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Profession Kits - An Adventure to Millions, The Last Breath Part 1

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Everybody who knows and works with Profession Kits - me included - is whispering in the winds that profession kits will be dead in WoD.
This is true.
Since you can level up professions with your garrison quite easily through work orders or whatever. But they are not dead yet, quite the opposite. For those of you who don't know what Profession Kits are, please read this thread.

Personal Thank You

I'd like to thank @Namssob for this idea and eventually @Sinshroud for sharing/moving it to the public forums. Seriously, thank you.
For the past year and a few days, I've been doing Prof Kits and running it as my "World of Warcraft job", and not only have I learnt a lot about business and economy, market control and whatever more, but I made a lot of gold and had great fun!

Starting this allowed me to never, ever care about gold again and gave me the capital to invest in other areas that I wouldn't ever dare dreaming about. It opened doors to higher rooms of WoW's economy and with those doors, opportunities to learn about and experience new markets arose. On top of all this, it gave me fame (at least in the 'kitseller' character) and walking around Stormwind where people just come to you and ask "Hey what's today's promotion" or a simple "Hey bro, what's up?", feels really great. Feels you accomplished something and you are known for it. Regardless of jokes, it boosted my e-peen and almost everybody likes to be acknowledged.
So once again, thank you!

By know you should be thinking "why the hell a thank you note?". Well, let's move to my background/summary of the past year and so you may understand.

Profession Kits Selling - The Adventure

Since they are going to 'disappear' I don't mind sharing my detailed history in kit selling anymore, it was good while it lasted, too good.
I've kept track of every kit I sold, the average of how much it costed me, how much I've sold it for, who bought it and everything else I thought necessary in an Excel sheet. This sheet also contained quantities of my items and acted as my warehouse - it was simpler to use it rather than TSM's Warehouse module. I also have a vivid memory of how things went due to how much this marked me.

My arsenal:
Before I delete them (no longer needed even if Prof Kits remained 'a thing' because you'll now have increased storage and materials will stack to a much higher degree) here you can see My kit sellers

How it began - Preparations:

I didn't want to start small after reading Namssob's thread. I thought that the more publicity I manage to get in the beginning and as fast as possible, the better - and I was right.

I began by creating only 2 characters that I would use to advertise, sell, and work as mules. Since they obviously had to look good, I spent some thousands of gold with them pimpz clothes and enchants. For each of them I bought a level 25 guilds so that I could have 7 tabs and also the guild perk that lowers your chance to fail a skill-up. The next step was to decide which professions I would sell on which character, and buy bags accordingly - the one selling Alchemy, Inscription and Enchanting had only Herb/Enchanting 36 slot bags, etc. Last but not least, TSM lists and addons. Shopping lists and rules were great to make the whole process faster.

Now that in-game preparation was done I was ready to start with the advertising. I set my mind into creating a very thoroughly organized and clean forum post that would attract clients but wouldn't be too complicated. You can still see it here. And obviously in-game macros had to be developed to increase my chances to sell. For the more curious ones, here are my macros, that remained nearly equal from day one.

Quote Originally Posted by Advertising Macro
/2 {diamond} WTS Profession Kits! Get max level professions before WoD! Buy all the mats from me and go from 1-600 without any effort or time! Accept gold only! Add TEDJ#**** for more info {diamond}
/2 {diamond} Todays Promotion: Inscription! {diamond}
Quote Originally Posted by Reply Price Macro
/r The current prices are: Inscrip (8k) --- Alch (10k) --- JC Engi (15k) --- Ench (16k) --- BS (18k) --- Tailor LW (19k)

First costumers - Building a reputation:

Now that I was all set to go, all I needed to do was advertise, and be polite. Simple right? Nope.

Until I actually sold a few kits and practically begged my buyers to post positive feedback in my forum post it was quite hard. I had to explain step by step, even though I already had it explained in the forum thread. Then I had to reassure them there was no account-sharing involved. Then they would bargain the price again. After that they would doubt so few mats would make them to 600, or that it looked like there were too many mats. Many of them would insult me and call me ridiculous, not understanding I was providing a service for those who could afford it, not for everyone.

Finally my post started to grow and the word was spreading of this dude on the realm who provided a totally legal service that could make you level up from 1-600 in less than an hour. Players from top guilds started to reach out to me - they needed their new alts that had been rushed to 90 to have professions for their raiding guilds. Players who had just leveled up with RAF. Players who didn't have the patient to go through the work of getting items from the AH or farming them. Before I knew it, everyone was asking. I was receiving dozens of whispers at a time and dozens of friend requests as well. Around this time I downloaded and installed WIM years after I first used it since I needed to keep track of every chat separately. Business was going great, but obviously, competition was coming.

An empire was built - Competition came:

This was an obvious threat from the beginning, but after reading Namssob's thread I was a little prepared. By this time I stopped caring so much about the forum post or even advertising, as the word had been spread and requests and whispers were being spammed everyday, all the time.

Not long after I had made my name on the realm, competition show'd up. Although threats, they were small, as small as ants. And knew nothing, had nothing, and controlled nothing. All except one, which I shall refer to later. Most of these guys would come and advertise at lower prices than me yet, it didn't matter. They did not have a name, nor background, positive feedback or such a good service as me. But most of all, did were not so experienced in the business as I was and had little to no control of this market. I was in control of too many items in the AH to let them have more than 1 kit of each profession ready at any day - and , and , leathers and herbs, TBC gems and Fel/Adamantite ore.. everything where I could have any profession leveling bottle necked at, I would have it, and these small threats soon gave up.

All except one guy. One guy who saw what I was doing, understood my movements and strategies and, since he didn't lose time selling / preparing kits, he had more time to invest in controlling my markets. And so he did. I noticed mats started to be in short supply for about a week. At the end of the week, there were pretty much none of many items I needed for nearly all kits - some missing herbs here, some missing ore there, etc. Then the next week, he posts them high and buys everything under at crazy prices. This is as low as paying 80-100g for a and the ore was even higher.

And then it happened. He contacted me, explained he understood my tactic and that he saw a business opportunity and took it. This was shaking down my warehouse seriously and I had to do something. So I proposed that we worked together - he would control the AH, I would advertise/deal with buyers, and we would both do kits, and share the profits evenly. This was great as I was getting less gold but we could control more markets, and therefor have more costumers, meaning, more sales. It lasted for some good months until he left WoW and I returned to my original business.
By now I wanted the process to be faster, as fast as possible, and it was when I started working with TSM's Bank module and the Mail as well. I already had 4 characters split into even professions:
  • Kitseller only worked with Enchanting and I could store 3 prepared kits at any time.
  • Kitselleralt ran BS/Engi/Alch mostly because they delt with the same mats. 3 kits as well in total.
  • Kitsellertwo had Tailoring and LW since they took 3 tabs each so only 1 of each.
  • Kitsellerbro was Alchemy and Inscription, and only had 36 slot herb bags. They took 1 tab so I always had 7 of them.

Although I was aware of how much I was profiting my liquid gold never seemed to exist. This is because, if I sold a kit for 10k gold profit, I would invest this either into more kits, or into controlling AH markets. Granted that those other kits/controlled markets would then give me more gold, I would use this once again to rinse-repeat and my liquid gold never really went beyond 400k or so. But one of my goals when I started this was to buy a Spectral Tiger mount. And so, I saved up a little and and behold, my goal had been reached.

Continues in the next Blog Entry

Updated October 21st, 2014 at 06:04 PM by tedj

World of Warcraft , Mists of Pandaria