Patch 4.2 Is Here
Patch 4.2 is here already, which brings an end to stockpiling for Patch 4.2. Now is the time to unload some of your stockpiled items and turn those items into profits! One of the most popular items to stockpile for Patch 4.2 has been Inferno Rubies. Many bloggers discussed transmuting Inferno Rubies from Heartblossom and Carnelian, saving them from Elementium shuffling, or just buying them when the raw price is low. Inferno Rubies are always a great investment because of the wave of demand that comes any time a new patch contains upgrades. Combine that with the end of the arena season and the upgrade of PvP gear patterns and you have a lot of players looking for gems for new gear.
On a side note, I would like to discuss the whole stockpiling philosophy. One of the common mistakes I often see when stockpiling is from players blindly following advice on what to stockpile. It happened with Saronite Ore at the End of Wrath and happened with the beginning of Cataclysm. One of the most important things to have figured out early into your stockpiling endeavor is to know when and how you are going to utilize those stockpiled items. You don't want to be stockpiling without a good action plan and or an exit strategy. Knowing when to unload your stockpiled items is equally important as choosing the right items to stock up on.
Inferno Ruby Cuts - Sell Now Or Hold Out?
Stocking up on Inferno Rubies was a great idea, since the red gems are the best sellers on probably every server in World of Warcraft. The problem comes when everyone else is stockpiling the same Inferno Rubies. Since most people understand that red gems sell the best and are some of the quickest movers, many other people have also stockpiled Inferno Rubies. While there is a major demand spike, there also are a lot of suppliers of those same red gems thanks to stockpiling efforts. This leads to an initial period of heavy competition with lower prices than are expected due to the excess supply of Inferno Rubies.
Patch 4.1 Observations
In Patch 4.1, I observed the same typical price fluctuations for high demand items that were stockpiled and then unloaded after the patch. On my server, Patch 4.1's first day saw the Inferno Ruby cuts selling for around 60-75 gold each. The price dipped as low as 45-50 gold for most red cuts, then started to make a gradual climb. By the 1st weekend, the cut Inferno Rubies had risen to around 150g each and continued to rise to around 200-225 gold the second week. The price leveled out to around 120-140 gold per Inferno Ruby cut by the end of the week.
Selling on day 1 of the Patch, may not be the best time to sell due to the extra competition. The demand is high after a patch, but the supplies are super high as well. The market can easily become saturated as the people who read blogs and only understand basic concepts start to sell all cut red gems after the patch because that is what the blogs said to do. Stockpile Inferno Rubies and then sell cut Inferno Rubies after the patch is all the beginning auctioneer could comprehend. These guys battling it out on the auction house dropped the prices of the cut gems lower than they were selling for prior to the patch!
Wrapping It Up
So in closing, if the prices aren't nice enough yet to meet your expectation, then don't sell yet. A more experienced auctioneer will wait out the initial supply dump and hold onto their gems to sell for premium prices once the massive supply of Inferno Rubies starts to dwindle. Some bloggers would argue and say that, "as long as your making a profit, keep selling every day." In my opinion, that is very poor advice. Why sell for 50 gold today what you can sell in 3 days for 200 gold each? By choosing to compete in the lower priced times, you are doing nothing but contributing to the prices staying lower for longer. Just like when you are posting on the AH, if your markets items are priced higher, you may be more likely to list the auction for 48 hours. When the price is okay, but not ideal, you may only list for 24 or 12 hour auction duration. When the price is barely over profitable I hope you are either waiting for the price to rebound or are resetting the market. You aren't wasting all of your time working for coppers are you?
On the flipside, if you see the red gems at a nice low price, thanks to gems now stacking, I would buy up some for later use since there isn't the major bag or bank space issues anymore.