A million competitors and a million customers
Posted by Troll Racials are Overpowered [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 11 September 2012, 7:00 am
People are expressing worry over the effects of the globalized market.  With so much competition prices end up extremely low, to the point that most crafting is unprofitable.  I could have taken the last part of that statement, "most crafting is unprofitable" and pointed it at WoW, where indeed, most crafted items are not profitable and you often are better off sending items to the vendor.  In those cases where they are profitable, it often seems to be due to the presence of enchanting, not because the leveling items are particularly useful on their own.  From this perspective it could seem that the global market isn't actually doing the supposed harm to crafters, but is instead just the easy thing to aim at.

Think back to your intro econ class with your supply and demand curves (which back then are straight lines).  Push supply out and there you go, quantity goes up and price goes down.  Now push out demand and suddenly price is back up where it was and quantity is even higher.

Competitors and undercutters are not the problem of the globalized market.  Time is.  With so many people, someone is online crafting when you are, which means that you don't get to be the one single person who is making copper wizzbangs.

On the plus side, this means customers.  Not only are there more customers, presumably in direct proportion to the increased crafters, but they will be more even than on a single-time zone server.  No longer is there the guessing game of posting and hoping that a buyer arrives before another seller.  It might happen, but with so many people from so many time zones in the market, you'll get enough buyers at more times, despite the sellers.

The constant stream of buyers means that a seller can do a constant stream of business.  Flooding the market is a much smaller problem, since the market is that much bigger and able to handle that many more goods over a given time.  Tap into a stream and you can get a lot of gold.  But if you fail to do so, if you cannot find a stream of your own, then you're going to have a hard to getting in.  You'll be competing with people who know their marker, how to efficiently get supplies and create their product with as little effort as possible, and who know exactly how low they can go on their prices while you're fumbling in the dark.  In this way, the global market may have little effect on the average seller, but will concentrate the rewards among fewer sellers.  That could cause problems.

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