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  1. #1

    Question How to treat hostile competitors?

    Hey folks! Been lurking for a few weeks now and figured it was time to show myself. I'm relatively new to the gold making aspect of the game, and I've enjoyed reading the thoughts and experiences of some of you gold veterans.

    My main industry is gems/ore shuffling, though of course I use alchemy/enchanting to supplement that. When it comes to posting gems on the AH, I am sometimes fairly aggressive in that I periodically check for undercuts and re-list gems. A number of competitors recently have reacted quite angrily (despite the fact that they were doing the same thing.)

    I'm never anything but nice, I'm glad to share tips and tricks even with competitors, but this one in particular was *irate* and refused to be reasonable. They (attempt) to intimidate me (i've got over 1m gold, I can undercut you all day long rawr!) and they do just that. Of course, I'm fairly confident in my tactics, I know the prices at which I can sell and still make a profit, so I just stopped paying attention when it became clear they were not going to be reasonable. I've tried a couple different tactics - a) continually relisting 1-2 gems at a time whenever they are actively doing the same thing - sometimes aggressively dropping the price. b) just waiting til they log off to relist gems c) putting a very low priced "wall" of gems (ie 20-30 gems or more for cheap but still profit).

    First of all, I don't believe they have a million gold or anywhere near it for three basic reasons - 1) someone with a million gold wouldn't/shouldn't feel threatened by me, who has yet to crack even 100k 2) they accused me of being "stupid" - ruining the market - losing money, etc. Far from the case, and if they *really* knew what they were doing, they would know that I'm making quite a bit of money. 3) I see them list uncut alicites/zepherites on the AH for as little as 4.5g each - a ridiculously noob mistake.

    The problem with this person is, they log on far more frequently than I am often able to, and they are tireless at listing/relisting/undercutting my gems, almost no matter what. I realize that they have an advantage in terms of time spent when it comes to the AH (despite their noobery otherwise) - but I was wondering what other strategies I might use that would give me an edge?

    I've considered using alts to post with as well but my main apprehension to doing that is the logicstical headache it would cause. I don't want to start inadvertently undercutting myself, which requires more attention (time) spent checking and double checking each thing I list for sale. Additionally, I prefer to only cut 1-3 gems of each type I can cut at a time - and cutting new ones when the old ones sell. That way what gems I cut more or less reflects market demands. For this reason as well, using the mobile AH seems impractical/insufficient for my needs.

    Looking forward to your thoughtful advice. Thanks in advance

  2. #2
    WoWNynx's Avatar
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    When I know I'm going to be offline for a long period of time (Raiding, Doing IRL stuff) I often post several walls or 5 or so of each item starting at the lowest price I'm prepared to list at and then in increments of 5 or 10g up to the current buyout price. This gives me the satisfaction that the serial undercutters will make a lot less gold whilst I'm away unless all my gems get sold quickly or they buy them all out. If I post all gems at the lowest price they would probably just buy them all and flip them so the 5g increment wall strategy discourages that.

  3. #3
    First off if someone is getting that irate you are doing something very right. Second if you can continue to br that irritating while you are on then do so. Third pay the $3 a month for the mobile auction house so you can irritate them with single item undercuts whenever you hade access to a browser or iPhone. Forth never cancel your auctions if you can avoid it. Listing fees for gems are quite high even for 12h auctions and they add up. To avoid canceling keep a larger stockpile and post in smaller batches or even singles. If that player is off line move the number up to say 6 or more. Either way let your auctions time out unless you have a really compelling reason to cancel. Fifth try advertising selling gems in stacks in trade chat. You save yourself the 5% AH cut and can therefore sell for lower and in higher volume.

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by WoWNynx View Post
    This gives me the satisfaction that the serial undercutters will make a lot less gold whilst I'm away unless all my gems get sold quickly or they buy them all out.
    I love this strategy, ty! +rep
    Keep your competitions liquid gold as low as possible, get the satisfaction from screwing with them, raid with a big smile on your face.

  5. #5
    I'm of the opinion that if you're getting on someone's nerves so much they're going to war with you, you're doing it wrong, as far as it can be avoided. Going head to head with someone is going to tank your gph as you become obsessed with relisting and undercutting for increasingly small margins and ultimately whoever has the most patience and free time is going to 'win' anyway. I've planted my flag with Ember Topaz cuts since red rares have been sunk by idiots, if I tried to force people out margins would drop so dramatically I'd have to be selling over four or five times as many for the same return, if it was profitable at all (red rares are now selling under the cost of the raw on my server). Demand just isn't there to make it worth it at that level and even if I got it all to myself, the others would come back as soon as prices climbed up again.

  6. #6
    Kathroman's Avatar
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    I'm a pretty big glyph seller on my server, and I also play late at night, so I'm not used to having much competition (I can usually be the last person to post), but lately there has been one individual that has been staying on later than I care to, which has cut into my profits. The advice I can offer is to choose your battles. There is a time and a place to fight for your profits, and you need to learn when to leave well enough alone. You should really only be doing "wars" during peak hours, when you are literally fighting over sales that are happening. You don't necessarily need to be the lowest person if there aren't any sales happening. Check out the TUJ heat maps to get a handle on which battles you want to fight.

    Also, if you continue to undercut during non-peak hours, all you do is drive the market price down so that when "selling hour" comes, there is less profit to be made. Is strong-arming someone out of your market worth it? Yes. Is it always worth it? Nope. Choose your battles.
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  7. #7
    Aeg's Avatar
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    As some mentioned he is getting annoyed with you so clearly you are doing something right.

    You have to decide if the war is worth it at the potential loss of decent profits and GPH for a while. If you are going to keep fighting with him over these sales make sure you are doing it right.

    I started typing out a bunch of steps to put the pressure on the competitor, but Stokpile over at http://theahpile.blogspot.com/ (one of my 2 favorite gold bloggers) has a much more detailed strategy that encompasses different scenarios and you will probably get more out of reading through it.

    While it primarily deals with glyphs the principles are mostly the same and can be applied to any market with a serious undercutter/camper - Just be mindfull of the auction house deposit costs on gems.

    Part 1: http://theahpile.blogspot.com/2011/0...ribe-asks.html
    Part 2: http://theahpile.blogspot.com/2011/0...ks-part-2.html
    Part 3: http://theahpile.blogspot.com/2011/0...ks-part-3.html
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  8. #8
    Overall i would say your going in the right direction and have pretty much the right idea. I would also say your right about they not having over a million gold as if they did they wouldn't be camping the AH for more.

    Onto a few pointers.

    If your concerned about undercutting yourself most AH selling addons have some form of 'white list' which tells them not to undercut characters in that list so you could add your alts to that list and wouldn't have to worry about that issue.
    Theres only two real reasons for changing a posting alt or using multiple poster though. The first is obvious and is if you think they are specifically targeting you to undercut then changing your alt will help prevent that. The second is to make it appear there is more competition that there actually is which can be a way to discourage someone from a market but doesn't really have much effect on an AH camper.
    Overall in this case i would say using different characters would likely have very little effect, if any, so isn't really going to change much.

    I was going to give some long winded breakdown of your choices and possible consequences but i will simply cut to the chase and say from what you say, personally, because they out do you in time spent trying to drive them out won't work so i would aim to post while they are not around and exploit that time as much as possible. Make that part of the market your own and leave the others to squabble between themselves while they are online.

    If you did want to try to damage their business then i would spend my time posting single gems for them to undercut and as most campers never adapt and simply post blindly.i.e. post multiple gems to undercut your single one, then you will draining their gold via posting fees. From experience though i usually find reducing a AH campers income as counter productive as they are usually desperate for gold and want to obtain that amount as fast as possible and once they hit that target they will most likely disappear or at least reduce their camping to a more reasonable rate as camping the AH burns them out. I have camped the AH before and its not a fun thing to do.
    So if you leave them to get it out of their system they will do so sooner and the sooner you can return to normal business. I have seen many campers in my time and most never last more than a few weeks.

  9. #9
    Vanditor's Avatar
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    A war is better avoided at all costs, but I believe your opponents will be thinking about the same thing: how much do I gain by starting a price war? Once he/she got that in mind the price will rebound.

    In my opinion if their prices are so low, then buy them and relist, otherwise just leave them for a day or two. Now depends on the volume of postings of these gems the market will "reset" once their auction expires. As long as there are only a few sellers you then can repost them at the price of your choice. Yes they will undercut you, but they will be thinking. If they are only posting 1 silver undercutting price then I'd say let them be. Gem posting/relisting is costly and time consuming.

  10. #10
    So ore was so cheap for so long in such great volume that many new competitors entered the market. So I continued buying ore, prospecting and so on, but cooled my jets a little as far as listing gems. I just stockpiled rares. I sold some cut here and there, but I didn't go crazy trying to relist or anything, because almost any time of day people were undercutting eachother left and right, and gem prices crashed hard (partly I helped drive them down. but other people soon followed me down and kept the prices down.) Not just one or two, but 5-6 people. Which drives me crazy I hate having to babysit my auctions, but you almost have to to sell gems at any decent rate. Anyway, after stockpiling for a while - I have in the neighborhood of 500-800 gems of each color. (And have gone from roughly 50k to around 150k at the same time)

    But this guy I talked about above, he loves the AH. As i mentioned, he's checking in at all hours of the day, much more frequently than I. But the thing is I never saw him prospect. He buys uncut gems and then sells cut, and that's it - doesn't bother with ore at all. So i thought, why not make my biggest competitor - my customer instead.

    So i reached out to him. Like i mention above, he seems unreasonable etc. So at first he denied me of course. "Does wal-mart buy from bestbuy? no!" And so on. But then he starts to come around. "Ok I hate you, but I hate the goldfarmers more." and "Ok, maybe, but let me finish selling my current stockpile first." Fine, I don't pressure him. But my offer to him makes sense and is the best option for both of us, so I just let him need to think on it and hope he swallows his pride.

    So today he whispers me - "Got any rubies for sale?"

    Score! And wouldn't you know it, we managed to agree on a fair price, and I'm glad to sell gems without having to bother with the AH at all. I still sell cuts that he doesn't sell, but at least I have a reliable and competition-free way to sell gems faster now, that is.

    Lesson: Don't be a dick to your competitors. Oh, sure, undercut all you want. Thats why the guy hated me in the first place. But I was never rude to him (despite he was very rude to me). It's luck for this guy that I don't think irrationally, as he did. Otherwise we'd both be fighting each other still... and not working together to both our benefit.
    Last edited by Kyiran; March 27th, 2011 at 07:19 AM.

 

 

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