Controlling a market is something that seems incredibly cool to many fledgling goldmakers. Today I will talk about why this isn’t too great of an idea.
When does a monopoly work?
To first understand why this may not be such a great idea we first need to understand why real life monopolies work. Generally speaking you need to be able to control the supply of something. Cable providers are typical example as building the infrastructure to put internet or TV into your house is expensive and once someone has done it there is generally no point in doing it again. So cable companies don’t have to worry much about competition.
Monopolies do not work if you can’t control the supply. Trying to monopolize corn for instance would be almost impossible, as someone could just start a new farm, assuming they have the necessary resources.
Can supply be capped in WoW?
Generally no. Every item in the game can be generated in some way (with some very few unobtainables in BfA. If you try to buy out every Silk cloth on the AH players will eventually notice that it sells super quickly and go farm more of it.
Trying to control a market would require extremely deep pockets.
If it drops from farmable mobs or nodes, it is generally not possible to control.
Some items can be influenced
There are some items that are easier to influence and even control. These are items where the supply is limited. The prime examples are Mooncloth in Classic and the Sky Golem in BfA. They are both limited by crafting cooldowns that cannot be bypassed. So in any given time frame it will be impossible for other players to craft another. On the flip side these are both expensive items so controlling or trying to influence it heavily will still require deep pockets.
Controlling a market only works if you’re already rich
Unless you are already rich you won’t succeed. The vast majority of players make it big using other, more stable methods and you should too. Don’t get blinded by the potential massive profit margins. Controlling a market is a niche, and is generally more about having fun than any serious goldmaking, unless AH PvP is your life.