The third JMTC Blogging Carnival has arrived and this month, Markco's asking what our favourite niche strategies are - I'm sure they'll be some gem-like tips from the community to satiate your gold appetites!
A niche market is the subset of the market on which a specific product is focusing; therefore the market niche defines the specific product features aimed at satisfying specific market needs, as well as the price range, production quality and the demographics that is intended to impact. (source)
I've said before that my playtime is limited and so when I log in I want to use that time to my best advantage, i.e. to make the most gold per hour I can. For me, this generally involves logging my enchanting toon first and restocking, cancelling and reposting, followed by my jewelcrafter doing the same. If I have time I'll pop on to my glyph posters and replenish the AH and then, if miraculously I've still got some time left then I'll log on my actual scribe, do the research, restock, make some vellums for the enchanter and try and get rid of some of the excess Snowfall Inks. When I've got a real chunk of time available (say once a week) I'll do some milling and crafting inks and might up my glyph stockpile by say 2 of each - I'm aiming to have a full stack of each come 4.0.
As such - any strategy that requires me to move out of my 'comfort zone' of the AH, Mailbox, the Bank and the Inscription Supplies vendors is unlikely to see much testing from me and the little experience I do have with some of them haven't turned out to be as profitable a use of my time as my standard routine, although many of them are fantastic for say, starting out on a new server or if you're in a position with a low capital outlay. Saying that, if you have more time on your hands then that sort of strategy can be a lovely supplement to your main sources of income.
What I'm going to talk about then are niches within the three markets I play most regularly; Enchanting, Jewelcrafting and Inscription. If you find that the materials are scarce - as is the case with [Essence of Water] on my server currently - then buy up all you can, up to a reasonable threshold, and buy them every time you see them. This will enable you to have better control over the market by forcing your competitors out (because unless they already have a stockpile, they cannot craft) and allowing you to dictate the price of the given end product - I currently cannot craft [Enchant Weapon - Healing Power] because of the scarcity of the mats and because I only recently acquired the recipe. I've put the key material for each item in brackets in each of the lists where the material in question is rare enough to be viable to control.
Enchanting - Heirloom Enchants
I'm only including those enchants which can be used right from Level 1. There are various shoulder enchants available starting at level 50 (but also require rep with various factions), and scopes for ranged weaponry available from Level 5. This list should help if you're interested in those.
The end of an expansion often means that people end up doing different things to what has been their focus for the last 2 years - levelling alts, trying their hand at the Auction House game or entering the world of Player vs Player combat, be it arenas, battlegrounds or just joining in in Wintergrasp. This means your tills will be ringing if you put a little effort into helping these new PvPers get prepared and keep their gear in top shape. On top of the usual gems for their classes, you should find that you're able to shift a fair few of these too:
Blue: Stormy, Solid ([Chalcedony], [Sky Sapphire], [Majestic Zircon])
Purple: Mysterious, Glowing, Puissant ([Shadow Crystal], [Twilight Opal], [Dreadstone])
Orange: Durable ([Huge Citrine], [Monarch Topaz], [Ametrine])
Green: Steady, Shattered ([Dark Jade], [Forest Emerald], [Eye of Zul])
Inscription - Darkmoon Cards of the North
If you've been dabbling in Inscription for a while, and particularly if you've concentrated on Glyphs rather than scrolls or vellums then you may have an excess of Snowfall Ink in your banks. Another think people are doing at the end of this expansion is hunting down achievements and [Insane in the Membrane] is a common target. For this, the player needs to gain exalted rep with the Darkmoon Faire - not an easy accompishment, but handing in decks created from Darkmoon Card of the North gives them 350 rep each time, and it will rinse through your Snowfall Inks. You should be prepared to make a ton of these before you start getting full decks, but it'll be worth it. Each of the minor decks (Chaos, Undeath, Prisms) should sell for between 500g and 1000g each and the Nobles Deck 2000g and above - as always prices are server dependent.
[Darkmoon Card of the North] ([Eternal Life])
So there you go - a few ideas for exploiting niches within my existing markets. What are your favourite niche strategies?