Define Your Niche and Know Your Market To Guarantee Long-term Profits

Guest Post By Aliciana from Adventures in Warcraft

Image Credit: Nerf Faids
In any business professional marketers and economists will tell you that the best way to guarantee continuous long term profits is by defining both your niche (area of specialty)  and your target market (who you want to sell to), and then dominating that particular market.  As a person who has owned multiple businesses over the last two decades and who has also applied this principle to making gold in World of Warcraft, I can vouch for the fact that defining your niche, and continually operating within that niche,  is the absolute best way to make steady recurring profit. 

The easiest way to begin to define your niche is to start with whatever professions you are leveling. What materials do you gather or what items do you craft that are consistently in high demand?  Are there any other uses for a particular crafted item? You may also want to look at items that drop consistently while you are questing? Once you have the above figured out, then you can begin to build up your base inventory which consists of staple items that sell consistently at a guaranteed price point over the long term.

A great example of staple items are bags. Every single person in the game needs bags to carry their materials and inventory and each crafting profession has several bags that they can learn to craft. However, some bags sell better than others so as a seller you may have to monitor the Auction House for a short time and go through a little bit of trial and error to figure out which ones sell the best on your server. 

Once you have your base inventory of staple items established, then you can add additional items to further increase profits. Just remember that while specialty or trending items may sell for a lot more gold, their sales and price points are typically sporadic. That is why it is imperative to have this base of consistently selling items.   

The next step is to determine your target market. Figure out who is going to buy these items and why? It is also beneficial to know when your target market is most likely to purchase the items. For example, if you decide to focus on your Alchemy profession your niche and target market might look something like this:
  • What = flasks and potion
  • Who = players who are running instances and raiding.
  • Why = the flasks provide useful buffs that increase their stats.
  • When = what nights are the most popular raid nights on your server?
By focusing on a specific niche making gold becomes much easier because the seller becomes an expert who:

  1. Knows the market value of materials and when to stock up on underpriced materials. 
  2. Is familiar with all the items in their chosen niche(s) and are able to immediately recognize, snatch up, and relist items that are listed for way under market value. 
  3. Knows  the best times and prices to purchase needed materials and to list items
  4. Knows the best price points at which to list their items for a quick sale
  5. Knows any alternate use of every item within their niche market (ie: required to craft other items, needed to complete quests and achievements, etc.) 
  6. Anticipates the current and future needs of their target market by monitoring any related patch changes such as drop rates, new recipes, new items, stat changes, etc.
  7. Knows how to recognize fads and trends and when to move on to another market
Expert sellers simply take this concept and multiply it over multiple niches.  This allows the seller to increase their base inventory, and add additional items to their inventory, thus increasing their profits. 

So what niches could you master?

Bio: Aliciana (better known as Ali by her friends) plays World of Warcraft on the Malfurion, Kael’thas, and Cenarius servers (US) and is a member of the guild NoRestFortheWicked. She is also a blogger who enjoys writing about her Adventures in Warcraft and sharing tips, tricks, and discoveries that feed her WOW addiction.

16 comments: on "Define Your Niche and Know Your Market To Guarantee Long-term Profits"

  1. Thanks for featuring my post:)

  2. Nice image, I remember editing that and adding that border for my post at Nerf Faids. <_<;; Perhaps you may want to give credit if you're going to rip images from other gold blogs and websites?

    (Reposted to clarify.)

  3. Ali, thank you for the post, it is very informative, I'm gonna check out your blog.

    Faid, you gave credit yourself to another web site, just because you put a new boarder on it doesn't make it your photo. Get over yourself, please.

  4. So give credit to that site, I never said it has to have credit given to me. It's called integrity; giving credit for something that isn't yours. Plagiarism isn't something to "get over," it's an ethical issue.

    I was surprised about how much is "borrowed" from other blogs within the gold blogosphere but, as the bloggers usually put their own spin on something, I never had a huge problem with it. But blatantly taking something from another site without even a tip of the hat to the original source? Wow, that's pretty shitty.

    It's not mine, I don't care if I'm not credited. It's the fact that a blog I respected has breached such ethical guidelines as to not credit ANYONE with something that isn't their's. Credit for all I care; it's where I got the original image. But don't treat an issue such as plagiarism with a "get over yourself" attitude, have some integrity. Laws broken? Probably not, I doubt that image is beyond the fair use boundaries. But, god, what ever happened to class?

  5. Faid seems so butt-hurt lately , if I remember correctly, she spent a whole blog post complaining about how Marcko wasn't making his own posts anymore, and how she's greatest because she plays every part of the game and blah.. blah.. blah..

  6. Faid-you brough class into this conversation, so why don't you have class, i mean if it's that much of an issue for you then message the blog owner privately instead of calling him/her out on the comments accusing them of ripping an image off from somewhere.

  7. Since I am the one who started all this by using the image in my post, let me begin by apologizing to Faid and to JMTC for any error on my part in utilizing the image in question. I had no idea that the image was not an open source stock image when I included it in the post. I will be glad to request that the image be removed.

  8. @Matt: Thanks for the positive feedback.

  9. Faid, next time send us an email and we will correct it quietly without offending the guest poster. You know darned well jmtc does not steal content in any form on purpose.

  10. 3 steps to making yourself look like a selfish idiot

    1. Take photo found on some obscure website
    2. Add border
    3. Cry when a 3rd website uses the picture because they didn't credit you

    As has already been said, get over yourself. Nobody cares about your silly border

  11. Duely noted. I didn't intend for it to turn into something but apparently it did; twas not my intent, my apologies for that. I shall e-mail any concerns in the future. =]

  12. *shrug* It's not about the border or about me.

    But at the end of the day, none of this is about anything but a great post by Ali. =] Less derailing now that the matter has been settled, maybe? If anyone wants to contact me, they have avenues to do so. Please, quit hitting up Ali's great post with anti-Faid comments?

  13. I know Faid and I know that she means well. I can write something in a "nice" voice as per my intention. Someone else can read it in their "angry" voice and it takes on a whole new meaning.

  14. Great post. It's a hard road working out your niche markets and learning the ropes, but if you start small you can steadily make your way forward.

    Personally, I have very little time to play, but with what little time I do have, I have been trying to keep track of a few things in between levelling.

    The most annoying thing is this huge stockpile of pre-Cata stuff, from bags to ore that simply won't sell - yet. Wasted a large amount of deposit fees trying to work out the best prices and best times with so much stuff being returned to my inbox (hundreds of mails returned every weekend, which is when I post the most).

    But hopefully the sacrifice will be worth it one day when things settle down a bit and there is demand for all this stuff. :)

  15. @Gecko - try during the week for those goods. I am finding the weekend to be most competitive (F/Sa/Su). As for the previous parts relating to any *bashes*, I would like to see them removed. Point was made, apologies given/ accepted; I prefer it more to the post/subject as a casual reader may stop somewhere in the argument and think this site is like others that are not, shall we say, meaningful. By my count, 11 items could be removed since it has been rectified and yes, I am aware of integrity, etc. Just seeing if 'culling' is in the works.

  16. Very nice post. This could easily be used to instruct new AH players on how to begin earning gold. It is similarly helpful for veterans who occasionally may lose sight of the basics.

    Funny you should mention bags. I stayed away from the bag market in WoLK just because the margins were so low. I was able to get better ROI elsewhere.

    Now in Cat I can get the cloth for around 5g/stack (my cap is 7g/stack). My floor price on Netherweave bags is 17g. That makes my profit at 10g/bag worth the time. I sell 10-15 each day at that price, and often can get 20g to 22g per bag.

    Cloth prices exceed 7g/stack? I don't buy. Bag prices fall below 17g? I don't sell.

    I start each day making the bolts (runs while I walk the dogs) and then queue the bags (runs while I shower) so it doesn't impact play time.

    Niche markets are great, and like you so aptly post it is critical to know the market and set firm limits on where you will buy and sell. Ensure your profits.

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