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7-28-2010 @ 11:21AM
What a wonderful demonstration of how you cannot set the price that customers will pay, even as a monopoly. Its a total myth that monopolies get to charge whatever price they want if left alone. In TBC I played the shard market (whatever the lvl 70 dream shard equiv. is/was). There was, probably still is, one major player. I played at least a little every night, and would look for blues selling below shard market price to DE once to three times an evening, plus farm heroics. Then I would always undercut by 1g so long as I made at least 1g per. If I couldn't do that, I'd just wait a night or two. Anyhow, usually I sold 2-4 to a random player, and the rest would be bought out by the major player. Now for the point: the only way I figure that could work out for him is that *most* of the time, he was the sole AH seller, so even though he sold some of his inventory at a slim margin (the stuff he bought up from myself and others like me), he was always making gold - and surely he was often able to sell from his high margin stock (his own farmed heroics). One more observation of this major player: He would be in trade channel from time to time offering to buy shards. I figure there was enough folks with excess shards that couldn't be bothered playing the AH that it payed to spend some time seeking them out in trade channel.
7-29-2010 @ 7:22AM
The power a monopoly has is limited by the elasticity of the market. That is, the intensity with which people need what the monopoly is offering. Vanity pets? No good. Not many people are burning up inside for a Winter's Helper. Even with enchanting mats or gems, there's a ceiling, a point at which most people will shrug and choose not to enchant or gem their items. A real-world monopoly on gas or electricity or computer operating systems, on the other hand ...
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