Greedy Goblin

Friday, October 15, 2010

Why do we have different harvests?

Practically every money-making blog is about the great glyph harvest now. There are great differences between their income. Some made 40-50K, others made 2-300K over a few days. Well, 40K/day is not bad. 300K is even better. What makes the difference? And on the first place: what makes this insane income?

The second question is easy: morons and slackers. It was well known for months that the glyph system will change. It was well known that everyone can buy all glyphs to learn it forever. Everyone known that they will need one glyph of each type that he ever plans to use. Granted, there are new glyphs. True, there are glyphs that disappeared at 4.0.1. But buying all 30 old glyphs for one's class a few weeks ago cost 2-300G. One could buy them, send it to an alt, now return the mail and equip the glyphs. It's true that he still had to buy the new kind of glyphs, but that's just 1-2/class. But no, people were not picking up glyphs in masses in the last weeks, the market was slow an boring. They are buying now like crazy for 40-50G each. There are guys who bought all class glyphs from me, leaving 1K+G at the cassa.

The income comes from investing. Investors figured out that:
  • people will want glyphs after 4.0.1
  • people lack the brain or care to but them before 4.0.1
  • so the prices will increase at 4.0.1
Without us, there wouldn't be glyphs in the AH, as the normal herb influx cannot provide for the insane demand. Glyphs would go for 2-300G if there would be any in the AH at all. So far, so good: M&S stupid and pays 5x more for glyphs, goblins smart and reap rewards.

Here comes the nasty part: such investment cannot be planned. Two years ago, when I was stockpiling herbs, the herb prices were meant to increase. I mean before inscription only a few leveling alchemists cared about mageroyal. After inscription, a new and steady demand arrived as people consumed glyphs made from these inks. Increased demand = increased price. Of course I couldn't know how big the demand would be or how long the competitors stockpiles will hold. But I was sure that if I wait long enough the herb prices will reach a new equilibrium and this equilibrium will be higher than the old one, so I surely make profit. Now it is the opposite. The glyph demand in January will be lower than it was in August. The glyphs I cannot sell during the harvest will sell for less than the old ones. Considering that now 3 inks are needed for a glyph, they will sell for less than material costs.

This is already starting. On my server, glyph pries are decreasing, they are below 30G for all. 7500 glyph auctions are out there. My "post at fallback" glyphs are returning, I have to re-set to 10/30G to actually sell something.

We have different harvests because the number of other AH-businessmen are different and we don't even know how many are them.

One more tip: you can bind the "/click StaticPopup1Button1" to mouse wheel, canceling even faster.

But hey, life goes on and as long as there are morons, we won't have to grind elementals:


nightgerbil said...

I missed glyphmas I feel like such a tool. No reason i couldnt have bought a shed load of glyphs in the run up to this and resold them now at 1000% profit. I went out to thrallmar, but the riding trainer wouldnt teach me? are you sure I can get it from the trainer there? To be honest I am still in shock from the realisation that everything I feared would be done to my hunter has come to pass and in fact exceeded my worse nightmares. Thankfully my pre patch prepartions involved leveling a shaman to 80, I can switch mains, but its just not the same. Does it count as social (non goblin) to be sentimentally attached and emotionally commited to a character that is no longer fit for purpose?

Grim said...

Planning ahead is not really necessary to avoid spending unnecessary amounts of gold in this case.

Glyphs no longer serve the purpose of fixing broken spells. They now just enhance the spells a bit - a few more % crit here and a little lower CD there.

So I don't really need to buy the missing glyphs now - after a few days when I have run a few heroics and the weekly low-tier raid, and have figured out how my classes and specs work now. THEN I will buy the glyphs I need to make them work better for the post-glyphmas going-out-of-business prices.

Anonymous said...

@ nightgerbil
it would be non goblin if you did something stupid about it, otherwise no.

regarding the lowering of the glyph prices unless something changes in cata i imagine it will be a good idea to buy those glyphs that are insanely under priced (bellow mats cost) simply due to the fact that i value a ink of the sea at about 5g prepatch and i guess that in cata the version will be worth around maybe 10g and with three inks making the cheapest glyphs around 30g (excluding minors) and since some of these sells for 5 gold one should consider buying the cheapest and storing them.

btw have anyone had any luck in selling ?
(its glyph of colossus smash if i got the link wrong)

Bobbins said...

Actually until the patch came I'd heard vanishing powder was going to be sold for 10g.
So perhaps for those not using the most up to date information and not visiting inscription suppliers.

Also why have vanishing dust with inscription recipe as it is clearly not profitable under any circumstances. I think that the inscription supplier supplies will dry up in the future when things settle down. Maybe.

Not a moron post but more confusion post patch. Suppling the vanishing dust on the AH is 'helpful' for those who don't know where to get it.

Bobbins said...

Sorry forgot to mention for those who think prices of herbs will become cheaper (go down). With cata coming out I need to replenish my ink/herb supply so I'd buy herbs when a reasonable opportunity arises so I don't expect prices of glyphs to go down to near cost prices as their will be a constant supply pressure.
Buy 'cheap' glyphs and prepare for cata.
Mmm? I don't think my supplies/stocks will recover to pre patch levels before cata.

Visalyar said...

Selling a huge amount of vanishing powder (3g/piece) was the first fun thing in Patch 4.0.1. But the most impressing thing were two "monopolists" who engaged me that my supplies of vanishing powder will go dry when they´ll buy me up and resale everything i´ll enlist. I´ve sold 20´s stacks from that moment at 20g and sold them 100 until they got the clou you could buy them from a npc-ventor.
Oh and by the way they still sell very good on my server.

Kring said...

The vanishing powder is only sold in Dalaran, Ironforge and Stormwind. Not in Darnassus or the Exodar. I happily payed 4g in the Exodar to change a glyph. I couldn't care less about 4g for a single powder and I appreciated it that someone made the powder available to me in the Exodar.

Jana said...

I don't believe they are going to remove the powder vendor any time soon, since it is explicitly written in tooltip that vendor sells this thing. I might be wrong, of course, since I don't know what the level 80+ version is going to be.

But since it is well known fact that reading tooltips (especially long ones) is no-life, buying from vendor and listing them in AH will continue working for quite some time. Not as large turnover business, but as little side income for those that do bother doing it.

As for crafting the powder, it's just easy way to level inscription from 75 to 100.

Jana said...


Vanishing powder is sold in Exodar near the inscription trainer, I just checked. Same for Horde and Silvermoon.

Probably Wowhead has not been properly updated yet!

Aashanaria said...

Gevlon--out of curiosity, what are your feelings on names that are clearly "jokey" without strictly being "stupid"? I've seen (on different servers) 3 different 'Dora the Explorer's, an 'Internet the Explorer' (of the guild [Web Browser], no less), and at least one character that took advantage of the old PvP titles to be able to run around named 'Private Parts'.

@ first Anonymous: GoCS has been selling pretty well on my server; patch day it was going for 150g+, the last couple it's been down in the mid-90's.

Anonymous said...

I bought my Vanishing Powder in Exodar, so above poster is not right.

Xenxu said...


Is this y our first day here in WoW? Classes undergo myriad changes every patch, every year. There is always a flux. You can jump around all you want but every class will give you some kind of ups and downs.

Hunters seem to be struggling right now, but that will certainly change. As for the goblin-ness of switching, of course it is a good idea to switch, on one condition: there has to be tangible profit gain. What do you hope to profit by switching to another class, that may or may not be superior to your initial one?

It is kind of like trying to time the market as opposed to sticking with good sets of mutual funds. The former averages 7%, the latter averages 12%.

Nikodhemus said...

I've been reading up on 'Glyphmas' on various blogs, and its only Friday and it appears to be over. My speculation is that it was too widely known this time around. I went to check glyph prices for the heck of it last night and things were very reasonably priced; Many were under 10g, and very few were listed at more than 30-40g. Competition was far to fierce to allow serious price gouging like in previous xpacs-patches.

My thoughts for the future? Herbs of all kinds... The herb market has always been a little cooler than the Ore/Bar market for mats, as there were fewer applications and more supply. With the new tracking feature, farmers will be able to roll Mining and Herbing with ease for the first time. My flower-picker will be working overtime for awhile...

Anonymous said...

Kring, the Vanishing Powder is sold by all inscription vendors. Even the ones in Exodar and Darnassus. You should realize Wowhead is not always up to date.

TM said...

I am not actually sure that glyph prices will stabilize to a lower price post 4.0.1 (compared to late 3.x). Generally, things you have to buy freqnently cost less than things you only need once. Glyphs will go from being a consumable like a flask to being an investment purchase.

Who was buying glyphs from the AH:
- Asocial Minmaxers (social minmaxers probably had a guild hookup for glyphs)
- New alts
- Genuine noobies
- People who played more than 2 specs
- Anyone smart after patches changed their glyph functionality.

So in 4.0, after the rush, you're looking at a market of the following:
1 - Genuine new players
2 - Alts of max level players
3 - People playing new specs
4 - Occasional purchases by people completing their arsenal
5 - Returning players who missed some of WotLK

2 -4 are likely to cancel out the relative poverty of 1, driving the potential prices up. Investment pricing means people will see glyphs as something like buying dual spec or flight.

Personally I bought all the cheap glyphs for my 2 main specs on Monday night, and will buy the rest when all the failed goblins start clearance pricing their Glyphmas inventory. I love a sale!

Anonymous said...

What does one do with 100,000 gold? Is there a genuine purpose to grinding this much gold, other than stroking one's e-peen, or selling it at wholesale to a gold seller?

A true goblin won't ever need that much gold for anything!

Anonymous said...

Already at this point there are a few scribes in trade chat offering 'any' glyph for just 15g.

Anonymous said...

Glyph market will probably go the same way of Tailoring Bag market, with not a so high trading volume, but higher profits when you do make a sell.

Lupius said...


Gevlon is making as much as he can so he gains reputation and therefore readership. If he simply claims "here's how you theoretically get rich, but I don't do it because I'm a true goblin and don't need to make insane amounts of gold I can't spend," soon no one will read this blog.

I, for one, never touched the glyphs business because it required too much overhead, in the form of needing bank alts with empty bags and having each type of glyph taking up a bag slot. For the same reason I don't sell cut gems regularly even when I see a 50% profit margin because cut gems don't stack.

I'm a slacker and I don't want to micromanage my financial tactics in a game. Does that make me a goblin or an M&S?

Lupius said...

My comment was in reply to Anonymous @ 15:26

Kring said...

You're right... you can buy it in the Exodar... don't ask me why I didn't see that on patch day... Now I really deserve the title "moron of the day". :)

Tonus said...

I think that the M&S label only applies to those who are angry that they missed out, or who for some reason are shocked that glyph prices are high at the moment.

The game has made it very easy to gather more than a hundred gold a day with very little effort. I figure that a lot of the people who are helping to put all of this money into the glyph seller's pocket are not concerned about it, as they have more than enough gold to cover the costs. It's an ideal setup for a goblin, in that they get to make lots of money and most people don't feel as if there is anything amiss.

Nielas said...

"I'm a slacker and I don't want to micromanage my financial tactics in a game. Does that make me a goblin or an M&S?"

That really depends on whether you feel entitled to getting the gold without engaging in those economic activities. The false entitlement is really the core of the M&S concept.

Gevlon himself is usually making way less gold then he could because he does not want to spend his time on activities that produce gold but are not the best use of his time.

Anonymous said...

The inscription industry has changed. Once the rush ends, I expect inscription profits to become less AH-dependent and more dependent on tip/fee for service.

Guildmates can now see who has which profession and what the materials are. Once people get used to this, guilded characters will get more glyphs made "in-house". As Gevlon pointed out some time ago, this is your real competition. Buyers will get glyphs made for the cost of herbs rather than pay "investment prices" at the AH. There will still be some AH business to be had from new players and those who need instant gratification, but crafting for guildmates will dampen demand. I expect the impact to be significant and largely invisible.

Vesoom said...


"I'm a slacker and..."

Since M&S stands for morons and slackers, I would say yes by your own statement you're a M&S.


"A true goblin won't ever need that much gold for anything!"

First, gold is an objective way to measure success. If your goal is to be successful in the ah, then gold is the way you measure it. Just like a successful dps player uses Recount to measure themselves. Not that that's always the "best" way in every imaginable situation, but it is one of the few objective ways to measure success in-game.

Second, how much is too much? A guildie paid 50k-g for an item in ICC H. I doubt he thinks that having 200k is "too much".

Bristal said...

Disagree that glyph sales will be less since people only have to buy once.

There are more completionists (casuals) than there are min-maxers. Before, the completionist casuals only got their spec's best glyphs, and only changed them to the current "best" if the min-maxers did (to be cool).

Now all will eventually want each glyph on every alt. Surely there will be an achievement for that.

Right now supply is high due to glyphmas, but people really only need the "recommended" glyphs for their class/spec in order to do heroics/raid. Little by little they will want to "collect them all", which will create a steady demand. IMO bigger than before patch.

I didn't buy any glyphs pre-patch. Never clicked with me. I am neither moron nor slacker. So I spent 200 of my 30K G to get the few glyphs I really needed for my hunter after the fact. Merry Glyphmas to you and your evil brilliance.

One of the reasons to have money is to be able to weather the unexpected.

In my real life as well as my WoW life I save a lot and spend modestly what/when I want in order not to have to worry or plot/scheme. I HATE planning. Does that make me a slacker? a moron? Not worrying about money is a quality of life issue.

And not "worrying" at all within my video game life is key to enjoying the game.

Feels to me like your calling me a moron because I have a different outlook than you.

Kyle said...

I'm blessed with having M & S glyph sellers as well as buyers.

none of them seem to have discovered that there is a stable auctioneer beta build OR that zero auctions exists.

i've had a virtual monopoly - i'm on a small server which is very young - so the profits aren't anywhere near the 300k mark - but i should make at least 60-70k by the end of the weekend (since prices are staying somewhat stable around the 50g mark).

i was pleased to sell about 25 vanishing powder for 13g each over the first few hours after patch.

Menhir said...

Meh, if that's an M&S screenshot, I should have grabbed a pic back when the dust were going for 8-9g each on Ravencrest.

Anyway, the glyph windfall was pretty nice. I don't touch the AH much, but even I knew it was coming and pulled enough cash from it that I can get all my alts their flying skills.

For those were surprised at the glyphs, further tip: Cataclysm crafting materials will be extra-profitable in the early days of Cataclysm.

Campitor said...

If you ignore the ingame economy because that isn't your idea of fun you have to live with the consequences. The ingame economy is in your face from lvl 1 and up. You need money to train spells and buy consumables (water/food/elixers). If you ignore the economy and gripe about not having money/making money you have nobody to blame but yourself regardless if you like the AH/economy side of the MMORG or not.

It is ridiculously easy to make money at this game without doing ANY daily quests - it just takes a bit of study and application of simplistic business principles and psycology. I personally don't have the amount of gold of a true millionaire goblin but that's from wanting to play my alts more than working the AH. You can make 1k to 5k a day being very lazy on the AH doing about 30 minutes worth of crafting depending on the number of high level alts with professions. But even using 1 toon with 1 crafting trade you can make decent gold equivalent to grinding a day's worth of quests in 1/10th the time. And yes - some professions make more money than others but you can always flip items - there is always some tool trying to sell an item at a dirt cheap price for quick gold - just take advantage of it. Intelligence + frugality + effort = good gold income.

Ben said...

I think it's more about laziness and that the value of gold in WoW is practically meaningless rather than the consumers being M&Ses. They're paying for a convenience charge. Yeah they could've bought them earlier, but who cares, money rains from the sky all over this game.

That said, I'll gladly pocket the 30+ thousand I've made so far! :)

Mick said...

I spent about 5k on the night before the patch dropped buying every glyph on the AH that was under 5g. I also had a good stockpile of crafted glyphs from the 3000 IotS I had stockpiled, and so far have turned over around 40k for about 30k profit.

I had a lot of issues on the night after patch with constant d/c and having to learn how to use QA3, so I could of sold more but I am more then happy with the amount I made.

I have reset my fallback price to 12g due the 3 ink cost of glyphs, I plan to keep 12 hour posting until the middle of next week once the market has hit the bottom of the cliff, and then save what I have until Cata drops.

I was caught out by the cooldown not being removed on epic gems as was reported on some blogs, the moral of the story being to read Blizz notes more thoroughly next time :)

Anti said...

players might wait for a guildy to craft. they might wait for Ah prices to drop.

my marketing strategy is like 7-11. i'm a convenience store. i have every item in my chosen markets. i put them in buyer friendly quantities. but if people want my item they pay convienience store prices.

i happily hold items for entire expansions until people are willing to pay my price. i got caught out with stacks of khorium and eternium when epic gems were added in BC. i assumed you'd be able to prospect them. during wrath my bank alt had 2 eternium enchanting rods up constantly on the AH. recently i've been selling the khorium to engineers for BC mounts at 2000% what i paid in BC.

glyphs are a convenience item. people will pay 300% cost to buy it now and not have to wait for a guildy. i'll keep listing 4 of each glyph every 48 hours. forever.

Anonymous said...

I really dont get you, why do you say people are morons if they buy glyphs for 50g or even more, people who buy them have the money (me) and dont care if I could've bought it a few weeks/days before, doesnt make a dent in my stockpile of cash and I dont give a damn. It costs what it costs, I have the gold to pay it.