Sunday, May 8, 2011

Glyph of jewel crafting

NOTE: This entry was written before the nerf to the shuffle but I am still posting it because it does contain a lot of useful information. Check in after my weekly report for my thoughts on why the shuffle is still viable.

Today's entry was inspired by a conversation I had a bit ago with an Ysera local AH baron. Also please note this was before the announced nerf to the shuffle. It seems that even today people don't get why I undercut by large amounts and why most successful (read, non campers) goblins do the same thing. Even though I have covered it in depth many times over. Today won't be a rehash of all of that per sé, but more of a "how to" for those that want to work gems to it's fullest potential. We'll be covering undercuts first, but before I get into it allow me to ask you a pair of questions to illustrate the points that I'll be making.

Do you know why I can sell a mechano hog for 17k? Because that's what it's worth.

Do you know why people will sell a bold inferno ruby for 30g? Same answer, because that's what it's worth. them.

That's the catch right there, that 17k mechano hog is worth exactly that much to the one that bought it. Conversely the 30g inferno ruby is worth that much to the one that sells it. If They didn't feel that it was worth that much they wouldn't be selling it. Meanwhile I wouldn't be selling a bike for 17k if I didn't think it was worth that much to somebody.

You'll notice that each entry that I linked above not only spans the entire life of this blog, but they all deal with campers. They all deal with getting rid of competition. And in the current gem market, there is no shortage of that on any server. The point of the large undercut is that it will drive away a ton of competitors all on its own. That's because 90% of the people that sell gems are doing it ONLY because of the shuffle giving "free" rare gems.

Once prices get down to a certain point the market is then labeled as fail, unprofitable, and boring then they move onto something else. That leaves you with only the people that know the score and just wait as prices always go back up. That and the one thing that fuels the massive banks of every goblin, quantity over quality.

Let me make the obvious comparison that nobody (that I know of) has made yet. In doing so, allow me to give you the short history on how the glyph business used to be ran during wrath.

- Buy a ton of herbs to mill.
- Sell off the uncommon inks or turn into them into DMC cards or scrolls. Set aside a few for your daily research.
- Sold uncommon inks pay for the entire stack of herbs, making every glyph "free."
- Learn every recipe for glyphs and craft a few of all of them.
- Undercut everyone fiercely while making a profit on every sale to get rid of casual sellers and campers.
- Slowly start to raise your sale price and reset prices on many glyphs at once.
- Get crazy rich 2 months later.

Make sense? Now let me reword that just a tad with a copy/paste of the above and you'll see what I'm getting at.

- Buy a ton of ore to prospect.
- Sell off the uncommon gems or turn into them into DE gear or metas. Set aside a few for your daily quest.
- Sold uncommon gems pay for the entire stack of ore, making all of the gems "free."
- Learn every recipe for gems and craft a few of all of them.
- Undercut everyone fiercely while making a profit on every sale to get rid of casual sellers and campers.
- Slowly start to raise your sale price and reset prices on many gems at once.
- Get crazy rich 2 months later.

In case you can't tell, the gem market now is 100% identical to the glyph business of wrath under different names. There is only one small catch and that's the comparatively large deposit fee, but in all reality that's something that can be almost entirely ignored. But why are people getting all QQ about low prices and big undercuts when they understand the whole mentality when it comes to glyphs which is the exact same method that works so perfectly? The main reason that people are complaining about gem prices now is because they are simply too used to the big numbers that they see in their mail box next to a sold gem.

But the sale price does not, has not, and will not matter when compared to the profit made on that sale. This method has worked well for any successful goblin you read about and it will continue to work well until the optimal method changes like it did with the 9g vendor price. If or when the nerf to the shuffle changes then so will the method, but until then this is going to remain the best way and the best market to get rich with.

And for the people that still cling ever so desperately to the notion that when you undercut by more than 1 copper you're losing money, check out my business reports over the last few weeks and look at the gem sections. That's right, around 80k on average in profit every single week. Are large undercuts always necessary? Of course not, I've said so many times and pointed out specific markets and items that should never be undercut by more than a couple gold at the most. But those very few specific things aside, the gem market is the same as glyphs and warrants the same methodology to get the most out of it.

Thanks for stopping by!


  1. Your post got me thinking and that is a good thing, I am one of those that left the gem market because of the low prices, I might not got back to it but I will use this knowledge to improve my Glyph market.
    I usually like to focus in only 1 Market at the time or at least give more attention to 1 market.
    So I don't get overwhelmed in a lot of things happening at same time.
    But one thing I see that I am doing wrong is focusing in just selling glyphs and forgetting to sell the Inks and other mats.
    Good post in the end it is.

  2. Hey Stok, I think the analogy is great, and I 98% agree with it, there's just one minor thing.

    JC has accessibility in that you can choose which gems you know, compared to glyphs where the research is random.

    When that moment comes where you have cleared out the other people that were in that market and are ready to raise again, it only takes a very simple search for which gem is currently most profitable and the new person will go buy that recipe. You are then back to scaring another person away for minimal to non-existent profit.

    JC is also extremely visible as well, this can work well imo on other gems, but as soon as a red gem becomes profitable on my server it seems half the server know. If a glyph went up or down, chances are only a few people noticed.

  3. @E The major difference I see is that the gear turn-over causes increased gem sales. The only reason to buy a glyph again is because you've leveled a new toon. Of course, you wouldn't buy priest glyphs for your new mage, but they share some cross-over with gems.

    Also, once non-goblins declare the JC market "fail" they are less inclined to grind the daily and are unable to get new patterns. This further reduces the perceived profit from their handful of cuts... and they move on.

    I am currently cutting two or three of each color and listing two at a time, once a day. Having driven most of the non-goblins out, I am collecting 13-20k each week. I could probably push to double that, but I don't want it to become a grindy pain... that's why I left glyphs.

    Oh! Oh! and a question Stok. I've been hoarding my tokens for a while now hoping that the epic cuts will be vendor bought as in Wrath. Just wondering what thoughts you might have on that.

  4. Outstanding post, Stok! I got out of Gems because of all the AH-campers and the (relatively) high deposit cost. I never made the connection between Glyphs and Gems. You're absolutely right about this.

    I think a couple of the comments above at least partially missed the point though. It's not about the demand, who your buyers are, or whatever other differences there are between Gems and Glyphs. The point is about the method, and how you go about owning the market.

    And sure, it might be more obvious to the competition when a Bold Inferno Ruby has a nice high profit margin, (as compared to competition noticing that Glyph of Safe Fall does, for example), but that's not really relevant. Your method is the same regardless. Even if you need to drop your posting price back down to 30g to chase them off (again), you're still making a nice profit if you used the method described above.

    Besides, at 30g per gem, you're selling in high enough quantity that it doesn't matter. TUJ will probably tell you that the number of Bold Inferno Rubies sold is a bit more than the number of Safe Fall glyphs. In fact, I'd bet the number of total gems sold outnumbers the number of total glyphs sold -- by a lot!

    Regarding the Jewelcrafting tokens, I have the same question question as Deth Halo. I haven't bought all the (useful) rare cuts because I've been stocking up for epics. I've even been buying other people's Chimeras for making Elementium Mobius Bands because I haven't wanted to use my token stockpile. What are your thoughts on tokens?

  5. The deep undercut may drive some away but so does time. Most people dont stay making gold. They shift to other things once they have enough gold. I only deep undercut to drive some people crazy. It isnt a strat I am real fond of as it just takes too long to reset the prices. Move them up and they still get shifted back down.

    I prefer the low undercut and everyone gets their share. Deep undercut is something I dont have the time for. I would rather watch when you post and fill the ah. Undermine Journal has helped greatly in dominating the markets for a short period of time. I like getting all of the overnight sales. Very lucrative on my server.

    We have someone on my server now trying to trash the markets. He was a major seller in a previous expansion. I still see the main rapid selling gems selling for 100plus where as the crap yellow/blue/green are under 10gold. Not worth the time given they dont sell often enough. It is easy to mess with the deep undercut. You list two gems i can either buy them and relist or can set mine to be the third to sell. You list 20 gems. I list a couple and whisper you that it is time for you to relist. Those that I have done this to continue to cancel and repost. If my costs are the same as yours ie zero...which is still going on with cheap stacks or elementium and obsidium(my server anyway) I really dont see a winner in an all out price war which is what I find happens often with a deep undercut strat.

    I just say use caution with it. I prefer the easier dont rock the boat strat to earn my gold. I have been around for all but the first year of wow and am well past the current gold cap. I dont think there is any magic strat. Manipulation may be needed on some servers but I find time is typically on my side to make gold.

    My experience has been that those deep you indicate all come back up. And I will be back when the margins make it worth my time as there are no shortages of lucrative markets.