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Taking a Break

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"Not too bad and I understand you have a ton of other things going on! Have made about 30 gold in the past three weeks from following your advice! I tried flipping an assassin's legendary inscription and left it on the TP for five days but there were so many undercuts I decided to cut my losses. Thankfully I only lost the listing cost when I sold it but I will probably never try it again. Most of my gold made has been from certain dyes and lower level armor/weapons. The buyout prices seem to be too high lately and too close to the lowest list price so I have taken a break from it for a couple of days. Even gathered crafting materials seem to be impossible to flip lately but I will continue monitoring the market for a bit until things settle down. Thank you for your time!

~Christopher"

I really like the part where Christopher mentioned that he will take a break for a few days and then come back to it. This is sound advice, especially when you read specific tips on this blog. Leave for a bit, then come back to see the majority of people have fled for other get rich quick ideas.

In regards to Christopher's problem, I gave him two new markets to try while he waits it out.

If you're looking for markets, I highly suggest the forum or posts like this one. Take the examples and then try to find similar items. That will help you avoid the masses who are following the strategies verbatim.

Help! Undercuts Are Ruining My Fast Flipping Enterprise

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"Hey Christopher,


I really like your website and your newsletter. I've read almost all your guides. 
My biggest problem with flipping at the moment is that when I buy/sell my items, i often get over/undercut by 1c because the items don't get bought/sold fast enough. 
 
That makes flipping really hard because i get items slowly. 
 
Also I find it hard to get like a "flipping routine". So tips concerning this would be highly appreciated.
 
Also I'm not quite sure yet if I should sell my items when the price is high or at a price I know the item is probably going to reach at some point.

Thanks in advance, looking forward to your answer !

Niklas"
 
Hey Niklas, great questions. Let me attempt to answer all of them in this post. Here goes!
 
You said that flipping is becoming difficult because people are undercutting you by a few copper. I'm assuming that you are trying to flip items with very small profit margins, thus that 1 copper undercut because too big of a hurdle to cancel your auctions and repost. Regardless of why, you need to let your items sit on the trading post for longer than a few undercuts. I highly recommend posting in smaller amounts as well (read my post on the psychology of walls). If you post too much, then you basically "wall yourself in" so to speak and everyone will see your huge posting sticking out like a sore thumb. They'll undercut you every time because it's simply instinct. Rule of thumb: avoid posting everything you just bought all at once.

Another idea I would recommend, which will solve all of your current problems, is to start tracking the buy/sell prices every day you check them. That way you'll know whether to post above the current price, to wait it out, or to buy up the uninformed auctions of the masses.

I know it sucks, but that's the best thing you can do for yourself. Be consistent for like a week and you'll have enough data to make informed decisions. No more guessing that way!

How can you make gold from crafting?

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"Hi Markco,
 
I've just recently subscribed to your e-mail list, but have been reading the blog for several months. I feel like I thoroughly understand flipping and have experimented with the techniques. I also play the exotic market. However, I'm still not understanding crafting to make money. When I check GW2Spidy and the other new website you sent us, it seems that ascended inscriptions are the most profitable things to craft. However, that doesn't take into account the "cost" of dark matter and the time gating of lumps of mithrillium, so I'm undecided about that market (not to mention it doesn't seem very active).
 
Bottom line, I'm trying to say I don't really understand how to craft and make money in GW2. Would it be possible for you to highlight where to find the information? Or perhaps to make a step by step guide like you did for flipping? That guide is super helpful, I like how it guides you through the thought process without actually telling you "buy 300 bulbs of garlic."
 
Thanks!
Shannah"
 
The most popular methods for making gold often involve some sort of time investment outside of the trading post. Whether it be farming (most common by far) or prepping for crafting something (ascended gear). There are also people who convert their skill points to gold, like I show in the forum or with runes. For anyone who has time to play this game every single night, these methods are often the best because they can be worked into your regular game play instead of being a separate activity from your regular adventures.
 
But if you only want to stay in a major city to craft, without any farming whatsoever, then you need to approach this entire situation differently.
 
What do you need as a crafter to make stuff? Items like bolts of wool. Actually, let's look at that item in particular.
 
A bolt of wool currently costs 1 silver 24 copper. Wool scraps cost 57 copper. If you were to buy 2 wool scraps for buy orders (around 50 copper cost each) then you would be able to produce a bolt of wool for 1 silver. You could go ahead and sell your bolts of wool for 1 silver 24 copper, which would net you  5 copper every time. This is certainly one method for making gold from your crafting professions. I like to call it "converting materials." In most online economies that I've seen, these conversion processes often get overlooked by the masses; which in turn creates opportunity for those smart enough to look closer at the math behind it.
 
(When I wrote this, the buy order for bolt of wool cloth was above 1 silver 5 copper, but had it been lower you could have just flipping bolts of wool cloth instead of taking the time to make your own.)

Here's a better idea though. You know that you can create a bolt of wool for 1 silver, not the going rate of 1 silver 24 copper. As long as you can't get wool for less than 1 silver 5 copper on buy order (I multiplied 1.24 by .85 to get that amount) then perhaps you could go to the next step in the crafting process: creating item components. These item components are what we use to create finished products (armor, weapons, etc). One other option you can try is creating insignias, which is my favorite way to make gold with tailoring.

Try exploring a little bit more, and not just focusing in on the top tier of your discipline.

Hope that gets you on the right track, and thanks for the great question!

~Markco

Flipping Blood and Bones

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Last week (approximately 5 days ago) I fractured my ribs, which really really sucked. Sorry that I disappeared for that time period, whether you communicate with me via forum, blog comments, or emails. I felt (and still do a little bit) incredibly drowsy because of the muscle relaxers, so I had trouble putting a few coherent thoughts together for new posts. I'm feeling a little better, so I thought it might be appropriate to discuss flipping blood and bones today.


Let's start with some blood! Ring of Blood is a slow item to flip, but if you're patient the pay off can be substantial. I bought several on Wednesday of last week for 1 gold 23 silver each, and I sold them today for 2 gold 28 silver a piece. Vial of Blood was a kick ass investment last week, jumping from 21 copper when I bought it to 33 copper today. That's a 7 copper profit per vial, which is an awesome return on investment (most of my other commodity auctions only net 3-5 copper).

Bought Wednesday, sold on Monday. I may have to try that strategy again this week to see if it works out better than buy Sunday, sell Friday/Saturday that I used to subscribe to. It's all about the research though, and I'm sure that all markets behave slightly differently depending on the day of the week.

Key lesson today folks is simple: avoid flipping items as soon as you buy them until you know the price ranges that they can hit (high/low).

OK, on to bones. Believe it or not, the regular old "bone" item will often flip instantly for a profit. So it definitely doesn't follow the wait and see mentality I apply to the vial of blood and blood ring markets. Buy order for 14, sell for 18, 1 copper profit every time. That's a pattern I've seen happening frequently with this market. Great way to blow time while you wait for other auctions to sell! Be careful though, this kind of announcement on the blog often leads to price gouging and people over investing. You may want to check out the other crafting materials of the same tier as "Bone" to find your own markets to play with.

Pricing Walls

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Walls are a fascinating thing to study in Guild Wars 2. No, I’m not talking about the brick and mortar kind. I mean to bring your attention to walls of numbers when it comes to buying/selling items. Here are some of the fascinating properties that belong to price walls.

1.       Walls tend to move slowly over time depending on supply/demand.
2.       Psychologically, people do not expect walls to move, and will 99.99% of the time under sell order or over cut buy order walls. The larger the wall, the less likely someone is to overlook it.
3.       Pricing on the wrong side of the wall makes you feel like your item will never sell. It always “feels” like the wrong call. Same goes for placing buy orders.
4.       When a wall does move up/down new opportunities could exist for anyone who played the market during the last high/low walls.

That last point is the real kicker. I could spend all day analyzing how we (buyers and sellers) are psychologically effected when we see walls in the marketplace. But the real lesson here is that the prices you see now may not be profitable, but in the future buying now might create opportunities later.

Also, walls draw our attention away from all the smaller quantities of items in front of them. If something is selling at 50 copper by the thousands, but there are a handful of 48’s, 49’s, 45’s, etc we tend to look at them as outliers. But no, these prices are what’s actually moving right now, and quickly! If you’re attempting to move a bunch of your items fast, then the secret is to list only a handful at a time over and over again.

Keep in mind that everything is relative. A handful might mean three items for one market and three hundred for another. It all depends on the size of the wall in comparison. Instead of getting too far down the psychological reasoning behind all this, I’d much rather just give you the fish today and let you reverse engineer the pole!

Try your best to find the happy medium between having to constantly post one item at a time and posting too many at once (thus creating a wall).

All Hype and No Byte

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I’ve seen this time and again with new events in Guild Wars 2. Now we have items like the Chiroptophobia Greatsword Skin hitting the marketplace and people are wondering if they should buy now, sell after the event.

My thought process, which has changed over the past few events, is that Guild Wars 2 will always have the next “new” or “hot” item/skin with each following holiday. They especially seem to target the greatsword skins, making them as cool as possible. There’s just something about swinging a sword the size of your body, you know?

Certain items, especially crafting materials, will remain useful from event to event each year. But items like the skins will not keep up with the hype post event.

I am currently flipping various holiday items as they rise in the market place. I do not wait for them to hit their peak and start falling before selling them off. Typically, I will sell the hyped up items (always purchased with buy order) as soon as they will net a small profit.

Note on candy corn: After Halloween the price will plummet once again, so be sure to pick these up to speculate next year! We now have seen a pattern where buying candy corn after the event and selling just prior to next year’s will be profitable.

Efficient Trading to Save Time

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I received a fabulous tip from Jayhawk recently on where to access the trading post.
 
"I've found one's home WvW Borderland to be the best place to trade/craft. The TP is very near a waypoint and it's close to the crafting stations/bank as well. Usually, you'll also have access to the Mystic Forge in the garrison and when you log back in, you're still wherever you left from making it easy to sit next to karma merchants or farming nodes you want to readily have access to.
-Jayhawk"

I'd like to add to these tips with the following suggestions:

1. Get the largest bags possible for your trader. This will cut down on the number of times you need to load items off the trading post and to/from your bank. I recommend the 20 slot gossamer bags.

2. Have movement speed talents and runes. As an elementalist, I use double daggers, Signet of Air, Conjure Firey Greatsword, Zephyr's Speed, Lightning Flash and "of the Traveler" runes.

Guild Wars 2 Spidy Chart Analysis

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Here are three example charts someone asked me to read and interpret from Guild Wars 2 Spidy. You can turn off all but the sell listings/buy listings volume and sell/buy listings raw data by clicking on the other keys in the legend for each chart. Those will then get grayed out and only the four listings I just mentioned should remain visible.

#1: Great Market

 

Looks like a good market, assuming that the pattern continues over the course of a week. I like that the buy order remained stable and the listing price went up and down. That's not normal, which is a good thing!


#2: Good Market



Another great market! You can see that whenever the buy listings outnumber sell listings, then prices go up on the listings.

#3: Terrible Market



Very strangely profitable market. I notice that there are many people trying to buy and very few trying to sell. My guess is that this is something like a recipe that doesn't have a lot of items actually on the marketplace. Probably not a consistent market to play! It sure looks good, but looks are deceiving. You're up against tons of buy orders competing with yours and not enough actually selling. You're just going to get over-cut and be lucky to even see one of these items. Selling would be a piece of cake though.

I hope this analysis helped!

Tip for Avoiding Those Pesky Undercuts

1 comments

"Hi Markco,
So the other day I asked a guildy how he made money. He told me various methods and one of the big money spinners was crafting rare greatswords he puts orders in for inscriptions then sells the greatsword. I attempted to do this so I put a few orders in for various inscriptions (10 each ) but within about half an hour all of my buy orders had been over cut several times. My question is how do you deal with people who keep over cutting you?
 
-Jordan"
 
One trick I use is limiting my buy orders.

If you post too many buy orders, then you create a little wall of orders that intimidate other people into placing their buy orders beneath your own. They feel the need to undercut you, but if you have far few buy orders many people will ignore you and post below the next person above you with a big quantity of orders.
Let's say there are 10,000 orders at 5 silver. You post at 25 orders at 4 silver 95 copper. Guess what? A lot of people will post at 4 s 99 c, meaning you sell first! Ignorance is bliss, or in this case, profit!

Frost and Flame Dyes Suck

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"Hey,

Guild Wars 2 related, thoughts on the new limited supply dyes. From what I hear the colors aren't super popular or good looking. So I am not expected another Frost and Flame type pricing in the future, but I may be wrong. Your opinion on whether or not stockpiling a couple of each depending on the buy prices?

Kindest Regards,
Sophie"
 
 
I would not. My guess is that they will replace these dyes with additional holiday/patch/event dyes that will be much more popular. Your only buyers are probably people who like the look of the dye's symbol (not the color but the fancy new square in your inventory) or completionists!

5 Weekend Trading Rules

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To misquote Jack Sparrow, these aren't really rules, they're more like guidelines!
 
This fantastic email really got my mind churning:
 
"I've gone back and read most of your previous articles and I see you make reference to different tips over the months that have essentially become a "rule". I still couldn't find specifically what you said about weekends though. I know there's a top 10 tips section that has been helpful but could you narrow down 10 or maybe only 5, hard, fast rules that should govern our TP behavior. Things like:

Rule #1: Know Thy Markets

If you don't have some kind of list of prices (see Guide to Flipping), then you're up the creek without a paddle before you even hit the first rapid. Don't try selling and flipping on the weekends until you've made at least one full week of notes on prices for the markets you are interested in. If you go into the weekend attempting to buy, you're already in danger of losing massive amounts of gold because odds are prices will not get as low as they did over the course of the previous week.

Rule #2: Limit Your Buy Orders During the Week
 
Preparing for the weekend is often more important than actually selling on the weekend! You should aim for applying the following limits to the amount you specify for each buy order based on the type of item involved.

Armor: 50 Buy Orders
Weapons: 50 Buy Orders
Non-Stacking: 3 Buy Orders
Crafting Materials: 50-1000's of Buy Orders Depending on Market Volume

Rule #3: Selling

Avoid listing all of your stock on one night. Instead, try listing 1/3 friday night, 1/3 saturday night, and 1/3 sunday night. List around noon your local time and you should be good to go. When posting your auctions, pick a price that is one copper below the nearest big wall of items. Also keep in mind whatever prices you have stored in your notes for how high you believe that the market is going to actually get. If you post everything, you could create your own wall which other people will undercut. Instead, post far fewer than the nearest wall, and others will ignore your auction. Previously, I would post thousands of an item underneath the nearest wall, but then I'd notice dozens of auctions appearing below mine, creating a little waterfall of undercuts. My items would usually sell, but no where near as much as if I had cut back on the number of items listed. This is an art form! It takes practice and experience!
 
Rule #4 Look for Dips
 
When markets dip, particularly Saturday and Sunday mornings,  take the opportunity to buy additional amounts of your favorite market. This is where your research can really prove beneficial. If you have noticed upswings on Sunday evenings in the past, then you can wisely buy up more stockpiles during these temporary, downward trends.

Rule #5 Make That Omelet
 
You know the phrase, "you can't make an omelet without breaking a few eggs?" Instead of putting 120 gold into one market,put 12 gold into 10 markets. Just in case my analogies aren't getting through to you; I want you to diversify. Do NOT get fixating on any one market or even type of market. All armor is a bad thing. Armor, weapons, cooking materials, crafting materials, dyes, and a few bags mixed in for good measure are a real recipe for success. Just don't forget Rule #1!

What to Do When Bank is Full

2 comments

I recently had an email from someone who wished that their market remain anonymous. I have left out the name, but the question is relevant for all markets that people speculated on last patch (magic find change). Here's the question:

"Hey! Thanks for all the blog posts you've done this month and September, as I've had lots to read after a good month break from gw2!

anyway, what are your thought on item X?

I hoarded up several thousands long ago, down at [removed value to protect market] copper if memory serves me right. Now they are beginning to be a problem as they are taking up to much space, for future predictions.

do u think they will rise with the ascended armor?
maybe when people start feeling ok with their current 'magic find state'?

any info regarding item X would be greatly appreciated!"


Why do you have to sell all of them? Why can't you sell off just enough to make room for your next target market? It's better to sell things slowly over time, if they are truly rising once more. On an upward trend, selling a few each day will enable you to make gold while still being able to take advantage (or immediately stop selling) after sudden market shifts.
Your answer is simple: Sell enough to make room, keep the rest. If you continue to need space, just keep selling off item X.

Breast Cancer Awareness... Again

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Do you remember last year when I said to stockpile hot pink dye for breast cancer awareness? It was also sent in my email responder that you get for signing up at the site (on right side of the page). Well check out what happened this time:

20 silver buy order september 29th, 1 gold october 2nd.

Who knows if the price will last, but it tells me one thing: yearly events can be somewhat predictable.

Right now, Halloween is coming, and candy corn is rising in preparation. The time to flip is NOW while other people are stockpiling and driving the price up. I will have 0 candy corn in my inventory when the Halloween event hits, as the money will already have been made.

Food for thought, and it might be time to start getting ready for Christmas...

My Own Worst Enemy

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"Hi Markco, its Blasco. I recently subscribed to your newsletter after finding your online blogs to be of invaluable help to me in my journey to become better at playing the Guild Wars 2 Trading Post. While I have been making consistent profits off the Trading Post, I have only been making 4-6 gold per day. This is due to the fact that I have only been able to buy and sell items in large quantities which have a relatively low % of return. This means that to get big returns I would need to invest a lot more gold than I currently have. When I tried to solve this by moving on to flipping items with a high Rate of Return, I was repeatedly unable to fill out any of my buy orders, due to either being undercut aggressively, or due to the buy price of those items rising so rapidly due to what I can assume is a lot of people also trying to flip those items. Also, it is worth noting that I tried to leave my buy orders on a lot of these items for a couple of days however, the orders were still not filled out. So how can I move on to flipping items with higher rates of return with these issues consistently arising?"

You may be creating mini-walls that are causing people to change their listing pattern. For example: You see an item that will get you 10 copper per sale, so you put 1000 buy orders in at X price. Other sellers will see your 1000 X price and consider it a wall. Even if the price is currently well below X copper, they will price at 1 copper less than yours. Try putting smaller buy orders in and see if your results change.

Gossamer Exploding

2 comments

"Hi Markco,

I thought it would be a good idea to start stackpiling T6 materials for the level 500 update on leatherworker an tailor (gossamer / hardened leather). I noticed that prices are exploding (highest level since more than a year - at least for gossamer) since the update on 2nd of october. Do you have any idea why that might be? I don´t see any connection between these materials and the update. Is this just more people speculating like I try to do?

By the way: thanks for your great blog!

Joachim"


Gossamer and leather are primarily obtained by salvaging higher level gear. Most people are salvaging lower level gear for luck, so the magic find change did not negatively effect Gossamer. Speculators are paying close attention to Gossamer and buying it up in droves. People are looking to wait for the patch before using their current stockpiles, so a lot more Gossamer is being bought than sold.

Contrary to popular belief, now is the time to sell Gossamer. It's on its way up because of speculation, but nobody knows for sure how it will react to upcoming changes. If you had some stockpiled before the magic find change, then now is the time to unload.

If Gossamer explodes, I would highly recommend creating it with the mystic forge. This should go without saying, especially when it initially rises.

Trading to a Legendary

1 comments

"Hey Marcko, I've been trading for a while, but not for huge profits. I have about 10 items i check for profit (including a level 20 armor, a couple t1 mats, cooking mats, Unidentified dyes etc.) 'll check all the dyes between 1g and 40s pretty regularly, but trading to a legendary seems completely impossible. Have any tips for me? I make a gold or two every time i do trade, but that's once a day, which means it would take like 1000 days to get to my legendary.

Thanks for any advice, Alex"

Hey Alex, thanks for the question as it's one on many peoples' minds. I would start transitioning to only cooking and crafting mats. Track their prices and buy low / sell high. You will sell slower (may have to wait a day between buying and posting) but faster (in terms of sheer items being sold in the same period of time). You will also spend FAR less time emptying the trading post tab and selling items because the stacks are 250 instead of 1 per bag slot. Try applying the 5 step flipping guide to get started.

Constantly Flipping Case Study - Aether Key Pieces

2 comments

These beautifully easy to sell items, aka the Aether Key Pieces, are going crazy fast on the Trading Post today. I made over 100 gold today alone flipping these non-stop.

So how do you flip an item such as this one that is extremely popular, so much so that it's on the top 10 traded items at the moment and STILL profitable?

1. Determine if the item can currently be flipped (multiply .85 times the lowest sell price minus one copper and compare this value to current most expensive buy order plus one copper).

2a. Place a buy order of 25 for 1 copper more than lowest order.
2b. Check sale listings for people selling the item cheap enough to be worth buying outright (non-buy order).

3. Collect your items once they have all come in. Should they take a long time, cancel your buy order and go back to step 1.

4. Sell the collected items for 1 copper less than cheapest listing. Be careful not to go too low! If someone undercut the rest of the market too much, then go ahead and place your listing higher than their price but lower than the next "wall" of the item. If you need help understanding walls then please see this article on trading post walls.

5. Collect your gold. If the items take too long to sell, leave them up and go back to step 1 or wait it out to determine if you should cancel. Patience is key here as prices often work themselves out. Don't sweat it if one or two of your items get "stuck" being listed for too much. Just do your best to cut your losses and don't hold up the rest of your selling by waiting on these.

Another Week of Selling Commodities

1 comments

In Diablo 3 they're called commodities, but in Guild Wars 2 they go by many different categories. In essence, a commodity is something that you buy and then "use up" or "destroy." Crafting materials, cooking materials, dyes, etc. These are all examples of commodities.

At the moment, I'm following the advice that can be found in my flipping strategy guide to turn a large number of commodity markets into my own personal playground. Simply put, the current price that items are selling at does not concern me. All that matters is how low I've seen the buy order get in the past. I can confidently place buy orders on items knowing that the buy and sell price will go down/up at some point to values I have tracked previously. If you aren't aware of websites which can help you do this, I would recommend Gold Wars 2 or GW2Spidy. But in the worst case scenario, just keep track of the values like I showed you how to do in the flipping strategy guide!

A lot of items cycle into the top 10 traded list on the trading post. When they make it to the top ten, they become more visible to the millions of trading post players, and so their buy/sell orders start to get closer and closer together. Once people stop trading (because it's no longer profitable) then the item falls off the top 10 traded list and returns to a profitable margin. This cycle (whether I'm right on the cause or whether it's a combination of many factors) is predictable!

All you have to do is write down the items that make the top 10 traded list, and then see how their price changes when they fall off or get onto it. You'll be amazed!

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