To succeed at goldmaking long term you need to be able to find your own markets, rather than relying on following the lead of others. Anything that is publicized will all else being equal have more competition.
Competition brings down profits
Today we want look at all of the other factors that can impact profitability, such as barriers to entry, but just on the amount of competition. All else being equal more competition always means less profits. This means of course that you will be much better off if you are able to find markets on your own. You can get in early before competition takes off and you can stay in the market when other people leave it and profits go back up.
Rely on your own mental models
The big question is of course “How do I find markets?”. To answer this question you really have to answer another question first “What items are players interested in paying gold for?”. My answer to this is of course they are willing to pay to improve their character. There are two ways to improve your character, increasing your power or looking cooler. This is my mental model for goldmaking, and I’ve written about it before. It may not be the best one, but it’s how I look at items to see whether or not people want them.
The key is to make your own model about why items are valuable, and then test it out. Try to sell items you think other players would want. Package them in interesting ways and adcertise in chat if needed.
Speed is key in new markets
When new markets get discovered or added to the game you want to be the first one in on your realm if you can. Profits are always highest in the beginning. So get in while the getting is good and take advantage of inflated demand and profit margins.
Stick it out longer than the herd
Another typical disadvantage of following the herd is that you enter the market when competition is highest, and then you leave it alongside everyone else when profits plummet and a new method gets highly publicized. It is very normal that markets that have been the flavor of the month become nicely profitable again after the masses leave again. Avoiding the cycles of market saturation is key to always finding the best opportunities for goldmaking and sticking to them when they get profitable again.
Finding new markets is also more fun
Nothing beats the feeling when you find a new market on your own, or test your approach and it works. It’s one of the best things about goldmaking.