Thursday, April 17, 2014

For the Record: March 2014 Glyph Sales



March was my last month before my realm was connected, and I still fell just short of the 100k glyph revenue. You know why? I was busy being an awesome warlock.

Stats:
  • Total Glyph Sales: 97595g
  • Total Glyphs Sold: 1012
  • Average Price: 96g44s
Would you look at that average price? It is fantastic so see such a great return, even if my glyph posting schedule fell off towards the end of the month.

In random recollections from last month, Twitchie scored the 'Proven Assailant' title. Thanks to Soco and Jim for pointing me in the right direction when through a series of action bar mishaps, I disenchanted a trinket right before a proving grounds attempt. The item restoration service is wonderful, and my handy darkmoon faire trinket was a great backup.

I also found some great glyph source information in Stede's post Full Set of TSM Group Import Strings for All Glyphs. 444 Glyphs. I'll be using that information to update my database, since Stede has made sure that the glyph source information is definitive (which is tricky for glyphs that can be learned from multiple sources).

I finally finished off my mage on an alternative server (and Doh! not the one that's being connected). There were a few factors that contributed to my darling frost mage finally reaching end game.
  • She's on another server, to prevent my characters being infected by... Mage.
  • I have not one, but two level 90 warlocks, one for alliance and one for horde. She's out numbered.
  • Twitchie is now a proven assailant, which will keep her in line if she ever gets any ideas about her place in my alts scheme.
Faid got up super early to join in on my guild's Garrosh kill. It was great fun to take advantage of cross realm normal mode raiding so soon after it was implemented, and take down Garrosh with a fellow gold maker and blogger.

Twitchie has been working through challenge modes with my guildies ever since I finished the transmog set on my main. Playing my warlock again has been so much fun that I've even returned to that dreaded legendary quest line. I promised myself I would give it up after my main and shadow priest were outfitted. I caved. Hopefully my cursing about PvP gave some folks on twitter a laugh, and I'm actually enjoying some LFR again.

Connected realms is here, and I've been organising a fleet of gnome warlock alts to free up my inventory space and increase my posting efficiency.

Friday, March 28, 2014

For the Record: February 2014 Glyph Sales


February hit some big numbers, sooo close to the 100k mark.

Stats:
  • Total Glyph Sales: 97179g
  • Total Glyphs Sold: 1320
  • Average Price: 73g62s
The biggest difference was the huge jump in sales prices, as the 50g glyph wall crumbles and we all get back to doing some business! I've even been spending a little more time on my warlock and am slowly picking up the new glyph techniques.

With the help of twitter, the major warlock related news for me was proving grounds. I saw someone complaining how hard gold was as a warlock, so CHALLENGE ACCEPTED*. So I decided to start with gold on all three specs. I started with the specs currently on Twitchie, affliction and destruction. Aside from learning the various waves, the most problematic thing with affliction was getting that drain soul in before a mob died, leaving me with few precious soul shards. Onto destruction (the current 'default' spec for all occassions) and just burned everything down. Destruction was surprisingly quick, and the burst potential felt very nice in the latter waves. Then it took me a while to rejig a demonology spec, and boy was I rusty. Despite having a horde level 90 demo warlock, it really took me a while to remember how it all fit together, but oh was it fun. So much so that I haven't changed back to affliction (yet). I could write a much more detailed post on the experience, but I'd leave it there as just a taste of Twitchie's life outside of piles of gold. Now that my main is done with challenge modes, it's time to get a new transmog and onto endless!

* they have no idea they issued any such challenge (or even who the hell I am)

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Glyph multi-posting and sale conversion results



Gather 'round, friends! Despite the dry title, I am excited about this post which has been about 330 days in the making. The short version, for those that don't appreciate a good tale, is that since April 2013, I have converted 6.25% of the glyphs I've posted into sales. That's selling more than 1 glyph for every 20 posted, which illustrates just how posting intensive the glyph market can be. The overall sales table is below; now let's get into some specifics.

Total Posted Total Sold Total Multi-posted Sold Total Gold Conversion % Multi-posted % Avg. Price
180390 11269 1690 641901.36 6.25 15.00 56.96

As usual, an awesome idea is born from a conversation with my wife. Well, most of the time the idea fails to sink into my skull, but at least she has planted the seed. OK, that's not quite true. Most of the time she gives me a grown tree, blossoming and bearing fruit... and by the time I'm done objecting, making excuses, or exclaiming, "that's too hard", I'm left with the seed. Then all she has to do is sit back, and watch it grow into delightful replica of that same tree, and sigh to herself when I get all excited and ask her to "check out this tree!"

The most common complaint I see about glyphs is the lack of sales. When someone first gets into the glyph market, they test the waters with a handful of trainer glyphs (the glyphs with the most competition) and get discouraged when they get no sales. I roll my eyes and mutter to myself about sample size, giving glyphs the appropriate commitment, and the patience it takes to learn how to make all 444 of them.

Not satisfied to keep my mutterings to myself, I bombarded my wife, espousing all things glyph related. Doing her best to humour me she asked, "How does the number of glyphs you post, compare to the number of glyphs you sell?". I couldn't answer. Well, I couldn't answer without using the F word. "I feel like it's not many". So she flat out suggested that I record what I post and do a comparison. To which I started to expound on the myriad of problems I'd encounter to process that data, even if it wasn't too hard to collect in the first place.

So in the days and weeks ahead, things slowly fell together in my head. I like collecting data. I already collect statistics like trillium transmutes and rare procs from cutting uncommon gems. It's really pretty simple. So as usual, I started a spreadsheet with date/time, character and number of glyphs posted. Alt-tab after I finished twirling my scroll-wheel like a fiend and enter three whole fields. Then when I started working on my web application to work with all my sales data, I added a page to simplify the recording and add it to the database directly. There was a drop down list for my glyph posting characters, the time defaulted to the current time. It was so much fun there for a while, that I was posting more often just to play with my application.

Back in August 2013, I was able to produce a graph of Glyph Posts and Glyph Sales Compared over a small time period. It was a fun experiment which got some great feedback, questions and got the juices flowing. Then patch 5.4 hit, and my life in general got a whole lot busier. Fast forward to having a blast on Late Night with Stede, a whole lot of extra data, inspiration and...

... here is a big table of glyph posting and sales data across my three glyph posting characters.

So with more than 10,000 glyphs sold and more than 640k gold in revenue, I can answer that question. 6.25% of glyphs posted were sold over the course of just less than a year. That figure is an average. Looking through the data, there are times when Twitche went to the trouble of posting almost 500 glyphs to get 0 sales.

On to my reader question which has taken far too long to answer. How often do I sell more than one of a specific glyph? To get this data, I broke down the data into sales periods that last from the time a character posts glyphs, until the next time they post. With the assumption that there are fairly regular undercuts (helped by me posting at most twice per day, mostly once and sometimes not at all) I can get a sense if it is worth multi-posting. It was pretty encouraging to see that by posting two of every glyph that I sell an extra 15%. When you consider the efficiency of turning a scroll-wheel a few extra turns (as opposed to logging in at another time, and sitting through the ~100 page scan) I'm pleased with that result.

Finally, not all glyphs are created equal. Nothing demonstrates this better than patch 5.4 and the introduction of new glyphs, which for an experienced scribe, were much harder to collect than any of the glyphs to date. When patch 5.4 hit, I added another glyph poster to my operation. Let's call him 'Awesomesauce'. Awesomesauce was in charge of posting all the new glyphs from 5.4, and it didn't feel like he was doing that well. He'd only post 40+ glyphs (yes, I've been slack at obtaining many of the new ones) and he would often come back with one or two sales. However, once the data was aggregated, and my estimation bias (or sad-panda syndrome) was corrected with facts, I could see he was kicking ass. He had a sales conversion rate of three times my other two posters, and more than a quarter of his sales were from multi-posted glyphs. It makes complete sense, since the market for brand new glyphs is much larger than glyphs that have already been learned by the bulk of current players. However, even when it takes him a fraction of the time to post than the other two, it is hard to reconcile getting 250g out of the mailbox and calling that a 'good day'...

... which brings me full circle to the point of this post. The glyph market is a rewarding and profitable market. In my experience, it doesn't need to be micro-managed or even have cancel / repost cycles. The margins are great even if you have competitors that make crazy alchemists look like tycoons of industry. If you are selling 1 in every 20 glyphs posted, don't be discouraged! What really matters is how long it takes you to make the inevitable profit.

Time is money, friend!

Friday, February 28, 2014

Realm First Profession Feats of Strength - Gone in Warlords


One of my highlights for Mists of Pandaria was earning the Realm First! Zen Master Blacksmith Feat of Strength.


With the news that Realm Firsts for leveling are gone in Warlords, several avid tweeters got straight onto Owen Landgren to be met with the same answer about professions. Gone.

I've gotten a huge kick out of realm firsts over the years. In Cataclysm,  I ruled out getting myself a realm first profession, purely because the professions were gated behind leveling to 84 before completing the journey. However, an experienced realm-firster and fellow guildy raced to 85 very quickly picking up Realm First! Illustrious Leatherworker in the process. It was a proud day for a newly formed guild, and got me excited for the possibilities in Mists.

In Mists of Pandaria, I set my sights on blacksmithing. In doing my research, I identified [Spirit of Harmony], as the bottleneck for efficient leveling, even though they were BoP. After I coerced my constant (and favourite) companions in game to help me farm a [Spirit of Harmony]... finding out that in order to use the spirit to purchase a PvP recipe, I needed to be level 87 to get to the Shrine of Seven Stars, I was completely dejected. Morose even. I let my dream float off into the mists, and continued questing (with aforementioned favourites).

Apparently I hadn't quite let it go, because I started complaining bitterly about another 'gate' in profession leveling until Whip (our previous realm first leatherworker) yelled, "Just make greens, doofus!". Renewed, my wife and I set to work pillaging the horde auction house for ghost iron ore, while my army of alts kept an eye on Alliance prices. Green, after green, after green was hammered off the production line, and suddenly... Bam! Almost 2315 in Australia on launch day, I was proclaimed realm first.

At first I was surprised, then relieved and then just overjoyed as the myriad of 'grats' came in through tells, the guild and a big hug from my wife. All in all, it cost me around 46k and some forever indebtedness to Jondy, Kal and Whip. Feat of Strength? Priceless.

So I for one, will be sad to see realm first professions going for Warlords, but I understand that given the scant information about how much professions are changing, they may not make sense at all in the new expansion.

Friday, February 7, 2014

For the Record: January 2014 Glyph Sales


Lots of gold from glyphs, but nothing quite as fun as chatting with Stede and Kathroman on Late Nite with Stede.

Stats:
  • Total Glyph Sales: 78197g
  • Total Glyphs Sold: 1801
  • Average Price: 43g42s
I'm done with tax reporting for this quarter, so it's time to back-date this glyph post. Yeah, that's right... I can leave something until the next month entirely and 'pretend' I posted this 3 weeks ago... what of it? Just wait until I actually create some pretty graphs for the 3M gold milestone from a few months ago.

So plenty of glyphs sold this month. In fact, about 500 more than the last three months. Business is booming.

Fortunately, with a LOT of help from my wife, my schedule opened up for a brief window at the end of January, and I grabbed a guest spot on the Late Nite with Stede podcast - Episode #16. If you're not familiar with the podcast, I strongly suggest you check it out for all your gold making related news. I'd like to thank Stede and Kath for having me on the show and indulging my penchant for random statistics from my gold making in Mists.

As promised on the podcast, I'll be posting some charts and graphs of my gold making statistics I discussed on the show. In particular, I promise that I'll post my glyph posting vs. sales statistics at some point during March, which will contain almost a year worth of data. On a positive note, with all that extra data, my conversion rate is looking a little better than the 3.5% I was talking about on the show.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Crafting as a service



Gold enthusiasts talk about mountains of gold, gold per hour, efficiency, making a killing and their lavish lifestyles which often include a stint in rehab after a rain poppy derivative addiction. I too live well and occasionally reset markets to keep myself in small luxuries (being a Gnome not withstanding). I want to talk a little about crating as a service to the community.

It has never been easier to earn a living in World of Warcraft. Dailies are quick and random group activities reward an exorbitant amount of gold. Even if you don't have professions, you can make a good living farming with the Tillers.

However, when it comes to enhancing a character, few people are completely self sufficient. It may be naive, but I assume everyone is like me and enjoys maximising the power of their characters. As I say, "if you have time to level, you have time to buckle". That's where keeping the auction house stocked comes in.

EVERY GLYPH, ANY TIME.

I take pride in knowing that at any time on my realm there is a very high chance that every possible glyph is available for purchase. I get more satisfaction in watching every different bear glyph sell and thinking, "ooo, someone has a new tanking spec" than I do from watching the coin roll in.

Take me out of the equation, and perhaps the chances of holes opening up in the glyph market are slim, but it is rewarding to know that I'm doing my part. You can debate what constitutes "reasonable" pricing for glyphs, but I know many glyphs would be more expensive without my fallback. If I post daily, for 48 hours, never cancel and post at my fallback even when prices go below my threshold, I can help ensure a steady supply.

SACRIFICING BAG SPACE.

I'm a market hoarder and once I enter a market, I might go quiet, but I never leave. I have a jewel crafting bag full of crappy cuts that people rarely want. They sit, day after day, just waiting for the market to rise, or my competitors to get tired and vendor them. When that day comes, I pounce and make sure that the full range is available. Such is my commitment to gems that I relegated my last alt that had escaped auction house, storage or bulk processing duties to giving up their bag space for the machine.

WHY CHEAP GOODS ON THE AUCTION HOUSE CAN SUCK.

Recently, I've barely been able to sell flasks. Flasks are routinely under the price of a golden lotus, which I have been happily buying to transmute into all those gems. Crazy Alchemists with their 'free' herbs have been crashing the market. The result is that anyone who refuses to sell crafted goods at below cost stops posting, and gold makers tend to be a large source of the volume. So either some enterprising businessman resets the market, or as I experienced recently, the AH runs dry! With all this inventory space tied up, and providing little return, I strike. You know you're going to pay a premium for these flasks, but at least they are there. It might cost you a little extra, but not being that guy that turns up to a raid unprepared... PRICELESS.

My point here is that while competition can lower prices and benefit the consumer, there is also benefit in paying gold makers their (reasonable) markup to ensure that the goods keep flowing. I enjoy feeling like my flasks are helping someone on my realm give Garrosh what for, but I still want my slice of the action.

IF IT GROWS OR BLEEDS.

I have fallen in love with the Pandaren cooking market, and I'm proud to say, "If it grows or bleeds, I probably have it in stock". Cooking is a great market because it has so many ingredients, multiple sources for those ingredients and plenty of transformations. My largest regret for this blog since Mists came out is that I never got around to writing a myriad of posts for the cooking market, all subtitled: To Hell in a Handbasket.

If we've learned anything from the Pandaren it is an appreciation for good food and drink. I have a character dedicated to the cooking market, and he posts everything Pandaria has to offer. I buy up all base ingredients (fish, meat, vegetables) under a threshold. My activity gives the market a certain liquidity. You know if you offload your raw materials at a reasonable price, you are guaranteed a buyer. In an extremely volatile market, I offer a semblance of stability. I naturally stockpile goods with some vegetables going many thousands deep. I've lost count of the times that I've bought wildfowl breast in bulk one day and sold it back at a great markup a couple of days later.

I make sure that popular foods are available (and I don't judge people for their poor diet). Having a large stockpile makes supplying finished foods efficient, and TSM2 has made monitoring stock levels a breeze. Before 5.4, I was surprised that braised turtle would fly off my shelf, and yet Nomi and his 'free' food made a mockery of the price of mogu fish stew. Fortunately since then, the introduction of noodle carts has revived the market for all finished products, and a new market in the carts themselves. The quest line to learn the 300 stat increase cart has done wonders to work through much of my stockpile, and encouraged to me restock [Jade Witch Brew] many, many times.

COMMUNITY.

I don't always feel a sense of community. Random people in LFR and dungeon finder can be total jerks. I'm relatively introverted and have a small guild, and only a small network of battle tag friends. However, I like my realm (and cringe when trolls claim that it is 'dead'). I enjoy contributing to the economy, and filling the AH with goodies for my fellow warcraft characters. I don't just think of my pretty graphs and my liquid gold when I make sales. I think of my time spent in the economy of my server as a service to my fellow players. It's time we gold makers ditch the notion of back room, shady deals and destructive market manipulation, and celebrate our positive contribution to the warcraft economy and our community.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

For the Record: December 2013 Glyph Sales


Merry Christmas to me! While I was very inactive throughout the early part of December, some of my competition went on holidays and I made a killing late in the month.

Stats:
  • Total Glyph Sales: 76464g
  • Total Glyphs Sold: 1273
  • Average Price: 60g07s

As you may have been following (if I've backfilled my posts) my server has had a 50g glyph wall for quite a while. it didn't take long in the abscence of that competitor for prices to jump back to my fallback.

To celebrate the spike in sales, I've created a couple of pages to detail the full glyphs sales from 28th and 29th December 2013. It is just so much fun to browse and see how many glyphs were sold at my fallback of 230g. An average price on the 28th of 172g followed by 152g on the 29th, selling almost 9k of glyphs per day boosted my otherwise slack income more than 20k over the previous month while selling less glyphs.