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

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

Wednesday, 30 November 2011

Hello there stranger! - what is it and what is its purpose?

An Advanced Strategy that i have seen in my inscription market.

This is where out of nowhere a new market participant that you have never seen and their alts start posting the full range of items whilst at the same time a former established market participant seemingly disappears off the face of the earth.

In fact, it is more likely that the former market participant has deleted their old posting alts and created new posting alts with new names with the intent to confuse the market.

One sign of this happening is when your Friends List no longer recognises some of your competitors just at the time when a new competitor emerges.

The primary aim of this strategy is to disguise the owner of the posting alts and therefore attempt to convince other market participants that there is a new entrant into the market whereas in fact it is an established participant – i.e. there has been no increase in participants in the market.

By using this disguise the player hopes that the other market participants will not know their typical posting times and standard strategies in use.  Furthermore, the player hopes that their history in the market will be cleared – such as their stamina for competition etc and indeed the player hopes that it will take a while for the market participants to update their friends list and so give them a free run at being able to post without being noticed.

For example, if previously this player posted every day except Saturday and Wednesday then the player hopes that it will take a while before the market establishes that their new posting alts are also following this pattern.  Indeed, the player hopes that all data on their prior posting alts gathered by the Undermine Journal will be lost to history.

And therefore the player hopes to temporarily strengthen their position in the market whilst the other market participants get their act together.

In addition, a player that tries this strategy once is quite likely to try again at a later time - this strategy is quite effective for a short term gain.

. . . . . and tomorrow i will post the strategy to combat this strategy.

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

Tuesday, 29 November 2011

Advanced strategies

I am starting series on this blog that looks at the advanced strategies i have come across in my time in the Inscription market.  The format of the posts will be to look at the strategy itself, what its aim is and how to spot it.  And then a follow up post the next day will look at how to combat the strategy - and i will hope to show that by correctly identifying a competitor's strategy then the counter strategy is quite simple to explain, and perhaps quite obvious too!

The aim is to post an advanced strategy, and how to combat it the next day, every 10 days or so.

I will cover the strategies we all have heard of such as the Glyph Wall and the Auction House Camper but I will start with some lesser known strategies that are perhaps less fully covered.  And the first post is tomorrow.

However, it is worth taking a top down view to start and laying some basic ground work that is the foundation of the analysis of a competitor's strategy and how to combat it.

The starting point

When a competitor puts a new (often aggressive) strategy into play at all times the starting point is to stand back and consider what the aim of this competitor is.

Assuming the view is that the competitor is trying to strengthen their position in the market then the end aim is almost always for that competitor to increase their profits on an ongoing basis.  They key question you must answer is whether the competitor is trying to strengthen their position whilst maintaining the current market environment or whether the competitor is trying to permanently alter the current structure of the market for their benefit - i.e. by reset prices lower permenantly.

The former aim would suggest that the competitor is trying to displace an existing market participant through their aggressive actions but that the aggressive actions will eventually end once the competitor feels their aim is fulfilled or they give up.

The latter aim would suggest that the aggressive actions may become the norm or at least will not entirely cease once the competitor feels that their aim is achieved – though if the competitor gives up then the former market structure will return.

If the competitor is undertaking an action for a short term gain then it is likely that they are trying their luck with an opportunistic strategy that is designed to hoodwink market participants into making losses for the benefit of the competitor that deployed the strategy– normally over a short term.

In any event, it is very hard to devise a counter strategy without the answer to that question.  Furthermore, once the competitor's strategy is identified the counter strategy is often a lot more simpler to enact.

(Alternative views may be that the competitor is leaving the market hence dumping stock or merely going through an intellectual experiment.  These are often low probabilities and the best strategy is to let them run their course.)

Furthermore, market participants must be aware that when a competitor deploys a strategy then all participants will receive lower profits from the glyph market during this time.  There are no free rides here and very rarely is there a silver bullet.

for further ideas on the glyph market read my free guide at Croda's Inscription Gold Guide

Monday, 28 November 2011

What to do before Patches and New Expansions

I follow fairly simple process here:

1. Make sure I am aware when Patches or Expansions are going to arrive

2. Read around the other gold blogs to determine what changes are going to be made in Inscription. I would recommend this blog, most blogs you see on my blog roll and in particular AFKCrafting

3. If the are only going to be a small number of changes then I don't do anything. The gold making opportunities are unlikely to eat into my supply of raw materials.

4. If there are likely to be major changes then I hold an extra week's supply (so from 2 weeks to 3 weeks).   The third week is held in herb form, not milled into pigments or inks at this stage - no point in closing options off.   You never know, the alchemists may come over the hill buying up the herbs are huge prices.

5. If the demand is such that I go through my entire supply of raw materials to craft glyphs as happened in cataclysm then I find the prices all rise more than enough to make a supernormal profit from the now inflated prices of herbs.

6. And as an emergency backup I have herbalism.

for this and other ideas follow this link to Croda's Inscription Gold Guide

Sunday, 27 November 2011

Getting the drop on your competitors

You can bet your bottom dollar that your competitors will have you on their friends list.  and they will have all your trading alts.  and you will have them and all theirs.

This is where it is very useful to have a non-trading alt.  It may be an alt that crafts and sends items to your posting alts or a character that is for raiding.  Eitherway, once you have posted your items you can log onto this character and make a number of observations, such as:

  • which of your competitors come on after your posting rotations - these are the competitors watching you
  • which of your competitors post without you noticing - these are the competitors posting from the mobile auction house
  • which of your competitors come on after your other competitors have done their rotations - there are the competitors watching your other competitors!
either way, it is all information that gives you an edge over your competitors.

Saturday, 26 November 2011

Launching Croda's Inscription Guide

Today i am launching Croda's Inscription Guide.

It is free though i retain the copyright.

It can be found on the Inscrition Guide page.

The guide is primarily aimed at Scribes who are at least starting their daily Research. It is not a levelling guide, it is a guide that reflects my strategies, processes, experiences and observations in taking me to over 1 million gold via Inscription.

Indeed, it is an aggregation of the blog posts on this blog and very little, if anything, is in addition to those posts (- actually the blog posts are a disaggregation of this guide).

It will be updated as and when updates occur.

Happy reading and i hope you all find it useful.


Friday, 25 November 2011

Old inks - a slow and steady income stream.

On my server pre-Cataclysm inks are seemingly no longer in production, and certainly the pre-Cataclysm uncommon inks are no longer in production.  Levelling scribes appear to mill their own common inks in part but then resort to the Auction House for the uncommon Inks.

And thats where I come in.  I have surplus snowfall, dawnstar and darkflame inks.  I have plenty of the other uncommon inks but perhaps not enough to call surplus given my steady income stream in inscription offhands.

I sell my snowfall inks in batches of 2 for 49 gold per ink (98 gold a batch), the darkflame in batches of 5 for 25 gold a batch and the dawnstar also in batches of 5 for 35 gold a batch (I have loads of those two inks from pre-Cataclysm days).

The sales of my snowfall ink tends to go at 5 batches at a time (10 inks) which suggests they are being bought to make the offhands which need 5 inks and hence perhaps i should post more or in batches of 5, and likewise the other inks sell in 5 batches at a time (25 inks) though that suggests a normal scribe is just stocking up for offhands which use 5 and 6 inks respectively.

In a week I will make sales of 250 gold to 750 gold.  Every little helps.

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

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

Wednesday, 23 November 2011

How I deal with a serious new entrant:

There comes a time when a new competitor comes on in force.  They have all the glyphs and they intend to stay.  This becomes apparent as they stay on to cancel and repost as you do.

At this point i have two choices – i can let them win this battle and allow my other competitors to come and compete against this new entrant.  Or i can fight back hard and mean to win.  There is no halfway house here.  Fighting back hard and losing will only give them confidence.

On the fighting back, it is not by posting cheaply, it is by cancelling and reposting until the other player gives up.

Hence, at this point the standard routine of cancelling undercut items, posting 2 and emptying the mail box is too slow.  We need faster action.

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.       Set the number of glyphs to post to 1

3.       Post 1 of each glyph in my normal price range for all alts

4.       Assuming the competitor is posting just as fast as you then . . . . .

5.       . . . . go back to the first alt and cancel the undercut ones and repost again

6.       Don’t empty the mail box, stay in the AH – we are looking for speed of posting here

7.       Rotate through the alts again

8.       You can do this 8 times (assuming you stock at least 8 of each glyph)

9.       After the eighth posting, cancel the undercut ones and then empty out the mail box, and start again!

10.   Occasionally rotate the order you go through the alts to put the competitor out of step

Remember, you are fighting for the market you know – the new entrant only suspects the gold that can be made.  If you compete hard enough and the new entrant makes low gold (less than in other professions) they will soon give up.  The market will not get bigger with more competitors.

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

Tuesday, 22 November 2011

How I compete

I seek to “own the market” a couple of hours a day in the market and make sure my glyphs are the lowest priced on offer (by 50 silver).
Firstly, knowing who your competitors are is key and easy to achieve.  You need to determine when the post and how much competition they represent.  You also need to determine when a new entrant is trying to break into the market.

1.       At the very start, look to see who is posting a page of glyphs and add them to your friends list
2.       As you cancel glyphs use the “show auctions” to see who is constantly under cutting you and add them to your friends list.
3.       Very quickly it will become apparent which of your competitors are the same player (they log off and on after each other)
4.       A few cycles of this and you should have all your competitors on your friends list and be therefore be able to detect when they log on.
5.       After a while names on your friends list will never appear to be posting glyphs (left the market)
6.       And new undercutters will crop up to be added to your friends list

I find there are five types of competitors:

1.       There is the normal competitor who operates like me.  Inscription is their main gold making profession and i will regularly meet them on the AH and compete.  They form part of the market and a not normally a threat as long as no-one attempts to “up their game”.  Everyone has found their place.
2.       There is the occasional competitor who has all the glyphs but only comes around say once a week or so.  Likely that they are moving out of the glyph market given the competition or focussing on another market.  They are not a threat.
3.       There is the competitor who uses the glyph market as a secondary profession, posting once a day or so and picks up the gold on and off and is happy with their lot.  Most likely sticks to the profitable glyphs, will not post the full range.  They are not a threat.
4.       There is the new entrant that is aiming to enter the market but is discovering the competition is too intense.  They don’t post often and are normally gone within a couple of weeks.  They start as a threat but cease to be one.
5.       And finally there is the serious new entrant who is making a real shot at entering the market.  They are a threat and the established players will fight to keep their place.  In my experience, once a stable glyph market is in operation, a new entrant will either displace an existing player or will fail to enter the market.  The number of operators in the glyph market itself tends not to vary.

Taking time off: inscription can be a quite monotonous at times and can suck your time away from other World of Warcraft activities, or indeed real life.  Hence, every so often i take a few days or a week away from the market.  Allows the market to be reset and me to recharge.

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

Monday, 21 November 2011

A Guild Bank

. . . . . . . is what every crafter will need if they are to enter their crafting market in a serious fashion.

One of the critical resources when entering a market with the aim to make serious gold is storage space for the raw materials.  A typical stock pile will be at least two weeks of raw materials.  That will allow the crafter to meet spikes in demand or cover when the raw materials run low on the Auction House.  The normal bank storage will prove not to be enough.  Therefore, the crafter will need to own a guild with only themselves in it for the sole purpose of storing raw materials in the guild tabs.

Each tab has 98 item slots and tabs are purchased much like bag slots in Banks.  The first tab costs 100 gold, the next 250 gold, then 500 gold and so on.  To buy all 6 tabs you would spend 9350 gold.

Technically, you can get 8 guild tabs but your guild needs to reach at least level 5 and, lets face it, a guild of one person used for crafting is not going to advance.

Setting up a Guild Bank.

The good news is that setting up a guild bank is very easy, quick and has a low cost (easily under 100 gold).

·         Talk to the Guild Master NPC in a major city to purchase the Charter for 10 silver (see below for the names and locations – but asking a City Guard will give you the location).

·         You need three other players to agree to be members of your guild to get it up and running.  So, go to the starter area and ask players to sign the Charter in exchange for 10 gold.  All starter players, and even new alts, will be willing to do this.  Don’t be deceiving, explain that you only need their signatures and that they will be kicked from the guild when it is started.  So whisper the question first, if the answer is yes then present the charter to be signed.

·         Once you have the three signatures get back to the Guild Master NPC to register the guild and start it up

·         Kick the signatory players and there you have your Guild.

Be aware that the players that signed your Charter can delete their character or sign another Charter and so remove their signatures from your Charter.  So don’t hang around once you have your four signatures.  Also, be aware that it is one signature per player – so a player’s alt cannot sign the charter.

The whole process should take less than half an hour.

The Downsides to having a Guild Bank.

·         That character can not belong to another guild – so say goodbye to raiding for that character.

·         It is hard to pass a guild bank to another alt – you will need a trusted friend online to allow you to pass the guild bank to them and then log on the alt to receive the guild bank.

Names and locations of the Guild Masters:

·         Guild master Lysheana at the Craftsmen's Terrace in Darnassus

·         Guild master Jondor Steelbrow at The Commons in Ironforge

·         Guild master Aldwin Laughin at the Trade District in Stormwind

·         Guild master Funaam at Trader's Tier in the Exodar

·         Guild master Andrew Matthews at Dalaran Visitor Center in Dalaran

·         Guild master Urtrun Clanbringer at the Valley of Strength in Orgrimmar

·         Guild master Krumn in Lower Rise in Thunder Bluff

·         Guild master Christopher Drakul at The Trade Quarter in Undercity

·         Guild master Tandrine at the Walk of the Elders in Silvermoon

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

Sunday, 20 November 2011

My routine – for off hands

I post for 48 hours and leave them.  They are not fast sellers but bring in the gold.

I have a minimum, and indeed set, price for each off hand at a very high profit.  I never go below that price and i rarely go much above it.  I don’t want to give the impression that a price is rising due to demand but at the same time i don’t want to take these prices down.  So if a new entrant comes in and undercuts i let them have it – the sales are slow that most get discouraged.  Alternatively, if a new entrant comes in at a much higher price, i will still post at my normal price.

They are nice gold earners and perhaps i sell one a day, varying from a 200 gold off-hand right up to the 1500 gold cataclysm relic.  The gold to be made in inscription is from the glyphs.  No point in wasting time with the low volume off-hands.

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

Other items which i tend not to deal in

Forged Documents - Currently these are limited in their profitability by a one day cooldown.  They still provide a little bit of profit in their current state but not really enough for us serious gold makers.

Mysterious Fortune Cards - The cards sell great (along with Fortune Cookies) as long as you are barking them in order to keep interest up.  They are basically a form of Blizzard sanctioned in game gambling as when you turn over the card they can be sold to a vendor for anywhere from 10 silver to 5,000 gold.  There is a good segment of the Powerword:Gold podcast talking about this matter.

Dust of Disappearance - These can usually be made for under the cost to buy them from a vendor.  At one blackfallow ink they are cheap to make and you can often sell quite a few in a day.  Just be sure to list them on the AH for a price lower than the buy price from a vendor in order to sell a good number of them.  But again, this is a low income source.

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

Saturday, 19 November 2011

The importance of minimum pricing levels

Vile of Vile's Golden Auctions has written a good post do-it-right-or-dont-do-it-at-all-tsm.html which speaks of the importance of watching what price you put your actions on at. In summary the lesson is don't just let Your Addon (in this case TradeSkillMaster) do the posting without watching the prices it is posting at in case there are some rogue competitor prices in there.

Personally, I would a step further and suggest you pay attention to your minimum prices. If you set your minimum prices at levels which you are happy to make a sale then being priced low because of rogue pricing will not be an issue. Sure, someone may be pulling down the prices to scam cheap items from you but you will always be selling them at prices you are happy with and, let's face it, you can sit and craft the items all day.

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

My routine – for surplus inks

My surplus inks tend to be the dawnstar, darkflame and snowfall inks.

I hold back enough to see me through enough off hands and send the rest to a fifth alt i have that is my “discount alt”.  He sells surplus items such as inks, darkmoon cards that are naturally cheap, pets et al.  He has a different posting and pricing strategy.  I don’t see him as part of my inscription duties, posts once a day for 48 hours, and only posts when the price is right.

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

Friday, 18 November 2011

My routine – for glyphs, darkmoon cards, etc

My routine – for glyphs, darkmoon cards, scrolls, runescrolls and certificates of ownership

This is the part that lends itself to high volume and repetition.

Starting routine of the day (normally after work):

1.       Log onto my first alt and firstly i cancel all my glyphs, darkmoon cards, scrolls, runescrolls and certificates of ownership on the AH.

2.       I then post 2 of each glyph within my price range, 1 of each darkmoon card and 10 each scroll / runescroll / certificate of ownership

3.       I post for 48 hours though in reality i am likely to pull them down completely after 24 hours.  But, if i want a day off, then they are still there catching some sales.

4.       I then go to the mail box and collect all the cancelled items.

5.       I then move onto the next alt, cancel all its glyphs etc on the AH, post 2 / 1 / 10 of each, empty the mail box and so on.

6.       My final step of the starting routine is to come back to my first poster and do a scan to see if any are undercut.  If none of my competitors have come on then none (or only a few) should be undercut.  Otherwise, we have a new competitor to add to the friends list.

The ongoing routine of the day:

1.       I watch for competitors coming on (they are on my friends list) – normally i am levelling another alt at this point.

2.       When a competitor comes on, i let them post and then when they leave i come on with my first glyph alt.

3.       I rotate through my alts cancelling the undercut glyphs / cards / scrolls / runescrolls / certificates and reposting and collecting from the mail box

4.       And as usual, the final step is to go back to the first alt and scan for undercuts.  If none of my competitors have come on then none (or only a few) should be undercut.  Otherwise, we have a new competitor to add to the friends list.

5.       Keep this up for a couple of hours – sometime i am rotating a lot, and sometimes i just repost once.  Luck of the draw on the day.  And of course, whilst doing this listen to a podcast!

If only a few glyphs are undercut by characters i don’t normally see then i leave them.  I tend to cancel and repost when at least 5 different glyphs are undercut on an alt.

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

Thursday, 17 November 2011

How i price my items – off hands

I have a set price for every off hand, normally 200 gold for anything for a level 80 character or below. 

Higher prices for the new cataclysm off hands and i aim to at least double my cost – for these i am willing to put on at a very high price, say 4x the cost and undercut all the way down to 2x the cost and then i stop posting.

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

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

Will we be the first to spot a server in worrying decline?

. . . . And this is also a test to see if my iPad can post to the blog (having trouble recently). My backup profession is enchanting - it has many similarities to inscription though has many more input raw materials. My other professions are tailoring, alchemy and jewelcrafting - though still doing the dailies for all the jewelcrafting. And of course herbalism. More recently I am starting to notice raw materials for enchanting being less readily available on the auction house - now perhaps because a new patch is coming or some other reason. But part of me suspects the population on my server is falling such that the odder types of raw materials are just not being found and put on the auction house anymore. Indeed, I would venture to suggest that the initial signs of a server that has a worrying decline in population would first be noticed by the auction house operators such as ourselves rather than by the general playing population. In my mind I am brewing some ideas on how to measure the trend in raw material availability - so watch this space.

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

Rituals of the New Moon - low and lumpy income stream

A scribe can produce a random book called Rituals of the New Moon with 5 Ink of Sea + 3 Eternal Shadow + 10 Resilient Parchment.  The book created is either red, white, black or grey.

The acquirer of the book is able to transform into a giant wolf for 2 minutes  The colour of the wolf is determined by which book they buy: red; white; black; or grey.  When transformed the user is pacified and silenced though they are able to, still do things like using or creating items.

I sell the grey book for 500 gold and the other three for 750 gold.  I used to sell them for 250 and 500 gold respectively. Like all items that give me a low income I post for 48 hours.  There is very little competition on my server reflecting the low demand.  On my server the cost of materials is 85 gold, so thats some nice profit.

I sell one every two weeks which suggests my pricing is too high at present.  I used to sell one a week at the lower prices - time to revisit those pricing levels I suspect.  Every little helps.

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

Tuesday, 15 November 2011

How i price my items – runescrolls, etc

How i price my items – runescrolls and certificates of ownership

Runescrolls: 5 runescrolls costs 5 inferno inks plus 5 resilient parchment to make.  On my server, that is at least 100 gold per 5 runesrcolls, or 20 per runescroll.  I sell them for a maximum of 100 gold and a minimum of 70 gold.  That is what works on my server.  So my profits per runescroll sold is 50 to 80 gold.  Again, I suspect that i could drop the price and increase the sale rate.  But this is an area i have not yet explored.

Certificates of ownership: 1 certificate costs 2 celestial inks plus 1 common parchment to make.  On my server that is c10 gold per certificate.  I sell them for a maximum of 100 gold and a minimum of 20 gold.  That is what works on my server.  So my profits per certificate sold is 10 to 90 gold.

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

Monday, 14 November 2011

Darkmoon Cards of Destruction - a lumpy but high income stream

Scribes can craft random Darkmoon Cards of Destruction which make one of a Ace to Eight of Card of Waves / the Winds / Embers / Stone.  They cost 10 inferno inks + 30 volatile life + 1 resilient parchment.  On my server that costs 360 gold.  Or, if the inferno inks are milled as part of milling blackfallow inks then the cost is down to the 30 volatile life + 1 resilient parchment which is 210 gold.

Put an entire eight cards of Ace through to Eight together creates a deck of Tsunami / Hurricane / Volcano / Earthquake which can be used by another player in the Darkmoon Faire to create a trinket of various abilities.

These cards and decks can only be created by Scribes.  Either the cards or the deck can be sold on the Auction House.  And they sell best at the time of the Darkmoon Faire.

My strategy here is to buy the volatile life from the Auction House in the periods between the Darkmoon Faires for under 7 gold each (during the Darkmoon Faire the volatile life cost rises significantly) and allow my stock of Inferno Inks to build up as i mill cataclysm herbs.  The day before the Darkmoon Faire i will craft all the Cards i can and i aim to sell the cards for a minimum of 400 gold each during the Darkmon Faire.

i occasionally sell the Decks which i can put at least at a 30% mark up to the sum of the cards - but that is a risk.  Furthermore, my cards can be sold to those buyers that are willing to take that risk to put the cards together to make a Deck to flip onwards.

Those that consistently go for less than 400 gold i send to my "discount alt" to sell at best price.

The rest go for in excess of 400 gold and a comfortable average of 1000 gold.

During the Darkmoon Faire i will regularly make sales of 30000 gold from these Cards.  It is a high but lumpy income that occurs each month.  Every Scribe should take part in this.

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

Sunday, 13 November 2011

Scrolls - a low but steady income

Scribes can craft scrolls that have similar effects to potions and flasks.

The Scrolls are: Agility; Intellect; Protection; Spirit; Stamina; and Strength.  They start at level I and run through levels II, III, IV, V, VI, VII, VIII and IX usable by character of level 1, 15, 30, 40, 50, 60, 70, 80 and 85 respectively.

The final scrolls of xxx IX give the users an increase in the relevant ability by 100 for 30 minutes and counts as a battle elixir or gives some other stat increase and counts as a guardian elixir.

They all cost 1 blackfallow ink and 2 resilient parchment to craft 5 at a time.  On my server that is 6 gold for five equating to 1.2 gold per scroll.

I sell them at 10 to 15 gold each making a hefty profit.

Sales are slow but regular and i make perhaps 100 to 200 gold per week.  Its a low but steady income.  Every little helps.

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

Saturday, 12 November 2011

Using a “Discount Alt”

I always have surplus inks for my scribe, pets to sell, mob drops, items crafted whilst levelling a profession and other items where i can get a better price on the Auction House than from a vendor.  I am not too fussed by what price i get as long as it is a large mark up to the vendor price.  Furthermore, i don’t want to litter my posting alts for Inscription and Enchanting with these items.

To resolve this i use a “Discount Alt”.

My “Discount Alt” is sent all items that are surplus to my crafting requirements and/or that can command a better price on the Auction House than from a vendor.

This alt posts these items for 48 hours undercutting all competition all the way down to a price that still commands a large mark up from a vendor price (which can get quite low but of course including the cost of a repetitive deposit lost).

Its sole aim is to get a better price including all deposit costs than i would have done selling direct to the vendor.  Therefore, to many it will be seen as a rogue competitor – and it is for this reason that i use a separate alt for such selling.  I don’t want to tarnish my posting alts with a reputation as a rogue competitor.

The income generated will be lumpy and inconsistent, but a respectable income nonetheless and does allow me to keep in touch with the markets outside my normal crafting professions.

This Discount Alt has one further use.  Where i am building a presence in a market – Jewelcrafting or Alchemy, for example – i will use this Discount Alt to post items to see how the market works, who the competitors are, what their strategies are.  I can use this alt to determine how the competitors react to my strategies whilst at the same time slowly building product range.

If i determine that a market is worth breaking into with the view to becoming an established participant then i create a dedicated posting alt which takes over from the Discount Alt.  To other participants in the market this posting alt will have a “clean” reputation and so have an upper hand on the competitive landscape when seemingly entering the market for the first time.

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

Friday, 11 November 2011

How i price my items – glyphs

Given it takes 3 inks per glyph and 2 pigments per ink, i therefore determine it takes 10 to 12 herbs per glyph (plus the parchment).  If i buy the herbs from the AH at between 1 gold and 1.5 gold the cost of each glyph is 10 to 18 gold.

Given the price of inks should go no higher than that of blackfallow inks (because each blackfallow ink can be converted into a crafting ink) then the cost of each glyph is the same, no matter what level it is or what class.

I price each glyph 50 silver below the current price on the AH – this is a hangover from the old days when posting was slower and undercutting by 1 copper risked not being the cheapest glyph by the time it was posted, but i have kept this amount up since then.  I don’t go below 40 gold yet.  Next step would be to go down to 35 gold, but so far there is no need.  At the start of cataclysm my minimum price was 80 gold.  My fall back price is 400gold.  Presently, i am selling each glyph (that sells) for an average of 100 gold.

For those competitors who post under 40 gold, that is fine by me.  I don’t want to shut out my competitors – having stable competition where everyone is happy with the gold they make is helpful in keeping out new entrants.  We all pitch in to defend our end of the market.

Furthermore, by not posting below 40 gold i speed up the time it takes to cancel and repost.

There are three price levels of glyphs:
·         Those glyphs that are used to level the profession go for silver, if that – i stock them for completeness but i never get to sell any given my minimum price of 40 gold;
·         Those glyphs you get without northrend research or book of glyph mastery sell for ok margins;
·         The glyphs you get with northrend research or book of glyph mastery sell for the best margins.

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

Wednesday, 9 November 2011

What do I stock? and When do i craft?

What do i stock?

I stock every glyph – which means i stock some glyphs that may never sell.  But that is because i aim to own the market.  I stock a minimum of 8 of each glyph.  I have found that this generally serves me well for a week.  I always want to end up with no less than 3 glyphs at the minimum – any less then i am missing out on sales given i post 2 at a time.  For glyphs that sell faster, i stock up to 20 at a time.

I stock the 20 of each of the top two levels of scrolls, 20 of each of the top two levels of runescrolls, 20 certificates of ownership, and one of each of all the offhands.

For Darkmoon Cards – I craft a batch of 6 and sell them all over a few days and then craft another batch.  As the darkmoon faire gets nearer the cards tend to sell quicker.

When do i mill and craft?

My crafter buys cheap herbs during the week and stores them in the guild bank.

I mill the herbs and craft new glyphs, scrolls, runescrolls and certificates once a week, normally on a Saturday morning.  The whole process can take an hour, and is somewhat tedious.

For off hands – given i stock one at a time, as they are sold i craft a new one and send it to my alt at that time.

For Darkmoon Cards – I craft a batch of 8 and sell them all over a few days and then craft another batch.  As the darkmoon faire gets nearer the cards tend to sell quicker.  Crafting a batch of 6 to 8 gives me a good range of cards to sell.

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

Tuesday, 8 November 2011

How I am set up

In all, i use four toons for inscription: I have my crafter who has a guild bank and sells 3 classes of glyph and a selection of the top level darkmoon cards; and I have 3 alts, two of which sell 3 classes each and the third sells one class and all the scrolls, certificates of ownership and off hands.

The crafter and the two alts that sell 3 classes each have 3 packs of endless pockets and one frostweave bag.  That can handle 3 classes of glyphs each.  The third alt that sells one class and all the scrolls, certificates of ownership and off hands has 2 packs of endless pockets and 2 frostweave bags – that can take care of one class of glyphs, the scrolls and certificates of ownership, and all the offhands.

Guild bank – i keep this with my crafter, easier to get hold of inks et al, avoids mailing.  Holds all the inks i need plus herbs i store up during the week plus spare parchments (saves going to the vendor all the time).

Main bank – my crafters main bank holds the bags that a set of ink ready to craft a weeks supply of glyphs, and components for the off-hands.

I don’t have a bank toon – the gold is kept on each toon as it builds up.  The crafter (who also buys the herbs) is self financing.

I don’t use alt banks in the inscription process other than to store surplus ink.  It is a question of adding in a trip from the mailbox to the bank to swap bags vs logging onto another alt.  Perhaps saves time, perhaps not.  But that’s just me.

I watch my competitors by adding them to my Friends list.

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

Sunday, 6 November 2011

The importance of a second profession

There will come times during the life cycle of a profession when it starts to earn lower gold than is acceptable whether due to the game slowing ahead of new content or the profession has suddenly become much more competitive lowering the income for all participants to an unacceptably low level.

In those situations having a backup profession is a godsend and widens the options available.  The ability to temporarily leave one market and enter another market seamlessly means that the level of profits are you willing to accept from any one profession is measured against the profits that can be achieved from another profession.  Rather than being measured against how low you are willing to go in one profession alone.

For myself, my main income comes from Inscription – which itself i divide into glyphs, darkmoon cards and the rest.  But when the glyph market turns down as one of the competitors takes the prices right down i then turn to the Enchanting market until the glyph market competitive fire burns itself out.

To make this work of course the second profession is required to be maxed out and waiting in the wings.  I have Enchanting on another toon which has its own guild bank (and so it is another level 85 character).  I hold a few days worth of raw materials to allow me to enter right away and then start to stock up on raw materials as required.  I don’t hold a full week’s worth of raw materials in case new content comes along to make it redundant.  I view this as insurance which has paid for itself many times over in the past.

That is not to say that if one of your professions in bringing in plenty of gold that you should still diversify.  By all means, if one profession is bringing in supernormal profits then milk it for all it is worth during that time.

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

Saturday, 5 November 2011

How I Operate in the Inscription Market

As ever, every server is different and there are many strategies. Below i detail my strategy and other thoughts. Whilst my strategy may not work on other servers, the thinking behind it should provide guidance.

I split the inscription market into three market areas:

· firstly there is glyphs, scrolls, cards and certificates of ownership – they lend themselves to post / undercut / repost routine through the use of addons;

· secondly there are all the off-hands – they lend themselves to posting one of each once for 48 hours;

· and thirdly there are the inks - I don’t sell the main inks, but i sell the surplus secondary inks such as dawnstar, darkflame and snowfall. However, I don’t see this as part of my gold making in inscription (see a later post on My routine – for surplus inks).

If Inscription is your main income, then consider also having herbalism. It is a good back up profession in case herbs start to run dry on the AH – and gives you a good source of inferno inks. I view herbalism as an insurance against the raw materials running out.

However, I would advise against of taking herbalism is to avoid buying herbs on the AH and so have a nil cost of crafting your glyphs (excluding the parchments). The volumes of glyphs that you sell will far outweigh what you can reasonably farm unless you have plenty of time on your hands.

My use of addons

Inscription is highly repetitive, high volume and highly competitive. Therefore, it lends itself well to addons, and indeed addons are a must if you want to make this a key part of your gold making.

Auctioneer: used it since day 1, i don’t honestly know what the AH looks like without it!

Tradeskillmaster: the core part of inscription. It is the addon that, after an initial setup, posts glyphs between my maximum and minimum prices, and cancels undercut glyphs. Tradeskillmaster can also now mills herbs with is Destroyer addon.

Postal: each of my toons empty 100 glyphs a time. Postal allows me to collect mails very quickly. Tradeskillmaster can now do this.

Altoholic: keeps a track of the contents of your bags, banks and guild banks across your toons. Tradeskillmaster also does this.

Friendsshare: keeps track of all your friends and sync s them across your alts. Your friends list will be filled with your competitors.

Auditor: to keep a track of the gold on your toons.

As an aside, it is worth not placing 100% reliance on one addon. Above i note that i double up on certain addons where Tradeskillmaster can now do the job. In theory, i should perhaps go through my addons and clean out any surplus. But whilst my computer can take the additional resources i chose to remain with these additional addons – you never know when one addon may no longer work. When The Shattering came along, most AH addons failed except Auctionator. I suspect many of my competitors were effectively kept out of the market for days until other addons were repaired.

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