DESCRIPTION OF INSCRIPTION
Inscription is the milling of herbs into pigments which form inks and then combining the inks with parchments, and occasionally other components, crafted into glyphs, scrolls, certificates of ownership, off hands and various cards. You can sell the pigments, inks or the final crafted items on the Auction House (AH).
The real money making part of inscription is selling glyphs. Every character, no matter what class, will always carry their full entitlement of glyphs, and most likely carry a number of other glyphs if not all of them for their class.
GOLD MAKING POTENTIAL
The gold making is impressive but the competition is very intense. Inscription needs perseverance and dedication.
The cash profits and margins are impressive: On my server, it costs c15 gold to craft a glyph and the average selling price on my server is 100 gold. Sell 100 a night gives profits of 8500 gold per night.
It is a large end market: The glyphs crafted are available to all classes hence it is one of those professions which has a large target market. Each character will always purchase a minimum of nine glyphs (3 prime, 3 major and 3 minor), and most likely purchase every glyph for their character – and so you have forced buyers. Broadly, there are over 30 glyphs for each class. And there a 10 classes.
Glyphs are a capital item: Since Cataclysm once a glyph is purchased by a character, it need never be purchased again. Therefore, many people will see that as making a one-off purchase (capital item) rather than repetitive purchases (operating item) such as potions, enchants etc. People are willing to pay much more for a one-off purchase given the value into perpetuity they get from that one purchase. Indeed, glyphs maintain their use to a character through new patches, whereas other items can be made useless as new gear is introduced.
But it’s a mature market: again, since Cataclysm once a glyph is purchased by a character, it need never be purchased again. Hence the market size by volume is the number of characters on the server multiplied by the number of glyphs per class. Given cataclysm has been around since November 2010 the main driver to the market size from here are alts levelling or new players levelling – most current characters will have bought their glyphs by now. Indeed it is likely that the market size on most servers is in decline. Hence, arguably this is a mature market, most likely in decline, and therefore highly competitive.
You can’t do it half cocked: It is one of those professions where it is best to be “all in” – each server will likely have established players and the competition is fierce. For those players that are able to compete glyphs can be the best income generating profession. But for the winners there are many drop outs.
There is no shortage of raw materials: Herbs are available in abundance. Furthermore, the inks are readily available. Hence, shutting out competitors by buying up the raw materials is near impossible.
Auction House costs are negligible: Each item costs virtually nothing to list on the Auction House so cancelled or unsold auctions don't need to worry you. Again, that then lends itself to a lot of cancelling and reposting, and hence intense competition.
for this and other ideas on the glyph market please follow the link to the free Croda's Inscription Gold Guide