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  1. #1
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    Question Amateur Goblin looking for advice re: AH camper

    Hi all!

    Been a reader for awhile now and have really appreciated the advice and contributions of the community. And of course, TSM has been a massive boon and helped me take my AH game further so my adulation and respect to the those responsible for making it.

    I'm fairly green in the gold-making game, just started playing the AH semi-seriously about 3-4 months ago. I've made some decent progress and enjoyed the new aspect of WoW. However, I've run into my first major dilemma and was hoping for some advice from the masters...

    Recently, I moved servers (for Raiding reasons) and began to setup shop in the new economy. I noticed fairly quickly that the numbers I was used to were just not happening here. I did some investigating and found a major roadblock.

    In a nutshell, there is one "person" on the server who, using two toons, basically dominates several profitable markets by being online for 12 hours/day, everyday. After noticing his name all over the AH, I started checking him out. Using TUJ, and just observing him online for the past month, I've confirmed that he is online, like clockwork, every single day from 8pm - 8am (EST) doing nothing but methodically crafting, listing auctions, buying stock, etc. If anyone else posts, he will cancel and undercut (or just list more stock). He'll log between the two toons all night and is never offline more than a minute. This goes on steadily for 12 hours.

    Additionally, after he noticed that I was a newcomer to the market he began to "bottom-out" the markets we were competing in, e.g. the new crafted Dreadful PVP cloth gear. Each day I list the newly learned piece and when I enter the market, the prices are steady between all items listed. However, as soon as I list mine, he immediately bottoms out the market, listing a bunch of stock at decreasing increments. So, if the piece was selling for 1000g and I list mine at that price, he'll respond with a wall of 2x @ 100g, 2x @90g, 2x @ 80g and so on. He uses this tactic in many different markets, effectively crashing crafted gear, bags, gems, enchants, etc. Should I ignore this and wait until the market recovers or continue to undercut as long as it's profitable?

    My question to you: how do I compete with this guy? Could this be a paid farmer or an AH bot? I find it hard to imagine a "normal" WoW player working the AH for 12 hrs/day, 7 days/week non-stop. I simply cannot match this person hour-for-hour and camp the AH 12 hours/day and frankly, I don't want to put that kind of time into it. However, I am also stubborn and competitive enough to resist admitting defeat so I'm looking for new tactics.

    Any feedback, advice, and/or commiseration would be most welcome.

    Glad to be posting here after lurking so long and hope to be a positive addition to the community!

  2. #2
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    It's possible that he's a bot. Watch his pathing when he moves to get a better idea. That isn't the first thing that enters my mind, however. I'm thinking he just has a lot of time to play and is trying to scare you out of the market.

    I have two potential suggestions for how you can combat him.

    First, is just to ignore the markets you compete in while he's on and take over after he leaves, if your hours of play are suitable for this.

    Second, if your playtime pretty much overlaps his is to message him, telling him in essence "cut the crap, I'm not going anywhere. You can either play nice or neither of us will turn a profit." Then keep at it and the ball is in his court. Most likely he'll give up on his tactic when he realizes it isn't working and it's only hurting his bottom line.

    At the same time observe his pathing to try to figure otu if he is a bot. Watch how he runs to the mailbox and bank and see if it looks like a bot's movements. If it does, report him every day, being as specific and calm as possible, and if you have some friends have them do so as well.
    Last edited by Diablous; April 3rd, 2013 at 09:29 PM.

  3. #3
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    quite simple, just make a lot of what you're trying to sell. when he logs on, post a massive wall at the absolute minimum price. you need to make sure he either takes a loss or just gives up posting. i think that when you're dealing in so many markets the rational person would just give up a crashed market anyway, from my perspective.
    then go about your life as a normal person. when he logs off, cancel everything, buyout whatever's left (if they're a decent price) and repost them at the proper price.

  4. #4
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    If you are trying to sell something for 1000g and he undercuts to 80g then buy it and relist higher. Let him farm it for you, in essence. Try to find the absolute lowest he will go and then buy up at that point to restock your own supplies. It will save you time in farming and crafting. If he logs out around 8am every day then reset the market to a profitable margin and relist all the stuff you just bought from him for triple what you paid for it. You might not sell as many items during the day as he sells at night but it seems like you have the market to yourself for 12 hours. 8pm-midnight is the most profitable time on my server, but 4pm-8pm is pretty good too. Up your posting during those times if possible and restock your supplies on his time. The other option is to get him to bottom out the market to a low enough point where you can buy his stuff and DE it into shards for enchanting.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Diablous View Post
    At the same time observe his pathing to try to figure otu if he is a bot. Watch how he runs to the mailbox and bank and see if it looks like a bot's movements. If it does, report him every day, being as specific and calm as possible, and if you have some friends have them do so as well.
    Two questions: has reporting a bot ever been successful for you? I've tried and it doesn't seem to do anything. The other question is, how can you figure out they are a bot by their movements? Is it possible a bot will sometimes respond to you, even if they have a rough use of the English language?

  6. #6
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    Anyone who is online for 7 days a week for 12 hours needs help. I assume is a bot.
    I have been playing regularly for 5 years and I don't have that type of time.
    No one user, who is not botting, can dominate every market.
    If he does start posting gear at a lower cost than it takes you to make something.
    Buy it slowly..See how he responds when you start buying out his lowest gear and listing it higher than he posts it for.
    You ideally want to break even at first.
    If he lists glorious stats for 40g , buy it and list it for 50g on a raiding night..Chances are it will sell.
    You want to use his stock against him. In small increments, I don't recommend buying everything.
    Death by 1000 paper cuts is the way I would attack him.
    I would also start looking at who are the farmers, who is supply his goods.
    If you can rep up with the tillers, those golden lotus and spirits of harmony is really great gold now.

    In wrath I could not sell a glyph horde side.
    I started to focus alliance side and did well.
    I was able to sell blackfallow ink in Cata on horde side.
    But I found other market.
    Now that 5.2 is hit. Jewelcrafting is very hot.
    I have two JCs, I recommend during the rest of MoP to level alts.
    Having multiple toons with different professions, really gives oppourtunites in other areas.
    5.2 PVP gear is very hot now, I would make sure you have blacksmith, tailor and Leatherworker.
    Its very hard to dominiate all three markets right now. Because of how the recipe process goes. Its random.

  7. #7
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    Thanks for the feedback.

    I too have strong suspicions that he is a bot. I've already reported both his toons accordingly but, like many of you, I have very little hope that Blizz will actually do anything about it. I've observed my foe with this in mind, and he definitely exhibits the charateristics. For example, when moving from the AH to mailbox, he'll always keyboard-turn a complete 180, stop, then move in a straight line to the mailbox. He also seems to craft in a reactionary way while standing at the AH. Instead of processing a queue, he seems to scan the AH and craft whatever items his scan returns, as needed, on the spot.

    Quote Originally Posted by diablous View Post
    ...ignore the markets you compete in while he's on and take over after he leaves...
    This is essentially what I am trying to do. The main problem is that he puts up his walls every night and so I'm left with the lowest of margins during my 12 hours. Unless I constantly buy up his walls, I have to sell at the low end of the market while he gets to set whatever price he wants during the time he is online. Also, his walls are getting worse, covering a wider range. He's now in the habit of posting decrements of 20-30g per item. So, for a given piece of Dreadful gear, he'll have it covered from 150g to 90g or lower. Same with bags; e.g. 500g, 450g, 400g and so on. Gems and enchants as well. This means either more expensive resets or even more paltry profits for me.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by arby2001 View Post
    quite simple, just make a lot of what you're trying to sell. when he logs on, post a massive wall at the absolute minimum price. you need to make sure he either takes a loss or just gives up posting.
    Appreciate the input. I thought of trying this kind of tactic to see if I could tank his sales enough to make him back off. Two problems with this strategy though. First, he's in many markets, some of which I am not in yet (Blacksmithing gear) so he has lots of revenue streams to sustain him even if I manage to starve out a few of his markets. Secondly, the mats on our server's AH are not very plentiful and especially has been a problem. Because of the low margins he's forcing, I have to go lower and lower on my purchasing threshold to remain profitable. I've been trying to seek out non-AH suppliers but so far have had little luck. Because of this, it's difficult to maintain enough stock to sustain this tactic. I'm pretty tenacious about snatching bargains (TSM alerts, Realtime scanning, etc) but my supplies are nowhere near what I'd like them to be, especially if I want to keep the pressure on him. (For info's sake: is usually 30g-40g/stack and starts at 80g/stack).
    Last edited by iamnotagun; April 4th, 2013 at 05:04 PM.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eladmiri View Post
    If you are trying to sell something for 1000g and he undercuts to 80g then buy it and relist higher. Let him farm it for you, in essence. Try to find the absolute lowest he will go and then buy up at that point to restock your own supplies. It will save you time in farming and crafting. If he logs out around 8am every day then reset the market to a profitable margin and relist all the stuff you just bought from him for triple what you paid for it.
    I've wanted to try this but am concerned for a couple reasons. He uses high-low walls and (so far) always posts above cost. He'll get low, but never low enough that his stock is a better deal than raw mats. So, to reset a given Dreadful piece for example, I'd need to buy 4+ items at increasing prices, e.g. 1x @150g, 1x @130g, 1x @110g, 1x @90g (480g investment). Our PVP gear market doesn't move fast enough for me to be able to flip those at decent prices (say ~300g) in the 12 hours before he gets back on. Plus, I'm just handing him sales and furthering his motivation to keep up his methods.

    Quote Originally Posted by Eladmiri View Post
    The other option is to get him to bottom out the market to a low enough point where you can buy his stuff and DE it into shards for enchanting.
    fluctuates between 20g -50g on our server and he's never gone low enough to make that viable.

    Thanks for the reply!

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Razmigg View Post
    ...how can you figure out they are a bot by their movements?
    In my experience, bots typically have pretty awkward movement/pathing. Keyboard turning, running into walls, problems dealing with obstacles on the ground, etc. I've observed my foe with this in mind, and he definitely exhibits the characteristics. For example, when moving from the AH to mailbox, he'll always keyboard-turn a complete 180, stop, then move in a straight line to the mailbox. Of course, it's not 100% definitive but live players rarely ever move in such a stiff, precise manner.

 

 
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