Lately I've become more active in the economy. During this time I've noticed a few bad habits of people. I suggest avoiding these.
1) Undercutting way too damn much.
a) Saronite vendors for 1.25g per bar. The AH takes 5% of your sale. This means that if you want to break even you'd have to charge 1.32g or 28.32g per stack. I see a stack up for 27g. Others start at 29g. All it takes is one failed auction and the profit is entirely gone.
b) There is one gem at 150g. There are 10 at 175g. Don't try to undercut the 150g. It will sell. At the least someone will buy it just to repost it for 174g. So what do you do? Don't undercut the 150g, undercut the 175g, or maybe even join the 175g and help establish it as the new standard.
c) You really want to move your saronite ore and you don't want a failed auction, so you drop the price by 3g. Guess what, you just lost more than you would have by losing a deposit. Is it worth the time saved? That's up to you, but don't forget that the faster AH isn't free.
2) Undercutting when you don't need to.
a) There are two gems on the AH and they are popular like strength or intellect. Charge something at least comparable. Don't try to undercut when demand is clearly going to exceed the supply.
b) There is nothing on the AH and you're selling something good. Don't pull up your old auctioneer data and undercut by 5%. You're only undercutting no one at all, which is to say, your profits.
c) There is one other of the BoE epic on the AH. Don't undercut it. Just wait and let it sell. Then post yours and again have a monopoly. Or if it's unusually cheap and you like gold, buy it and repost for more. Then sell your next one later. It's like Carnegie used to say: "The only thing better than a monopoly is two monopolies; and enough money to buy half the country." Actually I made that up, but it's believable, right?
Undercut smarter, make more gold.
I won't pretend that I follow these perfectly. I'm not immune to whatever urge it is that makes us charge less than absurd amounts when we have the only BoE epic on the market. But I'm trying to reduce those inefficiencies which make me have less gold.
P.S. Do any of you care about posts like this? I know this isn't exactly where people come for anything useful, especially since I can't recall the last time I wrote about economics (past the last week I mean).