Many traders rely on successfully identifying and subsequently exploiting a specific market that they know and understand completely. Some of the most notorious trading desks in history have been built around what might otherwise seem like a mundane concept to the average person.
In WoW, we can do the same by targeting items or groups of items that we become very familiar with. In this way, you can identify your WoW trading niche.
This is not to say to eliminate diversification; on the contrary it pays to identify with as many markets as possible. One of the trading advantages that we have as members of a team is that we share knowledge of a wide variety of markets, servers and prices without having to rely on a single player to practice trading in each one. As humans, we are limited in how much information we can assess and react to so we, by nature, have to narrow our focus down to what we have time and inclination to understand. As an individual WoW market trader, however, you might want to take some time to identify a specific niche market (or several) that you find both interesting and profitable.
Here are a few tips for finding and managing your niche:
- Observe your target market before making a move. Take some time to get to know the ins and outs and swings in price of the items that make up your niche market.
- The more obscure your niche market, the more likely that you’ll be able to dominate it. Items like flasks, buff food and bags are so common that there is likely to be fierce competition. However, things like quest items, lower-level uncooked food and unique looking weapons may be obscure enough to be ripe targets for domination.
- Your niche doesn’t have to be AH-centric. Your specific niche may be farming a particular item or selling a particular enchant. Find what works best and is most fun to you.
- Be ready to change markets and/or adapt tactics. Competitors will always be looming. Be prepared to keep the competition confused by changing your approach as needs dictate. Find yourself in a bidding war? Maybe take a week or two off from trading within the market to let things cool down. Too many undercutters? Price your items above the lowest price instead of below? Items dropping in value unexpectedly? Find out why or switch markets.
- Know how your niche market fits in the overall game. Understand how different professions, quests or players might use the goods (or services) you’re trying to sell. In comprehending the full value chain, you can better predict -and adapt to- market movements.
- Compare ideas (but don’t give away all your secrets) with like-minded folks. The fantastic WoW financial forums from JMTC is just one place to start.
- Diversify, while you will ideally be able to dominate your niche market, remember to get at least minimally involved in the buying and selling of a few unrelated items as well.
- Be patient. You will probably not find your target niche right off the bat. It may take some time for you to find a market that you can understand and profit from.
- Try to keep it fun. Keeping track of a specific market is much easier if you find it interesting or entertaining to be a part of.