User:Jfarris964/Identifying and Salvaging
Identifying, "The 75g Rule", Salvaging, and Selling
Over the last several years of playing Guild Wars, I've been able to have a somewhat steady income through identification and salvaging of loot picked up throughout the world. This isn't going to make you rich by any means, but I've never had to buy any crafting materials for new armor or weapons that I've had crafted. You can look at it as more of a savings of money than making money.
The first thing to realize is that if you Identify an item, it will be worth more to the Merchant than it would be unidentified, so I ID everything...even white items. You will go through alot of ID kits this way, but the increase in price to the Merchant will more than cover the cost of the ID kit. I always use Superior ID Kits even though the cost/benefit ratio is working against you. The reason I do this is because if I carry 100 ID uses with me, they only take up 1 inventory slot whereas if you carried that many regular ID kits, they would take up 4 places.....that's 3 less items you can pick up when you're out in the field of battle.
"The 75g Rule"
Now that you've ID'd everything, it's time to figure out what to do with it all. I've developed a pretty simple rule that has yielded me mass amounts of crafting materials and some pretty decent amounts of gold. "The 75g Rule" is just as easy as it sounds. There is room for manipulation of the rule, but the cutoff point of 75g has worked well for me. Since everything is ID'd, you can see the Value that you would get from the Merchant. Basically this number tells you how much gold the Merchant would give you if you sold it to him/her.
Any items that are less than or equal to 75g in Value should be Salvaged with an Expert or Superior Salvage Kit. There are a few exceptions to this. Any item that is Highly Salvageable or an item with an upgrade, such as a rune, insignia, or weapon upgrade, may also be considered for salvage. Highly Salvageable items have a greater chance to give more Rare or Common Crafting Materials, so I almost ALWAYS salvage these with an Expert or Superior Kit. Items with upgrades will be discussed in the next section.
By using "The 75g Rule", you will almost always get a number of crafting materials equal to or greater than the Value of the item you just salvaged.
-Salvage Kits Explained-
The first thing to note is that there are 4 types of Salvage Kits....a Salvage Kit, Expert Salvage Kit, Superior Salvage Kit, and a Perfect Salvage Kit. For all intents and purposes, the Expert and Superior Kits are the same. A regular Salvage Kit will only allow you to salvage Common Crafting Materials from the item. You cannont salvage Runes, Insignias, Inscriptions, Rare Materials, etc. with a regular Salvage Kit. Expert and Superior Kits will allow you to salvage those things in addition to Common Materials. Perfect Salvage Kits allow you to remove any and all upgrade components from an item WITHOUT destroying it...we'll get into that a bit more later.
Here's a quick breakdown of what each kit does and when each is best used:
- Salvage Kit
- Uses: 25 (100g)
- Salvages Common Crafting Materials ONLY
- Good for salvaging stackable collectables/trophies (I usually only salvage collectables worth 30g or less)
- Expert Salvage Kit
- Uses: 25 (400g)
- Salvages Rare or Common Crafting Materials
- Allows you to pull off Runes, Insignias, Weapon Upgrades and Inscriptions
- Item may break during the salvage process
- Superior Salvage Kit
- Uses: 100 (2,000g)
- All of the same benefits of the Expert Salvage Kit
- Four times the uses of an Expert Kit for five times the cost
- Takes three less inventory spaces as the same number of Expert Kit uses
- Item may break during the salvage process
- Perfect Salvage Kit
-Determining What to Salvage-
After you've applied "The 75g Rule", you may still have some items in your inventory that you're not sure what to do with. These could be armors with Runes/Insignias, or weapons with Upgrades/Inscriptions on them, or just items worth 76g or more. Determining which things to salvage and what to attempt to salvage first can be a difficult proposition.
The first thing you want to do when looking at any individual item is to see how many upgrades that item has and how many of them you potentially want to salvage. Developing a heirarchy of worthwhile upgrades takes time and experience but some things are no-brainers. The other reason for developing this heirarchy will also help you in deciding what type of Salvage Kit to use when retreiving the upgrade.
Determining which type of Salvage Kit to use can sometimes be a difficult task as well. Which one you use will depend on how many things the item you're about to salvage contains and where those items fit in the heirarchy of things to salvage. I've listed a table below of runes and upgrades that I've found to be profitable to salvage.
-Runes and Insignias-
Let's first look at armors that contain Runes and/or Insignias. After ID'ing these items, my next stop is usually to the Rune Trader. I evaluate the Value of the identified armor against the "Buy" price for the individual Rune or Insignia from the Trader. This is where your heirarchy that I've been talking about comes into play. If the "Buy" price for the Rune or Insignia is less than or only slightly higher than the Value for the armor, that Rune or Insignia is probably not worth salvaging from the armor. The reason being is that the "Sell" price for that Rune or Insignia will be much less than the "Buy" price and there is a chance you may lose the armor when trying to salvage it. So, in essence what happens is, you lose a higher valued armor for a lower valued Rune or Insignia. If the Rune or Insignia is much higher than the "Buy" price, then that Rune or Insignia is a good candidate for salvage. Check all of the Rune and Insignia "Buy" prices for a given armor before salvaging any one of them because there may be several of them that are good candidates for salvage from a single armor. If there are, this is when you need to choose which Salvage Kit you're going to use. Your choices at this point are Expert, Superior or Perfect Salvage Kits. Using Perfect Salvage Kits is a very expensive way to salvage something from an item, so use these wisely. Personally, I rarely use Perfect Salvage Kits on armors. I usually use an Expert or Superior Kit. If you're going to use a Perfect Salvage Kit to remove Runes and Insignias, the order in which you remove them doesn't matter. You will NOT lose the armor when salvaging. If you're using an Expert or Superior Kit, the order in which you remove them DOES matter. When using these kits, there is always a chance for you to break the armor while salvaging it. So, it's best to salvage the highest valued Rune or Insignia first, then if the armor doesn't break, choose the next highest valued one. That way, if the armor breaks after the first attempt at salvaging something from it, you'll still have the highest valued Rune or Insignia, thereby making the greatest amount of money. If you happen to get lucky enough to remove ALL of the Runes and Insignias without breaking the armor, that is the best case scenario. You'll make all of the money off of the Runes and Insignias AND still be able to sell that armor to the merchant for it's listed value.
As of 02/05/08, these are Runes and Insignias that I would consider good candidates for salvaging:
-Weapon Upgrades and Inscriptions-
This is a somewhat tricky area in the salvaging world. Upgrades and Inscriptions are not worth selling to the Merchant. Their value is so low, around 35g, that it's not worth wasting the use of a Salvage Kit to retrieve it from an item. What this means is that if you're going to salvage an Upgrade or Inscription from an item, you'll either be doing to keep for yourself to put on another item, or you're doing it to sell to another player. Selling to other players can be VERY difficult unless the item is in high demand (See the next section for tips on selling).
Since most of the Upgrades and Inscriptions that you'll be salvaging are going to be going to other players, you need to become familiar with what people want and what they're willing to pay for it. This will also help you in determining your heirarchy for salvaging upgrades. Most of the Upgrades I salvage are for my own personal use, but there are some that you can sell with little to no effort....if you price it right (more on this later as well).
The list below is for "perfect" or "max" upgrades only. For "non-max" upgrades, they become more and more difficult to sell.
Here is a list of some of the upgrades that I usually don't have too much trouble selling to other players:
- Strength and Honor
- I Have the Power!
- Aptitude not Attitude
- Luck of the Draw
- Forget Me Not
- Weapons Upgrades
- Adept Staff Head
- Hale Staff Head
- Insightful Staff Head
- of Enchanting Upgrades (especially Staff, Sword and Scythe)
- of Fortitude Upgrades (most of them are decent sellers)
- Focus Core of Aptitude
I know....it's a pretty short list in comparison to the Runes above, but finding the right buyer at the right time is more difficult when selling to another player. The Rune Trader is always ready and willing to buy your runes from you.
Alright.....you've used "The 75g Rule" and Salvaged what you deemed to be valuable. What do you do with the stuff you have left over? You've got to sell it now. You've got 2 choices: Sell it to an NPC, or sell it to another player.
Selling to an NPC
This is by far the easiest way to unload items quickly. Runes to the Rune Trader, Scrolls to the Scroll Trader, most everything else to the Merchant. It's fairly easy to turn a profit selling to an NPC. The thing you may have to get over is the fact that sometimes, you can sell that same item to another player for more money. For some things, it's worth holding on to them for a little while so that you can get some extra cash from another player, but more often than not, you should probably dump it to the merchant. It may seem like a waste to sell some of those items you've got to a Merchant, but you need to develop your own system for what's worth spending time trying to sell and what isn't. Most of the loot that I pick up goes to the Merchant after applying the techniques listed above.
Selling to Other Players
By selling loot to other players, you can make quite a bit more money than you can buy selling it the Merchant. The problem with this is that it takes time to find the right buyer at the right time that is willing to pay the price you're asking for. Selling to other players is more of an art than a science. It's something that I've never been that good at, nor do I have the time or patience to sit in town for hours spamming "WTS". My view is that if it doesn't sell right away, then it's either priced too high, no one is looking for that particular item at that time in that town, or it's something I should have sold to the merchant in the first place.
Guild Wars players are very picky in what they're looking for. The game has been out long enough now that the only things that really sell well for a good deal of money are rare skinned items. The thing I've run into is that if it's not EXACTLY what the person wants, you'll have a hard time selling it. That means that it has to be Req. 9, Max dmg, and have the upgrades THAT person wants. That perfect buyer is tough to find. Knowing the market value of the item you're trying to sell is also very helpful. You can either do "price checks" in town, or visit some of the hundreds of fan sites that have baseline pricing for rare skinned items, upgrades, etc.
When I sell things to other players, I'll do a little research on how much that item should be worth if I was to find the perfect buyer. Then, I'll usually discount it to make it more appealing to a larger group of people. In my opinion, selling something quickly for less money leaves me more time to go out and get more loot so that I can sell. For example, if you have an item that's worth 20,000g according to a "price check" or pricing guide, that price is the average price the item you have will usually sell it for. That means that you need to find that perfect buyer in order to get that 20,000g. You can probably sell it for 20,000g, but it might take you a couple of hours to find that perfect buyer. If you were to drop your price to 15,000g for the same item, you might sell it in an hour or less. If you drop it to 12,500g, you'll probably unload it almost immediately. The reason that you'll probably sell that item so quickly is because now other people that buy and sell for a living see an enormously discount price on an item and are looking to buy it to resell it. What you're effectively doing is making them take the time to sell it for more money, which frees you up to do other things. How much is your time worth? Is it worth it to you to spend 2-3 hours more trying to sell that item to make an extra 7,500g? That's for you to decide. For me, I'd rather spend that time getting more loot....and I'll probably make more money with that 2-3 hours than I would have selling that item for a premium price. It's all a numbers and perception game when selling items to other players. Standing in town spamming "WTS" isn't a fun way for me to spend my playing time. I'd rather be out killing stuff and taking their loot.
Here are some quick tips for you to use when selling items to other players:
- Research what you're trying to sell
- Know the current market value for your items
- Determine how much your time is worth
- Price items to sell 5-10 minutes or less
- Haggleing is acceptable, just don't get "taken"
- If something sells too quickly, then you may have priced it too low. Use that information the next time you find a similar item
- If you're not getting any bites on your item at the current price, lower it. People watch the Trade Chat....they will find you.
I know that's alot of information to take in all at once, but if you implement the techniques I've described above, you should have plenty of money to buy the things you need, some of the things you want, and a few of the things that you REALLY desire. None of these techniques are "hard and fast" rules, manipulate them to suit you best. Keep in mind that time is money, you just have to figure out how best to spend your time to make the most amount of money.
I hope you've enjoyed reading this page and the most important piece of advise I have for you is to HAVE FUN!!!!! This is a game after all....it should be fun.