Guide: Flipping Guild Banks (with TSM)
Personally, I always enjoy finding and executing gold-making tactics which not everybody does or even knows about. For example, selling thorium brotherhood rep kits and selling alchemy leveling kits. Most recently I've been buying and selling guilds. Notice that this guide is called "flipping guild banks" and not "flipping guilds". Flipping guilds can also be profitable (ie buy a lvl 25 guild for 50k and sell for 200k), but the purpose of this guide (and what I do) is buying the guild for what's in the guild bank.
Finding a Guild to Buy
Obviously, we first need to invest some time and money in buying a guild which has a gbank full of things which we can flip. The first step is to advertise in trade that you're looking to buy a guild. Simple enough. I use the following macro for spamming trade.Once we have a bite, we want to get on an alt which isn't in a guild and get them to invite that alt into the guild. You want to make sure the person who's trying to sell the guild is actually the GM and that there's nobody else online in the guild who might snatch stuff out of the gbank during the transaction./2 WTB any lvl guild with stuff in the gbank. PST
You're not necessarily looking for a gbank full of cata-gems or enchanting materials or glyphs (although those would be great buys). Most of time you're looking for a gbank with enough random low-level crap that there's some money to be made, and there might be a gem in the rough (found a in the first guild i bought - worth 10k).
Determining the Value of the Guild Bank
Next, we need to determine how much the guild bank is worth. Having TSM enabled along with a handy macro can help us tremendously here.That's the macro. Note that this produces a gold value of the guild bank based on TSM_AuctionDB market value. You can change this by changing "DBMarket" to anything else which is printed out in blue (except for "") when you type:/run local t = 0 for i=1, GetNumGuildBankTabs() do for j=1, 98 do local _, c = GetGuildBankItemInfo(i, j) if c > 0 then t = t + (TSMAPI:GetItemValue(GetGuildBankItemLink(i, j), "DBMarket") or 0)*c end end end print(floor(t/10000+.5).." gold")Make sure you keep the quotes around it though. There are some limitations to this method however. If there is no market value for a certain item, it'll be assumed to be worthless. Also, as always, market values may not be accurate, especially for random low level stuff which you might find in people's gbanks and this doesn't just apply to TSM; at one point TUJ GE told me some vendor-bought food was worth 4.6k gold. So, use your discretion when deciding what to pay./dump TSMAPI:GetPriceSources()
Negotiating a Price
On my realm, level 1 guilds are worth at most about 80% of what their guild bank tabs cost. For example, a level 1 guild with 4 gbank tabs is worth no more than 1.5k. For me, if the guild bank is worth less than 5-10k, I don't bother. Recently the guild banks I've bought have been worth (according to my macro) 30k and 15k and I've paid 6k (lvl 1, 4 tabs) and 1.6k (lvl 2, 3 tabs) respectively. There's a saying in negotiations where the person who makes the first move loses, so first ask them what they want for the guild. My goal in negotiations for guild banks is usually to pay less than (or at least only slightly above) what the guild would be worth without the items in the guild bank. If they don't know what they have, they will usually be pretty happy with ignoring the value of items. If they do know what they have, just make sure you have enough room for profit to cover the time (potentially many months) it'll take you to sell it all.
Trading Gold for Guild Master
Now, Blizzard doesn't officially support buying guilds. It's very easy to get scammed, lose your gold, and not get it back. Here's some tips regarding how to do the transaction:
- Ask them to go first. If they agree, that's the best case scenario for you. Sometimes it takes a little coaxing though. You can tell them that there's a much better chance of you getting banned for scamming them than the other way around (may or may not be actually true - but often helps - and you're not going to scam them anyways, right?).
- It's not that much gold. Hopefully you're not paying so much gold for the guild that losing it would be painful. I lose a few k gold all the time when trying to flip epics on the AH, so I don't terribly mind if I lose 2k to a scammer.
- Half first, half after. This cuts your loses in half if they scam you, and might make them more comfortable.
- Do the transaction away from a gbank. Don't want them to grab that 20k item out right the transaction.
- Once the deal is done, gkick everybody. Again, don't want people taking your items! Here's a nice macro for mass gkicking./run for i=1,GetNumGuildMembers() do GuildUninvite(GetGuildRosterInfo(i)) end
Selling the Items
Ok, now we've found the guild and invested the gold. Time for the fun part: selling stuff! Of course, we're going to use TSM for this and how exactly you manage your groups is up to you, but here's how I do it. First of all, anything which is worth less than a few gold, I vendor. It's not worth my bag space / time. I have a few TSM_Auctioning categories setup for this: one for green gear/weapons, one for blue gear/weapons, one for recipes/patterns/plans/schematics/etc, one for single-stacked random stuff (raw gems, bags, bolts of cloth, etc), and one for 5-stacked random stuff (ore, bars, herbs, etc).
I use fixed gold amounts for the thresholds (exact values are up to you, but I keep mine pretty low), and 150% TUJ GE - market value for fallback. The post cap various by category, but I keep them pretty low cause flooding the AH with low level "crap" isn't going to do any good. I also set my reset method to post at threshold. To make a single group per item within these categories, I take advantage of the "Quick Group Creation" feature of TSM_Auctioning.
Now, it's just a matter of posting these items up on the AH and waiting for them to sell. Keep in mind that things aren't going to sell very fast, but you should at least break even within a week or so. Also, once you're done using the gbank for storing extras of the items, go ahead and sell the guild and look for your next big score.