Greedy Goblin

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Flask of endless profit

Warcraftecon summarized very well, how all of us failed in predicting the market changes. His reasons are valid: players needed money for dual specs dumped their inventory to the AH, and BoE recipes does not hit the market, they lay idly in some raider's craftbook.

I experienced the same and started liquidating my investmenst with 10-20% loss. However one invested item gets insane profit: Frost lotus.

No, I'm not selling it. I go to an alchemist and transform into Flask of Endless rage. Just as Warcraftecon noted, the flask prices doubled (they stayed the same, but 2 new flask = 1 old flask). It is an artefact, a system error, the people and the Auctioneer addons remember the old prices. No one buys these overpriced flasks.

However my beloved flask of endless rage sells like candy. I sell them for 45G (x2), the lichbloom, goldclover and bottle cost 20G, and I bought the lotus for 30-35G back then. That's a nice 30G profit on a pair and they buy any quantity. Why?

The tanks and healers have unique job. If an add goes to the raid, a certain tank failed. If a tank died, a certain healer failed. So they were motivated to use consumables as the flask/elixir cost was lower than the repair cost of the raid. On the other hand nothing depended on a certain DPS player. Unless every DPS was a M&S, the boss hit the ground. One skilled and motivated DPS could carry 2-3 M&S doing 800.

What does that mean on the market? The tank and healer consumables had a constant demand, so the supply industry was created. Lot of such flasks were placed in the AH and I'm sure all tanks and healers made their stockpiles. On the other hand the average DPS player had absolutely no idea that consumables existed. When they went to Ulduar and the raid leader demanded flasks, they had no idea where to go. No industry, no stockpiles. They have to buy my shamelessly priced flasks.

I failed with the arctic fur and the titansteel bar, as only good players needed that. The raider who wanted to created an Ulduar-BoE bought his materials.

You cannot make a killing on smart people!

You can make insane profit on the dumb ones. You can make 25K in a week on the ones who buy dual specs to 10 alts but don't buy the glyphs in advance. You can make 2K/week for long time with minimal work on those who buy 16 slot bags instead of the cloth and turn to any tailor in their guild. You can make hundreds in a day on the mindless ones who buy ice cold milk.

I failed because I speculated on "what will the people need after 3.1" instead of "what will the mindless ones need after 3.1". Luckily I stockpiled such item by coincidence. You'll see the results on this week's report.

PS: for the same reason Saronite Razorheads and Mammoth Cutters also sell for great profit.


Rohan said...

LOL! As a healer, this post/theory is absolutely hilarious. And, sadly, quite possibly accurate.

Zekta Chan said...

You cannot make a killing on smart people!
but you can make insane profit on the dumb ones.
or may be the dumb ones and the rushing ones?

Another Goblin Wisdom noted my list.

I always got a voice in my mind when I am posting on AH
"You can sell high or fast, but you can't sell high fast."
Which actually help me to avoid from flooding the market.

P.s Thanks for linking :)

Saturas said...

"for the same reason Saronite Razorheads and Mammoth Cutters also sell for great profit."

I personally don't use them, so correct me if I am wrong: I think, there is some bug, or whatever in the AH: if you list all arrows/bullets in the search tab, the arrow/bullet makers don't appear. So maybe a lot of customers don't know they even exist.

Zekta Chan said...

Bug or not
a smart person will look for info before he buy it.

it's not cheap compare to other ammo/arrow.
My server sell at 5-6g a stack (200)
while compare to the lesser ammo/arrow, they only cost 45s a stack.

so basically, a hunter is firing 3s per shot. (And they better to be a hunter if they buy it)

bodphrah said...

My server seems a little odd, though regardless its still good for me after a little patience.

The titansteel market is poor, i mean really poor, ive invested quite heavy into this market and sold most for my stock for a fraction of profit i could have.

Being a tank myself I use my guildies to make the stuff for me with a COD, but ive been able recently to buy 4 times the ammount i could have (i don't use flasks though, i prefur elixiers) since herbs have plummeted to rock bottom prices, a batch used to of 40 potions used to cost near 200g, now 57g, which i think is near the same thing what happened to saronite after you now only need one tap rather than several.

But, this is down to server trend and I have noticed also that sellers have lost interest and stopped posting them (i mean seriously titanium got as low as 2.5g a bar) which means ive managed to capture quite a bit of the market due to lack of interest, has this happened on anyone elses server? 3.1 is nothing like i expected it to be.

Babar said...

A tailor in my guild won a roll on a tailoring recipe last night. I can't remember what it was, but all the mages and shadowpriests immediatly wanted one. Since you need 10 ebonweave and 10 spellweave, some of them immediatly went to AH and bought some stuff. I checked ebonweave a few hours later, and the price was now almost double what it was before we raided.

As more of these recipes become available, I cannot see how cloth won't rise in prices. Same with Titansteel and Arctic Fur.

Sure, only a fraction of everyone on the server will buy, so the "rush" won't last very long, but I don't doubt for a second that it will.

Kring said...

Will the Frost Lotus drop again?

How are we going to get our flasks cheap? No matter how much you stockpiled, your stock will dry up. :-)

Anonymous said...

I don't think buying bags at a premium of 10g over mats price is dumb. It saves the hassle of asking a guildmate, meet somewhere, buy thread or whatever vendor bought materials are needed (if any). I gladly pay 10g every time for the service of somebody else's time.

You are supposed to make a small profit on items you sell on the auction house. The same applies to glyphs. Who wants to buy an ink, the parchment, and then spam trade or bug a guildmember to make three? Rather buy them of the auction house if they are 15g each. Again convenience. Perfectly rational. Granted I sold some standard glyphs for 45g on patchday, that was something else entirely, also the flask boom you mention seems to be more than just a slight convenience surcharge.

Saturas said...

or this:

Anonymous said...

That is odd. The opposite thing happened on Wildhammer. Flask of endless rage prices were 50g previously and are now around 18g. I think the switch from fire leaf to goldclover helped the price drop. Pure Mojo and Stoneblood are up in price about 15% after accounting for the split. Must be my bad luck to have smarter people on my sever.

Dan said...

Interesting observation there Gev. Something I will certainly look into for future major patches. Personally I have noticed that flask prices on my server have had no real net change since 3.1 hit, again speculating that Auctioneer databases haven't fully adjusted to the prices. You can bet I'll be producing my own flasks if I do get back into endgame activity, at least at current prices.

Carra said...

I bought two overpriced flasks at 40g each. Because yes, I didn't stockpile a few before the patch.

Do I know it's overpriced? Sure but I needed them fast. I won't buy another flask however, I'll just ask a guildie to make a fewnext time.

I also agree that I'd rather spend 10g more on an item then bother a guildie to make something. 10~20g is worth the wasted time on buying mats, finding a guildie, meeting and waiting.

Hatch said...

I'm pretty confident Gevlon's theory in this post is mostly correct, though as Gevlon always does, he looks at one small aspect without considering the whole picture. Smart players tend to plan ahead, and the best profits are made from those who don't plan ahead. But Zekta also makes a good point: you can make the same profit from M&S as you can from people in a hurry or short on time to prepare. Stupidity is not the ONLY reason for unpreparedness. :)

Another thing that happened is every amateur businessman in Azeroth saw all the new recipes using Titansteel and stockpiled it. They ignored the fact that 1) the recipes also require runic orbs, an extremely limited resource only available to Ulduar 25 raiders, and 2) the recipes had to drop first.

So all these wannabes were surprised when 3.1 hit and Titansteel went down instead of way up as expected (because so many speculators had stockpiled so much). There was zero demand because the recipes didn't even exist yet, and even if they did no one had spare runic orbs. And most hardcore uld 25 raiders had already gathered their own mats. :)

In the long run, I think Titansteel will see a modest price increase as the recipes become more common and the patch matures to the point where the raiders have all the items they need and can start sparing runic orbs to sell.

Rorik said...

I've see a few guildmates make massive profits on both flasks and glyphs over the past two weeks. I'm interested to hear what Gevlon thinks will be the next big spike in the market. Oh and this is the best Gevlon quote ever "You cannot make a killing on smart people! You can make insane profit on the dumb ones."

Anonymous said...

LOL, hmm guess my guilds requirement to stockpile 160 hours of flasks for ulduur came in handy.

Bristal said...

Not that I would ever suggest Gevlon stop using the term M&S (that would be heresy), but it is a bit simplistic to explain market fluctuations.

I bought a few dozen stacks of Mammoth Cutters after I got my N4000 because I didn't want to be M&S in my first few raids. Took a few weeks to LEARN that they were available in other, less expensive forms. Ignorance does not make me a moron. Eventually I asked a guildie to make them and he sent me so many FREE that I haven't had to think about the price in months.

This game is INSANELY complex with so many mats and recipes for so many products that its amazing anyone would even try to keep track of it all.

I will continue to pay the going price of something I want/need at the time (within reason/budget). I'm a busy person, I'll eventually get around to finding the cheapest way to get something I need consistently. Being busy or choosing not to spend time doing research does not make me a slacker. And that goes for in-game and RL.

If you want to get simplistic about economics, it's simple S&D that drive prices/profits. I think it's more accurate to say that all people may ACT like M&S occasionally due to a variety of circumstances, which can drive up demand.

I go to a baseball game and gladly hand over $7.50 for a beer. But put me in a grocery story and I grumble about paying $10 for a six-pac.

It's a bit elitest, not very accurate and even a bit dangerous to believe that your business profits are realized by a stable population of "dumb" people who don't/can't learn over time.

Learning (predictability) is why prices stabilize. Profits are realized by hard work and shaving the margin of supplying to the demand.

Ignorance of new market information creates speculation and unpredictability and causes markets to fluctuate. Profits are realized by research, risk and luck.

Molinu said...

I didn't think ahead to stock up, but I *was* able to pick up insane amounts of cheap herbs from people dumping stock. A quick 40g tip to my guild alchemist (which she thought was extortionate, guess I should have offered less) and I've got a ton of flasks and elixirs kicking around.

As for cash... been making good profit on ammo and belt buckles. I guess the same people who got called out on consumables also got called out on enchants.

Sydera said...

This is not true on all servers. Flask of Endless Rage has always been my best seller. 2nd highest volume after Frost Wyrm, but best profit. I always made 5 g at most per frost wyrm but could make up to 10 on an endless rage. Why?

The people who buy them are good players, and good players have money. DPS can always be improved, and if I had to make a generalization about people who raid as melee DPS, which are the biggest users of these flasks, I'd say they tend to be better players than ranged DPS. Melee is just harder--I know, I've done both.

At a certain point, you can't improve your healing with a flask, so there goes some incentive for healers to buy Frost Wyrm. Stoneblood was weak and just not necessary until recently. Ulduar's release let me double my Stoneblood production, but it's still the 2nd-least profit-making flask. Flask of Pure Mojo is still at the bottom of the list because it's easier to use a regen trinket and still drink your Frost Wyrm. I can only sell a couple of these per raid night.