Greedy Goblin

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Deep undercutting with QA3

The PuG update: 84 people in the guild. We killed Festergut and Rotface. That's not much, but considering running 9-man before we got to the mentioned bosses and 3 people have close to 0 ICC experience (I mean "never been in ICC" to "Marrowgar"), I'm pretty satisfied. There were terribly many errors in the first tries, but people learned, we discussed mistakes, no one gave tantrum, no one "DC-ed", and the bosses finally died. Most items were sold for minimal price, a few had bidding war. No one seemed to try to abuse the 1/3 rule, simply because trying to rob other goblins is rarely a smart move. You can only rob M&S.

Almost forgot: as I told, we do PvP events, on completely volunteer basis. This time we killed those hordies who wanted to desecrate flames. We were a bit (khm) healer-heavy, making the ganking effectiveness hilarious.

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I wrote that why I hated QA3 and preferred Auctioneer. QA3, not remembering any "market" price, just undercut with a set amount, regardless of current price. QA3 fits to the AH-camper strategy. The camper sells way above the equilibrium price, keeping his position simply by always relisting, making sure he is always the cheapest by 1c. You can beat a camper two ways. One is being better camper, relisting more times, therefore being cheapest more times.

The other is the deep undercutter strategy, driving the prices down using as little time as possible. The strategy depends on the fact that camping is time consuming, so the camper will quit if the prices is low enough. I mean if you spend 5 hours/day camping, you must make 5000G/day to have 1000G/hour. If you just spend 0.5 hour, you are fine with 500G/day. Since the amount of buyers is fixed, by driving the prices down you decrease the G/day available to everyone on the market, killing campers one by one.

The reason why I loved auctioneer is the lack of "price reset". If there are no glyph on the AH, QA3 of the first guy listing will post at his fallback price. It's usually pretty high for campers. The "no glyph" situation can be reached by either luck (some players are absent for some time), a buyer surge (new flavor of the month) or someone buying out everyone to force a price reset. Auctioneer posts at old_market_price*some_factor (mine is 1.25), making the reset impossible. This "soft reset" also allows you to automatically elevate prices when the camper is out, but not high enough to lure him back a week later.

However QA3 has 2 great reasons to use. One is treshold price, allowing you to make sure you won't post below a price you don't accept. The other is being very quick in posting. Took some time to figure out how can I use QA3 to deep undercutting (as I obviously won't camp). There is a brutal and a more sophisticated method. The brutal is simple. You calculate your breaking point. For example I want to make 4G/glyph or it doesn't worth the work. The ink price is 3G so I must sell for 7G min. I set my threshold to 7, my fallback to 8 and let the angry mails come. This brutal carpet bombing does quick work of the campers, however leaves money on the table. What if the campers would quit at 10? Then I'm losing 2G/glyph.

To do the more sophisticated method, at first switch off "intelligent cancel" or something like that that automatically cancels your auctions if you could relist higher. You don't want to relist higher. Secondly set the post time to 48 hours. Set the fallback to 30-40G, it's high enough to make nice profit but low enough to get angry mail. Set undercut to 50s min but 1-2G is better for quick result. Cancel-repost at least once a day, two is better. The trick is that as long as the camper is around, your glyph will never expire, since he undercuts them and you cancel-repost. Since you always have glyphs listed, you form an upper limit to the price. If the camper undercuts you, you undercut him, driving the price down. Sooner or later he quits.

Here comes the core move: once a week run a summary, or simply look at your listed auctions. Approximate the average price. Set your fallback to 1.25*average. So if the camper quits and your glyphs expire or he buys you out to force a reset, your price will be up to old_average*1.25, making a "real" reset impossible. You won't leave money on the table, but the camper won't come back either.

One question remains: what happens if 2 people play this strategy? Simple: the one who sets his threshold lower (because he is ready to work for less) will win the market and sell glyphs for (second guy's threshold-1s).

29 comments:

Deepcut said...

However, this only works if you receive your goods at a lower price than the camper. Someone who camps the AH (and most likely trade chat) will probably run across better deals and can still make a profit at lower prices.

Dboy said...

This doesn't work on my server, as almost every single glyph is selling for 3g or less.

Stokpile said...

I can also attest to the quality of this advice as I've been using the exact same method for about two months now. I had somebody that loved to force price resets and within no time I had some angry mails coming in.

It also afforded me a good amount of profit when I increased my threshold prices to get them to buy them at a higher cost even when I'm at my breaking point.

I also haven't noticed many of the other major glyph sellers around the last week or two so it looks like I drove them off as well for the time being. All using the same method you wrote about applied over a few weeks of solid twice a day listing.

Gevlon said...

@Dboy: yes it works! For the guy who is selling the 3G glyphs (though I can't imagine who would work for that low)

@Deepcut: absolutely not. For a camper, the material prices are negligable to both their expected price or their work cost. Even if he gets the inks for free, he'll quit if he have to work 5 hours for 1000G income.

Jan said...

Well, on my server most glyphs are usually sold for 1-3g, but i still make some serious money by inscription (thinking of G/hour and that i am still lower level...

Bobbibs said...

Please note there are other products in inscription by selling glyphs at breakeven you gain snowfall inks. By saying someone is selling at a loss at a price is he truly?

Geisst said...

First time comment - so first off all great blog Gevlon - I start my blog roll with You nowadays ;)

I have a question - how many glyphs do You post per type and do You cover all available or just part of the scope ? And about this switching off "inteligent cancel" - do You mean "disable auto canceling" option ?

pagb666 said...

I've been suffering a camper for months, and I've tried everything... and when I say everything, it's everything. He won't quit. I did deep undercut until I reached the place where I am standing right now. I've been selling the glyphs at 3g max for months (inks are always 3+, even milling is not profitable), losing about 500g everyday, and he's still there. Either he gets inks for free or has a bot working for him.

Fawr said...

3g is standard for the useful glphys my server too. Although occasionally they reset to 5-6g. Low demand glyphs tend to be in silvers...

Are most servers like that these days?

I used to be big on glyphs but now I mostly do old world enchants instead.

Cyren said...

Off topic from the economic post, but...

We could always move our 'welcoming committee' from Darkshore to Booty Bay.

Have you see how close the fires are?

lurkinlad said...

Ive been thinking about configuring QA3 to do something like this, since i've noticed I sell most of my glyphs in the first 24 hours of their listing time.

On the other hand, my only major competitor for the last 8 months used to be a camper, but has since stopped. I don't need much money in the immediate future, but I would like to have enough gold on hand for whatever money sink is coming in cata, and to immediately buy my way up to maxed inscription and tailoring asap.

Decisions, decisions..

Anti said...

i made modifications to QA a while back.

if there are auctions listed below my threshhold (8g) the normal behavior of QA is to list at the fallback (25g). my modified version will instead undercut the first auction above my threshold.

so, if there are 1g, 3g, 15g, 30g and 50g sales already up the origional QA would either, depending on settings, not post or post sales at 25g but my version will post at 14g90s

Fierydemise said...

How does this constantly cycling glyph approach work with your restock cycle? Under a traditional auctioneer deep undercut strategy restocking occurs at an obvious stage in the process, this constant cycling would remove that obvious time to restock.

Does QA3 have features which make keeping track of sold glyphs easier or do you need to keep track of sold glyphs manually?

Gevlon said...

@Fierydemise: I post 2 glyphs/type, everything I have (except those that are below my threshold).

I simply craft those glyphs that I don't have in the bag. That's actually means I have 0, 1 or 2 listed on the AH.

Tonus said...

Deepcut: "However, this only works if you receive your goods at a lower price than the camper."

It can also work if the camper isn't willing to battle over the market once the average price drops to a certain level. Sure, he can still sell glyphs profitably at 4g, but does he want to, when previously he made 30-100g per glyph with less effort?

And by the same token, if the other guy is willing to accept very small profits (or simply hangs on out of spite) it will not work.

Shamus said...

I see several glyphs going (or at least listed) for <4g on my server.

One thing I find with QA3, maybe I'm missing an option, but if the price is less than your threshold it posts at fallback rather than your threshold price. Which seems a bit off.

Anonymous said...

I am on Grizzly Hills - US.
I am trying the deep undercutting method to force the five-odd other people out of the market. Then I got, as Stokpile would call it, fan mail. Someone noticed how I was undercutting by up to 50%. He said that he wanted to teach me how to use the AH properly, and how everyone else on the market had tried my method of undercutting. I am on the glyph market by the way. Anyway, how do I configure Auctioneer to undercut by 50% unless it is below 5g?

EnvĂ˝ said...

There's a great addon for restocking your glyphs called "KevTool Queue"
http://wow.curse.com/downloads/wow-addons/details/kevtool-queue.aspx

it will check with altoholic how many glyphs you already have and creates a queue for skillet.
It even has a threshold that will check your Auctioneer scans and only craft profitable glyphs

Anonymous said...

On my server, I struggle against the seemingly endless army of idiots who post in EVERY market WELL below what their possible cost is. For example, even though herb prices have not dropped as they have on other servers (15-20g adder's tongue stacks, 20g icethorn), they will post HUNDREDS of glyphs at 2g each. From what I can tell (and I have tried to find out), the majority of the QA wizards have thresholds of something obscenely low. The same is the case in the gem market.

People will CONSTANTLY post gems at 3g each for an uncommon (yes, below vendor price). While this may seem like a great opportunity to make money (buy and vendor!), to do so I'd have to spend hours a day, even with the snatch feature, removing this crap from the AH. To make matters worse, every time somebody posts an epic gem for 60g (when raws go for 120), there are a half dozen people who undercut them within minutes. It doesn't matter how low the price goes, they get undercut (by qa users and obvious non-users) within a very short time.

I've gotten gold capped on this server, so I have made it workable. It just pisses me off to no end.

Okrane S. said...

Haha your scrub troll is using my name again...

I was thinking... is it considered social to be offended of someone assuming your e-identity?

Klurg said...

@Anti:

"if there are auctions listed below my threshhold (8g) the normal behavior of QA is to list at the fallback (25g). my modified version will instead undercut the first auction above my threshold.

so, if there are 1g, 3g, 15g, 30g and 50g sales already up the origional QA would either, depending on settings, not post or post sales at 25g but my version will post at 14g90s"

How did you get QA3 to do this?

Babbs said...

Thanks for this post, I started deep undercutting on my server this week as I want to remove some campers so this info comes at a great time.

Automation is key. I am sure many campers are inefficient, so not only are they logging in every hour to cancel and post, they are also milling and crafting manually, which further destroys their g/hr.

I am happy to work for zero profit as glyphs take up 5 mins non AFK time per day for me which is worth the reward of removing 1 or 2 campers.

Gevlon said...

@Okrane: scrub troll removed. I wrote most of my frequent commenters #ID to a paper so can delete this idiot fast

Dissolved said...

The following macro will output the number of auctions you have listed, and their average buyout price. The price is in the format 11.2233 (i.e. 11g22s33c). You need to have the AH window open, of course.

/script local o="owner" local t=0 for i=1,GetNumAuctionItems(o) do local _,_,_,_,_,_,_,_,b=GetAuctionItemInfo(o,i) t=t+b end ChatFrame1:AddMessage(format("Num: %i Avg: %.4f", GetNumAuctionItems(o), t/(GetNumAuctionItems(o)*10000)))

Shamus said...

Ok. Played with my QA3 settings last night. It seems I can either limit the top end or the bottom, but not both at the same time. Trying the latter means rather than posting at threshold when the price is lower it posts at fallback which feels counterproductive. So I'm doing two passes. One to undercut/fallback post, then a second to list everything at threshold.

Geisst said...

Ok, I deep undercuted healthy market (prices up to 70g per glyph) with 5-6 very peristent campers on it with 25g fallback, 5g threshold and 2g undercut. I did that for 24hours , 5-6 resets.

I must tell You it went crashing down. I did not expect that it would happen so fast tbh.

Now most of the glyphs sell below 5g and the angry mails and whisps start coming in.

We will see how long they will last camping. :)

Mama Druid said...

I think Auctioneer can do the same thing with Glypher – http://wiki.norganna.org/Auc-Util-Glypher. I use Glypher’s pricing model to set my min/max thresholds and undercut percent. I’ve never liked QA because it doesn’t allow you to undercut by a percentage amount. Or, I haven’t figured out how to do it.

Needless to say, the glyph market has become very popular on my server. I’m at the point where I’m just trying to get rid of my inventory and make a few hundred gold a week from my weekly post.

Anonymous said...

"One thing I find with QA3, maybe I'm missing an option, but if the price is less than your threshold it posts at fallback rather than your threshold price. Which seems a bit off."

Hm? For me, the glyph wont be posted at all...

Fiffu said...

Can you clear a few things up for me?

"The ink price is 3G so I must sell for 7G min. I set my threshold to 7, my fallback to 8 and let the angry mails come. "

The most you'll ever make from a glyph is 4.75g

"I mean if you spend 5 hours/day camping, you must make 5000G/day to have 1000G/hour. If you just spend 0.5 hour, you are fine with 500G/day."

You need to sell a minimum of 105 glyphs to make 500g profit.

From my experience, it's very difficult to sell 105 glyphs @8g in one day without camping. The campers will undercut you every time.

How do you farm, mill, produce and post all of those glyphs in 30mins? If you're posting 2 of ea type (360+ types) or 720 glyphs it takes 14 mins (720/50 mail/min) minimum just to clear your mail box out.