I've read a shocking post on The WoW Economist. It was a rant about a businessman, who came up with the "wonderful" idea of controlling the market. It wouldn't be interesting, there is a moron like that every other day.
What hit me that even a professional businessman can lose rationality over something "evil", starting cursing instead of acting.
In the post the wannabe monopolist bought up all the strange dusts and relisted them for 566%, 8.5G/stack. Our dear economist's reaction was "It was dumb, he’s an idiot, a moron and let me tell you why. What this guy did was basically turn people away from entering the profession who were new to the game, therefore eliminated future profit making opportunities from those people. The price point was so high that even the reasonable well funded alt isn’t going to pay that price. "
Actually it's not true. Turning away people from entering the profession is not "dumb", since enchanters are competitors of each other. Every non-enchanter is someone who don't overbid my armor and weapon bid just to undercut my dust and essence auction. This action harmed the "society", and on this a good person can get angry. When I say "can", I mean, "you can do it just like putting a huge pink feather into your butt, flipping with your arms and shouting I'm a bird". Possible, legal, allowed, so you can. But it won't help you in any problems, just like the useless emotion of anger.
The WoW economist also foretold, that our wannabe monopolist "the only thing it will get you, is your name well remembered or a nasty email" So somehow the "people" will punish him. This is vain hope. A real new player, not knowing the prices will not notice that this item is "overpriced", just that it's expensive, so he won't blame anyone for it.
BTW my dear colleague is wrong in "If the guy had half a brain he would have made his moves at the 2nd level (Soul Dust) and 3rd level (Vision Dust) mats." The wannabe monopolist made the smartest move he could do. Most people who want low level dusts are either switching profession or an alt. Real new players get enough green quest rewards to disenchant. Alts and profession switchers have lot of gold, and can get more gold from daily quests. They will not waste half an hour in Deadmines to save 8.5G, due to the opportunity cost of not-going-to-daily. On the other hand if our wannabe monopolist tried to pull this trick on the 5-6G/stack Vision Dust, overpricing it to 566% he would have to sell it for 28-34G/stack, much better reason for the buyer to go AoE grind RFK instead.
My experience from the flower business (bought 1000 stacks! of herbs and sold them when inscription was introduced):
- Tier 1 (peacebloom and co) used to be 1-2G, sold all instantly for 10-12G
- Tier 2 (mageroyal and co) used to be 2-3G, sold all instantly for 15-16G
- Tier 3 (liferoot and co) used to be 4-5G, sold all in 2-3 days for 19-20G
- Tier 4 (goldthorn and co) used to be 7-8G, sold all in 2-3 days for 20-25G
- Tier 5 (sungrass and co) used to be 10-12G, sold all in a week for 25-30G
- Tier 6 (Icecap and co) used to be 15-19G, took a month to sell them for 20-30G, selling for 20 at the end
- Tier 6 (outland herbs) used to be 20-25G, still selling the damn things for 15-20!
The people don't look at premium percentages, they look at absolute price. If it's too high for them, they go farm instead of buying. I'm sure they had some un-Christmas wishes for me when they saw my 12G stacks (6-700%) of peacebloom, but their alternative option was running up and down in Mulgore for daisies so they just bought it. When they saw my 40G/stack icecap ("just" 240%), they gave me a finger and went to Winterspring. I had to cut price soon. Picking icecap takes exactly the same time for a lvl70 than picking peacebloom. In Outland, due to the flying mount, herbing is much easier, so I ended up with a loss in that segment.
All in one: our wannabe monopolist did the very smartest thing that one can do with monopoly. And the dear WoW Economist replied with an angry rant about how "harmful" it was and put a not so nice picture about this guy (seen in this post too), to display how much he don't like him.
So what? He wanted money and not liking. If he reads the post, he most probably laughs thinking "I'm not only made some easy money but even the WoW economist himself couldn't stop me and only got away because of his packrat girlfriend. If he wouldn't be so lucky with his girlfriend (non-market factor), I'd own him too! I'm the king!".
Well, dear wannabe monopolist, you are not the king, just another moron. If you got money, it's only because people are not thinking, either because they are incapable in general, or because their mind is fogged with anger. If you would dare to pull this lame trick on my server the following things would happen to you:
- One of my bankalts would roll tailoring
- I'd buy all the linen cloth from the AH 1G/stack
- Transform all to bolt of linen cloth, reaching slvl 50 in the process
- Tailor them all to Brown Linen Robe
- Disenchant them all, getting lot of Strange Dusts for 2G/stack material cost
- I would list them for 3.8-4.2G/stack by different alts to hide that it's the action of one person
- You would buy them all and relist them for 8.5G to protect your monopoly
- I keep repeating the above, making 2G/stack profit on you until you run out of money or bank space
- You are forced to accept my price, relisting your stuff for 4G
- I keep repeating the above with 3G/stack, still making 1G/stack and lot of laughs
- You are forced to accept my price, relisting your stuff for 3G
If the server is low on cloth, feel free to adjust the scheme for Braided Copper ring or Rugged Leather Pants.
I've saved my server from such wannabe monopolists countless times. And I made lot of money doing so: the wannabe monopolist is almost as good buyer as someone who have some dumb shorts to return - except such actions cannot be done in Azeroth. Doing good for the society for my own interest: the invisible hand in it's perfect form.
PS: while I was writing this, a guildmate asked about Expert Cookbook for his cooking skill. I told AH, and he replied it's all 9G (0.9G at the vendor)! It seemed that another moron, Ghoulette pulled this lame trick. A goblin's work is never done...