Even if you're not an alchemist and have no interest in flasks I still suggest you read today's post because the tactics and methods mentioned apply to every profession. You just might learn a thing or two to help with your personal markets.
At long last, the day has arrived! After my many posts about alchemy, gold spent and gold earned here is my final installment of the "Profession How To" series. In case you're joining us late, here's the bullet points of what's been going on in my world.
I recently power leveled alchemy for elixir mastery. I have never worked in flasks before.
I discovered that the top dog herb supplier is also the number one flask distributor.
The UF spends all day either farming herbs, crafting flasks, or posting auctions. Probably only sleeps 3 hours a week.
I started with a 4k-ish deficit which I managed to make back in the span of a single week.
AH PvP is good fun.
Also in case you haven't already, check out my first month of posts to see the rest of this series where I cover every other profession that I work with. Now that you're moderately up to speed here's how to work the flask market.
Flasks are by far the easiest profession to work with. First thing to do is make sure you're an elixir master. If you are NOT an elixir master don't even bother crafting flasks, just don't. If you really want to compete you'll need the bonus procs to make a noticeable profit in the long term. Ok now that you've double checked that you have the proper mastery, time to make some stuff bubble and explode.
As with any profession you want to get a decent supply to begin your entrance into the market while starting up small. You start with a average sized supply so you can get a legitimate feel for the market, but small enough so that if things go south you won't be so deep in the red. Luckily there's only 4 flasks that are worth crafting:
I recommend starting off with two stacks of each flask which, baring procs, will require the following materials:
80 frost lotus 80 imbued vial (make sure you're exalted with the vendor's faction) 380 lichbloom 60 pygmy oil (crafted from pygmy sucker fish) 6 eternal life 60 gold clover 240 icethorn
Now with all of those mats that should make at least 50 of each flask after you get a handful of procs. Next thing to keep an eye on are the herb prices and definitely watch the price of frost lotus. Remember the rule of "where there is one, there are many." When you see somebody selling a ton of cheap herbs they're probably selling cheap lotus also. Make absolutely sure you don't pay the market price as profits will likely be very thin depending on your server.
One important thing to keep in mind while working with flasks is the perspective on it. I try to think of them as just expensive glyphs that sometimes give me extras. They will sell just as fast in just as large amounts as glyphs and the profit margins are about the same. On average, I'm making about 3-7 gold profit per flask, but if I'm on a hot streak of procs you can imagine how much extra you can get if luck is with you.
This is one of those professions where you can sell so much so fast that a huge stokpile is of the utmost importance. Once you get the ball rolling in the market start buying up every last lotus you can find at your price because I promise you'll need them three days later. Also with you stokpiling a lot of cheap lotuses you also have the potential for flipping your own supply. If the price of lotus goes up to double that of a single flask, go sell the lotus and enjoy much easier sales.
Obviously timing is important with flasks as they are a PRE raid consumable as opposed to gems and enchant scrolls which are only bought AFTER raids. So you need to keep an ear next to /2 to find the general starting time of most raids that are pugged and when other guilds typically start at. Post your flasks about 30 minutes before then and watch them fly off the shelf. Also I don't really bother posting them during the early afternoon or ANY time at night or morning. There just isn't any buyers around usually and that just lowers the price. Pointless undercutting is pointless. One last tip for ya is that it will pay to pay attention to who's buying your flasks. If you see the same person always buying a ton of your flasks, wait until the market price on them has gone up a bit and send them an offer. Tell them that you'd like to CoD them X flasks every week or every so often for X gold each. Saved them a trip to the AH and save you a despot fee and AH cut.
Ok that covers that, now for the important part: tactics. From what I can tell there are several viable ways to work this market. They all have different levels of involvement and their own sets of pros and cons so we'll go through them one by one. It is very important that you look into the market before you decide which route you want to take with selling because they are HIGHLY dependent on your servers demand, material prices, and the type of competition that you will have to deal with. Personally I've come to always assume that my auctions will be camped, but that's probably because I'm rather unpopular amongst every other AH player on my server. Heh.
Hands Off. With this method you treat flasks no different than any other market really. You set up your QA3 thresholds and prices and just cancel post to your heart's content. Here's the catch though: QA won't always post if your threshold is the same as the lowest price on the AH so be sure to lower the biding price % so that if your buy out is the same as somebody else the one with the lower bid will be listed first and thus get the sales. Also of note is that you don't need to be the lowest price to get a ton of sales. So the trade off is zero thinking for a very large loss of potential sales. Your call.
Wall of Bubbles. Another set it and forget it style. This one doesn't allow you the potential for higher profits but it does guarantee you consistent profits. Basically you just make a metric ass ton of every type of flask, something like 50 of each at least. Tell it to have a post cap of 50 auctions in stacks of one. Then you set up QA3 to have your threshold at 20g, your fall back at 20g, your max price at 100% of the fall back, and set it to auto fall back. What all of that gibberish means is that whenever you hit the Post button on your flask banker you'll post your load of 50 flasks at 20g each no matter what the prices are of every other seller out there.
The theory behind this method is that since flasks always sell in large amounts during the same time frames every day, you're promised to get a bunch of sales no matter what. It also forces your competition to either lower their profits to almost nothing or buy up all of yours, thus giving you some easy money. If they insist on selling at a loss you can take a chance to buy them out allowing you to raise the iron curtain so to speak of the price wall. After that you can make some serious money because you just out played (and out bought) the competitors. In which case they have to either buy more expensive materials (good for you) or farm the herbs themselves (even better for you). Time spent farming is time they won't be angrily camping you.
This was the initial method that I used with flasks and worked out very well for me. I managed to make enough sales at this small profit to get me a nice 7k income over the course of a week of which 4k covered my initial 2k worth of stokpiled materials and 2k power leveling cost. This was my preferred method because if you remember I had a MEGA competitor that was a the absolute definition of an UF. So my only option was to frustrate them so much and buy up their stuff to literally force them to spend more time farming and not going to the AH. It takes a hell of a long time to farm enough mats to make 3 stacks of flasks even as a birdie druid.
Semi-Manual. Just what you'd think, sorta manual sorta automated. You use auctioneer to post things for you while you check the prices of the competition and set yours all by hand. Granted this takes considerably more time and effort than the other methods, but will promise that you never miss a chance to sell for a much higher price than you normally would. I only recommend this tactic if the flask market on your server is extremely volatile and tends to change VERY rapidly without notice. When a market is in flux that often it's always best to keep a close eye on things, especially when they sell as much as flasks do. But since there's only 4 flasks to check on prices the required effort isn't nearly as much as you might think. But alas, extra effort is still extra.
Keep in mind though if you happen to find yourself in a situation where there isn't a few major suppliers, campers or UF's, this method is preferred by far. You can easily increase your profits three fold or more just by keeping tabs on the changes in price and supply.
One other thing you can keep in mind that I was reminded about in a comment on my Closing Thoughts entry is that if you happen to have a ton of mats, you can just pay your alchemy mastery trainer 150g to change your spec. If you don't feel like power leveling another prof or just don't have an extra spot open this is a viable option. Remember though that if you're serious about the flask business this will eventually cost you more gold than just leveling another alchemist. It isn't a GREAT use of your money but for those of you with a limited number of professions wanting to work flasks it is 100% a viable option. Certainly worth filing away in the back of your mind.
I figure I should list the popular potions as well if you happen to be on an odd server where the market is profitable. For the most part the lichbloom would be better spent on flasks, but hey different servers are different. These are the ones that progression raiders or those that just wish to preform their best will be using:
You can also consider armor pots here, but since they're crafted in large numbers by leveling alchemists, it's rather unlikely you'll be making a profit crafting these. But there's always the option to flip them.
Ok that basically covers all of it. If you're wondering about the thinking behind any of that that I didn't remember to spell out check my previous posts on entering this market. My final tip for all of the alchemists out there is simply this: don't you dare trade in frozen orbs for frost lotus. Bad goblin, bad!
This blog is about discovering all of the ways to make money in Rift. There are no cheats, hacks, or exploits used in any of my methods.
After amassing a 2 million gold fortune in wow I decided to come over to Rift and see how well I can do there. It is my belief that the game does not matter as much as the methods used and mine have already been proven to work and work well.