Monday, September 21, 2009

Thunderdome: 2 scribes enter, only one will leave

One common tactic in working the auction house is to drive your competition out. If they leave, you have it all to your self. The rewards can be huge if you do that and eventually become the major player. Sometime you have to drive off a major player and it could be more work than you think. People try to move into my glyphs all the time. It is a big market and no way can I control it all. Sometimes the market will crash and I wonder if someone is trying to drive me out or not.

So would it take to drive a player like me out of glyphs?

This can be harder than you think. Not all people play the glyph market like I do. When I moved in to the market someone was top dog and I don't see them any more. I see people that could have the potential to take the market, but I am already established. They would have made a lot of gold with out me here.

I have a stack of every glyph. That is a ton of inventory. If for some reason my competition won and I decided to leave the market, I am not going to let that inventory sit. All that would have to be sold. If I am exiting the market, the threshold is no longer an issue and the market could easily fall. My competition would have to wait that out.

I run the lowest threshold. well, almost. I see leveling glyphs way below cost and flooded all the time. In general my threshold is lower then everyone else's. It is still above what I think they pay for mats. Lats thing I want to do is post for less than it takes for them to make the glyphs. They would just crash the market and buy up my glyphs. It is still a profit for me but it adds time to myself and gives them a break.

I have the largest market coverage. I use 3 alts to post with and while I still need about 10-12 research glyphs, most people posting have not been doing it as long. Not many people track every glyph. If you were looking to drive me out, you need to cover all the glyphs I sell. Also be careful that I don't cover all the glyphs they sell.

I drive the prices down constantly. If you think driving the prices down is going to tick me off, think again. I run a 20-60 silver undercut. That pushes glyphs down fairly fast. The harder my competition works to undercut me, the faster the prices fall. The result is usually some part time players leave the market opening up the research glyphs to just me. Fewer people means more sales for me.

The thing with the lowest threshold is that my mats are cheaper. Sometime I have a farmer that sells to me direct. When I tell them I will take all you have, they are happy to give it to me. I can often get all 3 of the high yield herbs for the same price. I love buying lichbloom for the farmer price of adder's tongue. It is not very often that I resell it, but its extra profit when I do. I also check the AH several times a day for herb markets to crash or other farmers unloading under market price. I am probably a major factor keeping our herb prices stable.

I have a large stock of reserve herbs and ink. I have a 5 tab bank to hold my reserves when needed. It isn't full all the time but it is not uncommon for me to fill it with herbs when I catch 2-3 farmer dumps within a few days. I try hard to mill/ink it as quick as I can, but a few 120 stack purchases can take a while to melt. I also have a 2nd guild bank that holds reserve ink of the sea. On any given day I have 3000-6000 ink of the sea in the bank. This helps when herb prices are high or glyph demand spikes.

I have gold in reserve and fingers in other markets. If I ran out of all my inventory of glyphs and herbs and ink, and if my farmers disappeared, and if the herbs on the ah were way over priced, I would still have the gold to go toe to toe with anyone in the market. I have a 3 months head start on any new player to the market. Look at the advantage that gives me.

I am not saying that I cannot be beaten or that it is impossible. The odds are just in my favor. I have the time and the patience to go along with it. I read all the same sites and have access to all the same mods. I have access to all the same tricks. Its possible they learned everything from me. I am just saying that I will not be an easy target so they need to be prepared.

Welcome to the Thunderdome.


  1. I never tried to drive other players out of "my market" I'm not that sort of person.

    I do however undercut until my treshold.

    If someone would try to drive me out I would simply make a spionage alt; spy on him and check when he logs off, then log for posting and stop after that for that day.

    If that wouldn't work I would simply keep AH's posted, theres always something that sells anyways.

  2. You mentioned: "Last thing I want to do is post for less than it takes for them to make the glyphs. They would just crash the market and buy up my glyphs. It is still a profit for me but it adds time to myself and gives them a break."

    So, in essence, the goal for you is to approach your competitors' cost and make them operate profitless. I don't really understand how it becomes a bad thing once you cut so low it's impossible for them to turn a profit. It almost seems like it would make them throw their hands up and quit the market sooner -- because buying up your glyphs just to crash the market at a loss is negative gold-per-hour.

  3. If I found my competition giving me glyphs for less then my cost, I would crash the market and buy a large chunk of the glyphs they posted.

    The I would let the market return to normal and sell all those cheap glyphs. The market is not crashed all the time. It is a cycle. Even when it does crash, not all glyphs crash the same. So a 3g glyphs today can be a 10g glyph in a few days.

    This is just how I approach the the market. I would bet there are several people willing to sell a few at a loss to grab the market sooner. The risk for it to backfire is greater.

    I used to drive people out, now I let them drive themselves out.

  4. I love your blog! It's inspired me to go for the WOW gold cap and i'm writing a blog while doing it :) Check it out at:

  5. Great blog! Been following you for a few days and I must say, I'm hooked on your articles. They're really giving me insight on how to dive and really work at the market, whether its being a scribe or not.

    Thanks and keep the posts going!

  6. As an established player you also have the option of keeping the auction crashed at minimal cost due to the high levels of stock you already hold and the fact that you're not actually after sales, just keeping prices low. If you keep posting at slightly higher prices than the competition you force them to keep selling for negligible profit hopefully until they decide that there's little money in Glyphs and go away.

  7. Keep in mind most scribes aren't the ones who actively seek to hit the gold cap, and are doing it to get their epic flying or something similar. This makes it really easy to drive someone out, and the ability to control the glyph market is how you make the largest income.

    Using chinese farmers is really a great way to control your outgoing, those guys tend to amass stock fast and occasionally will unload batches for cheap - I've had 9g/stack for Lichbloom. Finding them isn't hard either, keep a lookout for the mass sellers in those markets and ask them.

  8. Thoroughly enjoyed this post. A fantastic assessment of the challenges that lay ahead for a newcomer while at the same time admitting that it is, indeed, ‘possible’ to be beat.

  9. Last night when I checked my auctions, QA2 advised me that I had been undercut on 216 items listed. I glanced at the list and noticed one particular name repeatedly appearing. I wondered if this guy is using QA2 as well, but the interval that he cuts me is seemingly random -- ranging from 12 to sixty-ish silver. Could this be a sign that he is manually trying to work the glyph market?

    I later noticed, he also has many glyphs listed at 1.06 silver buyout, which is barely above vendor price. I'm a little confused as to what this guy is up to... is it a sign of frustration? I suspected that he was trying to dump his leveling glyphs, but he also has many glyphs learned from the Glyph Mastery books. So I can't really assess if this is a noob or a serious competitor.

  10. Tyulpan it could be that they are using an dd-on that undercuts based on a percentage of the price rather than buy a fixed amount. One technique to consider if the competition is setting a very low bid price is to undercut their buyout prices and then bid on their auctions. Most people buying Glyphs want them immediately so you'll get the sales and with a little luck some very cheap glyphs.