Has the patch breathed new life into the flask economy?
So with the Firelands patch about a week old, has it made a blind bit of difference to the Auction House prices? veterans of the AH will know the answer already; of course it has, as with every other content patch in WOWs history, consumable prices have shot up, and the items which used to be pretty pricey, like valour boots, (which are now justice boots) which are now more obtainable are now at rock bottom.
My previous potion industry which was returning a modest profit at best, is now returning at least a 100% mark up on each pot, even ignoring the crafting procs, and taking into account the slight increase in the price of herbs. Its as if half the server had no idea the Firelands were coming and suddenly realised they were going to need to panic buy enough potions for the next decade. You can see from the graph below showing the price and volumes I’ve been shifting flasks of Steelskin in for the past few weeks, I was getting 40-70g, depending on the time of the week and the flask. In the last week I’m regularly getting 100-135g now, and selling in far larger numbers; you can see from the graph the lull which occurred just prior to the 4.2 patch and the explosion in sales and price as soon as it hit. I’ve also changed my selling strategy subtly, I now don’t always try to be the cheapest seller for flasks, instead I list at a rang I’m likely to sell at, yes I may sell a few less, but I’ll make a far bigger profit on those I do sell. I do this when there are a small number of ‘cheap’ flasks listed, but the bulk are at a higher price. The 4 or 5 lower priced flasks will obviously sell first, but I’ll also sell mine at a better profit. I sometimes will list some at a lower price and then some higher, that way I’m guaranteed to sell some and make some profit, and if there’s a buying spree then I’m positioned to take advantage; looking through my beancounter logs, there's a repeating pattern of people buying in bulk, yes there are a few instances of people buying singular pots, but of the 17 different buyers for this flask, 10 of them bough more than one, 6 of those bought 5 or more. This tells me that people tend to ‘panic’ buy of sorts, I’d guess someone gets tasked with sorting the pots pre-raid for cauldrons and then heads off to the AH to fill in the blanks to purchase on behalf of the raid.
For the moment flasks are reasonably profitable, I doubt it will last, as people start to clear the content in Firelands, and get better gear the raiding attendance will wain and thus demand will drop lowering prices once again, but for the moment I’m planning on cashing in. I spent upwards of 10,000g last night buying herbs and volatile life making 25 ish of each flask so I can have a proper go at listing and get some more statistically significant figure to share with you.