Thursday 7 February 2013

20 Days of Gold Making - Day 13 - Yay!

Nev asked:

What was your biggest 'Yay!' moment?

Probably my biggest 'Yay!' moment was the very first sale I made of the complete set of missing pages of Nesingwary's Journal for 30g, at a time when I didn't even have enough gold to buy a bag to put them in! But I already covered that on day 3, so let me tell you of another important moment for me.

It was still early in my goldmaking career when I saw some guy on the trade channel asking 1000g for a pet I'd never seen before: a digusting oozeling. Not only had I never seen it before, I'd never seen a pet on sale for such a price before. He didn't have any luck selling it, and he was barking all day. Next day he was still trying to sell it. By now I was intrigued and had looked it up on wowhead. I didn't know how to price it: there was no data on it in my Auctioneer database, there was, of course, no undermine journal, and wowhead, allakazzam and so on didn't in those days have auction house prices. All that was available was anectdotal posts by people who had bought or sold it. I reckoned that it was one of those items you might sell at a good price if an interested, rich pet-collector passed by, or you might have it in your bags for months without a sale.

I started talking to the guy. He was tired of trying to sell it, and I easily talked him down to 800g, and bought it. 800g was over half of my money at the time, so I couldn't afford to not sell it, but I thought I'd got it at a good price.

Now, you're probably looking it up on wowhead and TUJ now, and thinking I got a real bargain, since it's listed at 8385g buyout price on wowhead, and 9263g alliance-EU market price on TUJ. The thing is, list prices are not sales prices, and on rare items such as this one (only 185 currently on sale throughout the EU),   there is always a large discrepancy. In my experience selling rare items, you can add a large pinch of salt to any published prices. Moreover, back when I bought it from the guy on trade, there was a lot less money sloshing about Azeroth than there is today.

Anyway, back then I didn't have any experience selling rare items, and few price-points to help me gauge the right price. So I simply made a wild guess and decided to sell it at double what I'd paid for it: 1600g. But first I set about nobbling Auctioneer.

Since I had no data about digusting oozelings in my Auctioneer database. I reckoned there was little data in anybody else's, and I had a sort of prime-mover advantage in setting prices. So I listed it for around 3000g on the AH for a week, each sale for 12 hours, and each price slightly different to the others (and that's also why I don't trust sales prices on rare items - I know from first-hand experience how easily they are manipulated).

Once I'd done that, I then chose a Friday to list it at 2000g on the AH, and started barking this price in trade. Once trade scrubs started laughing at my price, I was able to tell them what a bargain it was compared to the average price of those oozelings!

I love trade scrubs - the guys who hang out on the trade channel and have an opinion on everything. They are invaluable to somebody trying to make a market, because they can be guaranteed to laugh at attempts to sell something they've not come across before, and this allows you to expose their ignorance, all the while talking up your product. For instance "who would waste 2000g on a pet!", they assert (it's a rhetorical question). This is not the time to become defensive and just respond that pet-collectors would, for that just allows the scrubs to ridicule your potential customers. No. Now is the time to make your potential customers feel good about themselves. the correct answer is something like "This item isn't for you. You could never afford it. My customers are rich, and this is pocket change for them. If they want something, they can go out and buy it, whatever it is. Unlike you, they didn't waste their lives chatting in trade."

Now you might have been talking to the top raider in the realm, but it doesn't matter! The important thing here is that you've made your potential customers feel better than that person, and you've hinted that conspicuous consumption is one way of differentiating themselves from the crowd. Also, you've got the data to prove that your price is a bargain!

Anyway the result is that a pet collector contacted me that weekend, and haggled the price down to 1600g. I got the price I wanted, he felt good about getting a bargain and a very rare pet, and everybody went away happy!

Part of the 20 days of Gold Making series

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