Greedy Goblin

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

9 weeks glyph pricing experiment

I have received this research via mail and it's definitely worth publishing. If you don't want to read the whole - very carefully - presented research, I bolded the results for you:

I have been conducting a booking experiment in the profits available from the Glyph market under different pricing scenarios. I got into the glyph industry prior to ever reading your blog however from reading your posts and reader comments I have massively increased my profits and profit per hour. I was always a little unsure as to exactly the pricing strategy that you were using until you recently posted a more in depth discussion. I started the experiment prior to your post on the glyph market and pricing however so haven’t exactly replicated what was in it.

However, here’s how I understand the basics of the wow glyph market and how the various pricing strategies are supposed to work.

In any week there are a certain amount of glyphs used – A
These glyphs are sourced from either
Inscriptors making it for themselves or friends for free – B
Trade channel – C
Auction House – D
A = B + C + D

At a very rough guess this is probably something like 100% = 5% + 5% + 90%
The amount of gold available on the Auction House is total glyphs sold on the AH (D) * price X
As you increase the price X, you will see more people try to buy their glyphs from trade or find guild friends to make them for them.

If you look at the total glyphs sold on the AH your share of those sales will depend on your pricing strategy and the competitors you face, so if D can be split between, any number of sellers, usually a few larger goblins, a few medium sized casual sellers and a few leveling inscription.

First Scenario; Some people believe that you should price high 30g-50g or more, at these prices some will leave the AH for trade or friends but not too many, the total gold generated will be high, so even if you are sharing that gold amongst a number of competitors selling on the AH you will still make a very high profit. So for example, if the total glyph sold on the AH is 5,000 in a week, 3 Goblins compete, taking 25% market share each, average sale 20g-17g profit, each goblin makes 21,250 profit in the week.

Second Scenario; Others believe that you should drive the price very low, ensure that few people leave the AH and more importantly that there are few competitors around to share the total gold generated, hopefully none, by selling a far higher volume, for a lower cost, the total gold generated from glyphs on the AH will be lower than in the first Scenario however your personal share will be higher. So for example, now the price of glyphs on the AH is 8g-5.5g profit, the total sold D increases to 6,000, there is only one goblin seller taking 70% of the market, profit of 23,100.

There has been heated debate over which of these scenarios is the better one for the glyph industry or other gold making businesses on wow. As far as I can tell each of the commenters posted single experiences from individual servers, there were comments of, “that would never work on my server” but no one who said they had tried multiple strategies, or if they did, provided very little detail. My experiment was an attempt to put hard numbers behind the theories. I used two basic pricing styles

Undercutter – Glyphs listed at a small 10s (wanted to avoid socials who though a 1s undercut was nasty) discount to the current – Note this is not camping, I don’t watch to see competitors online or if undercut, just post when I have a spare 5 minutes. Using Quick Auctions 2 this is very easy and very quick. The actual posting of glyphs is almost the smallest proportion of time spent in the production cycle, though collecting unsold ones is almost more of a factor in how often you should ideally post.

Low pricing – Glyphs all listed at a standard fixed price for a minimal level of profit, you list more of them, less often, less time spent posting, may have to spend more time producing glyphs as higher volumes sold, for lower price.

I had presumed from your early posts that you followed a Low pricing strategy, in fact your more recent post on pricing describes your strategy as heavy undercutting. You undercut by a largish amount until the price gets to a very low price and drives competition away, then revert to a high price once they’ve left. Personally, and others have commented the same, I think this is actually almost the same as Undercutting by a small amount and I will explain why later.

Server stats. Herbs sells for around 18-25g a stack, I was mostly picking them up around 20g from AH and some from dedicated suppliers, ink of the sea sells for 2g-3g, snowfall inks for a lousy 12.5g. Very approximate cost of making a single ink glyph is 2g, 4g for two ink glyph (it’s a bit more than this but for simplicity). When I started the experiment there were probably 3 other large volume glyph sellers in the market. I have all glyphs learnt. I am on a medium population server with quite a few well established raiding guilds (Hellfire EU for those interested). Profits shown relate solely to glyphs and not to sale of darkmoon decks/cards or other off hand items etc. Glyphs were selling mostly between 5-25g, with perhaps 15% of the market in the 1-5g range and 10% in the 25g-50g range.

Intention was to run my normal strategy for a few weeks to check profitability accurately then move to a very low cost strategy to see if this did produce the higher profits and also to try see if my competitors would be driven away or not, then return to my original strategy to see what effect there had been. Note while using Low pricing strategy I still sold double ink glyphs even though they were then going for a loss, partly to cover the entire market and drive competitors away and also as I couldn’t be bothered trying to figure out all the ones that were double ink ones and remove them from my stock.

Things to note – while I was reasonably careful in my booking, I wasn’t putting in the time to have this be a perfect accounting analysis, when counting up the number of glyphs I had in stock, some errors may have been made, I used approximate values for herbs, inks, glyphs etc without allowing for weekly price variations, the same applies to hours, I booked all time, auction house buying of glyphs, mail time, milling, making glyphs, listing (not when I was afk at mail or AH) but not to the nearest minute, further I tried to maintain a consistent level of glyphs/inks/herbs but there was some variation and the varying levels of time/cost on the varying levels of stock may cause some small variation in perceived profits as well.

This was by no means a scientific experiment, endless variables were not controlled and my data was not measured by a machine, mistakes could have been made.















Low pricing

Low pricing

Low pricing

Low pricing

Low pricing



Auction time










Listing rate

2-3times weekday, 2-4 times weekend

2-3times weekday, 2-4 times weekend, some days missed

once a day

once a day

once a day

once every 1-2 days

once every 2 days

2-3times weekday, 2-4 times weekend

once every 2 days











Number of Glyphs listed at each posting

2-3 depending on time of day

2-3 depending on time of day






2-3 depending on time of day


Gold Made




















Gold per hour





- 417






Realised at end of week was low on some stock, also small issue with QA2

Made too many glyphs as hard to track stock with too many on AH

Too many double ink glyphs sold, or booking not quite right

(note with QA2 listing each day brought the total glyphs listed back to your listing levels, so if you listed 5, 2 sold, 3 still on, list again the next day brings back to 5, not 8)

I was aware that prior to this experiment I had a couple of heavy competitors who were undercutting me regularly and some were posting glyphs as low as 2g! With an initial cost per glyph of approximately 2g I wanted to be able to make a reasonable profit after AH cut. I guessed that I was currently making around 12-15g profit per glyph, if low selling sold 3-5 times as many glyphs I could sell for around 6g which is were I started my first week of “Low pricing”. I listed far more than usual as I was planning not to be reposting as often. 1st Day of this I got a nice mail from one of my main competitors who was concerned that I had recently installed QA2 and hadn’t quite figured out the settings properly yet and how I should change them, thanks! In fact I had been using Quick Auctions in its original non user interface form as well but hey. I wasn’t sure how many of my competitors would follow me to undercut below 6g but I wasn’t surprised to see that by next day 95% of my auctions were undercut, so price war, I each day lowered the price by around 25s to declare my serious intention to lower prices and drive them away (I hoped), price went down to 4g over the first week and I did see some of my competitors move off. I got a nasty email from my one of the other main sellers about I must be an idiot and not know how to make gold etc etc. I also saw increased volume of sales and thus increased hours making glyphs. I also spent a lot of times collecting glyphs from the mail box (at that time I didn’t have the screen refresh macro and would change between alts as each box ran empty). I also had issues with too many glyphs on the AH and difficulties keeping track of how many sold, how many needed to be replaced so ended up making too many of some glyphs that weren’t selling. By week 4 (2nd week of low prices) I was still regularly being undercut and continued to drop my prices hoping to drive competitors away with only limited change. Week 5 I was getting desparate having seen little change in being constantly undercut and moved to my lowest make no profit drive competitors away price of 3g (my booking suggests I made a small loss that week which may be true or may be booking error). I saw little change, a few less undercuts but not that significant. Week 6 I’d given up hope of getting rid of the goblins but hoped some medium/smaller sellers had moved on, moved back to a more relaxed pricing level 6g, and a more relaxed level of booking every few days, sales volumes were OK, thought I would try and a slightly higher gold level the following week 8g. Having had 5 weeks of pricing between 3g-8g I hoped that I might have got rid of some competitors however my observations of the names of those selling indicated that little had changed in fact there appeared to be some new competitors who had joined the market! where perhaps 1 or 2 had left 3 or 4 had now joined, perhaps the knowledge that glyphs = gold was spreading to a wider audience. So back to my original selling pattern for one week for comparison. Finally a week of my original undercutting pricing strategy but this time following the low maintenance post every 2 days to match the theoretical low pricing time at AH strategy.

As you can see, undercutting on my server for me, produces a significantly higher amount of total gold, as well as a better gold per hour, both before and after attempts to drive competitors away and whether I posted 3 times a day or only every 2 days. In fact the highest gold per hour was generated by following an undercutting strategy but with a low post rate.

Looking back at the two original scenarios, why has this result occurred? Well to be honest I can’t absolutely tell you, as I don’t have the complete data, from all the sellers in the market, total glyphs sold, my % share of the market etc etc, I can’t make any hard conclusions. I can only revert to theory (which I was trying to avoid in doing the experiment) and suggest the following, lowering the price was unable to drive enough competitors away, while I did sell more glyphs at the lower prices it wasn’t enough to counter the much lower profit being achieved. Further, the reduced posting time from the low pricing strategy was countered by the increased time required to buy herbs, mill herbs, make inks, make glyphs to supply the increased sales. In fact it seemed that the time spent posting was one of the smaller factors in the total time spent (thanks to QA2!), the actual making of the glyphs taking much longer.

The reason I think that your deep undercutting is nothing more than undercutting is that on my server with heavy competition, the competitors have little regard for if you undercut by 1s or 1g. I personally would never notice that you were doing that, QA2 would be set up to keep undercutting you all the way down to 4g. I would run QA2 which would simply undercut you unless you went below my absolute minimum. My minimum was set at the price of the two ink glyph, I know that some of my competitors, rightly or wrongly were going below this, they would continue to undercut even if you were following a low pricing or heavy undercutting strategy.

I definitely believe that in probably all other wow markets low pricing, where the price is set at a low level of profit above cost, is the ideal way to maximise profit, ensuring you capture the majority of the market, few people go to trade/guild, and you have few if any competitors. I think the very nature of the glyph market, extremely low listing cost (can list and relist often without issue), low total cost (few people go to trade irrespective of high % profit), are exactly the reasons that low pricing is not necessarily the best option. If you have few competitors or more importantly weak competitors who will leave the market and not undercut you at the lower prices it still might work but I suspect that for most servers this is not the case. My observations are obviously not 100% conclusive, it was not a scientific experiment, it was just my scenario, on my server etc etc but I think they do show what many have suggested that there is more profit available from undercutting even where you are 1 of a few goblins, as the higher prices far out weigh the loss of market share and that should you try to push the prices lower you are in no way guaranteed to drive your competitors away.

Irrespective of your or others opinion of the theoretical difference’s or actual results of this experiment here are some key lessons I have learned which will help all to increase their gold making

It’s better to spend time ensuring you restock those glyphs which are selling well and get to the AH less often, than to spend your time reposting at the AH regularly and run out of your top selling glyphs

Keep a reasonable stock of herbs and inks in your bags. Herb prices vary widely, buy when low (use Snatch) and ride out the high weeks (Darkmoon faire week). Further by ensuring that in weeks you have more time you mill herbs, on weeks you have less time, the small time you have can be devoted to making the glyphs that are selling well rather than buying/milling.

If you run QA2 and the first time you set it up you didn’t have a complete set of all glyphs that you sell make sure to go back and update those it sells when you have a full stock in your bags

Possessions/Who has isn’t always perfect, it seems to sometimes get errors recording what you have, so sometimes you think you have stock which you are selling but in fact you don’t. Running the QA2 summary straight after you’ve listed all your glyphs will highlight those glyphs you haven’t posted. If the market price is above your minimum sell price, and you think you are full stocked, the reason you have nothing posted is that Possessions/Who has made a mistake, you probably need to make a few of these glyphs.

Hellfire EU – Experiment ran from approximately late July to late September
Main – Aizell, Glyph alts Hazella, Goldmachine, GreedyGoblin, Darkmoon decks/cards/offhands - Bankaboy

I (Gevlon) will write a post about my pricing method to clarify the difference between the different undercutting methods, and can only agree, that posting low regardless competition is a bad idea, and you should have one of the undercutting schemes.


Anonymous said...

I more or less came to the same conclusion. There was a brief period when the MMO-champion guide was posted that at least a dozen people tried to move in on the market. Deep undercutting (operating at a loss) made all of them go away. Now i'm sitting comfortably with no more than 3 other competitors, and my gold per hour is satisfactory.

I'm not making anything near 20k/week. Probably not even 1.5k/week. But it takes an hour tops every 2 days and has the best gold per hour of anything I care to do, and I have enough cash flow to pay for my raid expenses.

I could probably make more money if I branch out into another market (JC seems lucrative at the moment), but it'd take a large investment and i'd be spending twice as much time in the AH for a questionable gain in gold per hour.

Vyr said...

I was one of the major glyph sellers on my server and I average around 400 glyphs sold per day. Right after titanium skyrocket, the prices of herbs went sky high and I discontinued my goblin activities as my raiding was ending later and later.

Sometime after that, mmochampion's article hit and all hell broke loose. I just checked and tried to re-enter the market but the price is very low. The gold per hour is so low that the time taken to mill, get unsold glyphs and to repost them gives such terrible gold/hr. Right now I sell less than 100 glyphs per day and I barely make 1k, at last count it was only 800g. This was so much different from the time in which I was pulling in 2k to 3k a day.

So I decided to just leave the market to see when it will return to some profitable levels while I happily play in the JC and enchanting market.

Anti said...

i have too much gold. i'm lazy.

the week or so after i do a major manufacturing run i make a heap of gold. then i have a constant but slow flow from residual stock.

the best way to have a constant high income flow is to ensure you have the best glyphs for each class always in stock. these are usually the first to sell out.

using a mass market approch eats up time in listing and mailbox retrieval. an undercutter can devote a higher proportion of his time to manufacturing.

i dont use QA. i use Auctioneer. my price range is usually 8g-32g. if people want the < 8g market they can have it. i have those glyphs in stock but only to streamline manufacturing.

if for some reason the deep undercutters run out of stock i have mine up to take the high margin from otherwise low margin glyphs.

if a glyph is constantly under 8g it is most likely a poor quality glyph for all specs. the demand just isnt there for it.

Sean said...

I came across this quote in the report (it wasn't bolded):
As far as I can tell each of the commenters posted single experiences from individual servers, there were comments of, “that would never work on my server” but no one who said they had tried multiple strategies, or if they did, provided very little detail.

This is what I've been arguing the whole time. Many people argue from their own perspective but fail to recognise that there are different market conditions / competitors on other servers.

What works for you may not neccessarily work for others. The most successful goblins are the ones that can adapt to the specific market situation / competitors without being caught in the line, 'my way is always correct no matter what.'

Anonymous said...

what i can say from the netherweave market..on my server a stack cloth sells between 5/7 gold (rare to get and needs kinda camping) and 10 gold.

Bags sell now with heavy competition down to what i did i jumped out at the market when prices where at 14g for like 3 days.did nothing else then buy up all cloth i could find for max 6g and dumping now like 200 bags on the market for 11g without have to worry about reposting beeing undercut etc...everything that goes below my 11g i buy and repost and thats yes lowpricing is the best gold/per hour method ...but it makes me feel poor when i know i could sell them back again for 14g but then i have to kinda camp the ah not getting undercut twice an hour.

Anonymous said...

Great post and a very interesting report. There is one issue I have on my server at the moment which makes it very difficult for me to undercut.

Currently I list glyphs for anything up to 20g. Most are around the 5-8g mark with some as low as 2-3g.

The problem is as soon as i post my auctions undercutting by 50s one auction house camper immediately cancels and relists. First time I just left it until my auctions expired before making the few that sold and relisting them all.

Same thing happened again and again.

A little fed up I couldn't really compete. I'm not prepared to camp the ah every day or two. I enjoy raiding, a few battlegrounds, a little arena. I don't want to spend all my time at the ah.

My approach was to drive the market price down. Glyphs cost me just over 1-2g to make (which I think is pretty low) so over the weekend I set the max price to 6g (or if already less undercut by 50s).

After just 2 weeks a fair few competitors left the glyph market altogether. The ah camper has gone very quiet (hopefully left) and prices are now between 3g and 20g.

Personally, I believe if you find your market you'll need to be prepared for competition. The only way to win is to be the lowest cost producer. This way when competition hots up you can drive the market down.

P.s. yesterday I received my first in game "idiot mail". I'm flattered and quite proud that I must be doing something right.

Looking forward to Gevlon's post!


Orcstar said...

You should have continued longer and made the difference between 1 and 2 ink glyphs better.

Looking at the starting point, you making 20k gold/week, not owning the market, there are others also making that amount of gold.

I for instance would be hard pressed to leave if someone would try to drive me out of a market which makes me 20k gold/week.

Your success in the short term entirely depends on the starting situation.

And if more big competitors clash you could be looking at low prices for a long time.
The success of heavy undercutting depends on the ability to drive all other competition out of the market.

Carra said...

I just pushed my glyphs on the AH for a set price. That price was usually quite a bit lower then the ocmpetition.

You could just create those who sell well. They create most of your profits anyway and you can save some time. Or post only in the weekend when the sales are highest. If your time is limited you should try to make the best of it.

Alcaras said...

First, is the "screen refresh macro" just /console reloadui or is it something else?

Second, which weeks are these? I imagine if the mmo-champion guide came out during this experiment, it might significantly influence your findings.

Still, always good to see data. Nice work!

Elaine Marley said...

I followed a similar approach in my server after I noticed a new (and powerful) goblin was in town. So far I more or less was producing the majority of the glyphs, but now there's more people on the competition because of the mmo thing.

I'm trying to drive the prices down in a similar way as the guy from the post and getting similar results: I need to spend more time to assure that all glyphs get covered because they sell faster, I'm earning very few gold and I'm not driving my competitiors away.

As opposed to this person's experience, I do have noticed a less amount of undercutting, I even see some of my competitors keep posting high waiting for me to sell my glyphs fast and then again be the cheaper option but still selling high.

I also get people buying my glyph to relist (but not too much, just saw that once or twice) and that's an extra amount of time I have to spend relisting so they aren't the cheaper option and sell my glyphs at their higher price.

I've been following this blog with huge interest and since this mmo champion thing is affecting all servers in one way or another, I'm really looking forward to a new Gevlon's post about how to handle competition and undercutting for this new market situation.

I agree it's harder than before to drive people away from the market. I cannot expect that this person, that posts almost as many glyphs as I do, will decide to simply give up. He's probably sitting in an inventory as large as mine, even if he decides to stop making glyphs, he will want to sell his stock, thus dropping the prices even more.

Nice post, I will be around lurking the comments (I don't usually do that, but it gets more interesting every post)

Tara said...

I had to laugh at the "as low as 4g". On my server you got plenty of glyphs that sell for a few silver. When I set my threshold to 2g nearly half of my glyphs won´t be listed, because there are already ones up below the threshold.
Tbh, I nearly make more gold by selling icy pigment and snowfall inks. I was lucky since some farmer sold me several hundred stacks of adders tongue for 10g the stack (ah price 15g normally), so I still make a profit, but I would not list glyphs below 2g, thats just time spent for nothing.

Unknown said...

"Possessions/Who has isn’t always perfect, it seems to sometimes get errors recording what you have, so sometimes you think you have stock which you are selling but in fact you don’t."

Personally I'm using Bank Items addon to track all my stuff. In the past I've been using Who Has, Armory and ArkInventory extended tooltips but each off them has their own issues. Bank Items works flawless so far and it's the only addon (I'm aware of) which also shows items listed in AH.

Gnome of Zurich said...

It seems from reading this and gevlon's strategy posts, that the problem with what this poster did in the low weeks was to try to sell a lot of glyphs.

Listing less often still causes the price to go down if you are deep undercutting into heavy competition or posting at a low threshold. You are more likely to drive your competition away by selling low if *they* are selling the most glyphs. For the exact reason posted here. Selling more glyphs means more milling and glyph making, which are more time consuming than QA posting.

So by posting less often, you let the people undercutting you sell a of glyphs at low profit. Now you make less gold, but also spend fewer hours. gold/hr is probably no worse than in your low price experiments but maybe better. But your opponent's gold per hour goes down. Way down, so they are more likely to say WTF and stop selling.

Anonymous said...

I have one question. The guy mentions a "screen refresh macro" in a context that makes it sound like there is some way to speed up the mailbox refresh after you take out the 50 item limit. Did I misinterpret his meaning, or is there some macro out there that will save me from sitting and waiting that minute between mailbox refreshes?

Idletime said...

It's true though, the market is heavily flooded on most servers, and this being WoW, people use the QA mod and don't bother looking at their profitability, only if they are pulling 100g or whatever they deem high gold daily. I gold capped a long time ago and just screw around anymore, depending on how I feel that day.

There's something people have to understand when posting 2-3 times a day. The glyph prices have a limited shelf life of 1-1.5 hours before 100% of your glyphs are undercut. If you are a QA newbie, quit posting at 10s or 50s below your competition. When prices are already this low, undercut by coppers.

A friend of mine tried to run people out posting like a goblin, and he found that the majority of his competitors did not leave after 2 weeks, they stayed at it. He was breaking even on his prices. QA makes glyph selling painless so people just push buttons, they don't read the logs or even check pricing so you can easily run at a loss because some of these tards out there today are going to 50s on glyphs that cost 2g to make.

I don't camp, but I definitely post 3-4 times a day (I have the time) and sell about 2k worth a day now on a medium pop server and I only post one of each. Just have a healthy supply and don't run out. I find that most wannabe sellers aren't well stocked so there's money to be made competing where they are too lazy to tread.

Anonymous said...

Really great study, thanks for sharing that.

Anonymous said...

I can't quite figure out who is buying all these glyphs. I haven't installed a new glyph in months. This is an inelastic market as far as I can tell (people can only use so many no matter how low the price). Are people experimenting with different glyphs? Dual Specing more? Leveling alts? Why do glyphs continue to sell?

Will there be a leveling out of demand? Are we seeing that now? As demand levels, it's natural for prices to stabilize or even fall. This was predicted early on, but scribes got a boost with the books and new glyphs.

I am seeing new competitors coming in at 1-2g per glyph on all glyphs Tanaris US). I wonder if the MMO article has put the nail in the coffin on the glyph market or whether the new sellers are trying something new. Like others, I agree it's a waste of time to sell glyphs for a 1g profit. I can only imagine the work they are putting in just to watch their bank accounts stay the same.

But in the end I have to ask "are there new buyers entering the market on a regular basis?"

EveLeaf said...

Screen Refresh Macro:

I've just bound a key to [/reloadui], but if there is a better way to do it, I'd love to know!

Orange said...


Really? 5 Weeks of deep undercutting isn't enough? Every week he keeps it up, he is losing in opportunity cost that he could have made while just 1s undercutting.

Like he said, there is NO GUARANTEE that other glyph sellers will leave the market even if the prices go low, especially on a crowded/high pop server. Especially, when people just use QA2 to auto-post and care less about the pricing.

Anonymous said...

Are we all shocked to find out that glyph demand is inelastic!? But sarcasm aside, the price research is very interesting

If other suppliers will always match falling prices, you should only undercut as little as possible that ensures you still get the sale until you are undercut again.

So yeah, it comes down to what share of the market you can maintain vs the price elasticity (which happens to be very high).

Also, set up two groups in QA2 for glyphs - single ink and double ink.

Anti said...

consider your competiton selling glyphs that cost 2g to manufacture at 50s an opportunity to cut your manufacturing time.

i do enjoy reading all about you guys using QA and not posting glyphs onto the market when the price is too low.

i use Auctioneer. when the glyph price falls below my threshold (usually 8g now down to 6g) i post at my max price (32g).

remember Morons buy as well as sell.

here is a link to a morons post from a few months ago...

Iiene of Kul Tiras said...

Excellent! A decently done study!

It shows what most people already know, that undercutting several times a day produces the highest profit.

It also shows the stupidity of the 'single price' strategy.

So... Are you going to stop putting the single pricers on pedestals every weekend now?

I'm surprised you even posted this.

And yes, as he concluded, QA2 is the superior tool.

For the few that didn't know about /reloadui : Yes, make a macro! Also, turn off ALL other addons on your vendor toon. Load only what you MUST have (QA2, BulkMailInBox, etc.) That will speed your mail reload even more. Mine reloads in about 3 to 4 seconds.

He also spend an inordinate amount of time recrafting glyphs. Don't make 2 of a glyph type... stock more and wait until you're 8 or so down. Far fewer glyph types to make means faster setup and easier glyph handling.

Gid said...

Very interesting. I have been running a glyph business since the summer and a lot of the comments here support what I discovered - the most important thing is to be able to adapt to your server's market. There is no one "foolproof" strategy.

On top of this the mmo-champion articles really sorted the men from the boys. Although my profits crashed for a while I stuck at it (small undercutting with regular restocks) and now I'm starting to see a healthy rebound. A lot of the casual competitors are gone and the new ones (lacking research and glyph book purchases) are only able to cover a small portion of the market. I have no doubt they'll be gone soon as well.

The main thing that really, really helped me is knowing how to script Lua. This meant that once I found the best strategy I was able to customise Quick Auction to streamline my work. In particular this allows me to auto-populate the craft queue with all glyphs I can make above a certain price and then subtract the ones on each bank alt with the click of a button.

Anonymous said...

Mild undercut Average: 2,138 gold per hour.

Low Pricing: 1,114.25 gold per hour.

Winning at market PvP by driving off competition through low pricing is losing. With assumed lost competition, the margins in week 7 and week 8 are not back to the margins from week one. Eventually one assumes the market will reacquire equilibrium- but not before new competitors have rentered the market.

Low pricing strategies - on my server as well as the guest post's server, frequently backfire on the sellers.

Given a decent (20%+) margin, a slight undercut provides better returns even with "unsold product" than a 40% low price strategy.

Graylo said...

I uses a your undercut strategy. I set my thresholds and list every glyph I can using QA2 that is above that threshold.

Recently one of the main Glyph producers on my server started to list almost every glyph for 1.5g or less. Since my single ink threshold is 2.5g and my 2 ink threshold is 4.0g I was not listing many glyphs at all.

I have no clue as to what his intentions are, but I can easily tell you that his pricing strategy had little impact on me.

My revenue is down because I'm not selling as many, but I'm also not spending as much time milling, crafting, or checking the mailbox. My revenue is down but my revenue per hour is not down as much.

Second, he's hitting most of the glyphs but not all of them. In fact he is missing some of my most profitable glyphs that I am still selling for 20-40g.

Third, because he is selling glyphs cheaper then I can produce them, I'm building up my stock off of his auctions. Maybe I'm wrong, but I don't see a way that he can keep this up over the long haul and I am now getting cheap inventory without having to get rid of the Snowfall inks.

Finally, because I use QA2, I am able to list all of my glyphs very quickly without much of a personal time commitment. I do this 2 or 3 times a day. When he ships up in his schedule I'm there to pick up the pieces quickly. If he is trying to push me out of the market it's not going to work. All the time it took to build up my business is a sunk cost. It costs me very little to maintain the system, and once he gives up I reap all of the rewards of his actions without the costs.

Back when Darkmoon cards sold like hot cakes a low price strategy might have worked perfectly, because you could get rid of the Snowfall Inks at a fairly high profit, but that market is very cool if not dead on my server. Therefore, the limiting factor on my glyph sales is how many of the snowfall inks I can get rid of each week. I may be wrong, but I don't see how he can sell glyphs for 1.5g each and still get rid of all the Snowfall Inks that would result from that level of sales.

Revanché said...

The market might be more Elastic then you think, i know of at least 2 players where i see them respec and re glyph a few times a week.

Or people that respec but haven't invested in dual spec (lord knows why they wouldn't)

As i produce my own glyphs and there for have them to burn i have been known to reglyph for certain fights... Faction Champions, Ulduar Trash, Kologarn Etc to maximize my AOE or Single Target dps.

The latest over on EJ's for Unholy DK's is actually starting to recommend for certain types of fights either having two dps dual specs or swapping glyphs.

Anonymous said...

The problem that nobody is talkig about is the fact that this new addon QA is having a disturbing effect on stability of the markets. The glyph market is only one example of a market that is out of whack. QA bases the market on the sellers greed not market averages.

Don't get me wrong, I like the functionality of the program as far as Grouping and Summary is very powerful. I also make all of my glyphs using its skillet. All of these features are excellent and yes the speed it post is another positive.

The negative impact this helper program has had on the market is another story and far outweighs any positives. The fact is that this program has introduced an unskilled drone element to the market based on the sellers greed and of course the buyers stupidity. I can't really blame a program for the person behind the keyboard, but it's impact on the market has been devastating to it's stability. Based on my auctioneer data the average price for a glyph is 10-12 gold and while I have always been a proponent of profit I have to ask myself how in a market with infinite supply and finite demand does the greed of these sellers demand that they mark up the product by 700 - 1000 percent and think deserve these sales so they cancel and relist every half hour 10-12 hours a day.

This practice needs to be banned by Blizzard and the add on disabled. Stop the insanity.

Fawr said...

"the competitors have little regard for if you undercut by 1s or 1g. I personally would never notice that you were doing that, QA2 would be set up to keep undercutting you all the way down to 4g"

I agree that if someone else deep undercuts that it won't effect me when I'm listing glyphs.

However it definatly has an effect when I next craft glyphs, and so for fast selling glyphs deep cutting will make me drop out of the market.

Anonymous said...

I love the experiment - I tried something similar on my server without much documentation and noticed similar results.

I used a variant method with some success. The key point of the method was to vary glyph pricing based on the amount of competition I was experiencing. (I'm assuming that demand is pretty constant.)

My problem was constant undercutting by several rival glyph sellers.

So, I (still using Auctioneer...shame on me) enabled the beancounting utility and set it to halve the undercut price if more than 70% of my glyphs did not sell.
(not an ideal system...would prefer a global modification)

Within 2 weeks, my glyph volume had risen from 25/day at an average price of 12 g to 100/day at an average price of 8 g.

After 2 weeks, the AH campers had left - leaving 2 goblin competitors.

This procedure seems optimal for camper removal - since their gold/hr will decrease more rapidly than someone using this procedure.

Anonymous said...

I hate to undercut multiple times daily, it is mind numbing relogging onto 3 different alts, watching auctions cancel, collecting hundreds of mail, going back and reposting over and over.

But I seem to be doing OK on gold making right now. I just finished my first week of inscription and it's hard to say what kind of profit I made. I initially invested lots of snowfall inks into darkmoon cards. I did wind up with a Nobles deck this week, a 2nd near completed, an undeath deck and one other deck along with a few thousand gold profit.

I have some vicious competitors. The way I set my QA was thresholds at absolute minimum, I'll ride with a deep undercutter down to hell and hang with them for weeks. I wonder about the mentality of my competitors and I think they're the same as me. We undercut by 1c slowly dropping prices (1000 reposts to drop a glyph 1g) and we'll go all the way down to the point of breaking even. In fact we lose gold because of all the hours posting/reposting/crafting/milling, we should probably be doing dailies instead.

BUT WE'RE ALL IN THIS TOO DEEP TO JUST QUIT BECAUSE OF A DEEP UNDERCUTTER. Thousands of gold invested into this profession, 2-3 months of daily research, an undercutter won't steal the market from us.

I was debating dropping my threshold down to rock bottom and starting a deep undercut of 30-60s to reach it quickly and scare away some of my competitors. I doubt it will work though. They'll look at my threshold and adjust if they have a brain. They'll immediately pick up on what I'm doing.

I'm still a newb in this market, only 1 week in but with my secondary markets I'm sitting on 10k capital with double that in inventory. I fully expect to see a price war soon. I have adjusted prices to know when we're posting at rock bottom and I'll hang there for weeks if not months. When you reset your fallback I'll be there too. I imagine any serious glyph seller (someone who spends more then 4 hours a week on the profession consistently) will do the same.