The Dude was once a Rune salesman...
gone by the wayside in Azeroth: everything from Rune Teleportation sales to fish oil collectors--those paths have gone the way of pinsetters and river boat pilots. I must admit I die a little inside when I see a shiny fish scale drop, and realize I will never need them or fish oil for water walking or underwater breathing ever again. Sure, I can walk on water - shamans are cool like that --but why take away underwater breathing? WHY BLIZZARD WHY? (Drops to knees sobbing...) Makes me want to go pee on a rug or something. Anyway.
With bag space at an all-time premium, not having to carry these reagents around is convenient, and admittedly, those reagent shops should have seen it coming. Their unions were not being proactive and protecting local market interests with tariffs on imports or clear tax structures. Sure, King Varian and Garrosh seem to have endless coffers for their war chests, but when the King is asking small Dwarf women to go hunt for natural resources instead of protecting significant archaeological artifacts, you gotta wonder what he was doing with this realm's riches during peacetime. Oh wait. It was never peacetime. Regardless of what fulfills our daily quests, I must admit I am in awe of folks who not only anticipate changes to help continue the flow of gold and profits, but are savvy enough to even act on them. That has never been me -- if I know of something good, I don't have the cash flow, or if I do have the cash flow can't see what's coming next unless it's a big huge bill, or a major appliance decides to go off to dishwasher heaven. If you have good, solid fiscal advice for me you might as well save your breath. But, okay - if you do have any insider tips on rune futures, pass them along, okay?
This might help: http://wow.joystiq.com/tag/patch-5.2