Teaching Old Gold Makers How To Make A Profit

Gold Capped
Gold Capped

My Dad always told me that you can’t teach an old dog new tricks. What he didn’t tell me was apparently you can’t teach an old gold maker old tricks! At least when it comes to making a profit. There are many strategies in World of Warcraft for making gold but not all of them are suitable across all the levels. To make gold in WoW you need to be able to maximize the capital sitting in your bags as efficiently as possible to turn it into more gold. That, Friend they call making a profit.

It can be hard for some of the old gold makers out there to remember what is was like to make gold in the early levels. They look down from atop their pile of gold at those just starting out in the game and deride their efforts because, well it doesn’t meet with their lofty standards. What they forget is that the gold making strategies they use as mature gold makers are not always suitable for players new to the game and the Auction House. So I wasn’t too surprised when one old goblin took me to task for the selling of Small Eggs at this time of Winter Veil.

Making  Warcraft Gold During Feast of Winter Veil

Now I shouldn’t be too hard on the old goblin because it’s easy to lose sight of some basic gold making principles when you have a few quid in the bank. As a mature gold maker myself with several million gold scattered over several alts on my main server, I try hard not to make the same mistake. In fact, many of you who follow me will know that my blog is dedicated to helping new players make gold in the game. The strategies I use as a mature gold maker with several level 90 alts, maxed-out in various professions with a million gold under my belt are not the strategies I teach to new players trying to level their professions with little spare capital to play with.

Which brings me to the selling of Small Eggs during the time of Winter Veil.

Now for some reason this seemed to upset my fellow gold maker (who I really have a lot of time for). Surely it was beneath us to make gold this way? And during the holidays!

Blimey!

Selling Small Eggs, he states, is something of a legend. Now, if what he meant was that it’s a great way to make gold in the early levels, he’s right! I always try to use the selling of Small Eggs as an example of the 5 Goblin Principles of Auction House Trading:

  • Sell what players need
  • Sell at the right price
  • Sell at the right amount
  • Sell at the right time
  • Sell at a profit

If you have read my earlier post you’ll know that selling of Small Eggs during Winter Veil works time after time. This is because you’re selling what’s in demand. Of course you have to sell them at the right price and at the right time. In my example I farmed for 15mins and posted my 4 stacks of eggs  on the eve of Winter Veil in stacks of 5 at 500% market price (they were selling on average 0.90g an egg on my server at the time). The next day they all sold making me a great profit.

My fellow gold maker wasn’t impressed. I had spent 15mins farming my eggs and this was not an efficient use of my time. Well, this is true and I always say that grinding and farming are not the most efficient ways to make gold. In my Post Making  Warcraft Gold During Feast of Winter Veil I state that:

The quickest way to make gold is the Auction House.

But if you’re a new player with little capital it helps to know where to farm small eggs – even if it takes you 15mins. At the lower levels, you’re probably grinding those mobs anyway.

Now, if as a new player you can afford to buy Small Eggs during off-peak times for silver from the Auction House you’ll probably make just as much gold, only more efficiently. In fact Small Eggs on average were selling for a little under 1g before Winter Veil and anywhere from 5-10g each during the holiday. If I had bought my eggs from the Auction House for 1 g and sold them for 5g (not a huge mark up) I still would have made a 400% profit. In fact many players tweeted me to say that it what they did.

My fellow gold maker was still not impressed. No, cranking out gems with your Jewelcrafter is the way to go. It only takes 1.5sec a gem.

I love this kind of logic. He’s assuming, of course,  he hasn’t had to buy the ore or spend an age prospecting it as part of his time. But lets assume he buys his uncut gems from the Auction House and crafts them into more profitable cuts – a great gold making strategy, providing you have the capital and have leveled your Jewelcrafting to make profitable cuts. Most cuts at the early levels of a profession are just not profitable. And that goes for many of the professions.

And he’s also assuming he sells all his cuts on the first Auction. More likely he spent the first day of Winter Veil standing by the mail box pickup up his expired sales while players queued in the Auction House to buy my Small but profitable Eggs.

EGG-ACTLY!

Here’s wishing all my fellow gold makers – new and old – a happy holiday and a profitable New Year.

Marcus

 

WoW Auction House Guide
The Marcus Ty Auction House Gold Secrets Guide

Making gold From Old World Markets

Arcanite BarsAs makers of gold in World of Warcraft there is a risk that we become stuck in the rut of crafting only the latest of gear or trade in the latest of material. In this post I’ll explain how trading in gear and material across the expansions can make you easy wow gold and reduce Auction House competition to boot.

On Episode 4 of the Journal of Marcus Ty Podcast I was discussing some of the techniques I use to reduce competition in the Auction House. One technique which I use regularly is to trade Old World gear and material. Now, when I say ‘Old World’ I’m talking about gear and material from several expansions back, as opposed to a few patch levels. So I now consider Old World to be the expansions Classic, Burning Crusade and Wrath of the Lich King. Cataclysm is still fresh in the minds of many players to be considered ‘Old World’ but items of this expansion can still make a profit if you study demand carefully.

A good example of an item that can be traded for a great profit from Classic WoW is Arcanite. This metal can only be crafted by Alchemists, which helps reduce competition for even more. It’s relatively simple to craft:

Transmute Arcanite Bar
1 x Thorium Bar
1 x Arcane Crystal

I’ve posted about making gold from Arcanite before so won’t repeat myself, only to mention the one limitation to crafting this item which is sourcing Arcane Crystals. Unlike other gems, Arcane Crystal cannot be prospected, they can only be obtained from mining Thorium ore directly. The result is that they are not that abundant on the Auction House which limits my Arcanite production.

For those players that love to farm ore (and some folks do) there are a few locations in Azeroth where Rich Thorium nodes are particularly abundant and which give the highest chance of an Arcane Crystal:

  • Winterspring
  • On’Goro Crater
  • Silithus

I’ve been trading Arcanite for a few months on my server now with little to no competition and for a great profit.

Keeping with Alchemy, I have started to trade Potion of Invisibility on my server. Again, this is a simple item to craft:

Potion of Invisibilty
1 x Sungrass
1 x Ghost Mushroom

Like Arcanite, there is one item that is hard to find on the Auction House which is  Ghost Mushroom. However, all ingredients are easily farmed from the On’Goro Crater with Ghost Mushroom found in the Cave known as Fungal Rock.

There is still a strong demand for Potion of Invisibility on my server; it tends to disappear fast (sorry) and commands a high price.

Another item I tend to trade on my server for a great profit is the metal of Titanium. Again, there are few players trading this material despite strong demand. With little competition on my server I tend to control the market and command a high price. Again, I utilize my Alchemist to good effect by buying up cheap Saronite ore and transmuting to expensive Titanium. If you farm the ore directly, then the profit margin is even greater.

I’ve so far given three examples of the items I trade on a regular basis on my server from past expansions, with the focus on alchemy as the profession. But there are numerous other examples that I could give across the three expansions mentioned and across all of the professions. By looking hard at your particular set of professions you should be able to identify niche material and gear from past expansions that you can trade with reduced competition and for a great profit.

Resources

JMT Professions Guide
JMT Professions Guide

Gold Making Strategies – Arcanite Bars

I’ve tweeted (#AuctionHouseSecrets) recently of my success at selling Arcanite Bars on my server for a good profit and thought I’d take some time to write a short post, exploring the rational behind this gold making strategy.

Arcanite BarsAt first blush it might seem that selling this Old World metal wouldn’t be very profitable, but you have to look at the underlying market to understand why you can still turn a very profitable buck with this item.

Part of the success of this market is that the metal is still relatively in demand. It’s currently used in forty nine crafting recipes – mainly Blacksmithing and Engineering, but there’s a small number of uses in Jewelcrafting and Tailoring. If you have read my 5 Goblin Principles of Auction House Trading, you will appreciate that demand for an item plays a key role in the success of  any trading strategy.

Another reason this trading strategy works is the scarcity of the metal. If you are a Blacksmith you will have probably been frustrated by the fact that you can’t smelt Arcanite. It can only be made by Transmutation, which in turn means the Auction House supply is determined by the Alchemists on your server. On mature servers, most Alchemists are competing head-to-head with other Alchemists in the Living Steel market where competition is very cut-throat and not as profitable.

The combination of scarcity and demand of Arcanite means that the price of the metal stays relatively constant. On my server, I tend to set the price and control this little known market (I’m sure not for long)! Take a look on TUJ and you will see that over a six month period, the price rarely moves below 100g on most EU servers. I price my Arcanite at or a little above market price.

Even at market price, the profit in Arcanite can be substantial, depending on how you source the base material. Arcanite is very simple to make, it just requires one Arcane Crystal and one bar of Thorium. I nearly always buy my material from the Auction House, but pay no more than 10g per crystal and 2g per Thorium bar. Now that’s a great profit.

In summary

The selling of Arcanite bars on the Auction House illustrates some of the common trading strategies I use to make gold in WoW. By understanding what’s in demand on your server and setting a fair market price, you’ll always turn a good profit quickly and efficiently.

WoW Auction House Guide
Buy the Auction House Gold Secrets Guide

 

Five Auction House Trading Mistakes

Auction House SecretsWhether you’re new to the Auction House or have been trading for a while, players often make these same five trading mistakes. Cure these mistakes and you’ll be trading like a goblin pro.

Forgetting to Trade

A common mistake for those players new to WoW is to forget to trade. The Auction House is your friend and trading a little every playing session helps to keep the WoW gold flowing in. Those herbs sitting in your bags or in the bank are worthless unless you list them. Think of the Auction House as a ‘Daily’ and make it part of your regular game-play. For those tied to their desks during the day then the Remote Auction House is now free and will allow you to re-list expired auctions and trade a little during breaks around the water cooler.

Death by a Thousand Undercuts

Players lose gold by constantly undercutting each other on the Auction House when they don’t have to. Take the example below:

Don't Undercut
Death By a Thousand Undercuts

Player 1 lists Potion of Luck for around 97g. Player 2 comes along and undercuts player 1 by a massive 12g gold. Time passes and player 3 comes along and undercuts player by another 1g. Whats wrong with this picture?

Well, Player 2 may have thought that only a massive cut in price will shift his Potion of Luck. This may be a valid strategy on low population servers where there isn’t demand, but why undercut by so much? Player 3 has simply followed suit and blindly undercut by another gold – probably because his Auction Addon is set up that way. Given that Player 2 auctions are expiring, it would have been better to list closer to the price of player 1.  Player 3 could even have listed above the price of Player 1 if there were few listings of Potion of Luck on the server and demand remained high.

Not Listing At The Right Price

Players often sell their items at prices determined by previous listings, as in the example above. Hence, Player 3 lists his Potion of Luck for 84g. This may be a poor strategy as the value of 84g may well be far from the market price, that is, the price most frequently traded. It’s the price that most players expect to pay, given the cost of reagents to craft the item plus a small premium. Most Auction House Addons will work this out for you, but many players configure these incorrectly or don’t maintain the pricing data leading to widely varying prices. Keep auction data refreshed and set a price limit, below which you won’t sell – at least until the market improves.

Poor Timing

Trading is a bit like golf (or baseball if the cap fits): timing is everything. Get this wrong and however hard you come out swinging, you’ll miss the ball. Trading, to some extent, also relies on good market timing. That is, to trade successfully it’s best to sell your items on those days when demand peeks. This is normally at the weekend or on certain days of the week depending on your server. World events such as the Darkmoon Faire will also influence demand for certain items. If you really want to get into some detail and follow the market demand closely then check out these sites:

Underestimating Demand

Players often sell items that have little demand and end up spending a fortune in auction fees, listing the same items over and over without success. To trade successfully you must sell those items that are in demand and have a good turnover. In general these tend to items needed for crafting. These fall under the general Auction House category of Trade Goods. Sure, you’ll want to craft the occasional Epic Chopper, but demand for these will be low compared with say a bar of Trillium. Again, check out sites like WoWuction.com and look at the reports listing those items rising in demand on your server.

If you found this article useful then you might also like:

  1. Gold Secrets of The Goblin Traders
  2. The Remote Auction House – Tips and Tricks
  3. The 5 Goblin Principles of Auction House Trading

If you like the article then buy the guide:

WoW Auction House Guide
The Marcus Ty Auction House Gold Secrets Guide

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cross-Realm Auction House

Auction House SecretsBlizzard caused an uproar, a little while ago, when Tom Chilton (Game Director) muted the possibility of a future cross-server Auction House. Why this should cause such angst among players, I’m not sure, but I thought I’d explore some of the implications of such a move as a wow player and gold maker.

This post is part of Cold’s Blogging Carnival

Every Server A Market

When players, new to the Auction House, start to trade for the first time they can often be overwhelmed by the many hundreds of items listed on any one day. So it helps to group these items into logical categories which can then be thought of as markets in their own right. I always encourage new players to trade in those markets closely associated with their primary professions. So an Alchemist will probably spend a great deal of time trading herbs, while an Engineer will be trading in ore and metals. After a while, players soon learn the pricing of popular items and what sells and what doesn’t on their server. However, move to a different server and the markets can appear very different. This is because each Realm (server) is a market in it’s own right with no ‘official’ communication between them.

Population Size Matters in the Gold Economy

Blizzard is constantly trying to level out the population sizes across it’s servers, by migrating players off those servers with a high population to servers with lower populations. This not only helps the game response times but balances out the gold economy across the many hundreds of servers in Blizzard’s empire. Population size greatly affects the wow gold economy on any given server in the Warcraft universe.

This is also true in the real world economy where they talk about the liquidity of a market – that is, the ability to buy and sell an item without greatly affecting its price. Small markets, as found in some low population Warcraft servers, will struggle with liquidity and experience wild swings in pricing across many common items. If you play on a low population sever, you have probably experienced this. It’s the reason why some players have great success in some markets and not in others. The Transmogrification market is a good example – it works on some servers and not on others.

Market Manipulation

Another problem with low population servers is the ease with which some players can manipulate the market. In real world markets this is something that governments try to do, but often fail. The classic example is the British government spending billions trying to keep the price of Sterling above an agreed European limit in 1992. Ultimately, the market won and British taxpayers paid the price. Famously, a one George Soros, a currency investor, made billions betting against the rise in Sterling. My kind of trader!

I recently did something similar on a European server, buying up large quantities of Truegold just before MoP, trying to keep the price high until I could offload the lot just before patch day. A risky strategy, but I had some success because I chose a low population server. Unfortunately for the British government, the currency markets in 1992 had a far greater built-in liquidity

Competition is King

Overall, a lack of competition is a bad thing. This is because most players are buyers as well as sellers. On small population servers where I’m a net buyer of an item – say ore – the lack of competition may be a bad thing for me if one or two player control the market and may well collude to keep the prices jacked up (doesn’t happen in the real world, right?). The best thing to do if you’re a seller of an item with high competition is to try to avoid it and in various other articles I’ve explained how to do this.

The Cross-Server Economy

Which brings me to the possibility of a cross-server Auction House. From the above discussion, I think it’s clear that a cross-server Auction House should result in a bigger and more stable Warcraft economy. Not only would markets experience greater liquidity but be less prone to player manipulation. How many time have you heard a player boast on a blog or Twitter that they have ‘reset’ the market for a particular item? Yes, competition would increase across many markets, but those players that learn to master the Auction House Secrets should come out ahead.