Thursday, August 11, 2011

Saving Time With Trade Skill Master

I have never been a big fan of Trade Skill Master. My original perception was that it was hard to learn, offered limited flexibility and was geared primarily to Glyph production and maintenance of Glyph auctions. Since I wasn't active in Glyph sales I shied away from TSM.

My opinion hasn't changed that much. However, I did decide to try my hand at Glyphs since I know all but 4 of the patterns. So far, TSM has proven very useful in both producing Glyphs and maintaining their auctions. It was fairly cumbersome to learn but has proven surprisingly nimble in managing Glyph auctions as well as my other regular postings.

Today I stumbled upon an application for TSM that proved a huge time savings for me. It may also help you make more gold by reducing needless AH searches.

In yesterday's post,  Shopping For Value, I discussed how the recent spike in Greater Celestial Essence and Heavenly Shard prices could create an opportunity for players who were able to purchase cheap Greens or Blues and DE them, then relist the materials.

This has been a great strategy for quite a while--Infinite Dust, Illusion Dust, Arcane Dust, Abyss Crystals have all been profitable sellers in this same vein.

However, a reader pointed out that he didn't have time to shop for the armor and weapons to DE. It takes a lot of time to search for and find the right item for a targeted Enchanting material. Even then, if you are able to find the right item type, you may have that nagging question in the back of your head--am I paying the best price for this item? Could there be others out there that are cheaper?

TSM Offers A Solution

When you open TSM from your Auctioneer window (or from Auctionator, but I use Auctioneer), the interface on the right side has several icons on the extreme right border. The only two I have been using were the "List" and "Cancel" buttons--the top two.

The 7th one down is called "Shopping: Milling/Disenchanting/Prospecting/Transforming". This is where you can save some time buying targeted items to Disenchant.

Easy As 1-2-3

The icon (#1 on the picture) opens the correct window for Shopping. Across the top, select the second icon for Disenchanting (#2 in the picture). The drop down window lets you select what type of Dust you want to be the product of your DE effort (#3 in the picture). Then simply click "Go" immediately beside the dust drop down.

I selected Illusion Dust first.

As you can see in the output window, there were quite a few Illusion Dust auctions for 100% market value and up. The output from the search showed me there were not any items to DE that would result in a lower per dust cost than what I could buy them for in the AH. Therefore, high supply at good value and no obvious way to profit from lower production costs. That took 15 seconds.

Ok, that was fast.

Next I selected Arcane Dust.

The image above doesn't show it but there were no auctions at that time for Arcane Dust. The search results highlighted in the red box show me the items I can buy that will DE into Arcane Dust. It also tracks how much I spend during that buying session, how many dusts I should get from DE'ing these items, and my average cost per dust.

As you can see, the Consortium Robe of the Eagle popped up. I can buy it for 4.22g. The resultant Arcane Dust output comes to 2.25g per dust. I bought this and several other items in a matter of about 2 minutes. My goal was to spend 100g and see how effective it was to buy, DE and relist the materials.

After buying my 100g worth of Greens (102.55g actually), I got 13 Greater Planar Essence and 50 Arcane Dust. The Greater Planar Essence were going for just under 11g each. I listed them all at market value, 141.44g worth of auctions.

The Arcane Dust had a market value of 2.11g each. However, I decided to list them at a higher price since I would have all the auctions available at that time. 2.49g each seemed like a reasonable enough markup to sell quickly. Maybe I could have listed them for more. I didn't want to make them so incredibly pricey that someone else would be inclined to do the same DE shuffle that I did. Instead, I want to make them just barely more affordable to buy than to produce.

Listing in stacks of 5 seemed like a good idea, and I created 148g worth of auctions. Add to that my 141g for the Greater Planar Essence and that's 290g in auctions for a 100g investment. Not a great return but depending on your expectations and relative wealth level this might be a great source of income. After all, you don't need max profs to get these items DE'd.

Oh, and the time it took? From soup to nuts a total of 7 minutes.

Compare that to the time you spend without TSM. Even if you are close to the same time expenditure (and I find that very hard to believe) there is no way you can have the peace of mind I got from using TSM, knowing that I was getting the best value per dust available in the AH.


In the end, TSM still offers some challenges for me--namely, setting up groups to manage for automated posting and canceling is a huge, cumbersome pain in the ass.

That said, the Glyph function is great.

Most importantly, this "new" way to buy DE'ing fodder really opened my eyes to the other utilities that TSM can provide. I may just become a full fledged fan before long.

Comments? Your thoughts are appreciated.


  1. For possibly slighyly varrying reasons, I am in a similar boat about TSM, tooke me years to get on with ZA, and never regreted it. Nice to know it does lots of other good things... Now to UG my PC so I dont bog down so much in the AH running these apps. Side note... I run BOTH auctioneer and auctionator, the buy and sell functions of auctioneer are just to good but the database scan function, though fast can be misleading if you dont understand how it works. So I turn off almost all of the functions of auctionator to scan, set to epic and delete daily, and do all my scans w/ auctioneer. yeah, its slower, but that gives a lot more usable data. In short, as I understand auctioneer only lists the lowest price last seen, it does not work any averages or history... so, in effect one lowball price can really throw off some numbers in Lil Sparky's Workshop.

    Great read and thanks for sharing

  2. @ Achieve: tried again using TSM for illusion dust. 11 purchases for 89g, DE'd into 31 dusts. Listed and sold for 15g each. 465g net, 376g profit for less than 5 minutes work. Took about 4 hours to sell them but not bad ROI.

  3. Evidently TSM has changed the interface significantly since this post, it doesn't look remotely like this anymore, and I can't find anything in the functionality that seems equivalent.

  4. This post was written over a year ago, and TSM was in beta at the time. They have released the full version now and yes, it is quite a bit different.

    I haven't updated any posts in quite some time. If you are looking for information on how to better use TSM I suggest for the most current information. Also, The Consortium at did quite a bit about TSM but I'm not sure how current it is.