Veggie Economics

Each expansion has items that are in high demand. Flasks, potions, ores, bars, leather, or other crafting materials are fairly common in demand items on the auction house. Anyone who has looked at the auction house during Mists will be able to tell you some of the higher priced materials are Golden Lotus and Living Steel. When someone wants to play in the auction house to try and make money, they often look to those higher priced items for their profit seeking, but I aim for markets that are not as high yield.

When I was striving for my financial goal in WoW, which was 100,000 gold, I looked at what I had, and what I could easily get. I had some Living Steel, a fair number of Golden Lotus, and lots of veggies. I sold off about half of my Living Steel, about 200 Golden Lotus(Thank you for the proc rate bump, Blizz), and earned a lot of gold from my ‘seed’ amount. When I hit about 75,000 and had exhausted the supply of high priced materials I was willing to sell off, I looked around for other stuff to sell, and hit on what has become a gold mine!

Cooking in Mists of Pandaria has gone from ‘make 20 of this dish, then 20 of that’ to a whole new way of leveling the profession. Now we have Ways, and you can level the ways to level your cooking, but your cooking will never be as high as your highest level way. Even better, you can master all of the ways for a nifty title. What does that mean for me? More buyers!

Between mastering the ways, if someone wants the title, and making food for you and your party or raid, people need a lot of veggies. A single dish could take from 5 to 25 of a single vegetable, plus usually some meat or fish. When I thought about it, I realized that a person who has 16 plots on a farm might get an average of 112 veggies. Getting the predicted crop to be one you want can be hit or miss.

I spent a couple of weeks watching the prices for all of the ten veggies, and all of the various fish and meat needed for cooking, and I quickly came to a few conclusions. First, there were some vegetables that were being sold way, way too cheap. Second, meat and fish were way too plentiful and easily farmed, instead of grown. Vegetables have a limit per day, per character, but fish and meat is only limited by the time you have to put in.

Once I had decided where I could make my highest profit, I set myself some barriers. For example, let’s say I picked a limit that I would not buy anything higher than a certain point, and I would not sell anything for less than a slightly higher point. For instance, if I limit that I would not buy any vegetables priced higher than 2 gold per vegetable, and I would not sell for any less than 2.25 gold. This would ensure that overall the house fees would be covered, and for every stack of 100 vegetables I would make about 20 gold at minimum.

There is one interesting thing I have noticed though. Veggies on my realm can swing wildly in price. I have seen the same vegetable go from 56 silver a veggie to over 5 gold per veggie in a single week. If you are the lucky buyer and seller, that could net you over 4 gold per veggie, and with the typical stack being 100, that is 400 gold on a 56 gold investment. Insane!

Now I do want to caveat this information by saying that it is entirely possible others on your realm may have major stockpiles of vegetables at their disposal, and could easily continuously undercut you. This can be a risky venture with the potential to be stuck with hundreds or thousands of vegetables and nowhere to put them and not lose a lot of money.

I also want to tell you why I think that buying a lot of veggies cheap now can be a big reward in a few weeks. With 5.2, people with full farms can use work orders to turn their farm plots into rep, and I think with the number people who hate dailies, there will be a not insignificant number of people who will be dedicating their entire farm to work orders, and then will need to buy the vegetables they need from the auction house, and if you’re lucky, from you. Have you found any markets to corner and monopolize? Let us know in the comments!

Special thank you to Kristin Marshall of WoW Insider for the awesome name for this post, long before I had written it!

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