All Your Sha Crystals Are Mine

Many times there is a argument within my head that can cause the brain to grind to a halt.   Usually this is wrapped around something that I have yet to understand with the market.

Sha Crystals have slowly become devalued as the Mists of Pandaria expansion matures.  From there start that a set of 10 for an enchant could cost thousands of gold,  to the much smaller amount that they cost now.

As I was looking through the Auction House I noticed that many of these valuable enchanting items were going for lower and lower prices.  Easily outstripping their value when processed by an enchanter.   So I decided to take a test run at one of the few basic premises that have brought gold into my pocket for many years.

I purchased all of the Sha Crystals with the low being 65g and the high being 85g.  Even at that price I could use them for enchants and come out ahead.  With the big three wrist enchants (Agi, Int, Str) going for a thousand gold a piece I could just drop them into making these and make a profit.  But my favorite strategy is to get the item to pay for itself.

After buy 30 of them (healthy investment) I listed up 10 on the AH for 150g a piece.  This paid for over half of the investment if I sold them this way.  If they didn't sell then I would just be out the AH fees and still process them into their enchants.

The next day I ended up selling three of them before being undercut so that netted me a quarter of my investment back.  If I had wanted to be more patient I could have worked half the batch of the Sha Crystals the same way and ended up just having the other half of the crystals be pure profit.  Ultimately I ended up multipling my investment by 4 (used a couple of them for personal enchants) and then went on my merry way.

But I was thinking of exactly why there was this complete imbalance to the enchanting system.  I have always tried to keep a 20% markup on my enchants.  This means to me that I won't list an enchant unless I can get 20% profit between the cost of the materials and the sale of the enchant.  So if it would cost me 200g to buy the items from the open market,  I would not make the enchant for anything less than 240g.  If the item goes for higher then that's just bonus gravy for the potatoes.

But in this case for lets say for the Enchant Bracer: Greater Agility it takes three Sha Crystals to make the enchant.  If you can purchase the crystals for 80g avg that sets the cost to manufacture at 240g.  By the 20% method it shouldn't sell for anything les than 288g.  On many servers this enchant goes for 1500g plus.  That is a huge markup on something that has little materials costs. 

So part of my brain wonders if this isn't just laziness for players.  Since LFR and Flex raids use a personal loot system instead of a need/greed you end up with less Sha Crystals being produced that way.  Regular and Heroic runs still can allot items to be sharded.  But the majority of raid crews just drop those into their guild bank or use for personal crafting.  This leaves the real access to Sha Crystals to be the DEing of Epic gear from Timeless Isle.

But with all those limiting factors and the shortage of areas to get crystals.  The mental game is back to square one.  Why are these so cheap still?   The one factor you have to add is the lemming effect.  Too many Auction house players will list whatever they can get out of an item.  Profit now instead of profiting later.  This especially happens with using semi automatic listers such as TSM or Auction Watcher.  Unless your paying strict attention and know a relative value for an item,  it becomes easier to just click and forget.

Timing is also involved when it comes to obtaining good market profit.  Tuesday is a major raid day on most servers because of the reset.  Everyone can get new loot and have to fill that new loot with enchants and gems.  So listing your best items at their most expensive price makes perfect sense.  More bang for the buck.  But Sunday and Monday can be attested by anyone who has been stuck in a bad LFR will tell you that Monday will probably be a slower day.  Less gear one and less updates to the gear.  That's when looking for the undercut deals to purchase becomes the better play.

These are normal and basic tenants to being a good gold goblin.  Look for strengths and weaknesses in markets and capitalize on them.  And never ever be the lazy player who just clicks and forgets.

Good Luck and Good Hunting

Want to get in contact with me? . Email me at Dragonbear @ gmail. Dot com or find me on twitter at "@JMTCMommar" You can find me hanging out on the Shandris Server, chat me up, and I will buy you a glass of juice. 

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