Updates - This month has turned out to be a bit more challenging than I expected. I am writing this from my wife’s computer. The hard drive on mine failed and now ...
"Weekend Warriors" - Will They Pay More?
If you've been making gold in World of Warcraft for any length of time it can be easy to fall into familiar routines. You log on each day and post the same items for the same prices day-in day-out. When you are making a steady income it can be easy to rest on your laurels and let yourself coast.
That is how I've been running my level 77-80 Cataclysm item markets. Same items. Same prices. Day after day. Luckily for me I was able to discuss the 77-80 market with Jamie, Shannon Lasell and Farli on one of Shannon's livestreams. They opened my eyes to new ways to run the market. Read on past the jump to hear about my initial success raising prices during the weekend.
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While discussing 77-80 Cataclysm item pricing I learned that both Jamie and Farli had been able to sell very similar items for much higher prices than I had. This got me thinking and I decided to raise all of the prices for my 77-80 items by 200g.
You know what happened? They sold. I continued to list the items hoping for sales and when they stopped selling I went looking for answers. Why were the items no longer selling? I realized then that I had made my sales for the higher prices during the weekend. Now that it was during the week I wasn't seeing sales.
This got me thinking about my customers. Who were these people that were willing to spend more on items on the weekend that weren't during the week? Who are they? Why are they buying this item? What type of player are they?
I think many of us do this while making gold. We try to understand our customers. We build "use cases" for them in our heads (at least I do). We feel that if we can get to know our customers, we can better serve them (and in turn make ourselves more gold).
A good example of this is gold-makers who target the raiding population. By understanding the raiders habits (raiding on Tuesday and Wednesday nights for example) they can plan to craft and sell their items at the times and days that will provide the highest sales potential.
This was essentially what I was doing while thinking of these higher weekend sales. Last weekend was the first time I raised prices on my 77-80 Cataclysm items. This weekend I did the same thing (except that I raised my prices by 100g instead of 200g since I felt 100g was a more reasonable increase) and I am happy to say that I made as many or more sales this weekend even with the higher prices.
The Weekend Warrior
Who are these people buying my items? I call them "Weekend Warriors". They are the World of Warcraft players who only play World of Warcraft on the weekend. Because they have busy jobs, school or many other reasons they can only play for a limited time on the weekends.
Why would these players be more willing to spend money on my 77-80 Cataclysm items than your "average" World of Warcraft player? Because they know that they only have so much time to play. To them it's worth an extra bit of gold to buy the items they need to get their characters up and running.
Perhaps they have friends that play throughout the week and they feel that they have to hurry and catch up with them "by hook or by crook". If spending a bit of gold on the auction house can accomplish that then they will do it.
Weekend Warriors don't have the advantage of being able to check the auction house day after day waiting for lower prices. They only have a few days to play and now is when they need the items.
Can I be sure that the above theory is the real reason I am able to sell 77-80 Cataclysm items for more on the weekends? Maybe. Their may never be any way to tell for sure but that doesn't stop me from theorizing. Theorizing and pondering who my customer may be makes me a better gold-maker.
It is easy to just go day-to-day selling the same items for the same prices. Using the same techniques ad infinitum. Are we exercising our critical thinking? Are we doing all we can do to make the most with what we have? Most importantly, are we having fun yet?
Sometimes it is worth it to think of who you are selling to. What are their needs? What are their restraints? Most importantly, how can you capitalize on this knowledge to make gold?
YMMV (Your Mileage May Vary)
I think I should state here that the ability I have to raise prices on the weekend and lower them back during the week only really works in situations where you are the dominant (or only) player in the market.
I am most likely the dominant (or only) player posting 77-80 Cataclysm items on both factions of my server. In situations where you have a large number of competitors moving the market up and down day-to-day may be near-impossible.
Keep that in mind when considering using the "raise the prices on the weekend" technique. Each server and each market are different and you should take the techniques and advice you read on this blog (and any where else for that matter) and tailor it to your own situation.
Are you a "Weekend Warrior"? If so do you think you are willing to pay more for items due to your limited play time?
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