Pro Tip: Patience is Profitable.
A bit of background: as a father of 18 month-old twins, there is an awful lot of whining in my life right now. As such, I often find myself using the words “just wait” over and over. And over. When I’m changing a diaper, and legs are flailing about, and bodies are squirming out of reach: just wait, just wait. When I’m cooking breakfast, and both of my pant legs are being tugged on repeatedly: just wait, just wait. It’s a huge part of my life, but I’ve also come to realize that it is a big part of my auction house business as well.
WoW has really reinforced the impatient nature of today’s society, but from a purely economic standpoint, patience can really pay off big. I will give a couple examples, since simply sitting AFK in Orgrimmar or Stormwind obviously won’t magically increase your bankroll.
One of the more currently relevant examples would be people that make big, immediate decisions about things the second they catch wind of datamined or PTR information. People panic, or they fear the worst and want to manage expected losses, so they rush to action. If you wait, you can profit. The important thing to note here is that anytime people do something “en masse”, it will likely have a big impact – but that doesn’t always mean it will be permanent. Successful speculation involves finding the right timing, and the right timing usually isn’t “yesterday, OMG!!!!”. Never panic, keep your wits about you, and consider all the options. Then remember the 2 or 3 options you always forget, and choose the best decision.
The most specific personal example for patience I can offer is glyphs. I do very well with glyphs (*puffs up own chest*). One of the things that always makes me chuckle are people that brag about their “amazing glyph businesses”. Upon further review, many of these players take pride in their ability to push their competition out of the market by lowering the average price of glyphs down to the point where they might be lucky to make 50% profit. They get frustrated by all the undercutting, or they hate how fast the glyph market cycles down from their fallback, so their “solution” is to tank it. Sometimes out of spite, sometimes because they really believe it will lead to them owning the market, but never because they have applied any form of reason to the situation. That may sound harsh, but if you are working 10 times harder than me for a tenth of the profit, you have earned the right to be called an idiot. I’m sorry, that’s just the way it goes. I don’t care if you can craft glyphs for 5g – selling glyphs at an average price of 30g is dumb. It’s also unnecessary. The glyph market naturally cycles through a price range that is usually dictated by the thresholds and fallbacks of the big players. So, you can either fight for position at the bottom, or you can “just wait!” and be there when the market loops back up to the top again. Here are some estimate numbers for you, but I think they give you an idea about what I’m talking about here:
I probably sell about 10 – 20% of my glyphs at my fallback, or within 20% of my fallback. Think about that for a second. My fallback works out to be a roughly 1000% ROI from my crafting cost. That means that the entire operational cost of my whole glyph business is covered through those glyphs. Everything else is pure profit. On the flip side, I would estimate that my competition sells approximately 25 – 30% of their collective glyphs BELOW my threshold, at approximately less than 50% ROI. By merely refusing to follow the rest of them off the cliff, and by taking advantage of strategically timed opportunities, I put in less effort for more gold. Doesn’t that just make sense?
These are just a few examples, but the point I’m trying to make is this: the next time you feel an impulse to rush into a decision…JUST WAIT! I’d be willing to bet it will pay off for you, might even stumble upon a goldmine.