Time is Money: The myth of market cornering

Time is Money is a Raider’s Progress feature bringing together information from various wow web resources, but mainly, my own experience as I attempt to play wow efficiently while enjoying incredible wealth. You know how Uncle Scrooge from Ducktales used to swim around in that enormous vault filled with gold? Like that.

Woot. Big week last week. I bought a second epic flyer, and continued on the spending spree to hook up a 1k crafted weapon, all the mats for red belt of battle, and all the mats for every enchant you could possibly need for a t5 level raider - all from scratch. All of this is based on only a few weeks implementing the types of strategies i’m discussing here. At this point Im bringing in about 1000 gold a week, and the best part…it doesn’t even feel like i”m trying. I’ll check ah maybe three times a day. Sometimes, I’ll hit up a daily if some of my staple markets are flooded. At his point they almost always leave me feeling like, “damn, did I just take 10minutes to make 11gold. What a waste.” Ok, but enough about me, how about you?

A simple enough idea is that you want to corner a market. However, what would cornering a market in wow require? What markets are suitable for this type of control? What’s the risk? In general, I have found that wholesale market manipulation in wow is extremely difficult. The reason is farming. If i seek to corner, let’s say, primal fires, there is a relatively high chance that someone with a lot of time on their hands will just kill 1000 of these guys on some non-raiding friday night, and inject those goods into the market. This type of activity isn’t only easy in wow, it’s highly common. Many people embrace the farm psychology. Thank god that isn’t us, but it makes for rocky water when you think you’ve finally got the distribution of goods on the AH to buy em all up and take over.

Forget about cornering markets. There are much more subtle manipulations you can do that not only require less of an initial investment, but also feature less risk than looking to claim an entire market to yourself. Here are three different scenarios.

Getting in under the red.
I feel like it has to do with the timing of when wow-ers tend to use the AH. It seems to me like people list things after a night of playing, and buy things when they come home from school, and again around 7pm before raids. This fits nicely with a 24hour listing period, to create all sorts of situations where items are coming down in fat groups while a vastly different priced tier of the same item is freshly listed, as shown in the following image.


In these scenarios, you want to scoop up everything under 80% and list significantly higher. How much higher? I would not put these dreaming glorys at 21g, but closer to the 100% mark, to discourage other people from coming in and getting under my red post. Red is like beaming a message at sellers, make a profit on this guy’s high price.

Breaking items down
When asking players how they make their auction riches, one thing comes up time and time again - breaking big stacks into smaller stacks. However, if you dive into adamantite with this strategy you’re going to get burned. Here is a scenario perfect for breaking stacks down.


Buy up that 20 AND 11 stack, breaking it down into 6-ers (because thats how much you need to make a flask or a few pots), and mark them at the 120% mark.

The Corner
Finally, here is an example of a great opportunity to corner. Now, sometimes there are 50 black lotuses on the market. I had watched these lotuses dwindle after about 2 days, and felt safe in that there would probably be another day or so before a big fresh flood of them into the market.


Buy up all of these bad boys and re-price at something like 10g50 a piece, maybe more. Gratz, youve just cornered black lotus. Get ready for 200% profits.

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3 Responses to “Time is Money: The myth of market cornering”

  1. Thryl Says:

    Earlier this year, I cornered the market on super mana potions and small prismatic shards. The potions went from ~15g to a steady 25-30. The shards went for about 350% for a time. This lasted for about two months total.

    Also, a *great* money maker is Swiftness Potions and Free Action Potions. Twinks pop those things like tic-tacs.

  2. Yrael Says:

    what is that add on that you use? i use the auctioneer package (with bottom feeder?) but that seems to wrk a bit different than what you are using there.

  3. scarpia Says:

    im using auctioneer advanced. incoming post on the most useful functions.

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