Today I will talk about the idea that the richest players in the game rely on secret methods that they do now want to share with others.
My mental model of gold making
Before we go into that I will present one of my mental models. One of the very deep underlying assumptions that has a large impact here is the answer to the question “Why are goldmaking methods profitable?”.
I don’t think knowledge is the limiting factor in any of the methods I use. I believe the reason I can make a profit is because I generally provide value. Crafting requires you to spend time leveling the profession and crafting the item. Figuring out which recipes to sell is trivial. The profit is in bothering to do it. People will always pay for the convenience.
This is why crafting the basic gear up armor has been very profitable for three straight expansions. Everyone who wants to know this already knows it.
Secret goldmaking methods are often bad
If your method relies on being secret to work, then it is bad. There is of course a difference between “working” and being wildly profitable. There are always gold rush moments where a method can generate hundreds of thousands in a day, but people always find out and bring the profitability to a reasonable level.
The reasonable level will be a profit margin between 10 and 100% usually, with the exact margin depending on other structural barriers to entry.
My blogging still hasn’t stopped any of my methods working for me
I have some empirical evidence of the fact that blabbing out methods doesn’t impact profitability. I have been writing extensively about goldmaking for the last 2.5 years and I share my exact TSM settings freely. All of the markets I am still active in have worked completely fine across multiple realms throughout the entire period.
High risk / high effort markets don’t have to be secret to work
Seriously. Everyone should be familiar with darkmoon decks by now for instance. EVERY expansion they are super profitable during the first patch. High investment costs, tons of RNG and a lot of time spent crafting adds up to a very nice barrier to entry that ensures competition will remain low regardless of how many people know.
Look for high barrier markets, regardless of how many know of them
This is my best “secret”. High barriers to entry means you can ignore competition and focus on just crafting or flipping. It also means you can go for the highly publicized ones.
A note about farming
For farming this is all moot though. Farming spots is the one very obvious case where knowledge is the ONLY barrier to entry. So any farming spot that gets published will usually be swamped into very low profitability and then gradually rise back up as the herd heads for greener pastures. If you want to avoid this I suggest taking up crafting and flipping in stead.