Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Competitive Competition (Gold PvPing)

"The candle flickered just for a moment as the flame licked in the cold air from the opened door.  From the doorway, a chilled breeze flew in and captured the attention of all within.  Moments later, a shadowy figured emerged from the outside darkness, one adorned in fine garments and furs from afar.  The stranger took in the sights before him and slowly wandered his way to the tavern keeper.  Leaning forward, he whispered something in a tongue many didn't understand and with an exchange of smiles and a small pouch that clanged of jingling coins, a large tankard of brew surfaced and the itself only bore witness to what happened next..."  ~Profitz

Know Your Realm's Market
Competitive Competition, eh?  Shall we call it Gold PvPing? (What a cool name for it huh? I like it.  A term that I first used when talking with Elvine about the JC markets).  I see how it's going to more easy street for this clown, I mean guy.  *insert my clown avatar smirk here*  It's actually a kind of a cool twist on things and makes it more fun to score that sale now that more people are catching on or just diving into various markets (hell, maybe they've been here all along and our markets that we're working in have now crossed paths).  Regardless, I welcome everyone to try your hand and learn the art of gold making.  It's a great way to earn some coin, learn a new aspect of the game, and have that extra pile of gold to spend on that something-special item you've been always wanting.  (and no, I didn't expect it to be just me buying/flipping items solo on a high-pop realm, the important thing is, recognizing when and where you need to diversify or expand into new markets.  Being aware of when to make the jump and how much it's going to cost you is essential, never mind how to get started)

Entered a new JC market with simple gems
When I enter new markets (which I just entered the JC market - thanks to Elvine and Benjamin for your help/info!), there are several things that I like to have in order personally and to a certain level of simplistic detail (oxymoron?  who has to make sense in a way that makes sense to you personally, if not, find a way to make it make sense.  Now that's a lot of repetitive words...)

Here are the things that I like to know and hopefully by sharing them, it will help guide you in your endeavors into your first market, second, or simply your next market of choice:
  1. Take It SlowThere is no rush.  Take your time, baby steps. Don't ever rush into a market so fast that you don't know what you're doing or haven't done your homework.  Make sure you have the steps in the most fundamental way possible that's repeatable.  Ask yourself...does this make sense to me?  ONLY THEN proceed.
  2. Look In The Mirror:  Look at what you can enter across your toons with the least amount of effort.  Whether you're entering with your professions, knowledge of an existing market, or simply want to spend some gold and jump into a new area.
  3. Market Analysis:  Look at various sites/resources for YOUR realm and see if it's profitable BEFORE you jump in.  Don't be blind sided and know what to expect.  Now I'm not a financial genius in anyway, in fact I hate math - my mind just doesn't work in numbers but more so in pictures, but simply looking at basic numbers and charts, you can get an idea of what's what.
  4. Know Your Competitors:  Searching the AH can tell you a lot about a market by itself.  Are the same people listing the same items and types of items consistently?  Perhaps that's a tell tale sign of a monopoly that you could break into.  What kinds of items are they selling?  What are they typically selling them for?  This will help give you a benchmark over time of price ranges.
  5. Enjoy Competition Being harsh in-game toward people is never the right approach.  Some people will in fact message you, yell at you, make fun of you and more.  NONE of this affects your gold and it shouldn't affect you.  Learn to have tough skin and don't be afraid to /ignore.
  6. Lean on Partnerships/Friends:  Yes, I said lean on those folks who maybe are already successful in that market on another realm.  The gold-making community is special and I haven't run into anyone yet that wouldn't share what they know.  Learn to be a great student of the game.  And don't' forget to reach back to that person to thank them, maybe even share a success that you had because of them.  This goes a long way and will help establish friendships AND mountains of gold.
  7. Be A Great Student Learn from everyone and everything.  Learn from your successes and more importantly, your failures.  Learn to take advice, objective criticism.  Learn to adapt and become humble.  Avoid negativism like egos or showing too much pride/vanity.  Egos don't make you gold, following a simple process and routine does.  It's a methodical process orientated game.  Learn those processes and adapt them to YOUR realm.
  8. Contribute/Share Receive free - give free.  If you know something that's working for you, then share it.  If you've modified and existing process that you've learned, then share it.  The community is always willing to embrace new faces (if they embraced me, they sure as hell are willing to embrace another knowledgeable person who has new ideas)
  9. Work Smart - Not HardYes, it's quite possible to do all this gold making without using any addons to help you buy, sell/relist, and value items.  But it's also a lot easier if you do.  For one, you'll know that you're making gold, how much of it you've made in what areas, list items in a matter of seconds, buy items with the same speed, and more. (This is where addons are SO helpful - TSM, Auctioneer, Auctionator, bag/mailbox addons, etc).
  10. Have Fun I always say, if we can't laugh, we're doing something wrong.  Listen guys, this is a game.  Nothing more than that and it's that simple.  Learn to enjoy yourselves.  This shouldn't be a second job, it shouldn't add more stress to your life, and it shouldn't make you an angry person.  If it does, then take some time and do something else in game and come back to it.  The most important thing is have fun.
I hope the above helps you somewhat.  It's basically a simple framework of questions, thoughts if you will, to keep in mind when you decide to enter those new waters.  Never be scared of competition.  It's bound to happen eventually if it's not happening now.  Embrace it...

I'm off to dabble in the JC market now...soon to be tailoring.

Enjoy the game.



  1. Excellent post (as usual!). Learnt some things which I will be putting in to action soon!

    One thing I want to ask you, is what do I do when a competitor joins a market which I am dominating and undercuts me by a large margin? Do I keep buying out his stuff (meaning he comes back for more), or do I undercut him everytime he posts (meaning I lose profit)???? I am currently the only person on my realm who does cata/mop armour and transmog, but there's a guy who has started posting 100g+ less than me.

    On that note.... Say I am selling a SLOW MOVING item for 1500g, and someone posts the same item at, say 50-70% of that price, do I buy out that item and sit with 2 that will take a while to sell, or do I undercut him and lose upto 70% profit?

    /end wall of text.

    Keep it up Ray! I'll keep you informed of my spreadsheet progress ;-)

    James 'Bostfrolt'

    1. James, nice to hear from you and thanks for the compliment on the post. I'm just sharing as I go along. I'm hoping people appreciate and can use what they can from them.

      In regards to your question, there is nothing wrong with playing a little cat-n-mouse game with them. Let me explain. What I like to do when someone keeps drastically undercutting is to bring them down to the level where I typically buy from and then buy their item(s) out. Most of the time you can't really get them that low unless they completely don't know what they're doing (which is possible in many markets). You can do this by simply 'baiting' them with a lower uncut of their item drastically in return.

      Example: You list a piece of armor for like 300g. Your competitor comes in and lists the same item for 150g. (I still don't understand why they just don't undercut by 1 copper but hey, maybe they're in dire need of gold quickly to support the new cow on their farm LOL). If you have the exact same item in back stock (in your bank, stockpile, etc), then you can under list that person with the same piece down to 75g. (keep in mind, you've bought this item for sub-40g so you're still almost doubling your profit if someone comes in during all of this and buys your item). If they in turn drop their item even further, then it's time to buy that item and post another one. I NEVER post more than 2 of the same item at any giving time, especially with gear/armor or rares. 9 times out of 10, for those people who are doing this, they're also camping the AH and canceling their auctions often (yes, they're losing gold hand over fist). So bait them to drop their prices into your buying range and happy buying/flipping. The key is NEVER lose should hold that item rather than relisting.

      Another example that happened to me recently was with a rare blue item that was of course common because there were 7 of that item listed. Eventually after going back and forth everyone dropped their pricing (this was over a period of 3-4 days) to around 100g when the item should be selling for 1500g. I bought them all up, relisted my item and started selling them all back at full pricing laughing at each sale.

      I hope this helps and gives you some ideas...always sell for profit!

      Keep in touch, I'm curious as to how this falls on your side.

  2. After playing for 6 years, I have just found what many people have known since the game came online- how to make gold.

    I am still learning about the addons (TSM mainly) and what they can do for me, but it's a really fun challenge and has helped to break up the monotony of the daily grind.

    In just over a month I have gone from being a player who is struggling with 5-10k gold to almost 100k. It's the most I have ever had by leaps and bounds and it was all just from flipping.

    I take risks and I have eaten quite a few failures but it's really exciting nonetheless. From leveling many toons and playing in all areas of the game, I think I have a good idea of what players want, it's just finding ways to get it in their hands for a good profit.

    I have seen the rivalry and there are quite a few players that I will do anything I can to steal their sales, but I guess it's all part of the fun :)

    I would love to break into a new market since I have about every profession there is maxed (and what I don't have, my gf does), but I think I am going to try to build my gold reserves for a bit first.

    So for anyone reading this who thinks gold making is only for RL stock brokers, you're wrong. Use The Undermine Journal. Read comments on Research everything and get a feel for how rare or special the item is. How hard is it to get and is there an easy way to get something similar that might keep people from buying yours at a higher price?

    I'm no pro, not by a long shot, but I love the gold I'm getting and it's not hard at all.

    1. Tourn, thanks for taking the time to reply and congratz on your 100k! I agree with your comments, it's a very exciting part of the game for me now as well and it does break up the daily grind. I look forward to hearing more of your progress...keep in touch.

  3. To start off with, love the blog and the podcast keep it up you have a good thing going here.

    I've been playing since the end of 2005 and it is a rarity if I'm ever above 5k gold across all my toons. This past week I've decided that is no longer sustainable and looked into making gold. Thanks to your blog and several others I just broke 20k in about 5 days work.

    My question, similar to Brostfolt's above, is in regards to undercutting. The market that I am breaking into seems to have some heavy crafters/posters in it. They are pretty aggressive when it comes to undercutting instead of large undercuts it's the 1c continuous undercut that I am wondering about. How do you approach this type of activity? Do you cancel and re-post multiple times an hour? Or, do you just target specific times of the day? Or some other method?

    My sales are doing fine I'm just trying to maximize my efficiency when it comes to my time and effort. Your insight in this would be greatly appreciated.


    Brian (Tandyn)

    1. Tandyn, thanks so much for taking the time to post a comment and congratz on your new gold making endeavors! It's great to know that what I'm doing is also helping people in their own paths too.

      In regards to your question, that's a huge part of the game. Knowing when it's right to cancel, knowing who your competition is (especially if they're can look them up on and see where their high post activity is and post when they're not on).

      Regardless, some of the things I've learned are the following:
      1. Always post no more than 2-3 items of the same type at any time. This doesn't mean you can't have more already created of that item,which is ideal in like the glyph and JC markets, etc. This way if they undercut you, you simply undercut them back.

      2. I never cancel more than once per day. If they want to be that aggressive and cut into their own profits by babysitting the AH, let them. In the long run, you'll make better profits and will actually enjoy the game more than camping the AH. Now, there are times when I do this especially if I'm trying to reset a market (buy out all the items and control the market relists and new posts exclusively - this can be fun and rewarding but it's time consuming).

      3. Set up some decoys and add them to your friend's list. Know when they're on and when they're posting and on another alt (not your main AH guy) wait for them to post and then right away undercut them by more than 1 copper. This will most likely force them to cancel their auctions right away and forcing them to relist again, and spend more coin with that listing. Also, this will show you if they're really trying to dump items or simply just mass posting items aggressively and constantly. I have some folks on my realm that have at any giving time 2-3k auctions listed. Craziness. I'm averaging about 500-600 and I find that even unmanageable at times.

      I use to do this on another realm. I would camp the AH and as soon as I posted something, I would check for undercuts and then re-list right away. It actually got interesting and I went back and forth with one person for about 4 hours. At the end, I ended up approaching that person and working out a deal to post what items and what times and we agreed. Most people who are just getting into it aren't the same friendly group of people who have been gold making for awhile and are open to this form of agreement. These folks are greedy and ruthless. In the end, they end up losing anyways.

      4. Post Low but Also Post High. There is nothing wrong with continually undercutting each other but you should also post an equiv item at the true value. I do this simply to keep prices in the range they should be at. Example: I'm selling a gem and it's worth 300g. Through undercuts it eventually gets down to 50g. I always keep one listed for 300 and then control the ride down in undercuts to my buying threshold and then buy them all up. During the time it takes to hit the mailbox and get everyone back on the AH, you're still listed and most of the time your initial items are selling again.

      There are a few thoughts...I'll probably make a post about this since I'm getting a few good questions on it...stay tune.

      Thanks again and please keep in touch with your progress.


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