Wednesday, June 30, 2010

A Scribe's Tale: Farming vs. Purchasing

It's no secret that a great place to farm Northrend herbs is in Sholazar Basin. I used to do this on my Death Knight scribe quite regularly. I'd farm for an hour or so, mill the herbs and craft various inscription stuff to sell on the AH. Then I learned on a fellow gold blogger's blog (sorry, I don't remember who) that Weapon and Armor Vellum III are great sellers on the AH, so I focused all my farmed materials on the crafting of those. My short time farming would usually allow me to sell a stack or two of each, and they sell fast on my realm. Usually within a matter of a couple hours.

I realized three things pretty quickly:

1) There's a lot of demand for the vellums if they are selling that fast, which means there must be a lot of enchanters selling their wares on the AH.

2) The number of sellers selling vellums on the AH is super low compared to all the people selling enchants. There's room for me.

3) Farming is too time intensive to keep up with the demand of the vellums.

So I went about and started adding herbs to my snatch list in Auctioneer, hoping to get as many stacks of herbs on the cheap to mill and turn into inks of the sea, which is the ink needed to craft the vellums. And it has paid off. Sure, it's more of an upfront investment to purchase all the herbs instead of farming them, but think of all the hours I would lose if I farmed herbs for one hour a day! The sheer volume of vellums I can stockpile and sell results in so much profit that the cost of purchasing the herbs is like dropping a penny into a wishing well.

Here's some things I've learned about selling vellums on my realm. Your realm may vary, it's your job to pick up on the trends:

1) I find that selling them in stacks of 5 works best for me. The few other people selling vellums regularly seem to do it in full stacks fo 20 or one at a time. Offer something different than your competitors.

2) Weapon vellums are much more profitable on my realm, probably due to there being more people selling weapon enchants than armor enchants. Still, both are profitable and its a good idea to sell both.

3) They sell pretty well 24/7, but they sell extremely fast on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays.

To summarize, farming can be profitiable in short bursts and it's a great way for a beginner gold maker (which I still consider myself to be) to familiarize him or herself with the economy and what's worth what. I believe everybody should farm a little here and there when it's convenient. But purchasing and stockpiling your mats on the AH gives you much more time to craft and sell, and that means more money in your pocket. The benefit of stockpiling is that when all your stuff has sold on the AH, you just grab more out of the bank and restock, whereas with farming you have to drop everything, fly to wherever, spend time farming, etc.

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