Goblin Mindset: Price as a proxy for usefulness and rarity

WoW is a huge game! There are so many items, so many recipes, so many materials and just so many ways to play the game. This makes it incredibly hard to keep track of everything that has value and all of the items that can be useful.

Figuring out if an item is valuable

I was asked on stream how I figure out if a BoE is worth anything, whether it’s knowledge or just intuition. The answer is perhaps a little bit of both, but I use one metric to figure out if an item even is a potential deal, the price. 

Generally speaking the price of an item says quite a bit about it. Higher prices means it’s rarer and more useful or cool. Lower prices means they are less useful, cool or rare. 

Price as a proxy for BoEs

For BoE flipping I use price a lot. I compare the current price to the region market value. The region market value is a decent measure of the actual value of the item across the region which serves as a perfect basis for pricing. If the current price is low enough compared to the region value I do a third sanity check, by just considering the question “Does it seem likely someone will spend 150k (or whatever the price is) for this item?”. Of course I don’t raid in BfA, so I have no idea if my answer is particularly good, but I still think it’s a useful step. 

How do we measure the price accurately?

Once we know that it’s important to have an idea of the price of an item comes the question of how to measure it. Usually we will use some form of market value calculation. Tradeskillmaster comes equipped with several price sources ready to go that will help out a lot. You can also use websites like theunderminejournal.com to get an idea. Looking at historical data can also help us figure out if players are moving away from an item or if it is perhaps getting easier to farm as both things would lead to a decrease in price. We can of course use this to check for items that are harder to get or MORE in demand as well. 

Can you trust the market value?

Yes and no. It depends on the item. For high volume markets the market value on your realm will be a significantly better measure than the region market value. For rare items like BoEs we need to use the region market average as a basis and set the percentage per realm. The main difference is really the rarity. For rare items market value can be manipulated, for high volume markets like materials this is MUCH harder as players are always generating hundreds and thousands of that same item. I almost always trust the market value for materials, and I almost never do it for rare BoEs.

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