Just when I thought I was stupid

| Tuesday, June 8, 2010
Someone came along and said "no sir! You are in fact a lot smarter than me!"

A couple weeks ago someone was selling what appeared to be really cheap PvP gems. So of course I jumped right on that. He mailed them COD. At which point I looked at the gems, saw that the hybrid ones were clearly BC-era garbage, and returned them, saying I'd take the pure ones. So he sent them, I accepted, and then I realized that 20 AP gems are also garbage. That garbage cost me 90g each!

So I did what anyone would do: I tried to find someone stupider than me. I stuck them on the AH for 48 hour segments for about 30g higher. One sold. Then the other sold.

I was left confused. Why would someone buy such a weak gem? Fort he same price they could get an epic gem with double the AP.

Maybe there's something I missed. Could gems have a level limit on them, so a 59 or 69 twink might want them? I've not heard of such a thing and I know I've put LK gems in BC gear.

I could just stick with my original thought: the buyers were stupider than me. But that's rather stupid. Stupid is unpredictable. I want to know what would make them buy the gems, beyond mere stupidity. Maybe it was even not stupid.


Anonymous said...

I know there's times where I just got a fresh piece of gear and if I have to pay some obscene amount because that's all there is availiable.. I pay.

It's not stupidity so much as laziness I think. With gold being nearly worthless and dailies just keep the income flowing..

I'm sitting on 23k gold and my goal for going into Cata was 20k. A few tens of gold, or even hundreds doesn't really matter to me.

Chump change

Klepsacovic said...

But paying the obscene amount for a gem half as good as what is normally up?

Pazi said...

The only reason I could think of would be something like the undergeared-project where you restrict yourself to a certain gear-level (including enchants and gems).

The Gnome of Zurich said...

ya, but epic BC gems (which is what 20AP would be) are not as good as green wrath gems. While it might occasionally be the case that there is no +24 or +32AP gem on the ah, the chances that there is not a str/crit/hit/agi/(whatever is not quite as good as AP with same item points but is better with 12/16 vs. 10) gem available at a reasonable price, is very very slim.

The one possibility I can think of would be caster dps where spellpower is so much better than everything else. But they are also so popular that I've never once seen no spellpower gems on the ah at a reasonable price.

Lazaros of Llane said...

I've seen people buy things at crazy prices because their auction mod tells them it's a good deal (mostly due to someone screwing with the auction mods by pricing things obscenely high). You may have just out-goblin'd a potential goblin.

Klepsacovic said...

@Pazi: Maybe it was a very strict BC guild.

@The Gnome of Zurich: That is one desperate caster!

@Lazaros of Llane: Well I was significantly undercutting some other people. Perhaps I caught a speculation bubble.

The Gnome of Zurich said...

as a flipper I have sometimes bought stuff stupidly because the auctioneer database said it was an amazing deal without knowing for sure that it was real.

BC epic gems were worth around 200g in mid 2008 and there were loads and loads of auctions and sales,filling up the database.

After wrath hit, there was no good reason to do anything but vendor those, unless you could find a greater fool.

But the greater fools existed, and so you'd see a few gems up for the old prices, and then some would come up for 10-20g, and an auctioneer scan would show them as being way underpriced if you hadn' cleared your data since 3.0.

Because the market wasn't real anymore, even if you *did* clear your scan, you'd see more fishers trying to get 60-100g as you would anything at the real price (there's no reason to buy and use them even for the vendor sell price, so there's no real market for them at all).

Auctioneer doesn't look at what sells, it only sees what is listed. One trick I used in my early days is that auctioneer used to tell you how many bids it saw and the average in the database, and if it was a whole lot less than the "market" price, I would often be suspicious and not speculate until I understood the use of an item and could approximate its market potential from that.

Anyway, this means if a couple people regular try to fish for fools with these things, anybody with auctioneer will show them as worth roughly what the fishers are trying to get. Which means you can sell to careless flippers by listing for 1/2 that price.

I've used this trick to get rid of trash many times in the past. Even better is to list an item for 3x what you want for it a few times, and then bring it down to the right number. Any flipper who isn't careful and has been scanning, will see it as 33% of market value: a steal! Oops.

I totally don't mind doing this to people. If you are flipping, it's part of the risk. I rarely get caught like this, but it has happened a few times. I always advise people who ask me about auction house playing: know what you are buying and who would want it, and what you'd pay for it if you were that person and had plenty of gold. Don't assume you can sell anything for a lot of gold unless you can think of a situation in which *you* would pay a lot of gold for it. Because contra-Gevlon, most players are not actually morons.

Klepsacovic said...

That's actually why I avoid automated buying. I instead manually work a smaller number of markets. Lower profit than I could get otherwise, but at least I'm not risking giving any gold to other speculators. Worthless leeches!

This has actually been a problem with disenchanting. When I was just starting to automate my buying I wasn't using a long time of mat prices, so temporary bumps would make DE results appear more profitable than normal.

"I totally don't mind doing this to people. If you are flipping, it's part of the risk."
I agree.

"Don't assume you can sell anything for a lot of gold unless you can think of a situation in which *you* would pay a lot of gold for it."
Sound advice.

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