Let's just go ahead and call it. The market is crazy, and varying incredibly server to server, and even day to day. As I've already noted, many things are extremely expensive on my server, and in extremely low supply. While other servers are the opposite, where people are madly dumping items they believe will be obsolete in Cataclysm. Lucky for those servers.
In the meantime, I've been experimenting with batch posting. You know, the strategy for glyphs, using a batch poster like AuctionProfitMaster or ZeroAuction. Except, instead of posting glyphs, you're posting other things.
You could use this for flasks, food, enchanting materials, ores, cloth.. anything really. I've chosen to use it for gems. I think when you have many different versions of the same item, or cuts of gems, this will be helpful in getting all your items up on the AH.
I've experimented with TBC uncommon cut gems, and WotLK uncommon cut gems. I had a bunch left over from leveling a Jewelcrafter and thought, why not? Instead searching the price of each item and listing manually, or even using Auctioneer to help with pricing, I figured it would be simpler to just use my batch poster. This has saved me lots of time posting the items, and they are selling.
So, why not use this in Cataclysm?
The only way for this to really be very efficient is to make sure you place uncommon, rare and epic gems in different groups, as there will be a notable difference in price of each tier. The amount you post each time would have to depend on your supply and how often you plan to post each day. If I'm prepared to be undercut, and will be posting frequently, I will probably post 2 at a time, and maybe trying to have 6 of the popular gem types at any time. I might increase my stock this if demand is higher.
Just be cautious of where you put your threshold and fallbacks. In the first few weeks or months of Cataclysm, it's pretty much anyone's game, really. So I suggest setting both fairly high, as there is plenty of gold to earn.
Tip: Be sure to update your boundaries every day, especially until the market stabilizes. Also watch your competition and spend a little time scoping out your competition. Batch posting will fail you if you don't pay attention. It's a tool, meant to help, not do the work for you.
If this works out well in Cataclysm, I'll likely be carrying this concept over to flasks, crafted cloth, and other finished products. It doesn't make sense to really bother with it for single items like raw ore, bars, crafted armor or weapons, etc. So use it wisely, and you'll save yourself some time, and be able to spend it leveling other professions, keeping a closer eye on competition, or enjoying the expansion!
I'd love feedback on this. Do you think it's a poor idea? Do you think it's great? Have you thought of this yourself? Maybe you've read this idea elsewhere. I encourage those of you reading to leave a comment. :)
10 days to Cataclysm.