Monday, December 31, 2007

Have A Great New Year's Eve

Here's wishing you all a safe, happy and profitable New Year's Eve. Easy on the Rumsey Rum Black Label. Unless you're romping the battlegrounds of course!


Beginner Auction House Tycoons - Use Auctioneer Classic

Ever since Tobold's frustrating experience with Auctioneer I've been thinking about which version of Auctioneer is right for those just starting out with bargain hunting in the WoW Auction House (AH).

The answer: Auctioneer Classic.

Personally I use both. Both? Yeah, both. Auctioneer Advanced is good for the more advanced strategies of flipping in the AH, but Auctioneer Classic has a few features that come in real handy for me. I'll write more about how I used the Advanced suite in later posts.

For now, focus on the Classic version. It's more intuitive and easier to understand just coming out of the gate. And many of my tips and examples already deal with the Classic version. Like my post on how to use Auctioneer Classic to search auctions for deals and my whole Rags to Riches series uses Auctioneer Classic for all my flipping.

And there are a smattering of posts if you click on the Auctioneer label here in the blog.

If you have any questions or frustrations with Auctioneer I'd love to here them. If I have an answer for you (I never seem to be at a loss for words...I know, you're surprised) I'll follow-up with an e-mail, comment or new post.

Hey, success stories are good too! Breaks up cranky energy that really mess with my yin and yang. Ohmmmmm.

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Tips for Pugs

Read any WoW blog long enough and you'll read about the trials and tribulations that we all experience when part of a pick up group (PUG). Particularly about the wipes like Ironhelm's hilarious account of common PUG implosions. Never underestimate the power of stupidity in large groups.

These posts are very popular because misery loves company. And sometimes you have to laugh to keep from crying.

Then you luck out. You get a group at random and everyone knows their rolls. The tank tanks. Healer heals. DPS causes crazy damage and agro is not lost. We wait to rebuff and drink. You keep waiting for the train wreck to start and it never happens.


This happened for one of my alts last night running Stocks. It's not a particularly hard instance to run, but it's very, very easy to pull MASS amounts of mobs. But we rocked it. In spite of the Shaman who kept dying because he couldn't handle his DPS or resist pulling mobs faster.

Sure I thanked everyone, but I wanted each of them to know that they were real standouts (except for the Shaman). So after we left I headed straight for the mailbox and sent each of them a couple gold with a note of thanks (except for the Shaman).

And you know, it doesn't matter if I get responses back or not. That's not the point. I know that if I got something like that in my mailbox that would blow me away.

So if you see an opportunity to reward good players do it.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Spiders Are To Icky As Spider's Silk Are To Gold

In this blog I write about the tools, strategy and style of making gold in the WoW Auction House (AH) in this blog. At the same time, while you're sifting through all my hot air, it's good to sink your canines into a nice, juicy bargain. And then shake the Old Crappy McWeakSauce out of it until some gold falls out.


From time to time I'll be highlighting those items that tend to be (or have been) some of my favorite bargain targets. These are or have been part of my own shopping lists. Sure, sure realms and markets vary, but there are things I find do well no matter where I am.

So far, some of the items I've listed for the fledgling AH tycoon in you are meats required to level cooking and some cloth trade goods. Still, you'll need variety in your shopping list. While there are always bargains to be had in the AH, it's rare it happens day-after-day for the same items. Why would someone pay a higher price then?

So here's two more items to add to your list: Spider's Silk and Ironweb Spider Silk. These two I can always find bargains for at least a couple times a week.

Spider's Silk is good for the beginner because you can often find it for under 30 silver each and then turn around and sell it for 90 silver to about 1 gold each. The Ironweb variety can also be found at great deals of under 70 silver each and go for more than twice that.

Why can it be had so cheaply? It has to be because people don't understand it's worth. Or they want the money now.

Why can they be sold at a premium? Because Spider's Silk is a material for some high demand items. Ironweb Spider silk makes a slew of great stuff too (note all the blues and purples....mmmmmm, purple).

Auctioneer will pick bargains up on these (depends on your profit settings), but just browse for these manually until you're sure that Auctioneer is configured correctly.

If you land a big stack of these things do not repost them all. Keep it between 3-5 items and post them in singles. Sometimes the market can flood from farming, but it dies out pretty quick and doesn't happen that often. Just hold and wait till it dries up.

Then rake it in.

These are both good beginner investments. If you are tight on coin, stick with the Spider's Silk to start.

Now go out there and flip!

Massively Tobold and Someone Else

New blog adds:

  • Tobold's MMORPG somehow was left off the list. Awesome site. Great content. Wooops! Fixed.
  • Someone from Someone: Altaholic on Wildhammer EU has kept me on my toes with great feedback and questions on what I've put on this site. When I saw spreadsheets on her (his?) blog I immediately got a warm-and-fuzzy feeling. Data is good.

Read, comment and enjoy.

Friday, December 28, 2007

A Bad Experience With Auctioneer

Tobold was inspired by me to download Auctioneer and give it a whirl. Me! My head is so big I won't be able to fit through the Auction House (AH) door.

/deflate ego


First off, thanks for the link Tobold. I've got you in my personal feed. Not sure why you're not on the roll but will take care of that right after this post.

Second, his experience with Auctioneer was less than joyful. He brings up many good points about how the Auctioneer add-on experience can be about as much fun as getting ganked by an army of twink rogues in Warsong Gulch. And I'm sure he's not the only one. So I figured I'd share my perspective here.

Auctioneer's Prices Are Wrong

Correct-ish. I wrote about how the add-on can be misleading a couple weeks back. Auctioneer will give you good information as long as you feed it often. Over time the prices will even out and you can start trusting it. You do this by scanning the AH regularly.

How soon can you count on Auctioneer's data to give you good info? Glad you asked. Just wrote about this yesterday.

Tobold is right that it doesn't take into account world events, time of the week or anything else that can impact a market. This is why you should always stick to markets you kinda-sorta know when first starting off. Build your confidence in the tool and yourself before taking risks.

Auctioneer's Stats Aren't Perfect

Correct-ish. In Auctioneer Advanced the most prominent stats are the averages it displays. Averages are a good metric, but not great. They do roll in the uber-high-what-are-you-smoking prices as well as the really low ones. This can skew the info.

However, it does display the median price as well. For those that used to leave math class with a big red circle on your forhead and wiping drool from your cheek, the median is the middle price for all the auctions Auctioneer has seen. This means half of all auctions where below this number and half of all auctions where above this number. It's better than an average because those auctions for Refreshing Spring Water at 900 gold don't mess with it at all.

I find that the median price is a better guide for the market value and it's my main point of reference for my flips.

Auctioneer Advanced Is Too Confusing

You bet it is. Especially with the suite of tools. There are a lot of bells and whistles that make this add-on very powerful. The Auctioneer team continues to do a phenominal job at delivering a top-notch tool. My Crimson Felt Hat goes off to them.

/shake pom-poms

The downside is that it's very confusing, overwhelming and frustrating for new users. Even for seasoned users. Sounds like Tobold had BottomScanner on which can be as much fun as bamboo under the fingernails if it's not set correctly.

If you are just getting started, use Auctioneer Classic instead. I've got a slew of tips and examples of using it. It's a good starting point.

Profits Would Dry Up If Everyone Used Auctioneer

While I think this is a natural concern to have, I respectfully disagree. I'm surprised this hasn't been brought up before. Here's why I'll never be worried about how many people use auctioneer and being able to make lots of gold at it.

  1. Everyone has a different style of play. Not everyone will buy a La-Z-Boy recliner, roast smores in the fires of the Ironforge AH and snatch up all the bargains all day. Very few people enjoy flipping so much that it will be the vast majority of their play experience.
  2. Each flipper has a different risk aversion. This means that while some will be wheeling-and-dealing in Epics some will be extremely conservative. There's room for everyone.
  3. Each flipper will have a different market strategy. Some like to undercut everyone. Some like to target market price. Some like to wait till items dry up and sell for a premium. Others don't like waiting and will try and corner the market.
  4. Not everyone will use Auctioneer. People will get confused, get burned, not care and so on.
  5. There are always deals. There is always the next deal. The AH is open 24x7 and there are deals every minute. It will not dry up.


Long post.

So, are there any other bad experiences out there? Other things that drive you crazy about Auctioneer? I'm curious to know.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Light And Aerie, Bringing The HoG And Another Good AH Site

New blogs added:

  • Kestrel's Aerie is a great mix of WoW topics. There's something there for everyone.
  • And I'm still wiping the tears away after reading Hammer of Grammer.
  • Read MMO Auctioneer to get additional tips and perspectives on how to make mad gold in the WoW Auction House.

...and I've cleaned up a few due to lack of activity.


Ask Og - How Many Scans Does Auctioneer Need For Me To Trust It's Recommendations?

Got this question from a comment on one of my posts for just getting started with flipping. As I was writing the response it dawned on me that others might be interested in the answer as well (I'm thinking pretty highly of myself right now - don't worry, this won't last long). So how many scans of the Auction House (AH) do you need to do to start trusting Auctioneer's recommendations?

Well, it depends on the item.

First let me clarify that it's not just the number of scans, but the number of scans over different days. So don't go in and just scan 7 times over 30 minutes and feel you're good to go. If you do you are just re-scanning the same auctions and what you want is historical data. Historical data will even out the data which is what you want.

In addition, if you are just starting out, stick with markets you know or kinda-sorta know. That reduces the risk. I'll post something about how to take risks the smart way by learning from my experience ("experience" = "all the times Og's screwed up royally because he thought he knew it all").

For me to feel pretty confident on Auctioneer's recommendations across all auctions I aim for a week's worth of scanning with a scan each day. If you don't play everyday (your willpower impresses me) a minimum of 4 scans on different days.

Now you can start trusting the results for some things off the very first scan. These are items that are high volume and high demand items where the current competition is probably more important than historical ones. These items are...

#2 Silk Cloth (0.08g)
#4 Linen Cloth (0.02g)
#5 Runecloth (0.17g)
#7 Mageweave Cloth (0.18g)
#8 Wool Cloth (0.06g)
#9 Light Leather (0.04g)
** #10 Strange Dust (0.08g)
#12 Knothide Leather (0.50g)
#15 Medium Leather (0.04g)
** #18 Vision Dust (0.38g)
#19 Rugged Leather (0.19g)
#20 Bronze Bar (0.11g)
#23 Copper Ore (0.07g)
** #24 Dream Dust (0.32g)
#25 Adamantite Ore (0.87g)
#26 Earthroot (0.06g)
#28 Thick Leather (0.09g)
#29 Thorium Bar (0.90g)
#30 Copper Bar (0.05g)

The number with the pound (#) sign is the ranking by number of items in all the stacks from a recent snapshot of the Exodar AH. Those items with two asterisks in front of it are enchanting mats, highly volatile and I only recommend it if they are very cheap and in stacks of 20 or less (large quantities don't move quickly). Following the rank is the name of the item followed by a number in parenthesis. That number is the average buyout price per item (not auction) in gold - just remove the decimal point and you have the number of silver. So .05 gold is 5 silver.

I've also bolded those items that you can focus on with very little coin. Now these aren't the only items you can start flipping on with an empty purse, but these are the ones that everyone knows, has the supply/demand and you can just do what Auctioneer suggests.

A side note on averages - I'm not crazy about them because they don't account for the you've-got-to-be-freakin-kidding-me prices we all see in the auction house. Fresh bread for 750 gold...that better be some goooooood bread. However, averages do work pretty well on the high volume items so that's why I decided to use it.

Go flip and prosper.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Happy Holidays

I will be taking a few days off from posting for the holidays. May all your auctions be sold and your bags of gold grow large!

Best wishes.

Friday, December 21, 2007

WoW AH Flipping For The Beginner

So you're looking for a way to get your feet wet into this whole "flipping" business, but you worked pretty hard for your coin. Heck, you didn't grind Westfall sans quests for six hours because it was "fun." How many Gnolls do you have to kill to get that Sentry Cloak anyway?

Um, a lot.

And it's depressing you. And if you loose any of this coin you won't get a good night sleep for at least another week. And you'll definitely stop reading this blog, which wasn't much good anyway.

The good news is I think we can ease you into this gradually. The bad news is that if your playing habits are anything like mine your sleeping habits are hosed for,um, the foreseeable future.

OK, let's get started and make that money work for you. We'll also play it as safe as you can play it without buying Ironforge Treasury Bonds. We'll focus on the items that have some of the highest demand and highest supply. This keeps the prices pretty stable with a lot of willing buyers. I'm talking about cloth - Linen, Wool, Silk, Mageweave and Runecloth.

There are others but these are all movers and also provide a variation in how much each will cost you to flip. Another plus is that these mats are included in a LOT of profession and skill recipes. Plus I'm sure you understand these markets pretty well because you've got them from drops, sold them and probably used them leveling up professions and First Aid.

(for those of you who said "First Aid?" I'll pretend I didn't hear that and recommend you RUN to the nearest guard, find a trainer and level, level, level that skill up).

To get an idea of the volume of these four items, here's today's pull from the AH on Exodar.

You'll note that these five items represent five of the Top 6 items by auction volume. You can play around with these until you get the hang of it. Now markets can change, and I've seen some cloth dry up, but it's rare that it's drastic.

OK, time to fire up Auctioneer and hunt for bargains. First a quick look at Linen Cloth and I'm using Auctioneer Advanced for this one. After doing a quick search and here's what pops up...

Looking at the buyouts here there are three auctions, totalling 52 linen cloth, that are priced between 30%-38% of their value. If you flip these three you should be able to clear somewhere around 50 silver. OK, nothing to brag to the other guys and gals in battle grounds about but you did want to start on the safe side.

Want to earn a little more? Let's look at Wool Cloth...

We can turn a couple of these into a couple gold pieces just by buying them, running to your mailbox and running back to the AH. And so on up the chain of cloth items.

Not bad. So give this a go for a while to get the feel for it and leave the gnolls alone.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Blog's First Milestone

Well this blog has hit it's first milestone. I've crested over 1,000 page views since opening Og's Ledger's doors on November 8 of this year.

/wipe tears of joy

Next stop 1,000 unique users or 10,000 hits. Right now about 275 fabulously unique individuals have visited this humble blog.

Thanks for your interest and those wonderful comments. This has been a lot of fun.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

What Everyone Should Know About Auctioneer

The fact is, Auctioneer can be wrong.


OK, maybe "wrong" is a little harsh. Misled is probably a better word. It doesn't happen that often. Sometimes it's obvious but most times it's not. When it's not sooo obvious is when it can cost you serious gold because you realize too late that your profit margin is turning into a big loss.

You're probably thinking "so what the h-e-double-[Telaari Polearms] are you talking about, Og? Be specific. Focus. Gimme examples."

I'll give two examples - one using Auctioneer Classic (AC) and one using Auctioneer Advanced (AA). Here's what I pulled up recently when searching for bargains using AC...

[Freshly Baked Bread] is going for how much?!?!? And to think I was wasting all my time in the AH looking for bargains! Um, yeah. So what's up with this?

Well the way the auctioneer suite values an item is by looking back at the historical prices it has, which comes from your dutiful and diligent Auction House (AH) scans (/nag). At some point somebody posted bread at some obscene, crazy price which caused the market value of the item to get skewed big time. Fair market price is a couple of copper, not hundreds of gold.

Why would someone post fresh bread at ridiculous levels?

  1. They're buying gold. After it's bought they post an item up for auction for an amount equal to however much gold they bought. The gold farmers buy it and complete the transaction.
  2. Someone was bored and pricing bread at 80 gold a loaf was the most fun they had all day.
  3. Deliberately trying to artificially inflate the market price long enough so they can drop the price and rake in the profits. Even though the item isn't worth 1/1,000 the price it looks outrageously cheap to suck in the naive, unthinking and sleep deprived.
  4. Someone saw the crazy price as a result of one of the top 3 and tried to see if they could make some easy coin buy doing the same thing.

The second example comes from using AA and BottomScanner. This one looks legit and a good candidate for a flip that can earn over 10 gold (assuming mark down).

Then we look a little closer. Two pieces of information I use from Auctioneer quite often are the:

  • Last X, median BO (ea) - Historically, the median of up to the last 36 (I believe that's the limit) auction prices for this item. Small historical snapshot to Even out what shows up on the next line.
  • Scanned X, median BO (ea) - The number of auctions for this item on last scan and the median price of those items. If you did a scan of the AH before bargain hunting this represents what's going on in the AH right now.

When looking at these numbers this flip would cost me gold. The last 26 items had a median buyout of 19.75 gold. From the most recent scan (which didn't include this set of wristguards) there was one item posted for 252 gold but my guess is it didn't sell for that.

When in doubt, lean on those two pieces of information to guide you. When common sense /shrugs, look at those before you buy.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Magestic Flipper Of The Og

When you start scouring the Auction House (AH) for bargain basement deals you will invariably hit a wall of green - weapons and armor that is. So many deals, so little coin. You can't possibly buy them all out.

Or could you? If you have problems walking a straight line because of so much gold coin lining your pockets and bags then you might be able to do it. But you definitely wouldn't want to. Most will take forever to sell and the profits are rarely nearly as good as they seem.

The problem with most greens is that there's A LOT of them. Markets get saturated, prices drop, deposit fees are taken away, gnomes start dating trolls and all kinds of other bad things start happening. Pretty soon you're spending all your time in the AH, in denial, trying to sell those Buccaneer's Bracers of the Owl for 5 gold for the seventh time.

Plus, if you miss a bargain you know green armor is like a Gryphon - if you miss one you can count on another one not being far behind.

But you can make money if you know what to look for. In this post I'll keep it short and talk about green armor pieces that are part of the "of the" variety.

...of the Monkey
...of the Eagle
...of the Bear
...of the Gorilla

The ones you want to look at are the four I just listed. Reason being is that these all have stat combinations that are in very high demand. Monkey has + Stamina/ + Agility. Eagle has + Stamina / + Intellect. Bear has + Stamina / + Strength. Gorilla has + Strength / + Intellect. Stamina rules and the combinations above are the ones that will fly off the shelves if priced right.

Even if you have a bargain in your cross hair that has matches one of those names, take a look at what the current competition is. If the market is flooded you can either hold it, undercut or keep the market price hoping for a run. For me, I don't like re-posting auctions so I happily pass any greens that are seen too often. It's not the right time in my case, but others love the idea of keeping all their alts bank slots full of inventory. Match your style, I say.

Plus, if I wished I had picked up a specific item for flip I know another bargain is right around the corner.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Auction House Gurus Share Their Secrets

The best way to improve any skill is to hang around with people who are much better at it than you are. You can grow skills on your own, but there's a cap. On your own you learn from your own mistakes instead of the mistakes of others.

Now, you're always going to make mistakes. If you're not then you're not trying hard enough. The goal is to make less mistakes by learning from those that have the experience.

OK, ok the goal is to make a boatload of gold. And that's where hanging with people who are Auction House (AH) smart will pay dividends - more money in your Imbued Netherweave Bag and less shrinkage of the self-esteem.

Now I know what you're thinking, "But Og, all I got is your crummy blog...where do I find these AH smart people?" I'm glad you asked!

Head over to the thread over at Norganna's AddOns forum that talks about gold making strategies. These are some of the smartest people I know when it comes to making big coin in the AH, and it's interesting to see how they each approach the AH a bit differently.

Some of the strategies include:

  • Buy cheap greens (and higher), disenchant and sell the mats at a higher price than the items where priced for
  • Buy cheap enchanting mats and flip
  • Buy anything on the AH that is significantly below market value and flip
  • Buy for prospecting (Jewel Crafting) and sell what get's prospected
  • Focus on buying and flipping Epics
  • Undercut on resale
  • Charge a premium

...and mixes of all the above. In addition, it seems like everyone had different tools from the Auctioneer suite they liked, different configuration settings and different funding amounts (how much you keep on hand strictly for flipping on the AH).

While all these pros had a game plan that was slightly different than the others, they all had common threads that didn't changed no matter what their strategy was. These are the key "secrets" to being successful in the AH:

  1. Discipline - All scanned the AH frequently and consistantly. Feed Auctioneer and it will throw up numbers you can count on. Wait, that didn't come out like I meant it.
  2. Patience - The market for items, categories or as a whole can go in unexpected directions. Patience can mean the difference between selling for a loss or superior profits.
  3. Market Knowledge - Understanding an item, profession or class market means picking out the right bargains, leaving duds behind and bringing home the Helboar Bacon at the end of the day.
  4. Learn From Others - Most of these folks are raking in somewhere north of 1,000 gold per week, yet they still share information, ask for help and seek to understand other strategies.

This second list applies to you whether you are making thousands of gold or trying to crack 10g for the first time.

Put this one on your bookmarks.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

What's In Your Auction House?

I've been using the fabulous tools from the Auctioneer team for a while now, and doing quite well with them. While I have always had visibility into where the bargains are, the competition and history of those items, these are always small slices of what's really going on in the Auction House (AH). I wanted to know what else was going on, particularly because I'm a data wonk and like stats. But I also thought it would give me a better understanding the markets that rise and fall for the realms I play.

And I knew that all that data was virtually at my fingertips. It just needed a little coaxing to come out of the shadows.

You see, when you are using Auctioneer Classic or Auctioneer Advance it stores a snapshot of the market every time it scans. The historical prices are kept in more summary form, but AC/AA has the details of your last scan. All I needed to do to get to it was dig through several thousand lines of LUA code, traverse scores of objects, open many files and rely on virtually zero documentation.

Compared to forming a PUG that won't wipe halfway through an instance, I was thinking this had to be a piece-o-cake. It was just a matter of finding the time...

Found it! Actually I found it a while ago but the danger with having this data is that it's a lot of fun to see what you can find in it. I mean who doesn't like slicing and dicing 20,000+ records? Right? You're with me...I can feel it.

Anyway, without going too much further into the details (i.e. rambling) here are a few interesting tidbits from Exodar as of the snapshot of the market from this morning....

Top 20 Sellers (and the rest of us schleps)

World of Warcraft Exodar Auction House Top 20 Sellers - 12-12-2007

This first snapshot is a list of the top 20 sellers in the AH in terms the buyout value of their posted auctions. A couple of things that stood out for me:

  • The top 20 accounts for nearly 22% of the buyout value of all the items in the AH (btw...this is in gold) while the other 1,500 of us make up the remaining 78%.
  • It's the quality of the auctions not the quantity. These guys and gals only represent 5.75% of the auction volume. Oh, and the quanity is the number of auctions...not number of items (like two auctions that involve stacks of 20 items are counted as 2 here...not 40).
  • If you wanted to buy out the Exodar, Alliance AH you'd have to have over 120K gold. That's a lot of copper tubing.

And The Most Valuable Category Is....

Exodar Auction House Category Valuations - 12/12/2007

Trade Goods. Followed closely by Armor, Weapons, etc. You get the drift. Stuff most of us already know, but for those that don't it becomes quite clear which categories to not waste your time in: Container, Projectile and Quiver.

Weapons & Armor - Where Are The Opportunities?

World of Warcraft Weapons and Armor Levels

Some of the bargains with the biggest potential profits come from Weapons and Armor. It can also be the riskiest (I've lost 30 gold on weapon and armor before because I misread or mistimed the market). One of the keys to the value of weapons and armor is in its rarity of the items (how often it shows up in the AH). This is somewhat true in other auctions, but moreso here.

From a quick glance it looks like that those players who are level 40-59 don't have as much to choose from in the W&A market (at least in Exodar), but it's still very profitable. Level 70 makes complete sense as the lowest number and the higest prices. Nothing too surprising here. What would have been more interesting is to see how you can make more money in W&A where the user level ends in "9." More on that in another post.

This is a very, very small sample of the types of reports I can pull. I plan on making more available and for more realms but that will take some time. Will keep you posted. Let me know if you have any suggestions or requests.

BRK, Bremm and Warcrafter

Updates and adds to the blogs and links:

  • Big Red Kitty is all grown up. They've moved the whole shebang from Blogger over to their own server. It's nice to see people with a passion and a knack to take what they like to do and make a go of it. They're having a great ride. Gratz!
  • Came across Bremm's Musings from a comment on one of my posts. Funny, varied and I've seen at least one graph in his posts. Graphs and stats are good for the soul.
  • It's good to be popular. Everyone is throwing their Aboriginal Loincloth's on stage for WarCrafter. If it hasn't popped up on your favorite WoW blog it's only a matter of time. I haven't had a chance to bang around on it but the endorsements are good enough for me to slap it in the links.

Grab coffee, visit, read, contribute. Repeat often.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Begone Gold Ads - I Really, Really Mean It This Time

Just added 4 more gold selling sites to my list of ads to ban from showing up on this site. This brings my list to 16. I kind of feel like I'm trying to catch water in a strainer. Or tanking with a Mage.

I'm thinking this is going to be a constant battle for me, but that's OK. They don't call me "Mr. Tenacious" for nothing.

If you can't tell I'm no fan of buying gold or enabling it. There's absolutely no reason why you can't earn it, and relatively quickly, through my tips as well as others I link to. Look, I'm not particularly smart (do you know anybody named "Og" that went to Harvard or Wharton?). So if I can grow a handful of silver into several hundred gold in about a week there's no reason why you can't. And do it faster because my example focused completely on the auction house - add some questing and farming and you can blow through that example.

Go forth and be successful and have a boat load of fun doing it.

Get Yer Butt Outta Bed!

Wadi inspired this post from two of hers that talk about the advantages of WoW in the early morning (here and here). It's like the saying goes, "The early Mage gets the 5 Primal Fire for 50g!"

The only difference is that she's talking about not getting ganked and I'm talking about the Auction House (AH). Though, before I knew what I was doing, I've been ganked (spanked, name it!) in the AH before.

The nice thing about hitting the auction house in the morning is that you can usually find good bargains from the night before. At the end of the night people are leveling up their skills and trying to throw everything in the AH fast because it's 4AM and they have to get up for school, work, kids, etc. in 2 hours (not like I know this from personal experience or anything). When people rush, they often settle. Plus everyone just wants their stuff to sell.

Going on first thing in the morning (6am - 8am) I can make an additional 10g-40g just from that. You don't have to post the items if you don't have the time. Just buy them. You can't sell them if you don't have them. It takes about 10 minutes.

I recommend getting a scan of the AH in there as well - feed Auctioneer, or Auctioneer Advanced, and it will be very good to you. I know you Hunters out there get that analogy.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Unintended Hiatus

I can't believe it's been three days since I posted something. I meant to, but I couldn't pull myself away from a pet project I'm working on with the data that is harvested with Auctioneer Advanced. More info on that hopefully later on this week.

When I did pull myself out of coding I would logon to WoW for just a minute or two (translation: a couple hours).

Too bad the gold I'm making in WoW can't hire me an assistant!

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Making Gold With Meat

Knowing a market makes it much easier to know what will sell and what won't. How well you understand the demand for the materials or gear can also allow you to generate more gold from your sales.

For example, from my experience with leveling several alts, one skill that never gets any lovin' until I've maxed out my others is Cooking. By the time I remember the first thought is "Ugh, I don't feel like going out and killing a whole bunch of boars and low level Murlocs just to get the meats."

Gathering the ingredients is a pain.

The same pain is felt if you're power leveling an alt. Or if you are a battleground wonk that needs something to do while you are waiting in the queue. And when you are leveling quickly you don't want to go looking beyond your local trainer for recipes.

So what do you do if you don't feel like leaving the cozy fires of Ironforge to get what you need? Head to the Auction House (AH), of course!

Now a savvy flipper will know what ingredients are needed for the recipes that trainers provide. These are the ones for cooking, compliments of Thottbot. There's not a whole bunch of recipes to choose from...and that generates demand.

Make a note of the meats needed for each and search the AH for these. These items usually don't popup as a "good buy" the way I have Auctioneer configured because the prices tend to be low. But I've found that I can usually get anywhere from 17s -24s a piece (actually, I can get more but I've scaled that back a bit - it was a bit excessive). Markets will vary, but I'm guessing that you'll be able to pick these meats up for about 3s each if you watch for it.

When you buy, if there is a LOT of it on the market, don't buy it all and then rake everyone over the coals. Get a couple stacks and leave the rest. I see nothing wrong with getting a couple stacks and pricing them at 24s a piece while there are lower priced alternatives. What will happen is the others will get snatched up and yours will be out there as the only ones left. If you have 20 of these out there (Clam Meat is one I often sell), you can pull in somewhere between 4-5g. Woop!

Now don't think others won't see this and realize they can fetch a higher price from all that meet the Murlocs are dropping. It's common for prices to go up to get closer to what you are charging (you are setting the ceiling) and prices for meats may become less of a bargain for a little while, but they drop quite often.

This is a VERY good strategy to have in your bag of tricks. Do this right and you should be able to rake in 10g - 20g extra a week with minimal investment.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Hormones And Angry Mobs

BRK has an awesome blog that always has good information and gets me laughing. In today's post on lessons learned from gaming had me wiping tears with this line...

If it looks like a female, walks like a female, talks like a female, and strips down at a mailbox like a female, it's probably a 13 year old boy. But not always.
Ah, hmmm...oh my. OK. Caught my breath.

Going from the funny to you-better-believe-in-karma department...

People will whine and complain for weeks, but it's not until every gem in the Auction House is being sold by the same person, and for 20% more than their traditional cost, that people will take action. But when they do, you're going to get hammered. Like a bounty put on your head by several members of the alliance paying gold to any hordie who emails screenshots of your death in battlegrounds or world PvP. J _ _ _ _ _, we're talking about you.

Take heed on this one. I know there are WoW Auction House strategies out there that involve owning the market for items. Basically you buy out everyone at prices below what you want to charge so you force every to buy from you. You set the market. You can make a lot of coin, but people will notice. If you are gouging at the same time it can come back to bite you.

There are ways to do this in the shadows of course through alts whose sole role is to do your buying/selling from the AH. And you can get quite sophisticated with it. But don't underestimate the smarts and will for retribution in the game.

I do believe in Karma.

When you have quite a bit of coin you can wield some power in the AH. But you can make a boat load and be fair at the same time.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Og Is Powered By Wowhead

Now when I talk about things like Explosive Sheep, The Butcher or Enchant Weapon - Fiery Weapon I get those cool pop-ups that we all know and love. I knew there must have been a way to do it and found it on Wowhead.

Thottbot has this as well, but I'm a little uneasy with how old the comments are on that site. It seems stale. Can be very useful, but now I tend to go to Wowhead or the WoW Armory instead.

This will help save time typing out long explanations of items I bring up. Saving time is a good thing for a plodding schlep like myself.


UPDATE: Ok, apparently the enchanting isn't working. I'll be a pain on the Wowhead forums to see if I get any suggestions. Probably user error.

Time To Move On

My experience with making gold in the WoW Auction House over these past several months has been with the Auctioneer addon (btw...I'm not sure who decided to omit the hyphen or space, but it still bugs me that it's not "add on" or "add-on"). It's been a good ride. I've learned a lot.

But it is time to move Auctioneer Advanced.

I'm the kind of person that if it ain't broke don't fix it. But the Auctioneer team has stated that the plain, vanilla version of Auctioneer is no longer going to be updated with major releases. While maintenance patches will be made available for the foreseeable future, it's only a matter of time before it goes away completely. Auctioneer Advanced (AA) will get all the lovin'.

Now I've had AA installed for a couple days. It plays nicely with the original mod so I get to dip my toes in before making the big splash in the deep end. From what I've seen the only thing I can say is "where have you been my whole (WoW) life?"

Just skimming the functionality by what I see I know I'm going to be very happy once I start using it full time. Will get some screenshots up later, but some of the things I dig are:

  • Items are color coded, along with percentages, on how well they are priced compared to market value. I'm a visual kinda guy so this makes Og very happy.
  • Competition is shown in same window as where you post your auctions. Because you should ALWAYS check the temp of the current market before setting your prices this saves me a lot of time.
  • Better, more usable stats. There are three sets of rolling averages, standard deviation, confidence and all kinds of goodies in there. These are awesome tools to even out the data and get a better picture of the market. I know there are many of you out there whose eyes will glaze over just thinking about these. Don't worry. There's a stat for everyone in here.
The biggest challenge will be figuring it all out. While I have the utmost respect for the gals and guys that put out the best addon (add-on? add on?) out there, good documentation is lacking. This means there's a lot of figuring out to do.

I'll share what I learn.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Tanking For Gold

You don't have to spend a lot of time in the Auction House (AH) to bring in extra coin. No matter what you like to do in WOW you can fit in some flip time. Ironhelm does it in about 10 minutes a day.

The main strategy for him is to stick with what you know. Not sure if that stack of Deviate Scale is a steal at 10 gold? Skip it and stick to things you're familiar with. Oh, and that deal on scale is so not a deal. Run from it like a squishy from a tank.

And the fact that he uses his skill to help fellow guildies is awesome. Bravo! I remember drooling over items in the AH. I used to have gear that was 10 levels old. I cried a lot back then. So I play Santa sometimes and it's very rewarding (and much appreciated).

Nice to pick up other peoples' experiences and styles of farming the AH. All

Monday, December 3, 2007

What's The Frequency, Og?

You just done scanning the Auction House (AH) and you're looking at a sweet deal on something you have absolutely no clue what it is...two Dark Runes:

Practically practically a 600% markup! Heck, you might be able to push it a little and get an extra .5-1g. Woot! Or you could not make much on it at all. You could even loose a few coin. You're really not sure. What to do?

You can make some huge profits by buying and reselling items you have absolutely no clue about in the AH. You can also take a bath - loosing coin and time by repeated posts/mark downs to try and get the stuff to sell. OK, it's not normally quite that bad getting stuck with a "deal" that really isn't. The worst thing that will probably happen is you'll just about break even or lose a small percentage. It's more time, frustration and the annoying sound of my ego deflating (like a constant whine) than I want to deal with.

One of the first things I look at when I see a "killer" deal on something I know very little (or nothing) about is to look at how often it showed up in the AH. Auctioneer shows this when you hover over the item to bring up the tool (item?) tips....

It's kinda hard to see here, but you'll see on the third line down in the larger of the two transparent windows a line that says Seen 36 times at auction total. This means that while you've been scanning the AH religiously (you have been keeping up on your scanning, right?) this is the number of times Auctioneer saw this item.

Good information to know.

Why is this number important? It tells you a little about the demand of the item. Seeing high numbers can be good, or bad, depending on what the item is. For example, high numbers for armor and weapons are not a good thing (in this case "high" would mean more that 10 times over a four week period). But high numbers are good to see for Trade Goods because it means you'll sell it faster (high in this case is over 100). This doesn't mean that low numbers are bad in Trade Goods - it could be very high-level enchants or rare items - but I usually take it as a signal for a low-demand market.

This Dark Rune auction showed up in Trade Goods and it might be a great deal, but the frequency of how often it shows up isn't building my confidence. I will probably buy it (if it's still available after this post) to test the market. If I get burned on the profit it won't hurt me because I'm sitting on a nice pile of coin. I also have about 160 other auctions going on so this represents a very small risk for me.

I generally focus on four different categories in the auction house: Armor, Consumables, Trade Goods and Weapons. Off the cuff, these are my thresholds for what gives me the most incentive to buy a bargain in the AH (over a three week period):

  • Armor - less than 10 times seen
  • Consumable - more than 100 times seen
  • Trade Goods - more than 100 times seen
  • Weapon - less than 10 times seen

There are also several other pieces of data to look at before making a buy (medians, suggest BO, current prices, etc), but those will have to wait till another post.

Battle grounds are calling...

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Sheep Are Exploding In Warsong Gulch

Og had a stack of lambs,
Their fleece was white as snow.
And all throughout Warsong Gulch,
These sheep would soon explode!

For the inaugural post of "The Good Life," or "what should I spend all this gold on," I'm staying away from the obvious like enchants or gear. Instead think livestock - mechanical, exploding livestock. I'm talking about Exploding Sheep.

Been doing a lot of battle grounds with my self-made, level 19 alt. I had the Enchanting and Mining professions and neither one did me a whole lot of good as a full-time battle ground wonk and part-time auction house mogul. I knew that Engineering had some cool head gear that I could make for myself and so decided to replace Mining with Engineering.

But in addition to the goggles, I wanted to be able to have a profession I could make stuff to use while I wreaked havoc against the Horde. As I browsed through the recipe list of things I could make, my browser stopped scrolling as soon as I hit Explosive Sheep.

I smiled.

These things cause 135-165 of damage and only a 1 minute cool down. They cost somewhere in the neighborhood of 80 silver each to create. That means a stack of 10 is 8 gold. Having the coinage I turned to this excellent (and free!) guide on how to level up my Engineering fast. It's not really that fast because you have to run back-n-forth from the trainer to where the anvils are at quite a bit. And, it took me a bit longer than it should at about 1.5 hours because I had some complications (my inventory got full, had to check mail, the sun was in my eyes, my underwear was too tight, etc.). That's OK because I finally had it.

All said and done...

Power leveling Engineering from 1 - 150...15 gold
Building a stack of 10 Explosive Sheep...8 gold

Seeing the Horde ripped apart by combustible livestock...priceless!