Posts Tagged ‘Auctioneer’
Earlier we discussed normalizing the prices of items across two markets. It is worth mentioning now that you can index or normalize the price in a single market place. There are many ways to do this, but for example – take three separate median asking price for an item over a period of say a week. You will then have three “median” prices. Average these to find a “mean mean” and give that figure the index of 1.0.
Every other price can then be rated as a ratio of this 1.0. Look back at the last chapter for more information on this.
Price indexing can, at first glance seem a waste of time. It comes into it’s own when you are comparing the profit profile of several different items. It allows you to graph item that are of a very different price on the same scale and just compare how profitable they are as a percentage.
Is Swifthistle more profitable as a percentage than a Titansteel Destroyer or would Netherweave be a better investment, Using indexing you can compare these side by side and get a true comparison
But something is missing. Profit is measured OVER TIME.
Swifthistle might sell for you at 30 stacks a day at the auction house, 2 gold a stack. 60 gold turnover. If you bought for 1 gold a stack. Discounting the Auction cut for now, you have made 100% profit PER DAY.
Now the Titansteel destroyer might be bought (or made) at a cost to you of 800 gold, you put it on the market at 1200 gold – but it takes 4 days to sell.
In this example – again discounting the auction house cut you have made a 33% profit over 4 days – or an un-compounded 8.25% per day.
Now this is where you need to make a couple of decisions regarding your trading. Are you a busy day trader – or a long term magnate.
If you play regularly, and quite like to dabble in the market every time you play, there is often more profit in buying lots of lower value items – and selling them on quickly. If you log onto Warcraft only a couple of times a week “go long” with higher value items.
If you choose the quick route, but miss a few days every week, you will find that you are making less money than someone who only logs on now and then and trades slowly.
Why waste your time ? There is a subtle choice between turnover and profit – decide what kind of investor you are, and make sure your portfolio reflects that choice.
While we are on the subject, we have already looked at the issues of copllecting your sales data through an add-on like Auctioneer. The problem being.
Auctioneer does not collect sales data!
That’s a pretty big problem. It can keep a record of what your characters sold items for, but for the rest of the servers population (that being 99.997% of the data then) it only collects the ASKING price, and that can be nothing like the selling price. On some servers almost 50% of auctions don’t sell at all.
Secondly it does not take seasonality or trends into account (at least not very well)
And thirdly it is skewed by rogue prices.
As we mentioned before the practice of putting a low level item, like a piece of copper ore, on for say 1000 gold pieces happens. Annoyingly it happens quite a bit. This skews the averages a lot.
Which brings us nicely to how YOU get around these issues. Well you filter them out. We use what is known as a “pareto” or “80-20” rule. We take our averages from the middle 80% of all prices offered.
So if ten prices were showing for an item say 1, 3, 5, 5, 7, 8, 8, 8, 8, and 4000 we would not put the “1” or the “4000” into the equation. The 4000 is clearly a rogue price. The 1 probably isn’t , but not including it does not slant the average much. The difference is one will give you an average price per item of 405.3 gold. The other 5.5 gold. One is hopelessly wrong the other nearly right.
Back to an old point, Indexing also lets you compare prices between factions and across servers – allows you to filter out rogue data, takes seasonality into account and ensures you yourself keep an eye on your portfolio. Auctioneer - while a very useful tool, does not do this.
Some professions have the ability to transform one ingredient into another. This gives you a lot of options.
For example. Metal ores can be smelted to be used primarily by blacksmithing or engineering OR they can be left as ore and prospected by jewelcrafters.
The market will be different for each state. It is not the case that a “processed” item will fetch more at auction. Sometimes you should transform the item..sometimes you shouldn’t.
Material master handles these changes for you, but here we offer a written guide to what items become what. There is some help with calculations in the Material Master spreadsheet. However, disenchanting involves destroying weapons and armor – and no two pieces will have the same Auction House value so it would not be right to try and tabulate value for disenchants – you will have to read that section and work them out for yourself based on what your server market is like.
Using looted or manufactured weapons and armor, you can “disenchant” these items to make the the raw ingredients for Enchanting. Sometimes the Weapon sells for the most..sometimes the enchanting ingredients..and sometimes the enchant itself. You need to know which is which
This is the easiest to describe, with one or two exceptions each ore becomes a bar or half a bar of the same named metal. There are some exotic metals, but trade on those is very low indeed
Mining provides the raw ore for prospectors to turn into gems. Each ore has a chance of becoming a certain gem or gems. Sometimes the ore sells for the most, sometimes the gem, and sometimes the finished jewel.
Last (and currently least) is milling. Herbalists provide the raw material for Scribes to mill to make the papers and inks for Glyphs. Sometimes the herb is more valuable, sometimes the papers and ink’s..sometimes the Glyphs…at the moment however it is rarely the glyphs.
When you have weapon or armor of “Uncommon” (Green) value or better, an enchanter has the ability to “Disenchant” and turn the item into enchanting materials.
Of couse the enchanter can then either sell these materials, or use them to make enchants to sell either directly to players, or on scrolls via the auction house. The chances are the Weapon or armor will havea different value to the materials, which in turn will have a different value to any enchant you may be able to make WITH the materials.
What an item disenchants into is dependent in the “i-level” of the item
This screen was captured with “Auctioneer” add-on enabled.
As you can see it does a lot of the hard work for you.
If you have been doing your auction scans daily, then it will give you most of the information you need to make a decision on whether to disenchant an item or sell “as is”
In this vase it recommends Auctioning the item. This is an Epic (purple) item. It is rare to disenchant these.
We know of no better way of calculating the disenchant value than “Auctioneer”
It gives you the approximate disenchant value, and the mean sales value for other items seen at auction of the same or similar I-level. Then tells you which one will be most profitable for you.
You can then decide whether to sell the item, or sell the disenchanted materials.
All transformations are based on %age chance. There is a table of items that “could” be disenchanted. You may not get the average amount of items..of course you could get more …
So preparation is the key. Understanding your own server dynamics. Buying low and selling high. Supplementing this with a bit of farming of your own perhaps.
Here’s the issue.
Most people have no idea of an items true worth,
The auctioneer add on, though great for getting an overview of what people want for an item, has no actual sales data for anyone but you.
Most auction house add-ons list all the VENDOR prices, and keeps a note of what YOUR OWN ITEMS sell for.
It does not tell you what all the other items sold for. Just what was asked for them. It doesn’t tell you if someone else s auction was a success or not.
To simplify, a Herbalist could put one "Mageroyal" on for 300G..it almost definitely wouldn’t sell, but they can ask whatever they want.
This happens. In fact, massive over pricing at auction is one of the tips other guides give out. The thinking being that someone might accidentally buy it.
Which does bring us to an important point:
BIDS AT AUCTION ARE IMMEDIATE IRREVOCABLE SO BE CAREFUL
At the Gold Cartel we have worked hard trying to develop methods and tools to understand our server financial dynamics.
Now might be a good time to get you into Auctioneer. The eponymous auction house add on.
Here is a quick look at the auctioneer set up. There are a few changes to the normal auction house window.
Along the top is the right “start”arrow
This begins a scan of every item in the AH, checking quantities and prices.
you’ll be using this button twice a day. Preferably when you are having tea or need to visit the loo because it scans. EVERYTHING. And can easily take 15 to 20 minutes. So twice a day could easily take you 40 minutes to do this for both Alliance and Horde AH’s
A detailed guide on how to use add-ons is in the appendix.
DO NOT BE TEMPTED TO BUY A GUIDE TELLING YOU HOW TO USE AUCTIONEER. THERE IS A FAR BETTER GUIDE AVAILABLE FREE – FROM THE MAKERS OF THE AUCTIONEER ADD ON ITSELF.
Find the free Auctioneer guide at the official Warcraft Auctioneer Site.
Ok, that’s the end of the preamble. Next putting your basic skills to work.
You will have a preference I’m sure. It’s great to feel affinity with your character. Many people seem to start with humans, then see the exciting possibilities of playing a Horde character later.
Stormwind or Ironforge might get a little dull. Silvermoon or Orgrimmar seem like a very nice alternative…and they are.
To make real gold, you are best having characters in both camps. There is no need to cross market trade, just make money in both markets – you’d be daft not to ! There will be times when the opportunity arises to transfer items or gold between factions, but taking advantage of two ripe markets separately will do for now.
Ah, I see, someone told you you could make 1000’s of gold with a level 10 did they ?
Well, a level 10 auction house runner can be pretty useful (more on that later)
You’ve read about someone trading up the copper they made from selling their level one clothes and armour (all 16 copper pieces) and turning into 1000g inside 24 playing hours?
The caveat here is “playing hours”. It is just about possible. If you log on 4 times a day for ten minutes trading for about a month.
You have to be very lucky – a mistake early on and you’ve failed.
You need to know the market very well. – a few Auctioneer readings is not enough.
- Markets have variations that are wheels within wheels.
- Evening is busier than morning, Weekends are busier than weekdays
- Summer holidays are very poor trading times, Autumn (fall) Holidays are excellent
- Winter is busier than summer
- Just after an expansion is busier than the eight or so months before it lands.
- Patch day is busy in the evening.
Add all these up and the result is a market that, to the untrained eye pops and weaves all over the place.
Not just a litle bit different, but hugely so.
As mentioned earlier, levelling helps. It’s a simple fact that higher level character has access to better skills, profession levels and can survive in the harder areas where higher value materials and reagents can be harvested.
But if you want to pay Blizzard good money to have your first character sitting outside the auction house for months on end, then go ahead. Be my guest.
If you have an ALT doing this, then that’s a different matter altogether. You’ll soon find a modest amount of levelling with another character will out-earn your “broker” alt by a factor of “many” to one.
When you have plenty of gold. then speculating becomes a worthwhile activity, and yes, using a low level character to process your sales and speculate is a great idea.
Doing it with your first is not recommended.
One thing you “could” do, is get an alt to a neutral auction house for later. It’s always handy to do this. But we’ll come on to that later. For now, it’s an interesting little trip for a level one. And yes, a level one from either faction can do it.
I can tell some of you doubt this, so here’s the videos to finish this post.
First the easy one – Horde Level 1 to Booty Bay…
Now for a much more convoluted route.
Alliance Level 1 to Booty Bay
These are ways to spend small – and sometimes massive – amounts of gold in a permanent way (i.e the gold is not just transferred to a different “real” character, it is removed from circulation from the server altogether.
Here is a list of a few “Gold sinks”
Soulbound Gear. – Warcraft is a game primarily about “improvement”, and much of this improvement comes through upgrading your gear. However, as soon as you put on your “Bind on equip” Champion’s Helmet of the Upturned Potty..it is worth nothing to any other player. When you upgrade you will get the bare minimum value from an NPC merchant. So you buy an item for 50g from the Auction house..equip it, and the most it’s worth now is 1G 20S to an NPC vendor. The server has reclaimed 48G 80S
Auction House Cut. – When you auction something there is a levy placed.
- 15% of the merchant sale value in faction houses.
- 75% of the merchant sale value in neutral houses.
However, the merchant sale value is often far less than you will get AND you get this refunded if the product sells. The merchant sale value for Knothide Leather is 12 silver 50 copper, however the
average auction house price for a successful sale is 66 silver 42 copper. The percentage you pay is based on what an NPC would give you NOT the price you are likely to get at AH.
WARNING – Some items (Saronite for example) have decent sales value to NPC’s..and subsequently very high levy’s. We have seen people put Auction’s on for less than they could get just straight selling to an NPC..risking most of the value in levy if the item doesn’t sell and….
Paying the House cut for a successful auction.
Yes, if you are successful then the House will give you back the levy. but then a cut of the sale price. Your sale price.
- 5% at a faction house
- 15% at a neutral house
Mounts and vanity items
This is where the server takes Gold off you in great big chunks. Epic Flying Mount training is 5000g. That’s a LOT of gold, and that gold goes straight to the server and is “lost” to the economy. Every mount, vanity item, talent respec and paid flight costs gold. And that gold is lost to the server.
Ok so money is made, and money is “Lost”.
So why are we telling you this ?
Because this ebb and flow is where you make the money. Players are always saving and spending.
Gold is always moving – and in very large amounts. This means :
There is waste (and where there is waste – there is opportunity)
There are changes (and where there are changes there is opportunity)
There is IGNORANCE (and..you guessed it)..where there is ignorance, there is opportunity
A volatile and flowing market is a mass of opportunity. A stagnant market offers none.
You generate wealth.
Yes you (well your character) generates wealth. Just by doing what you do, you make gold. Every kill makes gold, every loot, every lovely find of a green (or sometimes blue) item adds the potential for a tidy sum of gold.
You are a value stream. Here’s our point “Every player is a value stream, but only a tiny fraction understand the value they are creating” So…
You can use other people’s time to MAKE GOLD FOR YOU!
There are three player-controlled markets in Warcraft – Alliance, Horde and Neutral. They are never in balance – and the balance from faction to faction, item to item changes all of the time
That is to say. On all servers there is an imbalance between the activity in the Auction Houses between the three markets. The prices are different on almost every item all of the time
Even within one faction, the prices vary wildly over time. Friday markets are very different from Sunday night Monday Morning markets. High level instance loot rarely turns up in any quantity midday Wednesday afternoon during the working week..but at 2:00 am Saturday or Sunday morning there is often a lot more, and some competition in the market will be driving the prices down !
During holiday times (especially in the Winter) The markets pick up hugely. People want to play – they may not however want to grind for materials – often characters will pay over the odds just to get the equipment or materials they need to level up a profession or go raiding with.
In an ideal world you would be the supplier of these items. Making a nice stack of gold in the process. To do this you would have to have prepared well in advance, and have the stock of items ready to go to market.
So to sum up – pick a server with the game-play style you like. Check out a couple of servers with both Alliance and Horde characters, get to the auction house and see how busy it is. Make a note of how much a few items cost at each factions auction house and compare. If there is a healthy trade at both auction houses, and a noticeable difference in prices – you are on to a winner.
Time for some specifics
1) Each Warcraft server is a closed economy.
Your Warcraft server is a UNIQUE economy. That is to say that no two servers will have exactly the same price structures. Therefore we are unable to make statements such as “Buy Copper Ore at 80 silver per stack of 20 and sell at 1G 30 silver per stack.
The exact movements in your server economy are UNIQUE. For the most part they are set by the users themselves (You !)
You might now think that this is a bad thing. Questions such as
“Well what is a good price to buy or sell then ?”
probably spring to mind.
Let us reassure you that this is in fact a VERY good thing, and here’s why…
Very few people are going to take the effort to understand the subtleties of the economy like YOU are !
We will make understanding your economy SIMPLE, QUICK and FUN.
This knowledge will give you a real EDGE !
With this edge you will MAKE GOLD !
2) Understanding the economy.
In simple terms Gold is generated on your server every time you loot a mob. The loot and the gold are “created”. The value is added to the server economy then and there. Keep the gold. sell the loot to an NPC trader, and there’s the value realized in buying potential to you.
Say you have a level 80 character. He can generate Gold just by killing and looting at a pretty good rate. Without using the Auction House at all!
You can generate 10’s of gold PER HOUR (this is by far the worst and slowest way of making gold, but it still adds quite a bit to the economy as you can see)
At this level the gold creation is controlled by the server. Blizzard (The World of Warcraft designers) have quite a bit of say over these inputs.
They can decide what loot tables a certain mob will have, how often the mob re-spawns, and how much an NPC vendor would pay for the items.
However, Warcraft has an Auction system. Any item that is not “gray” will probably sell at the AH for more than an NPC vendor will give you for it.
Have you spotted the problem ?
The problem is INFLATION !
You are adding all this wealth to the economy, killing mobs, using a gathering trade, crafting items..and everyone else is doing this too !
Most of your weapons and armour is either quest reward, or bought from another real player via the auction house.
Very little is given to NPC’s that you can see..sure the odd equipment repair or restock of bullets and arrows.
The rest is just moving the money from one real player to the next, and as you play the overall figure of Gold on the server is growing ALL THE TIME.
Blizzard know this, so they put in “Gold Sinks”
Our advice to you is digest this chapter. See where you are financially. Bear this in mind when reading everything else in this book
We will look at seasonality of markets, and briefly explain why this happens. Every market has a rhythm, your Warcraft server is no different.
- You’ll find out how to help (and take advantage of) the “weekend”player
- We will show you how to gather market data from your own server and use it for your own financial planning.
- There will be tips on how to influence market behaviour to your advantage.
- We will discuss storage, both short and long term..and it’s costs
There will be single market strategies – and ways to affect the whole server – horde and alliance alike
We will do our best to show you that “playing the market” once you are set up for it is a brilliant game in itself – and can be played with relatively low level characters
Of course we will show you what all the other guides do as well.
- Where to farm for the mats everyone else wants to buy.
- How best to sell them.
- How to make money from professions
- What to watch out for in patches and updates.
Some dirty tricks (we never use these – seriously, but you want a complete guide so we include them).
But the focus of this guide is how to manipulate and take advantage of the marketplace on your server.
This is where the real money is made ! Making gold in Warcraft with this guide may even be more fun than Warcraft itself. It’s certainly better than endless farming laps of Sholazar Basin !!
Ok, first things first. Have a look at the picture below. It’s just an alphabetical list of servers. Notice anything. ?
Slap yourself on the back if you noticed that they are all at LEAST moderately full.
Now back in 2004 there were a lot less servers, and many of those had population labels of “Low” or “Recommended” and while you still do get some of these, they are rare.
What this list doesn’t tell you is the faction balance between Alliance and Horde on these servers. There are links in this guide to show you how to find that. You don’t want to be on a very one sided server. Money making will be hard. A “slightly” one sided server is a fantastic money maker.
But our point here is, servers are fuller. And they are full of high level characters and their toon’s. There are very few brand new players compared with the mass of level 80’s and the ‘toons of level 80’s
Because of this:-
What you may have learned or read about making money in WoW is probably based on the immature (and naive) WoW markets of the past.
So what ? I hear you say.
You need to know…
- How full the server is
- The ratio of high level players to low level players (We call this “Maturity”) and…
- The ratio of low level players that are actually “toons” (this changes the market dynamics a great deal)
- The balance between Horde and Alliance players
Ideally you would like to know the relative professions. Gathering and Crafting. There is often an imbalance, especially on servers that are out of balance in other ways
Finally, choose PvP or PvE (RPG doesn’t really matter)
Bear in mind that your choice of PvP or PvE makes a MASSIVE difference!
A full server will have a fast moving economy. Assuming an even mix of races and levels, this means you will have competition in sales, and choice in purchases. This is a buyers market. A low server population, coupled with the right goods to sell will be a sellers market. There will be demand for your well thought out items, and high level materials and reagents will sell for top dollar (but…you will need more patience..more on this in “Inventory Costs” later)
Gathering is far easier on PvE servers, also the market for top gear is slightly reduced, and the top level items themselves are worth a little less.
Players tend to go out slightly better equipped on PvP servers – It’s not just the mob’s they are worried about, ganking and player killing happens – of course it’s supposed to, so people upgrade weapons and armor a little more often.
In general prices will be slightly higher on PvP servers, but as most things are bought and sold between players this does not matter as much as you might think. The big exceptions are of course the training and high level mounts.
The ratio to between level 80 players (and their ‘toons) and genuine low level players, (Those that are still levelling) fundamentally changes the market.
There is little or no point grinding certain low level ingredients and reagents to use in your crafting professions thinking these items will sell for profit on a mature server.
No one wants to buy them.
On mature servers the ‘Toons will normally level using green equipment. They do it efficiently, they know where to quest and where to grind. Blues are often seen as an expensive extravagance and certainly are not actually needed to level up.
The only Blues that sell below the highest level are those mint items used for PvP
This is where the basics of understanding your server come in. A PvP server will often have a market for “BiS” items at many levels. “BiS” stands for “Best in slot” and is the item that – at any particular level is the best stat wise for a particular race and type. On PvP servers these items are in demand and can be crafted
Blizzard are adding the ability to “stop” XP progression – as many people want to enjoy low level instances as they were meant to be played. A possible opportunity in the future for certain very well specced low level items to again be in vogue
First things first.
As we have mentioned before, this is not your normal gold guide. This guide is specifically aimed at manipulating the economy.
We aim to set out (in simple terms) how real world economics are done, then show you how to apply these rules to Warcraft.
Of course, we will provide you with the best profession gold making guide AS WELL, just so you can raise money the “old” way of you want. We also have the best and most up-to-date crafting guide around. So we offer everything other guides offer.
but for us, those “old fashioned” techniques are not really the best way to make money. The proper understanding and manipulation of the market is where the real money will be made.
In the first instance, we are going to introduce some simple concepts.
Gold in Warcraft is made in one of three different ways – These are in most respects the same ways that money can be made in the real world.
1) Resource Acquisition
Whether it be farming, mining, drilling or hunting, all resources have an origin. In the real world, the bricks and wood for every building, the chemicals for every medicine, the meat for every meal. They all have to be sourced.
In Warcraft this is gathering and looting. So all the gathering skills as well as looting adds basic level one resource to the economy.
Every potion in the Auction House starts out with someone gathering the herbs. Every character made weapon similarly.
Of course Warcraft also now and then gives you finished items as loot – This rarely happens in the real world, and if it does it’s akin to looting the battlefield or even finding archaeological items.
2) Adding Value
In the real world, when a craftsman takes raw materials, then pours his own time and experience into turning them into something that is actually “useful” to others he is “Adding Value”
The first lesson you need to learn is that this is rarely the case in Warcraft.
Because people would rather have the raw materials, and use those to level their own character’s profession skills.
There are exceptions of course, but for the most part the total is worth substantially LESS than the sum of its parts.
The reason for this is because as each expansion is added the game becomes “tiered”. Items with a minimum use level of 60 used to be the pinnacle, they aren’t any more, nor is 70 – it’s now 80, and when Cataclysm is released it will be 85.
The vast majority of people on your server are either not leveling a character at all – or leveling an Alt – and they want to do this as cheaply and as efficiently as they can. That means no long visits to the Auction House every level to buy your beautifully crafted weapons and armor. They have leveled up characters before and know that they don’t really need to upgrade that often – and besides they have a main character or guild friends who will supply most of what they need.
This is a vital lesson – 9 times out of 10 – until you start crafting level cap items – crafting LOSES YOU GOLD !
3) Market manipulation
So while there are few opportunities to make money with crafted weapons and armor there are some exceptions. Consumables such as potions, elixirs, some scrolls, ammo (bullets or arrows) DO make money, and need constant replenishment. Also niche items such as riding boots, fancy dresses ( on RPG servers in particular) and quirky engineering items will also make money – along with certain items that are required by other professions (Blacksmith’s make the rods enchanters need to level their profession for example).
However the REAL money is made with ingredients – and it is made by buying and selling at the right time.
Yes you can farm them if you have the skills – and most people do from time to time. But you can “play the market” by first understanding how your servers market works – then using that information to your own advantage.
This ideas in this guide were not originally put together as a commercial venture. They were the product of The Gold Consortium’s attempt to break the Warcraft Gold Record. It represents the sum of our knowledge gained through that attempt
An attempt that saw us making 4000 gold per character per 8 hour day towards the end.
We were not quick enough – and were beaten by a single player on a German server. That was probably a blessing in disguise. We could develop better gold making techniques without the pressure of competition.
This guide details what we discovered.
If you are a solo player we suggest you read this guide from cover to cover. Not many players are truly solo everything in the game any more, most are active guild members, most PUG up for instances… .
Gold though is one of the areas where people tend to still go it alone – so that’s what the vast majority of this guide is concerned with…solo gold making !
The majority of the guide and associated materials is aimed at a lone gold tycoon. Learn how to set up your own guild for storage. Make gold in both factions (even if you don’t cross trade much – or even at all)
Use your alt’s effectively for both trading and professional advantage.
So first look at the opening chapters then read “the single market approach” and “How to read the market” Next have a look at the “Mining and Gathering Guide” with particular reference to whatever professions your main character has. Definitely check the extra functions you get with most crafting professions – Disenchanting, Smelting, Prospecting, Milling. The profitability of many items depends on how they are packaged, these skills allow you to get the best return for you time.
By this point you should be ready to decide on a portfolio, remember to factor in whether you are a regular player who wants to spend a lot of time at the Auction house, or someone who only logs on once or twice a week. The items you trade in should reflect you play style, but it’s all explained in these chapters.
If you can understand price indexing, then try using the spreadsheets packaged with these guides. They have some indexed prices for nearly 200 common items used in crafting (so very popular) but in the long term you will need to input your own data – every server is different.
We have a section on cross market trading. At some point you and a friend could try this – it is more profitable on every server we have used it on – but it isn’t ideal for everyone – we understand many like to make gold alone.
Well, that’s what it’s all about after all – making gold!!