I was going to name this post When to Start Stockpiling, but in the wake of my recent post picking apart the word stockpile, I opted for a more descriptive title. For clarity when I say stockpile in this article I will be referring to the act of hoarding goods in the hopes for future profits.
The point of stockpiling in World of Warcraft is to use knowledge of changes in upcoming patches and your experience in the market and game (oh who are we kidding, most players will just do what other people wrote, but I digress) to gain an advantage at a later date (a patch, an expansion, or just “down the road”) either in terms of simply flipping the item, to craft them for a larger profit, or to swallow a demand spike (and, yet again, profit).
The only benefit you get from stockpiling in this manner is to put gold to use that would normally be sitting idle in your pockets and you want to put it to use making more gold for yourself. A key point in this is that any potential returns, and i can’t stress the word potential enough, will happen long term, you won’t be profiting off of these items in the next week, or possibly even months or years. You also run the chance of loosing this gold due to bad predictions, or changes in upcoming patches (am I the only one who got burned by pyrite stockpiling? I don’t think so). These activities also require very large sums of gold and large commitments, successful enterprises will need to be large scale to notice any worth while returns.
Many aspiring goblins ask When should I start stockpiling? and that is a very good question, though easy to answer for an old hand. A player, in my opinion, should only contemplate stockpiling when:
- All your profession are maxed out; all your 75’s have profession slots filled
- You are fully utilizing all your professions
- Your day-to-day operations are not limited or throttled by your purchasing capacity (i.e. you do not run out of gold buying materials)
- You have the ability to act on can’t-be-missed deals without bankrupting yourself
The key point here is you should never stockpile when you risk sacrificing short term, guaranteed profits or income. You only stockpile using gold that would otherwise be sitting idle in your pockets. If you’re stockpiling at the cost of your day-to-day functions, you are only harming yourself (this applies to flipping as well; Don’t start flipping if it hurts your routine manufacturing functions).
Here’s another way to think of stockpiling. In a standard bank you leave your hard earned money sitting in an account. In return for you letting the bank hold your money (because they actually use your money) they give you interest every month. Gold accumulating in your pockets does not gain interest, and does not inflate with the rest of the economy.
Discretion is important when stockpiling, it helps to avoid losses, and it keeps you from biting off more than you can chew. If you’re having trouble decided whether or not too add something to your stockpile ask yourself “If I buy this now, can I continue as usual with my daily business?” If not, then frankly you’re not ready for stockpiling.
Side note: I’ve been making some tweaks to the site the past few days, let me know what you think. Comments and suggests welcome!