I received a reader email yesterday asking a question that is in all our heads, and after starting to answer him, I decided to make a post due to this being an issue I hear quite a bit.....
So I have been reading through a couple of blog posts from your site and others. I haven't been able to find the topic that I have been looking for. I understand that it's much easier to have people farm mats for you while you pay a certain price. I'm just not sure how to approach them in making the offer to send their mats to me for a good price. Speaking about buying it for a good price how much would be a reasonable offer....maybe 20g off the AH price?
We all have this thought, and most (it seems) do not act on it. We bite the bullet, buy our mats from the AH, and go on with our day. I fall into that category at times, normally assuming (and you know what they say about assuming...) that they A) don't speak english B) won't respond or C) don't care to deal with people (that's why it's on the AH in the first place, and not in trade).
|Serious "Sweatshop" WoW Gold Farming|
Let's look at an example: Obsidium Ore. We know since patch 4.1.0 that the "floor" price is 30g, but if you use my 6/36 method, you know from some quick math that they are worth 52g on your server (if you aren't aware of my "rule", you can read the comments on 4.1.0: Whatcha need to know). On the AH, they are 40g and there is one farmer that has 102 stacks at that price. Straight away, we know that at a 12g profit per stack (at current prices) we can make a quick 1200g, right? Easy money, just takes some time to profit.
So now I ask the question back to you, is 1200g worth it to you for your time to "shuffle" them? Let's just say for instance that it is. Do you buy em all up anyways? Think about this.....say you do talk to the farmer. Is 35g per stack a fair offer? You spend 10 minutes arguing with him (due to he posted 150 stacks, and 48 had already sold at the 40g) and you lowball an offer of 30g to buy em all right now (he stands to lose 1000g by selling them to you now, and you stand to gain 1000g). He gets offended, and basically tells you to F off. Sound familiar? Probably.
What I would do is offer him to save time. You know that the Obsidium Ore usually has sold for 42g per stack since the patch dropped last week, right? So the current 40g is a good price. I would send him/her an in game mail stating:
I purchased all your stacks (102) of Obsidium Ore at 40g in the AH. I would like to have a constant supply, feel free to save the AH fees and COD me as many as you can get (no more than 200 stacks a day) for 38g per stack and you won't have to deal with posting them. Deal? Lemme know!
Obviously, if you see the person in game, you can do basically the same in chat. Why did I not offer less? I want to establish a relationship with them. I don't want to gouge them, as I am still profiting.
Ignore is a powerful function in WoW (see a post by Khailor about ingnoring) and to lose a prospective farmer would be bad. After a few days of getting the 200 stacks, if you are greedy, you can let them know that you have a supplier for 35g per, if you want to risk losing them. It's a risk, and....well.....is it really worth losing a constant supply to gain a few hundred gold? In my eyes, no. But you might see it differently.
Are you feeling where I am going with this? It's all about where you want your profit margin to be. If you are profitable vs. time, then don't hesitate to snatch em up at the 40g (and still send the mail). If they are 50g in the AH, is it worth only 200g profit for your time? I would think not, that is when you would push the envelope and ask for 40g (for at least a 1K profit on your side).
Overall, I hope that gives you a bit of insight on my thought process, you can either use it or lose it. There are quite a few variables when getting new farmers, so take my advice with a grain of salt. 72% of the time it works 51% of the time (or something like that...who knows really). Remember too that if you don't buy them, someone else will, and like that famous guy in that famous movie said "If you aren't first, you are last". Words to live by in the AH....
I have an oldie but a goodie post on Finding Farmers on your Server if you want to read a bit more.....
I am hoping that some of my readers might have seen similar issues, if so, holler out what you did or do in this style situation (and no xander, not your idol "The Situation").