Thursday, March 21, 2013

Resetting the Glyph Market: Does it work?

TL;DR Yes, yes it does.

I recently posted Twitchie's Guide to Resetting Markets and my case study was my reset of the [Living Steel Belt Buckle] market. It was easy to see the results quickly because the market has only one product, and it is an item any self respecting active player will purchase regularly (if you have time to level, you have time to buckle).

One of my readers warned about the dangers of resetting the glyph market, to which I replied:
Oh I do this with Glyphs all the time! Just like with the glyph market in general, there's a different set of expectations. For resetting belt buckles, I can see the results in a day. However, with glyphs it can take a lot longer.

The other major difference with glyphs is that the margins are a LOT higher. I will buy 20 glyphs hoping for the result that one sells at the reset price and I make a profit.

There are also some pitfalls with glyph resets, in that common leveling glyphs will constantly have their price driven into the ground, as people make 5 of them and dump them at any price. When a glyph is less than 5g though, there really isn't that much risk. TSM is great for solving this problem, since once you have a stockpile of 40+ , it's probably not worth trying to keep resetting that particular glyph in the future.

There are different challenges for resetting in different markets, so I might go through some of my data for other examples, particularly glyphs.
The major difference between the buckle example and glyphs is that there lots of different glyphs. When I post buckles, I expect to sell some buckles. However, when I post a glyph I only expect that it might sell 1 in 10 times I post it, maybe less. The point is though, when I post over 400 different glyphs, 40 of them might sell and that's a fantastic result. The demand for each glyph is a lot lower (everyone needs a belt buckle, but every non-Paladin won't buy any Paladin glyphs) so you want to get as much coverage of the market as you can.

Glyphs is posting, mailbox and inventory intensive, and that alone is enough to turn many people away from the market. I suspect that the other major reason people leave the glyph market (aside from rabid competition) is that they don't commit heavily enough to get a return on their initial investment. Glyphs seems to be an all or nothing market, and until you retrieve those solid blocks of sales in your mailbox it can't seem worth the time.

The same is true for resets. In order to feel like resetting glyphs is productive, you don't want to try it on one glyph and wait for the coin to start rolling in. Rather than cherry pick one piece of low hanging fruit, get out your hedge trimmer and just lop off the whole low end of the market. Add those glyphs to your inventory and keep going with your normal posting cycle. Give it some time before you come back to assess. Or don't. You can take my approach and just assume that it works really well... until today.

After posting the reply, I decided to have a quick look at how well my glyph resetting works for the last month or two. For quick numbers, my first port of call is always to TradeSkillMaster. So open up /tsm and head to the accounting module, and hopefully you'll get results like mine:
  • Predator: Bingo! 3 glyphs bought for a less than 15g for a return of more than 500g. Right here, is what resetting markets are all about. Relieving impatient and frustrated people of their undervalued goods, and selling them all the way back up at your fall back
  • Pillar of Frost: 17 glyphs bought, only 2 sold. I mentioned that the glyph business is inventory intensive right? If you have the stomach for it, you can delete as many of the excess glyphs as you like and you've still made a tidy profit. What is most important isn't the number of glyphs you buy, as the total cost of the reset (in this case over 60g) and the likely return on investment. If you're worried about the inventory issue, or the time it will take to recoup your investment, the glyph market in general is probably not for you.
  • Shred: 10 glyphs bought for 59g31s, one glyph sold for 59g25s. While you can think about this as a cheap way to gain 9 glyphs you can resell later, it isn't a great result. The data here is at least a months worth, and I spent time buying glyphs, storing and posting glyphs to make no gold? Bah! So keep in mind that every glyph you reset won't be a winner. Same goes for consecration, but it's a little different because the one Paladin that paid over 50g for a glyph instead of 2g makes it worth it.
The other important note is that there will be glyphs that I attempted to reset, where I didn't see any sales, which won't be on that list. What matters is that overall the process of resetting the glyph market is profitable for you and worth your time, rather than taking each glyph as a victory or failure.

What glyph resetting does for me is it allows me to be a stabilising force in the glyph market. It helps to make sure that glyphs are not too cheap, not to expensive, but just right. You're welcome, Goldilocks.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

For the Record: February 2013 Glyph Sales

I really missed the boat on weekend sales mid way through February, but otherwise it was another good month.

February Stats:
  • Total Glyph Sales: 53570g
  • Total Glyphs Sold: 820
  • Average Price: 65g33s