Thursday, March 31, 2011

Pitch & Catch | A MLB Opening Day Tribute

Oswalt, Lee, Halladay, Blanton, Hamels

MLB Opening Day

It is finally here!  The Major League Baseball season begins today here in the United States.  Baseball is by far my favorite sport and my Phillies are looking to have the best starting pitching rotation in the history of the sport. I am expecting nothing but another World Series victory from the Phightin' Phils.  In honor of the start of the MLB Season, I present to you:

Pitch and Catch

There are a few items within the game that allow you to play catch with another character.  Some of these items are quite rare and can fetch a nice price on the auction house or by barking in the trade chat channel.  Let's go over these items together, where they are from, and then I'll add in a little bit of my own speculation.  So this is still a gold making post to guide you on this opening day of baseball season.

These are the items within World of Warcraft that you can use to play pitch and catch.

  • Voodoo Skull - Comes from within the Zul'Aman raid.  This is thrown at a party member once you aggro the group of trolls playing with this Voodoo Skull.  I have sold a few of these on the auction house after I was done farming Zul'Aman for the Mojo pet and the Sealed Scroll Case.
  • Haunted Memento - Can no longer be obtained.  This Haunted Memento was only available during the Scourge Invasion at the end of Vanilla WoW.  These sell for a heft price on the auction house as possessing one in your bags causes the Ethereal Black Haunting to follow you around.
  • Heavy Leather Ball - Is crafted by low level leatherworkers.
  • Rotund Relic - This fertility statue is obtainable only via the rogue pickpocket skill.  You can pickpocket these from Frostpaw Shamans in the Grizzly Hills.
  • Happy Fun Rock - Is dropped from various humanoids within the Dire Maul Instance.
  • Paper Zeppelin - Created from the Paper Zeppelin Kit sold by Jeppeto the toy maker in Dalaran.
  • Paper Flying Machine - Created from the Paper Flying Machine Kit which is a TCG loot code item from the March of the Legion Set.
  • Etheral Essence Sphere - An option for purchase from the Soul Trader companion which comes from the TCG Loot Code.
All of these items can be thrown to another play and if they have room in their bags, they will catch it.  The item will then appear in their bags and can be thrown back.

Tossing Around Some Thoughts

The Haunted Memento is a great item to snatch up if you find it for a few hundred gold or less.  Relisting it on the auction house can earn you a sale of 1000+ gold for this unobtainable item.  These become more and more rare as players quit the game.  

Just as the Haunted Memento is no longer available, the Voodoo Skull may see a similar fate.  The Zul'Aman Raid is being renovated into a 5 man dungeon in Patch 4.1.  Will there be more Voodoo Skulls inside the new dungeon re-vamp?  If it is removed from the game, then the value of the existing Voodoo Skulls will increase. 

So if you are farming for the Mojo pet or the Sealed Scroll Case before Zul'Aman is changed forever, hang onto any Voodoo Skulls you get and see if they will no longer be obtainable after Patch 4.1.

Play Ball!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Maelstrom Crystals | Lantern and Lamp Trading

Magic Lamp

Maelstrom Crystals

Patch 4.1 will bring ways to get Maelstrom Crystals much easier and cheaper.  The new ZG and ZA Heroics coming in Patch 4.1 will be dropping epic items, which will be able to be disenchanted into the Maelstrom Crystals.  The result will be an increase in the supply of the Maelstrom Crystals across all servers.  The prices of these Maelstrom Crystals will drop as they are much more readily available as the new supply enters the market.

Most players are excited about the opportunity to finally be able to start moving some of the higher end enchants that require the Maelstrom Crystals.  Right now the cost of the higher end enchants due to the requirement of the Maelstrom Crystals has the price very expensive and not worth trying to sell as the investment required is outrageous and probably unable to allow for much profit on most servers.  People just don't want to spend that much gold on an enchant, especially on an item that will be replaced soon.

Lantern And Lamp Trading

Two items that will also see a lowered production cost are the Enchanting crafted vanity pets.  The Enchanted Lantern and the Magic Lamp are companion pets crafted by Enchanters.
  • The Enchanted Lantern is only craftable by Horde Enchanters.
  • The Magic Lamp is only craftable by Alliance Enchanters.
Both of these companion pets require a single Maelstrom Crystal as a part of the crafting requirements.  Currently they are very expensive to craft due to the sheer cost of the Maelstrom Crystal required.  Once the cost of the Maelstrom Crystals drops after Patch 4.1, then these companion pets may be a great option to profit on the auction house.  As many players will be fiddling in the higher end enchant market, you may be able to find a niche within the vanity pet market selling these faction specific vanity pets.  And Patch 4.1 will be causing a demand spike for vanity pets since there are new achievements coming with the patch also.  

Cross Faction Trading 

You can make a ton more by getting involved in swapping these companion pets to sell to the faction that is unable to craft them at all.  On average, the value of the opposing faction's enchanting pet will be higher than the value of the pet everyone on your faction can create.  Both are viable income streams, but when both avenues are explored together the profit should be more than double the single revenue stream given the limiting nature of the faction specific crafting requirements.  The vanity pet / companion market is a great market to get you started with Arbitrage, or Cross Faction Trading.

Also if you are thinking about buying one of either the lantern or lamp pets, you should wait until after Patch 4.1, when the cost to craft should be significantly lower once the Maelstrom Crystals start to enter the market at a reliable pace.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Glyph Changes in Patch 4.1

Patch Changes

Patch 4.1 will be adding all new dungeons, pets, mounts, and all sorts of goodies, but there are a few changes within the Glyph system that a Scribe shouldn't overlook.  Some glyphs are being buffed, others are being changed, and yet again a new glyph is being added.  Be sure to stay ahead of the changes so you can save gold as well as profit off any of the new changes.  An informed scribe is a profitable scribe.  Many times its only the first day or two that you will have an opportunity to gouge the pricing on seemingly new glyphs that appear after a major patch.  Be sure to always read the patch notes so you won't end up with a list of glyphs you don't know yet, when you used to know them all.

Patch 4.1 Affected Glyphs

Glyph of Frost Armor - This is a new glyph being introduced into World of Warcraft with Patch 4.1.  It will allow Frost Armor to also regenerate mana.  It is a Major Glyph and will most likely be learned from either Northrend Research or from a Book of Glyph Mastery.  If it is the latter, then it would be a great time to unload some of the Books of Glyph Mastery as the demand spikes.  EDIT:  It's officially learned from Northrend Inscription Research.

Glyph Of Raise Ally - This glyph is being changed into the Glyph of Death Gate.  Raise Ally is being changed to be a battle rez.  Within the first few days you should be able to sell a few of the new Glyph of Death Gate.  Might be worth snagging a few of the Raise Ally Glyphs if you can find them for cheap.

Glyph of Rake - The Glyph of Rake will be gone and will be changed into Glyph of Pounce.  I'm assuming that Pounce will be a better seller than Rake.

Glyph of Mend Pet - The happiness and pet loyalty system is being completely removed from the game.  The Glyph of Mend Pet was an awesome seller and a must have for most specs of hunters.  Expect to see a spike in sales of Minor Hunter Glyphs as players will be replacing this glyph as the Glyph of Greater Proportion it changes to is pretty useless.  It will slightly increase the size of the Hunter's pet.

Glyph of Divine Accuracy - Is getting a buff as it will also effect Holy Fire as well.  I doubt this change will lead to more sales.

Glyph of Spell Reflect - Is also getting a buff as it will now lower the cooldown by 5 seconds instead of the current 1 second.  Might lead to a slight increase in use.

What will be the next Glyph of Mage Armor?

Remember the Glyph of Mage Armor fiasco?  It may be a good idea to have a few of the glyphs that are getting changed pre-crafted and ready to sell.  It could turn out that something goes wrong in the Patch 4.1 and leaves us without a way to craft a specific glyph.  It has happened before and some players were able to make a killing selling the Glyph that was bugged and unable to be crafted at all.  Hope this guide to the new Patch 4.1 Glyph changes was of some help for getting you thinking of planning ahead.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Auction House Espionage Guide

Your Competition Is Watching You

Auction House Espionage

All of us auctioneers have a few players that we are battling in specific markets on the auction house gold making scene in World of Warcraft.  We get a slight feeling of enjoyment when we see that we can undercut this enemy and steal a few of his sales.  "This guy needs to drop out of my market and quit undercutting me!"  We've all been there.

The best time to undercut your enemy is just after they log off.  This way you can be the cheapest on the auction house until someone else comes along and undercuts you.  These undercutters tend to be the same people over and over with an occasional new player attempting to enter the market.  So how do we keep an eye out for these enemies?

Spying On Your Competition
The common ways of watching your enemy players activities include:
  1. Friend's List - Add your competition to your in-game friends list.  This way you can easily moniter when that greasy little undercutter is online and when he logs off.  Set up a note with what markets he competes with you in.  Once you start adding enemies to your friends list you want to be able to keep track of them all.  This is especially important if you use any add-ons that allow your friends list to be shared between characters. 
  2. Raid Marks - Fluxdada (of Power Word: Gold) gave us a guide to marking your auction house competition earlier this month, which is a good read.  You can see the raid marks from a very far distance and can visually track where your enemy is going.  You can see when he's at the mailbox, when he's in the auction house, and when he's just afk crafting.  The raid marks make it much easier to follow the enemy movements and monitor their actions.
  3. The Undermine Journal - With The Undermine Journal and its wonderful features, you can track the posting times of your competition.  You can look for a pattern in there posting times that reveals what time slots they do not post on the auction house.  Using this data can help to determine if there is an opportunity for you to be the best price seller on the auction house over a longer period of time.  You can change your own posting schedule to a better timeslot where you will have beeter extended exposure.  An example would be finding out that your enemy only posts before 6 am and after 5 pm, probably from a full time job.  You could realize that if you posted at 6:30 am before your job, you would have the whole day with ideal pricing instead of battling with him every night at 6 pm.
  4. Add-ons - Although I don't use any, there are add-ons that you can use to track your competition as well.  These tend to allow you to spy on them and always know what zone they are in and if they go afk.
Covert Tactics

We can assume that if we are watching them, then they are probably watching us too.  They are using tactics to keep an eye on what we are doing and when we are doing it.  What can we do to make it harder for them to know our every move.
  1. Alternate Characters - Using your alternate characters to post is an option when using tactics against competitors.  In a market that players tend to swoop in for a piece of action when the price is higher, it is very beneficial to have multiple characters of your own displaying the same item.  Each of the characters undercutting each other can make the situation appear as if an undercutting war is already underway.  Or you can make the market appear saturated with sellers and scare away players searching for new markets to enter.
  2. Re-Rolls - Some players go as far as to delete and re-roll a new bank toon every few weeks or so just to get a clean slate from all of the competitor tracking.  It is only a matter of time, before players target you as a major competitor.  Time for another re-roll!
  3. Remote Auction House - The Remote Auction House additional fee per month service offered by Blizzard is a great way to combat a lot of the spying tactics used to watch your auction house activities.  When you are posting with the remote (mobile or web based) auction house you cannot be logged into the World of Warcraft servers. Thus many of the tracking options are unable to moniter posting from the remote auction house.  The Undermine Journal will still be able to track your posting times, but that is a retro-active data find once the items are already live on the auction house.
  4. Vary Your Posting Times - You can try to fool up your competition instead of sticking to an obvious pattern or easily timed schedule.  Do different things at different timesto throw off the watch dogs.  You can do some auction posts on one character, log onto an alt and post, then log back to the original character.  Maybe you competition saw you log and posted their items and quit.  Did they take the bait?
Do you have any other tips or tricks for watching your competition or hiding from them?

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Sunday, March 27, 2011

Auction House Competition | Rift Effect

Auction House Competition and Maturation

The Gold Queen had an interesting post recently titled Staying The Best, which discussed the maturation of the auction house markets and how should we combat the extra competition coming from all of the free gold making resources currently online.  It's a nice article and worth a read, but I must say that I disagree.

In my opinion, what we are seeing is much more of a great divide amongst the players.  There are far more buyers than sellers and with the changing times, there are less and less sellers.  A look onto my auction house shows much of my competition is gone.

The Changing WoW Player Base

Along the far end we have players that are well educated on gold making tactics and on the other end we have completely clueless players, but the majority of players still fall within the two extremes.  I believe that most players are stuck in the middle.  They are no longer a completely new player, but are not advanced to the gold making strategy.  And it is within this middle area that the absolute majority of players reside and will remain.  The new players are constantly replaced by other new players, where as more veterans are leaving.  And it is these veterans that are most likely the ones playing the auction house on all of our servers.  Are these veterans being replaced by new veterans?  It hasn't been the case on my server at all.
Have the players as a whole learned the proper ways to make gold on there own?

As a whole, I say No, but there have been more players that are educated and know how to process information on the auction house and our gold blogs, but those tend to be the players that have been around a while. These players may even have graduated to being free thinkers who can develop their own strategies.  The thing is a lot of these informed players are bored or quitting all together.  Games like Rift have stolen a few players away as I have discussed in my very popular post on The Current State of World of Warcraft.

On the other end are a slew of players that are still clueless, have no idea how to think freely, and need sites like MMO Champion to cover a topic, so that they can copy the tactic, not adapt it to their server’s market, follow the rest of the lemmings, and utterly fail because they have no clue how to process or relate the given tactics to their own market on their own server.  Remember the report on prospecting Thorium Ore and how that was a major market price crasher on Thorium Ore once people realized that every copycat was trying the same strategy?  I snatched up a ton of cheap thorium ore and processed it down various much more profitable gold making avenues. 

I believe it isn’t so much that the majority of players are making more gold by sound auctioneer strategies, but the ability to gain gold by doing normal activities is much easier. Just think of linear quest chains, reduced mount costs and early level requirements, the lack of as many wipes and repairs with the easing of the difficulties of many lower level dungeons, etc.

So its easier to get gold, there are fewer major gold sinks out there, and the old gold sinks are now much cheaper (mounts, etc.)

Goodbye Competition
In the last few weeks I now have a third of my competition across almost all markets. These competitors may have turned to auctioneering as a new way to play World of Warcraft, while currently they are bored with even that and have moved on to try other games.  The result is less sellers, less auctions, and less competition.  Let's see how long it takes for others to capitalize on the fact that there are less competitors on the Auction House lately.  These findings are the exact opposite of what the Gold Queen was reporting.  I understand that all servers are different, but as a whole some changes may appear on other servers in a little more time.  Maybe your server just hasn't caught up yet.

Wes of Capped By Cata and Auction House Junkies reported a similar finding in his article: The Rift Effect: It Will Make You Rich.  It is time to re-examine those old markets you vacated due to competition.

So all power to RIFT and any other games that come along.  They tend to steal our compeition away and leave more gold for us to make from the World of Warcraft auction house.

Anyone else finding less and less competition in one or more markets?

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Zoxy on Auction House Junkies OUT NOW

Wes of and I, Cold of Cold's Gold Factory, have just release the recording of Episode #6 for the Auction House Junkies podcast. We have a special guest with us on this episode.

Zoxy of Trading With Zoxy joins Wes and I as we discuss our ramblings within the World of Warcraft.

This episode we talk about:

Children's Week

Epic Gems

Epic JC Patterns

The Current State of WoW

Is WoW Ready For A Corpse Run?

Deepstone Oil

How Do You Determine Value?

Zoxy's Getting Started Gold Guide (Only $10)

And lots of other great topics and ideas.

TCG Loot Code Contest

We have a lot of great stuff planned for the podcast and the community so stay tuned.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Passive Income | Guild Invite All Macro

Passive Income

Passive Income is possible from the Guild Perk Cash Flow, which is available at Guild Level 5.  Anaalius of recently posted about the possibilities of Passive Gold Making and the Cash Flow Perk.  A couple of weeks into Cataclysm, I decided to give this a shot of my own. 

I already am the guildmaster of many guild banks.  On my main character I invited a bunch of random level characters to my guild in an experiment to see if I could get others to level my main guild up without actually running it like a guild.  I want guild perks, but I don't want to be tied to a real guild with any type of duties or expectations.  I created the guild for using other players to advance my guild level, while also taking advatnage of the various guild perks that come with leveling a guild.

The Guild Mantra

The guild is nothing but a place for leveling and alternate characters to benefit from guild perks while leveling.  There are no guild officers.  No one is allowed to even see what's in the guild bank, much less withdraw from it.  Everyone is free to invite.  Everyone is free to leave the guild at will.  We do nothing together as a guild.  We are a bunch of solo-ers that are leveling the guild for perks.  I invite people at random and use a Guild Invite All Macro to speed the process.

How I Do Guild Invites:
I do random searches with the /who search within World of Warcraft.  Using generic searches like these:
  • /who (pick a player race)
  • /who (pick a class)
  • /who (pick a dungeon)
  • /who (pick a combo of letters)
I do these random searches while in flight.  Once the /who list results are generated I just tap the Guild Invite All Macro button, which invites all of the unguilded results to the guild.

Guild Invite All Macro

Here is the exact code that I use for my Single Tap Invite All on My /who List Macro:

This code is for Horde characters.  Alliance players need to change ORGISH to COMMON in the macro code. 

This code makes forming your guild of random people (who are going to be raising your guild level, earning you guild perks, and depositing a percentage of all their looted coin into your guild bank) rather painless.  Patch 4.1 notes have even been updated to state that the guild % coin looted report will be removed from the display.  Soon people won't even know that they are helping fund the guild bank.

As long as you are up front and honest about what you are doing, you shouldn't get many complainers.  If you do get some whiners, a guild kick is an easy solution.

Cash Flow Rank 2 is available at Guild Level 16.  That's  going to be a long ways away seeing as we have barely cleared Guild Level 5.  Regardless, Rank 1 is providing free easy gold within my coffers.

Do You Have A Guild Working For You Or Are You Just Working For Someone Else?

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Runecloth Surplus Solution

Are You Overloaded On Runecloth?

Some of us stocked up a bunch of Runecloth prior to The Shattering in hopes of selling the stacks of Runecloth for reputation turn ins to new goblins and worgens.  Then Blizzard throws us a curveball and creates championing tabards for all of the player races.  Now we are stuck with a bunch of runecloth in our banks.  This was something that Wes had talked about on the Auction House Junkies podcast as well.  Maybe you are in the same boat as we are?

How To Move Your Runecloth

The market for selling unbolted stacks of Runecloth hasn't been favorable to flip these for a profit.  You may have success selling off your Runecloth as Bolts of Runecloth, but I would take a different approach.

The most profitable way to utilize runecloth on most servers would be to follow these easy steps.

  1. Have your tailor bolt it up into Bolts of Runecloth.
  2. Buy up a bunch of Runethread.
  3. Craft Runecloth Headbands.
  4. Send them to your Enchanter. (Bonus if you are an Enchanter / Tailor)
  5. Disenchant all of the Runecloth Headbands.
  6. Either sell your raw enchanting materials
  7. or Use them in BoA and Twink Enchanting scrolls for sale on the Auction House.

Why is this the most profitable alternative?  Because most servers are seeing a spike in demand due to a low volume of Vanilla enchanting materials (as I previously revealed), especially Illusion Dust, Greater Eternal Essences, and Large Brilliant Shards.  Runecloth Headbands will only disenchant into these 3 great materials to sell on the auction house.

6 Bolts of Runecloth and 2 Runethread combine to create 1 Runecloth Headband.

Runecloth Headband Disenchant Table

  1. 1-2 Illusion Dust - 74%
  2. 1-2 Greater Eternal Essence - 23%
  3. 1 Large Brilliant Shard - 3%
Depending on the price of stacks of Runecloth on your server and the going rate for these Vanilla enchanting materials, this may be a viable profit option to invest in.  Like the obsidium shuffle, this is a bit labor intensive, but can be eased if you are an Enchanter / Tailor.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

You Know You're A Greedy Goblin When...

You Know You're A Greedy Goblin When...

  1. The Shattering destroys Azeroth as we once knew it, but you haven't even noticed.
  2. You delete your Hearthstone because it is taking up important bag space.
  3. You spend your IRL lunch hour scouring over gold blogs.
  4. You have so many guild banks you keep losing track of what items are stored where.
  5. You have enough back stock to put the entire goblin trading cartel out of business.
  6. You have 4 year old items in your bank waiting for the value to return.
  7. You lie and tell others you have far less gold than you actually have.
  8. Even though you have hundreds of thousands of gold, you tell the 1 gold beggar to "Go the f*ck away and earn your gold like everyone else".
  9. Your in game friend list is full of nothing but competitors.
  10. You delete and re-roll a new banking character every few weeks.
  11. All of your characters have special letter characters in their name.
  12. You get hate mail on a daily basis.
  13. You're broke IRL, but you're rich in WoW!
  14. Cataclysm has been out for over 3 months, but you still haven't ran a heroic dungeon.
  15. Your banking toon's gear is worth more than the character its on.
  16. You don't even know where Tol Barad is on the world map.
  17. You're still waiting for more nerfs before starting your dungeoning career.
  18. You can make 35k in 5 hours selling nothing but Mysterious Fortune Cards.  :)

Feel Free To Add More In The Comments

Ravenwood Fair | WoW Easter Egg

Ravenwood Fair vs The Horde
Ravenwood Fair

While playing the Facebook game, Ravenwood Fair, I got the above letter as completion to a quest for the princess of Ravenwood.  Made me chuckle.  Thought I would pass it on.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Deepstone Oil For Vial of Sands Mount

Deepstone Oil and Albino Cavefish

I have been making ridiculous profits off of crafting Deepstone Oil and selling in stacks of 8.  Deepstone Oil is crafted by Alchemists and is a nice choice for using my Common Commodity Crafting technique when leveling your alchemy profession.  Crafting Deepstone Oils can get you an easy 15 skill points in Alchemy and earn you a profit as well.

I am currently selling stacks of 8 Deepstone Oil for 345 gold and they always sell.

What?!?!  Yes, you read correct.

Vial of Sands Crafting

Deepstone Oil is crafted by an alchemist and oil requires 1 Albino Cavefish per craft.  Each Albino Cavefish will yield 1-2 Deepstone Oil.  I sell in stacks of 8 because the Vial of Sands mount recipe requires 8 Deepstone Oil.

I found that this market is untapped on my server and have been playing with the pricing.  I am just as shocked as you that I can inflate this price so high and have the Deepstone Oils still sell.  The only reasoning I can come up with is that since anyone collecting the materials to have a Vial of Sands crafted has already spent tens of thousands of gold, they probably don't mind a bit extra for these Deepstone Oils?  I'm sure players are just happy to finally see the Deepstone Oil available and buy them at an inflated price just to finally be finished collecting materials for their Vial of Sands mount.  Or maybe they don't know how easy they are to craft.  There are rarely any albino cavefish posted on the Auction House, but when there are, I snatch them up with a quickness.  Hell, at this rate I may just have to go fish some Albino Cavefish up myself.

Check out what Wes of Capped By Cata posted on Where to Farm Albino Cavefish.

Have you identified any niche markets like this that you can exploit for higher profits on your server?

Monday, March 21, 2011

Fertile Spores & Glowcaps As Currency

Glowcaps Can Help You Goldcap
Glowcaps Will Make You Gold

It appears that a lot of players have forgotten about some of the older ways to make a nice profit in World of Warcraft.  Glowcaps can be used to make you a small fortune or get you some seed money to start playing the auction house.  I logged into The Undermine Journal and it appears that this is an untapped market that I had forgot about as well.  No one is posting the Sporeggar goodies on the Auction House and I will start listing some of my own for some easy gold.

How Does It Work?

In Sporeggar, Zangarmarsh there is a Sporeggar Quartermaster named Mycah.  Mycah will exchange the Recipe: Clam Bar for 1 Glowcap once you are neutral with the Sporeggar faction and will exchange the Recipe: Sporeling Snack for 2 Glowcaps once you are friendly.  Getting to neutral with the Sporeggar is rather easy as you can use Bog Lord Tendrils as turn ins to get you easily to neutral as long as you are at least level 61 to start the quest. 

I have had a ton of success selling both of these recipes for 25-35 gold each since these recipes do not require Sporregar reputation to learn.  The Sporeling Snack recipe has been nerfed and no longer provides a buff for your pet.  Even when it was pet food, I had a much harder time selling the Sporeling Snack recipe and I'm assuming sales will be even less since the nerf as only a player going for the Chef title would likely purchase it.  Both of these recipes are great options for grinding cooking skill up quickly, so they sell to leveling cooks as well as potential Chefs.

How To Get Glowcaps

The Glowcaps that are required as currency to purchase both of these great recipes are very easily obtained.
  1. Glowcaps can be picked up by any character.  They are spread all over the Zangarmarsh zone and appear as a red mushroom on the ground.  Glowcaps stack in quantities of 200, which is a great bonus.  Herbalists cannot see Glowcaps on their mini-map, so using your herbalist is not an advantage. 
  2. Glowcaps can be traded and sold on the auction house or mailed from other alts to your buyer.
  3. A Glowcap is awarded from the repeatable quest More Fertile Spores in Sporeggar that requires 6 Fertile Spores per turn in.  These fertile spores can also be purchased from the Auction House or collected from your alts.
  4. You can always bark in trade chat to find some sellers.  Many players have a few Glowcaps tucked away in their bank and may be happy to part with them cheaply.
When looking for glowcaps and fertile spores and comparing their price with the value of the recipes, remember:
  • 6 Fertile Spores = 1 Glowcap
  • 1 Glowcap = 1 Recipe: Clam Bar
  • Therefore 6 Fertile Spores = 1 Recipe Clam Bar
I like to get a large batch of Glowcap currency and buy a ton of these on my engineer, then mail them to my recipe posting bank alt.  I use my engineer so I can mail them off instantly with the Moll-E mailbox tinker toy. 

When posting these on the auction house, I also like to post a few stacks of the required item for cooking.  The Strange Spores and Jaggal Clam Meats both sell much better when the recipes that require them are also for sale on the auction house.   This makes it easy for someone looking to power level cooking to buy both your recipes and the cooking materials required to create these items.


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Have You Forgot About Glowcaps?

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Hiring Low Level Farming Mules

Hiring Farmers

Have an item you need for crafting, but can't find the time to go farm it yourself?  Try hiring a lower level character to farm it for you. 

We all were noobies in World of Warcraft at some point.  Some of you haven't been playing very long.  Others, like myself, have been around since Vanilla WoW.  While swimming in hundreds of thousands of gold, we easily forget where we came from.  Remember the first time you had to save for your very first mount and how hard it was to make gold back then as a low level character?

Well you can help someone out by contracting them to farm for you.  You can get your materials delivered to you while spreading some gold to the low level character you hire.  Often times these low level players will turn into longer term farmers for you.  They know you have plenty of gold to pay them and some will continue to farm for you well into their leveling process.

Tips For Finding and Keeping Lowbie Farmers

These low level characters willing to farm for gold won't just come knocking at your door.  You have to seek them out.  Once you find them, you have to nurture your relationship.  You need to be supportive, helpful, and you need to be prompt when paying.  Keep your farmers happy and you will be more productive and more profitable with your auction house crafting business.

  1. Bark In Trade Chat "Looking For Level XX Player Who Needs Help Making Gold." - Pick a level around the same level as the mobs you need them to farm.  Ex:  If you need Spider's Silk, find a character around the same level as the spider's that drop the Spider's Silk.  Why?  Characters that are getting XP while earning gold for you tend to farm for longer.
  2. Offer A Fair Wage - Don't try to underpay your lowbie farmers.  Although they may not understand the true value of the items they are farming for you, make sure your pay is fair, above the average sale price, if you can fit it into your profit scheme. 
  3. Send An In Game Email Follow Up - Make sure you follow up your verbal agreement with a written contract through the in-game email system.  Why?  This helps them remember who you are and where to send the items when finished.  Teach them how to send items COD to you, if the don't understand the process.  If they are mailing the items to a different character, be sure to include that information in this follo-up email.
  4. Make a Friend | Don't Hire A Slave - Treat your new farmer as a friend or business partner.  Don't boss him around like he's your slave.  Remember your farmer is free to leave at any time.  If you treat him poorly, he may be working for your competition next week!
  5. If You Choose To Re-List, Do It On An Alt - So you have extra materials left over or the price has spiked and you want to unload a few for quick profits.  Don't relist them on your same character!  Change to an alternate character before relisting your farmers items.  You don't want him selling you Spider's Silks for 3g each and then have him see you selling them for 10 gold each on the Auction House.
  6. Show You Care - To keep your farmers extra happy to be working with you, send them some gifts occasionally.  All lowbies can use some nice enchants, gear upgrades, or vanity pets.  Remember a lot of these players are close to broke and will appreciate any assistance or freebies you can reward them with.  Setting up an incentive plan for bonuses at certain levels.  I like to give a bonus if they send me a full 12 stack email.  Let them know the incentive plan and they will work harder for you so they can reach these free bonuses.
I have employed lowbie farmers at certain times when the supply of certain materials isn't keeping up with the demand for my crafted products.  I have used lowbie farmers to assist me with various resources such as:
  • Small Eggs
  • Spider's Silk
  • Large Fangs
  • Pearls
  • Arcane Crystals
  • Heavy Hides
  • Glowcaps
  • Rugged Leather
So if you just can't find what you are looking for on the auction house, next time consider hiring a lowbie to farm it for you.

Like this post?  Share it with a friend!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Mageroyal Market Control For Children's Week

Children's Week Is Coming

Once a year, the value of the herb Mageroyal spikes very high.  This regularly happens during the one week long in game holiday, Children's Week.  Why?  3 Mageroyal herbs are required to craft a Delicious Chocolate Cake, which is required as part of the Bad Example achievement.  The Delicious Chocolate Cake also requires 8 Small Eggs, so Children's Week is a great time to unload any extra Small Eggs you may have left over from the last Winter's Veil holiday.

Check out all of the goodies that I was selling for insane mark-ups last Children's Week.

Plan Ahead - Now

Small Eggs are easily farmed and if you don't get the jump on your competition selling early you can get quickly lost in the waves of undercutters.  Mageroyal on the other hand, will be much less available once Children's Week begins.  Stock up on Mageroyal now.  5+ weeks to go until the holiday begins, so start checking the auction house now for Mageroyal.  

I seem to almost always run out during this great seller's holiday.  I sell mine 25g per stack of 3.  Yeah, crazy profits, but only if you plan ahead.  So go ahead and start looking for Mageroyal to buy up.

I'm usually one of the first to give the gold blog readers a heads up, but this year The Gold Queen broke the tip to start preparing for Children's Week before I did so I wanted to give some credit.  

Friday, March 18, 2011

Auction House Junkies Episode 5 Is Out!

Auction House Junkies Episode #5
The Auction House Junkies | Gold Making Podcast Episode #5 is now Live.  As always you can access it through the Auction House Junkies homepage imbedded player (complete with all 5 episodes), the Podbean Host Feed site, or on iTunes. 

There were a lot of problems with the editing and corruption of files, so this episode is late and is being released in its raw / uncut / uneditted form.  This was done to get this show out without any further waiting.  Wes of Capped By Cata and I will be recording Episode #6 this weekend and we hope to have it released in a timely manner as before.

This episode we discuss:
  • Hearthcast Podcast
  • A Bunch of Listener Questions
  • TCG Loot Code Contest
  • The Darkmoon Faire
  • High End Pets
  • Hiring Lowbie Mules
  • Inter-Market Gambles and Risk
  • Much More Goodies and Tips
Had a blast recording this one and it turned out to be jammed with tips from start to finish.  A lot of good easy entry markets for aspiring goblins are discussed.  If you are brand new into making gold on the auction house be sure to check out a previous blogging carnival topic here at Cold's Gold Factory.

Top 3 Tips For New Auctioneers 11 Gold Bloggers Speak on the Topic for New Auctioneers

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Multiple Profession Coverage in WoW

Multiple Profession Coverage

I'd like to take some time to discuss having multiple professions on your alternate characters along with covering the same professions on multiple characters.  We had a listener comment on the Auction House Junkies Gold Making Podcast page that I will be addressing as well.
"I heard you guys talking about leveling the same profession on multiple characers.  Do you guys have EVERY profession covered?  I feel like I'm wasting time having alts with the same profession..."        -Rinbair
Some players like to have multiple characters with the same profession, while others like to cover all professions with their characters on the same World of Warcraft server.  A third type of player likes to cover all professions AND have multiples of the same profession on various characters, often at the expense of gathering professions.

What type of player are you?
  1. Don't Have All Professions Covered.
  2. Have All Professions Covered.
  3. Have Multiples of the Same Profession.
  4. Have All Professions Covered and Multiples of the Same Crafting Profession.
  5. Have All Crafting Professions Covered with Multiples of Only Gathering Professions.
Multiple Professions

Myself, I have all professions covered with multiples of each gathering profession and an extra tailor for more dreamcloth cooldowns.  Although neither tailor is yet high enough to craft dreamcloth, that was the original plan upon set-up.  Originally one was shadowcloth specialization and the other was spellfire spec.

I would take a guess that the most common profession that players have on multiple alternate characters is the Alchemist.  I myself have 2 alchemists.  The main alchemist is transmute spec, and the other was intended to be either potion or flask spec, but it just hasn't been profitable to switch away from a 2nd transmutation spec alchemist yet.  The main benefits of having multiple alchemists is that their daily cooldowns are some of the easiest and most profitable cooldowns to use to make an easy profit.  I have heard of players with 5-6 alchemists on the same server due to this.

Diversity & Flexibility

While it is still possible to make plenty of gold with only 1 character and 2 professions on that single character, having multiple professions covered opens up so many more possibilities for profiting through the auction houses in World of Warcraft. 

By having multiple professions you are diversifying your ability to make gold.  Having just a few professions covered is viable, but not as secure of an option as having all professions covered.  If you can easily move out of one market and into another you are protecting yourself should an auction house camper invade into your sales and profits. 

You also are more flexible and can profit from various methods by crafting different poducts.  Should Blizzard patch / hotfix / nerf something that is very profitable for you, if you have multiple characters with multiple profession coverage, then you won't be as affected by the changes.  Just image if you were a single character with Alchemy and Enchanting making tons of profit off of disenchanting your epic alchemist trinkets for maelstrom crystals.  Then blizzard nerfs you by making those same trinkets not able to be disenchanted.  If this was your only source of income, then your would be screwed.  If you have multiple professions covered, then you can just move onto a different method.

Unique Playstyles

There is no perfect set-up or solution when it comes to setting up your characters and your professions.  Everyone has a unique playstyle, so you set up is going to be different from mine.  Some players like to have specific combinations on specific races.  Others cover all professions.  Some like to find the easiest and most profitable profession and then have multiples of that single profession.  Some like myself, like to have each character self supportive and tend to give each character 1 crafting and 1 gathering profession.  Others pick 2 gathering professions up until they hit max level, then immediately power level 2 crafting professions.

What it all boils down to when picking your profession set-up is what your playstyle is, how much time you want to devote to crafting and gathering, how much total playtime ou have, and just plain personal preference.  There is no right or wrong set-up when it comes to making gold off the auction house in World of Warcraft.

Check out what my Auction House Junkies podcast partner, Wes, has to say on this same topic.
Multiple Professions Don't Get Overwhelmed over at Capped by Cata

What are your thoughts or preferences when setting up your alternate characters?

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Cold's Gold Blogging Carnival: April 11th Topic

Cold's Gold Blogging Carnivals: April 11th Topic

These blogging carnivals are excellent resources for our readers to get some excellent nuggets of knowledge all in one place. They are also excellent tools for bloggers to get recognized and start to drive traffic from our sites to yours. I highly recommend participating in these blogging carnivals as your submission's will tend to be some of the most visited content on your site. Be sure to read about the benefits of blogging carnivals, if you are undecided about participating in Cold's Gold Blogging Carnival.
What Is a Blogging Carnival?

A blogging carnival is a compilation of blog posts all created around one specific topic, which is chosen by the host site. Entries into the carnival are submitted to the host. The host then organizes the posts into one big post with links back to the original articles on the participating author's sites.
Rules for Cold's Gold Factory Blogging Carnivals
  • Create the entire post on your own site.
  • Send me an email with a link to your post. SSmith0911 (at) live (dot) com
  • Submissions must be in by the 10th of each month.
  • All carnivals will go live on Cold's Gold Factory on the 11th of each month.
  • All World of Warcraft bloggers are invited to participate. You don't have to author a gold making blog, but you need to follow the set topic.
Each post written for the carnival should begin with a link with the anchor text "Cold's Gold Blogging Carnival" and link to

Learn more about the importance of proper anchor text here. Linking to the above page with the proper anchor text in each carnival entry will help to drive traffic to the gold blogging carnival and in turn drive more traffic to your entries.

April 11th Topic

What are your favorite items to transfer to the other faction for sales?

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

New Rugged Leather Farming in Cataclysm

Cataclysm Brought Changes To Rugged Leather Farming

Rugged Leather is selling at a prime price on my server and may also be a pricey commodity on your server as well.  It is often hard to find what the Rugged Leather you need on the auction house, so sometimes you have to turn to farming for the Rugged Leather yourself.

Prior to The Shattering event, the absolute hands down best location for farming Rugged Leather was the Yeti caves to the East of Everlook, Winterspring.  While these yetis do still have the option for Rugged Leather when skinned, the drop rates are lower.  They used to almost always award Rugged Leather when skinning, but now award Rugged Leather at a much lower drop rate.  Since Cataclsym has reshifted the questing level requirements for various zones, Winterspring has dropped from a Level 55-60 zone.  It currently is a Level 48-55 zone and the mobs are much more likely to award Thick Leather when skinned instead of the prized Rugged Leather. 

Many readers are finding their way to Cold's Gold Factory via google searches for "Rugged Leather Farming."  This post is for those of you wondering where the new best locations are for farming Rugged Leathers.

Top Rugged Leather Farming Hotspots

Farming Rugged Leather Hot Spot #1 - Dire Maul North

Gordok Mastiffs are perhaps the best and most easily farmed mobs in all of the World of Warcraft.  They are found within Dire Maul North and the Crescent Key is no longer needed since Cataclysm.

Once inside Dire Maul - North, you will find a large number of Gordok Mastiffs in packs.  Any high level class can dispatch these easily, especially if you have an area of effect attack.  These awesome mobs have a skinning breakdown as such:
  •  84% chance to award 1-2 Rugged Leather
  • 11% chance to award 1-2 Thick Leather
  • 5% chance to award 1 Rugged Hide
This is the best spot to farm Rugged Leather.  You can clear the packs of mastiffs, then rest the instance to clear it again.  If you are looking for a level appropriate area to quest and collect skins while leveling, then I would opt for option #2.

Farming Rugged Leather Hot Spot #2 - Blasted Lands

Blasted Lands is now the best zone for farming Rugged Leather in the wild.  Some players prefer to farm while leveling, so this is the spot for you guys.  There are plenty of basilisks, boars, hyenas, and fel hounds throughout the Blasted Lands zone that can produced Rugged Leather when skinned.

So there are the 2 best places to currently farm Rugged Leather since the changes from Cataclysm have rendered the yeti caves of Winterspring less than ideal.

Anyone else found and other hot spots for farming Rugged Leather?

Monday, March 14, 2011

Weekend Malware Attack / Site Safe Again

Malware Attack

So this last 3/12 Saturday morning there was a malware attack here at Cold's Gold Factory.  Anyone that came to the site Saturday morning up until about noon Central time should run anti-virus software and check for an invasion.  I am terribly sorry, if anyone was infected from visiting my site. 

What was happening during the security breach?

I was able to verify a site redirect.  When trying to enter the site, I was redirected to other sites.  Some others had reported "Browser Bombing" as well.  Upon exiting the site, infinite pages were auto launched into new browsers.  Markco also recently had his Paypal account hacked and drained the same day.  This may also have been caused by the malicious code on the site.  Due to the close proximity of the attack in relation to being browser bombed from this site, it is assumed that the malicious code caused a cookies retrieval of his login name, with a hack of the password minutes behind.

It's safe now?

I have spent the rest of the weekend, ensuring the safety of the site and verifying its safety.  I have identified the original source of the attack as a malicious code imbedded into a Project Wonderful Banner Ad.  All Project Wonderful Ads have since been removed and will never return here.  I have used multiple major online site checking tools and all have returned back that the site is once again safe.  Again I apologize to anyone that was infected or affected by the strange happenings here Saturday morning.

To be safe, make sure to run a virus scan on your computer, clear out your cookies, and change any passwords you have stored on your computer.

Again, I am terribly sorry.  Nothing harmful was or ever will be done here intentionally.  Only those visiting the actual site on Saturday morning could be infected.  Viewing from the Daily Newsletter in your email inbox wouldn't be an exposure, unless you followed a link and came to the actual site on Saturday morning.

Everything is back to being safe now as confirmed by multiple major site scanning tools.

Again, sorry for any inconvenience. 

Sunday, March 13, 2011

What I'm Selling Currently

My Current Markets

I have been receiving quite a few emails asking me what markets I am currently working in.  Since I have been working 60+ hours a week at my day job and have a limited amount of playtime lately, I am not in as many markets as I prefer to be.  The following list shows what my major markets are currently.

As with any gold maker that has 10 characters and all professions, I am constantly dabbling in various markets and looking for new opportunities to make gold.  The following is a list of what I am currently selling on the Auction Houses of Azeroth.  Items are listed in no particular order.

Rich Purple Silk Shirt

Barbaric Bracers

Stonemason Cloaks (bought while green for 1-2g, flipping for 75g now that they are blue - only a few left out of about 30) just one of the Greens Gone Blue that I made a killing off of since Cata.

Raw JC Daily gems on their daily day

Raw Cata Enchanting Mats (from D/E and D/E jewelry from shuffling)

Greater Eternal Essense and Illusion Dust (from D/E blacksmith crafted Enchanted Thorium Blades)

Flipping Rugged Leather as available

Volatile Lifes (bought at 5g per, price is up to 10+ usually)

Blacksmith made Enchanting rods

+ Crit to cloak scrolls

flipping alliance only vanity pets to horde ah

vendor bought cooking and limited qty crafting recipes (various depending on what I snag in my questing travels)

Netherweave bags - selling like hotcakes (assume lots of alts rerolled lately)

Mammoth Mining Bags

Whitesoul Helms

+4 Stats to chest scrolls

+Minor movement speed to boots scrolls

Fiery enchant scrolls

Mysterious Fortune Cards

DMF Deck Single Cards

Flipping black vitriols from silvers to 25g per, lol - just for fun

Meta Gems raw and cut


Saturday, March 12, 2011

Special Gaming Sale News

Super Special Gaming Savings Alert is offering an Amazing Sale on all Digital Downloads of All Core Games!
This Weekend Only you can save 20% off the price.

So save 20%, No Tax (most states), No Shipping Charge - Now's the time to buy!
This awesome sale only lasts through this weekend so ACT NOW and SAVE BIG!

(Please use my Affiliate Link so I can continue to run free giveaways and contests)

Save 20% on Action Games, Roleplaying Games, Simulation Games, etc.
Save 50% on Total War Games
Some of the great games currently available and 20% off:

  1. Rift Collector's and Regular Editions
  2. DC Universe Online
  3. Battlefield Bad Company 2
  4. Dragon Age 2
  5. The Witcher Enhanced Edition
  6. The Sims 3 Deluxe
  7. Cities XL 2011
  8. Warhammer 40k Dawn of War II Retribution

Hundreds More to Choose From



JMTC READERS:  Markco of JMTC is a liar.  He is blatantly making false accusation and spreading lies about me.  Why?  Because I caught him ripping people off and told the world and now he's hellbent on getting revenge.

No cookie stuffing was attempted on this post.  It's an outright lie.  He'll show ya screenshot of a little white box behind the above link.  So what?  That's a simple copy/paste coding error.  

All I did was try to use the link builder from within the site stripe of (see below pics.)  Its a simple copy paste error that was live for about an hour before I caught it and took it down.  Amazon uses iframes to create adds with links and pics.  I copied and pasted the Amazon created code, but something didn't copy correctly, thus resulting in broken code which displayed as a little white box.

I fixed the link and made it from scratch the old fashioned way, since the Amazon created code was goofy.
Check the pics below, its the same style of coding I originally tried on this post that resulted in the little white box from the broken code.

Anyone who has tried the site stripe function at knows how wonky it is.  Markco is an idiot and was just looking for someone to blame for his own stupidity getting his paypal account hacked.  Didn't have a damn thing to do with my site.

Funny thing is anyone who knows the Amazon affiliate program, knows that Amazon only gives a 24 hour cookie!  That the worst part of the Amazon program - 24 hour cookies suck because if they don't buy from the original clickthrough (maybe they were just browsing and buy later) then odds are you aren't getting credit.

Serious black hat SEOs that actually do cookie stuffing, want to stuff the programs with the 30, 60, or 90 day cookies.  Not a friggin 24 hour Amazon cookie.  That's worthless to them.

Just another one of the ways that Markco's lies can be debunked, whereas my claims against Markco of JMTC all have proof, documentation, and 3rd party involvement.

Look Familiar?

Glass Fishing Bobber Potential

Glass Fishing Bobber Is Bugged

This week I received a tweet (Follow me @SSmith0911) from a follower asking about my thoughts on the Glass Fishing Bobber Speculation.  Truth be told, I had no idea what he was talking about.  So I had to look into the item and see what the fuss is.  The Glass Fishing Bobber is broken.  Clicking it does nothing and it is supposed to be fixed in a future patch or hotfix.  Currently it is still broken.

Glass Fishing Bobber is an item that is sometimes (5%) obtained from within the New Cataclysm Fishing daily quest reward Bag of Shiny Things

Item Speculation

The speculation arises because it is unclear what the item actually will do.  It is a level one item that awards +15 Fishing, but does it add a permanent skill gain?  Is it a temporary buff?  Is it only going to be usable when applied to a fishing pole?  Is it a consumable?  No one really knows for sure, but I am leaning towards this item being a temporary buff and not worth much at all. 

The Glass Fishing Bobber is a level 1 item and only has a 5% drop chance from within the bags.  When clicked on the item effect on wowhead it comes up as a temporary buff.  If it is just a temporary buff, ten why is it only found 15% of the time?  Hence people are speculating and hoping that it turns into a permanent buff item when fixed.

My Advice

So my advice would be to save any of these bobbers you get from your fishing reward bags.  I wouldn't go out of my way to hunt these down, but if you see them for a few gold, then they may be worth picking up and hoping for a positive result once they are patched.

You can follow the discussion over on the Consortium Forums - New Speculation Play: Glass Fishing Bobbers.  If you haven't been to the Consortium Forums, then I highly recommend that you sign up and join the discussions.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Humble Beginnings & Defining Moments - March Gold Blogging Carnival #3

Cold's Gold Blogging Carnival

Welcome to the March edition of Cold's Gold Blogging Carnival. These carnivals will continue to take place the 11th day of every month and will be hosted here at Cold's Gold Factory. All World of Warcraft bloggers are welcome to participate and feedback both here and on the original authors' sites is strongly encouraged. So show some support and please leave some feedback in the comments section. These bloggers put a lot of time and hard work into these blogging carnival posts so please leave comments and feedback.
If you would like to be included in the next month's carnival, please review the guidelines for Cold's Gold Blogging Carnivals and submit your link via email (ssmith0911 at live dot com) before the 10th of the month. Read up on the benefits of participating in blogging carnivals at my other blog designed to help new bloggers, Blogging Vitals.  Carnival articles are listed in the order they are received. Thank you to all the bloggers participating in this months carnival! And without further ado, I present to you this month's participants answering the question:

What was your defining moment?  The moment when the light bulb came on and you decided to start auctioning or collecting gold.

This month we have a nice collections of stories for helping those goblins that are aspiring to be great WoW gold makers. We started from humbling beginnings, just like you.  If you are new to the auction house game or are just curious about getting started be sure to listen to your elders. We have gone before you and can teach you many things. Also remember to check out the Gold Guide over at 20k Leveling - another great resource to get you up and running and making tons of gold in no time. Be sure to check out for the podcast on making gold hosted by myself and Wes of Capped By Cata.

This month's topic was inspired by my original post:

The Tale Of A Gorilla Hunter by Cold of Cold's Gold Factory

The Participating Entries

How I Got Addicted To The Auction House by Bangkok Bill of Bangkok Bill's World of Goldcraft

"While there is only one question I have two answers, because I decided to start auctioning and collecting gold at very different times. With regards to using the AH WAY too much that pretty much started my first or second day of playing WoW (I've been playing since Vanilla). I've always loved games that allowed trading and the AH seemed to me the best way to do that."

From Rag To Riches: My Adventures In Auctioneering by Vince of Bank of Wukam

"I'd like to say how awesome I think this topic is. Sometimes, amid our piles and piles of gold, it's easy to forget our humble beginnings, when scraping together enough gold for riding training, a mount, or even the repair bill was a grueling process. Though I shudder to think of those days, reflecting on your roots can be quite enlightening. I hope that this carnival will inspire any would-be goblins that may be discouraged by seemingly futile efforts to earn gold when compared to those of us who blog about it."

How I Turned 43 Gold Into 5000 by Kuja of Kuja's Gold Mine

"This method is the one that sparked my interest in some hardcore gold making. My goal has since been to reach the gold cap itself, and infact I did reach it before they raised the gold cap not long ago (It's a whopping million now, almost)!"

My Defining Moment by Kathroman of Break The Bank

"I’m going to break the rules. Anyone who knows me, or anyone who has been reading for a bit and is starting to catch on, will know this isn’t unusual. I mean, “break” is in the title of the blog – come on. Anyway, I’m going to offer 2 defining moments…gasp! The first defining moment is the one that started me down the “golden” road in the first place. The second one is the moment I knew I was on the right path."

This Auction House Junkie's Defining Moment by Cort of Stylish Black Shirt

"I started looking for other things to do. In my searches of the interwebs, I found some posts by a guy who called himself Griffs the Grifter, who chronicled his auction house experiences on the WoW forums. I was fascinated. Seeing that I'd basically Forrest Gumped my way to level 40, I was barely even aware that there was an AH. I started looking around for opportunities. I found one or two. I was doing okay, I guess, but nothing spectacular. Then my defining moment came."

"I did what any man would do, I became a greedy goblin, I now live to get the most wealth I can to be the richest I can and buy the entire world."

"Gather around children because Old Grandpa Flux is going to tell you a story about making gold back in the day. Back in a time when flying mounts were slower than ground mounts.
Back in a time when we fed our pets Roasted Clefthoof and the Track Treasure was actually useful! Pull up a seat and settle in as we take a trip down memory lane."

My Moment Of Shame by Faid of Nerf Faids

"When I saw the topic for Cold's Gold Factory's blogging carnival this month my heart sunk. There are many stories I have about my building myself up to the point I can make gold rather easily that I'm at now. Some of the stories are funny, some are sad. 

But one is shameful. I've not wanted to talk about it because I feel that saying it may draw ire upon me or even get me into trouble, but I feel it's time to come clean."

What was my defining moment? by XanderEragon of Xander's Gold Mine

"My response was “THE AUCTION HOUSE…WHERE YOU CAN BUY AND SELL ITEMS?” The player responds, “Yes silly, what else would you do there?” At this point it was like heavens opened up and a ray of light was shining down around the Auction house, with the song Hallelujah (fast tempo) was playing. This is the best news I heard my long road of being broke came to an end."

Going Back Old School by Wes of Capped By Cata

"Hello hello hello! Welcome new readers who Cold has graciously allowed me to borrow for a few moments. I'm going back Old School today with this months carnival topic. We all had a defining moment. Mine was the subject of my very first post here at Capped By Cata some 8 months ago. In fact, it was a post that has probably been read very little so here it is!"

Which Entry Was Your Favorite Story and Which Entry Can You Most Identify With?

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Tips For Resetting A Market

Market Woes

We have all come across the same problem in some way or another.  The items we are wanting to sell are listed on the auction house, but for far less than we would like to see them listed at.  Maybe someone with no understanding of opportunity cost is posting foolishly low.  Maybe a new crafter is just liquidating items he grinded with the sole purpose of leveling his chosen profession.  Maybe a farmer thinks his goods were gathered for free and selling them for very low cost means quicker sales for him.  Regardless of the reasons, there are always times that we wish the market prices were better suited to our profit margin preferences.

Resetting A Market

Warning - Any attempt to reset a market is highly risky because there a many uncontrollable factors that can crash your plan to gain market control.  I almost never attempt to gain complete control of a market unless it is a market that I have very little competition in, and by very little I mean next to none.

The most common approach to resetting a market is to buy out all of the competitor's items (or at least all of them under the price you would like to sell at) and then to simply relist them at a higher price.  This is a Short Term market reset.  A Long Term reset is much more complicated as it would require the constant snatching of undercut goods and constant babysitting of the market to keep the prices up.  A Long Term reset is much more viable in a market with rare commodities.  Think of the scarcity of Khorium Ore / Bars.  Someone could easily dominate that market as Khorium Ore and Khorium Bars are rarely ever seen on the auction house.

In this post I am focusing on Short Term Resets.  Long term resets are a much more complicated process and rarely are sustainable over a lengthy time. 

When To Reset A Market

If you are planning on buying out all of the items to relist at a higher price, there are a few tips to remember when you make your attempt to reset the market.
  1. Look For Low Volume - Wait until there are only a few items that you have to buy out.  This will help to limit your initial hit and will allow you to start profiting faster from your sales.
  2. The Later, The Better - Don't try a reset in the middle of the day, you will be undercut by the end of the night.  The later at night you perform your reset, the better chance you have of being the last poster of the night.  This is how to take advantage of the overnight market, especially if you are selling crafted goods.  More players late at night and early in the morning are forced to buy those items form the auction house as there are limited crafters on late.
  3. Competition Logged? - Many of us have our competition on our friends list in order to watch when they are logging in and out of the game.  The Remote Auction House can be used to bypass this, but you should wait to reset your market when your main competitors are offline.
  4. Start Slow - Post only a few items at first.  If you flood the market, then you are asking to be undercut, then waste more fees cancelling and relisting.  In a market that requires good barking techniques, like the Mysterious Fortune Card market, when you bark you are also alerting your competition.  By only listing a few items at a time, you can prevent all of your items from getting walled in.
  5. Post Higher Priced to Start - When you post your original batch, make the price a tad bit higher than you actually are willing to sell for.  That way if you do get undercut, you still have some room to cut the price lower and still be withing your expected sale value.
Try It Out

Are you looking for a market to try and reset?  Give the Black Vitriol market a shot on the weekends.  Try to reset on the weekends as that is when Black Vitriol is most likely to sell.  You commonly can find Black Vitriol for mere silvers.  Buy them all out and relist 2-3 for 25 gold each!  When one sells to a crafter, you will have made back your total investment from the buyout prices as well as made a nice profit.  Then all of the other ones you bought out will be pure profits and can be sold for even more profits.  With more luck the price will not be undercut down so quickly that you can move plenty at well above the original market value of the Black Vitriols.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Opportunity Cost Part 2

Opportunity Cost Part 2

Yesterday's post, Opportunity Cost and Farming - A Listener Question, had some great discussion.  Be sure to review that post and get caught up on the topic of Opportunity Cost.  Today I am continuing on the same topic as I received a lengthy email on the post.  Here is that email in its entirety.  I have included some comments in between the paragraphs in blue.  Those are my thoughts, not the readers.
"The idea that people shaving their profit or even undercutting to "below cost" is wrong is a bit hazy. For someone with infinite gold, playing the patience game and waiting a day, two days, a week to make max profit on one item is all well and good, but for those of us who are still small fish in the pond, nibbling off your prize meals is how we stay fed, get bigger."
Undercutting below cost is a poor business decision.  Your costs may be less than your competitors.  That's fine, but don't undercut the finished product lower than the cost of materials.  Just look at the current enchanting scroll market.  It is flooded with items posted for much less than the cost to craft.  Many people are just trying to dump scrolls they made just to level their enchanting.  Ok so maybe you are just trying to recoop a few coins you spent on leveling, or maybe your poorly planned leveling scheme costs you well more than it could have?
"In your example of the guy who undercut the 160g item to 120g with his farmed mats, yes, given the proper time he could move it at 200g, but he also probably farmed enough for a couple. So now that's 2 sales he's made, cash in hand to do more investing, while youre sitting on yours waiting for it to earn money. Is that lost opportunity cost for you? Is that why you call him stupid? Because you're mad he took your sale?"
Ok so you farmed enough materials to craft two.  So you craft those and sell them both undercost.  Congrats!  You just lost twice the profit margin you squandered away just because you can't wait a day or two.  If you keep the same pattern up, you aren't going to be getting very far with accumulating wealth.  And your competitor is probably the one who bought your 2 underpriced items and flipped them for profit because he has patience and you don't.
"Lets use a different part of your scenario. Sell the mats instead of crafting them. Well there's desperate undercutters there too (picked up 10 stacks of cinderbloom at 18g each!) So the guy looking to make a sale NOW sees the mats at that price, and snatches those up and crafts that 120g item instead. It seems to me that in every scenario discussed on gold making blogs, its all about getting cheap mats and crafting them into more profitable items, or using your considerable force of gold to buy all of those cheap mats and bully people into buying them from you at a premium. Both valid methods."
Um, you can't change the numbers around just to support your own argument.  Given the numbers I gave in the original post, selling materials was the obvious better choice.
"There's really a market beneath the market. There's the slow, plodding, sure thing sales that the journal shows us occur. And there's the deals and steals we talk about on the consortium forums. These are the sales people with less gold live off. Potential profit does not equal actual profit for most people.

Its the main reason i think the gem array is irritating on TUJ. you look at it and see "oh, delicate inferno rubies are selling for 169g. ...nope. Those 23 DIR have been sitting on the ah for 2 weeks at that price and some poor desperate schlub with no JC buddy bought one on Monday. Does that really make that the market value of that particular item?"
The market value at any given time is determined by what the current price is at that time.  Add-ons provide an average market value, but we all know that fluctuates daily, sometimes by the minute or hour.  I know the market value for Accurate Scope is around 3 gold, but I have still sold them for 250 gold.
"But i digress. Opportunity costs is a saloon door. Swings both ways. Its all in what style floats your boat."


In no way should you craft an item if you can sell the materials for more profit.  I'm going to stand behind that reasoning.  It is people that are hasty and don't want to wait that drive the prices down below cost.  If you are one of those people then you maybe shouldn't be crafting at all.  Just sell your raw materials.  You will probably get much faster results selling raw materials, since you have a mentality similar to that of gold farmers anyway.  Bots, farmers, Chinese farmers, etc. that move mass amounts of goods for prices under floor costs or deeply undercut just to make a sale.  Let me get one thing straight.  The point of crafting is to make a profit.  If you are crafting at a loss, then you shouldn't be crafting.  Go back to farming or doing dailies, but then again, you're probably the same guy that disenchants everything, even if the materials sell for less than the item you disenchanted.