Wednesday, February 6, 2008

I'm A Failure...

...approximately 32.64659271% of the time.

It's a rough guess.

That percentage represents how many of my auctions failed when I was doing my latest Rags to Riches experiment. For whatever reason those items just didn't sell how I thought they would.

Taking a look at how I'm doing post-experiment I'm sitting pretty at about a 44.25% failure rate.

A 44.25% failure rate?!?!

You got it.

Does that bum me out? Nah. Do I go in the corner and crawl into a fetal position? Nope. In fact I'm pretty darn happy about it.

Why? Because you cannot succeed at flipping in the World of Warcraft Auction House (AH) without failure. Small failures. Spectacular failures. Noobish, /facepalm, I'll-never-speak-a-word-about-this-to-anyone failures.

It's how you learn. A failure is only a failure if you don't learn something from it. When an auction fails, ask these questions:

  1. Was my price too high?
  2. Was it a low volume day on the server?
  3. How was my price set in comparison to the competition?
  4. Was there A LOT of competition (saturated market)?
  5. Did I post too many of the same item at once (saturated market)?
  6. Is this item really as valuable as Auctioneer says it is?
  7. Is there a very low demand for this item?

You should have a good sense of what the answers are to all these questions by the time you're done scrutinizing the expired item. Having these answers will position you better the next time you target/flip these items.

Now you may be thinking, "Whoa Og, let's back up a second. Your failure rate has jumped nearly 12% after the series. That's huge! What in the Hellfire Peninsula is up with that?!?!"

It means I'm taking more risks and pushing the Lucky Red Envelope of this getting-less-new-by-the-day AH. I'm buying more goods, seeing what the saturation point is and getting a feel for demand.

And I'm sprinkling in a few bonehead purchases that prove I still whip out the [Flashlight of the Noob] to sniff out bargains from time to time. Which means I'm not taking my advice, chasing profits that aren't there and not walking away as soon as I should.

It's OK to fail. Your successes will far exceed the failures and fund your "education." I'll leave you with a bit of baseball trivia...

When Babe Ruth was the home run king, he was also the strikeout leader.

/cast [Create Food For Thought]


Anonymous said...

I feel your pain, it seems like no one wants to buy fel lotus on the server I just joined. I'm selling them as singles and have only put up 1-2 at a time. Bad thing is I have 15 to sell. Average price is supposed to be 25g. And even dropping the price to 15g I still wasn't able to sell them. Oh well I guess I just sit on them for a while.

Og said...

Darkharmony - I've been there...and recently. The trick is not to put all your hopes into risky investments. Risky = markets you don't understand. I'm a risk taker. It's my personality. I don't mind loosing big because the upside potential is huge.

But I also invest heavily in items I know will sell and for about how much. These profits offset my risks and allow me to ride out the market.

Sounds like you are doing the right things. The best time to sell this will likely be the weekend. Don't panic, keep posting in limited quantities and maybe try the Trade channel. You potential customer might not be looking in the AH , but might be interested.

Good luck with it.

Maebius said...

And with this post, Og has cemented himself in the annuls of AWESOME for me. All the guides I've read downplay the failure aspect of flipping, and sound as if all auctions will sell if only you follow "Teh rulz" of moneymaking.

Yet, in my newness, I got severely frustrated when things did not. But I persevered, and still made money!

Thank you, Og. Thank you for the humility and being-real to inspire the rest of us 'Auctioneers'.
Now go put new batteries in that flashlight, so I can see. ;)

Charles Fox said...

I'm so glad to have seen this post. I was seeing a lot of failures in my auctioneering (not sure of the percentage) and while I was still making money I was also feeling pretty bad about the ones that didn't work out. As a result, I think I went over-cautious for the past week. Your post has put the wind back in my sails, and I'm feeling much more confident heading towards this weekend. 900g in play, wish me luck!

Furinur said...

Amen, and AMEN.

Og said...

Maebius, Charles and Furinur - You're welcome! Should have posted this earlier, but it never popped up on my things-I-should-write-about radar.

Until yesterday. That's when i read a question in a comment. That answer turned into this post.

Lots of people will take their ball and go home when they stumble at something new. Don't give up. One thing you can count on is that anyone who is really good at something also have quite a few stories about how Noobtacular they once were. And in some cases continue to be.

Learn. Play. Succeed. Screw-Up. Repeat. (maybe not in that particular order)

Anonymous said...

Yeah I've come to the conclusion that their is no way I am selling my stack of lotus right now. The darkmoon faire is in town and I feel that it is putting a crimp on my sales. After all that's where I bought mine to begin with.

But how could I go wrong when average price was 25g and the faire sells them for 4g. Pretty nice return there if you ask me.

Alexander said...

There's a certain amount of psychology involved in choosing a good pick, and the Auctioneer tools are only *so* good at what they do.

For one thing, the cost of posting an item to the market is one of the primary ways I was losing money in August. Eventually my posting overhead just flatlined my profits, and I had to unload or shelve any item above level 60. There are so many items on my server in the 50-70 bracket that I know will not sell. You can't give these things away. Like plate armor that gives bonuses to Intellect, for example. Useless forever, should be melted down. One of the ways I got around this was by creating multiple purchase price brackets in the Auctioneer profiles, and for the more expensive items (above 10g), I turned up the anticipated number of reposts to factor into profit estimates. Armed with this new skepticism and two other tweaks I won't divulge, I started over with only 10g in the extreme low end of the market, and ground out several hundred gold in the first few days. I feel I'm back on top of my game.

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