Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Guest Video on Trading With Zoxy + Response to Kammler's Questions!

So if you haven't seen it already, head over to Trading With Zoxy, where I have a guest video post giving a rundown of how I use Trade Skill Master to create and sell Gylphs! Zoxy has been doing a fantastic job spreading the news about TSM and how it works, so I'm quite thankful I was able to contribute. Keep checking his blog for further guides, as I believe he will be going through most every profession and how to use TSM for it.

On a related note, in the comments of the post Kammler raised some very good questions regarding my video. I would like to take this opportunity to address them, because I believe they are questions a few of you will probably have.

* When you buy all the herbs you never went to the mailbox to retrieve them. Is that a step that you just omitted?
- Yes, in the interest of saving everyone the bore of having to watch the whole process of inscription, I edited out the less important steps. I apologize if I did not make that clear. I edited out me retrieving the ~100 glyphs from my mailbox, as well as getting the herbs, milling them, and making the inks.

* Did the herbs automatically mill and convert to inks, or is that a step you skipped?
- As fantastic of a feature as that would be, unfortunately you still have to manually mill and convert to inks. I just edited it out because no one wants to see that stuff.

* I've never used APM so the comment "just like APM" doesn't help me. Where can I find a good set of instructions on how to set up this feature?
- I apologize for not going more in-depth into the process of setting up your groups, fallbacks, and thresholds, which are the key features of Auction Profit Master (APM) that were incorporated into TSM.

Mageshadow of Just My Two Copper recently did a post going step by step through how to set up groups and pricing in TSM. Zoxy also has a guide to walk you through setting up TSM. If anyone is completely unfamiliar with the group functions of TSM, these will be the absolute best sources for how to set up these essential functions. 

* When you showed the groups in your TSM window, you had glyphs, scrolls, etc. Do you have to maintain the same settings for all units in the group? Or does each individual item have its own setting? For example, my scroll Berserking would have a fallback of 550g but my scroll of Offhand Intellect needs a fallback of 125g.
- Yes. Each group has it's own settings that you can tweak from the overarching group settings. Once you've set up your default settings, you can "override" individual settings such as fallback, threshold, time, and amount to post under each individual groups. I'm not sure if it showed up, but I have two different groups for the enchanting scrolls I've been posting with TSM. One is just "scrolls," and these are for the many scrolls I created when I leveled enchanting (with some "twink" scrolls thrown in). My threshold and fallback for these are considerably lower than for the scrolls in my "Rare Scroll" category. Those are scrolls like Berserking, Mighty Intellect, Major Intellect, Agility, Strength, etc. You could certainly create settings for individual items if you wished, but I believe the intent of addons like APM and TSM is to make batch posting of similar items much more efficient. 

* How accurate is the price per glyph? In your video you show DK glyphs. Chains of Ice says market value is 265g w/ a profit of 248g. Where does this data come from? How accurate is it? How can you identify trends? For example, if I know you are using TSM why can't I post a single glyph for 2,500g to skew the market rate? You then post at an inflated price while I sell at the right price--leaving you with no sales while I'm selling out. I dislike the drudgery of scanning all the auctions and finding the 'sweet spots' for sales, but I find the fruit of that labor is a market price that I can rely on for accuracy. I'm wary of an automated tool that does it for me--especially when I don't know how the figures are calculated or maintained.

- In all honesty, I'm not entirely certain how accurate their pricing system is. From what I've noticed, the price seems to be based on the average values obtained from both Auctioneer data, and from TSM's own AH scanner. I've been having some grievances with the display myself, as it has happened on more than one occasion that the crafting window will say a glyph is selling for ~300g, when in reality the lowest auction up is at maybe 60-70g. I've seen somewhat similar trends with scrolls and gems. As for profit, I believe that is determined by subtracting the cost of mats from the reported value. As I noted in the video, in the buying window TSM will tell you the price per ink of the herbs you are buying, so I assume it's calculated from that.

As I'm sure you're aware, "poisoning" AH data is a common tactic people use to skew market rates: posting a stack of cloth for 10k, for example, in an attempt to drive up prices, or get people to buy slightly inflated wares because auctioneer data says it's a deal. However, I'm not too sure how badly that would affect the glyph market, given how TSM's group settings work. For example, I make sure to set my threshold a fair bit above mat costs, and my fallback at a reasonable 250g. So I'd imagine your hypothetical to play out something like this. You post one glyph well above normal cost, which skews the average value of the glyph. I go to TSM, and see that glyph valued at say, 450g, when in reality, the average price is usually only 150g. Naturally, I'll make that glyph because 450g at least seems reasonable (if TSM is telling me the glyph is worth 2,500g, you can bet I'll do a bit of investigation before blindly crafting and posting). I'll then add that glyph to my glyph group if I haven't already, and use TSM to post it.

After that, one of two things will happen. If I'm the only one posting or there are glyphs posted below my threshold, TSM will tell me I'm posting the supposed 450g glyph at 250g, and if I'm paying attention I'll skip posting it with TSM and manually post it in Auctionator. If no one else has that glyph up, I'll go ahead and post at 450g. If there are others of it on the AH, and they're below my threshold, well, I'm SoL and out a few inks until they're bought up. But if there are some posted that are above my threshold, TSM will just automatically undercut them. I won't get that 450g I wanted, but I'll still hopefully get an acceptable return. Now if I'm the only one posting and you come along and undercut me at the actual going price, the next time I run through a cancel scan, TSM will detect that I have been undercut and will recommend that I cancel that glyph and undercut you. So, if you post first, I undercut you. If you post second, I undercut when I find out. It's no different than what would happen without TSM, TSM just makes it easier. In fact, posting that inflated glyph might actually hurt you in the long run as I might not normally have been making that glyph, but I will now that I think it's profitable, and you've added someone else to compete against!

So that's it for now! I hope my responses have been helpful, and if anyone has other questions about my video, please feel free to leave them in the comments. I'll try my best to answer what I can, and point you to those who are more knowledgeable about TSM if I can't!


  1. Great Answers Wukam! just a note : I believe the "profit" values noted in the TSM craft window, at least from Auctioneer data is taking the Mean value Displayed in the Auctioneer tooltip, as for the Pricing data relevant to TSM I would think it uses a completely Current market value as of the last TSM scan, which can be set in the "crafting options tab" Get Mat Prices, and get Craft Prices from.

  2. Thanks for the answers. I really appreciate the attention--I'm a bit vain like that! lol

    Seriously, thanks. I am trying to use TSM but have continued with my other processes just to double check it.

    I think first and foremost I need to read the resources you provide (thanks) to get a handle on APM and the settings, uses, etc. Much of my confusion could come from not understanding APM rather than TSM.

    I have noticed that Skillet seems to offer the best functionality in conjunction with TSM. Gnomeworks er, works, but seems buggy. Going with the Blizz crafting UI is very frustrating. Skillet seems to work fairly well. Any thoughts there?

    I'm not convinced the AH Poison tactic is addressed in any way by TSM. Running Skillet with its plug in for pricing side by side with TSM gives two VERY different sets of data. Skillet tracks very closely to current AH data and TSM is off by hundreds of percentage points.

    An example from yesterday: Ornate Mithril Breastplate showed a value of 461g in TSM, profit of 428g. In Skillet, the value showed 3g 85s. The AH had 11 units for sale ranging from 2.5g to just over 5g.

    Another example from yesterday: Glyph of Dragon's Breath showed a TSM value of 225g with profit of 213g. Gnomeworks value was 88g. In the AH there were 8 listed, ranging in price from 45g to 69g.

    These are just two examples of the many I have noticed. There are lots of items in my recipe list that have no value attributed to them at all despite listings in the AH from both me and other players.

    Yes, my AH scans are current. The question is, do I need to do another AH scan in TSM? I remain concerned about how their data is gathered and maintained. It does not track with the AH at all and doesn't seem to correlate to other addons either.

    Since the APM settings can be manipulated by category and are customizable for individual items, that would apparently solve the unique listing and fallback pricing issue. But it doesn't appear manipulating these settings is very nimble.

    What I really want is the functionality of Scrollmaster for all my trade crafts. Scan the AH, and based on profit settings, queue up the items I need to craft and the mats I need. Without confidence that the pricing data is dependable I can't perform these scans and feel comfortable that I'm getting the right queues.

    Buying the mats from the AH is fine, but is more a 'nice to have' and not a 'must have' feature. Opening my bank and having a one click 'get mats' would be great. So would the one click 'buy reagents' from a vendor.

    For me, the best AH functionality would be a simple window with a list of mats and which alts had how much, whether I had them in the mail or bank, and the NET number I need to purchase. The way the current TSM pop out window works would be great for this purpose--without all the buying functions.

    I'll keep using and testing different things. There are too many possible advantages to ignore TSM at the moment, but some fixes are imperative. For me at least.

  3. Again, you have some very valid concerns. Unfortunately, my knowledge of TSM has pretty much been exhausted. Keep in mind that TSM is in Beta right now, so that might explain the prices. For me and for glyphs, this hasn't been too much of a concern, because if I scan with TSM right before I choose my glyphs, the prices they show are at least semi reliable. Occasionally I'll crosscheck with Auctionator (especially since it'll show me any gaps), but I figure as long as I'm posting above cost, I'm still making gold.

    It sounds like what's going on is TSM is using averages from old auctioneer data. Have you cleared your Auctioneer data from Wrath? Also, TSM does have it's on AH scanner that's about halfway down the side of the little pop out menu. It does have the cool ability to sort which professions you want it to scan for, hopefully saving you some time on the scan. Though again, I agree that the prices don't always reflect the current market.

    You can always get in contact with the TSM people on their IRC ( and I believe one of them is always lurking on the JMTC IRC (, so letting them know of any issues / suggestions you have would probably help them greatly.

    Thanks for reading, and I hope this helps!

  4. Thanks for your help. I will jump over to their channel later and see if anything I have noticed will help.