The Jewel Crafting Experiment – The Setup

So, you are a freshly minted JC – what now?

The Tools

If you want to try playing the AH, and in a (relatively) safe way, the very first thing?  Get Auctioneer, or some similar addon.  You cannot effectively play the AH without it.  Then, scan.  Scan once a day (preferably at the time you would be posting most of your items) for at least a week.  This will give you a base price trend for your items.  It will also allow you to track relative prices on currently posted items.

Trending

Relative Prices

Secondly, make sure you have enough money to get you though.  The first weeks will not make you enough to sustain a raiding lvl 80.  you need to make room in the market for yourself, and you may have to post a few items at a slight loss.  I started with a seed of 500g.  I had 2000g on my toon from dailies to maintain my raiding, and you should be doing the JC daily EVERY SINGLE DAY anyway, so that is 13g.  The JC daily is where you will get new cuts from.

The Cuts

Get all of the cuts you can currently get.  This means honor cuts, stonekeeper shard cuts, and rep cuts.  The honor and stonekeeper shards will help you diversify, and make a fair bit of money as well.  As you do your JC daily you will pick up your PvE gems.  Several heroic dungeons, which will help you get geared as well (if you aren’t already past them) drop JC cuts as well.

DO NOT use your seed money to purchase any JC patterns off of the AH.  The ones you can purchase off of the AH for under 200g aren’t going to be a good short term investment, and the ones that are your big profit makers are going to run 1k+.

The Ore

Before you try to jump into the market, you need to determine where you are going to get your ore from.  I have JC/BS combination of Professions.  This means that I have to buy or trade for all of my ore.  If you are a miner, that is fine.  If you want to make more than a pittance, you will still need to buy some ore, but your profits will be higher on the ore that you mine yourself.

Find out what the ore prices are on your server.  Right now, ore goes for 16g/stack on my server, where 15g can usually be negotiated for if you buy large quantities.

In the beginning, you might go through 200g of ore/week.  As you work your way up, I move about 1000g ore per week in gems.  200g of ore at 15g/stack is 13 stacks.  If you feel like you can mine this in one week (or throughout the week) every week – great!   1000g of ore per week is 66 stacks.  Even if I was a miner, I would never ever mine that much per week, on a regular basis.  Instead, I purchase that.  If you are a miner, any ore you prospect is just gravy.

If you can find a couple of farmers who will farm up the ore for you at a pre-negotiated price, great.  Loyalty goes a long way with farmers.  Instead, I keep a steady eye out on the AH for great deals, and I advertise in trade.  I have not found a single farmer who can farm enough ore for me, but I have a few who will feed me a part of my weekly needs.   As a result, sometimes I do end up paying a higher price.  If you set up your network early, it will pay off in the end.

Understanding Your Expenses

When you start out with your JC business, you need to be smart.  If you grow to be big enough, you will not be able to mine enough ore for your business.  So you will have the expense of buying ore.  Later in the business, you will have the expense of Eternal Earths (I’ll tell you why in a future post).  Outside of that, however, you are going to have another expense.  That is AH expenses.

Currently the AH charges 1g 35s to post a cut blue quality gem.  It’s less than half that for a green quality gem.  If you are not careful, and post gems incorrectly (also for another post folks), you will risk throwing that down the drain.

Watching Your Competition

If you are just now getting into the JC business, know that you are relatively late in the game.  There are already toons that have been playing the AH for longer than you, and at only 500g seed money, there are a ton of people that have LOTS more money than you.  They can afford to take a mild hit.

Watch the competition.  Whenever you stop by the AH to post something, or buy something, do a search on a few gems. Get the feel of how many, and how often, they post.  This is a key to winning the AH over.

I read a post from a blogger, and I apologize for not quoting (I cannot for the life of me find the post to properly credit the person), who said “The AH is the ultimate PvP game.”  I can put it no better than that.  You will be in direct competition with some of the richest, and ruthless players in the game.  Be ready to loose that seed money.  If you cannot bear the prospect of loosing that 500g, then drop out now.  Do not even start this.  There are days where you will make a TON of money.  Other days you will loose.

Shy Away From Advanced Techniques – For Now

Right now, the goal is to get in the market and make some elbow room for yourself.  If you are overly ambitious, you will hurt yourself more than your competition.  Remember, your resources are limited, the other JC’ers probably have A LOT more resources than you.  They will starve you to death.

At the same time, don’t self destruct.  Don’t go on a spending spree for ore.  200g worth of ore is more than enough to get you going.  That leaves you 300g to #1 post, but also to pick up incredible deals when you can.  The less you pay, the more you make.

Know your server

The final start up tip is to know your server.   Are you host to a major raiding guild, or is your server more of a casual server, lost in the masses?  Knowing this is *key* to your success.  Why?  Hardcore players will min/max their gold away to oblivion.  Casuals won’t.  You want a piece of both markets, but you want what is going to make you the most money.    Don’t underestimate the money you can make by selling the “less than popular” cuts to players that would rather fill the socket bonus, rather than min/maxing with the best stat.

know server

Less Than Optimal Cuts

That’s it to startup.  Get your 500G seed gold, and enough gold to carry you through for at least a few days, if not a couple of weeks.  Get auctioneer, and scan it religiously.  Do your research.

Next up will be how to interpret auctioneer scan results, and setting up your first post.

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