Goblin Mindset: Exiting a WoW market

Most guides and posts in the gold making area deal with learning how to enter a market. I always focus on diversifying and I have written on a very large number of markets. Every once in a while exiting a WoW market will be necessary. Today we will be looking at those cases.

When should you exit a market? And how do you exit a market?

When should you exit a market?

There are a lot of possible reasons to exit a market. I have listed some of the more common ones below and we will dive a bit deeper into them.

  • Profit margins have dried up
  • The market will be killed by an upcoming patch
  • The gold per hour is too low for it to be worth it

Decreased profit margins

Prices in a lot of markets will fluctuate over time. A good example of a market that has had heavily decreasing profit margins since the launch of Legion is Alchemy. In early Legion margins were great, especially for players with early rank 3s. Margins are now quite thin and a lot of big time goblins are out of the market. I dabble in flasks, but I do not do any potions as the profit margins are just to low.

Upcoming patches

This is going to be very relevant later this year when Battle for Azeroth drops. Most of all the markets I am in in Legion will be gutted, at least for a while until transmog demand starts scaling up again. This is also an opportunity that we will delve into at some point in the future. Patches and expansions can utterly kill a market by introducing better items from an easier source, by making a higher level of consumables attainable or removing items from the game completely (Major glyphs for example).

Depending on how far away the patch is you will likely want to get out quite quickly to limit your losses. Sitting on a bunch of useless items is obviously terrible.

Not worth your time

This follows from the obvious fact that your time is the most precious resource you have. At some point some markets will eat up too much of your time for too little profit. For me the most obvious example is Legion Material flipping. It is quite profitable, but the time required is a bit steep. It takes a long time to purchase all the auctions, collect all of them from your mailbox and re-posting them. This is why I no longer include legion material flipping in my routine on any of my flipping servers.

You are the only who can answer when a market no longer makes sense for you, but it is quite simple to compare your sales and how much time you spend on any given market to get a rough estimate. Typically some form of the Pareto 80/20 principle will hold true for you, and focusing on the 20% of your activities that give you 80% of the rewards always makes sense.

How do you exit a market?

There is a continuum to how you exit a market which is based on how urgent it is to exit. You can see my list below in order from the least urgent “exit” to what you need to do if it is very urgent.

  1. Pause/Soft Exit
  2. Medium Exit
  3. Hard Exit

At all the levels you will stop restocking the market, obviously.

Pause/soft exit

Pausing and soft exits are very close to each other so I put them together here. Pausing for me means that you stop restocking and just keep using your current settings for auctioning, with the plan to re-enter as soon as it makes sense. This is typically what you do when a market has temporarily lower profit margins. An example can be raid consumables at a low point in between raid tiers. Pausing can essentially be automatically managed by TSM, by just setting it to not post auctions below minimum price. That’s what I do in enchanting for instance so if prices suck between raid tiers I just stop restocking and posting unless the profit margin is where I want it to be.

A soft exit is essentially identical. The only difference is that you are not planning to re-enter the market. This is typically my go to strategy if I am exiting a market that I feel is no longer worth my time. I will sell of my stock using my regular settings and get as much profit as I can.

Medium exit

For a medium exit you are a bit more urgent in getting out of the market. This is typically the first step when a market is getting removed from the game, but the removal is still decently far off. We might be approaching the point where using some Medium Exit strategies can make sense in preparation for BfA, especially if you have a very large stockpile.

For a medium exit you want to decrease your minimum price to about break-even. You also want to increase your undercuts to be larger than 1 copper (0.5-1% dbmarket is typically a good number). Larger undercuts lead to more sales and the goal here is to accelerate our sales and unload most of our stock at slightly above break even prices. We can then feel very happy about the profit we made while the market was still alive.

Hard Exit

A hard exit is when you want to dump your stock as fast as possible. This typically only makes sense when the death of a market due to a new patch is very close in time. The goal is to just get whatever gold you can for your items as they are expected to be worthless quite soon.

Obviously you want to set some really aggressive undercut sizes and decrease your minimum price to a ridiculously low level. When I ditched all my major glyphs before the Legion pre-patch I set the minimum price to 5g (prices ranged between 30-500) and set my undercut to something like 50% to bring down the price quickly. I managed to sell most of my stock for substantially more than what the charred glyphs would be worth. Even got an angry mail from someone who was babysitting the market at 500 gold and still getting sales.

In conclusion

I might have glossed over some of the decision making involved with deciding when to exit a market, but it is not a straight forward question to answer. This shows the basic overview of when you should consider exiting a market and how you should go about it. For markets with their death approaching don’t be afraid to be aggressive in your undercut settings as the gold you have already spent is a completely sunk cost.

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