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Tuesday, 7 February 2012

Who are my competitors’ secret alts?

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Most expert crafters have an alt that has nothing to do with their Auction House businesses.  This alt may be raiding or levelling but its other task is specifically to watch the Friends List and see when my competitors come online so that i can wait and then repost my glyphs when they leave.

However, i know my competitors are doing the same.  If i can find out the names of their secret alts then i truly know when my competitors are online or not.  And so i need strategies to flush them out.

One such strategy i employ is to try and make their secret alts buy crafting materials off the Auction House from me.  And then watch to see if they log on and off at the same time as my known competitor alts.

To do this i create an alt to post cheap herbs – and so this alt is new and hence can not be linked to me.  I don’t post too many stacks, say 5 stacks of 20 of whiptail at 20 gold a stack should do the trick.

When they are sold i look at the data on Auctioneer Beancounter to see who has bought them.  Over time it becomes apparent that certain names that i don’t see posting glyphs are appearing with regularity on the list.  I add these names to my Friends List and sooner or later i start to notice that when they log off my competitor posting alts log on.  I therefore determine that this alt is part of my competitor alts.

Periodically i disband my herb posting alt and start a new one.

Over the course of time i now know who most of my secret competitor alts are.

Of course, as a directly related observation, make sure your secret alt does not buy items on the Auction House that are used in your crafting businesses.  No point in falling for the same strategy!


  1. Not so useful with glyphs but if you don't mind giving your competitors a bit of gold you can buy crafted items. It'll have a Made by tag that can help you identify unknown crafters.

  2. this is more silliness that takes time away from gameplay or actually doing something to make gold. The only way you make gold in glyphs is to camp the AH and you must have auctionator. You stand in the AH and list your glyphs. You scan your auctions. If you are undercut you browse the undercut glyphs and low and behold there will be a name associated with who undercut you. If it is unfamiliar to you friend it, relist your glyphs and repeat.

    You dont have to employ a Sherlock Holmes strategy to quickly find out who your competitors are. Your best defense is have a name made up of untypable characters and to change your posting alts often so that you cannot be friended so your competition does not get alerts as to when you log on. That is still a strategy that will only buy you 5-10 minutes because your competition is certainly also camping the AH and will detect your undercuts within minutes.

    The lesson for Scribes, camp the AH or don't expect to make bank selling glyphs.

    1. I don't camp and I make a couple thousand a day easily.

    2. You certainly would not make any gold on the realm where I reside. One Scribe posts continuosly starting at noon until 3am every day including the weekends. There are other scribes that camp during the same hours and others that camp the AH during his "off hours" from 3am until noon.
      You can be certain that any glyph posted is undercut by 1 copper within 2-5 minutes and often sooner than that.

    3. High pop realm? Mine is medium pop. Used to be very intense competition especially in evenings, but it's a bit lazier these days. Sometimes it's tough but it tends to come in waves. The key for me is that I've never left the market. Been consistent at it for three years plus. I don't care if the competition gets hard or if it's lazy...I'm always there.

      I understand what you're saying though. There's a guy like that on my server that controls enchant scrolls in a similar manner. Hence, I'm not in that market.;)

  3. scugger missed the point...and auctionator....time to move up

  4. Since your blog is tied to The undermine journal here is a more expedient way to find out who your competitors are:
    1) Log onto the undermine journal
    2) browse auctions where you are undercut
    3) write down the names of the listing toons
    4) friend those toons when you log in.

    What you suggest just gives your competition cheap mats and its a hit or miss proposition whether they even will buy your "lures".

    This idea and the "camping out on a building across from the booty bay AH" idea I've read are two of the least helpful gold blog suggestions I've seen.

    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

    2. You don't have to do that, the TSM cancel scan shows the names of undercutters.


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