How to Deal with Constant Undercutting

Here is an email exchange between myself and Extensity, Frostmourne US. He asked a great question a few weeks ago on undercutting and hopefully my answer will help everyone who has a similar quandry.

"Hi there Marcko,


Firstly I'd like to thank you for your massive contribution to the WoW community and for the information you hand out so freely. All the little tips and suggestions have made a big difference on how I play this game.

On that note I'd like to ask the questions 'How can I keep competitive on an overcrowded market?', 'Are there certain days you don't bother with certain markets?'

On my server it was particularly difficult to catch up and match the prices of glyphs. The only way I can stay competitive with the multitudes who are listing them is to cancel all my uncut auctions every 5 minutes. Unfortunately this just kills a lot of profit for all of us. So back to the question, is there any other way to keep competitive without sitting here all day cancelling and relisting auctions.

I know a simple answer to this: Diversify. But I'd like to know how you deal with constant undercutters.

Thanks,
Extensity - Frostmourne US."

Markco: Are you selling all your items the same way or do you sell certain glyphs differently? Are you focusing on anything in particular?

"I'm treating my enchanting and glyph markets a little differently. Enchanting I buy low during the week and relist for peak times. Enchanting I list multiple at a time; where as glyphs I list only 1 at a time generally because I know it'll get undercut particularly fast.

Part of the difficulty on this server is it seems that demand is almost equal to the supply (for the time being). Northrend herbs aren't dropping below 17g per stack, meaning it's costing me approximately 10g per glyph to make. So when I expanded to listing more than 50 different types I included the glyphs that'll make me 1g profit to the ones that'll make me 70g (Mutilate, etc). Just not sure what to do when nothing sells when I'm not online because I get undercut under each market.

Thanks for response"

Markco: Use wowpopular.com, the jmtc forums and the APM (or ZA) summary scans to determine which items you should craft. I would focus your glyph efforts on no more than 30 glyphs that all sell for 4x the cost of mats. List one of each every single time you post and keep 5 of each in inventory throughout the week. This way you don't have to cancel and repost each time, you can just post. You'll make far more gold per hour and free up quite a bit of time for other markets like your enchanting. By eliminating markets which take up too much of your time you will slowly build up a list of most profitable markets for your valuable time.

"Hi there Marcko,

Following what I learned yesterday about focusing on at least 10 glyphs that sell for 40g+, I've been able to sustain competition on those while making the same profit I would on many of the others. Also spending less time cancelling and relisting the minor profitable glyphs I've had more time to casually flip epic gems on another toon earning double the amount per hour.

Also started to buy herbs when I don't need them but they're under my thresh hold, so I can sustain a 7-8g cost per glyph when the herb prices are high - something I learned on JMTC as well.

I use Auctioneers "Appraise"; Auctionators Undercutting Checker, and APM to see which gems/glyphs (and Enchanting mats on peak times) are most profitable.

So thanks for all the tips. All of them "work" and most definitely help."

6 comments: on "How to Deal with Constant Undercutting"

  1. First off I would like to thank Marko for the awesome website, I only started trying to make gold 2 months ago and since then I have been concentrating on Enchanting. However after Glyphmas and reading people's stories of massive success I decided to try inscription and the profit margins on my server are huge! I sold a glyph this morning for 200g that’s a massive 185g profit which I could never dream of before I started reading these guides! I might even consider purchasing your full guide once I can scrape some extra cash together.

    I have also been looking at ways to reduce the amount of time I spend waiting for my mailbox to refresh and at the moment I post 2 of every glyph I can produce and use KTQ to maintain a stock of just 2 of each glyph. Since reading a little more I plan to expand my existing stock in time for cata and I am now just listing 1 of each glyph which are split 50:50 over two characters saving me a massive amount of time without really affecting my profits.

    The only thing left to do is buy every last herb I can and get it all converted into the lower level inks before Jessica stops trading with me. I was hoping to stash at least 500 of each ink but I was also hoping someone help me work out the best ratio of inks to convert based on the number of glyphs each ink can be used to produce. Anyone any ideas on where I would find this information?

  2. This is how my ink usage breaks down. I have an entire 6-tab bank filled with IotS and Ethereal getting 1 full tab each and everything else worked out as a ratio from there. This is separate from my current crafting inventory.

    Ink of the Sea 5
    Ethereal 5
    Lion 4
    Midnight 4
    Jadefire 3
    Celestial 2
    Shimmering 1

  3. Tom Tom...I too am actively trying to stock pile inks for "Glyphmas" round 2. Although I do not anticipate quite the same demand as when 4.0.1 first dropped, there will still be piles of gold to be made here. Lets just hope not all the scribes out there will be as prepared as we are.

    Instead of just converting to straight lower level inks, I'm actually going to do a bit of research on wowpopular and make the glyphs themselves. Although this affords a bit less flexibility if you were to sell out of one particular glyph or another, it will save you valuable time that you do not have to spend crafting when demand spikes and you should be cancelling/posting. I still plan on keeping some lower inks in case the demand on a few glyphs is abnormally high.

    That being said, you should be able to find a decent ratio by running a little math with the top 5 most popular glyphs of each class and going from there.

    Cheers to Cata in 19 Days!! :)

    HotXBun

  4. Well, I prefer the "deep undercutting strategy".

    I'm not sure where I have read of that the first time, but it involves undercutting under your competition's fallback price (or under material price, even) and then buying out the undercutters or just making them retreat from the market for some time.

    This requires some great deal of sensibility, however, so that you're not the one being conned.

  5. Undercut or not, the secret is consistency: diversify and post as many different items as possible. Post them every day. Repeat: post them every day. People are lazy. At some point, they will get tired of it or forget about it.

    Right now, I'm the sole seller of Copper Rods on my server (thanks Markco!) and despite the occasional price war, I'm still selling them.
    Since my cost is negligible, I can undercut to nothing! I just keep them up and people find some other niche.

    That being said, watch the deposit costs on every single item you post. If my deposit is more than say 10% of my list price, I don't sell it, or only if I know it will sell. Even then, I may reduce the time to 24 or even 12 hours in the case of heavy competition, such as cut gems or glyphs.

  6. Consistency is the biggest key. I agree. I have dominated many markets not by undercutting but by being there every day. You dont need to move people out by undercutting. Most leave on there own.

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