Tuesday, February 16, 2010

How much is too much?

Today's post is just about a simple question: how much is too much? If your buying threshold is 30 gold for a stack of saronite bars and you see a stack up for 31g, will you buy it? What about 32 gold? 33? Just how high of a price is too high to be acceptable? Well the answer of course is that it depends. Aside from the obvious things that you know about your server's economy, there's a few other things you need to keep in mind.

-Is it hard to come by?
Things like this would be golden pearls, righteous orbs, essences of air. Basically things you don't come across often even while leveling up.

-How much do you have left?
Sometimes when you're sold out of certain mats you need to pay a higher price so you can keep selling. Even though you'll be making less money per sale, at least it's SOME money as opposed to NO money. This is where it's important to be flexible on your prices and not be too too stingy. There's been times where I had zero eternal fires or abyss crystals left so I had to raise my price quite a bit. Sure I took a dent in my profits, but I was still selling while my competition was scavenging to buy crystals for 20g while the lowest on AH was 40g (this actually happened a few times). Guess who was selling black magic scrolls for 500g a pop?

-Does it have a tendency to get flooded and then dry up?
One thing I've noticed this with mostly is cloth, cosmics, and leather. Some days I can buy 20+ stacks of it, then I'll go 3 days without a single purchase. If the mats you're needing tend to have cycles like this, you don't need to pay that extra 1g just to be SURE you have enough since you already know that supply will be refreshed in just a day or two. But if it's something like epic gems on my server where I'll have one or two days where raw gem prices are decent, but then go a week or two or even three without having any supply, this is when you need to be much more flexible. When you think you could easily go a prolonged period of time without a supply and you're running low, you really should up your buying price a bit.

-Personal supplier?
If you have a personal supplier and either they aren't farming or raise their sale price a bit you really need to consider their value. Do they give you bulk orders of mats? Are they consistent in their sales? How reasonable are their prices? Do you have alternatives or have a decent supply filling out the AH? You'll have to use your own judgment on this. While having a private supplier is a wonderful thing, they can get greedy now and then because there's always somebody that will pay more than you are. Base this judgment the same as everything else: convenience vs. profit.

-How often do you run out?
I know from my own experience that it's nearly impossible to stay stocked up on saronite bars or borean leather. If this is the case with you, that means that the things you're crafting with those mats are selling a ton. And if you're selling that much to constantly be in need of more mats, raising your price isn't such a bad thing. The reason is the usual answer of consistency. When you're selling a lot of something, you always want to keep stocked up because you know for a fact that you're going to continue selling a lot. I've raised the price I pay for saronite and leather several times over the course of this blog alone. And what do you know, I still need MOAR!

An interesting way to think of "how much is too much" is putting it like this: How big does a pebble have to be for you to call it a rock? When does a rock become a boulder? How big is a boulder compared to a mountain? Makes it a bit more interesting than comparing 75 silver to 76 silver when you put it that way doesn't it?

One last thought on this subject and this goes out to all of you pack-rats out there (myself included). Anything you have in your bags and banks that you are not actively using or have plans to use in the near future is making you zero gold and gains you absolutely nothing. Get rid of it! Since my main is a tank, they have several bags filled with assorted gear and even an entire bag filled with trinkets. All of this stuff I do actively use when a troublesome encounter demands perfection in gear. I also have a handful of things that I keep around for sentimental value. Gear such as my first piece of tier 6, a trinket I spent ages looking for, etc. I keep them because every time I see them I remember some of the best times playing this game, so I am getting something from it.

But that lovely black dress you have in your male character's bank...yeah, toss it.

Thanks for stopping by!


  1. Hey,
    just wanted to tell you that your blog is really amazing and helpful, I pretty much look everyday if there is something new and it entertains me alot.

    Continue the great job! =)

  2. Thank you much for the support! I'm trying to dig up as many of the subtleties that I can find with the AH game, because that's what experience teaches you, all the little things. They're also the hardest things to specifically point out and say "hey this really works."

  3. Hey, I have a question for you... I've started to raid the enchanting scrolls market, it worked really nice for a week or so, but now people are selling the scrolls for less than their mats + 5% price (my threshold is set to 0 profit, which means mats cost * 1,05)... So I was wondering, how should I deal with this? Should I undercut them to win the market or just wait untill someone buy theirs until it's my turn?


  4. @ anon 2

    You should never sell below material prices. This same thing happened when I first got into the market, namely with enchants that use mostly dust or eternal earths.

    The thing is you never know how much they're paying for the mats, so they may be making a profit still. Myself, I stopped selling a lot of certain enchant scrolls (see my post on enchanting) because they were at all times under material costs.

    I'd be careful with buying theirs and reposting, but you can make a good profit if you notice that they are selling. If that's the case and you have decent cash to back you up, buy them out. Buy every last scroll they have because they can't get materials that cheap forever. Again, be careful buying and reselling, but there is potential for good money. That's a judgment call only you can make.