[Zekta] whispers: Phase 3: Profit!

Apr 27 2015

Not Coming Back, Just Yet… But back to business


It had been some years,
and the site had crashed for 2-3 years due to Some security issues…

See  http://blog.zekta.com/the-quest-on-revive-p3p/ for details.

After finally with containment and cleansing,
we have the site running again.

We don’t have any plan on it yet.
But still, in case anyone in the Nether still hear from this station,
Please leave a comment =P


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Nov 30 2011

Going back to Azeroth


Count this as a warm-up post…

So I have been ocassionally visit Azeorth a bit recently. Although I am still busy around like a headless chicken, I really need sometime to let my brain take a break. Outside azeroth, there are much thing to do, eg. relative to visit, excerise, task planned to be done, pet project to finish… but sometime you just want to take some time off those brain twisting task and take a break.

As Gevlon defined, I am probably of the casual player group, it’s really no point for me to keep up with the endgame stuff, since probably cannot follow up the main stream grind and always left behind. And without having friendship like Gnomeaggedon had, there are really less point of raiding.

Therefore after my studyroom finish, My Wife join me on wandering Azeorth yet again, as a Worgen couples, Warrior and Druid pair, and when she’s not available, I started leveling my Worgen Priest thru LFD. Joining the Priesthood.

As I mostly online at peak hours, finding a group as a healer is not as bad (Although if tanking gurantee a instance queue) And I started my LFD and Questing combo leveling journey.

I was surprised how many instance I missed before (Although I have to take the same dungeon 3-4 time for the leveling). I totally missed Dire Maul and Scholomance through out my Wow Career, not worth running/too troublesome as people commented before. Now with LFD tools, we occasionally drop into those instance, and have some fun with it.

The runs however, is quite linear. Although I occasionally add some random factor, e.g. wand-ing those mob off, jump around or adding some DOT if I feel really confident. But other than some shield-less Paladin / Warrior tank, it’s kinda repetitive.But all in all, priest is a fun healer class to play with, no doubt :)

Until next time…


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| posted in Wow Econ Research Project

Nov 14 2011

Don’t Call It A Comeback


Well kids, it’s true: I’ve been here for years.

So, Zekta and I had a conversation recently. It went like this:

ZEKTA: “Please come back! The Blogosphere is at an all-time low! They need you!”

Or, he said: “Wait, why are you texting me at 1am? I have to work tomorrow. What… okay, you can write again for P3P!”

So… yeah. I’m not back playing WoW yet. BUT, I think I will be soon. I have ideas. Indeed, I have ideas that I want to write about! And, in posts that will follow, I’ll tell you all about it, including which text above actually happened. But for now, I’ll say that it’s great to be back. And, furthermore, I’m now an American abroad, and as such I’ll link to some of my favorite songs about New York. Which songs?

Well, there’s the one by Billy Joel.

And then there’s the one by young Elton John.

And, finally, the one from Paul Simon, The Boxer. If you need more than the 1:41 in the video, then I suggest that you google it. And then buy the Concert in the Park set of albums. And then, please leave your comments.

Stay tuned! More to come!

(We’re back, baby!)

GL! /bow




| posted in Life

Nov 10 2011

It’s been a long time. How have you been?


The Story…

I never make up my mind to say good bye here, just get posted in lower frequency while BigJimm was still working hard on sharing his thoughts (I still appreciate that and miss him).

I stopped logging into Azeroth for a year since then, due to some personal matters I shyed to share before, but after reading Gnomeaggedon’s post on Movember recently, I decided to share it with you.

One of my family members was having a mental difficulties, and the whole family was spending much effort on wrestling it. Since World of Warcraft was one of the escapes, I decided to stop encouraging it by not setting foot into it all together, and not even speaking a word of it (Not to mention blog posts).

Fighting mental illness is a full time job, and depression and helplessness spread through the whole family. We had to do everything to help.

Where have I been?

I have been to America for a week, but sadly BigJimm was just not in town at that moment.

At Daytime, I had been climbing the career ladder; an became a team leader of a team of three. Mainly for negotiate requirement, distributing tasks and trouble shooting.

On my game life, it’s nothing more than Eve for a while, then some single player game and takes up learning photography all together (Lots of spending had been done)

The most important part is that I am luckily enough to have married a cute wonderful girl who helped me get pass so much difficulties and tolerate when I am upset… There are still much to learnt and settle down but I feel very happy about this

Where is everyone else?

Most of the blogger on my Wow RSS subscription resigned, Lights dims, upon the “failure” of Catalysm, many people decided to part with Azeroth. I know I’ll miss all of them, especially Larisa who I count as my mentor at heart in my blogger life.

Gevlon and BRK are the evergreen blogger, but most of the others are left…
On the desert corner of blogging sphere, I wonder should I continue…

So What now?

Since BigJimm and Sovrun would probably stop writing for a while. I would try to transform the blog to talk about more general economy, game or not. The purpose of the blog was always be learning experience sharing, not very game specific from day one.

“There always are explanations for every business opportunity. -Zekta”

Although I cannot promise much update for now,
May be we can continue our journey together, for science…



| posted in Wow Econ Research Project

Jun 4 2011

I’m back in action!


I wanted to add a quick note, then start back with the original topics that I started.  I am sorry for the absence.  A cascade of things happened to prevent me from being able to post like I would have liked too. I will start at the beginning.

Step 1 – The OMG: I normally write posts while I am on a plane traveling from one locale to another.  I have made plenty of trips since my last post, but I had one major problem.  That’s step one if I remember…Admit you have a problem.  Well, here goes…My MacBook Air that I travel and run my WoW Gold Making business with died due to a complete SSD failure.  It was not recoverable and I lost all of the WoWEcon posts that I had drafted along with the outline of the program.  Needless to say, between my travels and having to drop it off for warrantee work.  It took longer than I would have like to get back up and running.

Step 2 –  The rehab:After download 4.1 my add-ons (many thanks to TSM), and setting up everything again, I am left with run a the mill subjects that were news to me, but already posted on many of the other sites.  I am finally back to where I want to be.  Yesterday, was an easy 11K Friday without much of a time investment.  I have mainly been focused on Glyphs, Enchants, a bit of Jewelcrafting and Blacksmithing (mainly belts and spikes).  I noticed that I am way more low key.  I haven’t cancelled and reposted my glyphs since the break.  Don’t get me wrong.  I love having 300K in liquid gold, but I am lacking something to spend it on.

Step 3 –  The challenge: A friend of mine is on another server with 10 toons from 80 to 85.  However, he is struggling to have much in the way of gold, generally between 6 and 15k.  He needs help, his mounts are slow, dailies are too repetitive. What is a guy to do?   Well, I started a DK on his server.  Holy Cow, Batman!  It looks amazing.  Almost every profession has a ton of profit possibilities.  It is way less competitive than mine.  So look for updates on my status.  I am planning on starting off with Inscription.  It is easily the best early grind profession.  I haven’t had much luck with making anything else profitable at low levels.  Well, stayed tuned.  I just left the starter area with about 10g to my name on the server.  I also need to level another toon in my main group to get Tailoring (my last profession to max).  BigJimm has kept me out of the bag market for a while with his…hmmm…how to say it kindly….bitchin’..no…hatred…no….waffling.  Miss you Jimm.  I hope the move went well.

Cheers!  actually I prefer skål, but it’s not quite as well known.

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| posted in Wow Econ Research Project

Apr 9 2011

Obsidian Shuffle: The End is Near?


MMO-Champion mentioned that changes are coming on the 4.1 PTR that will significant change the Obsidian Shuffle.  Alright, what exactly does this mean?  For those of us who have been taking advantage of high vendor prices for the uncommon gems from Obsidian, it means that the easy 9G per gem is going away.  Most place on the blogosphere seems to be taking the stance that the sky is falling.  However, I am not too sure just yet.  It will have a dramatic change on the Game of to the Auction House.  But there should still be profit, just maybe somewhere else.  Let’s take a quick look on the impacts.

Jewelcrafting – Yikes, this doesn’t look helpful

Mining – Yikes, the floor price is dropping

Engineering – Well, maybe we can find something

Blacksmithing – This has got to be good, right.

Jewelcrafters:  Form a Union Now…

This is something that was predicted a long time ago, but it was for a long time ago.  Just as Cataclysm launched many were saying that the uncommon gem prices strangely high.  I remember an episode of Call to Auction where they discussed it quite a bit.  At the time, I thought it would change in a hot fix like the Maelstrom Crystal changed that caught my Alchemy/Enchanter with worthless non-DE-able stones.  Yet, the change never came.  Now, I would like to see this a good news.  We have been looking forward to the introduction of Epic Gems.  This might be the right time for that.  Blizzard would need to nerf the uncommons gem prices if they were introducing Epic to avoid a mad rush to Jewelcrafting.  I think that Jewelcrafting will still be profitable, but the shuffle may end up more similar to the Wrath Saronite version.  It’s more work, but more goods for the Auction House as well.  I’ll reserve judgment until the change goes live, but we need to form a Union now.  I don’t want to picket the AH, but there has to be something we can do as a group.

This may induce a side effect on the Herb, Alchemy and Inscription market as Herbs are purchased to Transmute Uncommon Gems into Rare versions.  This will likely not to be too significant as the demand for Rare Gems will likely be fairly steady.

Mining:  Whiskey Tango Foxtrot…

I can’t think of a way to phrase this nicely.  Miners just got a big face full of coal dust.  Try not to get Black Lung and die.  The floor price for Ore is taking a huge hit.  Farming gold per hour will take a beating.  It is not likely to be the 92% hit that the Uncommon Gem price is taking, but it will be significant.  I guess this is one way of combatting bots.  At least, there may be some demand from Engineering and Blacksmithing.  It is likely to make Smelting a viable option as well.  It’s not all bad news, but it’s hard to say that there is a silver lining.

Engineering:  Woot!?!

This is a great thing for Engineering.  I don’t know about you, but I have been disappointed with my 525 Engineer.  I just haven’t been able to find any real profits in with the Cataclysm Engineering items.  I like the utility of my Killshades and cogwheels, but well…. it’s been tough.  Now, I need to plan and find any recipes that I don’t have yet.  I am hopeful that my Engineer Alt can finally make it into the gold making rotation.

Blacksmithing:  Woot!!!!!!!

You mean something besides buckles might generate a profit.  How can this not be good?  Mats will be down, but there is more.  The recipes require Elementium Bar which should be cheaper as well.  High level Blacksmithing will be cheaper than ever.  Combine this with the Call to Arm, Dungeon Finder change and we could see an increase in demand for plate tanking gear.  Argh, It looks like I will be spending my time getting another alt to 84.

Are you happy now?

Well, you should be.  The marketing is shifting.  This can lead to a tremendous opportunity for many of us.  I hope to be well into the black and I wish you amazing success as well.

Happy Selling!


1 comment


| posted in Goblin-Report, Wow Econ Research Project

Apr 1 2011

The Good, The Bad, And The Balut


Once, Dear Reader, a long time ago, Seth left the WoW blogosphere. That caused The Great Zekta to write an entire post dedicated to the thought that everything that has a beginning has an end.

With that in mind, it is with true sadness I admit that my time blogging is probably coming to a close. Yes, Dear Reader, the end is nigh. I have a few days left in the US of A, and all of my time is devoted to preparing for anything and everything. Very little time is devoted to playing WoW. In truth, I don’t really know what to do in game- I’ve raided, been a main tank for a top-3 server guild (granted, it was a lousy server), made and spent fortunes, battled relentlessly with Netherweave Bags, and recently have become enamored of the solo aspects of WoW. I have most of the rare items that Archaeology currently has to offer, I’ve ground out the Tol Barad mounts and pet, I don’t care about any rep or gear, and I’ve thoroughly explored everything new that came with Cataclysm. *cough* Except Vashj’ir– I guess that will just have to wait.

(Note: Vasj’ir is a gorgeous zone. It’s great. I just didn’t get though it on a toon because I didn’t want to. I’m halfway on a bunch of toons, but I’m okay with that. Don’t skip the zone because I did.)

I’d like to post a few final thoughts before I set sail for the other side of the world.

The Good

Generally, P3P has been great for me, as has CTA. And, come to think of it, so too has WoW generally. I don’t have many in-game regrets.

My favorite thing about the game was always the character. I got lucky and got it right on my first character, the gnome tank that is and was Bigjimm.

But besides Jimm? Well, getting feedback from the community has always been a very rewarding thing for me. I loved being a part of WoW Insider’s Resource Guide. And being mentioned in The Daily Quest recently was a very happy feather in my cap. Truthfully though, the thing I’ve liked the most was always the comments. Dear Reader, I love reading what you have to say about what we write here on P3P.

My favorite post(s) here will always be the two posts I wrote about writing, asking if Elitist Jerks Is Right. I can not stress how much I tried to make those posts applicable to people who wanted to know about writing, and how much they meant to me as the author.

Other fun posts? There are really too many. I will say this- please, Dear Reader, take the time to go back through the P3P archives and look at what I’ve posted. I think that most of what I’ve written is worth re-reading, even though it’s outdated. Yes, the content isn’t current, but I like to think that the way the posts are written, the way they flow, the pictures and comments, and the general approach make most of my posts something that you will enjoy reading in the future.

Other favorites? There are a few- the NBA prediction column (and, btw, I was right about everything in it- HA!), the Pulling Back The Curtain column, and the inclusion of both the Idiot’s Guide and Starter Cash memes as ways to write about WoW. I am happy about all of that. I think that they worked really well, and I don’t think that any other WoW blogger was doing columns of that fashion.

The most rewarding? Probably finally getting the Rusted Protodrake after much toil and trauma.

The most fortuitous? Certainly my first post about Markco. Through sheer luck, I caught him at a moment when he was questioning his time in WoW. My post, apparently, encouraged him to redouble his efforts and to continue blogging. It also enabled me to become a host of Call To Auction, get to know both Markco and Euripides, along with a few other WoW celebrities- Mike Schramm, Turpster, and others. Being a minor WoW celebrity has been lots of fun, and it wouldn’t have happened without that post.

The best experience? Something I’ve never talked about- early in the days of Ulduar, my guild cleared through Hodir 10m and got every achievement. It was one of those magical WoW nights when we broke through all our previous boundaries and everything came together for a great raiding experience.

Finally, The Best? Well, Dear Reader, that should be obvious. The best thing I did was get married to Ms. Jimm. What more could a person ask for?

The Bad

There has been a lot of bad, and I haven’t posted about it very much here. I will say that, personally, WoW was important to me when my life was at a low point. After Law School, I couldn’t find a job; I had, for the first time ever, really failed. I threw myself into WoW as a distraction. And I drank a lot. I mean, A LOT. I won’t belabor the point, but I will say that I consumed too much Haalani Whiskey and let things get hopeless for a while.

The other Bad? The only other thing that really gets me down is watching the blogging cohort that I know and love slowly die off, one by one. It a sad thing to watch unfold over time. When I started blogging there was a whole crop of bloggers that have gone the way of the Dodo- BRK, Veneretio, Alachia, Kadomi, Seth, and, amazingly, even Markco. I’ve watched other bloggers die the slow death of inactivity and lack of desire, and it’s a sad thing to see the people you admire pack it in. When I joined P3P, gold blogging was really just beginning to gain momentum. Now it is going strong- Euripides writes for WoW Insider (and he actually gets paid real money for it!), there is a whole new group of gold bloggers updating every day, and there’s even another gold podcast that’s churning out good content. With all the blogs, the Consortium, The Undermine Journal, the JMTC community, and even the endlessly entertaining Gevlon, the WoW blogosphere seems to be in good hands.

But the old guard? The old guard is gone. And that is a funny thing, because what I consider to be the “old guard” wasn’t, strictly, the first group of bloggers and podcasters- it was a group of folks that started blogging and podcasting as recently as TBC. That, in WoW terms, isn’t that old. But they’ve all moved on to things that are, hopefully, both bigger and better. And I’m sad that I can’t go to tankingtips to read Veneretio’s brilliance, or load up wowcast and hear Alachia keep a solo show interesting for hours (a very difficult task, btw).

The final straw, for me? It was Larisa recently calling it quits. After 700 posts, she’s done. Her retirement represents a true loss to the WoW community. She’s the smarter of the two of us gnomes, and I’ll take this opportunity to quietly follow her lead.

The Balut

I am excited about my upcoming move to the Philippines. I worked there for a short time a few years ago, and I loved it. I’m looking forward to starting a new part of my life there.

When I posted about the move, a few comments to that post mentioned Balut. Balut, if you’re not aware Dear Reader, is a very specific piece of Filipino cuisine. It is a partially-mature, hardboiled, duck egg. It’s the richest, weirdest, and oddest dish I can think of. It’s part hardboiled egg, part baby duck. It’s something that most westerners think is revolting. However, I’ve had balut (more than once), and I like it. I think that when you visit a new place, you should suck it up and try something that matters to the people and place you’re visiting. So, to all the Pinoys out there, I say this: Thank you for your delicious Balut! I’m looking forward to having more in the near future. And if you come to the US sometime soon, I think you should try a Cadbury Creme Egg– something similarly regional, odd, and potentially rewarding/disgusting. Like Ron Burgundy said, “when in Rome…”

One final thanks to all the people and friends I’ve come across- Arkus (aka: Doodle), Elizaveta, Viknaszuu, Andregis, Tyraana, Darkangel, Jen and Dave, Mike the Deathknight, Mike’s dumb (but very fun) Hunter younger brother, Cookie, Bryn the woman who sounded like that guy from family guy, the scary Russian guild master, and even the entire guild that transferred off of my server for greener pastures without telling me (and then fell apart- HA!). Also, thanks to all the AIE guildies who’ve helped out- Tyberiuss, Sorvun, Ravanna (the uber-tank), Eade (the nicest guy in WoW), Maui, Southpaw (who did the best DPS I’ve ever seen), and everyone else I’m forgetting. It has been a great time for me, and I thank you all sincerely.

Finally, I give huge thanks to Zekta. He keeps letting me write, pays the bills, sends me e-mails and generally is kick-ass awesome. Zekta, buddy, soon I’ll be much closer to Hong Kong, and maybe we’ll finally get to share that bowl of noodles I’ve been dreaming of for so many months.

I guess that the best way I can close this is to evoke the great writer Robert F. Jones. In a 1977 Sports Illustrated editorial he mused about his time spent in Cuba at the Hemmingway museum. I’ll paraphrase him in answer to the question, “Jimm, if you could do it all over again- the blogging, the playing, the countless hours spent in front of the computer… would you?”

Dear Reader, I would. “I would go back.”

GL! /bow



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| posted in Life

Apr 1 2011

Player Micro-transaction Example at EvE-Online


This is a cross mmog post, will be posted on both blog of mine,
http://phase3profit.net (WoW) and http://warpto.me/i-trader (EvE Online)

(I have less topic on Wow to share recently, this is a ice-breaker post, since Gevlon had hit a topic I had deep thoughts about…)


Gevlon at http://greedygoblin.blogspot.com/2011/03/intra-player-microtransaction.html
Rohan at http://blessingofkings.blogspot.com/2011/03/trading-time-for-money.html
talked about Intra-playerbase microtransaction.

While both blogger are from Azeroth (Wolrd of Warcraft), like any new capsuleer (I assume some of them are reading this post as well) have little knowledge about what happened in the New Eden (EvE online)

here is a little background:


EvE online’s developer CCP, decided to include Intra-playerbase microtransaction in EvE online.
PLEX – Pilot License Extension, an in game item, which can be bought from CCP
is effectively an item when “consumed” add to the account’s 1 month subscription.

CCP will make 15% markup for buying the the tradeable version of PLEX (Compare to directly subscript a month player’s own account)

This had been running for years (As far as I can tell, it’s back from 2009)
Since it’s fully supported by CCP, the transaction is totally secure, and not shady business running.
This proved to be a good example for the discussion, since we have  tons of data (Official from CCP)

But there may be some major differences in two games.


1. Eve is hard and harsh. Imagine when you die, all your gears are lost, and you better have another set of gears (Ship) ready, or the station trader will be happy to rip you off, unless you are willing to wait a day or two.

2. Isk (Gold) matters. In Wow, Extra gold do not give you much use. Other than Mekgineer’s Chopper and Grand Ice Mammoth.
In Eve, every thing is Isk, if you want a decent ship, you need Isk. If you want to achieve anything big, you need even more. It’s also matters that, it takes Isk to make Isk. Evem if you grinding like mining, you need at least some capital to start mining effectively. Most of the player would complain not enough Isk(Gold), since when you have more, you want to achieve more.

Failing manage your wallet also means fail the game at all.

My observation

1. Main source of PLEX is not from new/lowbie player, but rather old player who want to have the short cut or boost to his activities. Since “High-end” activities take much more Isk (2 PLEX for a freight for instance) to maintain, while one PLEX can feed a new player’s ship (42 x T1 Cruisers) for a month or two.

2. The transacted money is hardly for social value at all. While there are some gold sink as well (Faction ships), there are much more place that a player can spend in EvE. An showing off a really rare ship is more likely to attract suicide gank (attacks) rather then Envy sights.

3. Efficient or Hardworking Isk-maker live their game for “free” on the exchanging “service” for the game time. The market itself is self-balanced.

4. Bot and Black market Isk (Gold) Seller still exists, even if it did reduced a lot. Since some player just want RL cash, instead of game time alone.


Disclaimer: I never buy gold in Wow, but did buy two Plex in Eve for starting budget for my trader. In both case, it’s valid for the EULA on both game.



| posted in Wow Econ Research Project

Mar 30 2011

WoW Econ 102 by Sovrun


(Zekta: Yeah, I am still alive, just haven’t much time and topics to post. Thanks Sovrun for these wonderful posts. Until next time  o7 Zekta.)

WoW Econ 102: What can Hunters tell us about pricing?
By Sovrun

There comes a time in everyone’s life where they come to realize that what appear to be one thing is actually another. This is what happened to me a while back when examining the WoW economy. You can talk about a number of economic factors that could be involved, but in actuality none of them matter. The WoW Economy isn’t in fact an economy at all.

Whoa, not so far there partner, shouldn’t you qualify your statements a bit before jumping off the deep end. In last post, we talked about markets. Aren’t markets naturally associated with the economies that exchange products for a monetary value from the buyers and sellers? May be we didn’t spend enough time talking about “nuts”.

Well, if we don’t assume the typical, then what do we get. Hmmm, what is it? But of course… WoW is a game. The economy isn’t something that functions like a stock exchange or store. The WoW markets are each a game within the confines of the game world. They put sellers against each other in to be the selected item that gets purchased. In a store or stock exchange there is no order to the items that will be sold. However, within the game, only the lowest priced items that meet the request are purchased. This order changes your approach to pricing and figuring out which segments of the markets to participate in. Get it?

Auction House is a game

Once you accept that the Auction House is a game, you change you mindset. Let’s look into game theory to determine which of our actions will be most beneficial. I would like to examine a classic example of the Hunter’s Dilemma. This is an example where two hunters can independent select from two different meadows to hunt in. The Northern Meadow is filled with larger game, such as, deer and the Southern Meadow is filled with smaller game, such as, rabbits. The dilemma revolves around the choice that each hunter must make. The hunters will get capture either one deer or three rabbit from the respective meadow. However, if they hunt in the same meadow, they go home empty handed.

This example isn’t purely accurate, but explains how your choice of segment affects the price that you can get. The WoW Economy actually has many hunters working in each meadow, but WoW has a lot more game too. The Hunter’s dilemma points us to markets with less competition to achieve the best possible price for our goods. This doesn’t mean that hunting in the Western Meadow will be success simply because no one is hunting there. There might simply be no game or demand for those items. Simply put, find segments with demand, but limited competition. This is also why the profitable AH Gamer will need to have some diversity in production capabilities.

Game Theory

Wait, isn’t game theory used to price items in retail stores? Why aren’t we choosing a pricing example when we are talking about pricing? Well, the answer is easy. If you have a dominant strategy, use it. The a real world game of pricing, you can sell items without being the lowest priced item, but your price sets which portion of the market you will capture as individual choose items based on what is available to select within there given location. Lowering your price may capture an extra percent of market share, but it no likely to have the biggest impact. A good sales person can always point out the differentiators that allow for a high point whether they are actual benefits or perceived benefits. Customers may be willing to go to a competing store a few doors down, but it would be impractical to travel 300 miles/kilometers to save a little money. The time investment makes it not worth the effort. Customers also have some level of brand loyalty that just simply does not exist in the game. However, the Auction House is really big store with various prices for a single item. Therefore, the only item that sells is the lowest meeting the buying criteria. The dominant strategy is to be the lowest priced item on the market when the buyers are looking for the item.

I see… price everything really low and you will get all of the sales. Woot, I am going to be rich!

Not so fast, you need to look at another pricing example from a video I saw at Interop last year, where two completing sock merchants on the streets of London compete for sales. Barney is selling his socks for 40p until the Franklin moves into the area. Then the two go back and forth lowering there price until Franklin realized that Barney is now selling below Franklins wholesale price and buys all of Barney’s sock for 4p a pair. Franklin quickly raises the price to 45p and is happy that his stock of socks can be sold without competition.


This is a strategy that I have used a number of times in the glyph market to reset margins. I will cover the glyph market in another segment, but the basic thought is to examine the market while posting. When just a couple of items are on the Auction House near your threshold, it is better to purchase them to reset the price to a higher point than to post at an ever slimming margin. As long as, your reset price is within reason, the market will progress, as it would have at the lower price, but with higher margins.

The basics of pricing in WoW for a given item are simple.

  1. Undercut by the smallest margin possible (1c). Anything larger just spends up the Sock situation.
  2. Don’t sell below a threshold unless you are trying to no longer sell that item. This threshold may be based on raw material cost or effort for farming typical or rare materials.
  3. Look for opportunities to buy all the socks. This will allow you to reset the pricing levels for higher profitability. Be cautious here, you won’t want to end up protecting a price point. If you are purchasing more than three to five items, don’t reset the price.

Until next time….have fun and sell like a crazy hunter, possibly a goblin hunter.



| posted in Wow Econ Research Project

Mar 28 2011

Sovrun’s Debut


Dear Reader, Sovrun recently got in touch with me and asked if he could try a guest post on P3P. After a little back and forth, he crafted the following. Sovrun is a fellow AIE’er, has a ton of WoW gold, and is generally worth listening to. So, without further ado, let’s give him a chance to speak up!

GL!/bow -Jimm


Econ 101: Introduction to the WoW Economy
By Sovrun

Hello all, I should really start off by explaining a little about myself prior to moving into the dirt.  I have been playing WoW since the launch of Wrath.  Yes, I am a Wrath baby.  It’s okay.  Call me what you want.  I don’t have time for participate in the end game much.  I guess this is what makes be an altaholic with a professions issue.  A friend of mine asked my to take up writing about the WoW economy as a substitute for the typical 12 step program.  So….here is step one.

The first step into any venture is to understand the market to see what opportunities exist and help to define your angle and strategy.   Well,  that’s a load of nothing specific.  What does this mean?  If you look at the market you will see that it behaves similar to many of the real world markets, but just not the ones that you are likely thinking of   You are not going to make headlines because of the latest do-dad that your innovative team of engineers just came up with, no matter how thin you screen is.   The WoW economy is a nuts and bolts industry.  No really, it’s just like buying nuts, bolts, screws and nails.  You are not going to find any cults of fruit that will buy anything that Harrison Jones is offering.  You, nor I, have that kind of pull with our “Made by” tags. 

So what do I mean by Nails…  Nails are your typical bulk items that sell in high volumes, but have no real differentiation.  Yes, there may be a nail built by some amazing designer, but most will settle of the less wonderful bulk item.  They may be different size or for a specialized use, but they are still basic and no one cares were they come from.  Did I just describe the Bag Market?  Of course, I did.  Items that fit into this category are the types of things that are in high demand with generally low margins.  Think Bags, Fortune Cards, Belt Buckles when you put items into the Nails category.

Ok, but Screws?  Have you ever bought a screw?  Screws are more specialized than nails.  Companies that are participating in the Screws Market must create different variations to meet the customer’s fickle demand.  Are these descriptions hitting home or what?  Yes, you guessed it.  The screws market is similar to Gems, Enchants and Glyph.  These items sell really well, but you need the breadth of scope to capture the sales.  If you only sell one type of Gem, Enchant or Glyph, you can pretty much guarantee that you will not make much in the way of Gold.  Even the rare recipes don’t sell as often or have as much profit potential as the group in general.

The Nuts and Bolt market is even further specialized.  The main difference is that they are complimentary.  This category is made up of item that may be subcomponents, most blues and epic items, recipes and pets.  These items may warrant a premium, but sell at a lower rate than the other two categories.  Yes, there are many niche items in this area that will do really well, but the risk is also higher than the other categories.

This can’t really just be about renaming groups of items into something you can find at the local hardware store.  Again, you are way smart than…well, the small screen staring back at me.  Once you understand which segment you are selling to you need to ensure that you are profitable.  Add-ons will help understand what items are currently not selling for.  But to ensure profitability, I recommend manually setting a minimum threshold that ensures financial growth.  Feel free to undercut as much as you want as long as the item is still posted above you costs.  Needless to say, companies don’t stay in business long selling everything at a loss.  There is no such thing as a loss leader on the Auction House.  I don’t want to go into pricing strategies at this time, but stay mindful of your ratio of Price to Cost.

Each segment requires a different strategy to attach. 

Nails have high competition, but you don’t have to be to lowest priced supplier on the Auction House to sell.  The demand will allow you to have long posting cycles with high volumes.  Let’s just call it a low time investment category. 

I also put the gathering professions in this category. Herbs, Ore, Cloth, and Leather are also additional examples of Nails.  The real difference here is thinking about how these items are used in the professions and by popular add-ons.  For instance, Trade Skill Master is gaining momentum for heavy Auction House Users.  The TSM Shopping Scan will only consider herbs or ore stacks that can evenly create inks and gems during it’s semi-automated buying cycle.  Based on this information alone, it doesn’t make sense to post Ore and Herbs in anything but groups of 5, 10, 15 and 20.  Otherwise, you miss the opportunity to sell your raw materials to potential manufacturers.

Screws, on the other hand, have the demand spread throughout the category.  These are typically fiercely competitive where only the lowest priced items will sell.  My experience with the glyph market is that when you have complete glyph coverage, the 12-hour posting window is way too long.  You actually will sell the vast majority of items within the first hour or two.  These two characteristics combine to make this a high time investment category.  Additionally, this category is ripe for price resetting, but I will cover this more under pricing strategies

Lastly, the Nuts and Bolts category is similar to the Nails in that long posting cycles are typical, but the demand is much lower.  In fact, you may be the only item on the AH and not have a single offer.

In my next segment (no pun intended), I will go into pricing strategies.  How do I price my items?  Do I undercut?  By how much?  How can two hunters help?  You got it.  I’ll explain it all next time…. Until then, have fun and make more copper than the next guy.

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