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  1. #1
    Mornia's Avatar
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    Using mail for storage and keeping track of your expiring mail: Spreadsheet

    Having enough storage can be a big problem, especially in these days of stockpiling for Cataclysm. You can use your bank and guildbank for storage, but if you need a serious amount of space, the mailbox is the way to go.

    In theory, each mailbox can hold an unlimited number of mails and each one can contain up to 12 items. You can only see 50 mails at a time so if you intend to use your mailboxes for storage, you shouldn't have more than 50 mails stacked up. If you go over 50, they may expire without you realising as you can't see them. If you stick to 50, this means that you can store 600 items in the mail for each alt that you have.

    I have a lot of alts that I use just for this purpose and a problem that I encountered was keeping track of when my mails were due to expire after 30 days. When this happens, they get returned to the sender, but you might not want this to happen because if you have a large amount of items in storage, you need to keep track of where they are. Also, if a mail has already been returned, if you allow it to expire again, it's lost for ever.

    If you use a lot of alts for storage, this can result in you needing to regularly visit them to check how long it is until your mails expire, a time consuming and boring task. You could keep a note of when the mails are due to expire, but I've created a small spreadsheet that will do the job in a much more efficient way.

    ddss.jpg

    Instructions:

    1. Insert the names of your alt that you use for storage in A2.

    2. In the Date of Check column, press ctrl+; (CTRL and semi colon together) to insert today's date at B2.

    3. In the Due Date column, click on the date that is shown at C2. Change the formula, altering the 0 to the number of days to go until your mails expire. The formula starts as =B2+0 (today's date+0 days) so if you want to be reminded to check your mailbox again in 15 days, change it to =B2+15

    The Days to Go column will then automatically update. As each days passes, the number in this column will fall by 1 until it reaches 0.

    When your mails are due to expire, log on to your alt and send them elsewhere. Then go back to step 3 and enter in the new number of days to go until your mails expire. The Days to Go number will update itself and you can again see how long you have until you need to come back and do it again.

    I give my mails a 3 day buffer to ensure that I don't miss them, so if they are due to expire in 20 days, I change the 0 to 17 in the Due Date column.

    A1 contains today's date. It will automatically update itself.

    I hope someone finds this useful. There's probably an addon that does a similar job, but I have this within a larger spreadsheet that I use to keep track of my storage. Please feel free to contact me if you need any help or further instructions with it.

    A zip file is attached with the spreadsheet within. duedate.zip
    Last edited by Mornia; November 21st, 2010 at 04:38 AM.

  2. #2
    Scot's Avatar
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    I used to do this (not completely intentionally, just didnt want to find room for crap from alts) and encountered a bug a few years back where it would never load some of my farthest mail. When petitioning a GM he said he couldn't do anything and that mailboxes weren't intended for storage. I'm not sure if they actually can do anything or not, or if that can still happen, but its stopped me from letting mail pile up too much.

  3. #3
    The safest way i have found to deal with the issue is:-
    • Have a central character, i use my buyer, who is the focal point of your storage network.
    • This character is always the origin of all storage mail and even if it involves sending mail to this character first then sending it back out for storage i always do so.
    • This character will ideally be a character you log into daily or at least the character you log into most often.
    • If a mail expires and is sent back to your central character you should open it and resend it back immediately or as soon as possible.
    • I also use different characters to store different items or sets of items so i always know where something can be found and this also helps to prevent blind storage.i.e. when a character has more than 50 mails in their mailbox, as it spreads your storage out over multiple characters rather than filling up a single character with hundreds of mails.
    • Using an addon like altholic will also help you to keep a better eye on how your storage network is looking as it will give information on mail for each character, warns you of soon to be expired mail and will give you an accurate rundown of your inventory and where exactly to find it (or reasonably accurate if you spill over into blind storage).
    • For bulk storage of an item always try to use all 12 slots in a mail and only use full stacks, this helps in the event of blind storage so you can have a more accurate idea of exactly how many of that item you have even though you can't directly see them. To make this easier i try to keep my central characters bank reasonably empty so i can store odd items or odd stacks there until i can fulfill this criteria



    Using this system you will always know once mail has been returned and can immediately resend it back without fear of missing some mail and having it disappear. You can also easily find any item(s) you need without having to think about where it may be or search for it.
    You can easily keep an accurate, or at worst reasonably accurate record of what exactly you have in storage.

  4. #4
    Mornia's Avatar
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    You are right in that your mailbox isn't intended for storage and GMs will not look sympathetically on you if you complain that items have been lost. Despite this, I've been storing items in the mail for years and have never lost anything, and believe me when I say that I store a lot. Alongside this, I have records of exactly where everything is stored, so if some was to be lost I could inform a GM exactly what was missing and how much of it.

    Remember that I'm not suggesting that you let your mail pile up. I'm saying that when used for storage purposes, you should not let it go over 50, well within acceptable limits. A lot of auctioneers often have hundreds of mails waiting to be collected daily, as if you are involved in high volume markets, you post a lot of auctions and many expire.

  5. #5
    Mornia's Avatar
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    That's great advice Fluffyrocker - I do all of those things apart from using the addons.

  6. #6
    It's a good idea, especially as a back up if add-ons fail you. I will keep this idea in mind if I ever start to use the mail for mass storage. Currently, I only use it to store reputation hand-in items, and Altoholic is good enough for small volumes.
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  7. #7
    Meyer's Avatar
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    The Addon Altoholic keeps track of not only your inventory cross all your toons, but also your expiring mails.

  8. #8
    Mornia's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fractella View Post
    It's a good idea, especially as a back up if add-ons fail you. I will keep this idea in mind if I ever start to use the mail for mass storage. Currently, I only use it to store reputation hand-in items, and Altoholic is good enough for small volumes.
    And addons do frequently fail. Will they work right away after Cata hits? Probably not. For me it would be very costly to suddenly lose track of when my mails were due to expire.

    Alongside this, I like to be in touch with my stocks. By doing it this way, I know exactly what is happening all of the time. I can look at my spreadshseet (of which this is one small part) and see how much of an item I have, where I have it and how long it is until it expires. I can do it when I'm not logged on if needed, and it helps me plan ahead as it's all displayed simply and in one small box. Addons are essential tools for auctioneers and can be extremely helpful, but sometimes they can remove the feeling that you're in control of what's going on. I prefer the hands on approach.

  9. #9
    I also had this problem lately.

    Part of the solution for me has been what Thefluffyrocker mentions, my main banker its the only one handling those mails with stacks of items and even when its a lot of back and fort it works.

    Still i dont suggest on relying only to this but also to invest on guild banks, its costly but safer.

  10. #10
    Mornia's Avatar
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    But what when your guild banks are full? It's either rely on an addon or use a system of recording. I wonder if our addons will be working tomorrow?

 

 

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