Croda's Inscription Gold Guide - paid version, only $5

Some beautiful music to read the blog to . . . . . . (i first heard on PowerWord:Gold podcast)

Thursday, 24 November 2011

How to deal with a competitor taking prices right down

During your time in the Inscription market you will at some stage experience one of your competitors taking the prices of glyphs right down.  They dont undercut by 1 gold, they set their fall back price at 30 gold and undercut by a small amount taking the glyphs all the way down to cost price and below.  Glyphs which normally went for 200 gold will be taken down to 25 gold almost straight away, and continue to drift down.

In another post i will comment on the merits of this strategy but in this post i will talk about how to counter it.

In my experience there are three sorts of competitors that are employing this strategy

1.  a competitor that is leaving the market and therefore is dumping their crafted glyphs.  They may have a time limit to sell (holidays ending) or merely be trying to get out at almost any price.  These competitors keep on going until their time runs out or until they just sell out to a vendor or until they finally finish.  There is not much you can do about this other than let it run its course.

2.  a (normally) newish competitor that is struggling to get the sales that they targetted and therefore has decided to shake up the market and see if they can force anyone out.  The aim may or may not be to reset prices higher once participants have left the market.  But the ultimate aim is to increase their own sales and profits.  The time taken by these competitors varies but normally ends once they realise they strategy is not delivering the higher profits.  These competitors are the main threat here.

3.  a competitor that is undertaking an experiment to see what happens when the market is shaken out (this seems to happen a surprising number of times).  The time taken by these competitors is normally quite short - a couple of weeks is normal - and there is not much you can do about it.  Their aim is not profit motivated, more an intellectual exercise.

So, how to deal with the second type of competitor attempting to take market share to increase sales and profits?

The aim is similar to dealing with a serious new entrant which is to take their profit per glyph down to nil and if they want to a loss per glyph.  This will not require posting and reposting on an almost camping basis.

Hence, my routine here is:

1.  Cancel all glyphs on the AH and empty the mail box for all alts – so starting with no posted glyphs
2.  Keep the number of glyphs to post at 2
3.  Lower my minimum price to cost price plus 10 gold
4.  Post 2 of each glyph as per normal
5.  Keep this rotation up

Eventually the competitor will start posting below your minimum price.  At this point, if your other competitors are taking the prices down further stand back and let them continue.  Otherwise, i lower my minimum price to cost price plus 5 gold and then continue the rotation.

Eventually my minimum price will be the cost price plus the 5% Auction House deposit.  I dont go any lower than this - the competitor that does will be selling their glyphs at a loss (assuming their cost price is the same as mine).

[The way they can have a lower cost price is if they farm the herbs themselves or if they employ their own farmers and pay lower gold per herb.]

I watch this competitor closely and if they stop posting i immediately reset my minimum price back to 40 gold and i find that the market prices for glyphs very quickly reset to the old higher levels.

This can go on for a long time but the end result is always the same - the competitor gives up and normally leaves the market.

for this and other ideas on the glyph market please follow the link to the free Croda's Inscription Gold Guide


  1. Dont let Foo or Brent see your blog, they'll be all over it: your wrong your wrong! Dont hold it against them, they've spent too much time with Critical.

    Nice writings btw.

  2. thank you Critical. i am a great fan of your blog and i enjoy reading the strategies you discuss. I will watch out for all comers!

  3. Nice read, but you have a flaw in it. If you are working on a way to squeeze out a competitor out of business by lowering the profit margins you might come up against someone that has my nerves.

    What i mean with this is, if i see someone trying to squeeze me out of a market by carpet bombing the prices, i don't bail, but rather do the exact opposite, if you bring the prices down to 30g i'd go ahead and drop em to 10g, even if i'm loosing gold. And on top of that i'd empty out the AH from herbs that can be bought out.

    With that i loose gold for a few days, but then again i have 2.5 Milion to back it up against the competition that in the end will leave the market and i can buy them off and bring the prices back up to normal.

  4. All good points Vile.

    If one is up against someone that is willing to put 2.5m gold behind the project then there will be problems for anyone.

    My view here is that i would be happy to watch the competitor take the loss selling glyphs at 10 gold (i would leave my glyphs at break even - which of course would be rising as the cost of herbs rose on the Auction House given limited supply).

    The key here would be that if you found yourself on a server with competition that could withstand losses for days on end then perhaps holding surplus stocks of herbs should be the norm (not ink - you can sell the herbs into the high prices if need be) and of course Herbalism as an emergency backup.

    Here's hoping there are not too many people with 2.5m gold!


Note: only a member of this blog may post a comment.