I managed to get a bunch of Obsidium Ore the other day for 65g/stack. I hadn't had time to prospect it until tonight, partly because I've been leveling my Warlock and Druid and partly because the monotony of button mashing the macro 200+ times was just daunting enough a task to make me find something else to do. Actually, to find anything else to do.
I got home later than normal from work. I was in a bad mood because traffic sucked. The sleet and snow flurries persisted all day and made the whole day gray and gloomy. By the time we got dinner out of the way and other family issues addressed it was almost 8pm--and I had yet to run any of my daily quests. I knocked them out quickly and decided that spamming the macro was about all I wanted to tackle. No thought required, just press the button and watch TV. Boring. Depressing.
Thus my mood was sour for a number of reasons. Reading the banal trade banter just made it worse. About the only positive I could grasp at this point was the prospect of transmuting a bunch of Shadowspirit Diamonds and cutting some Burning and Reverberating gems. I sell 2-4 of each every day. Burning goes for about 325g and Reverberating for about 575g, up to 600g. I'm still missing Agile, but remain on the lookout.
So there I sat, in a funk, pressing the number "1" over and over, just waiting to get my gems so I could transmute, cut and list my Metas. I noticed a player asking in trade for a JC with Bold Inferno Ruby and Reverberating Shadowspirit cuts.
Oh boy! I can make some quick gold!!
Boy was I wrong.
I linked my Jewelcrafting. About 5 seconds later came the request, "can you cut two Bold Inferno and one Reverb for me"?
"Sure", I said. "I'll do the Bold for 145g each and the Reverb for 550g".
"Ooh, I already have the gems, I just need the cuts", said the ungemmed Epic-wearing Worgen.
Flashback: Bad WoLK Memories
I don't know how you feel about selling a service like this using someone else's mats but I feel like I should try to preserve the profit I would make if I list the product in the AH. I'm willing to cut my margin somewhat for a quick sale and no AH fees but I don't believe the service should be so much cheaper that it undermines the listings on the AH.
If you remember in WoLK, Alchemists could only transmute one epic gem per day.Technically, they can still only transmute one per day but the demand is nowhere near what it was then so its not as big a deal. Now the transmute CD everyone is selling is the Truegold or Living Elements xmute.
The raw WoLK epic gems sold in the AH very well, sometimes better than the cut gems. The cut gem market got so diluted that it was hard to make decent profits but the uncut gems held their value.
It used to piss me off when an Alchemist would offer his CD for 20g but the cut gem would sell for 120g or more. It just seemed to me that every time an Alchemist would make this deal a potential customer for one of my AH listings would suddenly disappear. I know their were still plenty of other buyers for my auctions but when some of the demand is sucked up by these "cheap transmutes" it lessens overall demand, which in turn keeps prices low.
I began buying transmutes from these Alchemists and then listing the gems on the AH for a much higher price. I thought I was the shit for doing this--until I began to notice that other players were doing the same thing.
Cut Back to Tonight's Discussion
"Ooh, I have the gems, I just need the cuts", said the ungemmed Epic-wearing Worgen.
I did some quick math. The AH price for Bold Infernos is about 160g. The Reverberating gems were down a bit, selling around 550g. OK, so reduce my cost by the materials investment he has made. Forget the fact that I have less invested in mats than the market cost since I prospect my own ore and transmute my own gems. This transaction has now become less profitable than selling on the AH, but I'm willing to do it because it is a quick sale. Oh, and I get a break from the tedium of prospecting.
The raw Inferno Ruby sells for 125g and raw Shadowspirit Diamonds sell for 225g. That makes my profit 30g per Inferno Ruby and 325g for the Reverberating gem; the total profit for all 3 is 385g.
So I said as much. "I'll do all three cuts for 350g". Figured what the hell, I'll come down a bit. I imagined he would counter anyway.
Instead, he fires back "Are you nuts? I'm giving you the materials--all you have to do is press a button".
It Went Downhill From There
What I wanted to say was "really? Then you press the fucking button yourself asshole. Oh yeah, you can't--because you haven't spent the time and gold necessary to train the profession and buy the rarest goddamn DPS Meta cut in the game. So you have to either buy the gems in the AH and pay for my skills there, or if you prefer, you can supply the materials and pay me for my skills one to one. Either way, I have the skill and you don't."
But instead I said "yeah, I hear you--but the Reverberating cut is the rarest DPS cut in the game. I bought the pattern so I could make the gem to sell at a profit. You are supplying materials but I expect to make my profit whether I sell it in the AH or direct".
At this point I was fairly certain that I wouldn't be making a sale.
Any remaining hope of resolving this issue and generating a meaningful transaction was dashed when he replied, "that's not my problem. I'm not financing your pattern purchase. You're just a dick who is ripping people off".
Now I'm pissed
Any other day I would have just blown him off. I would have taken the high road. I should have simply said, "ok, sorry we couldn't get this done. I'm sure you will find someone else" and let it go. Sometimes when I have done that I'll get a sale. The buyer ends up coming back and asking, "still willing to do the cuts"?
But this wasn't 'any other day'. This was today--and I was in a bad mood already. I also labored under the yoke of repressed anger from months of frustration in WoLK when other Alchemists would cut my profits with their stupid, cheap-ass sale of their cooldowns. I needed an outlet for my pent up frustration.
I replied, "you know what? Fuck you. You have no respect for people who go out of their way to find, buy or earn the rep to buy rare recipes. You think just because you find me in chat that I'm willing to sell you something at a loss? No fucking way. I deserve a reasonable profit, and the deal I offered you was just that: reasonable".
(new paragraph). "you may find someone to cut those for you for some measly tip--that's their problem, not mine. If you do, more power to you. And shame on them. I hope you never find another JC to do it and you end up buying it on the AH like everyone else".
There was a long pause before his answer. "I just reported you for abusive language. Enjoy your ban".
I thought to myself, this is comical. If Blizzard wants to ban me for this, go for it. A private conversation between two players--and one in which both parties were vulgar--is generally not considered a bannable offense. If I was stalking him or harassing him privately, well, ok, but this was different.
Revenge Is A Dish Best Served....In The Auction House
There were a couple more exchanges, mainly each of us calling the other names. By now my frustration was gone. I experienced a cleansing of all the bad juju in my system. He said something to the effect of "I'm never buying anything you list in the AH. I'm telling my guild to stop buying from you too".
I went back to mashing #1. I also took some pleasure in seeing him continue to ask in chat "WTH JC with Bold Inferno Ruby and Reverberating meta cut, my mats will tip".
After I finished prospecting, crafting, disenchanting and cutting my gems, I mailed everything to my bank alt. Then I logged my mule and went to the mailbox. Among the 31 auctions ((for 7,550g)) I didn't see any gem sales. Not that unusual for this time of night. I went to the AH to list my new auctions.
Imagine my surprise when I checked the "Auctions" tab and found one Reverberating meta sale. It sold to the guy who was arguing with my JC!
In the end he paid me. He just didn't know it.
I know I'm fighting a losing battle but I have to ask all the JCs out there, and all the Alchemists too, please don't undersell your services. Just because someone gives you the materials doesn't mean you should dramatically undercut your own profit. If your profit on a gem is 15g, then ask for a 15g tip. But if your profit is 350g please ask for that as well.
I hope the karma doesn't come back to haunt me. I did find the vent for my frustration very cathartic.
Dude, if you are reading this--I hope you love that Meta, ass-wipe.