A puzzle for you.

I came across this situation at 8am, after a long night of gem dealing.  Cut gem prices were very slow to sell all night but were maintaining a high price at 150g all night, until 7am, when a rogue trader entered the market and began undercutting cut gem prices by 1c every 5 seconds. Cut gem prices were rapidly falling from their night long high, and were plummetting towards the cost of the raw uncut gem.

What would you do if you saw this situation


Cut gems

149 99 97

149 99 98  (yours)

149 99 99

150 00 00 (yours)

151 478 99

151 49 00 (yours)

155 00 00 +  a dozen or so Other Sellers


Uncut gems 

149 00 00

Uncut gems usual price 

100 00 00


What would you do?

What do we know?

Uncut gems usual price is 100g.  Due to high supply of the uncut gems, within two hours the uncut gems supply will have fallen to the usual price of 100g.  With the fall of the uncut gems to 100g, cut gems will fall to 110-120g maximum.

Your competitor has just woken at 7am, ready for a long day ahead of gem trading.  He has little patience, wants to throw his expired auctions on the AH and get on with his game.  You, on the other hand, have been awake all night, and are ready for a good night kip, and must sell your cut gems at a profit.

If you don’t sell your gems now, then it is likely that your prices will fall from 150 ish to 100 ish when you log back in.  That’s a huge drop 150 to 100g.


What did I do?

I scared the competitor away using AH pvp.

Cut gems

120 00 00 (yours)

149 99 97

149 99 98  (yours)

149 99 99

151 478 99


The problem is that 120g looks like a deep LOSS.  I’m offering for sale the cut gem below the cost of the uncut gem.  The competitor CAN NOT compete with this. He thinks I’m crazy!  He refuses to undercut  below the uncut gem price.

I bought all my uncut gems at 100g, so 120g is a profit for me.  I have another 3+ stacks of gems ready to cut.

The competitor leaves the market. He stops undercutting me.

I wait 5 minutes. There is no reaction.  The morning is progressing.  I know that buyers will soon be arriving in the Auction House ready to pick up new gems.  I cannot risk that 120g gem staying there for long.  I post the rest of my gems:


Cut gems

120 00 00 (yours)

149 99 96 x 20 (yours)

149 99 97

149 99 98  (yours)

149 99 99

151 478 99



The 120g cut gem sells to someone who thinks they are lucky that they paid under the cut gem price. (I made 20g profit.)

Uncut gem supply increase, and the uncut gem price slowly lowers to 100g over the course of the day. (It wobbles around 100-140g for the next week.)

My competitor was scared away, he held back from selling at the moment.

My 20 x 149g 99s 96c  gems all sold.

The price of the cut gems then held steady at 150g.

My competitor had the opportunity to then post his gems at 150g later in the day and make his profit.

I made my profit. He made his profit.



I was relieved to be able to sell my cut gems at a good profit.  If I had not placed that fake undercut gem, then my gems would all have been 1c undercut, and I would not have made any sales.

I was glad that my gems all sold quickly at a high price, and left the buyers wanting more.

Because I only posted one warning shot, faking a deep undercut with the 120g, the other sellers backed away for a moment, allowing me to get rid of my stock.

As soon as my stock was gone, the prices reverted to the high 150g price.


A week later, the cut gem prices are still at 150g .. more or less.

twitpiAbout the Author

The Gold Queen is written by Alyzande. With many level 100s, 9 years expertise in making gold, 10 garrisons, 16k achievements, 1505 days played, and over 18m gold earned. The Gold Queen blog teaches you how to make gold playing World of Warcraft using ethical trading, auction house flipping, crafting, reselling snatch lists, and farming gold making.

7 replies
  1. Thordor
    Thordor says:

    I’d say you got lucky that your competitor was not much of a competitor. This is a common-sense and frequently found AH tactic for items that tend to only have 20 or less posted at a time. Rather than throwing yours up for 1c less for 48hrs and being instantly undercut again and again, you HAVE TO put them on the margin of profit. Again, I say you got lucky because you seem to have only posted 1 auction. If I were him in the situation, I would have just bought that gem one gem and threw them in my stack to sell at my price. For this to work CONSISTENTLY, you really should have put 5-10 up there. I am very surprised he didnt just come back and undercut you again afterwards. One of the best benefits of putting multiple on below our margin price is the fact that you can capitalize on what people have said above. Eighty percent of the time they’ll just undercut you again, recklessly letting the Auctioneer addon undercut you by 1c on refresh and posting what they can. This is the point where you can gain a monopoly on a market — buy them all out and set your price back to where it was. Granted, you need the resources to do this and the time required for selling all those gems back into the economy before your competitor returns.

  2. furby
    furby says:

    If he’s worth his weight in water, he’s already pegged your habits and is just waiting for you to head off to bed. Then he’ll post his at the usual asshattery of 1c lower than yours.

  3. epic
    epic says:

    this only works if your opponent is aware or cares about profit margins…most of my competitors are possibly the worst students of economics and having to be so vigilant for such jackassery it can become tiring…these people literally start throwing tantrums in /trade /gchat(if they only knew who i was) and in the AH itself it can be quite comical, but also quite disturbing that these adults(in most cases) react so poorly to competition… luckily i have more sense and gold them them all combined and have the ability to course correct but its just so silly how personally they take it.

  4. Pedro
    Pedro says:

    You’re talking about inferno ruby, right? Because at least in my server it’s the only profitable gem now. All the others gems have their price at something like 20g and the uncut price sometimes is even lower than you could sell them at the vendor! Seriously. I can not profit from JC anymore if I don’t have enough inferno rubies.

  5. piblus
    piblus says:

    Hi. I would say you are very lucky he backed off. I’m playing on quite low pop realm but gem market is preety rough. Everything was kept on reasonable level. Let’s say i was selling more or less for red=230 orange=70 purple=80. New guy came to the market and started to undercut almost by the half. Now gems are like red=140 orange=20 purple=20. Other selllers are undercuting by 1c as usuall but price stayed low. After a 2 weeks i tried aggressive undercut every gem to 8g except red. He didn’t back off he was just posting 1c under me to the point it reached vendor price for cut gem. At some point i thought i scared him off he didnt post for about 2 days so i posted on old good price when everyone was happy. The he’s coming back and posting on the lowest price everyting for less than 15 except red=120. Seems like the guy has unlimited gem supply.

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