Monday, 10 January 2011

How dumb people can both hurt your profits and enhance them - response to Capped by Cata

I was jumping from a blog to the other, when a post at Capped by Cata took all my attention. It was I think I play on the dumbest server in WoW, published just minutes ago.

The good side of having dumb people on your server.
Now, some of you may notice some similarity with a post I made some time ago, Magic price for Obsidium Ore. At the time the AH was flooded with [Obsidium Ore] at less than 44g a stack (5-6 pages of the AH where full of stacks below that price). I'm sure this was partially the work of a gold farmer, who filled 4 pages of stacks of [Obsidium Ore] at 44g a stack.... Then people panicked and started dumping their assets fearing the prices would get even lower. The craziness dured an entire day, every time I logged in prices were lower and lower, than it all suddenly finished.

The bad side of having dumb people on your server.
Ok, here it comes the real reason I'm writing this post. I needed to whine about a small group of players that are totally ruining my profits.
The one I see the most on the AH is named Naitmage, and he likes to put 10-15 cut gems at 100g less than their current value. This is true both the the rare gems and for the metagems.
Some times I made a profit buying his auctions and re-listing them for the right prices.
I've seen him selling [Shadowspirit Diamond] and [Ember Shadowspirit Diamonds] at 250g (the exact same price for the cut and uncut gem) when their prices were 330+.
He is a jewelcrafter, and he has 5-6 gems cuts (sadly, I share 3 of those cuts with him) that he continuously sell undercutting deeply the market. ([Brilliant Inferno Ruby] go for 210g? He puts them at 100g. [Steady Dream Emerald] go for 150g? He puts them at 50g. He does the same for Rigid, Inscribed, Veiled, Mystic, Reckless gems).
I sometime go and check his auction (I actually make a "void search" in the AH, order it by the name of the seller and manually search for him... I suppose there is a faster way, if it's so please tell -.-), check if he's online, buy everything that has not been undercut yet and re-list for the correct price.
Most of the time I actually sell everything or most of it, but this little victories are nothing compared to the drop of the prices my server has seen. I understand prices would have gone down sooner or later, but he started taking them down from the first week after Cataclysm hit.
[Shadowspirit Diamond] now go for less than 200g.
Here there is an image to show you how he works:

I cancelled the name of the other sellers (I'm none of them, if you were wondering). Please notice how Elu*** was posting the Steady Dream Emerald for 150g an then undercut himself. This is because he's setting his auction at 48h, while Naitmage puts his at 12h: Naitmage undercut him yesterday, Elu*** posted other Steady Dream Emeralds undercutting Naitmage and himself, then Naitmage's auctions run out and he posted them again undercutting those who were undercutting him.
The problem isn't just this Naitmage, but all the people just dumbly undercutting him.


  1. With Auctioneer, you can search for a specific seller's auctions on the search tab using a general search. Very helpful : ) This uses scan data, so a recent scan is necessary for accurate results.

  2. He's either an idiot or a poorly informed goblin trying to push you out of his markets.

  3. First off, I wouldn't use people's names in your posts, just trying to be polite about it. Just my opinion.

    A few things you wrote stuck out for me:

    Undercutters posting 100g below going value... My guess is that A. This person wants to flip quick, and utilize the gold in another way B. 100g less is still profitable for them (as for you too), the supply for them is too great (so the demand follows) and they are unloading C. They just want to get your goat for flaming them in your blog!

    As for the manual searching, I "friend list" all my competitors, so I can see when they hop on or log off. When they get on, (if time allows) I check to see where they are (major town or elsewhere) and have the AH up to check their auctions added. If they log off, basically the same. You can play this to your advantage by the quick undercut of theirs, or buying out all those that have undercut yours (risky, but if you know when they log off/on, this can be an asset to you. A great asset).

    Your last sentence, "all the dumb people undercutting him", is another aspect of playing the AH. Utilize it to your advantage. Supply and Demand are huge. Own the market, and make others follow your lead. If it gets out of hand, you won't be the only frustrated AH'er, go to another sure fire goldmine, then glance back to see when others quit. Then monopolize. Yeah, just like the game. Own it. You will win! I guarantee it!

    And for the undercutting himself, I do that quite a bit. When I have items (mostly mats in this case) there is no need to delete the auction, and repost, because undercutting is imminent (happens quite a bit in Mysterious Cards). So I repost after an undercutter hit my auction, and if I see it, I might even buy his auctions out accordingly (if he is below cost).

    Please don't take this as a troll to your post, I enjoyed reading it. Just using a bit of my own experience and my two cents. Hope some of my rambling on will help with the matter.

    ALTOs Gold"ish" Advice- The Worst WoW Blog Ever!

  4. Wow. Didn't realize that post was that long....ADHD kicked in.

  5. Like Alto, I don't mean to QQ here. It's just that resetting markets where mats are cheap or easily farmed is dangerous.

    Consider that you only buyout this guy's auctions in order to sell both your stuff & his stuff at a higher price.

    That works fine if he only posts 2 gems of each cut per day. If he post 4 of each cut twice a day, or if other folks are undercutting him, then you have a pretty big wall to break down if you want to reset the market. That becomes a problem when the undercutters post faster than the market can sell/move.

    Now, if Elementium Ore on your server is going for less than 100g / stack, this guy can post his cuts at a deep undercut all day long, knowing that they will sell fast because you're absorbing all his inventory.

    It's frustrating as heck that Cata cut rares have settled down to Wrath cut epics prices, but it is what it is. You can still make a profit in this market without having to reset it and risk losing money. Undercut that joker by 1 copper, get your sales, maintain your profits, and focus your efforts on a market that isn't in free-fall.

  6. The deep undercutting philosophy is a real pain in the butt. My only defense is to remain as diversified as possible. I think the gem market is particularly subject to this strategy (and thus market pressure) because these gems are for the players at the top of the delta--whereas trade goods like leather and cloth are more stable, even if profits are lower.

    I might suggest looking to get cuts that he doesn't have, maybe PvP cuts, where there should be less competition. Unfortunately when the field is fallow one must plant elsewhere.

  7. Wow, so much things I have to answer!
    I'm not at my pc right now, but I'll try to do my best.
    First of all, thanks josh for the info! I never had this problem before, so I hadn't really saw that option.

    @altolycus: I obviously have him in my friend list.
    I took some time thinking about posting his name or not and I can understand you didn't like me doing so. However, this also gives him the ability to defend himself if he finds this blog (googling his name or jumping from a gold blog to the other). Most people in my server don't know english, so I'm quite positive I'm not hurting his reputation.

    @Stede: I actually reseted the markets for the gems he was selling 4-5 times with success. He tends to put 10-20 gems at very low prices, but he check the AH just once or twice a day. I can usually sell them at 3x his price, so I need to sell just 5 gems out of 15 to have my money back.
    Sadly, if 2-3 people have already undercut him, or if he's online, I can't do that... I'm going just for the easy kills.

    @Kammler: you're perfectly right. I'm making a list of the cuts he has and I allways double-check before learning new designs.
    This isn't enough right now, but I hope enchanting will become profitable again now that guilds start raiding... And I'm sure this guy isn't an enchanter (I still have to check his armory... I'll do it tomorrow (he is posting from his main)), otherwise mats prices would really be low by now.

    Oh, about undercutting oneself (I think Altolycus was the one bringing this up)... I do it myself sometimes, but I don't do it that way. If I'm deep undercut by someone and I see their auctions will remain less than mine (like in this case) I don't undercut with a 48h auction that will keep the price low even when the offending ones expire!

  8. On Cata launch day, there was this guy on my server. I have no idea how he did it since not only was he letting it go for cheap, but his stock seemed ridiculously plentiful . . . but he was selling all Cataclysm Ore and Herbs for vendor price, I shit you not. He made a post on our forums about it called "Breaking Your Economy Day 1." I didn't mind, I bought his ore out and got server first Engineering, but I was thinking to myself "1) HOW?! 2) WHY?! 3) lol what a dick." xD

  9. Swear it!
    I would love having someone like that on my server!
    I think it's great when they do this with mats, since then they're putting out of the equation the boring part of the game: gathering... they create problem when they go for crafted goods!