Friday, November 30, 2007

World of Warcraft 2.3 Patch Cheapens Markets

One of the changes in the 2.3 patch that came out just a few weeks ago on 11/3 was a change in the time periods. Instead of being able to post items for 2, 8 or 24 hours it was changed to 12, 24 or 48 hours.

My suspicion when I first heard about this was that it would drive down prices across most markets. My theory was that many item markets keep their market price, to a certain extent, through attrition - auctions expire. When other sellers' auctions expire it reduces the number of items on the market. That means you can generally charge higher prices (how high depends on the item, supply and competition).

With patch 2.3 auctions carry longer and there is less attrition which means more supply and lower buyouts. I'm seeing this on the realms I play where some prices have dropped 20%-40%! Of course there is still attrition, there are still opportunities to get the price you want, but the game has changed.

I don't see this as a bad or good thing. It's a change thing. For those out there who have been waiting for the gear you want to drop in price you are starting to get your wish - yay! Pricing habits die hard so it won't happen overnight. Your gold will definitely go farther - at least for the short-term. When you post items on the AH you are probably experiencing prices that are way below (sometimes waaaaaaaaay below) what they used to be. You can either wait for supply to dry up a little (there's always a window...just a question on how long you want to wait) or you take a the hit now.

My recommendation - unload your inventory and clear out your Auctioneer data for all your realms. Pre-2.3 pricing will skew the information you're getting. Sticking to old prices will just mark you as "that guy/gal who charges too much - never buy from 'em." It'll also be a source of depression as most of your mail contains the items from expired auctions instead of coin.

If you keep with some of the basics (like know your markets, make sure Auctioneer is up to date and don't invest too heavily in one or two types of markets) then you'll be fine. No sense complaining about it (ok, maybe just a little to vent).

But I'd like to hear from others. I'm only on two realms which hardly qualifies as a good sample. Even in those realms my view of the market is narrow (I don't trade in everything). So are you seeing changes in the markets on your realms? How does it change the way you farm, create or flip items?

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Rags To Riches in WOW - Day 10...WooHoo!

After Day 9 I think it was pretty obvious that today would be the day when I hit all the goals I stated in Day 1 of the series that would mark the completion of my experiment. In addition to the items I already had up for auction, I got a great deal on The Butcher which sold in a flash. I already had the coin, but this was just insurance coin.

So once the mail is all open I finish up my shopping. Since I'm still staring at level 13 (leveling up Enchanting from Day 9 sucked most of my time away), I complete my shopping for green/blue items for that level.

For my Fiery Enchant I just can't bring myself to put it on a weapon that I'll only use for a couple hours (at most). Leveling is fast this early on and the mobs are not that tough. Since I know that I'll be hitting Warsong Gulch once I hit 18 I buy Razor's Edge and put the fiery on that. The blue cost me 25 gold and the enchant was 27 gold (supplied mats and gave a 1 gold tip). Oh, and if you are wondering why the axe was never seen at auction it's because WOW crashed on me and blew out my Auctioneer data - so it's a fresh database.

Even with the 52 gold outlay I'm sitting pretty with 156 gold. I don't know if I'm happier that I reached my goal or that now I can spend less time documenting my play and actually play!

I decide it's a little bit of both.

Final Thoughts

This was fun.

It was also a bit frustrating at times.

The fun part was that I really didn't know what I was getting into or how it would turn out. I knew that I could take what I learned and be successful at making decent coin in the WOW Auction House no matter what lever or what realm I landed on. But I had never done it before. While a bit nervous of putting my gold where my mouth is, it was a lot of fun learning the market and making the deals.

Playing the hunter was a blast in Ironforge. Most of my alts are humans and the Elwynn Forest and Westfall quests were getting a bit boring to do when first starting up. In addition to new quests, landscapes and NPCs, there are many small nuances in playing this class as opposed to others. I'm looking forward to bringing the pain train to the battlegrounds. Woop!

What was frustrating was that keeping a history of this experience took time away from the game and the quality of my notes dropped as time wore on. As I mentioned earlier in the series, most of this series was written on a delay of a couple days because after squeezing out as much play time as possible I found I had little time to draft a post. While I did take notes it became obvious later that the quality of the detail of what I was doing took a nose dive on the last several days. I was a bit irked at myself for not keeping better records.

I wasn't too worried about it because I think you got the drift of what I was doing from my earlier posts. No sense going over the details when they are very similar to previous days. Only the numbers and quantity of items differed.

Also, looking back I know I could have reached my goal at least a day earlier. If not more.

Results will vary, but I'm thinking you should be able to hit 100g just from the auction house in about 1-2 weeks of real-world time depending on how often you play, aversion to risk, etc. Once you get the machine rolling, you should be able to generate anywhere from 20g to 50g+ a day just from flipping. Results can vary and I usually earn more than 50 a day on average.

I'd like to get your feedback on this series because I'm thinking of trying this again. Any comments or criticisms I get I'll try to weave into my next Rags to Riches experiment (likely with Horde next time). What did you like? What should I have done differently?

OK, now off with you - go have fun racking in coin at the Auction House.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Rags to Riches in WOW - Day 9

Broke through big time! 136 gold sitting in my bag after hitting the mailbox. Super w00p! I'm very close to my goal, but I'm having fun too.

On this day I spend about 21 gold to get my Enchanting skill up to 125 so I can start farming for small radiant shards (which is the main ingredient in Fiery Weapon enchants). Now I don't expect to get all my shards by disenchanting because it's about a 5% drop rate and I need 4. Doing the math means disenchanting as much as 80 weapon/armor items that are green or higher. If I'm smart about my purchases I wouldn't lose a copper buying all those items because I can resell the Vision Dust and Lesser Nether Essence that drops on the failed attempts, but that's a lot of time that I'd rather being doing something else. Besides, the going price is between 6g to 8g per shard and I'll be able to more than cover it easily from flips.

So I dabble and get a shard today. Yippee! Of course, I generate a lot of Vision Dust in that process. Time to get a few coin for my stacks.

Because I want to unload fast I price them low - about 50% of what the competition market price is. Because I was smart about the price I paid for all those greens, I'm guaranteed to make a few gold in the deal to boot. My pricing works like a charm. I start seeing "a buyer has been found" popping in my chat box again and again. I'm one happy dwarf :)

Later on in the day I get a not-quite-polite, yet not-quite-rude, mail from someone telling me I'm screwing up the Vision Dust market. It's my first mail like that and I wonder what to do about it.

The fact is that the Vision Dust market was heavily saturated with three pages of items. Most in large stacks. It's a good bet that most of those stacks aren't moving so there's only one option if I don't want to hold on to these (it would take forever to get rid of them all if I played it near their expected price).

I thought about sending back a note explaining that the supply was driving down the prices. I also considered giving him a few pointers on how he could get his asking price and how my sell was just a blip in the AH. Telling him/her to suck up and deal crossed my mind briefly and gave me a warm, fuzzy feeling to boot!

But I did none of that.

I usually only jump into the disenchantment market when there is a shortage because it can be extremely volatile. You can rake it in or be in a raging price war with those items. So I only jump in briefly when the time is right.

This will blow over because I won't be main competitor to Mr. Cranky. Plus, after I reread it a couple times, I think that mail was meant to educate me as well as try and protect the market. No blame there. Good people in Azeroth.

Aside from that I finish my Netherweave Bag purchases for my last two slots which set me back 13g for the pair. I'm shopping ahead because I think tomorrow might be it.

I did ding at level 12. Would move faster, but more alts, plus this blog, does take time away from my game play. Still having a blast.


Day 10 here we come.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Rags to Riches in WOW: Day 8

Quick post today as I didn't have much time today. And my aversion to keeping track of every movement means that I forgot to look how much gold I started with when I logged in. Plus, in case you can't tell, I'm posting these articles not necessarily in real time. Which means I have to rely on my notes...which aren't as good as I thought they would be.

Reminds me of high school...and college ;)

But at the end of the morning, I have 74 gold in my bag. This doesn't seem all that great considering it's just 5 gold more than from Day 7. However, this is after I bought the following bargains...

Small Brilliant Shard x3 10g/24g
Elemental Air x10 1.75g /8g
Scroll of Strength III 28s/1.25g
Large Glimmering Shard x6 91s/4.8g
Scroll of Stamina II 20s/85s
Scroll of Protection IV for 67s/2.45g
Scroll of protection IV for 35s/2.45g
Enchanted Leather x4 7.5g/15g

Remember that the price before the slash is the buyout price and after is the price I'm expecting to get.

In addition to buying all this stuff, I still have a bunch of auctions still up and I know leveled up my First Aid to 125 along the way which required much Wool Cloth. That needed to be bought because the mobs I'm fighting at Level 12 just don't drop it. Heck, I'm happy if I get some linen.

So it looks like I'm getting pretty close to my first goal which is hitting 100 gold. The biggest problem with the greens is that there's not a lot to choose from and they don't stay in the auction house long. Plus they're largely a waste of gold (except for weapons) until you hit 13 or 14. Then you actually get some extended use from them. And that's what I've been doing - shopping ahead of my level to make sure the best equipment is waiting for me when I get to the next few levels.

The Fiery Enchant won't be a problem in terms of cost. I'm figuring 30g - 40g for that. What I'm struggling with is putting that on a level 14 weapon. It's such a waste because dings still go by very fast. With that reasoning, I'm going to target a nice Blue weapon to be waiting for me in the late teens when I'm ready to hit Warsong Gulch. WooHoo!

Things are going well.

Let's see what happens in Day 9.

Monday, November 26, 2007

There Are No Gold Making Secrets

Yup, that's right. Nada. None. Zilch.

As Wadi said it best in the opening of her (his?) recent post today...

"I'm afraid that what I will write first will be a huge disappointment, at
least it was for me, there is no such thing as gold making secrets."

I remember when I first started getting into the game and contemplated buying a guide or two. And then I realized two things:

  1. When they mention 4, 5, 6 or 7 days it's in time played - not calendar time. For me, it might take two weeks to log 24 hours of game play. So those guides are really saying 8, 10, 12 or 14 weeks to achieve the results they claim. And I would guess they state somewhere in the guide that "results may vary."
  2. The second is that there are many good guides out there for free. Ten Ton Hammer has a bunch or just Google whatever-you-want-to-know and the word guide and you'll get what you need.

The realization of #1 was a bit of a bummer, but that's the way this game was designed.

The good news is that making a butt load of gold doesn't have to take that much time and it can fit into whatever game style you prefer. There weren't too many comprehensive guides on how to do this in the Auction House so I decided I'd share my experience.

You can make a ton of gold no matter what level you are. Hopefully this blog will help you get there.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Rags to Riches in WOW: Day 5...And 6....And 7

When I post the days of this experience these represent calendar days (not time played). That's why I'm posting 5 through 7 in one shot. I haven't had much time to be online those last couple days so my time was mostly in logging in, checking mail, scanning for bargains, posting them and then logging off.

So here goes the quick hits for those days...

Day 5

After opening my mail I'm sitting pretty at a little over 40 gold. Here's what I picked up. Same format as before: first number before the slash is what I paid for it and the number after is the expected worth.

Super Mana Potion x2 3g/7g
Scroll of Agility III x1 41s/90s
Scroll of Agility III x1 5s/90s
Gold Ore x2 40s/82s
Silver Bar x10 2.6g/5.575g
Thick Leather x20 84s/3g
Thick Leather x20 84s/3g
Heavy Leather x20 76s/3g
Spider's Silk x1 30s/9g
Linen Cloth x14 7s/32s
Wool Cloth x15 11s/88s
Tangy Clam Meat x4 7s/22s

Day 6

This is blur. I didn't have much time so I logged in, grabbed my mail, trolled the AH and put them back up for auction. I did a poor job of tracking everything I'm buying and selling, but I think you're getting the gist of it all by now. Also did some shopping for when I hit level 13 and here's some of what I bought (funny how I captured what I spent on these)...

Blackened Defias Boots 4g
Blackened Defias Leggings 3.9g
Blackened Defias Gloves 75s
Hunting Pants 10s
Lupine Handwraps of the Monkey 10s
Netherweave Bag 6.9g
Netherweave Bag 6.9g

I'd like to build up the Defias gear to get the set (5 pieces). I'm all about matching armor and looking good. I have friends go straight for the stats regardless, but I think you can look good AND have the stats. Especially when you've got a pile of gold to work with :) The bags are a necessity. I'm itching to get out and quest as soon as I get a little more time and the 6/8 slot bags are a joke. Yeah, these are more money, but time is money. The less time I have to worry about clearing out my bag or heading back to home base the more experience and/or gold I'm earning.

Day 7

Here's what's showing up in my mailbox (81 messages!) as what's been sold:

Scroll of Protection II
Elixir of Wisdom (several)
Healing Potion (several)
Silver Bar (several)
Scroll of Protection III
Dream Dust
Tangy Clam Meat (many)
Solid Sharpening Stone (many)
Copper Ore
Heavy Armor Kit (several)
Ironweb Spider Silk (several)
Spider's Silk (several)
Medium Leather
Small Glimmering Shard
Greater Astral Essense (several)
Greater Mana Potion (several)
Arcane Dust (several)
Core of Earth
Mithril Spurs

...after opening them all I'm at 69 gold. Not bad for an 11th level hunter. Since I have my pet (woop!) after I do some quick bargain hunting I need to find me a weapon master and build up my quest queue.

Off to Day 8

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Rags To Riches In WOW - Day 4

Opened my mailbox and my worries were justified...

First, the good news. From my sales I'm up to 19.07 gold. Not too bad for a level 9 hunter with no Sugar Daddy :) Didn't have time to hit 10 on day 3 so I'm definitely hitting it today.

The bad news is that only 2 of 10 Essence of Earth sold, none of the Dream Dust sold and only one Major Mana Potion sold. OK, so it's not really bad news and normally that doesn't bother me. Markets can get saturated with specific items which drives down prices and there aren't too many winners when that happens. This happens quite a bit items that are easy to farm and create (and these all are). When that happens I usually just hold it until there's a shortage and sell then. Sometimes moving everything in your stack can take a few cycles.

But for this experiment I want quick turnover. I am trying to find out how fast I can go from zero gold to over 100, with enchants and all kinds of great gear. So I want to do as little re-posting of my items in the auction house (AH) as possible.

So here's my strategy for these:

  • A bright spot - the mana market went up, but I'm changing my BO price to 1.75g (from 1.95g), because the market price is close to 2g. I want to unload.
  • There's still quite a bit of Dream Dust on the market, but their all in big stacks that go for big gold. I'm posting singles at my original price of .36g, but only half my inventory of 20. Those should go because there are plenty of enchanters who may only need a couple and will not buy a stack of 20 just to get 2 or 4.
  • I only post 4 of my Essence of Earth. Here I'm trying to keep my profit as high as possible.

My strategy for Dream Dust works like magic. It's selling like hotcakes as I'm leaving the AH so I end up posting the rest of my stack in singles.

Now here's my finds for the day. I am finding that this is getting harder to keep track of as I'm flipping more and more. Documenting it all is becoming a challege (read: taking me away from valuable game time :) So there might be something here or there that falls through:

Tin Bar x9 8s/79s
Tin Ore x3 11s/1.13g
Silver Bar x5 1.00g/2.79g
Briarthorn x5 11s/2.18g
Liferoot x11 12s/74s
Linen Cloth x18 3s/32s
Grilled Squid x3 5s/2.22g
Primal Earth x6 13g/22.5g
Essence of Water x1 72s/3.6g
Mana Potion x5 18s/1.13g
Large Glimmering Shard x1 50s/1.25g
Small Egg x10 1s/59s
Liferoot x11 13s/74s

Up till this point I haven't been doing a lot of shopping for myself. It's a waste of gold to spend on green items for anything other than a good weapon. You'll level so fast that you'll be in the market for new greens within a couple hours.

However I am doing some pricing on low level green armor sets for when I break through 10 and I'm convinced this must be a twink server. The prices are outrageous. To outfit myself with 10-12 level greens will cost about 15g. And they'll be good for about 2 hours of play...if that :)

I'll be back later.

Next up - Day 5

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Auctioneer Fixes for 2.3 Patch Available

The Auctioneer add on team have released versions of Auctioneer Classic and Auctioneer advanced that fixes the bugs introduced by the folks at WOW with their latest 2.3 patch. Some of the bugs I mentioned a couple days ago are now fixed and it's overall a MUCH better product.

The announcement of the fixes can be found in the Auctioneer forums, and the updated versions can be found off their download page.

This latest release really had quite a few surprises so many kudos to the Auctioneer team for getting a fix out quickly. I'm a happy flipper.

Nice work!

Begone Cheap Gold Ads

I'm no supporter of buying gold or power leveling. Hopefully with what I share here you'll have more gold that you'll be able to spend (though I'm sure you'll find a way :). And leveling should be much easier when you're able to buy the best gear.

To that end I'm working to ban ads that relate to both off my blog. When I catch one I can have it removed though it does take a couple hours to get rid of it. Feel free to let me know if you see any and don't click on them.


Monday, November 19, 2007

From Rags to Riches in WOW - Day 3

Good morning to me! Decided to login to check how things went with my auctions before heading to work. Gold ore, spider's silk, linen and a few other things sold. I'm sitting at 5.74 gold right now and I still have plenty still up in the AH. WooHoo!

OK, time to head to work and make some real money...

...later this evening when I log on I find my mailbox is full. What a great feeling :) After opening all my mail I'm sitting well at 12.89 gold.


Time to do a little bargain hunting and here's what I find. For each stack, the first number before the slash is the buyout price and the second number is the sell price...

Healing Potion x2 5s/49s
Major Mana Potion x5 2.5g/9.75g
Dream Dust x20 3.5/7.2g
Coarse Stone x6 2s/73.5s
Coarse Stone x7 7s/85.75s
Kingsblood x5 3s/32.5s
Deeprock Salt x3 11.25s/37.5s
Copper Ore x20 85s/18.g
Essence of Earth x10 99s/2.7g
Essence of Earth x10 99s/2.7g
Heart of Fire x1 2.53g/5.85g

So you might be wondering if I'm just blinding buying up what Auctioneer recommends. If not, why do I choose the items that I do.

Well, the answer to the first question is no, I'm not just buying blindly. There are two reasons. The first is that I want to pick items that sell quickly. The second is that just because the Auctioneer add on sees a good deal it doesn't necessarily mean that I'll get the price projected. My decisions made to this point are largely on what I know - Linen cloth, Copper Ore, etc. are all things I know will sell quickly.

I am a little worried about the Essence of Earth. My experience on my main Realm tells me these just don't sell like hotcakes. I couldn't resist the price, but I'm having a little remorse because I've just tied up 2 gold in something that will take a while to move. I'll get my profit out of them...eventually.

Alrighty. So after buying and putting everything back up in auction I'm back down to 3s and change. Yeesh. That's OK, because I really don't need to buy myself much now. Being level 8 things are I'll gear up once I hit 10 and get my pet.

I'm pretty excited about that so I'm off to see if I can hit 10 tonight.

Day 4 anyone?

Sunday, November 18, 2007

From Rags to Riches in WOW - Day 2

It's Day 2 of my quest to make 100 gold as fast as possible in World of Warcraft (WOW) by starting from scratch. We left off at the end of Day 1 with my hunter at level 6 and poor. The good news is that I've learned two good coin making professions (mining and skinning) and have made a full scan of the Auction House (AH) .

My top priorities for today is mine and skin enough materials to post on the AH to generate my seed money to start flipping. Because it does take a little money to post auctions in the AH, I'm going to need to complete some silver making quests. And it doesn't take long to complete both.
In less than an hour I've almost completed a few quests. Along the way I have mined 7 Copper Ore, have a stack of 9 light leather and a Tiger's Eye. Along the way to completing the quests I pick up a few more light leather, a couple more Copper Ore and some Malachite. After selling all the non-auctionable items (like rough stone, leather scraps and rabbit feet) I have a little over 5 silver to work with. I'm off to Ironforge.


Whenever I price my auctions my goal is to always have it bought at the buyout price. But I always try to squeeze out as much coin as I can while being competitive. So after some browsing for what the going rate is for what I'm posting I decide to split the copper into three stacks: 2 x4 and 1x2. The reason is because I can charge slightly more on the cost per each while still be attractive. Pricing is a mix of what the market price is, a little art and a pinch of gut feel.

When I price the Malachite I have a bit of luck on my side - there's a short in supply and people are charging way more than it's worth. So I'm able to price that at more than double what I'd expect to post it for.

Once I get everything posted I head out for a bit of questing, but before I make it out of the city I'm starting to get buyers. It's a good feeling to see that little envelope up by the minimap. It will take some time for the money to clear so I head out to level up.

I check my mailbox after I ding and I've got silver from my leather with coin already coming from my copper. I've got a few silver from all the mobs and selling greys, so with 30s in my pocket it's time to start looking for bargains.

First place I look is the Consumables and find a stack of 20 Elixir of Minor Defense for 15s. Even though I have a feeling it will take time to sell the whole stack I can't resist it. I'll price it at a little over 6s to make about 1 gold from it. Next I find a stack of Linen Cloth for 10s that I can turn for a 30s profit. This sucks all my silver, but by the time I'm done searching and browsing my copper sales come through.

Time for another scan and quite a few deals pop up! You can check the screenshot of what I found and bought (those greyed out were my purchases).

Later in the day I buy/post these. The first number is the buyout price, the second is the expected profit...

Wintersbite: 5s/21.24s
13 Strangedust: 79s/77s
Wool Cloth: 5s/15s
Superior Healing Potion: 10s/42s
10 Elemental Water: 20s/1.23g

Now through all this I'm not buying myself in terms of greens because at this low a level you don't need it (level 8 at the end of the day). But I did buy a green level 6 one handed axe that increases my DPS nearly 5x. That will make my battles a lot more fun.

See what happens in Day 3.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

From Rags to Riches in WOW - Day 1

It's cold in Ironforge and I'm not used to being alone. Or poor.

Definitely an odd feeling being on a new realm, at level 1 and no sugar daddy to send bags of coin my way so I can get all the best gear and training. But that's exactly what I want.

I've been pretty successful at making gold off the Auction House (AH) in World of Warcraft (WOW) and find myself thinking "boy, I wish I knew all this when I was first starting out." So this is an experiment to find out how long it takes for a brand-spanking new character, on a new realm, with no money and no help (twinking) from other toons, to make it rich.

First I need to define what it means to be "rich" or else I'll never know when I'm done. For the purposes of this experiment I'm going define rich as consisting of these four things:

  1. Own the best green gear available from the AH for my level that's available.
  2. Have a Fiery Enchant for my main weapon.
  3. Carrying 100g on my person for spending.

Now item #3 might not seem like a lot to some, but I expect to hit this milestone sometime before 20. And from my experience and the people I know that's pretty good. Especially considering the gold I plan to spend along the way.

So how long is this going to take? My theory is that this won't take that long and that it only takes a little silver to get the snowball rolling and building. So I'm curious to see how long it takes.

Another aspect to this is that I want to actually play with my character, and I shouldn't be spending all my time in the AH. Though there are likely to be times that I spend A LOT of time in the AH.

OK, back to Ironforge. It's Day 1.

Never played with a Hunter before, or a Dwarf, so take a wild guess as to what kind of toon I created for this experiment. I picked a Medium sized realm with a fairly close distribution between Alliance and Horde population.

Because loading up Auctioneer add on with AH data is so critical to making gold in the AH, I need to start scanning ASAP. My plan was to run to the AH first, before starting any quests, to perform a full scan of this new market. To my surprise I found that wasn't such an easy feat. Starting out in Ironforge (IF) as a Dwarf you need to fight your way through a bunch of level 4 mobs in order to break free of the beginner zone. So...

Ding, ding, ding, ding, ding, ding.....I leveled up to 6 (just to get all the hunter skills) and made my way to IF. In the process of leveling up I realized I had forgotten just how painfully difficult it is to make money just by questing/killing mobs when you are low level. This is a problem. I'm not going to need a lot of silver, but I will need some to start making money in the AH. But I don't want to start buying/selling when I'm 10 levels higher either.

The solution? Professions of course.

There are three professions that will generate the most coin early in the game: herbalism, mining and skinning. These all feed raw materials for the other professions so the trade goods they produce are always in demand. Herbalism will not allow you to start making decent coin flow until you are exploring level 20 areas or higher, so that's out. I go with mining and skinning.

Started the day with zero coin. By the time Day 1 is done, I've leveled up to 6, made it to IF, got two new professions and all the gear for them, made the inn in IF my home and I've completed my first scan of the AH. The amount of money I have left....19 copper.

Hmmm, I don't thing I'm buying anything to flip today, but that's OK. I've got all the groundwork set. I expect to be able start flipping in the AH tomorrow. It's going to be an exciting day.

Oh, and this Hunter is a blast to play with. Looking forward to my first pet :)

On to Day 2...

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

The Good, The Bad and The Workaround - Auctioneer And The New Patch From Blizzard

Auctioneer is now much faster. Auctioneer is now also broke.

The good news is that scanning is speedier. It used to take me about 4 minutes to scan the Trade Goods category. Now it's about 30 seconds! At first I thought Auctioneer was broken - had to be. Like maybe it wasn't scanning all the new categories or something. But I kept an eye on the page scan rate and the number of auctions scanned and it's definitely faster. WooHoo...less time in the Auction House (AH)!

The bad news is that this recent patch broke Auctioneer functionality for posting an auction. It seems that the new time options when posting auctions that I mentioned in yesterday's post are the culprit. Auctioneer is showing the old time selections (2, 8 and 24 hours) which doesn't seem compatible with the new (12, 24 and 48 hours). Had a minor panic attack when I went to create the auction and the item just sat there. What do I do? I actually went back to the WOW interface for the AH to post my items. I forgot how painful that is - getting cold sweats just thinking about it.

But there is some good news in terms of a workaround until this is fixed by the exceptional folks on the Auctioneer team. After experimenting a little I found that if I selected the 8 hour option for my auction it would get posted using the Auctioneer interface. And it seems that selection actually posts the item for 24 hours instead of 8 (which is my time preference for all my auctions). So it kinda works. One thing I don't know is if the amount of the deposit is accurate.

Unfortunately Auctioneer's ability to auto create auctions for you (SHIFT + ALT + Left Click on an item) does not work. If you're a stack splitter like myself, this means more time to post your auctions. But at least you don't have to use WOW default interface!

There's no word on Auctioneer's web site that they are aware of the problem or if a fix is in the works. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that the answer is "yes" and "yes."

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

World Of Warcraft Patch Improves Auction House Experience

Haven't logged in yet, but according to today's patch release notes for WOW there were three changes to the AH interface (this is taken right from their release notes)...

  1. The Auction House UI has been much improved. The useless categories have been removed (Plate-Cloak for instance) and a number of additional sub categories have been added. In addition, many items have had their category changed so that they make more sense.
  2. The Auction house time periods have been changed. Now items can be put up for sale for 12, 24, or 48 hours. The option to put up items for 8 hours has been removed.
  3. Sorting of auction house searches has been simplified so you can only sort by one column, and automatic sub-sorts have been created for those columns to be as useful as possible. In addition, sorting is now done on the server so as you page thru results, items will appear to be sorted across the entire results instead of just the page you’re looking at.

Item #1 was desperately needed. I can't wait to see the interface.

Item #2 is going to be interesting. Being able to post for 48 hours will change the dynamics of some markets. For example, the market for an item can get saturated driving down prices and making it difficult to get back to the historical market price. Happens all the time with disenchanted drops (like Lesser/Greater Magic Essence). When this happens and I have a stack to sell I just wait for the current supply to dry up either through purchase or (more often) auctions expire. It'll be interesting to see how this plays out. I can see this effect drive down prices for some items.

Item #3...I didn't realize I could sort by more than one column. Hopefully this fix will sort things correctly because I often experience sorting that doesn't quite work for searches that span several pages. For example, low-to-high prices.

Time to log in and check it out!

Monday, November 12, 2007

Think Small and Double Your Gold

Want to know how you can double (or triple or even quadruple) the gold you'll make when you flip that stack of 20 Silver Bars you just picked up at the World of Warcraft (WOW) Auction House (AH) at a bargain? Or on virtually any stack of goods you want to sell in the AH?

Think small. Specifically, think small stack size when you go to post your goods for auction. You'll be able to charge more for each item and reach more buyers.

Many of the bargains I find in the AH are usually found in stacks. Stacks of Silver Bars, Spider's Silk, Tangy Clam Meat, Potions, Elixirs, Armor Kits, etc. The bargain is usually there because it's being sold as a stack - someone wants to unload a whole bunch of items all at once. Usually, big stacks need to get priced low so that it moves.

Now when I go an resell it in the AH, I usually breakdown the stack into individual items or tiny stacks (of 1's and 2's usually). This way I'm able to charge more per item and move more items.

Some of you might be thinking "Gee Og, that's an awful lot of work to split a stack of 20 and post them all mouse finger will get tired." While it is more work to post, it can mean the difference between doubling, tripling or even quadrupling, the gold you can get back! On the other hand, keeping one large, very expensive stack could mean no buyers and that means burning time reposting and eating the deposit each time.

Here's an example of how this works...

I picked up a stack of 20 Briarthorn for about 2g. I had a good feeling I could get somewhere between 6g and 8g for it, but if I would have tried to sell the stack for one hefty sum I probably wouldn't get many buyers. The reason is because those who are looking to buy Briarthorn don't have that kind of coin. This herb is used by Alchemists in some low-level potions that do not have a high resell value (for the most part) so it's unlikely you could get your money back. But it is needed to level-up, so there is a demand.

However, if I post 10 stacks of 2, or all 20 individually (which is what I usually do), I can usually sell the stack for a total of 8g-9g! That's because it's easier to part with a few silver to buy just what you need than the buy excess with little hope of recouping costs.

Splitting large stacks into smaller ones works well across most items. However there are some cases where you can overdo it. For example, splitting a stack of 20 Linen Cloth to sell individually is nutty - when people need Linen Cloth they usually need A LOT of it. You'll get the feel of where it makes sense (or not) pretty quickly though.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

I'll Flip You For It! - Make A Ton Of Gold At The WOW Auction House

There are bargains in the Auction House (AH) all the time. If you can find these bargains, and have a little coin, you can buy out the auction and flip it - post it back in the AH for a profit. I've made anywhere from 20s to over 100g on individual items by flipping them. And anybody can do this - it's not rocket science. But there is a hitch - you have to find the bargains first.

The good news is that if you have the Auctioneer addon for World of Warcraft you have just the tool you need. When this addon is installed and loaded you will be able to search auctions for items that are priced 30%, 40%, 90% or any % under their market price. You do this through the Search Auctions tab that shows up in the AH interface (see screenshot).

Before I go any further, let me say that if you are not regularly scanning the AH with Auctioneer this tab can't help you. That's because searching auctions for bargains relies on the Auctioneer database which is only populated by scanning the AH.

Assuming you are keeping Auctioneer fed with market data, here's what the different settings on this screen mean...

Search: There are five items in this drop-down to choose from - Bid, Buyout, Competition, Item and Seller. I only use the Bid and Buyout options. This is partially out of ignorance and mostly out of not-feeling-the-need-to-use-the-other-options. The Bid option searches the bid prices in the AH and the Buyout searches the, you guessed it, buyout prices.

Minimum Profit: Here's where you tell Auctioneer which items you want to see from the search based on their profit potential. The profit is based on what the item's buyout or bid price is (depending on what you set for the Search option) compared to the market price. You can set it based on copper (um, why?), silver and/or gold. I tend to set this for 20s because the way Auctioneer determines market price is good, but far from perfect...that's fodder for another post.

Min Pct Less: Restricts which items are shown based on potential profit. For example, setting this at 30 means auctioneer will only show those items that it believes can turn a 30% profit, or more, if you flip it.

Min Bid %: I don't use this. Min Pct Less works pretty well for me for both Bids and Buyouts.

Category Restriction: Tells Auctioneer which categories to scan for bargains.

Minimum Quality: Defaults to "Poor." I don't touch it because I don't want to filter out any items and I want to see everything.

Search for Item: I don't use this either since I'm not looking for specific items but bargains in general.

OK, so once you've got all your criteria setup you hit the "Search" button. In the example screenshot here I scanned the Consumable market. When the results come back from the search you'll get five columns:

Qty - The quantity of the item.

Name - Duh.

Buyout (or Bid) - The buyout (or bid) price.

Profit - Amount Auctioneer thinks you could make if you flipped this item.

Pct - Percent profit based on the differenece between the buyout (or bid) price and the estimated market price.

When these results come back, I immediately click on the Pct column to reverse the order and show those items that have the biggest profit margins. On the surface, the results shown here don't look spectacular but I see where I can probably make 4g and only spend about 2g. Plus this is just one category.

A couple of things to keep in mind when using the Search Auctions functionality in Auctioneer:

  1. The results shown here is based off your last scan of the AH categories you have selected. Make sure you scan right before you search.
  2. If you are just starting out, stick to buying items that you at least have an idea of what the market is for them.
  3. The % of profit and amount of profit shown are not entirely accurate.
  4. Before buying an item, browse the items that are currently listed (your competition if you buy). This will give you an idea of whether the projected profit is lower or higher than what Auctioneer shows.
  5. It should be obvious from the first three points, but don't just blindly start buying out all the items in the search results.

It might take a few times before you get a good feel for what to buy and what to pass on, but it will come. And so will the profits! Happy hunting!

Friday, November 9, 2007

Are You Throwing Gold Away?

If you don't take the time to scan the auction house (AH) with Auctioneer on a regular basis you are likely throwing gold off the gryphon. Without a good sampling of what's selling in the AH, it's a good bet you'll end up making at least some of these mistakes:

  • Leave behind or destroy valuable loot because it's "worthless
  • Sell loot to a vendor that could have fetched 5 times more coin in the AH
  • Leave gold on the table by selling an item far below its market price
  • Bleed gold and time by repeatedly pricing items in the AH far above the market value

If you don't have the Auctioneer addon for World of Warcraft, get it! If you have it, use it. I know it can be a pain to perform full scans of the AH because it takes time to do. On my realm the scan can run for about 10 minutes. Ugh. However there are ways you can minimize its intrusiveness on play time. Try running it...

  • A little before you plan to start playing for the day.
  • Whenever you want to take a break.
  • As the last thing you kick off after you're done for the day.
  • In the mornings when you're getting ready for work or school.

Not sure what scanning the AH house means? When the Auctioneer addon is loaded, in addition to the AH interface you are used to you'll notice two new elements on the first tab: checkboxes next to all the catogories and a "Scan" button on the bottom next to where your gold (or silver or...gasp...copper?) is shown.

The checkboxes tell Auctioneer which categories to scan. It does take a while to do (and there are two really big ones - Armor and Trade Goods), but I recommend checking them all and do a full scan at least once a week. When you start flipping you'll be scanning specific categories more often and full scans will be less important.

After you click the "Scan" button, Auctioneer will tell you the progress it makes and will let you know when it's done. Aside from the time taken away from questing and raiding, it's pretty painless. Now when you hover over an item in WOW, whether it's in your bag, at a vendor or in the AH, Auctioneer will popup a window that shows you what it's seen in the AH in terms of pricing like in the screenshot to the left.

Looks like I'm not going to unload this for 5g :)

With this information easily at your finger tips you are less likely to make mistakes in pricing based on bad (or no) information. Now to really get the most coin for the items you put in the AH this isn't the only thing you'll have to do, but it's a start.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

About This Blog

I'm relatively new to World of Warcraft and only been playing for a couple months. But one thing I found that I'm good at is making money in the Auction House (AH). Since I wish I knew what I know now when I started playing, I figured others might benefit from this as well.

Basically what I do is flip items in the AH - buy items below market price in the AH and resell them at market price (or slightly below) for a profit. This blog will have all the tips and strategies for finding bargains, reading the market and setting the right price. I'll also point out the mistakes I've made so they can (hopefully) be avoided.

I've seen a lot of folks complain about twinks: low-level toons that get tons of gold to buy the best equipment from high-level main characters. But you don't have to have a level 40+ character to feed gold to your low-level toon to get the best goodies. Nor do you have to endlessly farm the same mobs to generate your coin.

You should be able to find tips and trcks that you can use regardless of how much time you spend in the AH.