Today we will talk a little bit about the popularity of a gold making method and what that might mean for you. Popularity has good and bad sides, so let’s dive into it.
What causes popularity?
For gold making method they typically become popular because they are highly publicised by content creators like me or other players. The main reason why a method will be talked about is typically because it works well.
This is the great pro of popular methods. They are or have been very good methods of making gold. These methods work.
More players = less profit
For any gold making method we expect the profit margins to go down as more players do it. If everyone was running my shopping scan for materials all the time then there would be fewer sub 80% dbmarket items per player and the average price we paid would be closer to the maximum price cutting both our total profit and profit margin.
This is the large disadvantage of popularity. The more popular a method is the less profitable it will be, all else being equal.
There is a risk that a popular method is no longer profitable, or at least not as profitable as it was when it became popular. If you just follow the flow you are more likely to miss your timing and not make as much gold as you expected.
Should you do what’s popular?
There isn’t a clear cut answer to this. Ultimately the number of potential gold making opportunities in WoW is limited. You will always face competition, and popularity is a necessity, at least for the finished items you want to sell.
Personally I just hang around in loads of very competitive market with setups that I can post without thinking. This includes overcutting in weird stack sizes in alchemy, buying more of the materials that sell, and less of the ones that don’t, and not posting crafted goods if the price is below 20% profit margin.
Avoiding the herd
Avoiding the herd might net you a higher profit margin, but less popular items and niches usually have lower total sales. Whether you end up ahead or not is something you can only find out by trying. Always keep an eye out for markets that others are forgetting. The cycle of huge profits -> massive hype -> influx of players -> low profit margins -> players leave -> good profit margins has happened hundreds of time. I prefer to just stay in and let my settings do the thinking.