Don't sell now. Just like in the real world, when the value of something you bought plummets, it's rarely a good time to sell. Unlike, say, Nortel stock earlier this decade or new houses in the States right after the housing crash, the value of the raw enchanting materials, leather, ore, and other stockpileable goods should go up from here.
Always the optimist?
The source for all the demand we're hoping to meet with out stock is from new gear hitting the market. That new gear is not going to hit the raiding population in a flood at first, but as a gradual trickle that will grow. Right now, most of the new gear being enchanted is patch 4.1's epic gear that's now obtainable through honor and justice points, as well as a small number of crafted the new craftables and trash BOEs.
- There will be a surge of new gear as the average population's reputation with the Avengers of Hyjal increases. Each level of reputation grants another piece of gear, and everyone is doing the dailies and trash runs to get it.
- As crafters start getting enough Marks of the World Tree, they can start buying patterns for ilvl378 gear. This gear is not craftable without Living Ember; however, that doesn't mean it won't get crafted. Living Embers will start off as another trickle and will increase the same way Primordial Saronite did in Wrath of the Lich King. Admittedly, Primordial Saronite was purchasable with the equivalent of valor points, and Living Embers are not (yet).
- The new PVP season starts next week, which means Baradin Hold will be getting a new loot pinata. Last season's awards are already available for honor, so the PVP activity in random BGs is already quite high. There are new craftable pieces for a few professions, though -- read the earlier linked 4.2 stockpiling guide to see them.
- Everyone is still mostly in their 4.1 gear, which means that while some guilds are capable of clearing Firelands, most aren't. This will change with time. In the meantime, guilds that are stuck on a boss in the Firelands will likely go back to 4.1 content, now that it's been nerfed to ground, if only to fill in a few pieces of really desirable loot from the last bosses.
As all this gear starts to raise the average ilvl of people on your realm, the process accelerates. Having better average gear allows people to clear more content, carry more stupid, earn more conquest points
, and generally equip upgrades at a faster and faster rate.The opportunity
So what should a reasonable, non-panicked auctioneer do? Firstly, don't have a fire sale. Meet the demand that has appeared with your processed goods, and hold all your raw goods until the prices rebound. There is more gear being upgraded now than there was before the patch dropped, and if you're in the business of making upgrades for it, you will find more buyers and higher margins. Try to time your stock postings for when people will be getting the next level of reputation with the guardians.
- Cloaks are available at friendly, and most people are there already and will be looking to enchant them.
- Belts are available at honored, and these will fuel demand for Ebonsteel Belt Buckles, as well as gems.
- Revered brings us trinkets, which are unimprovable.
- Exalted brings us rings, which are improvabled only by enchanters, and only on their own rings.
Next, if you see a less reasonable and well-read auctioneer dumping stock at a low price, take this as an opportunity to make even more money when the supply of raw mats really does start to bottom out. I'm watching for:
- Enchanting materials, but not Maelstrom Crystals. Hypnotic Dust, Celestials, and Heavenly Shards are safe, but Maelstroms are going to be mass produced as the old tier of raids are farmed.
- Gems, both cut and uncut, are good investments. The price for them is directly related to the price for ore, and as more casuals are doing dailies instead of farming, this isn't coming down unless there's a new wave of bots.
- Leather is a good bet if it's cheap, although I wouldn't invest more into this than you can use for crafting. Skinners are always skinning, whether they're doing dailies or not.
- Herbs, but not all of them. If the herb you're looking at is only usable for milling, then don't invest. Herb demand will bottom out as the value of Darkmoon decks plummets, and that's been a massive herb sink until now. Herbs that are used for alchemy, especially Heartblossom (which is needed to transmute red gems), are worth investing in.
Maximize your profits with more advice from Gold Capped as well as the author's Call to Auction podcast. Do you have questions about selling, reselling and building your financial empire on the auction house? Basil is taking your questions at firstname.lastname@example.org.