Friday, 25 January 2013

20 Days of Gold Making - Day 9 - niches

Nev's question today is:
What's your favorite niche market & why

There are so many niche markets to dabble in. For a long time, a blacksmith comrade of mine sold rods. They were needed only by mages, to enchant to create the next level of enchantments. A mage needed seven or eight over their whole career. Very niche, so most blacksmiths didn't bother making them. Copper rods, then silver rods, ..., then eternium rods, then ...., and then Blizzard removed them.

My banker's minion used to buy horde snakes and other pets from the Blackwater Auction House for resale on the Alliance AH, and in return sold Exodar moths. Now they're shared across your family and half the world has 9 of each to sell.

I always keep a few spellthreads for lower levels. Sapphire Spellthread, for instance, sells in small numbers, but at 200g. I always keep a few low-level spellthreads on the AH. Often I've no competition. Various low level enchantments are also good sellers. I suppose most of these are twink items for PvP at various levels.

If there is just one niche market for me, it would be cooking recipes, I suppose. I know where to find them, I know what they're worth, and I enjoy selling them. The ones that are awkward to attain (such as most Outland recipes) sell well, because of the hassle of getting hem from their vendor. The buyer is paying for the convenience, just as you might buy a ready-prepared meal rather than buying the ingredients and making it yourself. It takes a little bit of showmanship to sell the really rare ones, recipes that have been removed from the game. Here, bored trade scrubs really help without realizing it. If you can troll them, they'll be talking  for half an hour about how stupid it would be to buy your recipe, and how stupid you are for trying to sell it at that outrageous price, all the while allowing you to advertise it and make the case for why it is expensive.

 A challenge at the moment is to know whether to sell or keep the Desolace recipes from Gizelton's caravan. Are they coming back or not? Everyone seems sure that they are. I'm not so sure. They were deliberately rare in order to introduce a bit of a challenge to collectors and achievers. Maybe the recipes won't return until the caravan can be returned. And maybe that will take a bit of time. Maybe Blizzard will decide to move them to other vendors. Will they be easier to find? Maybe Blizzard will just quietly drop them. Who can tell? The fun is in trying to read the tea-leaves to set the correct price. And to be in on it in the first place. One thing is certain. Their current price is wrong. Either the few remaining recipes are the last we will ever see, in which case 50000g is not a bad price, or they will appear on an existing vendor, in which case 100g will be the best price for them. In my opinion Blizzard is not going to bring back the caravan just for three recipes. They've more important things to do. Look, they already deliberately got rid of the Recipe: Sporeling Snack. They won't mind losing these ones. But the opposite opinion is just as valid!

Rare items, such as the rare cooking recipes, are best sold through trade chat. Buyers need to be educated into seeing the value of rarity. An rud is annamh is iontach - what is rare is wonderful, as the saying goes in Gaelic. Education is a long-term project, and it took me a while to appreciate why people bought rare recipes. A common reason put forward by the trade scrubs was to complete an achievement  and whenever I'd list a rare recipe, for instance my favourite,the rarest Dirge's Kickin' Chimaerok Chops, scrubs would first be laughing at why anybody would want a meal that only gave +25 stamina, and then they'd be telling everyone how you could get the Iron Chef achievement without it. But the real reason collectors want it has nothing to do with achievements. It is simply to possess a rare recipe. Just like nobody buys a Penny Black or a Treskilling Yellow just to post a letter, or to complete their 10,000-stamp collection. They buy them to have something rare. Something that only they have.

There are other very rare items in the game. I'd love to get an education and move beyond cooking recipes. But they've been such fun!

Part of the 20 days of Gold Making series

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