Sunday, October 11, 2009

Profit with Inscription and Darkmoon Cards

I've neglected crafting Darkmoon Card of the North for a very long time. It didn't seem very profitable for me to craft these cards but recently I found myself with tons of Snowfall Ink on my hands and I needed to get rid of it somehow. I'm slowly selling my stock of Ink on the Auction House but the keyword here is "slowly". I produce Snowfall Inks faster than I can sell them. Inscription has proven lucrative for me lately, in spite of certain recent upheavals in the industry.

One of the things you can craft with Snowfall Ink is obviously the random Darkmoon Cards which can be turned in at the Darkmoon Faire for a nice ilvl 200 BoE trinket. The catch here is that out of the 4 decks (Nobles, Undeath, Chaos and Prisms) the most valuable one by far is the Nobles, followed by Undeath. The others are mediocre and there's not a huge demand for them. As a consequence, the cards that have the highest value are the ones from the Nobles deck. Each of the Nobles cards sells for several hundred gold on the AH, while the whole deck (or the trinket) sells for upwards of 4000 gold.

So I had to get rid of some of my Snowfall Ink and luckily I also had over 2 full stacks of Eternal Life sitting around gathering dust. As a reminder, to craft a Darkmoon Card, the mats are:
1x Resilient Parchment @ 40 silver
6x Snowfall Ink @ 23 gold each (let's assume, although it's much cheaper for me because I mill my own herbs and I pick them up really cheap)
3x Eternal Life @ 15 gold each (I'm being pessimistic because I picked lots of these for less than 8 gold each on the AH)
3x Ink of the Sea @ 3 gold each (again, these cost me a lot less but I'm being pessimistic)
Total cost for 1 Darkmoon Card: ~192 gold. Realistically, my actual cost was probably around 100 gold or even less.

I had mats for 14 cards, being limited by Eternal Life. So I started crafting and went AFK for a couple of minutes. When I returned, I was surprized. The results were:
2 Undeath Cards - total estimated AH value: 130 gold
3 Chaos Cards - total estimated AH value: 140 gold
3 Prisms Cards - total estimated AH value: 130 gold
6 (!!!) Nobles Cards - total estimated AH value: 3300 gold

Total estimated cost to craft 14 cards: 2690 gold (although it's much less since I didn't buy the mats from the AH)
Total estimated value of 14 crafted cards: 3700 gold
Total estimated profit: 1000 gold

All this is looking pretty damn good. Of course, this 1000 gold profit can be increased by selling the cards at the optimum time. There are several options here:
  1. Sell the cards now. Prices should be high but demand might be low.
  2. Sell the cards when the Darkmoon Faire arrives. Prices will drop a lot due to competition but demand will be high.
  3. Buy missing cards cheaply when the Darkmoon Faire arrives, complete decks and sell the decks. Market might be flooded with decks at that time though.
  4. Buy missing cards cheaply when the Darkmoon Faire arrives, complete decks and exchange the decks for the BoE trinkets. Wait 1-2 weeks after the Faire and then sell the trinkets.
Out of all these options the best and most profitable one seems to be nr. 4. The logic here is to buy missing cards as cheap as they get and then sell the actual trinket (and not the completed Darkmoon Deck) in between Faires. If I sold the completed deck, people would still need to wait until the next Faire in order to turn it in. If I sell the BoE trinket, some people would need that trinket right now and would pay a premium to obtain it before the next Faire arrives.

To improve upon this method, I have a good mind to actually craft as many cards as possible, with my own low-cost mats. The only problem here is the Eternal Life component but I will try to buy that as cheaply as possible from the AH. I will even pick a few of them with my herbalist Warlock who is still in the process of leveling and who needs to start questing in Sholazar Basin where a lot of herbs are.

Don't think that this method will work indefinitely. Although the Darkmoon trinkets (especially the ones from the Nobles and Undeath decks) are pretty cool, they are only ilvl 200. What with Trial of the Crusader being more popular by the day and with patch 3.3 looming closer, a lot of high-end trinkets will become more common, thus lowering the value of the Darkmoon trinkets. These trinkets will still remain very popular for players who've just hit 80 but veterans will probably stay away from them.


Dalaila (ShadowsongEU) said...

I'm not a scribe but I do this each month: I buy the cheapes Undeath deck I can find on AH (usually 450-500G), turn it at the faire to get the Deck trinket... then wait some days after the faire end. The trinket usually goes for 900-1000G via trade channel. A net profit of 500G just buying the deck on AH.

Even with 3.3 I am sure Death and Nobles trinkets will still be very popular. They are iLevel 200 but should be at least 213 in my opinion. A freshly dinged 80 who can get his hands on them would be VERY happy.

Drops from Toc are great but... they are random. And randomness sometimes can force you to wait months (or forever).

Celebrandil said...

I guess this highly depends on server economy; the prices are considerably lower where I play. If you have too many guilds raiding high end 10- and 25mans, there won't be too many potential buyers for these cards/trinkets because they can get their hands on better ones.

I play Horde faction which is much smaller than Alliance, and our prices are much lower.

Darth Solo said...

Both of you are right. Each server's economy is different so results may vary from one to the next.

I just crafted a further 18 cards and this time I only got 2 Nobles cards. If I were to go by Auction House prices, my costs for all 32 cards are slightly higher than what I would sell them for. But then again, the only thing that I buy at AH prices is the Eternal Life.

Zymry said...

If you plan to sell the greatness trinket rather than the deck how will you decide WHICH greatness trinket .. there are 4 one for strength, int, agil, and I believe spirit

Darth Solo said...

@Zymry good one. I know there are 4 trinkets. I guess I'll pick from str and agi, perhaps int.