No Gnome Haters Allowed!
Blogging about acquiring gold in WoW and auction house pvp is all the rage these days. One of the best WoW communities on the net, Just My Two Copper, is all about amassing astronomically amounts of gold to feed your little goblin soul. As I’ve mentioned before I dabble in gold making. Right now I’m sitting on 80k liquid and a large stockpile of materials to sell come Cataclysm. I really enjoy being a minor force on the Auction House and of course never having to worry about gold is a plus too. However, inevitably when guildies find out that I’m realatively loaded they bemoan how they are always broke and ask how they can make gold. While I have developed my own gold making strategies I find it difficult to communicate them to others, but I’m going to give it a shot. This post is going to be about making gold for the truly gold impaired. This is not a post on how to become gold capped or how to become a master of the Auction House. Instead this is for those who are continually broke and can’t fathom how anyone can even have 10k gold. Therefore some of the strategies I am going to suggest are not necessarily the most gold per hour and will be poo-pooed by serious gold makers. However they are effective and can get you your epic flying with a bit of breathing room if all you are interested in is living comfortably and not becoming an Auction House mastermind.
Addons – I have a secret. I don’t use Auction House addons. This is a source of great shame for anyone who considers themselves a gold maker. I used to have the ubiquitous Auctioneer, but I hated scanning and I didn’t utilize most of the functionality, so one day it broke and I just dumped it. Now things like Auctioneer, Auctionator, or Quick Auctions are absolutely great addons that can really aid your gold making process, however they are not necessary, especially not for the casual gold maker. So my suggestion is this; if you consider yourself an “addon person,” that is you have a fair number of addons, you enjoy them, and are not intimidated by addon set up then go ahead and pick up Auctioneer or Auctioneer Lite. If you like to keep addons to a minimum, skip the Auction House addons.
The White Rule – The first step to making gold is not to vender valuable items you have picked up out of ignorance. A simple rule is that if it is of white quality or better, look it up on wowhead. The average price that wowhead gives is semi-useful, but also read the comments. Many things are more valuable than people realize. For example, did you know that Dreadfang Venom Sacs are used when you want to change from Scyers to Aldor? Or did you know that the recipe Enchant Shield: Lesser Block while functionally useless is one of the rarest enchanting recipes in game and a profession completionists will pay thousands for it. Unfortunately what usually happens with these items is that some unwitting person will either vendor it or put it on the AH for a pittance of what it is really worth. So if an item is of white quality or better make sure you are informed about its possible uses before getting rid of it.
The Lazy/Stupid Rule – Many people in WoW, as in life, are either lazy or stupid and you can take advantage of this. The easiest way to do so is to visit your friendly npc vender, buy the things they sell for a pittance and resell for up to 1000% profit. The two main categories for this are pets and recipes. Pets that are sold by a vender, either in your local cities, Dalaran, or out in the world, will absolutely sell on the Auction House for more than you paid for them from the vender. The only catch to this is that this is a fairly popular technique, so start with just a few pets and see how the market is on your server. Another way to exploit venders is to resell rare spawn recipes. Most will easily double your money and some like Frost Oil or Large Prismatic Shard with sell for 5-10 times what you paid for it. So have a look through Wowhead and pick out some venders to exploit. You can also sell recipes that are not rare spawns, although your margin will typically be less. Other applications of the lazy/stupid rule include selling items needed for holiday achievement, reputation items, and quest items.
Farm Smart – Markco of Just My Two Copper frequently says that crafting is more gold per hour than farming and he is right. However for those without access to capital, multiple crafting proffessions, and knowledge it can be hard to capitalize on this. Therefore if you have the patience to farm do it, just farm smart. By farming smart I mean don't just randomly go out and collect things. Consider your proffessions, any achievements you are going for, and the value of the items relative to how difficult they are to obtain. For example, many people farm Northrend herbs. However low level herbs, pretty much mageroyal and higher, often sell for more than Northrend herbs at this point in the expansion. So you smartly decide to go farm low level herbs, but there are many places you can go to do this. If you are farming smart it means that you will go farm herbs in the Barrens because all mobs in that zone have a chance to drop Recipe: Deviate Delight, which sells for 1000g on my server. Another example of farming smart is say you want to farm some runecloth, either for yourself or to sell. Stratholme is a great place to farm this however you want to farm it with your toon who is a tailor/enchanter instead of the one who is an herber/miner in order to disenchant and sell all of the drops.
Opportunity Cost - Opportunity Cost sounds complicated, but its not. It is however essential to maximizing your profit. For example you have an herbalist/alchemist. You gather herbs, make them into flasks, and think that minus the cost of the vials you have made pure profit because you farmed the herbs yourself. Wrong. Instead you need to see how much gold you could have made had you sold the herbs instead of using them to make flasks. Depending on the market, raw material can sell for more than the finished product. Basically opportunity cost boils down to this; how can I get the most possible gold for the materials I have?
These are just a few thoughts designed to help the chronically broke. If, however, you are interested in making gold becoming a real part of your game play, but aren't sure how to start check back later as I am currently putting together some posts designed to prep a novice auctioneer for becoming an AH mastermind come Cataclysm.