Monday, October 3, 2011

September Glyph Sales

Starting with the stats:
  • Total Glyph Sales: 59,204
  • Total Glyphs Sold: 1518
  • Average Price: 39g
The average price continues to climb, potentially in no small part to a conversation I had with a fellow glypher. As I have mentioned before, a lot of my low priced glyphs are bought by competitors in the glyph market. I make a profit, they attempt to reset the market price, and I make even more coin undercutting the inflated new listing.

Recently I was online when my competitor started to buy up glyphs, so I initiated a chat thanking him for the sales. He immediately recognised me, and asked why I post my glyphs at such low prices. We had a quick chat, and in a lull in the conversation I was naturally AFK milling and missed the conversation resuming. It turns out that my competitor is a fellow blogger, and writes about gold making and glyphs specifically, so was particularly interested in my methodology. He also asked me to refrain from posting in his newly reset market for at least a couple of hours.

I was delighted. I thought, "this stranger is just a friend I haven't met yet". A kindred spirit in the gold making community. So I wrote him a mail explaining, yes, I'd leave reposting until later in the afternoon. I also mentioned that I had a blog myself (that since most of my raiding is now covered in the guild blog) that deals with gold making, and I'd love to swap sites and chat about glyph strategies.

I didn't hear back from my fellow glypher, but it did give me some things to think about. He is willing to buy out cheapish glyphs, just to reset the market for a couple of hours at most. When I say cheapish, based on my costs he sometimes buys glyphs at 5x the cost price. His maximum price is over 300g, so I started to think about how many he would have to sell to make a profit on his initial investment. At less than 10%, I figured that buying out cheap glyphs might just be a reasonably time efficient way of collecting a stockpile of glyphs. No milling, no turning pigments into inks... just browsing for underpriced glyphs for purchase and resale. Certainly the margins are lower, and frustrating if the market doesn't stay reset for long, but finding cheap herbs and milling isn't for everyone.

It's a shame that I didn't get to catch up with my fellow glypher, as I'm pretty sure he wouldn't have guessed my main motivation for approach to glyph selling. I'm very comfortable with the amount of gold I generate in game, and I've accumulated more gold than I could reasonably game. Aside from making enough coin so I can by my 6th 85 alt another pair (or two (yey for dual spec)) of Valor bracers at 5k, my income is far greater than my expenses. Yes, originally I was into glyphs to make a whole bunch of coin, but since Cataclysm...


Devotees will recall that my goal from the start of Cataclysm was to make 25,000 glyphs inside a year. I was so keen on doing this all by myself, that I expelled all the other inscribers from Twitchie's guild so I could more easily track my progress. Of course, I was devestated when Blizzard dropped the guild achievement down to 2,500 glyphs... but a quick tweak to my processes meant I could easily track my progress myself.

So my pricing really has very little to do with maximising my profits, and all todo with moving large volumes of glyphs. I realised quite early on in glyphing, if you just hit every single profitable glyph, regardless of how fierce the competition the coin just comes flowing in.

The volume is also my motivation for never cancelling glyphs in order to repost. If I want to have the cheapest glyph of each time right now... I just make them all and post new glyphs. The side effect of this approach is that I make glyphs in reasonably large batches, which makes tracking my progress towards the achievement more efficient.

One thing did change after my conversation with my fellow glypher. I raised my ceiling price for posting glyphs from 96g to 296g. If someone can by glyphs at 500% profit to me, and then reliably sell enough at 10 times that price to make it worth their while... why not see how much of that psychotically priced glyph market I can capture? Well in the last month I had 77 glyphs (or 5% of my volume) sell at between 96g and 296g, which I'm going to call bonus monies.

Now into October, I'm back to a 48 hour post cycle since I'm not as active with my daily gold making routine. I've also had the supply of everything aside from whiptail and cinderbloom pretty much dry up, so potions and flasks have taken a dive as well. Fortunately, I've been able to find a reasonable amount of volatile life, and I have plenty of Darkmoon Cards for this months faire... and I'm secretly hoping they distinguish between the reputation earned with the current faire with the new and approved 4.3 faire... that was a lot of epic decks to get two toons over the line to exalted. Finally, the savage leather has all but dried up, so my killing on epic leg patches has too for the time being.


  1. Dear Twitchie,
    I notice that this month you sold less than half in comparison to the previous month, but at a higher average price, although the higher average price is only 33% (or thereabouts). So the question is, do you attribute the testing of the market, by raising the value, to lower sales? Or is this more of an expected trend based on past sales and monthly analysis? Also, do you expect sales to skyrocket as a result of the recent nerf and the opportunity for new toons to introduce themselves to Firelands?
    It appears your competitor (and potential friend) is basing his glyph business on the 1990's mail-order ideal; where raising the cost provides the consumer with a perceived (albeit potentially false) value to the product, the higher the cost the more value it must be worth right? Sadly (for him), WoW is about actual cost - determined by the consumer/player, based on demand, and his attempt at resetting the market, while ambitious, will only kill it (imho).
    Loyally Yours,

  2. The volume of sales is primarily related to my activity... The less often I post, the less I sell. As you can see in the graph, there's plenty of blank days where I don't even log in to collect my coin!

    Raising the cost is a great thing, and I don't believe it lowers sales. If you need a glyph for a toon, you get it from the AH. Even getting from a glypher friend is a pain... and bying the inks and asking in trade for a glypher is extremely time consuming. So most people just write glyphs off as a one time expense, and will just pay whatever price is on the AH at the time. I've done that myself... even though I probably could have organised a book of glyph mastery, or done research... I wanted it now... I couldn't make it so BAM. 290g gone. So glyph prices are ALL about supply (I think the demand is steady (see below)) and actually very little about cost (what other market in WoW can you reasonably sell items at a 50 times the costs of creating it?)

    As far as the impact of content on glyph sales... there is none. A toon that runs 5 man dungeons needs pretty much the same set of glyphs as a toon that raids. You might pick up a specific glyph for a specific fight inside a raid... but I assume most people get most of the glyphs for their class / spec when they start looking more seriously at their character once it hits 85.