The AH/JC Experiment – Patch 3.3x & Beyond

…can be summed up in one phrase – “If you want it, you are going to have to dig for it.”

The JC Market as of late has been stale.  I have to take care and post only one of any type of gem, because both rarely ever sale if I post two.  The blue-quality market is just stagnant.  The last big content patch was produced, and those with alts that were capable of running, and getting upgrades in the new 5 mans have already done so.  As such, the market really dosen’t support a big population of JC’s.  Thankfully, over the last few weeks, those who jumped on the bandwagon with the MMO-Champion guide were forced out of the market.  Basically, the only people who can squeeze a profit right now are those that can keep the costs down…   Which arent many, because of the recent titanium xmute changes.  I personally have 6 stacks of Monarch Topaz that I will probably end up just crafting and vendoring, because I cannot even sell them at cost.

Yup, thats right, finding saronite to prospect is really an absolute stroke of luck, with the titanium change.  Every day, several times a day, I log on just to search saronite.  At 17-18g per stack, I cannot make a profit.  So, I have been relegated to *gasp* farming my own ore out with my dk alt.  Which is hard to do as well, because it is just so overfarmed.  So, be frugal, be stingy, be alert and vigilant for those few stacks that you can pull out of the AH at 15g or lower per stack.  Even if you have to “bid” instead of buyout.

All of that, on top of the upcoming 3.3.3 (?) changes with frozen orbs, and what was once a huge staple of cheap gems (and even the occasional epic), Icy Prisms are now just a gamble.  Savy investors have snatched up most orbs that are below 30G.  So unless you proc an epic or a ruby, you are most always at a loss (or barely break even).

A side effect, however, of most people leaving the JC market is a much, MUCH, lower supply of enchant mats.  During the heyday of the MMO-Champion guides it was not uncommon for 1-1.2g a dust and have 16-17 pages of it up.  Right now, its an average of 4 pages, and the dusts are up to about 2g each. (Yes, JC’ing really does bring in that much enchant mats)

Anyway, that is the state of JC right now.  Lets look at a few upcoming things that are going to effect the market:

  1. 3.3.5 (I am so tired of tracking version numbers) is going to bring The Ruby Sanctum as part of the content coming.  Being as it will most likely be an upper-tiered raid, it will likely not effect the market for blue-quality gems.  However, epic cuts are probably going to go up.  If you are stocking epic’s, this is probably the very LAST chance you will have to ditch them.  If you aren’t stocking epics, now is the time to be a mobile JC.
  2. Cataclysm World Event – If last years return of the Scourge Invasion event is any indication, the Cataclysm World Event is going to be a major source of final upgrades before the next x-pack.  They will likely not be the upper ended gear, but rather something to get your alts all decked out in purps just before you have to start replacing them back to greens again.  The blue-quality gem market is going to skyrocket again, as well the enchant mats.
  3. Cataclysm World Event (take 2) – At the same time that alts are going to be scooping up the purps like no tomorrow, this event is going to herald the upcoming expansion.  Of course that means that, other than just lvling professions, mats are going to be worth diddly squat.  Your guild, especially upper ended guilds, are going to be dumping what’s left of their guild vaults out on to the open market.  Likely, anyway they can make money, they are going to just dump whatever they have as fast as they can possibly dump it (I remember seeing Ump-teen hearts of darkness on the AH when Wrath was just about to launch).  If you have a large stock of anything at this point, you are going to experience EXTREME market fluctuation.  Make sure you liquidate most of your stock by this point.  You dont want to be caught up with 15 epcis that are going to be worth 75g.
  4. Cataclysm Launch – Remember the launch of Wrath?  The first day, there was 15 stacks of cobalt up on the AH, and it was 250-350G a stack.  Be mindful of this as we wind down.  Either have a toon that mines and send the ore to your main toon, or be ready to shell out a pretty few pennies to lvl your professions.  Or, of course, wait a few weeks until things calm down.  Remember, at the beginning of an expansion, there are few upgrades with gem slots.  Your primary source of income is going to be crafting jewlery, not gems.  Dont prospect that first bit of ore that you get.  There will be a sweet spot, and you will have to be smart enough to identify it, when the need starts to inflate in the gem market again.
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