I don’t read gold selling guides and I’m not a personal fan of sites like the Greedy Goblin. There’s something so cold about looking at game experiences with a right (profitable) and wrong (not profitable) mentality. It really puts me off. Anyway, if you do read those kind of sites, there’s probably not going to be anything new here. Sorry.
I dabble in making gold. This is a learning experience for me. The day that I have it mastered and I’m not learning anything new is that day that I’ll stop playing the Auction House.
But Glyphs Don’t Sell?
I still to this day have no idea who is actually buying up all these glyphs. But I promise you, glyphs do sell. I leveled Inscription really really fast. And I followed a profession guide to do it. That means that I ended up with:
Furthermore, the guide told me to craft 10 Lightning Bolt glyphs because they will sell. It lied. Sure it’s actually a good glyph that buffs a good DPS spell. But do you know how many Shaman there? How many Elemental Shaman there are? Yep. Not many. I’d craft (and sell) a shitty Ret Paladin or Death Knight glyph over a decent Shaman glyph any day.
Regardless, I got tired of listing 5x Glyph of Feint, 5x Glyph of Suck, 5x Glyph of more Suck, 10x Glyph of Lightning Bolt for 1g a piece. They never sold. In the end I think I vendored most of it. The experience convinced me that most glyphs never sell. Especially the leveling ones. This is actually not true at all, but that’s a topic for another article.
Maybe these will be the glyphs that will sell.
When I decided to make an effort to succeed at selling glyphs, I went to the Auction House as Xata, called up my Inscription crafting window and started searching for glyphs that were listed for a lot and by just one or two people. I stumbled upon my first major competitor and my first in-demand glyph: the Glyph of Devastate.
The Glyph of Devastate was listed just by one person (and nobody else) and for about 50g each. It was a glyph that I could make.
So I made one. (I told you I started small, right?) Listed it. It sold.
I discovered other auctions being listed for high amounts: Glyph of Conflagrate and Glyph of Battle. Almost every time I listed them, they would sell. I started to search just for high priced glyphs (only those made with Ink of the Sea – I was scared to craft anything that might be part of the leveling process) and for each Glyph I found: I crafted one. Just one. When it sold, I crafted a replacement.
I think I probably had about 40 glyphs on the go.
Sure, heaps of them expired. Perhaps I would sell two or three out of the lot of 40. But I was happy with my profits (remember, 3x40g is pretty sweet).
The Sale and Price Trend
I started to notice that if I sold glyphs, I usually sold them within a couple hours. If they didn’t sell then, they would run the full listing period and expire. There seemed to be two extremes: glyphs priced at 4g and glyphs priced at 40g. A glyph that sells for 4g today might sell for 40g tomorrow. The prices change that fast!
Here’s how it works:
Basically the price will keep coming down as sellers ruthlessly undercut each other, pausing momentarily when a glyph is bought, until the sale prices near matches the price to produce the glyph itself (around 3g). As it reaches that point, sellers will stop listing until the last glyph listed on the Auction House is either sold or expires. Then the next seller takes the opportunity to set a brand new price and – for a short period of time – has a monopoly on that item on the market. They will list at a high price (called a “fallback price”): usually between 30g and 80g.
Time is irrelevant. This cycle can repeat multiple times in 1 day, or perhaps a glyph will revert to fallback only once each fortnight. Demand is close to irrelevant (higher demand means more pauses and you can expect the downwards price trend to occur more slowly).
The thing that really messes it up is when a player has 10 Glyphs of Lightning Bolt that they are willing to sell well below the material cost – because they gained a skill point so any actual profit is a pure bonus. Those items can remain almost indefinitely at a low sell point and rarely fallback. If it’s a glyph in low demand? Well don’t expect the price to rise up above 1g.
I should also point out that this is pretty much how things work on Barthilas. Things might be different on other servers.
The Price of Convenience
At first I felt guilty about listing Glyph of Devastate for more than 10 times it’s material cost. I scoffed when I saw glyphs listed for 80g. Who in their right mind would pay that for a glyph? Well there’s no need to feel guilty. The average WoW player has heaps of gold: more than 40% have had over 10 000g at some point in time (check out this poll).
If you buy your glyphs well in advance, say at least a week before you need them, you could check the market and simply wait until your glyph is listed at 3g or 4g before buying. However, if you run to the Auction House to try out that new glyph you’ve had your eye on you could be paying anywhere between 3g and 30g. Or more.
I’m Not Running a Pencil Warehouse
Tobold once compared the production and selling of glyphs to some kind of discounted pencil warehouse. If they all cost 3g to make, sell them all at 3g 15s and people will shop for all their glyphs at your warehouse. And why not? The product is no less inferior than those sold at a more expensive store.
I don’t want to run a pencil warehouse. That’s not very fun. I like to think of myself as a bored high society wife standing in an empty, overpriced boutique shop. I might only make one or two sales a day but that will cover my costs quite easily. I don’t want to take a 80% market share. I don’t want to run my competitors out of business.
I only dabble in the highly priced stuff. As long as I get my timing right, I do quite well.
How I Make it Fun
I like to raise prices. The most fun I’ve had with the Auction House was back in Ulduar when a friend of mine and I happened to control 2/3rds of the disenchanting materials market. That was great fun while it lasted. Unfortunately Blizzard then introduced Abyss Shatter which flooded the market and (just as the market was starting to recover) they introduced that totally ridiculous, involuntary, disenchant option with the Dungeon Finder. Argh.
BTW Blizzard: I don’t want random party members to use my profession without my consent!
So there’s nothing that makes me more satisfied than when I come in and spot that auctions of Glyph of <Whatever>:
- (a) has become a monopoly – only 1 seller is still listing
- (b) has fallen well below the production cost
- (c) contains only listings about expire
- (d) is not currently listed at all!
So I list my glyph. Even if it doesn’t sell I enjoy logging in to see that particular glyph has remained at a high price tag, even if I’ve been undercut three times over.