Okay kids. First a story then the background and reasoning behind the story.
This weekend there was a call on trade chat for some fuel iron either in a bar or in ore form. Usually I will message the person to see exactly how much they are looking for. If it is one or two bars then i will end up just dropping them on the Auction House for the going price and tell them they are there. Generally i don't try to gut the person but I have a good off hand knowledge of the value of items.
This time I decided to talk with them for a bit. They were looking to level up their Blacksmithing and so I told them exactly how much I had left (91 bars and 80 ore). They made me an offer that was reasonable then they gave me an option. Take the gold or would I trade for two Living Steel Bars. Now this wasn't going to become lets make a deal and I wasn't in a fancy costume. But I did know the general value of Living Steel and it's listing price on the Auction House. I expanded my mental notes and remembered that Living Steel Belt Buckles were going for considerably higher. So I had multiple options. I could take the gold. I could take the trade for the Living Steel bars and also make the Living Steel Belt Buckles for a profit. I could even take the gold, Buy the Living Steel bars and then make the Belt Buckles (or any comparable item for profit).
The idea is that from one trade instead of just taking gold I opened up multiple options to make even more gold from one trade. This to me is the basic idea behind chain flipping. You are taking one item instead of straight gold and building more profit into the item. Ultimately you can squeeze 2 to 3 times the amount of gold from the trade than if you just take the gold itself.
The big push for this is a knowledge of the market. Fel Iron ore and bars are not in demand other than leveling or the occasional transmog item. So their value is purely based on their rarity. If there are 15 stacks on the AH then your stacks of Fel Iron are only worth that. But if there is none on the AH then this is where your negotiation ability comes into play.
Also with this you can get a decent idea of approximately what the person is going to use the items in trade for. If they are buying only ore, then it could be either leveling Jewelcrafting, Blacksmithing or Engineering. If they are asking only for bars, then you can limit this get a good guess that they are using it to level their Blacksmithing or Engineering. It also gives you the level that they probably are in that field. You could work out a trade that is more useful and flexible than just asking for gold for your items. This doesn't take into effect someone wanting a specific item made or are making it for themselves. But your educated guess can net you a tidy profit over and above the straight market value.
So keep this in mind the next time you do a trade. What do they want it for? What are your needs in that field. Open up the negotiations for the possibility of getting a trade. You have something they want and they easily could have something that you might want. Expanding your sales and production opportunities puts you that much higher in the gold making food chain.
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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