Monday, May 9, 2011

Undercutting and How To Deal

I got an email from a reader asking about dealing with undercutting. Here is the reader email:

I was wondering what do you do with people that undercut drastically (such as from 40g to 1g or something like that) and puts a ton of it up?  Right now I am just leaving it alone and won't go below a certain price that I have set.  Is this the right move?

First, thank you Juslar for the email! Second, Don't panic!! Now, without knowing specific markets that this undercutting is occurring, it's hard to give some specific tactics that may help.

For example, when dealing with glyphs, it is a common tactic to use deep undercutting in order to "scare" off competitors.

That is one market that can be extremely volatile. From my experience in the AH, that has been the most difficult market to get into and stay in, with deep undercutting.

But all other markets there are usually things you can do to get a handle on the situation. You can send a message to the people undercutting, and find out their background. Find out why they are deciding to undercut by so much. You can explain that undercutting will bring the price down, and could drastically lower profits, on everything else dealing with that one item.

Another thing you could do, is play their game for a while and watch what happens. Let the person know that you can play their game as well. Try deeply undercutting their markets, and see how they react. Do they quit posting for a while? Do they completely disappear? Watch their posting schedule via the Undermine Journal, or by adding them to friends list.

In my opinion, I would play their game for a bit, just to see how they react. It may work in your advantage and they may leave you with the market. If the undercutting continues or gets worse, then you may want to continue leaving the market alone for a while, and try again at a later time. Playing their game, may mean you lose out on some gold, so make sure you are aware of this. If they can play the game better, you may need to cut your losses and move on, but you will never know what will happen till you try.

Make sure you have back-ups plans in place in case you get pushed out of the market. continue leveling toons, and getting the most professions you can, and using every profession to your advantage. Make sure you are always using your professions to the maximum potential, so when you get pushed out of a market, you have other markets to jump into.

Hopefully this will help you out Juslar. If you have any other questions or need more assistance, send me an email!

Have any of you every dealt with deep undercutting? If so, how have you dealt with it? Let me know in an email or drop a comment below!


  1. Nice post, but I have a different issue.

    Basically, I'm dealing with an AH camper. His TUJ profile shows "blue" squares everywhere except during Tuesday maintenance.

    The markets are two of my best--enchaning scrolls and gems.

    He will undercut and repost within seconds of my posts. His TUJ profile shows that he sells every cut I have (and more) and every scroll I sell--minus a very small number of rep reward scrolls.

    Once he posts, he will just sit in front of the auctioneer so even when he appears away he can still cancel/repost. I never know if he is actually there or not.

    He is on my "friends list" for every one of my alts. If he does happen to log off it is usually less than an hour. If I'm not on my AH toon I log off him and cancel/repost myself--for a short window of possible sales.

    To make it worse, there are two other campers against whom I have to compete--but they are L85s who occasionally do TB or dungeons, so I can see where they are (friends list FTW) and post accordingly.

    I can't undercut him as he will just buy my items and relist them. I have tried waiting him out but this has been going on for weeks with no sign of abatement.

    What advice do you have for this scenario?

  2. excellent comment about using the power of the Undermine Journal to track schedules. I've used this feature quite a bit, and where it fits into my schedule I track them as a "friend" and as soon as I see the log on and off, I can run back to my AH too and see what kind of response I need to make if any

  3. Depending on your bankroll, you might look at this less as competition and more as "free gold". I had a similar issue last night when I started inscription big time. Several glyphs that sell for median of ~39g were being sold for 1-3g. I bought them out and put those and the ones I had made back up for 39g. Now, if somebody keeps doing it, I can't watch the AH ALL the time so its not practical, but if it was just somebody skilling up and dumping what they had made, they basically just handed me 30g per glyph!

  4. @Anonymous

    I read where it said he is buying your materials and relisting them. Is he buying the same exact materials as you or YOUR materials? If hes buying your materials perhaps you can speak to this guy and maybe you can make your gold by selling directly to him so you can avoid the hassle of undercutting and make a decent rate of gold without deposite fees and ah fees.

    If hes buying other materials then even though he may have the same cuts as you, it might be best to bark these gems in the trade chat during prime time(and tuesdays especially after raids). If anything though make gems 12h durations and scrolls 48h durations if you insist on the ah at times though. The reasoning behind this is not only will your deposites be cheaper, but it allows you to be more flexible with undercutting without canceling too early on 24/48 hour durations and using 2x or 4x the gold on gems. Scrolls are 1silver deposite no matter the duration as well as glyphs, and enchanting materials.

    Also look into getting TradeSkill Master as it is a bit weird and difficult to set up at first but my rate of gold has went from average 2-3k gold a day to 6-7k gold a day(with different professions of course), and I am saving time.

  5. Princess:

    I'm writing this at 10:50 pm EST (server time). I will note activity as I write.

    He is buying same mats, not MY mats. He is full on head to head in competition. (I just posted 112 auctions).

    We buy at the same time. I can shift+click to buy and if I'm not fast enough or if there is lag on my end the auctions get bought by him out from under me. I have confirmed this on TUJ by looking at the product sales and who bought for a given time frame. Our buys are in the same minute, back and forth. (He went from "away" to posting; I canceled 44 auctions).

    I post all day every day--true I sell more gems and chants around raid times but I sell plenty at other times as well. (Picked up my cancels. Reposted all 44 auctions--sold two rubies and one ember topaz).

    I'm not interested in barking in chat--I then have to stay on and deal with all the crappy people's whispers, negotiate buy prices, and figure out where to meet. My AH character is under L10 so I don't have flying or riding. Running to the other side of Stormwind to meet someone for a sale is a time suck. (had to cancel 31 auctions, he UC me).

    I run over 500 auctions most of the week. I have around 1,000 on weekends. I'm new to the Jewlcrafting market so he would say I'm the intruder into his market. (reposted my cancels; sold 3 gems and a scroll)

    All my major auctions are in TSM. My gems are all 12h and scrolls are 12h. That way if I missout on something and forget to cancel it will expire soon and I can repost sooner.

    It only takes me a very few seconds to cancel and repost. Thats not the issue. Having to hang out at the AH all day to protect my auctions is a major pain in the ass. (sold two Brilliant Inferno Rubies). Didn't have to do that before.

    I have him friended on all my characters but he just sits logged all day. If he logs out it is only after he goes /afk from inactivity. He stays logged in so other players won't know if he is really there.

    Before I got active in Jewlcrafting I was making 8k to 10k per day during the week and around 15k per day on weekends. I'm now making 13k or so during the week and 25k per day on weekends. That is after expenses. Today I have earned 15,103 (auditor) after expenses. I need to restock so that will go down to around 10k but will creep up before bed.

    I can deal with normal AH players. This guy isn't normal. Are there any tips or tricks you have to offer? I'm willing to lose money to punch him in the throat. I just don't really know how. (he is /afk. sold another Bold Inferno and an Resolute Ember).

  6. Anonymous,

    I want you know, I am writing a post just for you right now. Watch the blog tomorrow for my post, and feel free to email me if you want. If my post doesn't help you, let me know, I have a few friends that may have some more insight!

  7. Looking forward to it. Thanks.

  8. " You can send a message to the people undercutting, and find out their background. Find out why they are deciding to undercut by so much.You can explain that undercutting will bring the price down, and could drastically lower profits, on everything else dealing with that one item."
    Gevlon in his blog posts screenshots of people doing exactly that and is calling them morons who don;t know how deep undercutting works!