Monday, November 11, 2013

Realm Mergers - Preparing for a Change or Maybe Just Sameness

Hopefully, this post will turn out as good as it's original iteration that I somehow managed to highlight, type over, and then let blogger autosave my one keystroke.  Lesson learned though, I'm going to start doing my posts via notepad or something and then importing into blogger.

So far we've only seen quite a few low pop servers connected, and there's already quite a bit of data out there on these connected realms.   And with that, we are brought to the October/November Gold Blogging Carnival Topic: "If you knew in advance what realm would be merged with yours, what would you do to prepare and adapt to the changes in your AH economy?"


First thing's first, know your competition.  I know my current competition and I have a pretty good idea as to how they operate, given the fact that I've worked with/against them for the past few years. We're now talking about an alliance, when and if we're connected to another realm, but more on that later.  I need to figure out who, on the other server, is regularly competing in my markets.  To do so, I will mosey on over to The Undermine Journal, select the new server/faction combo and then look at the busy sellers.  I'll research those busy sellers and figure out which ones I need to worry about.  Let's look at what I sell on Selltacular and just pretend for a second that I'm the competition.

Busy Sellers via The Undermine Journal

The best time to look at all the goods that he/she sells is the first scan after their normal peak posting time.   If you're trying to look at what they have up after their auctions have expired, you're wasting your time.

Here we can see that the normal posting time is about 5 pm.  For me, this week's been a little wacky since I took a little staycation.  Put for the sake of this post, let's just pretend that the normal posting time is 5 pm.  You can click the busy seller, or search for them on The Undermine Journal.  You will be brought to their page which will show their heat map, auctioning history and a breakdown of what they are selling, as well as an itemized list of their current auctions.  There is a ton that you can do with all of this information which can take a lot of time and spreadsheets and such, which I really don't get into anymore.  But, I'll be taking down a list of sellers in my markets and I'll be ready to add them to my friends list once the merger goes live.  I like to see when my competition is on, and when they log off.  Going back to basics, you can always wait until your competitor is finished posting before you go back and undercut him.  On the flip side, your competitor can do the same thing to you, or bait you to post so he can just log back in and undercut again.  Undercutting wars aren't fun, and often, all involved parties lose if their not careful.  That gem that you posted for about 40g profit, then cancelled and reposted several times, well, it just cost you your profit to repost like that.   With that being said, I think I might wind up making a new toon on the 'other' server and talking to some of my future competitors, in hopes that we can still operate without stepping on each others toes too much. 

Price Normalization

Two realms being connected will definitely upset your current pricing systems at least a little.  Ore at 3g per on realm 'A' and at 4g per on realm 'B', once connected, may end up settling somewhere in the middle of those two prices.  Let's look at the different factors that could determine what will happen to the market value of an item.

Scenario 1 - Supply and demand for said item are pretty equal on both servers, but the prices currently differ.  Once connected, the price will likely settle somewhere in the middle.

Scenario 2 - Supply exceeds demand on server 'A' but on server 'B' , demand exceeds supply.  Server 'A' has a much lower price than server 'B' because of this factor.  The final price of an item will favor whichever server has the lower supply/demand ratio. 

Scenario 3 - Supply and demand don't matter that much.  The sellers of item X collaborate and decide that they will make more profit if they just go with the highest price.  This is more likely to happen with niche markets and/or rare items.

Final Thoughts

Once/if my server is connected with another, I hope that any collaborating that I have done to prepare will not fall apart.  

Before purchasing crafting mats in bulk, I will first determine whether I'm getting a good deal or not by giving some thought into those purchases.  "Was this seller selling item 'X' before?" "Was this seller selling this quantity of item 'X' before?"  "Was this amount of item 'X' always available on either server before?"  This will help me determine if it's a sudden offload of someone's stockpile or if it's just some farmers competing with each other.  If it's the latter, I might be better off waiting for the cheaper price.

If sellers for some of my niche markets don't exist on my future 'brother' realm, I need to remember to raise my prices.

In anticipation of being 'connected' to another realm, I've priced all of my rarely seen items to match or slightly exceed the REGION MARKET PRICE, which is almost always higher than my server's normal price, especially for an item I've not yet acquired.  This means I need to remember to adjust my pricing once connected, but that's if I can't get my competition to collaborate with me on the matter.  Some people are just plain stubborn, or too blind to see an opportunity to make more gold, OR sometimes they just don't care.

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