The preview window is too narrow, AMIRITE?
I have been able to log in to WoW very minimally the last two weeks. I took this as an opportunity to dump my normal markets of gems and patterns for a bit and focus my small amount of attention on transmogging. My initial week of testing was devoted to weapons only. Why? Because there are far fewer weapons than their are armor sets so jumping in the water isn't so deep. Also, the weapon is commonly the largest and most distinguishing piece of any look someone is making which makes them popular; for this same reason I consider shields in this "weapon class" as well. At the moment I am only dipping my toes into serious armor set flipping so this post will mostly discuss some things I have learned from weapon selling.
First, I am sure everyone wants some real numbers and to know this was a successful venture for me. I can say that without selling anything especially worthwhile I have seen 1.5k-2k average days for sales. Considering the initial cost of most of these items is very low and there are 400%+ markups on sale, much of that 2k is pure profit and this is all while devoting maybe 20 minutes to WoW, split throughout the day via a morning search and a night search. Obviously unloading an epic or a few 1kers scale the average upward from there and I've seen a few very nice days.
There are some common rules of Transmog Flipping that I have read, applied, tweaked, and otherwise come across that I would like to share:
- ~200 gold is a minimum price. I do not care if it is a lvl13 green of the gorilla, it is worth at least a few hundred gold. People are not buying these for the item itself but rather for the model and they will happily pay hundreds for it. In this same line of thought, do not undervalue your offerings. People tend to be more free with their wallets if popular models or rarer items are in question and will not often change their decision on model to buy just because some other model is cheaper. I find normal stuff can sale ~500, popular stuff can sale for ~1,000, If something's rarity extends it beyond that handle pricing item by item.
- Simple is nice, common is not. There seem to be two types of people that are buying BoEs to mog - Those looking for that famous set and they don't care that every person of their class wants in it as well, and those that want to be special snowflakes. You can cater to both. Scooping up cheap famous unique pieces can accomplish the first; the second you can fulfill by making sure you are offering every unique skin you can for their weapon type. It doesn't always matter that there aren't giant glowing effects or spikes on the weapon as long as that is the only weapon they see on the AH with that model.
- Avoid Northrend/Cata weapons except in rare very unique cases. There is sound logic behind this. 1) Deposit costs especially for two-handed weapons is quite high. You can list these weapons several times before selling so it can add up. 2) For Cata especially there are just more people getting these drops which means more competition and in many cases people just don't want to look new. I think this is a major reason that TBC era weapons are like solid gold as well. Our server also seems to have a "cata green pimp" that basically buys every cata green item that hits the AH and relists at 299 or 399.
- This is an alt's work. You will need good seed money to start up a stock of items to list on the AH and I suggest a dedicated character to post weapons and armors. It really isn't something you can TSM post like gems, glyphs, etc. This makes bag management all the more important especially as you start to build a pile that you aren't posting (multiples you bought out to preserve your high prices, etc). This isn't strictly required of course, but I think it makes things much easier.
- Polearm -> There are just not a lot of polearms available and what there is.....is blandness. Other than scythe-looking polearms I am really looking for one piece- Banner Slicer - which I know is Northrend and I just said avoid Northrend. Sue me. These sale quickly being one of the only BoE unique awesome polearms.
- 1H Mace -> A lot of them, but most are bland. The "doesn't look like a mace" stuff like bones and fish still sale even though I don't think you can transmog a fish (people don't research mogging rules first). My spotlight is the Silvermoon War-mace which is TBC era and very popular for obvious theme reasons.
- 1H Axe -> Simple really is nice for 1H axes. My best sellers have been smaller axes and different takes on plain design, stuff like the Axe of Rin'Ji .
- 2H Axe -> Huge market. You have the huge TBC era axes ala Crystalforged War Axe and company which are all fine sellers. Do not underestimate simply designed weapons in this type though. I've sold plenty of glorified lumberman axes.
- Shield -> The issue with shields is there are so few floating on the AH that people have likely snatched up those famous ones like Aegis of Stormwind and are trying to flip them back for insane prices of a few thousand (at least that is happening here). Of course get those if you can cheaply, but I look for green shields like the Screaming Shield that can easily fit into a theme. Shields that share models (that one has two brother BoE green shields with the same model) usually isn't a problem given the small amount of shields that ever hit the AH in the first place.
- 1H and 2H Sword -> I have lumped them together because they represent my largest market. There are giant flashy swords, katanas (extremely popular by the way) and other simple swords, every design for every customer. If I have to spotlight just a few it would be the Skettis Curved Blade for 1H - flashy hot pink sword for any self respecting man. For 2H check out the Training Sword which is the poster child of understated simple design. I sale them as quickly as I can post them because that "swordsmen in training" look is very popular at the moment.
- Everything else -> I check sometimes for unique looking stuff but either these aren't used enough (Fists) or there just isn't much uniqueness in the BoE scene (Guns) to really carry too many around for long. Daggers have the issue of being very restrictive with one hand vs main hand vs off hand.
I believe the market will continue to evolve and isn't a "transmog is new!" fad. It is well worth filling an alt's bags with too considering how little time it takes to stay on it and how wonderful a follow-up synergy it has with the Mobile Auction House, a feature that I plan a post on soon as well. I may follow up and report on how well armors have worked out for me once I have more concrete data from my server on such others. Other than the obvious like the cata green pimp this seems to be a rather untapped area for my neck of the woods.
I will be testing the waters on this blog thing for a bit and would appreciate any feedback from those that reach the page. You can reach me here in the comments, on Twitter @formerruling, and on my YouTube channel FormerRuling