Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Jafo vs Critical Goblin: Dominating the Glyph Market

This post is written in response to a series of articles written by Critical Goblin.

For those of you who haven’t read Critical Goblins blog let me explain. Critical writes a WoW gold making blog that focuses mainly on inscription and glyphs. I consider Critical one of the foremost experts in this market. His knowledge, experience and expertise in this market far exceeds mine. As such I have a great deal of respect for Critical and his opinions. I would strongly recommend his blog site to anyone interested in making gold by using inscription. His theories and ideas are well thought out and well presented.

Let me now explain how I approach making gold in the game. I have multiple alts with all crafting and gathering professions maxed out. Where Critical focuses on one market, I focus on them all. Critical approaches gold making as one using a sniper rifle and I approach it as one using a shotgun. Each method has its strengths and weaknesses. This post will discuss the differences in micro-focus vs macro-focus in a market. Specifically the glyph market.

I have been reading Criticals blog for some time now. There have been many times when I thought “Wow, I wish I had thought of that”. I have taken many of his ideas and applied them to my glyph market sales. I have also been able to take them and apply them to other markets as well. The gem market is a good example of this. Critical writes on how to obtain a dominate share of the glyph market with emphasis on controlling your competition. Check out his post Floors and Ceilings vs Solid Walls for details on his strategy.

Criticals blog has a large number of readers. His strategies are used by many. I know this because after he posts a new strategy I see my competition using it against me. When I read a post by a fellow blogger there are two things running through my mind; 1) How can I apply this theory to my own market strategy and 2) How can I defeat/defend against this strategy when used against me.

Criticals most recent post Halofield's Glyphs - Updated (3) got me thinking. This post shows the “Critical Theory” of glyph marketing at its best. He explains how to set ceilings and floors to maximize profits and how best to control the market. This strategy will aid you in defeating most sellers in the glyph market. However, the key is in the word “most”. This strategy will not work against me.

Let me explain. My gold making strategy is not based on a single market but upon all of them. As such I am immune to damage from the fluctuation of a single market. My overall gold making strategy is based upon what some have called the “Walmart” strategy in sales. I do not focus on the profitability of single sales (micro-focus) but upon the profitability of all sales (macro-focus) in a single market. Thus I can sell one glyph at 224 gold and five glyphs at 50 silver and still make a profit. Further I can suffer a loss in one market that is offset by a profit in another market and still increase my gold on hand. This allows me, as a macro-focus seller, to dominate a market in a way that a micro-focus seller cannot.

Simply put, neither the “glyph-wall” strategy nor the “ceilings and floors” strategy will work against me. I set a ceiling of 224 gold and a floor of 1 silver for my glyph posts with a 1 copper undercut. I scan and undercut multiple times a day. I don’t care if some of my glyphs are sold at a loss as long as all sales combined show some profit. However I am willing to sell at a loss if I deem it necessary to drive a particular seller out of the market.

This post is not meant to provide a forum for discussing my particular marketing strategy. It is meant to start a discussion on how to combat against it. How would you, as a seller, combat against this strategy in your market? What strategy would you use to defeat a seller who can sustain a long term loss in a single market?

Note: There are several strategies that my competitors have used to, temporarily, drive me out of a specific market. However I am not going to reveal them at this time as they might be reading this post. :)


  1. There is no point to sell a glyph for 50s. You are welcome to do that all day. I just wait for the market to change. I have been around for over 5 years. I have been around before the gold blogs making my gold. This isnt new stuff it is old stuff. People come and go...patience is the key.

    The premise of someone in multiple markets means you have the ability to stand on the sidelines while the fools waste their time trying to dominate a market. There are an amazing number of niche goods that sell regularly, with no competition and will net 100-400g profit a sale on my server. The main areas of gold making have lots of competition and can still be very profitable markets.

    The long term proposition to maximizing profit is not based on dominating a market. If there is profit there will always be competition. If you dont want to camp then learning to share a market is a way better strategy. Very few bloggers....not sure if i have read about sharing a market and whitelisting your main competitors. If I have 3 million gold and the main competitors all have similar gold levels there is no benefit in trying to dominate a market as it is just not a win in the long run. This is the situation on my server. In one of the key markets I work with a group of 5 other sellers who have all agreed to whitelist each other. The advantage of this is as a group we are a pain to keep undercut. As a group we have way more resources than anyone. In markets with higher posting fees....the cancel repost strat becomes very expensive for you vs our group. I have been using this in one market for the last several months. It has worked well and is a struggle for new competitors to survive in.

    As to your strat...I saw it on my server....glyphs were selling for peanuts...I bought up several of the key areas just for a nice stockpile as in the long run....I dont try to compete against you. I buy the cheap stuff I know will sell in the long run and wait for the market to return. It always has if you watch how much you buy.

    As to a specific strat to defeat what you are doing....I am lazy....I let others slash your prices for little profit and wait for the market to return. The majority of players will not keep up the strat. Selling at a loss on a long term basis regardless of your other sales is pointless.

    Case in point. Examine the posters on the AH and tell me how many names you know of from two years ago. The list is generally very very small.

  2. Thanks for the honorable mention Jafo.

    Brent: to blog all u do is take that big ass post up there, and chuck it on your own and stick a link linking back here so we know what the ef u are talking about. Booya. Blogging in a 1 sentence nutshell.

    Remember to mention Critical in your first post though. YOU OWE Critical.