Friday, April 23, 2010

Server Transfer Experiment

I've had a low lvl DK on the Mal'ganis PvP server for a couple months now so I could experience an extremely high population realm. It also has a massive Horde majority. After seeing the all-too-appetizing prices of epics and popular items, I decided on another experiment.

I planned out a server transfer with my 80 mage for a buy/sell run to Mal'ganis and back. A transfer limits your toon to 20k gold but you do get all your bank and bag space to bring items. To be ready, I needed a few things.
  • I'd need to build up a stock of easily sellable items so I could liquidate them quickly once transfered.
  • I'd need to get constant scans of both servers AH to have the most reliable values for markets.
  • I'd need to buy up items with my Mal'ganis DK early, to maximize what my mage could bring back.
  • I'd need to plan out a minimum profit margin for each bank slot since space is limited.

After researching items that I'd make profit on or at least retain close to 100% of the value, I filled up my bank and bags and set off. I figured I'd have an extra 35k in items to liquidate, but I fared even better and was able to quickly sell the inventory for more than 40k, bringing my shopping budget to 60k. Now the fun started.

Using the Arbitrage feature on Auctioneer, you can cross reference the value of items BETWEEN servers. You just need to make sure you have a large time frame of scans from both so your numbers are reliable. A simple scan and click then sorts all of the AH for you, telling you what your expected profit will be on each item. To give you an idea of margins, here are a few examples:

Plans : Titanium Razorplate - 350g on Mal'ganis, 2.6k @ home, 743% value
Ring of Rotting Sinew - 3k on Mal'ganis, 9.5k @ home, 317% value
Rowan's Rifle of Silver Bullets - 1k on Mal'ganis, 4k @ home, 400% value
Eternal Life - 9g on Mal'ganis, 22g @ home, 244% value
Ptn : Royal Moonshroud Robe - 90g on Mal'ganis, 2.1k @ home, 2333% value

The profit margin per item is half the equation though, since you have to take into account whether the item stacks or not. For example, the Eternal Life is worth more than double after a transfer, but it only stacks to 20 making a single bank slot only worth 260g profit. Conversely, epics take up a slot each, being unstackable. However their profit per slot is much higher.

Because of this, I spent the large majority of my gold on these items. With my realm being significantly behind Mal'ganis on raid progression, 264 BoEs are still highly valuable and desired. This is what my bank space looked like on the transfer back.

My mage has been back for one day and I've already unloaded 40k in items. I'm trying to stick to trade chat sales to save the 5% fees. Since I'm looking at around 200k in value from the total items, I'd rather not waste 10,000g in auction house fees.