DISCLAIMER: If you're looking for a detailed discussion on how to make gold using the AH, this isn't it. There are plenty of great blogs that describe how to work the AH, and I recommend perusing a lot of them.
The other day, when a guildie and I were steamrolling our way through Arcatraz --gotta love Druid tanks-- talk turned to Greed vs. Disenchant. "Have you seen what Dream Shards are going for these days?" I asked.
"Yeah," he replied. "I pretty much stopped DCing blues, because I get more money from vendoring them than selling the shards."
After a short pause, I realized he was right. A quick scan of the BC blues I was acquiring in Arcatraz revealed that I would be selling them for more than I'd get for a Dream Shard from the AH. This morning, I paid close attention to the blues that I got from the Northrend 5-man instances, and I discovered I'd be getting around twice what a Dream Shard was going for.
I also spent some time farming for Saronite and Titanium to replenish my metal and gem stocks, and I discovered that Titansteel is going for 75G on the AH, half of the price it was two months ago.
How did prices get this depressed?
Yes, the simple answer is supply and demand, but I wonder about the underlying causes. Is it that the gold farmers are trying to manipulate the price by flooding the market? Is it that enough people are grinding for Frost Emblems alone that there's an excess of disenchanting materials? Or that enough people per server are in ICC and don't need Titanium or Titansteel crafted items?
I suspect that there's a bit of everything --yes, even the supposed pre-expansion blues-- to blame for the current state of the market. When ICC has been out long enough that even altaholics are able to get a good T9 set from Emblems alone for all of their toons, then the need for Titanium and Titansteel are depressed. Add to that the availability of Primordial Saronite, and you've got the current state of the metals. When Cataclysm comes out, this will be replayed again: after all, have you seen the prices for Eternium and Khorium these days? I can sell Mithril for higher prices than what Eternium is going for.
The gem prices in general drive me nuts. The basic Epic gems are running only about 15G less than their JC'ed counterparts, and some days they can actually sell for higher. Sure, it's 15G, but you have to ask yourself if your time is better spent doing an extra daily or two to get the same amount of profit. Considering how little the Epics drop when you prospect Titanium, I guess the Alchemists are the ones making a mint on the market by crafting the Epic gems. But right now, regular Jade and other low end gems are looking better than Dream Shards. Nobody seems to be farming those gems, yet there's still enough of a need that I can beat the Dream Shard price easily on some of these low end gems.
What about your server? Are you seeing the same trends?