How to make gold - 5

I know, i know, it's been a while since we had one of these, but this one is extra long to compensate. Enjoy the read, and feel free to leave feedback or point out any spelling / grammar issues.

Everything is worth money

I've noticed a lot of people tend to ignore gray items when farming, don't completely loot corpses (which makes my skinner angry), or loot it then throw it away.
Silly people.

You know those Elemental Fragments that you get when farming primal motes?
Or most importantly, random 2 handed weapons? hah!
Keep in mind, that although you might not need it, the vendors will still gladly pay you loads of cash for these items, and every bit counts when you're short on cash.
In 2 hours of farming you may end up with 10 or more stacks of elemental fragments (just as an example).
10x20x 11s85c = 23g 70s That's right, gold !!

2 handed weapons? Gray swords can sell for 1-4 gold "each". 2 handed maces and staves for 3-8 gold each.

Random animal meat when cooked can still sell for some cash to other players. It'll vary per server whether people actually buy stat food off the auction house, but anything beats throwing it away.

Sure you might be thinking "I don't have room for all that crap when i'm farming for a certain item or resource". Well then just make room. A small 5 minute trip to town every hour is probably worth more than whatever you can farm normally in that same time. Ofcourse getting bigger bags, smart use of alt-banks, personal guild banks, and disenchanting or selling redundant gear will ensure you need to visit town less often. Always make sure you have plenty of inventory space when you go out to "farm" anything specific.
Humanoid mobs especially love to give you all manner of gray junk to sell.
Green item you don't need? Have a friend disenchant it if you can't do it yourself.

Do's and Don'ts for the AH

The Auction House is a special place. Some people make their first gold there, while to others it's a constant source of frustration and loss of money. You'll find all the latest crafting recipes here, gems and precious metals, gear for all your characters and more.
But, you have to learn to look at it objectively.
Every auction that you see, is put up there by a player much like yourself and only for one reason. To make money.

Most items on there are priced "way" above what they're worth. If not way above what you should be paying for something.
Of course time is money but why pay 3g for a stack of copper bars, if you can pay 50s to some low level player to go and farm you some? Delegating is a nice word. Abuse of low level players for cheap labour is quite another.

Now, there's a number of people using the auction house. Let's stick some quick labels on them.
Keep in mind, i just made these up. If there's anyone who's got a more official term for these type of players feel free to correct me.
* Auctioneer. The guy who looks at everything, buys anything if it's below a certain % for his profit margin and resells it for lots more cash. Some beginning auctioneers will target specific markets such as primals, enchanting materials or green items.
* Monopolist. The guy that keeps "all" auctions of a certain type (copper bars for example) and resells them at a price that he wants to sell them. Generally a lot higher than the average. In due time the farmers will pick up on this and start putting up large amounts of auctions for "just a bit" lower than the monopolist is trying to sell his goods, and collapse his market.
* Clueless. The people that put up metals, herbs, and greens for the default vendor price. Auctioneers love these people.
* AH Value guy. The guy who looks at the AH for determining the value of items. Generally this means he'll be quoting you the price that mr. Auctioneer put up just an hour ago.
* Browser. Average player who looks trough the auctions on a day by day basis to see what the value of his bank's contents are. Will occassionally put up several stacks of items when he feels the value is right for him.
* Farmer. Some people love nothing more than farm farm farm, which in time will drive the price of a certain item down quite a lot. Farmers are very competitive and will generally try to compete over a price with each other because they want their farmed goods to sell fast.
* Flood poster. Annoying creatures who flood the auction house with stacks of "1". I've seen as much as 3 pages (3x50 auctions) from a single person doing this. They tend to overprice their items, but due to the flooding (and blizzard's poor sorting system) all the other auctions get pushed back to the later pages.
* You. How do you use the auctions ?

How to use the AH

So, there's several ways to use the auction house. You can steal the market and manipulate prices, play into the prices of others, sell stuff fast or slow. It's a completely different game with it's own set of rules. Here's some thoughts that should in help you get better results however.

If you sell an item, the normal auction house takes 5% off the sale price. If an item doesn't sell the AH keeps your initial deposit. Initial deposit is 15% of the vendor value per 12 hours. (so 60% for 48 hours)
The neutral AH takes 15% of the sale price, and 75% per 12 hours as initial deposit fee, pretty ridiculous. So you can see why so few people use the neutral AH.

Some items that don't have a vendor value (enchanting materials) don't have an initial deposit fee, so they can be put up for 12 hours or 48 hours with no difference in your initial fees.

Before you put items up, check what other people are selling the same item for.
Some days an item's average value will be higher or lower than others. Generally it's a good idea to put up auctions on friday evening or early saturday morning.
If there's a large number of items already on there, at a pretty low price, it'll generally be a better idea to just leave it for the time being and post it later. Alternatively you could buy-out all the low priced goods and relist them at double price. This is very risky practice however and should not be attempted unless you have a lot of cash to spare and are pretty sure it'll turn out ok. Start with something cheap such as copper or iron.

Buying items

You see something you like, and want to buy it. Keep a few things in mind however.
Is the item priced correctly? Some people try to scam you by putting up 6 items for 99s, then sneak in one for 99g. Be careful !
Also make sure that you're buying full stacks if that's your intention, some people try to sneak in a few stacks of 15-16 items in between full stacks, and still price them the same.

When you see certain large and expensive items, keep in mind that it never hurts to try and bargain.
If you see a pattern for 200g that you'd like. but you don't want to wait for the auction to end, or buy it from the person for 200g, it never hurts to see if that person is online and give him a quick sale offer.
I've gotten several patterns this way for less than 50% of the listed value. It'll save you a lot of money.
(money saved = money gained)

Before buying something consider if you can farm it yourself, or even craft it yourself. (or ask if somebody can make it with your materials)
You'll end up saving a lot of cash this way and avoid buying it from the AH.
This way money saved is money gained.

If some bunch of herbs, metal or other item would costs you 50g, and you could farm this item yourself then it's generally wise to just farm it yourself.
When farming you get lots of gray trash extra, as well as other items which would result in a higher profit / hour than you'd save in time by buying it off the AH while farming something else for cash.

Lets say you could farm kingsblood at a speed of 80 herbs per hour. About 20 gold worth on the AH.
It might seem expensive for herbs, but in the same time you could be farming primal air or fire, at a speed of 10 primals per hour. about 20g each = 200g in an hour time.
So, farming primal air, and selling those, you'd be spending your time a lot more efficient than you would by running around looking for kingsblood.

Now, the only problem that comes up is,, limited stock.
It's perfectly possible that there aren't more than 1-2 stacks of kingsblood on the auction house. In which case you'd be forced to farm it yourself.

You can always look at the AH on a daily basis and get the amount you need 1-2 stacks a day.
Spending a bit of money this way can get you more money indirectly.

Don't flood the auction house

This is a common mistake, and it's a very bad one, especially if the item you are trying to sell has a deposit fee.
If you're selling enchanting materials, herbs, ore, leather then try to stick up a full stack at a time (20). When people are trying to raise their crafting skill fast, the first thing they'll look at is full stacks. Also be sure to put up a "buyout" price so people can obtain the item fast. Nobody likes to wait until the end of an auction.
Some items, such as blue gems, or primals are less likely to be needed in full stacks so these should be treated with a bit more care. If for example you have 20 primal air in your bank and you want to sell them, then don't put them all on at once. List 3-5. This way any of the ones that don't sell won't cause you to lose the deposit fee, and if others list more items at a cheaper price than yours this is quite likely.
Only listing 3-5 at a cheaper price, puts much less pressure on the market. If somebody comes along and sees a small number that are under the majority then you're more likely to sell them than you would if you had stuck all 20 of them up there in individual posts.

Also, if the current ones are on there at 30g each, you'll sell ridiculously fast if you put your 2-3 up there for 20g.
However, if you put all 20 up for 20g each, then the guy you underpriced will notice his stuff didn't sell and need to underbid you as well. Basically you screwed each other over because neither of you will sell anything now.

PlayerA has 5 auctions up at 28-30 (bid-buyout).
PlayerB has 5 auctions up at 32-35.
PlayerC has 10 auctions up at 27-30.

PlayerA's auctions will be listed at the top of the first page.
Now, in order to get in front of him, you can do 2 things.
* Same buyout, lower bit.
* Lower buyout.
You want your items to sell, so taking his buyout and taking a few copper or silver off, will ensure that your items are seen as cheapest, and thus most likely to sell.

See AH Formulas on wowwiki for the exact fees that each AH charges, or their AH page for more tips.

What to farm

Finding out what to farm for selling on the AH doesn't take much more than a quick trip to the AH and checking for your regular materials.
I recommend making a level 1 alt and walking that one to the nearest AH to look, buy, and sell from. This won't link the auctions to you, prevent people from whispering you unless you want them to, and allow you to use other alts to put up fake auctions for prices "way above" the average price, in order to make your normal auctions seem cheaper.

Arcane dust, large prismatic shards, cobra scales, etc etc. are all good places to start with if you plan to sell items.
Just try to find a nice spot in the market that has high demand, and a low number of other people farming.
See chapter 3 for a list of more items and locations to farm them.

Farming dungeons such as BRD(shards and patterns), Molten Core(cores and leather), Onyxia(gold), Stratholme(shards), Scholomance(dark runes and lifestealing enchant), can be quite profitable. At times you'll need a small group of people with which to share the profits though, but on average you should have fun farming something profitable.

Back when we just had a few people attuned to SSC (when there still was an attunement) our guild went in with a group of 10-12 people (50% in blues) and cleared all the trash up to hydross. Ofcourse we didn't get the boss down, but the trash is able to drop nether vortexes, patterns, random epics and other junk. If we had wanted or were able to sell these items we'd have been able to make a decent profit by farming the trash in SSC over and over. Much like Molten Core.

Now, most of our guild have gotten attuned to Hyjal and Black temple recently.
The first few waves in hyjal are killable, but don't really drop all that much that often.
Farming Black temple however, provides you with epic gems, patterns, random epics and hearts of darkness which will be needed later on. Lots of profit to be made if/when your guild bank doesn't need those items. Farming an instance such as this is limited only to those people who are likely to already be fairly wealthy however. But it does help in paying for your regular repair bill.


Timing is key and lots of money can be made by keeping this in mind. Put enchanting materials or rare gems on the AH early on tuesday / wednesday (depends if you live in the USA or EU) as arena points will be calculated and some people will be buying new gear and need new gems and enchants for this.

At the start of a new arena season, hordes of players will be desperate for enchanting and gemming their new gear.
The High stamina and resilience gems are in high demand at the start of the new season and prices on stamina gems can be as much as double their regular value. Large prismatic shards as much as triple.
Keep that in mind, and have some in stock for some good selling.

Even though this doesn't occur very often, at the start of a new expansion cloth will be miles high and expensive because it's still new, as will enchanting materials new metals and leather while crafters are struggling to raise their crafting skill as fast as possible to try and corner their market before others.
Sell as much materials as you can from an early date, you can always buy what you need yourself later at probably less than half the cost.


  1. Awesome!
    Hope, you will proceed with this nice blog.
    Greet from Germany ;P

  2. Excellent series with very useful tips. I have used probably 80% of these tips in my daily playing, and have made probably 10000g (maybe more, I don't keep track).

  3. Nice guide, gets down to the basics of the auction house.

  4. 2 years later and this information still holds up. If you changed some of the names around (MC, Scholo, etc) you wouldn't have much trouble passing it off as a recent article :) Cheers, and thanks for providing the community with this resource.

  5. It is a bit old though, I should probably rewrite a more polished version some day.

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