Greedy Goblin

Friday, October 30, 2009

My pricing

It's a weird post. I mean I already wrote it, linked it from the about page, yet people keep asking about my pricing like it never existed. The simple answer for this is that people write before they read, that's a common reason to get to my favorite fun thread.

However I'm afraid some of the readers assume that my post is merely "basic steps for n00bs", that somehow does not apply to the "pro ppl" (him and myself), therefore like all "pro ppl" I also use QA2 and keep my pricing strategy secretly.

Well, no. What I wrote in this post is my pricing strategy. And I don't have QA2 installed. And I've reached goldcap again and again because (and not despite) of this. So let me brake my pricing down to the "pro ppl". In QA2 you set your
  • threshold price: you don't post below it
  • fallback price: you post at this price if competition is above it or absent
  • undercut value
Surprise, I do the very same:

My threshold price is Auctioneer median price -40%, besides that, I have one more threshold, if Auctioneer median price is lower than 3G, I don't craft that glyph.
My fallback price is Auctioneer median price +25%
My undercut value is 60s

The Auctioneer median price is an automatic evaluation of what the competitors do. If they bitterly undercut in the 1.5G range, it's low. If they usually post high, it's high. I don't have to keep an eye on any specific competitor, Auctioneer does it for me. I scan the AH 2 times a day in random dates, so I'm immune to the "put your competitor to your friend list and wait until he logs off" nonsense. I do scans on characters that never post anything so the competition have no way to prevent me from seeing what they are doing.

The big shot is the fallback price. The "pro ppl" live for the fallback moment. They hope that they can catch a moment when there is no competition, post at 50G and sell 1 or 2 until a competitor logs in, or alternatively, a competitor did just that, and they post at 49.99.99 and sell 1 or 2 before the next (or the original) comes and undercuts to 49.99.98. Well, if I'm in the market, you never see an 50G fallback, unless you buy me out or for some reason the customers clear the AH (happens on patch day). If the glyphs go around 6G and I find the AH empty or only 49.xx.yy glyphs, I'll post for 7.5G (6*1.25).

So unless I miss a patch note or some wannabe monopolist buys me out, you never ever sell any glyph for 50G. That usually demoralize the "pro ppl" who sooner or later find out that cancel-repost cycles for 1.5G profit/glyph gives the G/hour of the dailies. Note that it's not contradicting Andrew's experiment, if everyone else use QA2 too, you can make good gold with QA2. But not if I'm or someone like me is around.

Of course if people abandon a glyph its market median price will rise (as I post old_median*1.25) so next time I post higher, but as soon as some form of competition arrive, the undercutting starts again.

The dynamic threshold price also has its uses, it's for automatically killing "I farmed for free" and wannabe "I dominate the market" guys. If the glyphs go around 6G and a few posters start selling for 3G I won't undercut them, Auctioneer conveniently places my glyphs above them , below the first "valid" competitor. If it's a new trend, then in 2 days the median price will change, so I simply lost 48 hours. If it's not a new trend just a single kiddie being stupid, than he sells his glyphs, after that I will (unless he posted enough to serve the market alone). This case he crafts and mills and posts and collects mail for ridiculous profit. It's only a matter of time until he reaches the conclusion: "The market is shit on this server because of no lifers who camp the AH 24/7".

And the beauty of all this that I post once every 2 days, in an appropriate time when I have enough offline tasks to do while mass crafting, posting or mail-collecting is in progress.

QA2 is not a good tool. It's an "automated n00b", doing the n00b thing for a single click: undercut the current lowest poster by 1c, regardless if this poster is already too low or ridiculously high.

One more thing: PLEASE stop commenting "find a cheaper herb supplier". It's the "pro ppl" version of the "I farmed for free"! You got it below market price? Good job! However if the glyph is below market price material cost, you should not waste the herbs on them! Sell the herbs for market price!

91 comments:

Christian said...

You have, as usual, good arguments.

There's one issue, though.
I often find the auctioneer median prices to be grossly inaccurate, as it often prices glyphs that run me no profit as being profitable.

Why this is I'm unsure of, but a large enough chunk of my glyphs doesn't sell for a profit if I merely use auctioneer, either because the glyphs are too cheap or because the glyphs are too expensive (the cheapest glyph in the auction house determines what the current AH price for that glyph is, after all.)

I recently tried my hand at using QA, and I found it reassuring to be able to set a minimum price for the glyph.

comradevik said...

Ok, Auctioneer and QA2 are absolutely the same, except that the time time it takes to batch post 500 glyphs in Auctioneer is about 5 times the amount of time it take to post them with QA2.

The 2 advantages QA has over auctioneer is:
a) It splits stacks and posts faster than batch post(it takes me about 10 minutes to post 1000 glyphs, and
b) It lets you cancel the glyphs you've been undercut on if you need to.

@Gevlon, forgive me if I didn't read the post too carefully, but exactly how many glyphs of each do you post at a time.

Sarainy said...

How is an "automated n00b" batch posting in Auctioneer any different from one doing the same with QA?

Sure, QA can be used stupidly - but not everyone uses it like an idiot, and the exact same thing can be said about Auctioneer if you just blindly set it up and batch post everything.

Christian said...

No, Comradevik, there are other differences.

The main thing that Auctioneer does differently from AQ is the pricing model. Auctioneer creates a price range for each glyph it finds on the auction house, using a complicated formula. It then basically tells you "it's worth about this much."

Then you can price your glyphs at a price that's reasonably sure to sell - it doesn't get so high that it invites the daily undercutters to come back, and should it happen that someone posted a whole slew of glyphs for 1g each, Auctioneer ignores them, and puts yours at a price that's a little more reasonable. Those 1g glyphs should sell out pretty fast, leaving your profiting glyphs on there, or those 1g glyphs stay on there forever, in which case the auctioneer price for the glyph drops, and you know not to make the glyph anymore.

QA simply undercuts the current competition.

In short, QA uses a snapshot of the auction house for pricing, Auctioneer uses longer term trends, and auctioneer causes your prices to rise and fall more slowly.

And to answer that other question, from what I can tell Gevlon posts every glyph that he can make a profit on and doesn't ever cancel glyph auctions because they were undercut - he posts his auctions and comes back two days later to restock and repost.

Ephemeron said...

The real 'pro' solution would be to write a mod of your own that would combine Auctioneer's long-term analysis with QA's accelerated posting capabilities, and then keep it for yourself only.

comradevik said...

@Christian
My question wasn't what glyphs he posts, it was how many of each glyph does he craft/post. For example I put up about 2-4 glyphs at a time.

As for Auctioneer using Median price, I'd argue that it's hard to say what the market price of a glyph is because it jumps all the time, especially if you have about 10 glyph sellers using QA2 on your server. Glyph of Exorcism for example is anywhere from 3-40g depending when I check. I checked the price for it in Auctioneer and it says I should sell it for 7g.

Auctioneer uses a snapshot as well, the difference is that Auctioneer averages those snapshots, and QA just uses the most recent one.

Auctioneer works and accomplishes what it needs, but QA is a slightly better tool.

Sarainy said...

I agree with Comradevik - If anything Auctioneer's median pricing is a drawback for glyphs, although is useful in other markets.

As long as you are making over your costs, then not posting a glyph because it is below the 'median price' is still you losing out on a sale.

In addition, a 25% mark up will not allow you to sell at a high fallback if there is not other competition. Using 7g from Comradevik's comment, your fallback is 8g75s when you could easily fall back the glyph to 20g and get constant sales, if not higher.

Saying that Auctioneer is better because it raises the prices slowly as trends change is a negative point in the glyph market where prices change throughout the day from mats price to massive fallbacks of 80g or more.

comradevik said...

Gevlon says nobody can post at fallback because of him, but unless he puts up 40 of each glyph every 2 days, there WILL be be many glyphs that get sold out and prices would get reset.

Gevlon said...

@Comradevic: No one can post at fallback, EXACTLY because of QA2. If I post at 7.25, the next seller posts at 7.24.99, and in an hour there will be two dozens between 7.24.00 and 7.25.00.

BTW I wrote that I currently post 8 of all and on average I sell 5.7 in two days.

@Sarayni: Don't ignore your time! If the costs are 2G and you sell for 2.1G, than you crafted, listed and mailbox-collected a glyph for 10s. My approximation is 10 seconds/glyph workload. 10s/10sec = 36G/hour, pathetic. Even if you mass-craft, mass collect, allowing being semi-AFK, you must make around 50s/glyph to be above dailies.

Azzur said...

Meh, I've used both tools in exactly the same way, e.g. 48 hr auctions. I've noticed not much difference to my bottom-line. I actually find that QA2 undercut yields more profit than Auctioneer. It really depends on the competition on the server.

Since I'm rich now, I don't really post glyphs anymore unless I'm really bored. What puts me off glyph posting is the milling + crafting! WTB auto-mill and auto-craft!

I also find QA2's crafting queue better than Lil Sparky but really it's individual preference.

The final portion of the process (posting) is actually the easiest part. Whether you use QA2 or Auctioneer is no big difference. Speed is no big deal since I'm mostly afk.

Gevlon's "automated noob" statement is just incorrect.

Sarainy said...

My point was more that using the median was a bad way to value glyphs, because the price of glyphs changes so much.

I wasn't recommending selling at just above mats cost.

Do agree with the whole QA preventing many fallbacks due to just constant undercutting, although eventually they will fallback. It works in cycles... Kevmar did a great post on it a while back Why do Glyphs Fallback?"

Also 10 seconds per glyph is a lot of time...it really shouldn't take anywhere near that long if you use the right addons and have them setup correctly.

Archangel said...

Ok, I'm stupid. How do you set up Auctioneer, that in any circumstances will NOT post a glyph under 3g ? If ever (just bare with me for the sake of example...) a median glyph value become 4g , then -40% is 2,4g. I'm not in the Inscription business and I don't know what the chances are of a glyph to get to 4g median value, but I would really like to know.

On another note, as I said in previous comments, I wouldn't trust Auctioneer median market values as a reference to handle the epic gem s.

JC said...

My issue with Auctioneer is the huge amount of time it takes to actually post the auctions. QA lets these auctions be posted extremely rapidly, which I find convenient; that way it only takes me about a half an hour to post all of my glyph auctions.
However, QA has the issue of always undercutting someone - even if they're far, far above my fallback. That is, if someone stupidly posts a glyph for 600g , it'll automatically post my glyph at 599g30s or so, and then I'm screwed since that will never sell (and I'll just get vastly undercut by someone using market prices). I wish QA wouldn't do that, and just post it at a set maximum regardless of how high anyone else's auctions are at...

The other issue with Auctioneer (as others have said) is that there's often some weird warbles in the market price data for glyphs. I'm considering switching back to that, though, since I've been having that aforementioned QA issue. Still, as Christian said in his comment, I found there were times when a large chunk of my glyphs didn't sell because the glyphs were too cheap or too expensive, since Auctioneers calculations were a bit off. Perhaps I should clear all my Auctioneer data, and spend a week collecting data with it, instead?

I really wish there was just an Auctioneer addon with the speed posting (stack splitting, etc) capabilities of QA.

Azzur said...

to JC:
However, QA has the issue of always undercutting someone - even if they're far, far above my fallback. That is, if someone stupidly posts a glyph for 600g , it'll automatically post my glyph at 599g30s

You can set the threshold value to account for this. The threshold is the maximum value a glyph will always be posted at.

Sarainy said...

@JC If QA is posting glyphs above your fallback price, then either your version is bugged and you need to start over, deleting it and all saved variables and then download the latest one.

OR

You have not set it up correctly.

If you set a fallback of 60g, then QA will never post a glyph for higher than 60g. That's the point of your fallback.

Sarainy said...

@Azzur Nearly right, your threshold is the MINIMUM it will post an item for. It's fallback you are after - which sets the maximum price you will post an item.

Anonymous said...

JC, you're using QA incorrectly if you have that problem. Just use the slider button that you can set to post at a certain % value of your fall back. If your fallback in 10g and the slider is set to 100%, then you will never post any glyph more than your fall back, even if someone has a glyph at 11 gold or 110 gold. You probably have the slider value set to 1000% of your fall back or something like that.

Archangel said...

The default slider is set at 500%. That means it will follow prices upwards, up to 500% of your fallback price. Set it to 100% and it will never follow prices above your set fallback value.

Wooly said...

This post has way to much emotion and irritation in it to sound objective.

Come on Gevlon, using words like "noob"? You should know better.

I sincerely hope people aren't feeling intimidated into copying exactly what you're saying. They should try out the best selling tactics, tools and methods on their own. Nothing beats personal evaluation.

You said it yourself that you didn't want sheep here, but are you still sure of that?

Anyway, when so many people ask you to explain things that you've already explained (the original article was written in the way I came to expect from you btw), fuck them! Every day you'll get new readers who'll go straight to the comment box or email instead of thinking for a moment. Why would you give a crap about those obvious M&S? I would direct them to herbalism and a grind spot for herbs, we could all use more herb grinders.

Moggy said...

I think Gevlon is just married to the idea that QA is "noob".

If you want to deeply undercut using QA2 then that is very possible. Just set undercut to 60s and fallback to 15g (or whatever suits you). QA2 also features the ability to post at fallback price if the current price is under your threshhold.

Anonymous said...

if you set up a new idea people will follow this and when the idea was to be different from others you make kinda rules how to be different to them...this allways ends in that you become like the other grp with very dogmatic sights how to be or not to be....then theres no more a difference and no matter in which grp you are...

I think Gevlon is very radical using the word "noob" think about it....he set this all up he can break his rules you guys follow whenever he wants.

rich said...

My issue with using auctioneer was the time it took to check how much the glyph went for (skillet doesnt show prices for me, only how many i can craft) and decide whether to craft or not. With QA and KTQ I'm able to set it up to craft 5 or so of each one, and even tho the market might mean that a glyph is worth not v much, if i can't sell it for over 3g, then QA won't post it and I will never recraft this glyph. I have the threshold for KTQ set, but it never seems to work properly. It does mean that i have a stock of wasted glyphs, but the time saved is worth it for me.

My way round this is to have all the glyphs under 3g on another alt, who i just dont post from, but I'm not really liking this solution.

Anyone have a way round all this?

rich said...

edit :- realised i had left lil sparkys workshop off on my scribe alt, but still, takes bloody ages going through each one.

Alexander said...

Well, let's assume someone on your srever got all glyphs researched, qa2 set to, say, 3g min, 10s undercut, 10g fallback.
He logs, say, twice in a day to repost 3 glyphs max each time (it takes little time with qa2, so he will be fine with that).
So your glyphs will be undercut almost all time long, and he will use your pricing, just -10s.
Can't see how your strategy will make you money and make him leave the market?

Nick S. said...

"And the beauty of all this that I post once every 2 days, in an appropriate time when I have enough offline tasks to do while mass crafting, posting or mail-collecting is in progress.

QA2 is not a good tool. It's an "automated n00b", doing the n00b thing for a single click: undercut the current lowest poster by 1c, regardless if this poster is already too low or ridiculously high."

When I post for 48 hours, I make less gold.

My QA2 undercuts for 1g, a "deeper" undercut than your method. I'm still undercut within an hour or two on 90% of my glyphs.

On my server, we cycle prices from 50g to 2.5g in a few days. 48-hour posters sell fewer glyphs in that environment, period.

Gevlon said...

Dear Nick S. If you let it cycle, of course you must undercut often.

You are NOT deep undercutting, since you undercut to a high price. 48G-1G = 47G.

The point is to sabotate the cycle reset. If the price is 5G you and me both post for 4.something.

If the price is 48 G, you post 47, I post 12 or something like that. No resets = no profit to QA2 wizzards = they leave quickly.

Anonymous said...

Nivk, you still don't understand it. If your server cycles from 50 to 2 gold in a few days, you will sell nearly ALL of your glyphs posting for 48h if you post at a low enough price. Either that or the cycle breaks, which starts pushing people out of the market eventually. Ending a stupid point with "period" makes you look even more stupid.

Wiss said...

@Azzur i have been using this to prospect large amounts of saronite, it is really a nice little program

manu said...

"I do scans on characters that never post anything so the competition have no way to prevent me from seeing what they are doing."

Wait, what ?

What can they do if they know your caracter name ?

althalas said...

I use QA2 for a specific reason. I do not care what the price of an item is trending to. I only care what the price is for the next 24-48 hours. I have no interest in what the price was 2 weeks ago. Auctioneer is famous for having faulty information because of high buyout prices (manufactured) and patch changes.

In addition auctioneer is insanely bloated and hard to configure. Once you have a few weeks of scans in it can lock up my system for a solid 30 seconds when I mouse over an item for the first time. Add to that it takes longer and longer to autoscan and clogs up while I am browsing the AH. Auctioneer has become more and more of a pain in the ass since they went to full blown advanced.

Reacting to the current compitition is not stupid, as long as you do not just rely on the button. If you set up QA correctly and you pay attention when you do your reposting you can assure yourself that you are not pricing too low, and you are staying in the current market mean. There is value in deep undercutting, but there is also value in maintaining the current trend as well.

I have found that I can make just as much gold, with less work by staying in the mean as opposed to undercutting drasticly. Now I do undercut, and I do go deep when in a price war. But when an item sells regularly at 10G, and the market supports 10g, and I sell my stock at 10g, why in the world would I want to undercut to 4g?

I think of my WOW items as goods in a grocery store. If people are buying my products at the price I have set, and I am selling everything I plan to, at the price and rate I plan to, why would I lower the price? It make no real sense to do that. Now when an item is not selling, I make changes until that item is selling at the correct rate and price, then I let it alone.

Nick S. said...

"If the price is 48 G, you post 47, I post 12 or something like that. No resets = no profit to QA2 wizzards = they leave quickly."

No resets assumes that I've covered every single glyph, all of the time. I could probably reach that level, but only by expanding my business considerably - adding bank alts and etc to combat the issue of bag/bank space.

I'll try 48-hr posting with a 10g cap for a couple of weeks, but my prediction is that I'll continue to be blindly undercut by the heavy undercutters on my server. Will report back. ;-)

mason55 said...

Everyone here is talking past each other. Gevlon is talking about how to dominate the market by pushing everyone. Posting with auctioneer at low prices all the time will help do that. As people leave your prices will rise a little.

The people with QA2 are talking about how to play in a market with lots of competitors. You'll never drive people out by letting glyphs cycle back to 50g.

If you want to have discussions, you should be discussing which strategy is better; discussing which tool is better for two different jobs will get you nowhere.

Okrane S. said...

@wiss

KevMar has a topic about these 3rd party softwares over at his place?
do you think that by using this one you risk getting banned?

@topic

both QA and Auctioneer have their uses. For me:

QA:
it is more of a trend follower. Sell now, sell fast. It requires the player to keep a closer eye on his auctions. Perfectly tailored for AH campers.
+es:
* faster posting
* simple click and forget
* great when u own the market
* easy cancel if undercut/craft queue

Auctioneer: AFTER it has been TRAINED with data for a couple of weeks its best for exactly the opposite, making you immune to market noise.
Ideal for selling large quantities of items with low involvement.

+es
* more stable pricing
* immune to singular low prices
Takes more time to post/maintain tho.
* superior ways to determine whatever is worth selling

So use QA if:
- you plan on camping the AH
- you are in a heavily volatile market and willing to follow the trend
- you cant stand waiting for the posting to finish
- you know the market very well

Use auctioneer if:
- you are new to the market and trying to get a better understanding
- you are dumping huge quantities of stuff on the market.
- on less volatile markets
- are patient enough to wait on the posting

What I'd like to see is the guys from Auctioneer implementing the fast posting of QA and leave us more opportunity in choosing the market pricing model to use (snapshot vs statistical model)

Nick S. said...

"If your server cycles from 50 to 2 gold in a few days, you will sell nearly ALL of your glyphs posting for 48h if you post at a low enough price. Either that or the cycle breaks, which starts pushing people out of the market eventually."

If I undercut from 49g to 10g, it will be undercut to 9.99g. I've tried to drive people out, and got rid of several, but people *still undercut low prices*. I don't see what's so difficult to understand about this. There are people on my server who craft 2-5 of every glyph and auto-undercut two or three times a day, down to SILVER. I see NO magical 48-hour solution here.

But like I said, I'll try Gev's suggestion. 10g cap, which means a minimum of 3 or 4 gold profit per glyph for me. I'll run it for a couple of weeks and see if anyone leaves the market.

If you want to come prove that you can outsell me, it's Smolderthorn Horde-side. Post 48-hour, do bookkeeping, and let me know what your average profit per unit time spent is.

Dàchéng said...

Archangel, claiming to be stupid, asked:

"How do you set up Auctioneer, that in any circumstances will NOT post a glyph under 3g ?"

Simple. You don't. The problem is earlier in the food chain: stop crafting glyphs that you can't sell at a profit. If the median price is 4g (to use Archangel's example), then simply stop making those glyphs. Yes, you may lose some marginal profit when those glyphs are temporarily overpriced; on the other hand, you won't be left holding stock you can't shift when the market readjusts the price.Really, this is not a glyph you want to be wasting time on.

Disclaimer: I happily use QA2, but I take with a pinch of salt the prices it displays. I only craft glyphs that are profitable long-term. Just because QA2 shows that the minimum price for Glyph of Backstab is currently 60g, that doesn't mean I'm going to craft it.

When I first started with QA2, I only paid attention to the current price as reported by QA2's
summary data. I quickly found my bags full of useless glyphs that had at some time been offered at a ridiculously high minimum buyout price, making me think at that time they were worth crafting. Of course they never actually sold at that price.

I learned this lesson: use the current price to decide whether or not to post. Use the median price to decide whether or not to craft.

Finally, I also agree with Christian that even the median price reported by Auctioneer is higher than the real median price of sold glyphs. That's because Auctioneer counts all listings as eventual sales. As a result, one must either add a margin of error to the median price Auctioneer reports, or look at Auctioneer's beancounter tab, and calculate the median price of your sales from that.

Rkik said...

Thank you for the post.

As always the reasoning going into it is by far the most useful part.

It seems as though I'm not patient enough for your method, but I can certainly see its benefits. I will be changing my strategy from trying to make a quick buck to the more sustained method.

Thanks again.

Ricky said...

Great post

I can see that this strategy will work on large population server but mine is low to medium server.

What happens if there isn’t that much demand for glyphs as maybe x sales of a glyph for a particular day for all inscriptionist and only the ones that are the lowest cost will sell.

I know for me right now is that I am an AH camper as I post 3-6 times a day. I understand that I may spend a little bit more time posting. But I feel that if I post once every 48 hours I will sell any glyphs due to the undercutters do to the low demand on my server.

Does that mean in the longer run, two weeks people would leave the market and the medium price would go up? Or get out of the glyph market.

Anonymous said...

ok...a little off-topic, but I recently re-installed WoW & Auctioneer on a new PC and I was wondering how I can move all my scanning data over from my old PC to the new one?

Iiene of Kul Tiras said...

So basically, according to your numbers (And yes, I read them the first time.)

You cock block the glyph reset cycle by selling glyphs at a set value (based on the sale price... a factor you manipulate to be low) with a threshold as low as 1.8 gold and a fallback as low as 3.75 gold. Of course, this contradicts what your previous posts on the subject say, but I assume you don't think anyone actually reads them.

The threshold / fallback roughly track the popularity of the glyph.

Then, every 48 hours, you recraft the approximately 1710 glyphs that were sold. This takes about 4.75 hours.

But of course, all that time was spent "While doing other things". So, since you farmed it, it's free and doesn't affect yout gold per hour.

Sorry, but I have to give your strategy a pass.

Archangel said...

Thank you for your answer, Dàchéng. That was what I was trying to find out, whether Auctioneer has a "safety net" type of thing threshold.

Anonymous said...

"How do you set up Auctioneer, that in any circumstances will NOT post a glyph under 3g ?"

Answer:

Fixed Pricing

39g fixed Price
Undercut up to XX% (80% for 7.20g = threshold)
Overprice up to XX% (20% for 46.80g = fallback)

These are my working settings at the moment. Works great if you cant use QA for any reason (non english clients).

Fierydemise said...

Fundamentally there are two basic areas we are concerned about, first, price well above the median price, basically an empty market where all the QA2 users are posting at their fallback prices. Second is price well below mean, generally a glyph getting undercut and re-undercut down to around or below threshold price. Situations where the current price is in between these 2 extremes is uninteresting since QA2 and auctioneer perform similarly there.

In the first case QA2 can perform better if everyone else uses QA2, then the price will drop slowly from that high point and each poster will probably sell 1 or 2 before they get undercut. However as gevlon noted a single auctioneer user will destroy that little undercutting game by reseting the price down into a more reasonable price range. In the second case QA2 is very obviously inferior because dumb undercutting without regard to pricing trends offers no granularity in pricing. Auctioneer by contrast can determine between which two posters to sell thus allowing auctioneer to make money when QA2 will not.

In my experience very low priced glyphs happen much more often than very high priced glyphs (even without someone coming along to reset the prices) so on that auctioneer has a significant advantage. Certainly selling a couple massively overpriced glyphs will make for a number of missed low cost glyphs by using QA2 you allow your opponents to force you to voluntarily give up which if done on a relatively wide scale will be worth more than a couple 50g glyphs. By simply posting glyphs at or just a couple copper below your threshold QA2 will skip posting a large quantity of glyphs thus voluntarily conceding the market (assuming that your threshold price is profitable someone posting at your threshold price is not losing money).

QA2 can work if everyone else in your market uses QA2 but in that case switching over to auctioneer will actually be better in the long run because the advantages auctioneer offers over QA2.

Anti said...

hi, i'm Anti. i have some coding experience and loads of glyph business experience. i have already made some alterations to Lil-sparkys to steamline my own business.

i am considering making a purpose built addon. i'd be interested to hear suggestions or opinions.

- track sales (like bean counter)
- display median sales price (dont count unsold like Auctioneer)
- display sales volumes
- track inventory on alts, AH, Vault etc (like altoholic.
-track inventory on dual accounts (share data)
- crafting window compares cost with both median sales price and current price.
-crafting window compares current stock with sales volume.
- crafting queue managment as simple as possible.
- auto buy / trade parchments and inks.
-crafting queue considers tading Ink of the Sea when showing number craftable. but also properly calculates current queues materials.

- listing possible with best ideas from Auctionner and QA2.

this is not fully worked through. its late. i'll be back.

mason55 said...

If you can figure out LUA it's very easy to set a floor in auctioneer. I did that myself, so I'll never sell glyphs below cost.

cmill said...

Gevlon,
I agree that your methods work, but I think they fall short when you get on a server that has several people using QA fighting against each other.

I go into more detail on my blog, http://cmill-ions.blogspot.com/

Anonymous said...

It is very clear that Gevlon hasn't take the time to check QA2 base on what he is saying about it.

- You tell QA2 how much you want to undercut.

- You tell AQ2 The minimum price for your glyph.

- You tell QA2 The maximum price for your glyph.

- You can tell AQ2 to post at fallback price if competition is lower than your minimum.

So with QA2 you can post your glyphs at 12g if there is no competition or if there is one for 46g.

You can Undercut by 60s or 3g or 10g each if you want to.

You can post 8 of each glyph for 48 hours and forget about it.

You can mass cancel and repost if you want to.

You can setup QA2 just like auctioneer but is a lot easier to modify and to custom.

In conclusion, QA2 is better for the glyph industry because the speed and how easy you can set it up.

Please don't say that AQ2 only undercut by 1c because that is not the case. You tell QA2 how much to undercut by.

Nobs said...

Gevlon,
I've been selling potins in Aion using what I've read here over the last few months. I was dominating the market up until 2 days ago.

The market basically crashed. Potions were being sold for less than the material cost to produce them.

I thought of what you would do. I purchased every potion UNDER my production cost off the Auction House. I then relisted at my normal price.

The market took 2 days to come back but I am now the primary vendor again and I made another 300k off purchasing what I bought from other vendors.

Wooly said...

@Anti

Dual account tracking is impossible, unless you can get the information via external routes, like scanning the AH for the other's sales. You can't store or read data between accounts, sadly, though it makes sense too.

Anyway, I like the idea's. I've already altered Auctioneer, QA2, Lilsparky and bankitems to cooperate with eachother myself, which gives me the fastest undercut/reposting tool possible (easily 3x as fast as QA2 on it's own) including blacklisting capability (I midly undercut the average joe, I heavily undercut campers, or people I just don't like). Lilsparky shows per item what I have available on (just) my bankchars and their auctions, highlighting the low on stock that are profitable. I also fixed it to use vendor prices for items that can be bought from a vendor, instead of AH. I'm now working on changing Auctionator to buy all herbs below a certain price with just one click.

The thing is, because this is all custom work, I need to fix it again with every new release of any of these addons, and I just don't want to keep doing that. If you're able to make such all in one addon, that would be great. Though I would hate to see the competition get it. Personally I would never release such an addon, because there is simply no benefit for yourself by doing that, unless you like to be harassed by complaining people that are never satifsied.

But, if you want more ideas: what I would still really like to see, but almost know for sure that can't be done, is an automated milling tool. Best thing I have now is Panda, with a hotkeyed milling macro, but it's still a pain to go through bags and bags of herbs. Anything that could make this easier or automated would be a great asset.

Anonymous said...

Hail Greedy Goblin.

Forgive me if I sound rather noob-ish, but I have very little experience with glyph sales.

I like your reasoning and argument structure. However, there's a bottleneck to your tactics for newer scribes, in that you assume auctioneer will have enough data points to make an accurate assessment of market price. This raises the question of how many data points is "enough," and allows the benefit(s) of QA to really shine as you can quickly post all your glyphs within a certain value-range, and requres no backlog of auctioneer scans.

The other issue is how to speed up auctioneer, and get values that will insulate you from irregular data points (glyphs posted at 1k each in stacks of 20 just to be stored for example).

- A humble goblin in the making

Iiene of Kul Tiras said...

Anonymous:
"It is very clear that Gevlon hasn't take the time to check QA2 base on what he is saying about it."

I think he understands how QA2 works just fine, it just doesn't do what he wants.

He wants to set a low price and make his profit through high volume, ala Henry Ford or Andrew Carnegie.

I call this the "Andrew Carnegie strategy"

His 60 silver undercut isn't an undercut at all, it's an 'adjustment' Basically, if glyphs are there within his market range he'll post at 60 silver below that, this adjusts the market downward due to competition.

If there was no competition in range (the glyph had reset or there are none there) he posts at market median, which would have trended upwards because the glyph almost certainly reset and is at a higher fallback.

This is better than just setting an arbitrary low price (like 4 gold) because the set price can move within a small range, maximizing profits in a market where a set price strategy will work.

The first failure of this strategy is the sheer number of glyphs you have to craft and the time spent doing the crafting. (Henry Ford and Andrew Carnegie had employees... you don't)

The second failure is that by capping the movement of the glyph prices, he sets up a market reaction that focuses undercutting in the range below his set prices.

This shit may have flown 'back in the day' or in markets where people are still unwilling to set thresholds under 5 gold... but I would expect those markets are now few and far between.

Wiss said...

@ Okrane S.
cant see how Blizzard is going to know that the program is spamming mouse button 1 instead of you. i have used it for some time and nobody noticed...

Ben Kennedy said...

Gevlon, you are missing a critical factor. The raw price most people are willing to pay for a good glyph is well over the auctioneer price, upwards to 50g. That is the true value of the glpyh. The market price is entirely different, as it factors in current market supply.

The best way to maximize profit for a single glyph is to undercut your competitor by one copper. Why? Because once you get undercut, your glyph won't sell, regardless of the original price. If there is no competition, then the best price to maximize profit is to post at exactly what most people are willing to pay for it, not the price in a saturated market (the auctioneer price).

Deep undercutting is a form of market manipulation to drive out competitors - it is not a profit maximizing strategy for that individual post.

In other words, the auctioneer price moves toward the lowest price scribes are willing to tolerate and still make money, so by tying your competition-free posts to this value, you are in fact minimizing potential profits.

Anonymous said...

The idea isn't and hasn't ever been profit maximization. The idea is maximizing profit/hour worked.

It's simple, you can either QA2 your way there, with constant micro managing and endless alt-watching/undercutting, or like Gevlon does, you can fire off a huge payload of glyphs priced to sell based on market trends AND current snapshot.

No, you don't sell glyphs for 50g, sometimes you sell almost no glyphs, but in the average, for very little work, you sell a good number of glyphs, reasonable above the cost (and the gold-value of the time spent grinding/crafting/drinking coffee/surfing the web) and thus is profit/time worked maximized.

The comments here, for the most part, are basically comparing the potential wages earned by a 100 hr/week mcdonalds worker vs. someone who works 4 hours a week and recieves a mere 3/4 of that. Should the person who works far less lament that they don't quite have the gross revenue of the worn-out and grease soaked burger flipper when they get to sip margaritas and raid all week? hell no.

Nick S. said...

Sigh. I picked a bad time to try to demonstrate that 48-hour won't work on my server.

My best competitor just xferred off the server, and I've made almost 10x my usual amount today with less than 4 hours since I posted.

Ben Kennedy said...

"It's simple, you can either QA2 your way there, with constant micro managing and endless alt-watching/undercutting, or like Gevlon does, you can fire off a huge payload of glyphs priced to sell based on market trends AND current snapshot."

If this is your strategy, then you would make about the same amount of gold posting all glyphs at a fixed cost regardless of market conditions. He assumes and does not care he will be undercut, so therefore I'm not sure why he feels the need to underprice the competition in the 4-8g range, or why the market price is even relevant.

Iiene of Kul Tiras said...

Ben Kennedy says:
"If this is your strategy, then you would make about the same amount of gold posting all glyphs at a fixed cost regardless of market conditions. He assumes and does not care he will be undercut, so therefore I'm not sure why he feels the need to underprice the competition in the 4-8g range, or why the market price is even relevant."

It wouldn't be. Back in the old days, the all or nothing days (Heh. Sin City) people were reticent to have a threshold under 5 gold, and many undercutters would have really high thresholds set. Gevlon's strategy made sense then. But now that QA2 is in the house...

As it is, there are many undocumented time sinks in Gevlon's strategy. For example: What happens when a glyph goes under the craft threshold? You still have some in stock, but don't want to post them. You would have to go through the entire list manually, unclicking "Enable Batch Posting" for each one that is under value.

As more and more of your glyphs are 'block undercut' by savy Scribes (Posting enough glyphs to prevent yours from being sold) the craft threshold would go lower and lower. Without the fallback glyphs to offset the threshold ones, you quickly become a slave to crafting glyphs for very low gph. Of course, you could just LIE about your crafting overhead, but who would do that?

Very soon? The only real players in the glyph industry will be those that can modify their tools or write their own. And the tool every one of those people will start with? QA2.

Anonymous said...

@Ben Kennedy

I invite you to read the following.

http://greedygoblin.blogspot.com/2009/09/industry-part-2.html

While QA2 either wasn't around or had yet to catch on at the time of the post, it is largely irrelevant. Anybody who posts with QA2 still uses one of the pricing strategies gevlon defined and provided examples as to what happens when all of them get matched up with a deep undercutter.

When everybody is an AH camper using QA2, prices trend upwards to the point where the market looks attractive to anybody who can figure out the real cost of the glyph is 5% of the cost you're selling it for. As more and more AH campers enter the market, the only way for you to remain competitive as an AH camper is to camp more. You can maintain a large share of the market, but you have to be online 24/7 because your competition can post at any hour of the day, multiple times a day. Your gold per hour goes down the shitter and any moment you dont spend at the AH must be spent crafting/milling.

As prices trend downwards, two things are accomplished. One, the market looks unattractive. I quote gevlon here, "...ordinary (non-goblin) people say "there is no money in inscription".". Two, depending on how low and how long you undercut your competition, you will eventually drive them away. While it will temporarily crash the market as they no longer have a threshold and will undercut you down to coppers, it is one less person camping the AH and your market share just grew. The longer you are willing to post with profits as "low" as 25-50%, the longer your competition will have to sit out until they bail out. I've already driven two people away, and I was able to score inks of the sea for half of my price I set in my threshold. I lost time (and thus money) in the short term as I couldn't sell any glyphs and didn't care to buy his stock, but I gained long term power and a greater share of the market. Key players in hitting the gold cap :)

Revanché said...

Good Article with some Interesting points.

I currently use QA for my Glyph Auctions, and i've actually noticed that the Prices for glyphs have Risen with its use.

I set my QA to go to my fallback if someone fell below my Threshold price. For me thats roughly
(15-5)/6+.5 = 2g17s.

So take a 3g glyph, someone comes along and posts it at 2g for what ever reason. Maybe they farmed themselves, had access to cheaper materials. What ever allowed or caused them to post below is really irrelevant.

My QA see's that and Immediately drops to my fallback of 75g. Now, Sometimes mine actually do sell but its rare and funny when they do. But what i've found happening is that the 2g glyphs sell out, and the next person comes along to Undercut me. Say all the way down to 20g. Then i undercut them again to 19g.

The Glyphs keep selling, but now at a higher price. Also as you mentioned with Auctioneer, after a few days the Median has risen closer to the fallback causing a general rise in prices.

At least thats my theory on how and why I'm seeing prices rise.

Anyone have any thoughts on this. Have we given so much of the in game economy to Automated Programs to run For Us that such a simple thing as letting my QA spam 75g auctions for some glyphs can cause a price rise?

Revanché said...

Oh i should also note i've noticed an increase in sales using QA as well as a general rise in the price i'm selling them at.

Though it may be due to its automated canceling feature and my use of the Fallback option to raise prices on peoples Auctioneers.

Lots of things to digest in these comments, keep up the great conversation people. The more i learn the more i can make from the AH. ;)

Anonymous said...

"QA2 is not a good tool. It's an "automated n00b", doing the n00b thing for a single click: undercut the current lowest poster by 1c, regardless if this poster is already too low or ridiculously high."

This clearly shows the little understanding that Gevlon has of QA2.

You are right about your strategy but wrong about QA2. I have been doing just what you do with the glyph industry (posting once every 2 days, etc) and using QA2 only.

People should do their research before saying that QA2 is bad or good. Gevlon didn't take the time to use this addon in game long enough to look and use it's features.

Ben Kennedy said...

"While QA2 either wasn't around or had yet to catch on at the time of the post, it is largely irrelevant. Anybody who posts with QA2 still uses one of the pricing strategies gevlon defined and provided examples as to what happens when all of them get matched up with a deep undercutter."

You can use QA2 to be a "Deep Undercutter", as Gevlon puts it - just set a low fallback value and presto, you are udnercutting everyone by a lot. I suspect that of Gevlon used QA2 with a fixed price for all auctions, his gold/hour would increase.

Strife said...

"Moggy wrote ...QA2 also features the ability to post at fallback price if the current price is under your threshhold... "

I'm not a big user of QA2 - but I always thought that when the price of a glyph goes below your minimum threshold you simply don't list the glyph on the AH.

Where is this setting to relist the glyph at its fallback once the threshold has been reached rather than just keeping the glyph in your bag?

Anonymous said...

"You can use QA2 to be a "Deep Undercutter", as Gevlon puts it - just set a low fallback value and presto, you are udnercutting everyone by a lot. I suspect that of Gevlon used QA2 with a fixed price for all auctions, his gold/hour would increase."

Possibly. You can configure QA2 to do nearly exactly what Gevlon is doing with auctioneer, and gradually tweak it as the market conditions change or you get tired of crafting/milling so often. I've played on both ends of the market - I undercut all the way down to 2g (operating on 40s profits) and couldn't keep up with the rate I sold glyphs, and I used the standard QA2 nub config. While it was very satisfying getting glyph sales for 50g, at the rate I was getting undercut...if I didn't make a sale in the first 15 minutes of my posting, I wasn't going to make a sale at all. I've been tweaking the rates and post times every couple weeks to try and find the sweet spot where I still sell a reasonable amount of glyphs and don't spend all my time crafting/milling or collecting 800+ unsold glyphs.

Okrane S. said...

@Wiss

I've checked it out. My only problem is that in order to generate a new click event I have to move the mouse cursor... and that prevents me from being completely afk...

Any idea how to go around this?

Ben Kennedy said...

"Possibly. You can configure QA2 to do nearly exactly what Gevlon is doing with auctioneer, and gradually tweak it as the market conditions change or you get tired of crafting/milling so often."

The previous guy has it right I think - QA2 will not post at all if the current lowest listed price is under your threshhold, which is its main defect. Auctioneer's main defect is that it limit's competition-less postings to only 200% of market, which for glyphs is very underpriced. I actually use both, auctioneer to bulk put and create new glpyhs via the summary tool (far better than Lil Sparky's), and Auctioneer to post the rest at a flat rate. At some point I'll modify QA2 to post at the threshold if the current auction is under it

Anonymous said...

@last anon. Update QA2. Latest release has the option to fallback if current low price is below your threshold.

Marc Manalo said...

IS there a way to set up a maximum number of auctions in Auctioneer like in QA2?

Ben Kennedy said...

"@last anon. Update QA2. Latest release has the option to fallback if current low price is below your threshold."

I see that now too - though I'm torn as to whether I'd like to see if post at the threshold or the fallback

Anonymous said...

"I see that now too - though I'm torn as to whether I'd like to see if post at the threshold or the fallback"

It would be awesome if there was a seperate value for that function. I feel that my fallback is a little high and my threshold is a little low for posting glyphs that I can't undercut.

Anonymous said...

One key factor in Auctioneer vs QA2 is startup costs.

Auctioneer keeps an average value figure for every glyph on the market, and the method of crafting/restocking that Gevlon uses insures that he is only crafting glyphs that are likely to sell (ie: no money is wasted on poorly selling double ink glyphs, or single ink glyphs that are always going to be listed below cost by ppl leveling inscription)

However, to use QA2 effectively, your only option is to post every glyph you can craft and hope for the best. For somebody who is just entering the market and still has to drop a few thousand gold on all of the glyph books, this is very, very expensive. The amount of profit you can make from a single sale is huge, but it doesn't mean anything until you have the cash flow to afford to keep up with constantly buying glyph books and stacks of herbs to restock your sold glyphs.

Ben Kennedy said...

"However, to use QA2 effectively, your only option is to post every glyph you can craft and hope for the best. For somebody who is just entering the market and still has to drop a few thousand gold on all of the glyph books, this is very, very expensive."

With QA2, you can quickly get a summary of all current glyph prices, and single-click to add them to a queue. Bad glyphs and glpyhs that are flooded because they are used for leveling will always have low prices, so you will never bother to make them. QA2's summary tool is easily the best way to select glyphs for crafting - takes about two minutes to get a list of all glyphs that are currently sold out or have a minimum price under a certain value (and how many you personally have posted as well, and if you are being undercut)

Anonymous said...

"With QA2, you can quickly get a summary of all current glyph prices, and single-click to add them to a queue. Bad glyphs and glpyhs that are flooded because they are used for leveling will always have low prices, so you will never bother to make them. QA2's summary tool is easily the best way to select glyphs for crafting - takes about two minutes to get a list of all glyphs that are currently sold out or have a minimum price under a certain value (and how many you personally have posted as well, and if you are being undercut)"

This isn't necessarily true on my server. Strong competition that's willing to work for zero profits have significantly reduced the number of people willing to level inscription (and thus, sell leveling glyphs). They haven't all gone away of course (some are ignorant to the market and it's condition), but it leaves wide enough gaps to the point where every other day or so it is possible to unload your leveling glyphs.

This is a market trend Auctioneer would catch and still consider the glyphs worthless, but QA2 would happily tell you that they sell for 50g, as all it has is a current snapshot.

Ben Kennedy said...

"This is a market trend Auctioneer would catch and still consider the glyphs worthless, but QA2 would happily tell you that they sell for 50g, as all it has is a current snapshot."

There is no such thing as a "worthless" glyph. If a glpyh is sold out, people will pay for it regardless if whether it was trained, researched, or came from a book. I've sold plenty of 10 silver leveling glpyhs at 45 gold because the AH happened to be sold out. The worst case scenario is you keep the glpyh in stock until AH stock drops again.

Put differently, if you manage your inventory and posting values properly, every single type of glpyh in the game has potential to generate profit - that's why I find the "market" value from auctioneer to be dubiously useful. Because a sold out glyph type means that you don't have one in your inventory or on the AH, then you should be crafting one.

Iiene of Kul Tiras said...

"There is no such thing as a "worthless" glyph."

This is absolutely correct.

Many times I've profited heavily from so called 'leveling glyphs' with a 'market value' of 10 silvers.

Hell, if there was a glyph called "Glyph of Uselessness", and it's text was "No, really! It's useless" I would still stock that glyph.

You 'set price' guys just don't get it. You're not selling bottles of shampoo here. You're selling a specific, exact item, with a very high value to a very small number of people. Those people will pay whatever you ask because, even at 60 gold, it's CHEAP.

There are 341 of these items, and you cannot guess which one will be today's duck. 'conventional wisdom' like "The lower the price, the more you sell" just don't apply.

Let's think about this. What are glyphs competing with? Epic gems at 150 gold a pop. Enchants at 100 to 500 gold a pop. Repairs at 40 gold a raid. Consumables.

60 gold for the exact glyph you need out of 341 is CHEAP!

Why go out of your way to sell them for less than the market will bear?

Think outside the box, people!

Ben Kennedy said...

"Why go out of your way to sell them for less than the market will bear?"

The only reason is to manipulate the market price to chase people away, so it just becomes a contest of wills. But even if this is your goal, then you should just flood the market at a flat rate - again, the market average price is irrelevant. Either price to drive people away (post low and flat), or price to optimize profits (undercut up to 45g or whatever people tolerate). Just don't try to do both at the same time!

Goth said...

@QA users

Do any of you know the actual market price of the glyphs you sell or are you satisfied to ride on the back of your competitions fallback? The weird warble of the median price (quoted from a QA user) is directly related to the Addon that you are using.

Moron make a Wish Foundation.
-Moron #1 wishes for 90 gold glyphs
-Moron #2 wishes for 80 gold glyphs
-Moron #3 ....

Been like this since the mod came out. Faster is not always better.

P.S. You are are not a Pro anything you are a moron that bases his pricing off of his competitions greed.

Ben Kennedy said...

"Do any of you know the actual market price of the glyphs you sell or are you satisfied to ride on the back of your competitions fallback?"

You set your own fallback based on what you think people are willing to pay on your server - in my case around 45g. This isn't "wishing" for more gold, it's objective fact.

"P.S. You are are not a Pro anything you are a moron that bases his pricing off of his competitions greed."

This is the "Gevlon strategy" as well. The only difference is he underprices glyphs when he doesn't have to.

Iiene of Kul Tiras said...

The more I read these comments, the more I'm convinced that a lot of people simply cannot wrap their brain around the glyph valuation and selling paradigm.

They think each item must be categorized, priced, and placed on a shelf like... well, like a bottle of shampoo. As if someone will go to the store and exclaim "What! 60 bucks! No way!"

Glyphs are like a roulette table with 341 bet spots. Some of the bet spots are unusable at any one time because they're 'under threshold' for whatever reason. The rest are being 'reverse auctioned' from the most recent fallback to your threshold.

When a buyer steps up, he spins the wheel and buys that glyph (Well, he buys the glyph he wants, the wheel is a metaphor for the single file line of buyers.) The buyer then buys the glyph at the current reverse auction price.

This metaphor works the same whether you're an undercutter or a fixed price player (Like Gevlon) The difference is, when you jump the shark and lowball the reverse auction, you just force the other players to play under you.

Anonymous said...

"The only reason is to manipulate the market price to chase people away, so it just becomes a contest of wills. But even if this is your goal, then you should just flood the market at a flat rate - again, the market average price is irrelevant. Either price to drive people away (post low and flat), or price to optimize profits (undercut up to 45g or whatever people tolerate). Just don't try to do both at the same time!"

In my market, there are 3 AH campers using QA2 in a desperate attempt to keep glyph prices high. I can set a high fallback with a low undercut, but the moment I post my glyphs they are undercut and they are the lowest again at whatever high price the glyph is now (40g or so)

this happens at all hours of the day. Since I cannot camp the AH every hour of the day, the only way I'll see any money is if I follow gevlon's deep undercutting strategy. Post anything I can at a low price, and the market becomes more favorable for me.

They will either follow me to the bottom of the market (destroying their "make a wish" level profits) or attempt to monopolize the market and buy out my glyphs. I'm fairly certain I can craft faster than they can buy me out and list high again, and i'm sitting on enough inks to not have to buy any expensive herbs on account of the faire. Plus with my low prices, less people will be inclined to try and join the market. With one move, I have devastated the competition and reduced or eliminated the flow of new competitors, without destroying my gold per hour.

Iiene of Kul Tiras said...

Last Anonymous:

Or! You could pull your head out of your ass and realize that you're too stupid to compete in the new world order.

But that won't happen, so your choice is to destroy the market.

Congratulations! You've just demonstrated why unregulated markets can never work.

Libertarians everywhere! School up! UNREGULATED MARKETS DO NOT WORK.

Anonymous said...

@Iiene of Kul Tiras

I'm sitting on an inventory of 10 of every glyph I can craft, with enough inks of the sea to replenish this entire stock should I sell out. I've got about enough herbs in the bank to replenish half of that stock that I just haven't got around to milling yet.

I was an AH camper at some point. Catching the fallback sales as I mercilessly undercut the competition the moment they logged off was satisfying, but I no longer wish to play the AH PvP and spend every moment I am in-game undercutting them. Just the time i'd have to spend retrieving the glyphs from the mailbox would trash my gold per hour.

Through my accounting, I have determined that the glyphs themselves have already been paid for. Any money I make from them can cover the costs of the inks that have yet to be crafted, and any sale I make on snowfall inks will bring me into the green.

I cannot hope to play AH camper with 3 different people who are all available to undercut at all hours of the day. With any sale being a profit (only costing me time to craft the glyph), the best move I see that I can make is to set my threshold way down, be satisfied with "only" a 50-100% profit per glyph and deeply undercut the competition.

For somebody who only cares to collect unsold glyphs from the mailbox once every 2 days and replenish my glyph stock on the same schedule, do you see a better move? Or are you just mad that somebody is "destroying" a market?

The only other move I can see myself making is dumping all of my stock and leaving the market, which would be more devestating. With no more threshold to be had, I would have to get rid of 2700 glyphs, 1800 inks of the sea, and about 90 stacks of herbs, with one thought in mind: get rid of it all and cut my losses.

Ben Kennedy said...

"this happens at all hours of the day. Since I cannot camp the AH every hour of the day, the only way I'll see any money is if I follow gevlon's deep undercutting strategy."

Your strategy has a logical flaw - a smart camper will undercut you at 45g or 7g. Your glpyh will sell only if the camper either doesn't post or sells out. When that occurs, you return to the "next in line" position, and the higher you post the most gold you will see. Alternatively, if you want to drive out competition, just post every glyph at-cost (don't go lower or you will get bought out) ad make sure you keep the stock up.

I maintain that if you are trying to both drive out competition and make gold at the same time, you will fail at both.

Ben Kennedy said...

"For somebody who only cares to collect unsold glyphs from the mailbox once every 2 days and replenish my glyph stock on the same schedule, do you see a better move?"

If the camping competition is as aggressive as you say, you should either undercut the competition by 1 copper, or post every glpyh at a higher flat rate (say 20g) to catch any glpyhs the campers let fall through the cracks.

A savvy camper will camp any profit-making glyph, so posting low just artificially lowers your profits when you actually make a sale.

Breevok said...

In response to Goth:

Do any of you know the actual market price of the glyphs you sell or are you satisfied to ride on the back of your competitions fallback?

The definition of the noun 'Market Price' is "the price at which a commodity, security, or service is selling in the open market."

Therefore to answer you question - the market price of a glyph at any point of sale, is the price that person just paid.

This varies at every sale of every glyph for whomever is the seller of the sale of that specific glyph.

Hope that helps.

If not I'm happy to return to explain using sock puppets.

Goth said...

Just proves the point, trying to explain market basics to M&S is a waste of time. I play multiple markets and will not waste a second longer in a single market "wishing" for that next big hit. Since supply is infinite, set price where demand is the highest based on averages not on "wishes". So Mr. Sock - That is the definition of market price - more markets and less micro-management = win.

Dàchéng said...

@Anti:

Sorry to be so late responding to your product feature-list backlog:

I like the features you've defined, and for me, the top ones would be

1. a modified QA-summary craft list that shows the median price as well as the current price of glyphs (or a modified LSW glyph list that also shows what glyphs I currently have on sale at what price, and if I'm the currently lowest buyout). I think this is the feature you defined as "crafting window compares cost with both median sales price and current price".

2. "display median sales price (dont count unsold like Auctioneer)". I assume this is simply based of MY sales, as tracked by BeanCounter.

With these two features in your first release, I'd be happy.

Ben Kennedy said...

"Just proves the point, trying to explain market basics to M&S is a waste of time. I play multiple markets and will not waste a second longer in a single market "wishing" for that next big hit. Since supply is infinite, set price where demand is the highest based on averages not on "wishes". So Mr. Sock - That is the definition of market price - more markets and less micro-management = win."

Setting prices based on "average" value reflects a fundamental misunderstanding of the glyph market. Specifically, the average auctioneer price does not reflect true customer demand. For example, you have popular in-demand glpyhs where the market is flooded due to leveling scribes so the Auctioneer price is low. You also have niche glyphs that rarely sell, but the auctioneer prices is (relatively) high because of the production cost.

So what does the auctioneer reflect? I mentioned it earlier, it stabilizes to the prices people are willing to sell the glpyhs for, which is why it tends to be hover right around the production cost (for non-leveling glpyhs). Basing your price on this value is essentially equivalent to selling glpyhs at cost.

But wait, that's not entirely true, as the standard "Gevlon strategy" includes a markup over this value. His is 25%, but no one (including Gevlon) has attempted to justify or optimize this value. Why not 20%? Or 35%? Or 500%? What is the logical process by which you pick this value? The answer of course is that the price ceiling should be what people are willing to pay (say 25g to be safe). Yet many insist on posting lower, even though it is simply throwing gold away.

So let me offer a psychological theory on this - if people get undercut at 30g to 29g99g99c, they feel like chumps because some no-life loser is swooping down and taking your profits. However, if you get undercut from 7g to 6g99s99c, then you feel pretty good because some no-life loser is putting so much effort into getting your table scraps, so good for him.

The fallacy here is that a smart under-cutter doesn't care who you are, and puts very very little effort into "micro-management" as you say - they wander by their keyboard every few hours and dramatically increase their overall profits (and yes, their gold/hour goes up as well).

Anonymous said...

http://www.newyorker.com/talk/financial/2009/11/09/091109ta_talk_surowiecki

Price wars kill firms.

Anonymous said...

If the glyphs go around 6G and I find the AH empty or only 49.xx.yy glyphs, I'll post for 7.5G (6*1.25).

So unless I miss a patch note or some wannabe monopolist buys me out, you never ever sell any glyph for 50G.


I am sorry, but am I stupid? I don't get it - why not? Why post it for 7.5G when you can post it for 10G, or 20G, or 50G?

scooter said...
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scooter said...

I'm fairly new at this, but it's my understanding that keeping glyphs at, say, 7.5g or less removes the motivation for undercutters over a long enough period of time. With all of the necessitated cancel/repost time, earnings fall to that of dailies/hr or less. At least that's what the author is claiming.

So that's why 7.5g is the fallback, and not 10g or 20g or 49g99s...it's to demoralize the AQ2 bunch. I can imagine lots of scenarios where this wouldn't work, however, and potentially you could go weeks or months with minimal to no profit.

It seems like a large part of what Gevlon is into is controlling the price range at minimum profits with the hope that this will drive off "the pros". He is still using undercut techniques, but just 'tempered' cuts so to speak, attempting to maintain profit or at the least cost while simultaneously demoralizing the competition.

The big issue I see cropping up is that you'll probably have a LOT of stubborn AH campers who are willing to undercut your 7.5g, or 6g, or 4/5g prices and ride you ride up to cost, and as they are the ones with a high frequency of visits to the AH, they will be the ones making more sales because 99% of the time their goods will be of lower value.