Thursday, 23 July 2015

Making Gold with the Garrison Auction House

As I get back into my stride with goldmaking in WoW, I'm finding all sorts of nice opportunities to make gold on the Auction House. One of my newest earners is flipping the parts that make up the Garrison Auction House or the Ancient Trading Mechanism.

Take a look at the Undermine Journal page above - it's for my server so yours may be very different but I'm sure there will be the same opportunities for you as there are here for me.

The first thing I look at when using the Undermine Journal is to compare the current prices with the mean prices. You can see that on some of the component parts, current prices are way below the mean prices which signals an opportunity. I've been buying up cheap component parts and flipping them for close to the mean prices or above.

Where some of the current prices are above the mean, that's probably my auctions pushing them up - I'm not being too greedy but I am a goldmaking goblin after all! My best sale so far is a 70 gold Super Cooling Tubing which sold for over 1200 gold.

The other thing I look for is whether a full set of components is available to make up a full module and whether the cost of the parts is less than the module sale price. You can see that the Super Cooling Module parts would cost around 1200 gold but the current sale price is at 2500 gold - sadly there aren't any coolant components available (I wonder why! muhahaha!) so it looks like I'll be keeping that profit to myself!

I've only been flipping these parts and modules but you do need to think about where they come from. The Super Cooling Module parts and the Cyclical Power Module parts come from the quest zones so they will always be the most plentiful and therefore the cheaper markets. The Auction Control Module comes from dungeons which is also a cheap market due to plentiful supply.

The Arcane Crystal Module parts come from raids and garrison invasions but although some of the components seem to be plentiful, the Arcane Crystal Lens is rarely seen on my server which has pushed its' price way up.

The hardest module parts to get and therefore the most expensive one is the Universal Language Module which comes from Ashran. I was chatting to a fellow goldmaker in game last night who was barking in the trade channel to buy one. He didn't believe the AH price was reasonable and was hoping he could get a bargain through trade. If you like to PvP then perhaps this is not so difficult to obtain but for us PvP-novices, it seems like a million miles away from possible! Even for all that gold, I doubt I will ever really get into Ashran to fight.

There is definitely gold to be made in this market but even after just a couple of evenings, I can see that some prices are being undercut a great deal which is bringing average prices down. I could keep buying up every really cheap component I see and I will for a little while on some of them but if the volume available is too high, I'll just be filling my bags with junk. So I'll take what profit I can for now, maybe store a few components & modules in my guild bank and keep checking back periodically to see if the prices have stabilized at all.

Sunday, 12 July 2015

How and Why To Price Your Primal Spirits

There are multiple sources of Primal Spirits in World of Warcraft, some of which are free so why would you need to work out a price for them? Well, Primal Spirits are one way of increasing your supply of the bind on pick up crafting materials like Burnished Leather or Hexweave Cloth which are used to craft the highest quality armor and weapons as well as the item upgrade essences. You can also exchange Primal Spirits for the Sorcerous Air, Water, Earth and Fire that you need for crafting as well as Savage Bloods.

If you are going to craft any of the high end gear or upgrade Essences, you need to know your base crafting cost so you know exactly how much you can sell it for and still make a great profit.

Sources of Primal Spirits

The main free source of Primal Spirits is the gathering professions - you will occasionally get them when mining, herbing, fishing or skinning.

There are some missions for your followers which reward Primal Spirits - I'd count these as a free source too.

Another 'free' source of Primal Spirits are the various caches, bags and also the mine carts in your garrison mine.

Garrison Traders will sell you Primal Spirits in exchange for raw materials. There are five possible traders who can turn up in the entrance hall of your Level 3 Garrison Town Hall - the fur, ore, herb, dust and leather traders. Each Primal Spirit will cost you 5 raw materials - which material will depend on which Trader is visiting that day.

Calculating A Price For Primal Spirits

Primal Spirits are only used in a couple of high end crafting recipes - these are the recipes that allow you to make a BoP crafted material without a cooldown but as they give only 1 BoP material, it is an expensive way to get extras.

So the main use for Primal Spirits is to pay for BoP crafting materials, Savage Blood and the various Sorcerous elements. But before you start exchanging like crazy, you really should check out the prices of the raw materials and Savage Bloods on the Auction House. 

If you cost the Primal Spirits based on the daily Trader, you will have a possible 5 different prices. You can take an average of these to calculate your Primal Spirit cost or you can set yourself a maximum price for bulk buying the raw materials and use that as your basis.

For example - the Traders accept 5 each of true iron ore, draenic dust, talador orchid, sumptuous fur and raw beast hides. If each of those has an average price of 2 gold then each Primal Spirit is costing you 10 gold (5 mats x 2gold). That's not going to be the case usually though - each material will have a different average price so work out 5 x each price, add them all together then divide the total by 5 - that will give you an average price to use.

Or you could fix your raw material buy price at 1.50 gold and only buy bulk raw materials under that so your maximum cost for a Primal Spirit will be 7.50 gold (5mats x 1.5 gold). This is where your bargain basement shopping skills come into play!

Trading Up Primal Spirits

OK, so you have a price for your Primal Spirits now but what are you going to do with them? The main use is to buy BoP crafting materials from the Primal Spirit Trader in your Garrison but you still need to check the Auction House for prices. Obviously you can't buy BoP crafting materials on the Auction House so you need to calculate the cost based on raw materials costs.

Each BoP material costs 5 Primal Spirits and as mentioned earlier, each Primal Spirit takes 5 raw material. This means that a single piece of Burnished Leather or Hexweave Cloth for example, has an equivalent value of 25 raw materials (5 to trade per Primal Spirit x 5 Primal Spirits to trade for BoP Material).

So in the examples above, a single BoP crafted material will cost either 50 gold or 37.50 gold, depending on how you calculated your base costs.

The thing is though - each piece of BoP crafted material can also be obtained via Work Orders in your Garrison and those only cost 5 raw materials. So why would you spend 25 raw materials via the Traders to get the same crafted material? The truth is, you don't need to but as the Work Orders are time limited, you may find that you are selling your crafted gear faster than you can get the materials via Work Orders.

The same basic calculations apply for buying the Sorcerous elements or Savage Bloods. Sorcerous elements cost 15 Primal Spirits so that's 150 gold or 112.50 gold (15 x 5 raw materials=75 raw mats) which is a crazy price! My Auction House has Sorcerous elements ranging from 25-45 gold so I won't be using Primal Spirits to buy those any time soon!

Savage Bloods cost 25 Primal Spirits from the trader so the equivalent raw material cost is 250 gold or 187.50 gold (25 x 5 raw materials = 125 raw mats). That's a bit better but not much. Savage Blood sells for between 180 gold - 270 gold on my server so there's very little profit to be made by selling Savage Bloods bought with Primal Spirits. You can also get Savage Blood from your Barn but unless you have loads of Barns in full production, you will probably need to buy Savage Blood at some point.

Calculating Cost of Crafted Gear

Most of the epic item level 640 crafted gear uses 100 of the BoP crafted materials and a few bits of other basic raw materials. It's fairly easy to calculate the base cost of crafting these as 100 x 5 raw materials if you get all your BoP material from work orders. If you do use the various Traders to buy BoP materials then the calculations above will set the price for your epic item.

These epic gear items are all upgradeable though and this is where the Savage Blood price comes in. Each upgrade from level 1 to 4 will cost 70 BoP crafted material, 15 Savage Bloods and 15 Sorcerous elements to make the upgrade Essence. You can upgrade the crafted gear without equipping it so depending on the prices on your Auction House, the best profit may come from selling an upgraded item rather than the base item.

You can also sell the Essence itself but again, check the prices on your Auction House and watch your base costs!

In Summary

With so many ways to convert raw materials, garrison resources and Primal Spirits to BoP materials and Savage Blood, fixing your crafting costs is always going to need to be flexible. But it will give you a baseline below which you just don't craft or sell your items. If you feel like Primal Spirits and Savage Bloods are 'free' because you get them while your doing other stuff in game, then you will be seriously eating into your own profits by selling the final product too cheaply. You don't need a huge spreadsheet to track these prices to the copper, just make sure you are aware of the costs of crafting so you don't underprice your gear on the Auction House.

I hope this makes sense - it's tough to explain in writing how my brain works sometimes! Please let me know if I've messed up somewhere or if the prices on your server are way different. I'd be interested to know how do you calculate your prices too. 


Wednesday, 1 July 2015

What's Been Selling This Week? 30th June 2015

This week, I've been busy leveling my main but I've also been clearing out some of my alts banks too. I'm still very focused on leveling and am only just beginning to get my gold making machine running but as this was always a popular post in the past, I thought I'd give you a peek at what's been selling this week.

As you can see from the screenshot, I've been selling a wide range of random stuff but the nicest surprise for me was the sale price for the Pyrite Ore - that's an average price of 759 gold for a stack of just 20 ore! If you're a bit short on gold, it might be worth checking out your Auction House to see how much it's selling for on your server and then deciding whether to go farming or not!

It's nice to see the Mammoth Mining Bags are still selling for a good price. These were the last few I had in a bank but I'll be checking out the price of Borean Leather to see if it's worth making more. In case you were wondering, the pattern for this bag comes from the Sons of Hodir in Storm Peaks. Now that so many people don't grind the old reputations, you may find that you are one of the only Leatherworkers able to make this bag so you could, theoretically, push the price up, especially if it's currently selling for very cheap.

Another nice surprise for me was the price of the Trillium Bars. Each trillium Bar takes 10 Ghost Iron Bars (which is 20 Ghost Iron Ore) and your alchemist can transmute the Ghost Iron to Trillium Bars. The transmute isn't on a cooldown either so if the price is right for buying raw materials, this could be another nice little earner from an older expansion.

I'm not really focusing on my Archeology right now so I decided to sell my Ogre Missive. I'm happy with the 332 gold that it sold for but after checking out The Undermine Journal, it seems I could perhaps have waited and got quite a bit more for it. I seem to have forgotten some of the basic rules of goldmaking in my break from playing! I didn't really know what it was for other than Archeology but a little research might have got me an extra 200 gold - know your market and know your prices!

The rest of the stuff that sold is pretty unremarkable, just random stuff from my banks but what this screenshot doesn't show is the 4 bags full of transmog gear I've been trying to sell! I know I have some nice bits and pieces but the rest is probably just average. I think my enchanter is going to end up disenchanting most of it and I'll see how the essence and dust markets are instead!

So there we go - just a slow steady week of sales, nothing really remarkable yet but I'm shuffling raw materials around between three alts to make the best use of garrison work orders while I level my main. Once I hit level 100 on her, I'll be leveling her leather working and seeing how the professions are these days. I've not heard much good stuff about them but I want to see for myself!

Tuesday, 23 June 2015

5 Reasons You Might be Struggling To Make Gold in World of Warcraft

5 Mistakes Players Make When Making Gold in World of Warcraft

Today we're going to take a look at the top reasons why you struggle to make gold in World of Warcraft. Marcus and I came up with a few more than 5 once we got chatting about it on the podcast but they are all linked to these top reasons so read on to find out where you might be going wrong and how to fix it!

Are you...
  1. Not Playing the Auction House?
  2. Not Selling Items That Are In Demand?
  3. Spending Too Much?
  4. Undercutting Too Much?
  5. Inefficient?
Once you have these five points sorted out, you should be able to make WoW gold easily and afford anything you want to buy in World of Warcraft.

Reason 1 - Not Playing the Auction House

For many players, the World of Warcraft Auction House is just an afterthought to their time spent playing. These type of players raid or PvP and just pop to the Auction House at the end of a session and throw stuff up for sale without any research as to best prices or times to sell. Other players I know just sell everything they don't need to a vendor!

Learning to use an Auction House addon like Trade Skill Master (TSM) or Auctionator can make your WoW gold making efforts much easier but they do take a little time to learn. You had to learn how to raid or PvP etc though didn't you? So spending some time learning the mysteries of the Auction House is no different. It's just another aspect of this game we play.

Reason 2 - Not Selling Items That Are In Demand

Part of learning to play the World of Warcraft Auction House is knowing which items are in demand. When you are crafting or gathering, you need to check whether the items you end up with are going to be worth your time and effort. When do most guilds on your server raid? That's a great time to be selling raid supplies like buff potions & foods. Sadly, professions can no longer make blue quality PvP gear or gear enhancements like leg armors which were all good sellers after raids.

This is where addons help too. TSM has the ability to scan the WoW Auction House regularly and build a database of average prices. A quick look at current average prices should tell you whether an item is selling well or not.

Another time that players lose WoW gold is when leveling a profession. There are usually items that sell well even at lower skill levels but if you follow a profession leveling guide, it will just tell to to make 5 or 10 of an item to get the easiest skill points. That's fine if you are in a rush and already have gold but it's a waste of materials and gold if they don't sell. Sometimes it is better to level more slowly but be able to sell the crafted items for a good price.

Reason 3 - Spending Too Much

This is a basic budgeting principle - if you are spending more than you are earning, you won't be making WoW gold and part of making gold is to control your crafting costs. Again this comes back to knowing the average market price of your crafting materials and building a small reserve of correctly priced crafting materials.

You may find a great new market with a craftable item that you can make but if you dive in and buy the materials straight off the WoW Auction House, how do you know if those materials are expensive today? If you can spread your material buying times to when materials are cheap, you will maximise your profit for that item. As I said in episode 43 of the Journal of Marcus Ty podcast, I love bargain shopping and I don't mind buying 200 cheap leathers today that I might not use until next week. It helps me know my costs and profit levels so I can sell my item at best price or hold on to it if the price has dropped this week.



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Reason 4 - Undercutting Too Much

Linked to reason 3 is undercutting. If I know my crafting cost, I also know exactly how much profit I will make when the item sells. Knowing that profit figure, I can chose how much I want to undercut on the Auction House so that my item sells but I still make profit.

I have seen people undercut by hundreds of gold when all they really needed to do was undercut me by a few coppers or silvers. That would put them at the top of the list when a buyer searches for the item. I have also seen players undercut so far that the listed price is not only below the crafting cost (so that's a loss straightaway!) but the price is also below the vendor price!

Back in Cataclysm, when I was hitting the glyph market hard, I would list a whole bunch of single glyphs, each one undercutting the market by just 5 coppers. Canceling and relisting was a common practise in both glyph and gem markets but I didn't often cancel. I just listed a new glyph at the lower price. That way, if the market was very active, the lower priced glyphs would sell and my first listed glyph would often also sell at the higher price.

Reason 5 - Inefficiency

If your time in World of Warcraft is limited, you want to be as efficient as possible in your gold making efforts. One example of inefficiency is the gathering professions. Now I'm not saying gathering is bad, just that it's not the best use of your limited time unless you find a market for a material that is selling at crazy good prices. 

Two examples spring to mind for me - the Hypnotic Dust market is still very active on my server so running old instances or buying cheap Cataclysm gear to disenchant might be a really good use of your time if you also enjoy the old content. Another market that I found by chance is Pyrite Ore which I mentioned in the podcast. I was just clearing down my bags but I was pleasantly surprised by how much the Ore sold for!

Another example of inefficiency is running between the bank, Auction House and mailbox, shuffling materials around between alts or banks. Using a mailbox addon like Postal helps speed up the mailbox part of your routine but it's out of date now. TSM has a mailing module which most goldmakers have moved to, I think. 

Another good thing about TSM, is that not only does it have a nifty Warehousing module which will shift materials around easily for you but it also has an Item Tracker which adds some information to your tooltips, telling you how much of an item you have and where it is. I've blacked out my toon names but as you can see from the screenshot, it shows you exactly where all your items are stored.


So there you go - 5 reasons why players struggle to make gold in World of Warcraft. Do you fall into any of these groups or can you think of other reasons why players find it difficult to make gold? Feel free to leave a comment below.

Marcus has launched the Warlords of Draenor edition of his gold guide recently. I've read through the whole set of guides and I'd recommend it to anyone who wants a clearer idea of how to make gold in World of Warcraft. If you sign up to my newsletter, you'll get a coupon for 20% off too - just a little thank you for signing up.