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Auctions: Raw materials vs finished goodsFollow

#1 Jul 14 2011 at 8:32 AM Rating: Good
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Seeking other opinions.

I think I've found an almost perfect "mix" of professions - herbalism, alchemy and fishing. The potions that you produce ramp up rather quickly to some that are actually beneficial and the gathering and fishing provide raw materials. However, when it comes to selling your product at auction, none seem to come even close to skinning for profitability.

My question is this: once you amass sufficient herbs for your personal potion and elixir needs, is it better to sell the raw materials at auction or to first process them into finished products? My personal experience is that the raw herbs and fishies sell a lot better but don't bring much. There just doesn't seem to be much demand for potions and elixirs even though some of them are quite nice buffs.

Anybody else see this differently?
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#2 Jul 14 2011 at 10:55 AM Rating: Excellent
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I know a lot of folks want the raw materials so they can assemble the final product for guild achievements (cooking so many things, making so many flasks etc) But the actual price point varies from day to day and week to week as to which makes more sense to unload materials.
#3 Jul 14 2011 at 1:40 PM Rating: Excellent
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A lot of it is sever dependent and variable. Things go in cycles, and a person power-leveling a profession can really throw things around in the short term. Generally though I do what you've done, and dump excess raw mats directly onto the market. In my case they've usually been the better return on investment then the finished product (or at minimum a decent return with minimal time/thinking on my part).

There's certain recipes that will sell at a profit and those that wont. In my experience at least, blue-quality gear tends to turn a profit, as do certain hard-to-get recipes. You know, the market scarcity thing and what not, it does kick in on occasion. Assuming, of course, that the item is useful.

Alchemy is one of those professions I liked for the buffs. Those plus the food buffs when I was leveling was quite nice. When I was leveling the profession though a lot of the flasks never sold, and the potions rarely turned a profit. Things got a bit better at the cap, and there were always a few random things along the way (like frost oil for example) that were harder to get the recipes for, and tended to make money.

Really you'll want to try and be a bit shrewd and price check a few of the different raw + finished projects, as things will change over time. Getting an addon that tracks market prices can be a nice addition as well.


Edited, Jul 14th 2011 12:41pm by someproteinguy
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#4 Jul 20 2011 at 12:08 AM Rating: Default
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Alchemy products do not sell well on my server. Given that few elixirs, flasks, or potions are all that needful while leveling that makes sense. It seems to me that such items are mostly needed in raids and since pre-cata raiding is somewhat rare these days there is not much demand. However its possible that some pre-cata transmutes might sell (depends on server of course).

Edited, Jul 20th 2011 2:09am by JDLKY
#5 Jul 20 2011 at 5:29 AM Rating: Excellent
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Unless you are the right spec (Potion, Elixir, or Transmute), what I've found with Alchemy is that the profit per recipe is so thin it's almost not worth it. There are people that will literally sell their crafted goods at-cost and wait for a proc to make any kind of profit.

If you want to and have the time to spend on it, you can check the prices on your server daily and see what will net you more cash; selling crafted goods or the raw materials. If you just want to clear out your inventory and sell NOW, raw materials move the fastest, although usually for less profit.
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#6 Jul 20 2011 at 9:36 AM Rating: Good
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Since posting the original question, I've concluded that thee is no real profit to be had from alchemy, although for the right classes (e.g.rogue) the cures and buffs are personally useful. Cost being negligible, I make only what I need for me or to level and sell what I don't use to merchants for virtually nothing. Selling my excess herbs is the only real profit and its only so-so on the server in question. From experience on another server with a blood elf hunter, the REAL cash is to be made by eschewing a production skill and just gathering to sell at auction. Skinning ramps up pretty fast and leather prices are solid across the board. Herbalism is good but not AS good. Haven't tried mining yet.
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#7 Jul 20 2011 at 11:46 AM Rating: Excellent
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Mining is usually good money as well. I don't know what your economy is like, but you could ditch alchemy for inscription if you want. You can still use the scrolls for buffs, and gylphs sell better than flasks (on my servers at least).
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#8 Jul 20 2011 at 12:09 PM Rating: Excellent
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On my server, the daily volatile transmute is still worth around 200 (170 for 15 life converted to 15 air/water, 30 for three or so random procs). This is competitive with dailies for other professions that have them.

I make cauldrons for when my Paladin is in a guild group, so my usual strategy is to cruise the AH daily for price breaks - over a month I can get my product for at least 10-20% under the running mean sale price. Then at the end of that month or so, I pay the 300 to switch from transmute to elixir back to transmute, flasking everything I had bought. The procs pay for the mastery switch and more, and the mat prices allow me to be competitive, especially if I list in the proper stack size at the proper times for my server. In the end, I get my cauldrons and a reasonable compensation for the time I invested.

Oh, and there's an exotic pet vendor real near the transmute mastery teacher...
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