World Of Warcraft, WoW Hand Armor

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Dealing With Farmers through the Auction House

Hey folks!

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.....

Hi Alto,

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!

Thanks again!

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, 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").


Kammler said... Reply To This Comment

Approaching a potential farmer can be intimidating. My method is a bit different than the above answer. I usually ask in /trade for the item--"WTB Emberfire Cloth in quantity, wsp if you have inventory".

It is a little like fishing. Sometimes you get a nibble, sometimes you catch but need to release, but once in a while you get a keeper.

When I get a reply, it is usually "how much you paying?" and my answer is always "depends on how many you want to sell". The first person to give a price is establishing the frame for the sale--you give it, that becomes the base and they will ask more. They give it and it becomes the ceiling and you will ask less.

Once you find the price you both like, and the quantity, then you can ask about farming. "Hey, do you have lots of this cloth all the time? You farm it or what?" If they give any sort of affirmative answer then just offer to buy XX stacks per day at YY price, and offer the COD option.

My experience is that about one in four will actually trust you enough to COD anything. Be sure to quickly reply so they get the gold right away. After that, build the relationship--in game mail a thank you, ask for more, whatever. Even send a small tip as a thank you.

Like Alto, I have approached people with large supplies listed in the AH. Over the weekend I wanted to buy Elementium Bars. Someone had listed 3 pages of singles at a price I was willing to pay, but I bought 15 stacks at a higher price because I'm not gonna click 150 auctions for a few gold savings.

I sent the single-auction lister an in game mail, saying just that--I paid more for the convenience of buying faster. I offered to buy his at the price he offered in the AH if he would COD it. He replied that he wasn't going to cancel all those auctions (sorta made my point for me) but he did send me 10 stacks COD for the same price.

Win Win.

Good luck. Just remember to be polite and build the relationship==they may think you are trying to scam them. Many people don't know about the COD feature at all.

XanderEragon said... Reply To This Comment

Great post bro.. you are completely correct about low balling the farmers. yea there farmers and get lots of gold and resell it for money. But they don't like to get ripped off just as much as we don't. So its important if you really do want a farmer not to try to rip them off..


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