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Gold Capped: Unlimited long-term storage

tradeskillmaster mailing addon
Every week, WoW Insider brings you Gold Capped, in which Basil "Euripides" Berntsen and Fox Van Allen aim to show you how to make money on the Auction House. Check out Fox and Basil's reboot of Call To Auction, and email Basil with your questions, comments, or hate mail!

Ever see anyone trying to buy or sell a guild with bank tabs? There are people who will stop at nothing to store more stuff, especially those of us who play the gold-making game. One of the biggest challenges of making gold is, in fact, storing stuff. Bags are expensive, guild tabs are even more expensive, and there is a hard limit of 10 (for now) characters per realm. Each character has four bag slots and eight bank slots, as well as some built-in backpack and bank slots. This may seem like a lot, but what if you wanted to, for example, stockpile 10,000g worth of Hypnotic Dust, expecting it to sell for 70,000g in Mists of Pandaria? That could be over 700 stacks.

Luckily, there's a simple and virtually free way to store unlimited amounts of stuff and save all your expensive inventory slots.

My poor mailman ...

You can mail up to 12 non-soulbound items to an alt in a single mail, and you can see up to 50 mails at a time on a character. If you send more than 50 mails, you can only see the 50 most recently sent, but the rest are there. Additionally, if you leave the mail alone for 30 days, it gets automatically bounced back to the sender.

Here's the basic method:
  1. Send massive quantities of stock to an alt that doesn't receive mail you'd ever need to see.
  2. When the mailsplosion rebounds in your direction, open them all and resend it.
  3. Repeat until you're ready to actually use or sell whatever it is you don't have room in your normal storage for.
This type of storage is perfect for stocking up on items you plan on selling down the road, either as a hedge against inflation or simply because you think something will go up in price when the next patch or expansion launches. Look at Wrath of the Lich King level enchanting materials, ores, and leather now, and compare that to what you were used to paying for it last expansion. The number of people leveling professions doesn't change much, but the number of people farming non-current materials certainly does.

This method of mailing your future self a truckload of valuables can open you up to stockpiling more types of goods than you would otherwise be able to. If you were limited to the amount of conventional storage you could cheaply get per character, you might have be choosey about the profit per slot. A 400% return on something that is worth 20g a slot isn't as good as a 5% return on something that's worth 3,000g a slot. Unlimited long-term storage allows you to profit from far less dense valuables.

Disadvantages

It may only cost 30c to attach a stack of dust to a mail, but you have to consider the time overhead. As I write this, I must log into my storage alt once every 60 days to open and remail for about half an hour in order to prevent my goods from getting deleted in the mail. They spend 30 days on a bouncer alt I never log into, and after they get returned, they last 30 more days in my storage alt's mail before deletion. I don't want to risk waiting too long and then being unable to log in for a few days, so my schedule is every 45 days. Since I'm not very good at keeping a schedule (which I'm sure Alex will vouch for), I have actually lost a non-trivial amount of materials in the past. I consider this risk as part of the cost of mail storage.

Another disadvantage with the mail method is that there's no visibility. None of my addons can tell me what's in my mail, and even if found one that could, it's unlikely it would know that there's more mail on that character than the 50 messages the server will show me at a time. It would take me that half hour as well as a fair amount of tallying just to estimate how much I have saved up for Mists. This is not optimal, in terms of planning.

Addons and macros

One thing you can do to reduce the amount of time you spend remailing is to use a couple of macros. Your inbox gets refilled with mail every 60 seconds, and this macro will take all the attachments from your mail and put them into your bag:

/script CheckInbox() for m = GetInboxNumItems(), 1, -1 do TakeInboxItem( m ) end
automail

The faster you manage to remail those 600 items, the faster you will be able to open the next batch. Right-clicking on them is the wrong way to do this. There are several ways you can avoid this; however, the simplest one that I prefer is to use a mail macro:

/run for bag=0,4 do for slot=1,GetContainerNumSlots(bag) do local item=GetContainerItemLink(bag,slot) if item and item:find("Bar") then UseContainerItem(bag,slot) end end end

This macro will right-click on everything in your bags that has "Bar" in part of its name, the first 12 of which will be attached to the mail you have open. It's good if you have a lot of the same thing ("Ore", "Bar", "Essence", etc.); however, if you are dedicating an alt to this and know that everything in your bags will be remailed, you could use this to mail everything in your bags regardless of the name:

/run for bag=0,4 do for slot=1,GetContainerNumSlots(bag) do UseContainerItem(bag,slot) end end

Once you have 12 items in your mail ready to go, you can even macro clicking the send button for easy keybinding:

/click SendMailMailButton

If you prefer to completely automate this process, you should check out the mailing component of TradeSkillMaster. It's a rules-based component that can integrate with existing TSM groups. Combined with TSM's out-of-the-box ability to keep auto-filling your bags every minute from your mail, you can log into your remailer alt, open a mailbox, and wander off for half an hour.

Maximize your profits with advice from Gold Capped. Want to know the very best ways to earn 10,000 gold? Top gold making strategies for auctioneers? How about how to reach 1 million gold -- or how one player got there and then gave it all away? Fox and Basil are taking your questions at fox@wowinsider.com and basil@wowinsider.com.

Filed under: Gold Capped

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