Greedy Goblin

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Moron of the week

Thanks for the photo to Christopher from

If you have good stories or screenshots from our beloved M&S doing something that makes him M&S, feel free to send me. (Simple failure does not count, so don't send an SS with someone healing below the protpala or creating buffer overflow error on the failbot). If you insert picture, please make sure it's smaller than 800x600 because my blog provider does not allow uploading larger (or upload it somewhere and just send a link).

PS: if you don't understand why the picture is filed under "moron of the week", then you should read this.

PS2: at least he recognized that he is "mad". :-)


Townes said...

I got a tell like that about Borean Leather. I wasn't sure whether the guy was mad I was listing it at half the price of anyone else on the AH, or twice the price it had been a week previously. Either way it sold, and I ignored him.

Carl said...

You... fish...?

I find it hard to believe that you would level such a time wasting profession. Please tell me he was referring to fish feasts.

Anonymous said...

lol, I received that kind of letter
once, the M&S was angry cause i was "ruining his large brilliant shard market" it's a sad life for a goblin...


The mexican goblin.

Keeva said...

Dramastically - an apt typo!

Anonymous said...

What's the purpose of putting something half the price? I can undestand that only if you needed that money asap. I'd simply buy that discounted good, relist it with 1% undercut, and laugh at the crazy undercutter. I hope the guy of the picture suggested this to the whiner.

Alfay said...

"What's the purpose of putting something half the price? "

Prices fluctuate, and half the current price might still be more than the average price.

A likley situation: AH supply runs out, someone sees this, gets greedy and posts his goods for a vastly inflated price.

Undercutting him by 1% will mostly result in getting your auction back, unless you get lucky and some really rich moron buys your goods. But that is more like playing the lottery than a business strategy.

By posting a bit over average price instead you create the illusion of a very good deal. This usually results in a quick *and* profitable sale.

Anonymous said...

The point of listing stuff at half price is to drive others out by making them less profitable. The undercutter makes their profit by selling quantity.

Still it hurts when someone drives you out like that. I remember making 25k by selling level 78 PvP crafted blues at 200+% of the crafting costs. The someone else decided to join the market and sold his for market price +5%, causing me to leave the market as it wasn't as profitable for my time as glyphs...

Wooly said...

This almost sounds like those real life stories: a local fisherman losing from the big companies.

I have to admit, when I see my best selling items being undercut by to just above mats price, and the seller putting up an insane amount of 'm at once too. I will bite my fist also. But then I put my grin back on, because it's what I do too sometimes, and I've just been served :)

But in this example I'm just a bit baffled. Fish for crying out loud! I'm not sure if I don't want to call both of those guys M&S.

Anonymous said...

well, I usually ignore those 1% above production cost auctions (or even under production cost), it's usually a guy leveling his profession and it´s sure to go away soon.

The mexican goblin

Anonymous said...

"Some of us people need to make a living of the prices of fish"

This guy realises that this is just a game, right?

Wooly said...

@mexican goblin

Yes, of course I do too, extreme patience is one of my virtues I dare to say. I have some more tricks up my sleeve too, but that won't take away those few seconds of wanting to strangulate that guy just for a short while. Especially when it happens at Wednesday evening, after I just put my fresh items up on an otherwise emtpy AH. Kuddos for those on which that doesn't have the slightest effect.

I can't ignore all my emotions all of the time. Don't think that's healthy too btw. But I do think it makes the AH game more interesting too, it shouldn't be too easy all of the time.

RFairney said...

You know.. Even somalia didn't complain when they had the EXACT same problem as him.
Unable to make a profit on fish, they found another source of income

Send him a pirate costume in response :D

Lometa said...

I know exactly how the writer of the in-game mail feels. I'm still refining and trying to figure out how to make money as a scribe and dutifully spent yesterday morning making glyphs that were valued by Skillit at between 10 and 20 gold only to find when I went to the AH the under-cutters had listed them at 30 to 40% below market value grr...

Darraxus said...

I got a whisper from some douche who was mad that I undercut him by a silver. I told him its just business. I think he whispered me on a few other occasions. He tried to drive down glyph prices which he mostly succeded in doing. What he probably didnt expect was the rest of us sellers driving it down further and him out.

Unknown said...

I used to have a problem with some guy posting all glyphs for 10g during the time we were posting for 30g above. I was the M&S at that time and ranted to him about that... He told me he doesn't care and he has a lot of money and will continue posting glyphs for 10g as long as the glyphs are above that price. I was kinda sad at that time.

The next day I decided to post all glyphs for 9g99s99c (or below, depending on who to undercut). That night at Dalaran I heard that character on trade selling 400+ Snowfall Inks.

After a month that guy seemed to go out of business, and we started upping the prices.

Lometa said...

okay, I just undercut them all by 40% which will cause even more deflation. When do I inflate the prices?

SiderisAnon said...

Debbie Adams:

You don't inflate the price. If you are following the model of undercutting the market by 40%, then you just keep undercutting the market by 40% forever. Or at least until you drive the others out of business and become the market.

Keep in mind that the X gold you're charging now is not a fixed price with this model. If the market goes up, you keep charging 40% and your price goes up. When the market goes down, so does your price. You will never own the market, because sooner or later someone will come along and do to you what you're doing to the current sellers.

It's about making sure that however many items you put on the AH will sell every time. (Which is why you cannot put more on than the market will bear.)

Craig R said...

you do get to inflate the market on the occasions when you are the only one participating in it.
For example, selling a valuable glyph, and all the careless people have forgotten to list that glyph.
Set it back up to 40, or 50 or whatever gold, and let it fall from there, not from th regular price of 20 or 10 or whatever.

Brian said...


The whole point of undercutting is to drive your own costs down as far as possible, figure out a reasonable profit margin, and sell at that. Gevlon has said this before, even if glyph prices go up in the short term, he still sells at his usual price. Why? Because it's not a good use of your time to chase small, short term gains. It's too hard to keep track of rapid price fluctuations, for one thing, and for another, it makes it much more likely that someone is going to be able to undercut you.

You might feel like the clever businessman undercutting someone by a silver, but while you're busy trying to piss off the competition, I'm going to undercut you buy a few gold. I'm still making a profit that way, and selling stuff is more important than going out of my way to be a jerk.

If you happen to piss people off along the way, THAT is business. But going out of your way to piss them off is just bad business.

Lometa said...

This is an interesting conversation and it's educational.

Here is what happened. Scanned the AH, bought my herbs, milled inks, checked Lil Sparky prices, made glyphs that were going for 10+ g. By the time I got it to the AH ALL of the glyphs were 8 g and under. I undercut by 40% putting them up for anywhere from 1 to 6 g. I doubt that I will gain a profit because of the original price of the herbs.

It's okay, because I expect that at first as I'm learning the How To's of the profession. Part of me wonders if there are a couple of other scribes following Gevon's method on our server.

Unknown said...

i get a few of these a week about Glyphs and a couple about my price of Infinite Dust / Cosmic Essence.. :-X

Phonexx said...

I had the same a while ago selling +10 stats on chest scrolls. I could make them for about 400g cost and the only other person selling them was putting them up for about 600g.

I decided to put mine up for 500g and got an angry /w about it, of course I didn't change my pricing.

Then he started to undercut me, and vice versa constantly one night until i had to lower my prices to barely above mats cost in order to stop him. I kept them at this price for a few days which seemed to drive him off and then went back to normal pricing. If he tries again I just need to sacrifice a bit of profit to regain control of the market.

Artemicia said...

Gevlon, you used the word "than" in your P.S. It should be "then." It's not a big deal, but since your commenting rules say you welcome grammar correction, I thought I should point it out.

SiderisAnon said...

Debbie Adams:

Don't just trust Lil Sparky. The price there is based on a long running market average (assuming you are feeding it Auctioneer data) and may not really reflect the current market.

My market is not glyphs, but I have a suggestion that should carry over to any market where you are buying materials. Start with a price for what you want to sell and then work backwards to how much you can afford to pay for the materials. Keep a nice snatch search going in Auctioneer and only buy those mats when they are at or under your price point.

Then don't be afraid to adjust your numbers if the market isn't quite what you thought it was. I use an Excel spreadsheet so I can do this quickly.

Simple example: A fictional cloak.
10 gold sale price.
1 gold for the thread.
1 gold for the dye.
0.5 gold for the posting cost.

The fixed costs (assuming posting it twice) leaves me with 6 gold to cover the cost of cloth and profit. Assuming I want to make a 2 gold profit on average, I can spend 4 gold on cloth. So, I can probably spend 1 gold on a piece of cloth or 4 gold on a bolt of cloth (assuming a 4:1 ration for crafting the bolt).

If the sale price drops below 10 gold, I need to lower how much I pay for cloth.

Anonymous said...

"or make a buffer overflow on the failboat"
Thanks gevlon, you made my day :D

Thunderhorns said...

Do you have a post that gives a full description with examples of what constitutues an M&S? How low do you have to fall to be considered an M&S? What percentage of the WoW population is M&S?

Is it all friendly, social people who play the game for less than lofty goals such as top end raiding or AH domination? Or just the real fools who can't seem to learn fights and engage in behavior that is completely foolish and based on social norms (as in succumbing to the herd mentality even when that mentality is counterproductive)?

You should give us a post with a examples on what constitutes reaching the level of M&S. Perhaps this is a start.

Thunderhorns said...

What do you think of people who price items under material cost including AH cut? Is that taking undercutting too far?

Moggy said...

@ Thunderhorns
If you price under the cost of mats with the intent of driving everyone else out of the market it would be a conscious decision based on future expected profit. That would be a goblinish decision.
If you're doing it out of ignorance/helpfullness it's m&s.

Thunderhorns said...


That's my thinking as well.

Sad thing is there are a few players on my server that price flasks and bullets under the mat cost. They do this all the time, so I figure they're just ignorant Ms, not necessarily Ss, since they do the work to farm.

Graylo said...

Over the weekend some one put up 35 Flasks of the Frost Wyrm on the AH for 12.2g each. That was 38% of the market price on my server. Needless to say I bought them all and made about a 16g profit on each of them after the AH cut.

SiderisAnon said...


The people who farm for the materials and then sell the crafted item for less than you could by buying mats may be falling into the "make sure it sells" trap. They think they have to price it so low in order to ensure that it sells, never realizing that they could make just as much profit if they sold the mats themselves.

Personally, I tend to think of those people as providing disenchanting material. :)

Bristal said...

If you really think you can sell something at a particular price and someone undercuts you, BUY THEM OUT. If you aren't willing to do that, your asking price is obviously WRONG. Whiners are just trying to win a lottery, not do business.

I sell a few rugged hides a week for 6G. When someone drops in and undercuts, I buy a few to keep up my supply. Then I wait a few days until they go away and I list again. Takes seconds a day EVERY DAY to keep on top of a market.

Last week I posted a few arctic furs for 300% because there were NONE posted on a Friday. Someone sent me a /w: you'll never sell your #*&*% overpriced furs!

Sold them.

Learn the market of a few products and stick with it. M&S will never get it.

Unknown said...

This reminds me a lot of the entire game theory. Except, a lot of people have the competition talking to them. By you choosing to have lower prices -- you're hurting them, and force them to lower their prices (or at least match) in response, or to even remain viable. The smarter for all parties is to agree on a standard price. But, even in those situations -- people want their goods to sell. I can understand the 1-2g "price wars," but dropping 40% ultimately isn't helping anyone. Unless, the intent is to drive out the competition who could be making more by seeking out another area of the market.

Also, the WoW economy is actually a fairly good view of perfect competition. Where the ultimate result is zero profit. People will undercut til it is no longer profitable at all. If it is getting to the point where the market you're in is starting to look like materials bought = finished product sold. I'd suggest looking for another market, or wait to see if the current one will improve.

Tonus said...

Bristal: "Last week I posted a few arctic furs for 300% because there were NONE posted on a Friday. Someone sent me a /w: you'll never sell your #*&*% overpriced furs!"

I think that most of the time, that is a person who wanted to buy a bunch of them and has balked at the price, and is hoping to intimidate you into lowering the prices for him. He is probably the same type of person who wrote the letter that is the subject of the topic. The people who feel that it is their right to perpetually profit from a particular item are the same people who feel that they should be granted significant cost reductions when they are buying something.

Lometa said...

@Bristal :If you really think you can sell something at a particular price and someone undercuts you, BUY THEM OUT.

Buying them out is all well and good if there is a limited supply of an item, like furs. I've already been down that road with glyphs. People just make more and I end up stuck with an overstocked inventory.

Kotamundus said...

Just read this - LOL, priceless ;-)

Heywood Djiblomi said...

I pay little attention to the so-called "average price" that Auctioneer spits out. Any time I see "What is Item X worth" in trade, I promptly answer: "Whatever a buyer is willing to pay." I find that people generally don't sit and wait for prices to drop to some notional "average" - they want instant gratification, and are willing to pay for it.

Frankly, I'm not sure who the bigger idiot is: the moron who complained about the undercutting, or the undercutter who threw away untold profits that would have been earned otherwise by less-drastic slashing.

Anonymous said...

My first stop doing that email was a warning that someone was going to start listing glyphs at a low price undercutting me by 1 c. They did. However they got lazy. I guess it was too much work to keep hitting cancel on quick auction.

Sometimes you just need to ride out the angry competitors.

Anonymous said...

Dramatic + Drastically = Dramastically.