World Of Warcraft, WoW Hand Armor

Monday, February 14, 2011

Altos "How To" Guide- Manipulate the AH to get Epic Results

I have hit on this before, but not in complete detail. Well, here you go folks. This style of AH PvP is hated by some, as I am sure to get some blast on my comments for covering this....

This is in fact a two part post combined into one. Since Cata, I have seen this example happen on almost every "farmable" mat that is used in crafting, and have used this style of PvP with almost every one of them. Mysterious Fortune Cards is a biggie. Volatiles, Gems, Leather, and Ore/Herbs are heavy hitters too. Enough chit-chat, lets get this goin, right?

First off, check your AH. You can do it many ways, but the best is using the Auctionator Buy tab. Go to my "Recent" searches (like my jacked MFC twice in a row? lol) and in this example, I am using Volatile Life. Be prepared in some markets to do a hefty investment (in this case around 3300g). The reason I focus on Volatiles for this is they are a quick sale, everyone and their grandma are snatching these up all times of the day. So I am warning you to be weary of what markets you do this with, as I prefer the ones with the quick flip like I mentioned above. Next.

See the 7.99g posts?
There are 8 stacks of 1, 2 stacks of 200, then it goes to 10g with two stacks of 1. Total around 3300g investment. Buy em all up. Got me? You are looking for the "big break". 8g to 13g is a 5g profit per sale, correct? And how many did I just buy? 400ish? So really, I am looking at a near 2K profit on this "flip". But I bring it a bit farther. Why do you ask? Read on, young grasshopper....

Click on the SS above, and study it, then come back. "What are you doing Alto?", "You are already undercutting yourself!". Yeah, you are right. But no, not in all senses of the term. You see, Volatile Life is used by a few different profs. And really, you need multiples. Not just one. When crafters purchase these from the AH, they buy bulk. I would go into why, but it would take too long. Trust me. You have already and made a ton of gold from my advice, why stop now?

Now I know your next question. "Why are you only listing half of what you bought, and why in 50 stacks?" The 50 stack reason is due to my answer above. If someone needs 36 to craft XX item, they will buy 50 and have extra. Why? Because to buy 36 in the example above, they would have to click 12 times to buy the stacks of three below me. We all know we make more gold from the lazy people. One click versus twelve clicks? We win. =) The second part of your question is....wait. I answered the second part first. Thanks for correcting me. The "first" part of your question was why am I listing half right now....that is twofold. One, you create a false sense of "rarity" of the item. Two, well, in this case, I was planning on being on for a few to prospect and mill, so I would have easy access to the AH when they sell. And if I saw no movement in 20 min or so, I would double back, check to see undercut, and change my gameplan.

So, I post my 4 stacks of 50, tap the button for a fresh AH scan, go downstairs to put a load in the wash, go out back, smoke a stogie (thanks to a twitter post by CbC earlier, I broke out a Cohiba, went on the porch, and watched the snow melt for a few minutes). I come back to see that my four sold. So I repost the other four stacks of 50, do my Auctionator scan now, and go to finish my stogie. I come back, and this is what I see:

Ok. Add that up quick. 3737.5g is on it's way to my mailbox. 250 outta the 400 sold, and I have already made a 400 gold profit. Now I am writing this post around midnight, and havent logged back in yet to check, but I can guarantee they sold, for another 2200g in sales. So if you wanna see it as a 2600g profit for a few minutes work, then I am gonna have to agree with you. Not too shabby, huh?

Now this is not server dependent. You can run multiple markets with this idea, and even go further and "bully" with this style of AH PvP. So when your niche market is slowing, search around and do a test run. Remember, I know my markets, along with the ebb and flow. You might not want to risk this, as certain markets will seriously stress you out if you toss some gold at it and see no returns right away.
I can guarantee if you see the same screen above on your server, follow my steps, you will succeed. Well, unless you are on my server, you won't see this too often, unless I miss it.... =(

Now I need something from you. Tweet me, Follow me, Digg me, whatever all those little circles are up there. If you have one of those accounts, get my blog out there. I am not asking you to buy anything, just shout out to your WoW friends. It took me about about an hour and a half to write this post and make it all pretty for you to read, I imagine you can take 10 seconds to do this for me. See how easy that was?

And to all those that are filling up my inbox the last few days, know that the emails do not go unnoticed, and I enjoy reading what you have to say! Thanks again, and always feel free to contact me or ask questions in comments below.


Anonymous said... Reply To This Comment

When crafters purchase these from the AH, they buy bulk. I would go into why, but it would take too long. Trust me. You have already and made a ton of gold from my advice, why stop now?

I would love to see you elaborate on why crafters buy in bulk in a future post.

Kammler said... Reply To This Comment

Maybe I'm just inured to the AH game but I don't see what was so controversial here. This is just an example of what I call "squeezing the choke-point".

Blizz has set up the professions so that some materials are used by multiple crafters. Vol Life is one example but so are Infinite Dust, Titanium Ore and Wool Cloth.

Within most professions there are progression skill-ups that cause further bottlenecks. These situations make certain mats critical for the crafter to get the next skill-up. Rugged Leather is a good example of this, and so is Silver Ore.

Then there are goods that are rare enough to cause price spikes just due to how infrequently they appear in the AH. Khorium and Felsteel are examples.

Controlling these choke-point and bottleneck materials is a good strategy for earning gold. Due to the way the game operates no one can hope to control the markets for a long period of time. For a short window? Sure--and there are times when a smart goblin can do so successfully, banking serious revenue at the same time.

Controversial? No, I say good strategy.

Anonymous said... Reply To This Comment

Great Blog Alto, On the 'morality' issue people seem to have... I have more of an issue with the people who undercut by 30% like that, seems to me you are doing a favor to everyone on your server who farms herbs... and just taking your rightful reward ;)

Bangkok Bill said... Reply To This Comment

Great post. Tweeted to share some great content.

Brainbug said... Reply To This Comment

"When crafters purchase these from the AH, they buy bulk. I would go into why, but it would take too long. Trust me. You have already and made a ton of gold from my advice, why stop now?"
Not Really I think... most crafters have their price for what they will buy mats, if the price goes above this line they just won't buy the item and wait till the market will become normal again

otherwise this is the simple way of buy-low-sell-high ^^
on my server it doesn't work as good as on your ones, or I'm just to silly for this :D

Nev said... Reply To This Comment

I had to have a look at this on my server tonight - 420+ singles at 7-9g so I bought them all (OMG! Clicking for ages!) & then relisted most them at 12.50g per but in various size stacks - because I had my AH screen open & couldn't see my chat window, I didn't see someone in trade wanting a 1000 Volatile lifes! They were obviously too lazy to buy 400 singles but they happily bought all of my stacks! Got my investment back & still got 150+ lifes listed - looking forward to my mailbox tomorrow morning, that's for sure :) Thanks Alto {{mwah}}

Admin said... Reply To This Comment

I take it you aren't a crafter...I kinda hinted on it on the post, but basically it's the ease factor. Much easier to click once, get all your mats needed, then go on your way. I use alot of my AH strategies thinking in just that midset. What is the easiest to do. Same with on JC Dailies, Peeps will pay more for a 3 stack than clicking three times. You feel me on that? Shoot me an email if you want further explaination.

Alot of folks outside the "goblin" group of AH'ing see this as a bad thing, and that's what I tried to explain. I guess I didn't explain clear enough. Sorry bout that, I will do better next time.

Well put. I never looked at it that way.

Thanks brother, I appreciate it! By the way, you have been added to my blogroll.

And those are the crafters that aren't using their time wisely. If they are crafting and selling, whats the point of waiting to save 50 or 100g on mats if you are gonna lose a sale? I try to post information that is relative to my readers, and most if not all of them are in AH PvP, I am just explaining what I have seen in 5 years of playing the AH on 4 different servers.

My goal is to sell to the masses, not to those folks that are looking for a certain price point, as those guys aren't my "target" market. The cats that "want it, and need it now" are the ones you make the most gold from, not the occasional guy that crafts once a week, we want to supply the ones that make one or more a day. Do you see my point there?

Glad to see you took the post and used it! Now don't forget about it, as it is a constant gold supply. And if you remember from my old posts.....To quote some famous buy in some famous movie, "If you aren't first, you're last".

Since you have proved to yourself it works, keep an eye on it, and check the other markets (go with Cata only, IMO, not old school, as there is only a few crafters of them with slow sales, and a ton of Cata level crafters, which lead to a ton of sales). Rock on, and thanks for the thanks!

Jason said... Reply To This Comment

Awesome Post alto ! something I have done for ages myself, but I don't think I've seen it put quite so well :) I have you on my Twitter feel free to add me as well @syntalating.

Aliciana said... Reply To This Comment

Great post Alto! Oh and the new header!

I use this strategy often myself and you are absolutely right...if you know your market, you can make obscene amounts of gold with this strategy.

Admin said... Reply To This Comment

@ Syn and Aliciana,

Thanks to you both! It means alot to hear how much this post affected people!

iiimjiiim said... Reply To This Comment

I have to say I was a bit skeptical about this but gave it a shot anyway and I have to say its been working well. You may have chosen just the right moment to post this as well now that the Whiptail hotfix is in.

I'd expect now is the perfect time to snatch up some cheap Volatile Life and turn back around and post 50 stacks for a higher price. The prices are only going to go up and we might as well take advantage of that.

So far I've flipped 6 or so 50 stacks already (all at a profit). You're on to something here Alto. Cheers again. -flux

Anonymous said... Reply To This Comment


Good stuff. I routinely do this with the JC dailies, as you mentioned above. I made a big hit on it yesterday with the zephyrite daily. I didnt have much of a stockpile so I found a very nice "price break", as you aptly named it, and made a nice profit after quickly selling all my stacks.

This strategy is something any aspiring auctioneer should figure out on their own if they understand the various methods of price resetting. But I dont always notice the obvious myself so good on you for posting this.

Super Casual

Ven said... Reply To This Comment

Great post once again Alto.
What about if we buy all the 400 stacks ,sell half now ,and wait a few weeks or days to see if the price is increasing?
Or its just better to make some gold now then wait ?

Admin said... Reply To This Comment

@ thesuper,

Thanks! Nice to see you can pull it off on Zeph dailies. There are so many on my server that on Daily "day", they jump up to 15g. And there are usually around 500 listed...ugh.

@ Al,
Thanks! I wouldn't recommend stockpiling, as I see it if the gold is good now, take it while you can, especially on the Volatile Lifes. They aren't going anywhere, all the herbalists will keep a constant supply in the AH.

Really the only time you want to stockpile is when you see a niche (like upcoming patch notes) that talks about more "rare" items, or not as easily obtained. Pyrite Ore and Shadowspirit Diamonds would be a good example of this thought process.

Stede said... Reply To This Comment

This is a good read, Alto. It's not something I think much about, though - it happens automatically if I bother to list via Auctionator. In the early days of Cata, when uncut uncommon gems were hot, this was the only way to roll. Increase profits, increase sales, keep the market from steadily falling lower.

This strategy works well on commodity goods. Especially since one of the main uses of Volatile Life is for making flasks, which, in the last patch had their reagents changed to require more Volatile Life per flask.

Admin said... Reply To This Comment

Stede, how do you bother to NOT list with Auctionator?

Ven said... Reply To This Comment

You know what Alto i tried this yesterday,but the prices in my server for Volatile life are 3g,yes 3g so i didn't make a killing.So i had a "good" idea,do the same whit whiptails.
But i went crazy buying in a frenzy on whiptails in total 3k spent , tried to raise the price from 3g to 6.95g but couldn't sell for more then 10 minutes at that price so i still have a shitload of herbs that i buy ate 6g,7k and they are selling at 3g at AH what the well do i do now ?
My very first flip and i go nuts buying all the wrong stuff :).

Admin said... Reply To This Comment


Lemme guess, you were on twitter and saw someone's comment "buy all you can, whiptail" yesterday?

I hope you read this part I wrote above..."You might not want to risk this, as certain markets will seriously stress you out if you toss some gold at it and see no returns right away."

Be patient. The reason I used Volatiles is because of their need, their prices will float around (check TuJ for an example). There was talk about a big push with Whiptail, but you wont see that market rebound for a week or two....there has been a huge influx in the market with the "freebie farms" that we saw at 4.0.6, so everyone that farmed them is unloading.

Now diversification. Can you mill them up? What's the price on your Blackfallow Ink and Inferno Ink? At 3g, your sellpoint (break even point) would be about 5g for Blackfallow and 15g for inferno ink. Anything more than that is pure profit (you get 5 Blackfallow per stack and 1.5 Inferno Inks).

If you don't have access to a scribe to mill them and make the Inks, don't try to ask someone (in trade) to mill 3K worth of them, as that takes around 20 minutes to do. The prob with "hiring" someone to mill for you is they are doing two things. Milling. Then crafting to get the inks. Very time consuming...

Worst case, you are gonna have to sit till this weekend, as my guess is that your normal price for them is probably around 6-8g per on your server, correct? Still a double your money situation. If you can do the inks, just compare your server prices. You will probably shart yourself with the profits you have available there...

Hope this helps, and let me know what happened!

Ven said... Reply To This Comment

Thank you once again, for the always helpful help Alto, but i fear i will have no choice but to wait, i can´t mill then nor I have a friend that can, so i hope this weekend whit any luck i might sell some.Worst case scenario since i am leveling a Herb/inscrip i just wait until i am able to use them ^^.
I can only see twitter wend i arrive Home at usably 20:30 Pm GMT+0 time. The TUJ would help but since i am in EU servers ,no good ,but even it this all do not work out at least i learn to have patience,to think before buy .But this was also my very first try in flipping so it was fun still.

Admin said... Reply To This Comment

You will be fine Al, just wait the storm...I still want to know what/how everything turned out, so keep me in the loop!

Ven said... Reply To This Comment

I will.

cold said... Reply To This Comment

Stacks of 10 often work much better. Same reason to avoid the frustration of multiple clicks if using the default AH interface, but usually more popular since most popular use of volatile requires stacks of 10.

By listing 50 as a default you are missing out on a good chunk of casual crafters (ex: making pots for just themselves, buying for 1 xmute, etc.) or people who are psychologically averse to sticker shock of total cost of a 50 stack. It sounds counter intuitive because you aren't an idiot, and a 50 stack at 500g is the same as a 10 stack at 100g, but for many many players this isn't the case.

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