One of the downsides of having in-game wealth is that you frequently have to suffer the opinions of those who don’t. We put our heads together and came up with this list of some of the most common excuses we hear as to why a fellow player might be struggling with paying the repair bills.
- “My professions are no good/Your professions are OP.”
- “The Auction House is icky!”
- “I’m too generous to be wealthy. I am too focused on helping my guild out to craft stuff for selling.”
- “Stupid Blizzard, they designed this game so that only the people who can play all day can make gold.”
- “Gold farmers keep driving prices up.
- “Daily quests just don’t pay enough.”
- “My [person I share account with] keeps taking all my gold.”
- “Titanium/Arctic Fur/Frost Lotus drop rates are too low.”
- “I read a tip on a WoW gold blog and it didn’t pan out. They were probably just trying to manipulate the market anyway!”
- “The market for X item crashed and that was how I made my gold.”
- “Who cares anyway? You don’t need lots of gold to play the game. Say, can I borrow 500g to buy this new piece of gear?”
- “Raiding is too expensive. By the time I buy consumables, gems/enchants and repairs I don’t have anything left.”
- “Damned undercutters!”
- “Someone else took my farming route.”
- “The economy on this server is ridiculous.” (note: works for all servers)
- “Too much deflation, now I’m stuck with all these things I can’t sell.”
- “I don’t want to read about making gold, that’s no fun. I want to just play.”
- “How can I possibly make gold when I’m too busy trying to PVP, do arenas, raid, gain reputation and do the occasional dungeon?”
- “I was hacked by this person that I gave my account information to and thought was my friend.”
- “If it takes money to make money then where do I begin? I just need to borrow 100g to get started.”
- “This one guy completely dominates the market and always crashes prices. He’s probably a [insert racist comment] gold farmer anyway. Someone should report him.”
- “I am a casual player. I don’t have time to focus on making gold.”
- “I spend all my gold helping out my friends.”
Interestingly, all of these excuses share a common trait and that is that it is not their fault. It is always the fault of someone else, something else or the market. At the end of the day, any decent WoW trader knows that there are no viable excuses. If you work at it enough, just like with other aspects of the game (and, in many cases, with real life) you can have anything you want. Stick with it, be smart and never give up.
It is sometimes difficult to spot a good deal in the auction house. Sure, there are those times when something is obviously under priced but there are many other occasions of items at ambiguously attractive prices that we are just not 100% sure about. The problem is greatly exacerbated when the item for sale is outside of our normal trading niche. Another factor is that we are human- As much as we’d like to pretend that we are entirely analytic and cold calculating traders, we are still all humans and can make mistakes based on emotions or other impairment.
One way to help avoid such mistakes (aside from not taking large positions when you’re drunk) is to conduct what we call The Bulk Test. Before you press the buy button, ask yourself, “Would I buy this in bulk?” If you’re willing to purchase one or a few of an item, would you be willing to do the same deal with hundreds or thousands of them? Putting aside the issue of actual demand, if the very idea of this item at this price in bulk quantity makes you balk then you’re probably not getting that good of a deal. If, on the other hand, you find yourself saying, “I wish I could get thousands of these at this price,” then you’ve more than likely just found yourself a good opportunity.
Sometimes you’ll still make mistakes but this simple way of looking at opportunities can help us make better trading decisions. We are not sure why looking at an item from the bulk perspective can give traders a clearer understanding of value- Our suspicion is that the mind plays tricks on us by suggesting, “Well, if I’m wrong it is only a few gold lost” whereas with bulk quantity this is no longer a factor. But perhaps it would be best to leave those sorts of discussions to those that bloggers more apt at studying the psychology of WoW gamers.
Look, everyone loves a tasty, high-quality meal. It’s always nice to head out for a fine steak and a glass of wine but sometimes the situation calls for a quick burger instead. PUGs, PVE questing and Battlegrounds are fine examples of this- certainly not steak time, but still no reason to go to battle hungry. But don’t go to the expense of burning your best food for PUGs, BGs or a few lowly mobs, save that stuff for raids and more difficult encounters. If all you want is to have a food buff (particularly the stamina component for use in battlegrounds) just purchase or cook up some of the cheaper versions of your favorite foods.
Flexibility is key when finding ‘Cheap Eats’. Even if you’ve got your heart set on +Spell Power food, be willing to accept +Spirit, Crit or Haste instead. No matter what way you still get the Stamina buff and a little something extra to boost your other stats. Also, as long as we’re talking about flexibility, don’t forget to look in the AH for the uncooked version of the food you’re after as well.
Keep in mind that a large part of keeping these foods cheap to craft is attaining spices as inexpensively as possible. While not all lower level foods will require the spices, it helps to constantly keep an eye on this item in the AH for deals. We find at least once a week some idiot will post a stack of Northern Spices for less than half the going rate. Even if we don’t need them at that particular moment we’ll scoop them up for later use or simply repost them higher. It’s easy money.
Finally, the profit-minded WoW trader will be interested to learn that there is often a significant disparity between the prices of this lower-tier uncooked and cooked food. Look at this difference as an opportunity to conduct some profitable market corrections. Develop an understanding of both the base costs of preparing the cooked food and the timing of the sale cycle for the food and use this knowledge to exploit the market.
Here is a short list of a few of our favorite lower-tier (and often very inexpensive) cooked Northrend foods:
- Cuttlesteak– Many WoW fishermen pick up Cuttlefish while doing one of their daily fishing quests. Since the material is utterly useless beyond cooking into steak of feeding to hunter pets, it often gets dumped in the AH at near vendor sale prices.
- Baked Manta Ray– This one is great because it grants a buff that is beneficial to both casters and melee (haste) and does not require spices.
- Grilled Sculpin– Another one that requires no spices to craft. Nice boost to AP. Watch the market closely, however, as the fish required to craft the item are also a key component of Fish Feast so sometimes it is better to sell the raw fish than to cook into this item.
- Blackened Worg Steak– What’s that you say? The buff is useless? Not at all… pop one of these prior to your Wintergrasp farming runs and never be surprised by a gank-seeking enemy again. Of course, maybe you’re the ganker in which case this might prove even more useful for finding new targets.
- Pickled Fangtooth– The raw fish required to craft this item are often vastly oversupplied and extremely cheap on the AH. Pick them up and cook them up and keep your mana up. Again, no spices required at all.
- Snapper Extreme– Requires 3 raw fish AND spices but the fish are extremely oversupplied to such an extent that the crafting cost is often little more than the cost of the spices and your time invested.
- Worm Delight– Another ‘no spice’ recipe with a buff that can benefit all classes and builds (Crit). This one used to be more expensive until more players started regularly killing worms for the Sons of Hodir. These days a savvy trader can find the raw materials on the AH at a much lower cost fairly regularly.
P.S. (free bonus tourist info): If you happen to be visiting the New York area sometime, be sure to check out Luger’s steak house (linked above). There are a lot of great joints in the city but this place is a bit out of the way so many tourists miss it. This New Yorker favorite has got a fantastic authentic Brooklyn atmosphere and serves up one of the finest steaks you’ll ever taste. Even the burgers here are great (and relatively cheap). This is not a paid advertisement, just us telling you where you can find a great meal during your visit. Not that we would complain if you invited us to come along for a bite mind you (hint, hint, nudge, nudge).
As widely reported and recently confirmed on the PTRs, Arctic Fur will be tradable for 10 Heavy Borean Leather from a vendor in the professions region of Dalaran. This change will have several economic effects, the most significant of which will be the normalization in price of Arctic Fur with 10 Borean Leather.
Farming Arctic Fur, as most skinners know, can be a frustrating experience for the profit-minded WoW trader. A quick search of the item on the WoW official forums shows that the vast majority of posts related to Arctic Fur are complaints on abysmal drop rates. Blizzard has responded to the wall of skinning QQ by implementing a change that will allow a conversion of other, lower level, leatherworking profession items into the harder to attain Fur. This type of change is not entirely unprecedented in the game, the most recent example of which would be the implementation of the Abyssal Shatter ability for Enchanters. Unlike that ability however, the Arctic Fur conversion process will be useable by anyone, not just players that require the item for his or her professional crafting uses. This means that any enterprising and astute trader will be able to profit from any amount of price disparity by simply keeping a close watch on when the price of Arctic Fur rises significantly above that of 10 Borean Leather. Assuming there is no limited restock or cooldown of some sort (which, at present on the PTRs, there isn’t) it will be easy to rig the market to produce this profitable result. The vendor trade profit potential will be short lived, however, as eventually even casual traders will catch on to the change and the markets will stabilize.
On the larger scale, we wonder if this profession item trading ability is a sign of things to come in WoW. Blizzard mentioned at Blizzcon this year that they were going to make rare reagents available through guild membership so, it would appear anyway, that they are moving away from players struggling with attaining these types of items for crafting purposes. This will ultimately completely redefine these key trading markets and we can’t help but wonder what the long term economic effects will be. If the intent was to make the more rare crafting items easier to attain, why not simply increase the drop rate? The purpose of changes similar to this one must be that Blizzard is trying to redefine these markets.
When it is all said and done, it would be reasonable to expect that the longer term results of this change are going to be a constant equalization between the prices is of equivalent amounts of Borean Leather (in all of its forms) and Arctic Fur. If this should prove to be the case, expect to see a sharp rise in the price of Borean Leather and a modest decrease in the going rate of Arctic Fur in the wake of patch 3.3. There may be some opportunity for procuring inexpensive Borean Leather now, before this change is widely known, for either reposting when the price spikes or conversion to Arctic Fur when the change first hits and the prices are still high.
Have you ever intended to bid on an item only to realize that because there was already a bid on that item you ended up bidding higher than you wanted to?
By looking at the box at the center of the bottom of the Auction House screen you can see and adjust the amount you are about to bid on an item. It’s a simple tool and easily located but even veteran traders quite often overlook it. Before you bid on anything, take a look at this box and determine if you how much you are about to bid. A bid amount equal to the amount listed on the auctioned item means that you are the first bidder. A bid amount higher than what’s listed on the item means that you are upping another player’s bid. Use this knowledge to your strategic advantage.
Also, if you ever find yourself in a bidding war over the same item with another player -you know, those situations where you bid on something and are outbid seconds later so you bid again and the same thing happens over and over- try bidding a few times using the default amount listed then, after you’ve got your competitor in a routine, bid your maximum amount by typing it into the box directly. The frequent result is that the competitor, having fallen into a groove, will immediately hit the bid button without looking at the amount and get caught paying much more than expected. You might even try bidding over the maximum amount you want to pay in the hopes that your competitor blindly overbids to an extreme. You may not win the bidding battle for the item this time, but by using this trick you can certainly make it a much more costly victory for the competition.
Finally, one other trick with bidding is to always bear in mind that it costs more gold to cancel auctions with bids on them. If you find yourself in a situation where you’re competing with an auction house camper on your sales, and this person places low bids but regular or high buy out amounts, consider bidding the lowest possible amount and making it more painful for the competition to cancel their auctions and repost to undercut you.
Use the bidding feature to your advantage. It may not be the silver bullet of WoW riches but it is certainly a nice weapon to have in your arsenal of Auction House PVP.
We’ve previously examined the effect that the arrival of the Darkmoon Faire has on other markets but with it being back in town at present it is perhaps time to share another small yet profitable tip. As we’ve already mentioned, there is profit to be made by timing your purchases and sales around the price spikes created by the faire, but there is also a significant amount of gold to be made by simply turning in completed decks during the faire and then selling the resulting BoE trinkets at the midway point.
The fact that the higher-end decks can only be turned in for one week a month creates an artificial demand spike for the resulting trinkets during the period between fairs. If you are clever enough to catch the decks (or cards if that’s your thing) at low points in price, you can turn them in yourself, hold on to the trinkets for a couple of weeks and then sell the trinkets for a hefty profit when most of the competition is back to selling decks. All it takes is a short ride over to the fair’s location that month. By simply making a play on the patience of other players (or, more specifically, the lack thereof) you can generate a few hundred extra gold every month.
The best part of this strategy is that, not only can you make more gold from the decks, but you also get to keep the faction reputation gain for yourself which is helpful if you’re edging towards insanity.
…Well, slightly anyway. We’re seeing Crusader Orbs rising in price slightly across six auctions houses per faction side that we tested. That is to say that 12 out of 12 tested auction houses are showing increased prices as compared to our last assessment 10 days ago. We speculate that this rise in price is for the very reasons we initially predicted such movement, but we also do not believe that the orbs will return to their earlier levels of value (in the 3,000+ Gold range) ever. The orbs dipped on some servers to below 1,000 Gold for a few weeks and testing of these same servers showed that they are now going for 1,100 or more. Eventually, prices will hit a ceiling and come back down but, for now, they seem to be continuing to rise. With a deposit amount of only 36 Silver for a 48-hour auction, it may now be time to put up your Crusader Orbs for sale at prices slightly above current market value with long-term auction durations.