Greedy Goblin

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Touching the void

These Void Crystals are memories of my first real investment. Before them I just supported my expenses with AH-flipping. If my account balance ran below 5000G (which was my security blanket), I started to seek cheap stuff in the AH and relist them. If I had enough money, I ignored the AH and just played for fun.

As an enchanter I had intimate relationship with Large Prismatic Shards, Void Crystals and Greater Planar Essences. I knew their prices, their weekly price fluctuations and often made some money by buying when cheap and selling when high.

The moment when I've changed from a "part-time flipper" to an investor was the one I was reading about patch 2.4 a month before it happened. It was talking about a spell "Void Shatter". An enchanter ability that turns Void Crystals into 2 Large Prismatic Shards. Back then LP cost 35G, Void cost 17G.

Void was mostly a dead item, needed only for a handful of rare high-end recipes. It fell from higher level items than LP so it made sense that Blizzard expect them to sell higher. So I chose to believe in the rumor of Void Shatter.

I spent the next weeks buying Void Crystals. While I increased my flipping activity, my funds decreased rapidly. It seemed that lot of people and lot of guild banks had Voids and they refused to sell them for 15G. For 20G they did. And I bought. When 2.4 hit air, I had a 20 slot enchanting bag half of them, and my account balance hit it's bottom, 2000G. I never had so little since lvl 40.

Lot of things were telling I'm doing something really stupid. The Void Shatter recipe needed SSO Honored and when 2.4 was aired there were only 2 daily quests (you know the buildings were in Kael's hand). It had a day cooldown. It needed a Runed Eternium Rod, several enchanters missed it since it's not needed for the ring enchants. But I believed it will sell.

I thought that if things goes according to plan, the prices from 35G LP, 15G Void will flip to 17G LP, 34G Void. In this case I make 14G profit/Void.

Things were not according to plan. The Void-LP prices didn't reach 2:1 instantly. They are still not 2:1! First month the prices were 30-35G Void, 25-28G LP. I've learned three things:
  • It was obvious to me that if I want some enchant or item I just buy it, but most people are not like me. They cannot afford to buy anything they want. Therefor the LP price decrease caused more and more of them to be able to buy enchants, the demand increased, keeping the prices moderately high. I learned that making money is not obvious, I know something that maybe worth telling. This was the point when the seed of this blog was planted.
  • While it was direct and obvious that 1 Void worth 2 LP, especially after 2.4.3 when the CD was removed from Void Shatter, the prices refused to reach the 2:1 equilibrium. The only reason: there were (and still are) not enough businessmen who would risk their money in buying Void and selling LP. I've learned that there is place on the field of business for people like me.
  • And finally, I thought that my AH-flipping activity is just an equal alternative of primal farming or daily questing. They all provides a decent income and choosing between them is only matter of personal preferences. Than I hit 20000G in 4 weeks, with 10 minutes daily effort. Hell, if we accept the $15/1000G conversion of the damn goldsellers, I made $60/hour playing my favorite game! I've learned that business is no alternative of farming. It is the one and only way to get rich!
Since the prices still didn't reach 2:1, I keep on buying Voids and selling LP-s. Just this weekend I sold about a hundred LP-s for 14G, and bought 20 Void for 15G.

I know that the day when people can set their foot on Northrend they will no longer be interested in buying LP-s, since no lvl70 enchants will be needed. Still I couldn't make myself dump the remaining ones. I keep on shattering and selling the LP-s, but I won't dump any voids. Other people keep T1 armor, Atiesh, or letters from their old guildmates in their bank just to remember the feeling when they were real. I will keep a couple stacks of Void Crystals for the same reason. It's not really goblinish, so please don't mention it in Booty Bay!

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