to collect them is the dragonhawks in the blood elf starting area."

Tailoring Patterns - Tiffany wrote:

"Wool cloth: For hordies just head to Silvermoon. The tailor's shop in the Bazaar sells not only wool bits of cloth for a couple of silver, but also bolts of wool cloth that will be a hot commodity in about a month when tailors start making winter clothes and leather workers start making winter boots. The cloth needs to come somewhere so grab the bolts and bits of cloth wherever you can find it and stock up fast. I have an alt camped at the tailor shop and nearly every time I log on I end up with 4-9 pieces of wool cloth and sometimes 2-3 bolts of wool for a few silver each. So worth it when the cloth goes for 90s or so a pop (each) on my server."

21 Tips in 21 Days - The Series

I'd like anyone new to the blog to take a look at this awesome series (pats self on back), and for those that have already read them, please add your own input to the comments section.

This kind of set of posts was actually really fun to do, if you'd like to see anther simliar series add in the comments what you would like it to be about. Please keep it gold making related (sorry prot pvp fanatics).

Dealing with Saturated Markets

Twinkletoes wrote on the forums regarding saturated markets:

There are a few things that instantly spring to mind.

Firstly, you recognise that a market has a limit and it would appear from what you've said that you are posting right at your markets limit. This is a good thing and is something many people dont get.

There are really only two ways round this. Dip into another market or time your market better.

In timing your market you should look to find out when your items are bought and be there to repost so you always maintain a full presence. To avoid sitting on the AH all day and night have a think about who's buying and what they are buying for. We know its probably enchanters buffing a friends/guildies gear or people gemming up new epix. That says to me you should post just after the instance reset at 9am server (for europe) and just after people finish raiding. Be there spamming trade with your wares while your at it. I think there is a beancounter data parser on this fourm to help.

The second way is of course to enter into other markets. Grab one of these all singing all dancing spreadsheets that are knocking around input your servers numbers. This will let you know whats profitable. I suggest as your already supplying the raider try looking into other similar markets. Flasks, Leg Armour, Food, etc. If it was me I would spend some time understanding the high end food market and the enchant scrolls market.

Finally, 14k a week is a good number to be at. Auctioneering 101 is patience. Understand when your onto a good thing, keep it quiet and simply repeat what your doing gradually building up your reserves.

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