Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Profitable Professions: Inscription Versus ALL!!11!1!

Hello all!!!!

Long time no see :D

I know that everyone and their mom has been talking about the prepatch blues blah blah blah.

You know what?! Who cares! I have ADD, I get distracted by all sorts of crap. My little gerbil on the wheel starts spinning and ideas start to fly.

Where my brain has been wondering as of late (before the wedding) was trying something that I've never attempted before: THE AUCTION HOUSE!

Since I'm back from the MUCH needed Honeymoon, I've decided to actually go through with this ludicrous idea of trying to make it big.

Here are my Goals that I will attempt to Achieve:

- Attempt to find a profitable niche that is not completely overloaded with competitors
- Do this by using Alchemy/Herb gathering as my Professions (because many other Experimenters are using the Inscription profession to make gold, I want to prove that you can make it using Alchemy)
- become established before 3.2 drops

With those Goals in mind, I must tell you that I'm not doing this for a Mammoth or a Motorcycle mount. I'm doing this to challenge myself to trying something new in a four year old game. I don't really care if I actually make it to Gold Cap but I would like to have a comfortable life with around 100k gold. To not have to worry about if my Alt will have to wait for her flyer & epic flyer would just feel wonderful!

I've been reading up on the Greedy Goblin, One Copper, JMTC blog ; & forum, even a short meandering over to Casual Hardcore to find out how I, Fuubaar, could be the next Hundred Thousandaire! (Gold cap is some where over 250k so I can't be a millionaire /sad day for me)All of the sources are wonderful and extremely useful to the competent Addon user/ Brain user... then there's me. I become all gung ho on an idea so I strive to know everything about everything then... OH SHINY!!!!

Wait... what was I doing again?


Since my two Professions are Alchemy & Herb gathering, I need to start here. Where can profit be made with this combination? I am not planning on dropping either of my professions so that's out of the equation. I'm only saying this because many people jumped on the Goblin bandwagon and on board the Inscription Train to Profitsville. I know that there is profit to be made in every profession in any market at any time. Sometimes you just need to be willing to accept that you might have to work a little harder.

My thoughts on as to why so many others had tried & succeeded with inscription is that it has SO many items that can be made for profit. Small amounts of profit but spread across every classes glyphs. Think about it for a second, if you are level 80, you have probably invested in 3 major glyphs and 3 minor glyphs for your spec. Many of you might have even dual specced so... double that. If you're like me, I'll bet that NONE of your glyphs are the same ones. That means that there are at most 12 different glyphs that you thought were the best for your play style. That's just for ONE PERSON!!!!! Think of the possibilities here. What other profession is made like that? Alchemy sure isn't!

Lets take a look at Alchemy, you have three separate types of Master that you can become: Flasks, Potions, & Transmutations.

If you are a Potions master, when you create a potion, there is a chance for you to make double that amount. Now, if you mass produce these potions for money, you can see where the profit comes in. You sit down to make a stack of Potions and you end up with 26 instead of 20, with the same amount of materials, you sir are a happy person. 6 of those potions are straight profit but herein lies the problem. Who are the major buyers/ users of potions? Raiders. These people can buy in bulk or 1 at a time depending on what their needs are. Raiders want the best potions for their class and will ignore lower end potions (TBC potions). It's like buying a used car when you see a new car sitting there that is cheaper in cost & better looking. This is not to say that there aren't going to be people who will buy lower end stuff before they hit 80 for instancing and such but it's not quite the raiders market that we are more interested in.

This limits the Alchemist on profitable recipes. The Alchemist may have 150 recipes but only 4 Flasks, 5 Potions, and 2 transmutations are profitable. Many other professions are in a similar situation. No other profession has such a wide range of profitable recipes in their arsenal like inscription that it's very hard to look elsewhere when thinking about crafting your way to Fortune & Fame.

Now I'm not blind to see that yes Alchemy Flasks & potions are consumables so after every raid, people are running back to the AH to snake up more for the next run, but it gets REALLY boring crafting the Same Flask of the Stoneblood 10 gazillion times. Give me some variety damn it! Since every Alchemist has this small list of profitable recipes, there is a LOT of competition. Driving profits down into the red. One must be smart to enter into this blood bath that is the AH Flask business. Obviously, the best time to sell a flask is right before raiding time (normally 1-4 hours beforehand) so everyone is clamoring to post TONS of Flasks before the Deadline or you'll be receiving those beauties right back in your mail box.

Regardless of Alchemy's Handicap, I will turn a profit.

When doing my research at the many gold making blogs, I found a common thought that made me laugh.

"The Auction House is the Real PvP"

You are competing with the people that are playing a strategic game of wit & intellect to make more profit than you. It does not pay off to just run in & attack them without a strategy. One-shotting them does you no good as they will be back. It's like running a triathlon not a 300 meter sprint. You better be prepared to do some dirty work before you can turn out the profit in this industry.

Now to the Starting Line!!!!

I will start this triathlon by prepping a bank alt to carry out my bidding. I will need LOTS of bag space for all of my herbs and Flasks. This could possibly have a VERY large cost upfront. From what I've seen, Herb bags are OUTRAGEOUSLY expensive. On my server, a 28 slot herb bag is running close to 200g each. OUCH! The same 28 slot inscription bags are going for a whopping 4g.... Yeah, well I'm not amused. GG Blizzard.

Lucky for me, I'm married to a tailor :D

I will deck my banker out in the biggest bags I can muster and start filling it up with herbs and other materials that are needed to mass produce and keep the market stocked with Fuubaar Quality Potions & Flasks. My only concern is how to send my materials back & forth from Fuubaar to my alt.

I guess people: log on to their bank alts, clean out the Mail box of gold & items, sending Fuubaar all of the materials she would need to produce for that week, log off & on to Fuubaar, clean out mail box of Materials, mass produce until my eyes bleed, send everything back to the bank alt, Log off & on the the bank alt, Clean out Mail box & post the daily amounts of items.

/wipes sweat from brow

Well that just seems... mind numbing don't you think? This is probably why I've avoided having & actually using a Bank alt. I've done all of my storage, crafting, and selling on Fuubaar but I'm just completely out of space. It is time to grow and to allow this project to spread its Gold Making wings.

What I'm going to do is start working on a Bank Alt and get him ready. I'll keep track of how much gold I use to start everything and prove to you and myself that Alchemy can turn a profit.

Since this post is longer than most papers I wrote in College, I'll shut up now :)

SIDE NOTE: After I wrote this, I was flipping through my Reader and found this over at JMTC. I must be on to something /evil smirk


  1. Ugh! I personally find it nearly impossible to make gold via inscription in any decent time frame. One day a glyph may be going for 40g, so you put it up there, and the next day you check, and 20 people have undercut you and are now selling it for 10g. wtf. Plus, the inscription UI is a nightmare. There is no way to sort between major and minor glyphs. The value of the materials put into the glyph are no indicator of the actual value of the glyph. poppycock, all of it. dailies it is.

    I lurrrrve my bank alt. I never wanted to do it for the longest time, but once I started her, she is quickly becoming my favorite character. I'm a profession obsessor, so she carries all the random mats I've picked up through leveling characters to level professions. That's why all my low level alts are maxed out on their professions.

    Thank God I have an awesome alchemist friend to make me flasks instead of buying them on the AH!

    FYI, if raiders are your market, you might want to check Elitistjerks to see what flasks they recommend for different classes. The ones recommended for priests are actually pre-TBC i think, curiously enough.

  2. I've been trying it out a few times now and have made over 5k over about 2 weeks of some lame attempts at selling flasks. It works well enough because right before raid times, people get pretty desparate for flasks and will pay pretty much anything you put up

    /evil snicker

  3. Sort of like a poor pally tank desperately seeking some Dragonfin Angelfish?

    To make up for me wearing my fishing hat into Tuesday night's raid, i put my fishing hat back on yesterday and fished up some Dragonfin for you :) it should be in your mailbox, btw!

  4. WOOT!

    now, put the fishing hat in your Bank for every raid & I'll allow you to heal me again ;)

  5. "I guess people: log on to their bank alts, clean out the Mail box of gold & items, sending Fuubaar all of the materials she would need to produce for that week, log off & on to Fuubaar, clean out mail box of Materials, mass produce until my eyes bleed, send everything back to the bank alt, Log off & on the the bank alt, Clean out Mail box & post the daily amounts of items."

    So instead of doing all that, couldn't you just do all your actual storage on your bank alt, leaving Fuubaar's bank for herb/flask/whatever materials storage? Saves you a whole lot of mailing effort (send stuff you want to store every once in awhile, instead of massive piles of materials mail) and some cash (costs to send the massive piles of materials mail).

    Or am I missing something?

  6. My inscriber only stores inks and pigments; I have two alts who take care of actually selling the glyphs I make, and a third bank alt who sells non-glyph bits and pieces (and who buys the substantial quantities of herbs I'm going through to keep the enterprise running).

    I'm in the middle of a price-war atm, so my profit margins are in the dirt, but if you can manage the heavy time-sink component (milling + crafting glyphs takes a metric eternity) and can afford to run it on a minimal-profit level when you're fighting off the competition (I'm only making 50s profit on some of my sales so far this week), Inscription can be fun (and a reliable earner). But the learning curve is pretty steep, and it's not a low-maintenance profession, if you want to get the most out of it.

  7. @ Russell~

    The reason why I wanted to start the banker is because Fuubaar has a very large herb bag that's always full, another bag for eternals that I used to learn transmutations, and vials. I'm such a packrat regarding the holiday stuff that I want to keep room for those important things and ... not herbs if I can help it :)

    @ Kiwi~

    I can't even imagin what the inscription business would be like. That must be so many competitors for every popular glyph, that there might as well be a price-war going every day lol My only concern is that many "experiments" all start with inscription and I want to see what I find with Alchemy instead. Good Luck with beating out the other guy :D

  8. The tricky thing about inscription is that not only do the popular glyphs vary from server to server, but they also vary from day to day.

    As far as 'dabblers' go (the experimenters who post 20 of a glyph, and wonder why they aren't making gold), they're usually only a temporary irritation. I think with glyphs it comes down to who either has the most time or the most gold to invest, and outlasts the others who lack one or the other.

    Good luck with your alchemy - there's profit to be found in most professions, if you look hard enough for it.