Tuesday, October 27, 2009

This Blog is Shifting Perspectives

Over the past month I have been writing blog posts intermittently, using many scattered topics in hopes of finding my "niche" in the blogosphere. It wasn't until last night that I stumbled upon an idea while discussing blogging and internet marketing with Serainy (from AH-Whoring.com) and Will (from WoWConfidential.com). It was the discussion of finding a "niche" that really set off a light bulb in my head.

From talking to people, and from what I have read, there appear to be a great deal of "hard science" minds that currently write WoW Economics blogs. By this I mean people who have / are studying chemistry, computer science, engineering and so forth. The one thing I have noticed is a distinct lack-of blogging from people who have studied "social sciences". It was at this point that I thought to myself, "Why not try catering to an audience that very few people try to reach? After all, I've got a degree in Psychology, why not use it in conjunction with my interests?" After thinking about it, and mulling over some ideas I could use to start off, I decided that I'd go for it.

And so, from this point forward "Green Guts: Goblin Emporium" has changed to "Green Guts: Goblin Psychology", and will henceforth seek out answers to the "Why?" questions that relate to the WoW Economy. Wish me luck!

Also, for those still interested in hearing more about my latest adventures in the Auction House, I just started using Twitter. I will begin posting from there after I've transferred (later today).

Lastly, keep your eyes open for my first psychology related post, "Goblins: Who and Why".

~ GG

Monday, October 26, 2009

Taking the Plunge

I'm at less than 1 day out from my server transfer, and don't have much to write today. I'm currently stockpiling inks at the moment (massive milling & inking this evening!) and don't have any major ideas to post today.

I may push back to 1-2 posts a week while I begin to plan out what topics I'd like to cover here on my blog. I will also be looking into starting a twitter account to give more up-to-date stuff that I'm doing on a daily basis.

So, with that - check back next time to find out how my transfer went, whether I've started up a twitter yet - and oh yeah, how Transmute Mastery Alchemy is going (after some convincing from wingman, I took the plunge).

~ GG

Friday, October 23, 2009

Moving Servers

So after some discussion with my better half, we've decided to move servers. This post will be dedicated to to what one ought to consider prior to their move.

First, consolidate bag space! You can't take that 6 slot guild bank with you, so that means you've got to break things down into smaller, stack sized units. For me this meant breaking Nethwerweave Cloth into bolts, and Herbs into pigments (then Inks).

Second, make sure all of the items from your guild bank(s) fit onto the characters you plan to transfer with. If this is a paid transfer, fitting every inch that you can onto your pending-transfer characters is important. If you find that after consolidating you have space left - it is important you read the next step.

Do your research! Sometimes you will be lucky enough to move to a new island paradise with VERY little competition, and high prices. Be sure to compare the cost of specific items from your current server with the intended server, and buy up everything profitable that you can to fill up that bag space!

My Shopping List:
Frostweave / Netherweave Cloth
King's Amber
Cardinal Ruby
Eternal Fire / Earth / Life
Saronite Ore / Titanium Ore
Titansteel Bars
Eternal Belt Buckles
Frost Lotus
Adder's Tongue / Icethorn / Lichbloom
Flask of Endless Rage / the Frost Wyrm
Darkmoon Card: Greatness / Noble's Deck

Thus far, the profits from a few of these items are very meager in what they would net me when I transfer. There has only been one item that seems like a good buy for me right now, being Eternal Belt Buckles. I have bought these up at 50g each on my current server - as they sell for 100g each on the server I will be moving to. Sadly I was only able to grab 40 of these little buggers... but I will be keeping my eye on them over the weekend to see if I can snag more at a decent price - and to make sure they don't crash on my intended server.

Lastly, once you've cleared out your guild bank (6 slot in my case) - SELL THE GUILD BANK! This can be kind of tough to do, but it costs 9,350g to get 6 slots, and nobody spends that kind of money on a Guild Bank on a whim! So, ANY money you can get back for it is well worth getting!

Check back Sunday to see how my progress is coming along with the move, and whether I've discovered any new goodies to poach for my transfer :)

~ GG

P.S. feel free to comment on some items that YOU would look at prior to a server transfer. I'd love to see what you all come up with, and maybe give them a whirl!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

No Post Today

Sorry to disappoint everyone, but there won't be any posts today. My server has been lagged to hell due to some recent issues. This has otherwise prevented me from executing my AH strategies I had plan to test this week, which makes me a sad panda.

Expect something possibly tomorrow or Friday, as the servers have supposedly been fixed, and I should have something for you all then.

~ GG

Monday, October 19, 2009

Naga stole my (gaming) Heart

If you're a gamer with some extra cash on hand, and a desire to get a little bit more out of your game, I have two words for you get imba.

I received my Naga in the mail on Thursday evening, and now that I've had a weekend to re-tool my macros and key bindings (as well as practice a bit) I can safely say: The Razer Naga is BY FAR the best mouse I have ever owned. To give you a feel for the size, I've gone about converting the "Approximate size" listed on the box into inches for you all that own a ruler, here goes:

Length: 4.57 inches
Width : 2.71 inches
Height (at its highest point in your palm): 1.64 inches

Now if you go and measure your mouse, you'll find that is somewhat smaller than the G9 Gaming Mouse, but ironically fits much better to the hand due to its ergonomic design. After 2.5 solid days of gaming, I have yet to have any of the usual cramping issues associated with extended use.

As for the time it has taken me to adapt my play style, it was surprisingly short. I'm a fairly hardcore arena player - and so I do not necessarily have "off days". As a result, I played pretty extensively this weekend in both battlegrounds and arenas with my new 3s team. On my first full night of use (Friday) and first full day, I did have the occasional moment of panic when I was thinking that I had to use this-heal and would accidentally push the wrong button. There's no better way to learn than a bit of pressure! It was on Sunday morning that I finally saw the turn around, and in a bit of late night gaming with my team, pulled off a 5-0 win streak. For most of the games we had played Saturday, we would do a lot of back-and-forth winning and losing to a 20-20 ratio. To go 5 and 0 the very next day told me a great deal of improvement had occurred on my end (as I admittedly was the anchor of the team early on).

So, for all of you gamers out there using an exaggerated amount of keys (I play a Priest, so I had both offensive & healing spells to bind) - GET THIS MOUSE! You won't regret it.

Check back Wednesday for more posts about my recent Auction House adventures and discoveries!

~ GG

Friday, October 16, 2009

Auctionator: a great addon for your AH arsenal!

As promised, today I will be highlighting one of my favorite new addons to use: Auctionator. I currently use this addon to supplement my QA sales for appropriate items, such as Disenchanted materials (ID, GCE) as well as flasks, bags, and runescrolls. I also use it to buy items in bulk, in replacement of Auctioneer's "Snatch" function (something I find to be entirely too complicated to setup / use easily).

Buying Items

Buying items with Auctionator is fairly straight forward. First, you search for the item you want to buy. The search is then saved to a list and is opened in a box below the search field. Items listed in the field are listed by the lowest price-per-unit (1 of whatever it is you're searching for). To the right of this, you will see listed the number of stacks of the item, followed by its stack size. Further to the right, is the actual price-per-stack.

Once you've decided to buy something, the following box pops up:

This box allows you to enter the number of stacks that you want to buy (with a max available number listed below it) and the price listed to the right. The price will increase to the price-per-stack multiplied by the number of stacks you want to buy, ultimately letting you know just how much your spending. Then, simply hit the "Buy" button and it will begin purchasing the item for you. On a large number of buyouts, it will buy in intervals - all you need do is continue to click the "Buy" button to continue buying the item.


Selling items is almost mindless in its ease-of-use. Simply drag the item you wish to sell into the box in the upper-left corner (much like Auctioneer). From here, a detailed list of the current value of the item pops up in the box to the right. From there, simply edit the number of stacks you want to sell, the stack size, and the duration you wish to use (which stays at whatever you set it to, until you change it. Otherwise, it will sell all items at the current duration you have listed below).

Another cool function of this "sell" section is that it will also allow you to buy out items on the "Sell" list. This is great if you know your competitor(s) have listed items at less than their value. Lastly, undercutting values can be set through the addons interface settings, seen below:

So yeah, other than incorporating this new toy into my list of addons - my pockets have been doing well! With the use of both this and QA2, I managed to double my money Tuesday night. I've learned that Netherweave Bags, though not the highest-profit item I can make, sell like hot cakes. I literally couldn't keep them up on the AH. I also learned that enchanting mats have a "sweet spot" for stack sizes. Some stack sizes sell out exponentially faster than others - do some research and set some lures, because once you've found it your stock will sell out FAST. I'm still recuperating from my sell out of infinite dust and GCE's. Flasks are selling well, but not for uber-high profit at the moment (Frost Lotus is WAY too expensive at the moment). Lastly, the glyph market is still under water from my flood of low priced glyphs - hopefully my competition will drown soon enough.



Post coming today!

Hi all, sorry I haven't been posting on my regular schedule of every-other-day. Last night I got the Razer Naga in the mail - and believe me, no other gaming mouse has felt this good in my hand.

Tonight I'll be posting about my latest ventures in the market, and I will be spotlighting a pretty sweet addon that I've been using in conjunction with QA2 to Buy and Sell items on the AH.

See you all later!

~ GG

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Diversity: the key to Success

In every market there are ebbs and flows. Some markets move very predictably as with the release of content patches and arena seasons. Others move sporadically with the availability of raw materials, which can (and often are) effected by a massive ban on bots. In all of these markets, some will find themselves to have steep peaks and massive declines, while others will stay relatively calm - with very slight growths and declines.

The key to maximizing your profits, and to protecting your liquidity, is to diversify. Diversity protects you as a Goblin in that it gives you wiggle room. As an example of this, I will use my own story.

When I re-started my career as a goblin, I used Inscription to spearhead my operation. In a matter of two weeks, I moved my liquidity from 2,000 to 8,000 gold - and then the MMO-Champion articles were released. Over the course of 3 days I went from earning 500g to 800g nightly to a meager 150g to 300g. I was fortunate at the time in that I have both a Jewelcrafter and an Enchanter - and so it was at that point that I began working the Saronite Shuffle.

If it hadn't been for my opportunity to diversify with some of the other professions that I had maxed out, I probably would have been run out of the market at that point. Since that shift, I have decided to bring down the Glyph market in order to weed people out while I continue to make profits elsewhere.

What I'm doing Now

Fortunately, with the capital I've earned from the Glyph market, I've been able to diversify into several areas.

Jewelcrafting & Enchanting

I'm doing the usual Saronite Shuffle stuff with these two professions. I haven't bothered to look into the Enchant Scroll market yet - but that option is always open to me.


About a week and a half ago I brought my Tailoring up to 425, and basically sat on a stockpile of Netherweave Bolts made from cloth I bought on-the-cheap. It wasn't until late last week that I found out how fast Netherweave Bag's sell out (and usually in sets of 4). I'm still working on finding a cloth farmer to make this a bit more profitable, but otherwise it's a HOT market to be in if you can get cheap Netherweave. I also make the various "weaves" (Ebon, Spell, Moonshroud) for a nice chunk of change. I'm still slowly working toward being able to make the Spellthreads for some cash.


Two nights ago I maxed out my Alchemy, complete with Elixir Mastery. This week I'll be testing the waters on Flasks, and hopefully sometime soon Potions of Speed. Right now the profit on an individual Flask can be pretty marginal, but hopefully the mastery proc's will serve to make this more profitable.


Right now I'm working on keeping this market's profit margins fairly low. I'm throwing 48 hour posts on the AH in stacks of two, with a "Smart Undercut" against my competition. I don't do ANY cancelling, so that my competition will continue to keep undercutting me for marginal profits.

One Last Tip

I suggest buying in BULK if you plan to work up a new profession on an alt. If someone catches wind that you are mass-buying items that look like you're power leveling a profession, their sure to buy the next item up and re-list it for exuberant prices. This happened the day after I broke 425 on Tailoring - and luckily, I wasn't buying much at that point.

Also, check out www.wow-professions.com for some great guides for working up those new professions. Good luck!

~ GG

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Fending off the Competition

In my last post I outlined the measures I was taking to crash the Glyph market. Today I will be discussing the results of the crash and what changes I've had to render to continue crashing the market in a manner that is "safe" for my pocket.

When my initial crash strategy ensued as servers came up Tuesday, I began to see a decrease in activity from my competition. There was only one other person in the market who seemed willing to hug the threshold closer than I was, and that suited me just fine. Between the two of us, we held the market at a consistently low profit-margin for a good several days. All the while, I was netting approximately 300-500 gold every morning (which was about equal to what I would make on a given morning when the profit-margins were higher). The thing I disliked most was that it took more time and materials to restock my glyphs for a smaller payout. But, in order to drive people out - sometimes you have to make sacrifices.

To make matters worse, shortly after Tuesday herbs were more scarce than usual - and began selling at higher prices (probably due to the DMF). These two factors would eventually lead to the alternative market-crashing strategy that took shape yesterday. But before I go on to talk about my alternate strategy - I just want to give you all a tip about something you should watch out for when the herb prices are spiking and you are crashing the market

On Thursday night, when 3/4ths of the glyphs on the market were sitting at my threshold (2g) I began to see a massive buyout. One of my competitors decided that, with the situation of costly herbs that were hard to find - it would be a great idea to buy out the market and resell. The problem was, I had virtually no inks at this point, and no herbs to mill - which lead me to doing a /cancelall.

From here, I had to rethink how I wanted to go about crashing the market. First things first, I couldn't have my competition buying out the glyphs that I had made at my previous cost-to-craft. So, with a little research, I moved to reset my threshold slightly above what it would cost to craft glyphs at the current herb prices (3g and 5g respectfully). Next, I bumped my fallback up to 8g and 10g, a level at which I believe my competitors will not try to "buy me out" with. Then, I turned off the "Override undercut" and turned on Smart Undercutting. This means that now, when I am undercut, I will only have to go through a period of 5 undercuts before I have met my threshold.

So now, instead of running people out of the market by "burning the crops and sowing salt into the earth", I am running people out through lowering morale. When you see your 10g glyph suddenly drop to a sub-4g glyph in an hour - making less than 1g profit on it, it's bound to get some people to quit. But, I'm only on day 5 of my "market crashing" extravaganza - when the war is over, I'll be sure to let you all know!

In other News

Check out Carbon's latest post over at his blog for some cool addons you might want to bring into the fold - their pretty sweet! Also, if you're a scribe, take a look at Wingman's post on the JMTC forums to calculate how many more days of research you've got left.

Next time on Green Guts' Goblin Emporium...
Check back next time to see what new profession(s?) I've maxed out, how my new plan to hold down the market is working, and whether I've FINALLY found a 3v3 team.

~ GG

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

The Book of Revelations

If you have been following my blog, you probably know that I have recently undertaken a strategy of buying out my competitors glyphs that are selling below my own threshold, in order to build to a stack of 20 for each glyph. The results of this buy-out were rather astonishing in both a good and bad way.

In many instances, the glyphs that I purchased below my threshold didn't quite get me to a 20 stack of each glyph. Instead, they brought me back to the point where I could start selling them for profit again - which I did. But this is where it starts to get interesting... because many more of the glyphs that I bought out ended up being re-listed at my fallback price (35g-59g). Over the past three days, though I have found myself undercut by competitors, many of these glyphs that were originally re-listed at my fallback price have stayed close to that price listing. My initial thought about this was "Great!" - and then I realized something.

I'm feeding the baby-goblins.

First, it should be mentioned that I'm an East Coast player on a West Coast server. This means that I don't get the "last laugh" when it comes to re-posting glyphs late at night for the overnight sales. Secondly, there are possibly 2 other big players in the Glyph market, 2-3 small time "crashers", and 3-5 newcomers. The result of my buying out glyphs that were selling below my own threshold only managed to hurt the other big competitors in the market, dishearten / slow down the "crashers", and make glyphs profitable for the baby-goblins.

On an average night, one of the two big competitors will undercut 1/4th to 1/3rd of my glyphs. Most of the time the "crashers" only post a dozen glyphs at prices so-low that it'd be stupid to bother with (67 silver or less) - and so I let them be. On an average morning, this means I will usually cancel & re-list ~400 to 500 glyphs due to being undercut by both big and small competitors. But this morning I woke up, hit the cancel button, and was left with 57 glyphs on the AH and 895 glyphs in my mailbox. 99% of my glyphs were undercut OVERNIGHT!

And then this morning I was struck with an abounding revelation as I began to add it all together: I am the single largest player in the glyph market on my server. I have no idea how this came to happen over these past three weeks, but now I know what I must do. I had hoped that the "crashers" and my other big competitors would run the baby-goblins out of the market after the MMO-Champion fiasco, but alas it seems that I cannot sit idle any longer.

Lesson of the day: Never trust your competition to run out other competitors. It is time I set my threshold to 2x my profit margin, my fallback to 100%, and my undercuts to 25-50 silver.

"I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending"
Revelations 1:7

~ GG

Sunday, October 4, 2009

In a world with competition, Efficiency is King.

On Thursday evening I began investing in the Saronite Shuffle again. Having done this before (and not knowing what it was called), it was rather easy to get into a groove. The process used to be easier for me, as I had both Enchanting & Jewelcrafting on the same character - but no matter. With the help of a nice macro and BulkMail's autosend feature it was easy to get everything together and sent on to the characters it needed to get to. The only extra step I had to take in the process was to "dust off" my extra bank alt (get the pun?), and send him some money.

On Friday morning I woke up with 1050 gold in my mail box on my Saronite Shuffle bank alt, and 505 gold on my Glyph bank alt. Needless to say, I've been disappointed with the Glyph market on my server lately. I've tried selling 2 Glyphs at a time, with thresholds lower than my cost-per-glyph (3.50g at the time). I've also tried selling only Glyphs above my threshold - again, very little net gain.

So now, I'm trying yet another strategy. Instead of keeping my Glyphs stacked at 4 a piece, I've decided to start buying out Glyphs that are below my threshold in order to get my Glyph stacks to 20. Sometimes in the process of doing this, I manage to buy out all of the glyphs below my threshold - and as a result, I end up throwing 4 more Glyphs back onto the AH at above my threshold cost. I mean, after all, why pay more to make Glyphs that your selling out of when your competition will sell it to you for less?

Furthermore, if your competition is trying to crash the market at a cost that is below their own threshold - buying out their glyphs to fill your stacks only hurts their pockets. And on the other hand, if your competition is able to afford undercutting you at a profit - then you probably can't drive them out of the market anyway. So why not use them to fill your own stacks, allow your competition to drive others out of the market, and wait for the Glyph prices to rise a little?

In other news, I've recently been told of a way I might go about off-setting my cost-per-glyph in order to lower my threshold significantly. After my recent mass-purchase of herbs, I'll probably put it into effect and see how it goes. I'll be sure to let you all know if it works out. Also, I've recently tested the waters of the Card market - and sold 2 of my Nobles Decks already! Woohoo! Lastly, I'm still looking to expand into another market, as I have at least 3 profession slots on level 70+ characters that ought to be filled with something useful.

Next time on Green Guts...

Check back next time to see if my new Glyph strategies work out, how the Saronite Shuffle is treating me, and what new professions I'll be working up next!

~ GG

Friday, October 2, 2009

The resounding importance of Account Security

For those of you who haven't read his post yet, Kevmar (someone many consider to be a prominent contributor to the JMTC Community) was hacked last night. Though I'm unsure who or what caused his account to be compromised - a question keeps popping up in the back of my mind. Was this a targeted event? Or was Kevmar simply a victim of a random hacking incident? Either way, his immense loss of materials and gold ought to act as a warning to the community of just how important it is to have protection in place. I bought one for both my partner and I prior to the release of Ulduar - and boy am I glad I did!

Pleasant surprise

I was tickled this morning when I logged in to find myself being undercut by new bank alts / new players - with ASCII text names! Either the competition has stumbled across my blog, or simply mimicked what I have done on my new bank alt. Either way, I was happy to see that I am shaping the market I play in - and not just reacting to it.

Expanding my market interests

For nearly 3 weeks now I have been enjoying the Glyph market. I had no idea that the Inscription profession would be as valuable as it was - and was luckily tipped off by a friend on how I might capitalize on it. Now that I have more than doubled my initial-investment income, I believe it is time for me to expand. Sadly, MMO-Champion threw the enchanting market down the tubes - as that is what I was planning on investing in next. At the moment, my thinking is that I should enter into a market that spans class, level, and gear - like the Glyph market does. We'll see how this turns out.

1800 and Inefficient

After reading another post from Kevmar, I realized just how bad my AH camping was for my profit margins, and have since stopped doing so. Unfortunately, as I just hit 1800 last night on my Arena team, I'm stuck with farming honor for my weapons for Tuesday (which won't net any liquid profit). But, this also means that I'll be able to expand out of the mediocrity in Arena's which is exciting!

Next time on Green Guts...

Check back to see what market I expand into next, and *hopefully* how profitable it has been for me!