Thursday, March 10, 2011

Things change after the cap

I'm not going anywhere! Just in case anybody was worried I was going to close up shop after hitting a million again rest assured I'm not going anywhere.

My motto as of late has mostly been about how gold is exponential. The more you have the more you get and so forth. However when you hit the big time, such as the 200k+ range, you'll see that a few things start to change.

Since hitting a million gold for the second time, I've noticed a handful of things that have changed in how I do business. They have all been seemingly minor things that I started doing and small tweaks to my method ever since that I've only started to realize consciously. I'm going to be covering the small changes I've made since hitting the gold cap that each have some serious implications for my empire of shiny. I'm also going to be talking about this so that if you're working the big time AH game you can be prepared to make a few of these changes yourself if necessary and work them to your personal needs.

First I'm going to give you a wrestling analogy here, strange I know but bear with me. Think of the classic "pin" where guy A is on his back and dude B is resting all of his weight on the guy A's chest. Guy A has to struggle a ton and expel a very large amount of energy to get out. Meanwhile dude B can just shift a little bit more weight onto guy A's chest and calmly relax and keep them held down. In the professional martial arts world if you were to take two fighters of equal skill, discipline and ability and pit them against each other, the one with the weight advantage will usually come out the victor. The same goes for the AH.

Think of this as your business being weighted against an entire empire of gold. If you don't have a ton of loose cash you can still compete, but you'll have to struggle and fight tooth and nail to get higher. And while you're doing that the person that has their fingers in every market can just sigh and lean down a little bit harder.

I've noticed myself doing this in almost every market, even enchanting. I used to shuffle my thresholds around every week or two to make damned sure that I was always making a profit, always in the black and trying to eek every last gold out of my wares as possible. Now that I've hit a million, I just don't care that much. Slowly and piece by piece I have lowered all of my thresholds down to what they'd sell for at 5% over the absolute lowest priced mats I can get. Meanwhile though I keep buying stuff at a rather normal price.

Why do this? Because if anybody wants to work their way into the market they're going to have to struggle like a son of a bitch to get a leg up. You can try and flip sure, but that won't change the fact that I can make 500 more in a moment or buy up everything that's up myself. I'm keeping all material prices at average price or above so that YOU have to pay high end prices and compete with lower cost scrolls.

This makes the market have a steep entry fee both in gold and in time and most people aren't willing to make that kind of investment. Can it still be done? Can somebody work their way into one of my favored markets when I don't care about making a profit? Sure you can, I did it myself with every market I am in now. But I sure as hell won't make it easy.

I've also split up my buying price into two different categories which also effects how much I stokpile. I have my "preferred" buying price and my "shit I'm almost out" price. Using borean leather for example, my preferable buying price is under 20g/stack but if I'm getting low I'll pay up to 50 a stack. This is because I just don't need the gold and I don't have anybody trying to get in on it so there's no need to go balls out buying everything I see. It also significantly cuts down on my purchasing time.

Also I've placed a much lower value on certain markets, primarily nether bags and glyphs. The time required just isn't worth it to me, be it automated or not, as I am not hardcore aiming for 2 million. I'll be there in a few months regardless, but if I worked both of them like I usually do I might get there a week or two sooner. It's not that important to me. That means that a lot of markets and niche markets get opened up to the rest of the server.

Prices will go back to changing wildly because I'm not there to control the flow of materials and crafted items anymore. This is both the good and the bad portions of having an unregulated economy. Imagine if I didn't want a single person to make gold without busting their ass for it? You know it can be done, but I'd likely get hit with the ban hammer if I even cared enough to do that let alone consider it.

With me knowing all of my markets inside and out, experimentation has become a lot more prevalent. If you've been reading my business reports over the last few weeks you'll notice that I've started trying out half a dozen new things to sell every week. It keeps things interesting and there's the constant joy of discovery. Even if I find out that a certain market is a dud, I never knew that before! I am still learning and improving myself (trying to anyways) even though I don't need the gold from a new market. I'm branching out even farther and deeper into sub markets just for the pure fun of it all. For love of the game.

Thanks for stopping by!


  1. " make damned sure that I was always making a profit, always in the red and trying to eek every last gold...."

    I am pretty sure you mean "always in the black." Great post, though! Love the blog.

  2. Rather interesting post, especially the stuff about clawing your way in to profits. I think I'm comfortable enough with my income to be past that point, but not quite to where I can impose that hardship on others. However, as soon as I have enough time, and possibly enough money, I think I'm going to crash the glyph market. I already tried (and somewhat succeeded) on a small scale, but I'd like to tank the entire thing, or at least a significant portion of it. I kinda hate glyphs, given that they just take way too much time to deal with. So what I'd like to do at some point is just get a ton of cheap cata herbs / blackfallow ink, make a ton of glyphs, and just drop prices across the board to ~50g per glyph (instead of the often 200g+ they are now). It wouldn't be about profit, I'm sure I'll lose a good amount doing this, it'd just be about crashing it because I can.