Tobold's Blog
Friday, October 31, 2008
Why are there no enchantments on the auction house?

One of the great improvements of patch 3.0.2 to World of Warcraft was that enchanters can now cast their enchants on relatively cheap scrolls, and sell them that way on the auction house. They don't have to stand in cities any more, spamming the trade channel and waiting for customers. And they can now easily sell scrolls even for not-so-popular enchants, because somebody will always want those too. Only, it isn't happening. There are very few "scroll of enchant ..." on the auction house of my server, and then only for prices multiple times those of the ingredients.

Did all enchanters just give up and learn inscription instead? Or why aren't there any regular priced scrolls of enchant on the auction house? Why are there still enchanters spamming the trade channel, instead of putting their wares on auction and going to do something more fun?
I think it's inertia, combined with the fact that no one wants to be the first to gamble on selling enchants which might become obsolete in two weeks. Remember that the standard method of selling enchants usually has the buyer providing materials. That's very little risk exposure for the enchanter. Who want's to get stuck with hundreds of gold in an obsolete enchant?

Once people get close to 80, and the demand for enchants for new gear picks up, then we'll see if enchanters start moving to the enchant scrolls, as they'll be more confident that the scrolls will sell.
I think Rohan nailed it
If you are an enchanter, you may or may not actually have the mats. I have some mats, but not all. Why would I want to buy mats, enchant a scroll, and pray someone wants the enchant? If they don't want it, I'm out the FMV of the mats and am stuck with a useless scroll.

I'm pretty sure once everyone is at level 80 and people know what enchants min/max their stats, enchanters will make scrolls...but even then, enchanting a scroll better give a skill-up, otherwise, I'm not gambling my money on a scroll.

Also, heres an idea, that I'm sure won't be implemented.

Make it so that a scroll gets an enchant "mold" on it, and the person who wants the enchant can simply buy the mold, and with the correct mats, make the enchant...much like talisman making in Warhammer. To me, that would be a better system, making it so that I don't have to burn hundreds of gold in my mats to maybe make 5g. Remember, most enchanters either charge 5-10g per enchant, or rely on tips. Spending 150+g on a scroll to make a whopping 5-15g isn't really worth it. Is it?

I think a talisman-esqe scroll would be perfect, allowing an enchanter to buy a scroll and put a mold on it, so that the person who wants the enchant just adds the mats and voila!
Exactly what Rohan said. When spamming trade chat, there is little to no cost of entry; an almost not even noteworthy amount of effort and a little bit of time. When you try and sell a scroll of enchant you have a HUGE cost of entry, the entire enchant, and then you are gambling on a system that isn't even tested and, frankly, not even everyone knows is in. With so many changes to 3.0 it was lost in a flood.

Even if you have the mats yourself when selling over the trade chat, it's completely nebulous material. It can still be made into anything (more or less, obviously there are specifics, but we are just talking shards, essences, and dust) depending on what the market is demanding. If you fail to sell one enchant during a day, you could always decide to try and sell another at another time, or even sell the mats. With the scroll of enchant you are locked into that enchant, if the market for that enchant bottoms out, well, you have on your hands a useless item that you may have to sell at a loss or not sell at all.

Also, how about the fact that people frequently have random shards/primals on them (if they don't sell) that could go towards the making of an enchant, lowering the price they pay for it compared to the fact that no matter what materials they have they are paying full price+the enchanter's chosen fee.

Oh, and another thing, frequently people can get their enchants with no cost beyond the mats, because EVERYONE has a friend or guildie who has the enchant and will do it for free. Buying from the AH forgoes that benefit as well.
wasnt the purpose of this whole system to be able to enchant your alt's gear? doesn't that work just fine?
I actually stockpiled up enchanting mats before patch 3.02. I am now selling those mats in the form of enchant scrolls at 20-25% higher than the amount I would've made selling just the mats. Also helps that enchanting mats on my server got significantly more expensive after 3.02. The buyers are there, but I think people don't realize that there's such a market.
If you are an enchanter, you may or may not actually have the mats. I have some mats, but not all. Why would I want to buy mats, enchant a scroll, and pray someone wants the enchant? If they don't want it, I'm out the FMV of the mats and am stuck with a useless scroll.

But that is exactly how every other profession in WoW works. When did you last see an alchemist shouting that he'd make your potions, bring your own mats? And with enchanting the problem is that if I am not an enchanter, there is no way I could possibly bring *my own* mats, because there is no way I could gather them. All enchanting mats are made by enchanters. So why do I first have to buy an enchanters materials, then go back to him, hand him back the materials he made himself, and get my enchantment? There is no difference between being stuck with a useless scroll and being stuck with useless dusts and shards.
Enchanters don't all have all necessary mats for enchants. You get very few Large Prismatic Shards unless you regularly get to disenchant level 70 blues for yourself. Same with Void Crystals. I bet every enchanter has the bank full with Greater Planar Essences and dust, but none of the meatier stuff. Then there are all the enchantments that require Primals.

I think you picked a bad example. Alchemists might be the exception. I am a blacksmith and engineer, and if people want stuff from them, they better bring their own mats.
I think you will see the impact of enchantment scrolls during the leveling process to 80. Nowadays most of the enchants needed are high-level enchants like mongoose, executioner, soulfrost etc. which are all very expensive. There is just too much financial risk involved for the enchanter and too little reward.

While leveling, however, there will be many cheap enchants available and - for the first time - enchanters will be able to sell them efficiently. I mean, honestly, who did get that +2 weapon damage enchant on a blue dungeon drop? It simply took too much time to find an enchanter and get the enchanting done. The only non-endgame enchants I got were made to get skillpoints for guildmates.

The most important thing about Scrolls ist that they make leveling the enchanting-profession easier because you can enchant independently of your customers.
cause im not outlaying the current market cost of mats to be undercut on the AH and be forced to compete for its value just to get my money back
The peculiar bit is that while there are no enchantments on the AH, all the vellum I put up for sale gets bought out right away. Someone's using it, just not making it public.
When I played WoW I sold almost zero end products on the AH. All but a handful of items were worth far less than the mats that went into them. I made end products for alts and guildies, and that was it. I don't think enchanting would be any different for me if I were still playing.
Almost every tradeskill does not get the mats, make the item and sell it. While skilling up I think it will be more common. Allows the enchanter to sell the mats instead of waste them 100%.
People are forgetting that people will pay lots for convenience.

Random person with lots of gold will gladly pay a CRAP LOAD MORE for an enchant if they can just go to the AH and buy it in an instant.
Especially if that person is logged on during off-peak hours, or just doesn't like having to research what the materials are, buy them, and then find an enchanter willing to do the enchant and trust the enchanter to hand over the materials.

When you think about all the hoops someone has to jump through to get something enchanted, I think people would be more than willing to pay A LOT for just being able to purchase it from the AH.
I'd echo the comments made earlier about the risk of locking your materials into a specific enchant and add that a lot of enchants also need primals, e.g. the major healing enchants need Primal Life. I don't intend to farm, or buy, primals to make an enchant that might go unsold this close to WotLK.

Another factor is that changes introduced in 3.0.2 have made some enchants redundant but not everyone realises this yet. One of my guild members was asking for the major healing on weapon enchant, until I pointed out that the +heal/+spell dmg -> +spellpower change means that it's cheaper in materials to use spell power.
@ Aler

I've bought a couple vellum with my enchanter, who is currently leveling the skill. The way I typically level tradeskills is that I save up mats for awhile, then level a whole bunch at once, maybe 20-40 points at a time. Enchanting is one of the most annoying skills to level like this, because you can't just say, "cast this enchant 20 times", hit a button, and walk away. You have to click on the enchant, click on the gear you are enchanting, then click "yes I want to overwrite the old enchant" dialogue box (since you're probably enchanting the same piece of gear over and over again), every single time. The vellums at least take out the overwrite part of it, so they've been worth buying for me. But the resulting enchant scrolls don't sell, so I just vendor or save them. That may be the reason you're moving some vellum though.
On my server Armor Vellum II usually runs for 50G+, I've never seen Weapon Vellum of any quality. Until I see the price drop I won't be able to afford to add the cost of Vellum to the already high cost of enchanting mats.
I have the same problem as Arrow. The Vellum II scrolls are around 20-30g each on my server and usually only sold in large stacks. Most players are allready used to having things disenchanted by guild mates or on alts and then tracking down enchanters as they need them.

As an enchanter that was barely getting 5-10g a tip for doing most enchants but the handful of rare ones that I have how can I expect someone to pay the cost of mats + 25g (cost of the vellum) + enough gold to make it worth my time. Really the cost of the vellum is what holds the entire idea back. Lower value enchants that only use say 20-40g in mats can't be mass produced by enchanters for the AH due to the cost of the vellum. Why would anyone pay 60g for an enchant that costs 30g in mats and is readily available from any trainer?

Also as was allready mentioned the "better" enchants all use very expensive materials and many players are very likely to have collected a good bit of them on their own. Why pay the 1000g that an executioner enchant would cost all at once on the AH when a player is very likely to have collected half the cost themselves just over the past week or two of play?

Lastly as an enchanter I more than 90% of the money I have made from my profession has been from disenchanting and selling those materials on the auction house.

I am TRYING to make this work but think that in the end I will have simply wasted a ton of gold. I have a Sunfire weapon enchant up on the AH for cost of mats (I allready had them all) + cost of vellum + 50g. It has been returned to me 3 times thus far. I also have a spellpower to bracers up there that hasn't been sold. The only ones that I have had luck selling is resilience to chest and vitality to boots. I would imagine that with the expansion something like Boar's Speed would start selling very well as people are leveling up.
The answer is simple really. You cannot make money selling items on the AH for ANY Profession that can be used to skill up. (The exception is blue JC cuts because those recipes are rare.)

Enchanters can skill up free spamming trade or lose money to skill up and sell at a loss on the AH...why on earth would you use the AH?
I leveled enchanting on a toon I was powerleveling myself through dungeons from 20-50. I was able to disenchant all the greens and blues to make leveling much cheaper, and because the toon is on a second account, I am able to enchant all of my toons.

For the most part, as an enchanter you don't make a lot of money doing enchants. While leveling, I would offer free enchants if people brought their mats, for the skill-up points. If people gave me a tip, excellent. But quite often, I wouldn't be given a tip, and I didn't ask a fee.

Once I hit 375, I noticed that even with enchants you had to farm or get a drop, people don't like fees, so you have to go by tips. Tips are nice since I'm just searching for an enchant and clicking a button. But as an enchanter, I don't go out of my way doing enchants for the "public", since it isn't a profession that will make you rich. Mining, herbalism, alchemy, jewelcrafting are all professions I have, and can make 30x the money in the same time spent profession-ing.

The vellums are a great idea. And for people with just 1 account, are excellent for being able to enchant your other toons gear. But look at the enchanting mats for some of these enchants. Whether healing, spellpower, Mongoose, etc, I just don't have the 400g worth of mats on me. To go and buy mats and lock them into 1 scroll and hope, as I said before, that it sells and I can at least make my money back, is just not worth it. Especially when I can sell the mats raw, use the same mats to make different enchants on a moment's notice...or just /2 [Enchanting] and let them come to me. If I don't have 6 primal lifes, 6 void crystals, and another 150g worth of mats on me, why would I risk buying the mats, enchanting a vellum...and then someone undercutting me for the same vellum because they are skilling up and aren't worried about profits?

I'm also a herbalist/alchemist on a toon. I'll check to see "have materials" and see what is most expensive on the AH, and then make a few elixirs now and then. But I'm not going to spend my gold to maybe make a profit back. I can sell herbs raw and make more money a lot of the time. I can also "/2 Elixir Master lfw" and get tells from people, all with their own mats, wanting elixirs. No risk to me, since all my risk was front-loaded in leveling the damn profession.

Maybe different servers have different economies, but on my server, crafters usually require the person bring their own mats. The vellums would be a lot more worthwhile if they were just a mold, as I said before. Inscriptors make money. Enchanters buy the vellum, imprint a mold, and sell it to people who want enchants. People who want enchants buy the mats required and get their enchant, all without each of the people having to be online at the same exact time. But asking an enchanter to possibly lose money on a profession that was expensive leveling up, and a profession where you aren't always going to have the mats...ugh.
Nuff, I'd disagree. I got Skill-ups in Engineering making the Deadly and Accurate Scopes, and I sold every one I made at a significant profit. In fact they were so profitable that I continued to make Scopes even after the Recipe had turned gray because it helped fund further Skill-ups.

There are profitable recipes/items out there, I suspect for every profession. You just have to find them.
I'm going to guess that most people haven't even figured out that there was a change to enchants given how long the patch notes were for 3.0.2. So by merely asking the question, Tobold will probably make enchants more likely to appear in the AH.
The variety of comments here sums it up well: enchanters are afraid of risking their investment (especially on expensive enchants like Mongoose). Relatively few enchanters have Scribe alts to make Vellum in quantity. And some potential buyers don't even know you can buy enchants that way.

That makes it an enormous market opportunity. I hit the gold cap earlier this week (214k) partially through selling enchants (screenshot linked off my blog.) I marked up Mongoose at 200g over my cost of mats. Void crystals are even cheaper nowadays because of the scourge invasion event. The only reason I've stopped is that I don't want any more gold; I'll never be able to spend it all, even if I bought the most expensive WotLK items for all of my alts.

The funny thing is, within a few hours of posting, some robot found my blog and posted a gold-selling ad comment (I had enabled Captcha, which they must have circumvented.) So after I deleted the comment, I turned on full comment moderation.
Expansion time! Old enchantments will be obsolate in weeks, not worth the effort, I would say.
Agree with all the posts about risking materials. Another contributing factor could be that the AH actually will drive enchanting prices down. I haven’t enchanted much since before-BC, but as a enchanter I actually preferred the spam Trade system. Back then, I tended to sell the enchants and provide my own mats. With people just spamming Trade, people couldn’t compare prices as easily, so you had much more leeway in what you charged. The economics principle is an inefficient market favors those with the information advantage. And generally speaking enchanters know more about enchanting than the general population they are selling to.
In my experience enchanters don't normally have mats. It's been years since I bought an enchantment that I did not provide the mats for. I never could quite figure out how it was that enchanters felt they should get all the shards from loot in instances that nobody wanted - and many of them will try to insist upon it - because they never did sell enchants with mats. They just charge a fee for the service and expect the mats to be handed to them.
I have to say that I totally forgot about enchants in the AH and I *knew* about it! One factor that I don't see anyone talking about is that with WotLK imminent, many people will forego powerful enchants as their gear gets replaced from 70 to 80. No sense in wasting the time and money to make enchants that players will not buy for another month or more. I expect that once a large enough base of players reach 80 and secure end-game gear that meaningful enchants will begin to appear in the AH.
I always found offering enchanting services in the chat channel a negative experience. People want you to run to them and they don't want to tip. They want you to tell them what materials they need to get, sometimes more than once. It is repetitive and mind numbing.

With the new vellums, one can cut around all that. Just enchant them, chuck them on the AH and wait. There is no listing fee for Scroll of Enchant X on the AH, just like there is none for enchanting materials.

The buyers can get their hard to find enchant right away, with no risk of being cheated, in any major city of Azeroth. The sellers don't need to put up with whiny or slow buyers. The price is usually mats + markup for the enchant, and that works quite well. Buyers can not discuss with the AH. =]

Of course, this is more useful if you have an enchant that people will ask for in trade chat because it isn't that easy to find! Funny enough, Major Spellpower Weapon sells better than even Dexterity, Boar's, Fortitude, Battlemaster or Resilience on Chest out of my list of non-common enchants.

Yes, the expansion is just around the corner, but people buy gems and enchants anyway because they just got new shiny loot from the nerfed raid dungeons.
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