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Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Mysterious Fortune Card Undercutters and How To Deal With Them

Mysterious Fortune Card Undercutters

The popularity of the Mysterious Fortune Card has led to many other players invading the market on servers everywhere.  By now you are not the sole provider or one of a few Mysterious Fortune Card dealers on your server.  The auction house may even be flooded with these cards by people who really have no clue how to market them.  This is your guide for dealing with the competition.

The 5 Ways I Deal With Undercutters
  1. Limit Resources
  2. Bark The Price Up
  3. Stealthy Undercuts
  4. Post In Multi-Pack Stacks
  5. Take A Break
All of these tactics can be used together for increased ways to deal with your Mysterious Fortune Card competition on the Auction House.  Let's go over each of these tactics in more detail.

Limiting Resources

There are a lot of scribes out there that use the auction house in World of Warcraft as their only supplier of herbs.  If you can constantly buy all of the nicely priced Cataclysm herbs, the blackfallow inks, and ashen pigments, you can cripple or limit their access to these materials.  If they can't get new herbs for a profitable price, then they can't compete. 

In addition to buying your materials off of the auction house to limit your competition's ability to do the same, you should also be looking for farmers to supply your crafting needs.  Often times you can set a price that is below auction house value, if you are constantly buying their farmed herbs in large quantities.

Barking The Prices Up

Another strategy is to bark the prices up.  This is easy if you have a macro set up to bark in trade.  By now you know that Fortune Cards don't sell much unless you are barking.  Sure you can get some residual sales or return buyers picking up more off the auction house, but if you are wanting to move large volumes of cards, you simply must be barking in trade chat.

If the current auction house price for Mysterious Fortune Cards isn't as high as you would like it to be, just bark the price up.  When you bark, players rush to the auction house to make a purchase.  You can send those first initial waves to buy up your competition's cards that are below the price threshold that you would like to sell at.  Just bark the price up to the price you would like to see them selling for. 

I like to go ahead and post a few at the low price and in-between price jumps, just to keep track that cards are moving off the auction house and to notify when the next price level has been attained.  This also helps with name recognition on the auction house.  Many players have bought my cards for just a few copper more than the undercutter's because they respect that I am working for my sales or because they thought my barks were creative.

Stealthy Undercutting

Stealthy undercutting is undercutting the cards on the auction house without being seen by your competition.  This involves posting only a handful of Mysterious Fortune Cards in hopes that yours will be bought out from under the other seller.  This works best when you have another scribe barking in trade chat already.  Instead of barking along, make some cards and post them for 1 copper less than his, but just a few at a time.  That way you sell some and he gets a sale or two.  You post a few more and steal some sales away from him.  Keep doing this until your are out of cards or he catches on. 

Posting In Multi-Pack Stacks

Another great way of ignoring other sellers all together is to post and advertise your own unique stack sizes.  Again barking is key as a lot of players won't even bother to check the auction house listings after the first page.  I have found the best stack sizes to be 3, 4, 5, 10, and 20.  I like to post 10 and 20 stacks and add that "10 and 20 pack stacks of Mysterious Fortune Cards are available on the Auction House for you HIGH ROLLERS!"

If you are offering a discount for purchasing multi-packs you can ignore the undercutting wars that sometimes happen with singles.  If singles sell for 35g, try selling and barking some 3 packs for 100g.  Ideally, if the current rate is 35g, I would post some singles at 34.99.99, 3 packs for 100g, 10 packs for 300, and 20 packs for 600.  They will all sell in the various sized stacks as long as you are barking.

Taking A Break

Sometimes there comes a point when its just not worth the effort to try and battle it out in trade chat or on the auction house for your Mysterious Fortune Card sales.  Some days idiots will wall the auction house with fortune cards set at 10g each and in hundreds.  You can risk buying them up and relisting at a higher price, but it is a risk, as they can come back and wall you again.

Some days, just leave this market alone, go back to another market that you work in and come back another day to another new set of card prices.  Most of these players walling the auction house with sub-prime prices are clueless to the real value of these great sellers.  Let them sell for stupid prices and then swoop back in once the market is back to where you would like it to be.

Hope this guide gave you some ideas on how to deal with competition within the Mysterious Fortune Card market, the new inscription goldmine.

10 comments:

  1. A handy trick that I have found on my server where I have LOADS of competition (5th highest EU pop server with 94% ally population):

    Let's say the cards are selling at 35g each and it costs me 15g to make. I will post 1 card at 15g, then post 5 cards at 34g 99s 99c. Most people who are using Auctioneer to undercut use the undercut my competitors function so it will either undercut to 14g 99s 99c (in which case you buy them all up) or they don't post because they don't want to post at that low a price.

    Then you trade bark and watch your 15g card and 5 more of your 34g 99s 99c cards sell. Rinse and repeat.

    It takes a bit of maintenance, but if you are dealing with lazy competition they will leave for a bit eventually.

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  2. I was the first one on my server to start the barking macros. Doing so sold me 2000 cards in 3 days, but it also brought the goblin-wannabes out of the woodwork. In a couple of days, competition got to be so fierce that it just wasn't worth my real-life time babysitting the cards (I only have one account). It's been a week since I've even made any.

    I may hop back in on the weekends, we'll see.

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  3. There's also the fortune cookie market.

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  4. Well I made 20k in the first day of doing this but competition has now moved in and taken them down to cost.

    So I am currently waiting until this weekend to give it another go .

    But when I am ready I will decide on the price i want to sell at and then buyout all below me , then start posting . Then once there set in 1,3,5 and 10s then I will start barking .

    Make sure prior to posting that the blackfallow ink supplies have been sold or posted at the same value as each card .

    Zoxy

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  5. BTW, something that I have utilized is "friendslist'ing" the main barker on my server so when he/she hops on, I hop on my scribe to take advantage of them (and I have also used the one lowbie post for undercutting, and that worked well for me, and then the arguement ensued, I should have SS'd it...hahahaha). I barked once, and got more tells than I cared to receive, so I let others do it for me... =)

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  7. This post should perhaps be "bumped" to apply to all undercutting wars, not just Mysterious Fortune Cards since the principles apply all the time.

    My biggest challenge is dealing with SFPs. An SFP is my own abbreviation for "stupid f'ing player". (It has begun to catch on in /trade, as I see some people commenting on how XXX was an SFP move, lol.)

    SFPs do things that just don't correlate with any logic or market sense. These are like the players who refuse to move out of the fire.

    SFPs are the players who insist that "i farmed it so it was free". These are the AH players who I find will list their cards at half or less of market value. Just to check, I look at the product being marketed below cost and then check the auctions for raw mats. Usually I find the SFP who just put up 100 cards (yes, 100) at 12g with stack after stack of herbs below market too.

    I have been burned too many times with the "buy up the inventory below market" strategy when they just come back and relist another 100 cards. I will give your tips some play and see if any of this helps.

    My experience has been that when dealing with SFPs it is far easier to avoid a specific market and work where I can make gold rather than engage in a prolonged battle. Maybe my lack of engagement is part of the issue.

    Again, nice tips. Thanks for the detailed post.

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  8. I have been able to clear the card market a few times by simply hanging in the AH for an extended period of time, barking, chatting in trade, arguing with haters, etc. I like keeping the card buzz going, because this product is quite legit, and those who fight that logic will actually get a few people on my side and generate an even larger discussion (which sells more cards).

    In the past when I could secure the market, I would stay on my main and bark my cards. Easy money, right? Wrong. One problem is setting a price when you are alone. I never include my prices in my bark because it requires too much adjustment as I get undercut, so I just bark the card links. Once a consumer arrives to buy my card, they are met with one price and one seller. Sure, there are auction mods available that give them pricing, but much like glyphs, it can move so fast that it isn't the only method of measurement. Also, it doesn't take long for an existing (on an alt maybe) or new competitor to see you are the only game in town, and they will arrive and start dropping stacks while you bark their sales. We've all played the "alt game" before, but I found it particularly effective to combat the monopoly appearance.

    Last night, prior to clearing the market, I mailed 40 cards each to 4 of my alts, and started stacking the market slightly below and then in gold tiers of "X" gold higher per card, so for example:

    alt - 35g singles
    main - 36g singles
    alt - 37g singles
    alt - 39g singles
    alt - 45g singles

    Now, if a competitor flips open the AH and sees 100 or more auctions by 5 different sellers, they may hesitate to attack the market, especially while I am still around barking my cards near the bottom. This is sort of like the animal kingdom where some harmless creatures have physical or audible characteristics that appear to make them dangerous and not worth the fight. After about 20 minutes, I did get a deep undercutter who made cheap cards for me and I snapped them up for 5 gold less than inks were going for. On my main, I pulled in 5500g total in 30 minutes, and my alts also burned through dozens of stacks as well. I finally had to go to bed and couldn't fight off a late arrival, so I will give it a go again tonight.

    For good or bad, this is all I do in game now. I am addicted to the gold the people who are addicted to my cards are giving me :)

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  9. Im in a market where undersellers have managed to bring the price from 40g to 15g in 2 days. Ive refused to sell the cards anymore till they give up. All of my undercutters dont realise that the cards wont sell unless they are barked.

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  10. I just read the series you did on these and I have to admit that this is great stuff! I've been selling MFCs using my shop toon and I know there is a market for it on my server... so starting tonight, I'm going to see where I can do with it. There has generally only been a few being sold when I've listed mine so I know that at least for a bit I can drive the price up...

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