Thursday, April 21, 2011

Messing with Glyphs

About a week ago I finally followed through on my threats to crash the glyph market. It was something I had wanted to do for quite some time, but never really got around to doing. So after a few weeks of stockpiling cheap inks, I sat down to craft a boatload of glyphs.

I will admit, I got cold feet at first and started posting at normal undercuts for a few days. Interestingly enough, it was actually profitable. I stalked my competition through The Undermine Journal, saw that most of them didn't post early in the morning when I woke up for classes, and took advantage of that window of opportunity. I made a decent amount of sales for a few days, but quickly grew tired of it all. So I crashed the market.

At first, anything listed at above 100g got undercut to 40g. Not long after, I expanded in to any glyph posted above 50g. Pretty soon, the only glyphs above 40g in price were those from the Books of Glyph Master (I don't know those because I'm a bad scribe, but whatever). Now, I'll also admit I really had no idea what I was doing. There was some inkling in the back of my mind to attempt a hostile takeover of the glyph market and run my competitors out, but honestly, I really just don't like glyphs and I wanted to see what would happen.

So what did happen? Not at all what I expected! The way I envisioned this going was that my low prices would frustrate my competition because they couldn't make any gold, I'd keep undercutting and replacing sales to "wall" the competition, they get mad and leave, I cackle manically. What I completely forgot to factor in was my glyphs actually selling! Rookie mistake for sure, but a happy one at that. Normally, having ten glyphs sell in a day is a good day for me. But after my mega-clearance, I was selling over 50 glyphs a day! I'm not certain if this was due to the prices (people who were discouraged by high costs now snatching up a good deal), or if it was because I was posting a much large selection of glyphs than I had before. This is something I'll have to investigate next time. And of course, with such a large volume of sales comes quite a bit of gold! Here I was not expecting to make anything off this experiment, yet I was coming away with 2-3k each day.

Another unexpected occurrence? A complete lack of hate-mail. As you may know from my previous post, I've always wanted my very own hate-mail. Pissing people off seems to be a sign of AH pvp, and it's fun to know your presence in a market is felt. But none of the other scribes seemed to care, or possibly even notice. Even the few I managed to wall simply by posting below their threshold didn't bother to say anything, and everyone else simply continued to undercut. Of course, they may not have been angry simply because if my personal sales were any indication, I'm sure they were making a decent amount too!

And so after about a week of this, I decided to temporarily withdraw from the glyph market. I still have a large stock of glyphs and a large supply of cheap inks (though with herb prices dropping seemingly each hour, they might not be "cheap" for long), I just got bored of this experiment. I'm now going to let the market bounce back up and then post "normally" with a similarly high volume to see what happens. And with all the Inferno Inks I made from all the herbs I milled to do this? I'm going to try the DMF decks out!

Moral of this story? There isn't one really. I dislike glyphs, don't care much for them or the market, and I have plenty of gold to throw around on such ventures without much worry, so I figured I'd just do this to see what happened. Fortunately, I came out with a fair bit more gold than I started with, and some slight new insights in to the glyph market (i.e. even cheap glyphs can make you a fair bit of gold).

Has anyone else messed with a market just for fun? Is anyone willing to try it out and report back?


  1. I had almost the same exact experience this last week. Sold many of my newly priced 30g glyphs. That lasted 1 day and just like you my competition simply posted for under 30g.

    I think most of them either have their brain switched of and are in auto-post mode or they simply have no other choice.

    Perhaps they have many glyphs and the only way to sell them is be lowest at all costs.

    Also like you I've held of and let the market recover. Crashing the market has disastrous results. All it takes is one person posting at 30g to floor the whole market.

    I'm back to posting high again and selling less but making more on each sale.

    All that said the glyph market isn't a fun place to play unless you are absolutely fixated on it.

    I'm not.

  2. as an operator in the glyph market, one tends to be serious about it. new entrants come and go, but the core participants remain.

    some are in autopost and will undercut down to loss making levels, others will have a minimum price (which is most likely coming down these days).

    howerver, the time of making super normal profits is, i suspect, drawing to a close.

    personally, i enjoy the glyph market. gives you good insights into the herb market and is quite efficient once you get your operations up and running.

    may be worth going back in and participating normally. you may be surprised at the returns you make, especially now that we are on Easter holidays.

  3. You didn't expect what happened because you grossly mistake the value of glyphs. A good scribe can make a glyph for as little as 10g a piece. Sure, undercutting straight to 40g or 30g is a steep drop but as you can seee it's still a solid 15-20g profit to make the glyph and sell it at your price... Do you have a bean counter or auditor add on that tracks who buys what? Chances are that other scribes simply bought out your mass posting of high value glyphs. Still others will just wait you out, as one week is nothing. Did you analyze beforehand which glyphs were actually worth trying to 'crash'? Based on what you say, you likely hadn't learned the recipes to be able to crash any of the valuable glyphs. On the whole it was just a poorly planned and executed scheme. You probably spent a lot of time and resources making glyphs of shadowbolt, divinity, soulstone etc trying to 'crash' those markets when they are already pushing below mat cost anyway.

  4. Pretty much the same happened on my server. But instead of me somebody else crashed the market to 30-40g. There are still some of the more rare glyphs that sell for 100-160g each but the majority of the market is down.
    My strategy will still remain the same. I don't post under 50g because I've already made some descent profits to cover my initial investment and a full set of glyphs on top. You always have to consider your profit margin and how much time you have to put into the glyph market. Prices will go up again as soon as people become tired of working so hard for next to no profit.

  5. Glyphs were my tool to entry into the DMC market.. After a complete restart, new server, new toon... Scribe/herber was my profs of choice.

    broke 400K in about 4 months... so I did something right...

    In that time I learned a few things about the glyph market...

    timing... lots of dumping and the market fails to be profitable on a few glyphs for a week, then it comes back... just wait it out... some... will never be profitable on a consistent enough basis that I would keep the inventory. Whatever strategy you go for you will make gold once past the entry barrier. Just set up ZA, cancel post craft post cancel post... it will prevent loss, maximize profits, and follow the markets... easy day... chasing a competitor out, getting agrresive or territorial.. not a game i play at unless the natural events of undercutting do that by themselves...

    Lastly.. i hate glyphs... Huge inventory, management, crafting times, small per glyph profits for many markets, it feels like farming.. farming the herbs for inks... click, click, click, click, click, click, click

    GAHHHHHHHHHHHHH.. not my game.. its the milling i guess that really gets me

  6. I think what happened is that you were competing in only one of the four major glyph categories.

    I know you hate glyphs but if you want to fiddle with them again I have a post on evaluating and dominating (aspects) of the market.

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