Saturday, September 12, 2009

Expanding Your Empire

So I had originally thought my goal to hit 60k by yesterday and 70k by Monday wouldn't happen. Well, I was wrong. After about 3 hours into the peak hour yesterday I had made roughly 12k. Which was enough to push me over the 60k liquid mark. It's looking like theres a very good chance for me to hit the 70k mark Monday as well.

There are a few different strategies when it comes to playing the AH. Some people like to focus on 1 area and try to create a monopoly. For a long time in burning crusade I was one of those people who did that. I would try to lock down markets by inflating mat prices so high it just wasn't worth buying them. An example was when I was an alchemist, I would buy out all the dreaming glory from the AH and most of the felweed. Anything under 50g a stack for dreaming glory I would purchase and I was selling mana potions for 25g per 5. As a potion spec alchemist I was making what I thought was a lot of money. In a week I had made about 2k gold. There are both pros and cons to this strategy. The pros being it can be alot easier to maintain. Given you stayed on top of it there was little to no work to be done but you generally spend alot of time camping the AH making sure mats dont get flooded in or whatever product your selling gets undercut.

The cons to this as I soon found out is your putting all your eggs into one basket and eventually your going to hit a pothole in the road and bust. Things were going good til I couldn't log in for 1 day and that's all it took to bring down my little mini empire. Within the evening I couldn't log in the price on mana pots crashed to 5-7g per 5 and there were hundreds of them. Mat prices also got flooded to no end and I couldn't buy everything out. I just didn't have enough money to invest and I walked away from the market.

What I didn't realize then was I had learned something that would make me as successful as I am today. I learned in order to truly successful in the long run in the AH you cant focus in just one area of a market. If your going to play the AH your going to have to jump with both feet in and basically go with the flow. Which brings me to the next strategy of playing the AH.

You start with one area and slowly expand into other markets. This is crucial that you get situated in other profitable markets for a few reasons. One of the reasons is that when prices crash in one market your simply not affected. You can focus in another market and still make money. I'll compare it to my strategy now for playing the AH.

Right now I'm currently a large presence in enchanting mats, gems, glyphs, LW leg armors and cards. Shortages in mat markets don't nearly affect me as much as others because if I cant get saronite ore cheaply I can just buy borean leather and make arctic boots to disenchant to get my enchanting mats. Because I'm in so many markets I have to have a decent backstock for each market which means I'm always buying raw mats when they are cheap.

Another perk to being in more then one market is you can manipulate things a lot easier without it affecting you as much. I regularly crash the gem market on my server about once a week. The reason for this is it helps me control my backstock. I usually keep 300 uncut gems of a color. When I get more then 300 of a color i'll burn them up and cut a bunch down to ~275 uncut and flood the market at 8-10g a gem. This only works if your competition is active about resetting markets such as mine. I can throw up 10 gems for 10g each and my competition will buy them and reset the prices and I just made double the money that I would have if I just vendored them. (plus you get the annoyed competition whispers for bonus points)

There are a few downsides to this strategy like anything else. The fact that your in so many markets its hard to focus on just one market and it's extremely time consuming to have a monopoly in all of them. You're dealing with so many competitors that it becomes a game within a game almost. I haven't raided in weeks due to my connection but that doesn't bother me because I always have saronite to prospect, AH prices to check, carpet bombing glyphs and enchanting mats, herbs to mill. There really is no end to it.

Another downside is it takes alot of money to get into multiple markets. I took the risk of powerleveling inscription when I only had 5-6k liquid and it's saved my butt a few times as there is no competition in my glyph market really. I now pull 1-2k+ a day in glyphs and about 1k in gem sales alone. Add in enchanting mats and leg armors and I regularly see 4-5k sales days and 10k+ sales days are becoming more and more regular.

So to wrap this up just think about what you want out of your AH game. Do you want to play the AH full time and not really do anything else? If so I'd suggest getting into multiple markets.

If you just want to make some money on the side with low maintenance then stick to one market.

In the end it all comes down to what your looking for. For me I've done pretty much everything in the game in my 4 1/2 - 5 years of playing. The AH for me is the only entertaining challenge left in the game for me. :)


  1. When you say how much you make per day, are you saying net or gross profit?

  2. Sorry for the delay on the response lol. I didn't realize my email told me when someone comments. I guess I'll have to check my email more often.

    To answer your question I'm usually talking about gross. I don't normally keep track of my costs to closely as I have way to much going on :P