One exceedingly useful feature in TSM is the ability to create custom price sources. Several of my groups rely on custom price sources and in this post I will cover when they make sense as well as how they work.
What is a TSM price source?
A price source in TSM is a named variable that represents some pre-defined price.
This means you can refer to the price source by name and TSM will look it up for the specific items in your groups when it executes a shopping or auctioning scan (or any other operation that relies on price sources).
The most commonly used price sources are usually dbmarket and crafting. DBMarket is a weighted average of the AH price of an item over the last 14 days.
The advantage of price sources
The massive advantage of price sources is that you do not need to set hard coded gold limits for all your auctioning operations. In stead of manually calculating the crafting cost and recalculating when material prices change you can just use 120% crafting for all your crafted items as the minimum price. This is how I can get away with using the exact same operation for ALL of my crafted transmog groups.
TSM comes with a lot of pre-defined price sources, and they are adding more sources in TSM4. There’s a lot of nuance to how you use them at a higher level, but that doesn’t matter for people just starting out.
In addition to the premade sources you can create your own price sources. TSM supports a decent amount of math and logic functions that you can use. This will allow you to create more elaborate logic for your pricing settings.
The main advantage of using a custom price source is that it is very easy to change, and it will impact all of your operations. It can also make your operation settings look much cleaner.
One obvious use case is if you want to use the same pricing settings, but differentiate the other settings for a set of operations. If you use custom price sources for min, normal and max prices you can easily change them all the same place. This is what is used in the mining guide I published for instance.
Elaborate pricing settings
One of the most famous TSM strings in the game is BilisOnyxia‘s sniper string. It utilizes the check() function to setup different logic for different price levels. You can use the same logic in a custom price to cover a lot of items with one operation. This is especially useful if you want to enter a market without optimizing your TSM settings. It will give you some quick and well functioning pricing that can be used without much thought. I use a price source similar to the sniper string for my Battle Pet groups for instance.
How to set them up
In TSM 3 you can find the area for custom prices on the main TSM window when you type /tsm into chat.
I’ll take you through an example for how to setup custom prices for a normal crafting based setup.
Choose a name
The first thing you need to do is define a name. The name is what you will use to refer to the custom price in your settings. It is usually best to choose a name that is not too long, but is fairly descriptive. I have published custom prices for several of my setups. Names include Spiritbuy for the price of Spirits of Harmony and minwodherb for the cheapest Warlords of Draenor herb.
The example price we will make is a normal price for crafted items so we will call it craftednormal.
Setting up the price
The next thing we need to do is to define what the price source is. This can be very elaborate or very simple. In this case we will use a setup that is slightly more advanced than the most simple setup.
The normal price is the level at which your auctions will be posted when no others items are posted on the Auction House. There are two main concerns when choosing this level, you want an adequate profit margin, and you want to post it at a level where it is likely to sell. I use a formula that compares 200% crafting, which yields a 100% profit margin and 150%dbhistorical. It then chooses the highest as the normal price.
This setting will guarantee that I get a 100% profit margin. If the historical value for the item is even higher it will post it at that level. If you want to limit the price to make sure you do not post your items too expensively you could use the same setting with min instead of max. You would need to add some logic to make sure it does not end up below your crafting cost in that case though.
Getting better at creating strings
Custom prices can be as sophisticated or as simple as you want. To learn the logic required for strings with different results for different items I suggest looking into some logic or programming tutorials. Most programming languages will use if statements of some sort and this will help you think about how to use the ideas.
You can also add custom prices to your tooltips so you can see how they change for a given item if you change them. This option is found under Tooltip options.
Good luck! This is a very powerful tool, especially with the new sources coming in TSM4.