Greedy Goblin

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Giving terrible advices

Those who follow the economy news remember that financial advisors rated Lehman Brother papers great. Well... they were not so great.

There are lot of theories about how could all be wrong about models and heuristics.

Through my own misery I've just found the real reason: it was not their own money they played with, so they didn't really care.

I found on some blogpost a comment, on the bottom of it there was "Kimberly's last blogpost: the failed goblin". I've followed it, finding her post where she writes about trying to flip Je'tze's bell. She bought it for 4500G and attempted to sell it for 6750G.

The Bell was selling on my old server for 6000G on its heyday and in a freefall since then. On my new server it's way below 5000G. Once, when it was BiS, I researched its market and found not worth messing with. Selling it for 6750 seemed nonsense to me.

So I posted a comment, advising to sell it even for 500G loss before it fall even lower. My motivation was simple: she was nice enough to mention my blog, so I was nice in return by giving kind advice. As you might guessed: "being nice" is not a really strong drive in me. It was just enough for the effort to type in my instant thoughts.

It was way insufficient to research her server, finding its much less HC than mine, so Ulduar trinkets are much less abundant to push down the prices.

It was insufficient to even check the date of her post. Only after I sent my comment I noticed the arrows on the interface of her blog, pointing the next day's post. Actually her post was not the most recent as the automated link on the other blog told. The newer post was about selling the bell for 700 profit. (4500+700)/0.95 = 5475G. So she sold it 1475G (or 1200G if she ignored the AH cut) above the price I suggested.

That's the way to make yourself a complete clown.

Here's the catch: if I'd find her post earlier and she takes my advice, she'd not only be 1475/1200G poorer, but also ignorant about it, as selling it for 4000 makes it impossible to prove that it would ever sell for 5475. That's how most advisors never get caught. The Fitch guys were fine for years with their nonsense, until everything fell down.

What people observed and did are facts. What they think are not facts. Of course you can use their ideas. But you have to make up your own mind. It's your money, the advisors may only say "sorry" after you lost it following their word. Always think for yourself and trust no one, especially not a sociopath goblin.

BTW, I've finished answering "how could I make gold with BS?" questions by mail. I don't know. I don't know your server, I don't know your playing frequency and I don't know your skills. If I'll ever make money with BS, I'll post about it (actually, I already did). I won't make up any more advices from overall trends and mmochampion news. I don't want to end up being the Fitch of WoW.


Darraxus said...

Speculation amongst blogger has seemed to fail time and again with new patches. The glyph market on dual spec day was one that was quite successful. I wish I had been fully prepared for it.

Anonymous said...

What Darraxus said; I invested tons of money into Dream Shards and Icy Dragonscales off Markco's advice, and they're selling for less now.

Anonymous said...

Funny thing is some people on my server is taking what Gevlon says as gospel and applying it to he AH. When will they learn?

Anonymous said...

Blacksmithing has been the absolute winner in terms of loss-making professions.

If you are going to make money from crafting as a blacksmith follow the rules below:

Do Not craft Plate armor.
Do Not craft Mail armor.
Do Not craft Weapons.

Sit in trade, and look for people that need enchanting rods, mithril casings, and other sundries.

And most importantly do not allow yourself the delusion that collecting rare epic patterns will matter at all. Do not buy them for thousands of gold off the AH.

No Goblin should train this profession.

My losses to date are around 100K after leveling the profession, numerous BOE pattern purchases, and failed epic auctions.

However, if you need a capital investment project that will always operate in the red, blacksmithing is fantastic.

(and yes, I have the revenue needed to support the enjoyment I derive from this cash sink.)

Smeg said...

GM has been against the wall for years, almost as early as 2005. It has squandered billions of US dollars, all from the government. For 5 years it has made countless bad management decisions.

Lehmenn Bros. was heading much the same way. Leveraging themselves to the hilt, making poor fundamental decisions etc.

Everything was fine while the markets were going up, you couldn't make a bad investment choice. Now, after the massive corrections we've seen worldwide, you must understand and apply the fundamentals again: debt is bad, asets/cashflow and profits are good and management needs to be sound.

Find a company that exhibits all the fundamentals of sound financial positions and good management and you will be on to an investment almost as safe as a government-backed bank account.

With regard to Markco and WoWEcon on the demand post-3.1 for various craft mats- Gevlon was the only one who got it right with regards to Frost Lotus. It was fool-proof: the devs said themselves that reducing duration, changing flask mats and giving the 2 flasks produced by Alchs was to encourage more usage. More demand without increasing the chance to supply Lotus was only going to increase the price.

Don't worry about giving out good advice or bad advice here, WoW is just for lulz. Anyone who takes it as holy writ gets their just-deserts. Gold is worthless and now people should only think about time spent.

Anonymous said...

I know this wont apply to you gevlon or this specific post but i have a gold making tip for your readers. now it does require your guild to clear the elders of freyas room of ulduar or at least able to get into her room and be a hunter/rogue/druid/mage and 450 herbalism. With the elders dead you can sneak through a majority of the room picking the herbs which for an average of 10 minutes can lead to 5-8 frost lotus, 3+ stacks of herbs and 2-3 eternal life.

The money making part of this is unless freya is killed they respawn every soft reset so thats a potential of 100-150g for 10 minutes of work every 30 minutes

Kring said...

I'm still wondering what I should do with the 50 stacks of Ink of the Sea I bought for 3g per Ink. It's now below 1.5g per Ink on my server. Always. I bouhgt it because "someone" calculated, that they will go for 6g. :-)

What I learned from that was: Buy nothing you don't understand, not even if Gevlon is doing it. I don't have a scribe and cannot convert it.

Making money with BS:
- Belt Buckles, don't sell high, sell many. That's whay I do.
- Disenchant the level 75 green head piece. Costs 8 Cobalt ore which often are quite cheap.
- I haven't tried the shield enchant because I don't have the rep, but take a look at that.

But I prefer to use other professions, because I hate smelting ore...

Okrane S. said...


Convert them into snowfall inks, those have a better chance of selling. (or at least research the possibility)

On a more general note, I'm stating to believe that each realm has pretty strong particularities. It is quite funny actually that even when having potentially similar samples of individuals the statistics do not converge to the same numbers.

This probably has to do with the huge number of M&S that play this game who are simply irrational.

So, I am thinking that the realm's economy is actually driven just by a handful of people maximizing their own needs - and I'm talking about Goblins and hardcore end-game raiders - which are probably the two main categories strongly influencing the market.

More goblins means lower prices for everything, and much less arbitrage opportunities and an overall balance between the prices of mats and crafted products.

Raiding progression usually influences the need of specific items, like epic crafts, consumables and what not. On an early stage server prices for Titansteel Destroyers for example can be high and profit can be made from it, whereas on a realm with Ulduar on farm, nobody would even bother for that stuff.

Realm population is usually correlated with these two.

So, in understanding the way the market functions on a particular realm, I believe these 2 are the main factors you should have a grasp on before starting your analysis.

*vlad* said...

Remember people, the value of an investment may go down as well as up!
If you lose money, bite the bullet and move on. Don't lose sleep over it unless you lost your house at the same time!

Figworth said...

Two things about Blacksmithing:

1: Eternal Belt Buckles do make a lot of money if you watch for low-priced stacks of eternal shadow, water and earth, and snap them up when you can.

2: There are a few other things, like Titanium Weapon Chain and the shield enchant from Exalted with the regular northrend faction (Alliance Vanguard in my case) that also sell well.

Willowbear said...

@Kring: Okrane S. is pointing you in the right direction. Don't stop with snowfall ink. Look at all of the inks you can convert Ink of the Sea into and check the AH. You can gradually liquidate your stock and break even or make a profit. I've seen some of the other inks go for 3 to 7g each. Obviously you won't be able to sell your stocks quickly, but if you are patient you can still make a profit. I've found snowfall to be unreliable because there are more sellers. The market is steadier for the other inks because they are actually used to make glyphs and snowfall is only for the cards which have rapidly devalued.

Anonymous said...

Be careful converting your Ink of the Sea to the lower inks. Most comments I've read say that they hardly sell at all. Most scribes prefer to capture the profit of milling themselves rather than buy ink off the AH. There are some like Gevlon who would rather focus on the Glyph profit and are willing to buy ink, but I think this is the exception. YMMV


Kimberly said...

I was completely tickled that you stopped by to visit!

I'm glad that darn Bell (as I was calling it at home) sold, but the real lesson learned was to do more research. I was looking at it from my point of view - we haven't gone past Ignis yet as a guild - but I need to see the bigger picture.

And while it wasn't applicable to that darn Bell (most likely a small fluke), your input will certainly help me in the future.

Which, in my book, is a good byproduct of your being "nice."

Yaggle said...

I think we all know that we take, and act, on advice at our own risk. It would be very childish for anybody to take somebody's advice and then blame that person if it does not go well. We are all adults and bear full responsibility for our own decisions. That having been said, I keep coming back here for the good advice! (and interesting philosophy)

Kihlahna said...

Hey Gevlon --- Love the site... Just thought I would let you in on this pretty neat blog... I think it has lots of potential. Check it out. Advertise it if you think it could go somewhere.

periodic said...

There is always something in a profession that you can make for a profit. Usually it comes by adding some value on the mats. So far I've been happy with making various JC rings (epic and not) in addition to gems, and I find my engineer sells bullet and arrow machines at a fantastic pace.

I'm only just working on blacksmithing, but I'll let you know. The key is usually to find something that people craft rarely and will have a low supply, or something that people use often and repeatedly and so will have high demand.

As for predictions, that's where the problem is.

Just giving the advice that you may want to sell at a loss to recoup most of your investment is advice and is always applicable.

Zamboni said...

Then again, if you had told her to hold out for 5475g on the Bell, prices would have cratered. At times I think the market waits for someone to make a prediction, then deliberately goes the other way.

highlatencylife said...

I think the key to all this is patience.

Like Dream Shards, man they are selling for cheap now. 13g on my server. But I wait, after they sell out. I even buy some at 13. Then gee their all gone, I post a few at 23 gold each and they sell. That 10 gold profit buddy.

Like I made 100 gold in 5 minutes of work. Sure thats no Gevlon, but for me thats pretty good.

Everyday I'm learning, waiting, and watching my Auction House.

As my Grandma says Pennies make Dollars.

Bristal said...

I bought 100 Arctic Furs before the patch for ~20G each. Then watched the price plummet even further in the weeks after the patch. But I was patient. A few weeks later I sold a few for 30G. The price kept rising and I never priced them lower than 40G after that. I now have 15 left and my first 10K in the bank.

Minimal effort. I feel like a Goblin.

Vyr said...

I seldom speculate based on patches. I simply load up when I find a cheap seller. Usually they speak in chinese and sell in bulk. When I say bulk, I meant something like 150 stacks of saronite ore.

It is possible to profit no matter on the amount of goblins on your server. There are always inefficiencies and you can profit from it.

@Kring. I have no idea what gave you the idea that ink of the sea is shooting up to 6g. But prices of heavily farmed Northrend herbs and ore only go 1 way. Which is downwards. For your ink to double in price, you would need all the herbs to double in price as well, which is gonna be pretty hard with chinese farmers flooding the market constantly.

Anonymous said...

"I invested tons of money into Dream Shards"

Really? Those have been dropping since the day they were available...

euripedes said...

I gave the Eternal Belt Buckle thing a try when you first brought it up on the blog.
The average price for one of 'em was 90 gold, the mats running 25-30 gold to build one.
I found a BS in-guild, paid him for a stacks of 20, then carefully doled them out, putting no more than 3 on the AH at a time.

Turns out, there already were 2 other people doing exactly what I was doing.
The three of us essentially controlled the Belt Buckle market, keeping it at around 90 gold, for about a month.

Then it all came crashing down when people started to catch on.
The market flooded with dozens and dozens of belt buckles, and the price crashed to 30 gold each with two days.

Thankfully I only had six buckles left at that time, so I just saved them for alts/new gear.
(Turned out to be a good idea, as the cost of Eternal Earths has tripled since then and not gone down.)

Kring said...

> @Kring. I have no idea what gave
> you the idea that ink of the sea
> is shooting up to 6g.