This is going to be a pretty long post. If you're not interested in my 30g Glyph Ceiling reasoning and results it may not be up your alley, but read on if that interests you!
I wanted to first say that I've greatly enjoyed the discussion that has stemmed from the 30g Glyph post. While some agree with me and many do not I've loved every moment of the conversations I've had with all of you. I don't blog because I want people to praise me, though that's nice too! I blog because I like to get my thoughts out there and I love getting feedback. I love that the readers of this blog, be they regular readers or people who were directed here just to discuss the price ceiling, are passionate about what they do to the point they will engage in open and incredibly thought-provoking discussion about the subject, so thank you for being an awesome readership.
That said, I think my post was a bit misleading and I want to clarify my exact stance and motives, as well as where the miscommunication likely stemmed from.
I started my glyph posting and, in effort to "raise awareness" that it's a good time to buy glyphs, I posted both in Trade and on my realm forums. Though my motives were grounded entirely in having fun and experimenting I was accused of having ulterior motives, people brought up the fact I was ruining the market for other scribes.
I wanted to address my actual motives (Previous posts focused on the plan, not the reasoning behind it) and so I posted "The 30g Ceiling" post. I set out, when writing it, to explain that it was an experiment. However, because I was prompted to write this post because people were imposing moral issues upon my plan, I believe I put too much of a moral stance into my post.
While, to me, this is all about having fun and messing around, I wanted to make it clear to others that, if it were to be a moral issue, I would still have ground to stand on. As such I know that my post contained a lot that could be considered a moral defense, particularly discussing the outrage over previous glyph prices. That was my mistake. I set out to explain the "cold hard facts" about what I was doing and why, and instead tried to preemptively defend against arguments I knew were coming. By doing so I brought those very arguments into light and made them valid points, since my talking so much about moral issues implied I had a moral stance, which I do not.
This was poor communication and writing on my part, and I wanted to apologize for that and clear this all up.
Though the plan can be attacked and defended from many different standpoints, this is how the glyph ceiling came into being:
- I came back to WoW after a break which was due to boredom.
- I saw a few people had moved into the glyph market and wanted to make it known that I was back and ready to party. It sounds juvenile (hell, it is juvenile) but I've viewed myself as a pretty big player in the glyph market and I wanted to intimidate people with my return. Not necessarily drive them out, but to say "You've been selling for weeks without competition. Be aware this will not continue."
- For a day or two I kept with my usual 1c undercuts however I'd run into a player who had a very similar posting strategy to me. I was online posting glyphs from morning till night constantly posting and reposting and reposting just to compete with them. I was a bit annoyed, to say the least. I had a flashback to someone who actually drove me out of the glyph market, Jaav, the only person (before Veisse) I'd seen who was online as much as I was with as much dedication to reposting and being the lowest price. Worried about having another Jaav on my hands I thought about ways I could combat Veisse's constant posting and seemingly endless AH presence.
- I thought maybe a change was in order if I wanted to shake things up with this player and not be stuck in a constant 1c undercut war. I thought about what tactics were employed by players that were able to really cause me problems. The one that always discouraged me the most was posting at a very low ceiling, usually around 35g. I began to seriously consider doing this myself.
- I decided to give it a shot. I crafted a small sample of glyphs and altered TSM to post them at a 30g ceiling. They started flying off the shelves and Veisse quit undercutting. I sat down and thought about the idea: I never ever ever pay more than 18g to craft a glyph; often crafting for much less than that. Even with taking what I viewed as a substantially lower profit margin per glyph, I was still almost doubling my investment on every single sale. This is something I could keep up.
- Then came the actual plan. Up until now I was blinded by a desire to be the big kid on the glyph selling playground. However, after doing this and trying out a bit of "30g or less for any glyph! Support low-cost glyphs!" advertising I started seeing interesting responses. I've had several players whisper me thanking me for selling affordable glyphs. I've also had an outcry in Trade about my evil, scheming ways and how surely my plan was to raise prices soon.
- By making this single shift in my glyph-selling plans I had changed the entire landscape of the AH. Glyphs are very cheap. I've actually had friends whisper me asking if I'm at fault for the herb prices since, as I buy out all the well-priced herbs at least once, often many times, per day I have changed the average price charged for herbs. New players seem able to buy glyphs. The biggest change, however, has been in the other glyph sellers. While a few players seem to have stepped back many glyph sellers have stepped up to the plate. Most of my glyphs right now have been undercut by multiple people. Right now it's not unheard of to find most glyphs for around 15g when, a few weeks ago, you'd find many for 60+. Me, a single player, did all of this.
- Suddenly I didn't care about the other sellers, beyond studying their actions from a "Oh that's interesting" sort of standpoint. Though the plan was certainly created out of a . . . I wouldn't say spiteful mindset, but something similar. Selfish? Not sure. The plan was created with an eye on benefitting me and hurting competitors. However, having seen the results of the plan I've realized how much fun a single change in the way you approach a market can make, how much I can feel invigorated over what I previously hated most, all by shaking things up a bit.
- My mindset going out is that I invite anyone to undercut me and I never cancel auctions; once they're posted they're there till they expire. I am no longer competing with anyone. This is an experiment in pricing and its impact on the server and that is the heart of my current endeavor.
So that's the evolution of the idea to this point. I'm not backing my decisions on economic theory and honestly I don't really know where I'll end up in the end. I'm just enjoying myself as it is and I'll continue until I'm no longer enjoying myself.
As for the results, here's what I've learned so far:
- You can profit, but it requires moderate effort. I spent a lot of time making the original stockpile and spend about 15 minutes a day, sometimes more, restocking what I sell to avoid going into my stock for as long as possible. It is not as labor intense as I had anticipated, but it is not hands off either.
- "Larger" mailbox reveals still happen. I"ve always liked the term "mailbox reveal" for that time when you check your mail for the first time since yesterday or whenever and you just have gold pouring in. Most mornings I wake up to 3k gold, once this weekend I had 7500g-aroundabout in my mailbox one morning. (This character sells only glyphs and Inferno Ink.) I had anticpated seeing mailbox reveals around 500g, so I'm happy to see larger!
- People are cynical. I don't blame them! To raise awareness (lol that sounds ridiculous) about the 30g glyph prices I will bark in trade about them once or twice a day. People are more likely to question my motives, warn people not to buy from me because I'm bound to spike prices up soon, etc. etc. I don't blame them, but it was funny. I found it interesting how many players I'd never heard of from a gold-making standpoint were suddenly discussing WoW market tactics in depth!
- I've also learned how to combat the strategy I'm using if someone's doing it on your server and you don't like it. Well, I'm not sure if it would work on everyone, but I guess my point is that I've identified my Achilles' Heel. I'll share it when I get bored of keeping this up. ;P
So that's my report thus far. I'll keep you posted on any changes to the plan, or new things I learn. As always, I welcome any civil discussion and invite anyone to participate in said discussions and share their opinions.