Wednesday, February 23, 2011

What every scribe asks: Part 2

Continuing on from yesterday, we'll look at another potential situation in the glyph market that you might run into and how to handle it. Yesterday I went over what things you need to know about your competition and the market itself in order to decide on a course of action and covered what to do in a best case scenario. Today I'll go over the worst case situation which everyone seems to feel that they're in.

For today we'll assume the following about your competition:

- They do not have a schedule
- Camps the auction house and not you specifically
- Buys your glyphs when they're at bottom prices to resell
- Camps the AH most of the day/week
- Has a large stokpile of inks and/or a non-bot private farmer
- Always lists 8 of each glyph at a time
- Threshold price of 30g
- Undercuts by 1c

Before I go on, I suggest that you look into potentially using the tips I gave yesterday for your situation. Some may work for your AH conditions while some may not. Always keep your eyes open. I also suggest that you read my entry on silly tricks for more ideas on head games to play with your competition. This is a war of the minds, not the AH.

The real issue here is that with no competition glyphs will take a lot of time to work and some people just have nothing but time. Here is a situation where more time = "better" player. This is unlike raiding or pvp in that you only need to spend an hour or two per day/week to be good. In this situation the winner is decided by who has the most money, more willing to take a larger loss, and who can waste more time camping.


For this situation, buying out their cheap glyphs is not a great option because with them listing 8 at once they obviously have a huge amount. Doing so will only lose you a ton of gold. Though if oyu have the money to spend and/or lose and really want them gone this is still a solid direction to go in. Also trying to control the supply via the AH won't do you as much good as other times because they have a private farmer. They obviously aren't farming it themselves because then they wouldn't be able to camp you 24/7 now would they? And unless you're on an odd server where there's a constant supply of old world stuff this is a necessity to have that king of stokpile.

First thing's first, take a break from glyphs. Stop posting for 2-3 days and come back later just to see if anything has changed. See if they're still on at all times and actively posting by watching your undercuts for a bit or stand in the town they bank from and watch them. It could be a bot or it could be some basement dweller that has nothing better to do with their time. Find out for sure which it is before you go on. If you're mostly certain it's a bot, report them and move on with your life.

However if it's not a bot and they haven't gone away after a short break from working glyphs, here's a few things you should think about.

1. First you need to be prepared to go at it with this person for a considerable length of time. I'm sure most of you that are in this situation have been in it for a while already.

2. You really need to consider your position and gold/hour here. With somebody camping the AH glyphs at all hours almost your profits from them are probably abysmal. If they're not, read on, but if they are still terribad you need to really consider getting out of the market. Glyphs take a lot of time to work and if you've been in this situation for a long time (like several weeks or months) backing out is a serious consideration.

3. If you haven't been going at this for a long time and this is a new competitor then you have some options that are more appealing than leaving entirely.

Quick tip right off the bat. If you have a decent supply and/or stokpile of inks and they're buying up your cheap ones here's something fun you can do. Every time you go to craft glyphs and notice that you've sold out of a certain one make double your usually amount. So if you always craft and list 5 glyphs at a time and they buy out a set of them, craft and list 10 at a steep undercut. This is psychological warfare at it's finest on the AH. This works best when you have a good amount of ink in stock but if you're semi limited it's still a very viable tactic and is sometimes enough all by itself to get rid of somebody that buys out your glyphs to resell.

This works because when they buy you out they do it to reset the prices on that glyph to something much higher. But you can craft a heck of a lot faster than they can sell. When you re list at your steep undercut amount you're completely ruining their goal of a price reset and saving time crafting glyphs. This can also give you an almost guaranteed sale on all of your glyphs making inscription infinitely easier for you to get rich with. With this strategy, you'll be keeping glyphs a a mid range price because when they get low your competitor will foolishly buy them all up and relist at a high price which you cut in half with a low maximum sale price. By using this method I was able to succeed in getting 50k gold and full epic gear/gems in two months from character creation in my "From the ground up" project.

Now my first suggestion is to come up with a price threshold that is enough profit for you to continue with the glyphs and still as low as you can go. If it costs you say 20g to craft any given glyph I'd say to list them at 35. That way you can at least double your investment while still keeping the camper from making a significant profit. The idea here is to keep their profits as low as possible while still making it worth your while if/when they buy you out and reset the prices. The most important thing you can do is keep the pressure on them. Don't give them even a hint that you're going to give up. If you're in this, you must be in it for the long haul because they won't give up easily. As far as they're concerned this is a great use of time and 1k gold per day is amazing.

It's not.

The variance here is if they're willing to go under the material costs for all of their glyphs. If the cost of XYZ glyphs are 20g per and they go down to 15g I'd recommend buying them all up. They might have a large supply, but it isn't infinite. The problem is that you might not have the bank roll to buy out their entire inventory. The other issue is that since they're not too bright they won't notice (or care for that matter) that they're losing a lot of money. If they're smart enough to buy out your cheap glyphs they're either smart enough to not want to lose money or a spiteful goblin and are ready to take a loss just to get rid of you. If they're willing to do that consistently you have to be as well or you won't be able to compete in that market.

The goal being to make their many hours spent at the AH staring and spamming the cancel button not worth it to them. This usually does the trick for more people after some time. The operative word here being "most." I've come across campers that wouldn't leave until a couple months of next to zero profit, I met two in glyphs and one in flasks. Each of them clung onto the market like an Alabama tick for at least two months. However this was when glyphs could be 10k per day and was definitely worth fighting that long. Sadly some people just don't seem to value their time what so ever and will undercut down to 3g per glyph all hours of the day. That's who most people ask me about so moving on.

So your camper doesn't mind at all going down to 1g per glyph and will buy up yours once the price goes down and will try to reset them and you've been keeping prices as low as possible for a month or two with no sign of them letting up yet. Then they definitely have a personal supplier so that means that you need to get one too and it becomes a war of the farmers and not the goblins.

It's the equivalent of you working the AH with the default AH interface and your competitor using TSM or ZA. You just won't win because they have a large advantage over you. In other words, you absolutely must get on an even playing field in every way that you can. There is simply no way that they can list tons of glyphs at a loss every hour of the day without one of their own while you're controlling the AH supply and buying their cheap glyphs.

So now you have a personal farmer as well, controlling the AH supply and buying their glyphs when they're at they're 30g threshold and they're still not letting up. Now you have to take a good look at the prices of cata level herbs and the associated inks. How fast can you move inferno ink and does that ink pay for a stack of herbs? If so then this is what you'll have to resort to. The only way to get rid of a camper is to make it no longer worth their while and 5g glyphs is a surefire way to do so. The problem is that not many people are willing to put in the time that glyphs require for such low income.

Regardless it is a viable option.

If inferno ink or the pigments can pay fro a stack of herbs you'll have to start trading down blackfallow ink and using the inferno ink to cover the price of the herbs. This will make all of your glyphs "free." I put that in quotes because it is still going to be a loss of profit in almost every case. 3x black fallow ink is far more expensive than 3x midnight ink. But if you're at this point it's no longer about the money. It's territory. It's personal.

Selling all of your glyphs at a threshold of 2g with stacks upon stacks is guaranteed to get rid of them eventually, especially with you being able to craft and list more than they can keep up with. The key point to this method is that you must be able to move the inferno inks at an equal or greater cost than the stack of herbs it came from. However if they're on most of the day and you're not, they'll be buying up your glyphs once they get cheap enough which will be fueling their business and giving you miserably low profits.

Though on that note it still a proven method to get rid of campers by annoying them. I removed a few campers and got rich off of another by doing just this. The plan is to completely flood their inventory while slowly draining at their bank account be it a few hundred thousand or just a few hundred. You craft a ton of glyphs and undercut with them down to nothing with inferno inks recouping 99% of your losses. They get filled up with a few full stacks of your glyphs (which is profit to you) and they go to relist them. You in turn list another dozen of your own. they buy those as well and you do this dance a few times.

What you're doing here is using human desire for instant gratification and their huge stokpile against them.

Then their farmer comes to them and says "lol hai! i gots a lot moar herbs stack for you!" They now have several bank tabs of herbs that they aren't going to mill. They don't have to mill them because they have all of these cheap glyphs they bought from you. What if they tell their farmer that they don't need herbs right now you ask? Then their farmer will almost always go elsewhere. Because farmers want to sell their crap now and as soon as you say that you don't need any now and to come back later they'll look at their full bags and go to the AH or trade chat. Be very careful that you don't end up inadvertently using this tactic against yourself and being stuck with a giant stokpile of nothing.

Your camping buddy will now look at a bank full of unmilled herbs, piles and piles of glyphs, and very low sales. If this doesn't get them to back off, nothing will.

Thanks for stopping by!

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