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Stage 1 Sheep
I've noticed a trend of late, which happens to be a cyclical one for readers of this blog. You start off flipping. Usually from the Damn Gold Guide or 5 Part Flipping Guide. Some redditors come from the 50 Items to Flip guide as well. Last but not least, a good bit of sheep flow in from google searching for "Guild Wars 2 Trading Post." I try my best to funnel them to the flipping guides in order to get everyone on the same starting point. That's the job of a good blogger, but it doesn't end there.
Just because someone knows how to read a guide on flipping, calculate fees, and get a few sales, does not mean that they are ready for constant trading on the Trading Post.
Stage 2 Sheep
The second part of progressing as a reader is changing the way you perceive the auction house, but more importantly, the instructions I give to you. When I say that garlic is a good example of what to flip, like in the "damn gold guide" article, it does not mean that everyone who reads the post should go try to flip it that second. However, that's exactly what has happened, and now garlic is doomed to never be profitable again.
Instead of looking at the exact item I suggest, you're better off picking apart why it was profitable. Garlic is a white material used in cooking. Your head should immediately wonder... "Hey, are there other white materials used in cooking that are just as profitable, if not more?" Now you're taking my advice, picking out the analysis that went behind it, and moving forward in your own research.
Stage 3 Sheep
At this point, many of you start emailing me with questions like: "Why can't I make a profit immediately with my flips? How come I keep getting undercut?"
I don't want to repeat myself too much, so please read this article on why flipping can't be instant all the time. The idea is that markets do go up and down over time, some more than others. The same markets that you complain about for heavy undercutting also happen to be the most profitable. Problem is that you're buying at the high point (when it initially appears 1-5 copper profitable) and then attempting to sell as the market corrects itself to a non-profitable point. What you should be doing is buying when it appears to not be profitable, knowing that the sale orders will go up over the course of the next 24 hours or perhaps handful of days. The only way you're going to learn this kind of pattern is through studying gw2spidy charts and personal research.
Once you understand this concept, there is only one stage left for the sheep of this blog...
Stage 4 Wolves
It's easier to describe what a wolf does instead of how you become one. The progression from sheep to wolf is something I'm still perfecting to bring out of more people every day. But it's not a science, and there certainly is no way to inspire such methods onto those that want to get rich fast. Don't worry, the progression will be natural and eventually you will become a wolf.
Wolves understand everything there is to know about fees, when to cancel auctions, how long to leave auctions up, etc. (hey that's kind of like stage 1!)
Wolves do not take my advice as the gospel truth, and they especially don't look into the exact markets that I specify. Instead, they look for similar markets by searching on the trading post and making use of the various search options available. (look at stage 2 again!)
Wolves know that markets change over time, so they take advantage of buying low and selling high like a champion. (hey that's stage 3!)
Here's the fourth part that is VERY difficult to teach, and requires experience more than anything else:
Wolves improvise and take advantage of the mechanics in the game to improve profits. This includes the mystic forge, salvaging, combining crafting materials like scraps into cloths, crafting itself, and bag opening.
Where are you at as a reader?
PS: I'm going to be redoing my email list subscription series (the free emails that you get for signing up on the right side of the page) so that I can focus on making you all wolves. They were originally designed when everyone was at Stage 1, as the game first came out, and now I feel qualified to up the ante on the teaching scale.
When you recently mentioned moving stacks and stacks of an item, I was astounded. Every time I acquire a lot of non-stackable armors, weapons, whatever, they take a good deal of time to move and usually require me having to "remove and re-list" (eating the 5% fee) despite having undercut the lowest seller. Even the stackable crafting materials and cooking ingredients I've gotten (iron boot lining and zucchini) don't sell immediately, again, having sold them both for the lowest price.
I think I may have a little more patience when it comes to selling my stacks. For me, stacks will never sell the same moment that the buy orders are profitable. They sell later when the buy and sell orders shift to the point where my pricing is a deal for the consumer. Does that make sense? Fast flipping does work, but it is no where near as profitable as large stacks (since you can then sell and buy in your sleep over the course of hours instead of camping the trading post, relisting, etc).
By having a knowledge of how high or low prices will end up for various markets, you can play over the course of days instead of hunting for profits in the next five minutes. When I buy a few thousand of an item that is going to make me 1-3 silver profit per item, there's no way in hell that's the scenario at the time that I'm buying them. Instead, I might actually be losing money to sell as soon as I buy! So what do I do? I know that the price is going to rise much higher and I list at that amount or I wait until I'm online and the price has gotten to that point.
I think that people are getting a little addicted to selling as soon as they buy an item, instead of cautiously listing at prices that are high now, but will be low in a few hours to a few days.
Great email recently:
The only way you're not making money is if you're re-investing all your earnings right back into the Trading Post. Instead, try to restrict the amount of gold you're allowed to buy with. You'll be surprised how quickly you start racking up gold if you aren't investing as much.
Think about it... if you make 15 gold today but invest it, have you actually earned anything? Obviously if you count inventory as having value, you are gaining more gold. But your cash on hand isn't actually going up. Guess what? It seriously helps to have a large pool of gold sitting idle so you can take advantage of shifts in the market or even speculation.
To get that gold, seriously throttle back on how much you invest each day. Do you remember when you first started out? How much were you investing now compared to then?
Maybe at first you were putting 2 gold into the trading post and making back 3 gold. Then you took that 3 gold and made 5, but you once again invested the total for the evening right back into the trading post. At some point, you have to pick a number you're happy with for daily investments and STOP investing more than that!
I like to stop myself if I get upwards of 100 gold invested in a single day. Even with great markets at my disposal, I am lucky to clear 50 gold in a single day of trading (one hour on buy and sell orders). I don't want to spend more time camping the trading post or reinvesting all my gold. That would be a ridiculous investment of time! In some instances I will go way beyond 100 gold, especially for very expensive items like rare skins or popular exotics. But in terms of daily trading, which is what you're trying to emulate, I don't go over 100 gold normally.
Start small and restrict yourself to 5 gold invested per day, aiming to earn 7-8 gold back as a minimum.
If you're joining this flipping series late, please see the following posts:
Part 1: Buy Orders
Part 2: Listing Your Auctions
Part 3: Bags
Part 4: Exotics
You've been doing this for five days now. I want you to look at the prices you bought and sold items at, then see what the highs and lows are for each one. This gives you a competitive advantage when buying and pricing items long term. You'll know when to buy, when to sell, and when to wait!
While this tip may seem basic, it's not. This is the single greatest factor that separates you from someone who randomly selects an item to flip at any given time throughout the day.
If I were to look at cotton scraps and see them at 28 copper buy order and 29 copper sell order, I would not purchase them. But if you knew that cotton scraps sometimes got as high as 36 copper sell order, then you would buy them, right? That's the advantage you can now create for yourself.
Continue to wait, but slowly sell off your stock once it reaches a certain profit threshold.
Listing Your Auctions
Your scavenger hunt continues! Look for level 62-80 exotic armor. You are searching for items with a buy order price of around 50-70% of the listing price. Notice anything similar between these prices and what you've been working with already? They are around the same ratio in terms of profit on your investment. Only difference is now you're working with gold instead of silver! I like to focus on whatever armor is currently popular online, such as the "of the traveler" set thanks to the removal of magic find gear. Here's a tip: search for whatever armor you're currently using. Don't worry about if the item is less than level 80, the level 62 stuff still sells just as well if not more (less competition, still plenty of buyers).
I found a particular pair of leg armor, level 62, that I bought for 9 gold buy order and sold for 14 gold listing. That's a profit of ~3 gold after fees. 9 gold in, just under 3 gold back, all in a matter of an hour for that one auction.
If you'd like to sell a lot faster, you can sell for a smaller profit margin, but please make sure that you still get a gold back! For example, I could have undercut the other sellers by a gold on that 14 gold listing and instead made 2 gold back. This will greatly increase the odds of you selling without too many undercutters showing up.
So let's say that you do get undercut, a lot, while attempting to flip exotics. Live with it and leave the item up for as long as you can stand it. For me that's two weeks, for others that might be a day lol. That's probably too fast... The number one rule when playing exotics is to play them in moderation. There are no guaranteed winners and you will end up waiting on auctions more than you'd like. Just part of the game, so don't make it a huge part of your portfolio.
Play a maximum of three pieces of armor. You can sort by buyout if you'd like to find the cheaper items, but I find the most profitable ones are right in the middle of the listing. Probably because less people take the time to find them and place their buy orders!
See the original gold guide for reference purposes.
After you made your money from part 1 buy orders and part 2 listing your auctions, did you think about what the third step in my flipping guide would be? First of all, I want you to re-use the same three markets that you found over and over again. You should be documenting the item name, buy order, and sale order combinations every single time as well. Think about this advice though, as learning to optimize the price you buy and sell at will only go so far in terms of increasing your gold per day. How about we look into acquiring a few more markets for yourself?
For today's scavenger hunt, I want you to find another item from each of the categories I told you to initially investigate. That's low level armor, crafting materials, and cooking ingredients. This will bring your total markets to six. In addition to these, I want you to try a whole new one: bags.
Not just any bags though; focus on the high end expensive ones only (like 8+ silver to buy outright). This will take some time, as there are plenty of odd prices (both on the buy and sell order side) for you to sift through.
Let's do the buying and selling advice all in one post this time.
Do not be discouraged if you have trouble getting the bags through buy orders. They move very quickly in terms of supply and price. Be ready to get your buy orders overwhelmed by more expensive ones while you're logged off the game, or even worse, for you to have to wait days for prices to recover so that your listed auctions will sell. You will definitely want to sell these for 1 copper less than the nearest wall of prices like I showed you in part 2 of the guide.
I highly advise not selling huge numbers of bags at a time, maybe sticking to 25-50 each time you list. Especially because these items fluctuate heavily in price for a variety of reasons (items they turn into fluctuating, patch news, internet news like this blog posts, individual players buying huge amounts to gamble on crafting ingredients, etc.).
If you're looking for new and exciting markets, I highly recommend using the "Markco's Crazy Thoughts" section of the forum (members only sorry!).
After completing part 3 of the flipping guide, you will now be up to seven markets! Keep recording the data and don't lose track of which markets you're playing. Next time we'll get into one of the most volatile and dangerous markets...
Continue on to Flipping Guide Part 4.
Reference: Damn This is A Gold Guide
Start Here: Flipping Guide Part 1
You should have a few items to sell after one day of waiting for buy orders to complete. Some will be more successful than others, so don't worry about poor performance in any one of the markets you chose to try. Just make sure that you're documenting the following information:
Buy order price when purchased
Sell order price when sold (you're doing this part today)
Over time you should catalogue multiple examples of buy/sell prices. Always pair the most recent purchases with their corresponding sell orders. So you might do something like the following.
Cotton Scrap 30 c / 39 c
Cotton Scrap 32 c / 42 c
Cotton Scrap 29 c / 38 c
This will give you a better idea of how low the item has reached recently. Next time I go to place buy orders on cotton scraps I will ask for 29 copper even if it's currently 32 copper, knowing that it will likely fall that low again at some point.
Selling Your 3 Items
Your first item to sell is the piece of low level armor. Right click on it in your bags (after taking all from the trading post), then select Buy More At Trading Post. This will bring up the piece of armor in the trading post window. Click on the armor. You will be able to see all the current prices displayed on the right hand side.
You can see from this example that there is a "wall" of listings at the 1 silver 59 copper mark. If I'm willing to wait out the other listings, I can sell at 1 silver 58 copper in a realistic amount of time. However, if my profit is already quite large, I can sell at 1 silver 49 copper quickly. In the case of low level armor, I usually take the faster profit option.
Next up is your cooking ingredient. Check what you bought the item for (shame on you, it should already be documented in excel or even just a piece of paper on your desk) and divide by .85 to determine the price you need to make a profit. Also right click on the item to buy more at the trading post so you can check for any "walls" of listings. Unlike in the case of the armor, I usually post just under the nearest wall of several thousand items. Cooking ingredients sell by the 250's, so a few thousand moving per hour is no big deal.
Having a large listing of prices you've bought and sold the item for is quite helpful at this point. You can also read guildwars2spidy charts as I show you in the linked post. Also check out GoldWars2 for even more statistical information and guidance.
Last but not least is your crafting material. Similar to cooking ingredients, you will want to look for the nearest wall of listings. You also need to look into the possibility of mystic forging or even salvaging the item for a profit. That takes a little more effort and research, but is quite worth the effort!
So here's your three items in a nutshell:
Armor - Sell quick for 1 copper less than lowest price, assuming that the lowest price is not some outrageous value. If there are only a handful listed too cheap, list above them.
Cooking Ingredient - Go for 1 copper less than the lowest wall price.
Crafting Material - Go for 1 copper less than the lowest wall price OR salvage OR mystic forge.
Ready for the next step? See flipping guide part 3.
The speculation craze is mostly over, at least for the get rich quick types, so we should probably return to our regularly scheduled programming... consistent gold earners and playing the trading post properly. Today you have a little scavenger hunt to complete. Bear with me as this will teach you a lot!
Find the following three markets:
1. A piece of armor (Below Level 20) that sells for 2x its buy order price.
2. Find a cooking ingredient you can flip for 10 copper but who's buy order costs less than 3 silver.
3. Look for a crafting material that can earn you 1-5 copper per flip with less than 1 silver buy order.
If you're lost on how to figure out the profitability of a market, you need to read this guide.
These three items will be used in your next assignment. So take your time and write down your answers! Once you have your markets, proceed like so:
1. Place 50 buy orders on the armor.
2. Place 250 buy orders on the cooking ingredient.
3. Place 1000 buy orders on the crafting material.
Let's check back tomorrow to see how you did! This is what I call diversifying and building a portfolio; it's crucial to your success that you write down everything. Jot down the name, buy order, and sell order prices.
Once you get the hang of identifying markets and playing them consistently, you'll see profits like I do every day.
Want to see the next post? Go to Flipping Guide Part 2.
Take a look at the top ten traded items one day after the ascended crafting patch hit Guild Wars 2.
Mitrhil Ore, Elder Wood Log, Orichalcum Ore, Watchwork Sprocket, Ancient Wood Log, Iron Ore, Glob of Ectoplasm, Copper Ore, and Large Claw.
Speculation is not a game for the meek or feint of heart. For example, if you held on to your super box skins from the last event then you're probably looking at a massive 300%-500% profit right now. Now, who was it that said to hold on to those? I can't remember... oh yeah it was me.
You also want to speculate on a lot of items, so if you have any losers then your winners will hopefully cancel them out. For example, it looks like Orichalcum Ore is going to be a big winner for me, but Copper Ore will not (for now).
Prices are spiking randomly as people continue to speculate on the lows or give into speculator's remorse. Me? I'm sitting pretty on thousands of items, and the only things I've sold are pieces of armor since the patch hit. Those are the only things being bought by consumers (with little speculating interference) compared to the massive number of stockpiled crafting materials people saved for this patch. I am in it for the long haul and the new "equilibrium" that John Smith so eloquently coined a few days before the patch. I have to believe he worked hard to get permission to instigate so much speculating among the Guild Wars 2 player base for the patch. Bravo I say! We need more of that in the Trading Post game.
I'm at work but word on the streets of Tyria is that the Trading Post is "Down for Maintenance" at the moment. What shall we trading post players do while we wait for the Trading Post to come back online? PLAY THE GAME. That's right, go out there and farm for your ascended gear, play the Super Adventure Box, and mess around with increasing your magic find. You can check periodically at any point in the game to see if the Trading Post is back online. Until then, enjoy the game and wait patiently like everyone else! Your huge stockpiles of materials and globs of ectoplasm will soon be very much in demand. But wait, there are actually two items worth stockpiling the moment the Trading Post comes back online!!!
Look at of the traveler's runes; it's is great set for all disciplines. Check out this screenshot:
For those of us who just want straight power instead of such a well rounded rune set, you can try the new pirate which has +165 power, +20% might duration, +5% chance for might, and a parrot. Yarr!
What's great about the changes to these two previous magic find sets is that now they are useful to ALL disciplines. These will surely go up in price once the trading post is back online. So if you're looking for things to buy, grab of the pirate and of the traveler runes!
Patch day is tomorrow! Have you prepared? Are you jumping on the bandwagon a little late?
Never fear, here are five items you will be able to speculate on today for tomorrow's Ascended Patch! If you want to try your luck at two more items, try Elder Wood Logs and Mithril Ore. They will be used in the new account bound crafting materials! See post here.
If you need help farming these items, I highly suggest the Straits of Devastation. See farming guide here.
For you forum members, keep an eye out for the "What's Spiking Hard Now" thread for live coverage of the patch tomorrow by myself and other members here. This thread didn't see a lot of action recently so I thought this patch would be the perfect opportunity to bring it back to life.
ArenaNet has done a tremendous job with making speculating for this Ascended level 500 crafting patch a total win for speculators. If you're not on the speculation bandwagon yet, you really should be. Our forum has a bunch of ideas to get you started, as well as this blog (read the past few articles to see for yourself).
Materials Going Up Across the Board
Refining globs of ectoplasm will have a cooldown (Awesome!!! I've been hoping for this thank you ArenaNet!) and will make use of items like mitrhil and elder wood logs; which will greatly increase their value. Then there's also the change for combining tier 2, 4, and 5 materials (usually) into ascended crafting materials.
You may be thinking, well why would these changes affect all crafting materials including the tier one items? Thanks to the mystic forge, you can turn tier 1 mats into tier 2 mats. So naturally an increase for tier 2 will also increase the value of tier 1 items! People who take advantage of these changes while the game's economy is reeling up and down the first few weeks will make a ton of money. So save up your skill points and stockpile tier 1 materials like copper ore (holy crap it has more than doubled in price for this patch!).
ArenaNet's primary goal with this patch is to make all items in the game more valuable/useful. If they play their cards right, then the amount of gold flowing between players of ALL levels will be greater than ever. I am really happy to see things like the daily cooldowns and potential for more mystic forging that's actually profitable.
So if you're curious about speculating and wondering if you should join in, even if you have just a few gold to spare, then the answer you need to hear is: GO FREAKING SPECULATE ON ANYTHING AND EVERYTHING.
With just a few gold, you could do this easily: