In this post I will take a first look at the material flipping market in Classic and show you how you can approach it using TSM. With the recent update to TSM4 that includes automatic pricing data through the desktop app you can now get MUCH more accurate pricing data, which makes dynamic flipping a possibility.
My experience so far
I have done quite a bit of flipping so far, primarily focusing on Small Flame Sacs and Wicked claws as I wrote about last week. With access to TSM pricing data that is automatic we can start looking at other markets. As we can see I have also “flipped” some Greater Magic Essence. In reality I have just bought them for the vendor shuffle and sold some I disenchanted.
The basics of material flipping
Generally speaking most materials in WoW will have fluctuations in both supply and demand. Players generate materials at different points in time and they need them in different amounts and at different times. So there will be periods with more items available, and with less items available. So by buying when the price is relatively low and posting at a slightly higher price, that is still within a “normal” range you can usually make 20% profit quite consistently.
Does this work for every item?
There is usually a lot of difference between items as far as how well they work for flipping. Any material that is used for raid related items is usually a great candidate, as they are much higher in demand around the time when raids reset. This includes herbs, grinding stones, enchanting materials and food items. Anything that is farmed in large quantities is also great candidates as when a large scale farmer drops his stock on the AH the price will fall.
Using dynamic pricing in TSM
The most effective way to do this is to use the dbmarket price source in tsm. This is based on the price over the last 14 days. My approach is to buy at 80% and sell at about 100% of dbmarket. I do not aim to be the cheapest auction, but to get a decent number of sales by posting at a reasonable price. This might be an issue right now though, as deposit costs are quite high. As such it makes sense to focus on higher volume items over lower volume ones.
Stack sizing is key to make the most of this. Selling in larger more even stack sizes will usually help you get a higher price. By using the match stack size setting TSM will only consider stacks of the same size when setting the price. Stack sizes are very different between items as they can have max stack sizes of 5, 10 or 20. An optimal approach is always a mix of stack sizes, and you will need more auctions in classic to effectively post everything.
When running shopping scans using my setup the results page will look like this. I generally buy items below 100%, as the percentage column here is based on your maximum price, so 80% dbmarket would show up as 100%. So on the screenshot below I would consider buying Wool, silk, strange dust and Runecloth, but not mageweave or linen.
In my pastebin you can find a sample TSM setup for my approach. It includes groups for all enchanting materials, all cloth and the small flame sac and wicked claw I mentioned at the beginning. I have not yet done any extensive testing, so I STRONGLY suggest that you test this in smaller scales (1-2 stacks) before you spend any large quantities of gold!