Well, seems I've a bit of a problem on my hands.
In previous CtGC updates, I mentioned how I actually knew my main competitors in both the glyph and gem markets. Both are RID friends, and one even has a toon in our guild. My competition in the gem market has an empathetic heart, which causes her to choose to never post gems for more than 75g. While this practice confounds me, I ignore it and instead focus on the high-priced gems in the market.
My competitor in the glyph market? I want to unleash the most harsh-sounding, yet graceful tirade of curses right now. This player literally posts for 16-18 hours every single light-forsaken day...that ass is just like me! Within a few minutes of me posting my glyphs, they usually log on (if they're not on already) and undercut the majority of what I've posted.
ANGRY FARM KIDS! ADDER-FILLED KNICKERS! APACHE FUNK KNIVES!! I still don't feel better. Curses! CURSES!!!!! When you find yourself in this position, there's only so much cursing you should allot yourself before it becomes unproductive. Time IS money. Well, gold in our case. So if you're gonna complain, do it while you're cancelling and reposting auctions like I do.
But seriously. I've got a damn gold cap to hit and I've got four weeks to hit it. Doesn't my competition know that?!? Here are some things I'm considering in order to fight back. Perhaps they will be of use to you as well.
- Talk. Nothing is stopping me from whispering this player to get a feel for what's going on. Because the truth is that they are aware of me just as much as I'm aware of them. They're cancelling auctions just about as often as I am. Maybe we could work out a schedule so our efforts wouldn't involve pooping on the efforts of the other? Perhaps I could ask them to take a few weeks off while I make this final push for the gold cap? I don't know the answer to those questions. But it never hurts to ask.
- Dose them with their own meds. This is the route I'm currently taking. To be forthright, camping the auction house isn't practical, and it makes me feel dirty. Also, it can be a colossal waste of time, especially with respect to the glyph market. I do actually like to play the game. However, this is also psychological warfare, in a sense. You know that feeling you get when you see you're being undercut as soon as you post? They get that feeling, too. Control your reaction and exploit theirs.
- Research their posting habits and maneuver accordingly. This involves checking out The Undermine Journal. There, you can look up any player and get a snapshot of their auction house activity. This includes a heat map of when they post, the type of items they post as well as the volume posted.
With this information, I know that my competitor prefers to go to sleep between 4am and 12pm local time, which indicates this player is being controlled by a real human being...not a bot. They show heavy posting shortly before bed (coinciding with the time I normally log off if I'm on at night), right after waking up in the morning (midday), and around suppertime/end of the work day.
They may or may not be employed, but if they are employed, it's at a place where they have access to the desktop version of the AH (like me); the volume they post and the rate at which they cancel and repost indicates they're not doing this activity via the mobile auction house or web interface.
The key here is to maneuver in and post when you know you won't be undercut for a solid chunk of time. Given what I've learned above, if I wished to fully maximize my positioning, I'd post my glyphs at 4:30am, 8:00am (before heading to work), after they log off over the noon hour, and 5pm (end of work day). This, of course, while taking time to cancel and repost auctions during my normal play time.
- Choke them out. There are several ways to do this, and not of them screams "easy." I'd actually recommend this WoW Insider article from 2010. It talks about the advantages and disadvantages of "walling," as well as covers some strategies on how to drive your competition from the market by choking their supply. I haven't executed this strategy to date, but I've definitely not ruled it out.