While I do focus what little playtime I have on my low account more and more, I would like to cover the version of the Mysterious Fortune Card (MFC) lottery I have been experimenting with on my high account. If you have for some reason not heard of this very lucrative market yet, Cold of Cold's Gold Factory has done a couple of very excellent pieces on this (Edit: the most recent one even today). Go read up on it.
On my high server, I have the very fortunate situation, that although people are crafting these cards, no one is barking in trade chat to advertise them. What basically happened is that I created the market. Two to three weeks ago, I dropped a redundant Tailoring skill on one of my chars and spent roughly 6,000 Gold to powerlevel Inscription to 450. I felt I didn't have much to lose, since I never saw anyone advertising the MFCs in trade chat and my sales in other markets were picking up slowly, so I would have recuperated from a disaster in about a weeks time.
That weekend I made back my leveling cost and roughly 1,000 Gold on top only through the power of advertising in trade chat. I sold 400 cards between 25 and 30 Gold each. About half of those I made myself, the other half I picked up at the then average price of 15 Gold and below. The higher priced ones I just barked out of the AH. So far so good.
The interesting part was that before long, the vultures started swooping in. There are half a dozen of those in the Glyph and JC market on my server, so it was to be expected that they would start undercutting me as soon as I would be advertising regularly for more than an hour. Using Autioneer's Appraiser, I monitored what glyphs were being bought up. People tended to buy the cheapest single auctions first - regardless of who was selling them - and largely ignored the stacks of 5 and 10 cards.
So I made the decision to stop for the day for three reasons. One, I didn't want to sell below 25 Gold and secondly I didn't want my potential customers to think 20 Gold are an appropriate price for MFCs. The third reason was kind of a gamble. I put in my last 30ish cards at 19 Gold and stopped barking. My competitors of course had been camping the AH and promptly re-listed their dozens or hundreds of glyphs below my price. Not a single one of mine and maybe a dozen of the other's MFCs at maximum was sold following that.
The really interesting part is what happened during the week after that. Without anyone barking, the cards started collecting dust on the AH shelves. I kept relisting my few cards every 24 hours, always undercutting the lowest price and the other guys followed suit. To them it looked like the market had dried up and that I, just like them, was desperately trying to sell my cards. Long story short, last Friday, the prices were somewhere between 10 and 12 Gold per Card, partially due to me driving the price down and partially due to the Whiptail spawn rate bug that had forced prices down to 60 to 90 Gold per stack the weekend before.
I bought up all of them safe for the ones at the lowest price (leaving some food for the chronic undercutters) with one of my inactive characters and sent them to my trading character. Since the Whiptail fix had hit live servers a few days before that and I had picked up the last 100 stacks below 100 Gold per, I was pretty sure they wouldn't be able to restock the MFC market at this low of a price.
So last Sunday I sold 500 cards at the same price again, netting a few thousand Gold. That time I tried the 10% bonus incentive (thanks Cold) and sadly, there was no winner. The nice thing was, the extra incentive made people ignore my opponents cards and even go for the 10 packs directly. At the end, I drove prices down again and the same downward spiral happened over the following days.
This week, I have bought up 150 cards at 10 to 15 Gold so far and I am still sitting at those 100 stacks of Whiptail, which will net me 600 MFCs and 100 Inferno Inks (25,000+ Gold compared to the 15,000 Gold of selling them raw). Luckily, my competition hasn't caught up to the fact that the cards only sell when being advertised in trade chat and the prices for herbs are fairly stable (resulting in at least 15 Gold material cost per MFC), so I am looking forward to another profitable MFC madness this weekend.
Since this was a fairly long post, here's the take away point for you: if you are the only or maybe one of the two people barking the MFCs in trade chat, but not the only seller, try driving down the price followed by radio silence in trade chat for a few days to pick up cards at prices below material cost. Of course this won't work and shouldn't be used every time, but it's a nice tactic to make the market unattractive to some competitors. Hope some of you can use this or some version of it to squeeze some more milk from the MFC cow.