Wednesday, 23 July 2008

Ask WoW Trader: Buying & Selling before Wrath of the Lich King

I thought it would be a nice idea if I shared the feedback in an advice type column, because I'm guessing many of us have the same problems within the economy. Today I'm going to answer some feedback Zadieyek left for me, because (s)he comes up with a very good question about the expansion. You're all welcome to email me at for you to be featured in any future Ask WoW Trader blogs.

Zadieyek says;
I just wanted to say hi and let you know that I think your blog so far is great. I'm not that good at working the WoW economy but I'd like to be. What I am good at, however, is saving money and really weighing 'need' over 'want' and being a pack rat. Do you sell things like primals; gems; ore/bars; or herbs on the AH? Do you hold on to them? I have my own guild bank with 3 tabs. I have stacks of primals; gems (green and blue); high end herbs; ore/bars and stone; and lower level leather (was thinking about leveling an engineer). Recently, however, I've starting thinking that with WotLK in Beta, its time to start offloading some of my stash, I don't want to get stuck and miss out on the opportunity to sell these items. What do you think the best route is? Selling when you get things like a stack of primals or holding on to them until have 2-3 stacks and then putting 1-2 on the AH? I've bookmarked your blog and will be coming back often. I'm really looking forward to your future posts.

Thanks for the kind words Zadieyek, but don't be so down on yourself, because you already sound like a very sensible trader.
What do I sell on the auction house? Certainly most of the stuff you mentioned I do sell. As an engineer, I can make great money selling primals. Engineering really is the unmentioned "gathering" profession post-TBC, and possibly the most profitable. Although I'm not a Jewelfrafter I have often spotted cheap purple gems on the auction house, and sold them on. Most of the Shattered Sun vendor epic gems that 2.4 brought can be sold for 350g, but sometimes a JCer will put them up cheaper, so its a great way to make money. However, you really should be aware of what epic gems are in higher demand. I've been a miner since I started playing the game, so I do sell lots of ore & bars. Quick tip; Adamantite should always be sold as ore because JCers use it to prospect. Its worth experimenting with each metal to see if it has more value as ore or smelted. I have to admit my experience with herbs & alchemy is probably weakest as I've tended to play leather wearing classes. I hope to change this with my Death Knight who will be a inscriber/herbalist.

In the past I tended to sell things very fast, usually at the end of a days play. However as guild banks came into place, I've generally hoarded a lot of stuff. I tend to keep tons of engineering materials in my personal guild bank slots for future use. On the other hand I usually wait for my Fel Iron and Adamantite to gain a few stacks before selling them on. However, its usually best not to sell more than 3 stacks at once. Not only is the deposit very high, but putting too many stacks on encourages others to under cut you heavily, and you could end up not selling any. Five unsold stacks could mean 10g down the drain.

The most interesting part of Zadieyek's post was concerning selling of items before Wrath of the Lich King. If you tend to keep stuff for ages, like Zadieyek and me, you should now be considering what you need to keep and sell before the expansion. Certainly the price of some items will plummet, and seeing as you'll need every copper you can get come expansion, now is the best time to get rid of some items. Still many items will go up in price, so be careful on what you sell. I'll give you a quick run down on items you may or may not want to keep. Keep in mind this is all my humble opinion, so don't call your lawyer's if my advice sucks(!)

- Herbs. If there is one type of item you want to keep, it's this. The new profession, inscription, requires herbalism to level up your skill. This should include the lowest stuff you'll find in Elwynn, to the highest in Outlands. So if you have stacks of herbs lying around with no use for them, do not sell them! Everyone and their mother will be taking up inscription, so the prices of herbs are going to be ridiculous. If you have no intention of becoming an inscriber, you could still make a killing collecting herbs now ready to sell when the expansion is released. Also if you're planning on power-leveling inscription, you should start gathering (or ever buying) up herbs now. Either way, you will make or save a great deal by being aware of this.

- Metals. I think in the first few months after release, the Outlands metals will be worth much less than they are now, so its best to get rid off these now. Most of the characters left in Outland will be Death Knights, and many of them may actually become miners; mining is set to get a new health buff which will encourage tanks to pick up the profession. Not only will demand be lower for Outlands metal, but theoretically the supply could be massive due to many DK's being miners. There is potential for a 50% or worse drop off in prices.

- Primals and Outland leather should also see a drop off in price.

- Enchanting materials on the other hand should remain fairly stable. With less people in Outland, the market will see less supply, but at the same time low level enchanting materials usually keep a robust price. Anyone who has level'd up enchanting recently would tell you the Azeroth items are often more expensive on the auction house than Outland ones. On my realm Large Prismatic Shards are only 15g a pop usually. If your realm still sees them being sold for 25 to 30g on a regular basis, you're far more likely to see a bigger drop off, so you might want to sell them now. Furthermore, the Outland enchants have less twinking potential, so maybe the gems could drop off in price more than I expect. It's hard to say in all honesty. My enchanter only has 300 skill (she's only level 36), and I do plan on moving her up to 375 (by getting to level 50), so I'm going to be hoarding my disenchanted materials, as the amount you need to get those 75 points is insane.

- As for level 60-70 weapons and armor, really just get rid of them.

There are certain factors you should take a note of though. With an influx of Death Knights, many players will be hoping to power level their DK's professions and thus there might still be solid demand for items. Metals may be popular for any DKs leveling Blacksmithing but unless they're after the new Drums of War, leather might be in less demand as leatherworking is not hugely useful for a plate wearing class. Furtheremore, there will be a point where Outland becomes deserted, and the items found within those zones back in high price. Mithril, Iron and Copper have never been as expensive on my realm as they are at the moment. This point could be a year or 18 months away though, so I personally wouldn't bother saving items for then.

Thanks for you questions Zadieyek, hope that helped you out a little with your dilemma. Do you guys have any advice on what items you think might be worth saving or dumping? Or anywhere I'm off the mark? I'm sure Zadieyek would appreciate anymore hints from you.


Anonymous said...

Wow, I came here from WoW Insider and I really loved just this first post. I need to keep reading. This is a great idea for a blog and reminds me of an extension of Insider Trader from WoW Insider, but more pure economy. I love it. And I got a great idea from this post for my own blog. This is great, good job =D.

zadieyek said...

This post definitely helped, thank you. :-)

No more then 3 stacks at a time is a great tip. I try to make sure I always follow that. I pack-rat on a huge scale *shrug* so on some items putting up 5 or more stacks would be easy; but I've found 3 to be a good number.

I also try to check the AH first to weigh current price, but also to see if something I have 10 stacks of is on the AH. If there are none, I can usually set the price and sell 1-2 stacks before others catch on and undercut me.

I wish it wasn't so painful to level engineering because, I agree that Engineering is a great gathering profession. Extracting motes is almost overpowered and combined with a transmute master alchemist. Score. Unfortunately I don't have either of these, but I've seen it first hand via a friend and I want both. It will be interesting to see if they carry on with having clouds in LK to extract.

I agree on the herbs. I'm debating whether to stockpile herbs for selling come LK or for power leveling inscription. Either way, herbs I'm going to hang on to.

For Adamantite, I try to weigh the prices. What I find on my server is that the ore is some times cheaper then the bars calculating 2 ore = 1 bar. Some times they sell for an equal amount so I just offload my bars (typically 60-65g each because I sell when the price is high). Since I have a blacksmith, however, I wonder how much, if any, of the Outlands level ores will be needed to push us to the LK level patterns.

All I know is that I sold some stuff before BC, but not enough and I don't want to be stuck holding the bag (or guild bank in this case) like I did last time. Not to mention, I'm going to need room for all my LK hoarding. ;-)

I'm looking forward to your future posts and hearing more about your techniques since I'm still trying to figure out how you had so much gold by 40 and 35k by 70. It took me several 70s to get that much. Of course, buying 3 epic flying skills did help either. :-)

Wyrmsfire said...

Hey Trader,

Nice job! Looks like you changed your look too. Good job. I like it.

I went ahead and changed my own site around and I like the way it looks.

I would recommend seeing if you can condense your posts to say one paragraph, giving readers an option to click a link to see the rest of the article, much like WoW Insider. It'll give you more room for more posts per page, and people wont get hit with a wall of text crit while searching for a particular article.

All in all, I like it.


Marylin said...

Nice blog! I just came over here from Moonchicken's blog, and you've been added to the reader!

With regards to what Wyrmsfire said about the clicking for more, you're less likely to have people actually read your articles through their reader at all if they can't read the whole thing. The wow-blogging community is so large that clicking through to read blogs is hard, also many of us read through work firewalls and such. ;)

Also, any chance you could allow anonymous commenters? That way we can link straight to our blogs rather than having to have a blogger ID or aim/wp/etc set up ;)


WoW Trader said...

On the look of the blog; I still have not settled for what I want, and might change it some more in the future. I'm really no good with design, and fairly new to all this stuff. Wrym I did consider only posting one paragraph on the front page, but as Marylin pointed out, I think people are far less likely to continue reading. I usually find myself not clicking the forwarding links. WoW Insider can get away with it because its a news centric site, and one of the most visited sites online; $10-50m million revenue according to Alexa :O
I am thinking about getting more words per line though. I'll think about anonymous comments also.

Zadieyek, I'm still getting around to replying to your email, hopefully I'll get some time this weekend. Glad the article was of some use.

Thanks for the feedback as always folks, much appreciated.