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Sunday, November 25, 2007

Another Guide to Making Gold in WOW

Not as complete as I want it to be, but I'll try.

Farming is the process of either running around killing mobs and collecting drops, or
running around gathering raw materials.

Vendor trash
Raw materials
Vendor Farming
First Aid
Miscellaneous Vendor Farming Products
Farming loot falls into the following categories:
Vendor trash
Vendor trash (grey item name) is completely useless loot which NPC vendors will
nevertheless buy from you for good money. No one knows why the hell they want this
crap, but some of it can bring in quite a bit of silver. The trick is knowing which to keep
and which to throw away, especially when your inventory is full. Some addons can
remember vendor prices for vendor trash, so you know which is worth more and which
less. Good examples of vendor trash which bring in some nice money are Speckled Shell Fragment, Basilisk spine and Soft patch of fur. Raw materials

Raw materials are used (and used up) in crafting, and can be broken down into the
following categories:
1. Food
2. Herbs
3. Ore
4. Leather
5. Cloth
6. Ingredients
7. Items?


Recipes are pieces of paper which teach you specific crafting abilities. Depending on the profession, they have different names, such as Recipe?, Plan?, Schematic?, Formula?, and Pattern?. Some recipes are easily found, some are sold by vendors, some are sold by vendors on a timer, and some must be found by grinding.


Uncommon and Rare Items are any items which are not white or grey. White and grey
items are typically either vendor trash or some kind of raw material. Uncommon items
are green, and rare items are blue. Epic items are purple, and Legendary items are orange. If you're not going to use these items yourself, you can either disenchant them or sell them.

Vendor Farming

Vendor Farming is the most morally dubious form of farming. It involves knowing where
to buy skill books and recipes, actually getting to the vendors selling them (they're
usually far out of the way), and then unloading those books and recipes on the Auction House. The easiest products to vendor farm are first aid recipes.

Vendor Farming is a kind of service. You're making things accessible to people in a
hurry! Many people will happily shell out an extra gold or two rather than waste ten
minutes of their time finding the proper vendor. Some aggressive people farm vendors on timers, and camp that vendor 24/7 to prevent anyone else from buying. Since they subsequently charge insane prices for these products, it's very hard to call this practice a service. It's a monopoly, and a form of scheming.

First Aid

First aid skill books available for sale from NPC vendors include: Expert First Aid,
Heavy Silken Bandage, and Mageweave Bandage. You can buy up a dozen of any of
these (they're not on a timer) and unload them at the Auction House for double the
vendor price. People always buy these, since they're either too lazy to spend twenty
minutes running (or five minutes flying) to the vendor, or they don't even know where to get them in the first place.


The first aid vendor for the Alliance is in Stromgarde in the Arathi Highlands. He is in
the Alliance-controlled portion of Stromgarde, which is on the right-hand side
immediately next to the entrance.


The first aid vendor for the Horde is in Brackenwall Village in Dustwallow Marsh. Balai
Lok'Wein is under a tent next to the western entrance of the village.
Miscellaneous Vendor Farming Products
* Frost Oil Recipes
* Deepdive Helmet Schematic: There is a little hut on a cliff in Azshara with an npc that sells the engineering schematic for the deepdive helmet. He sells it for 35 silver and on my server these plans fetch around 8–10G on the AH. People dont know its available on a vendor. Easy way to get there is to swim along the east shore of Durotar into Azshara and you should see the hut on the cliff as soon as you get there. The plans respawn after about a half hour or so.
* Mechanical Dragonling Schematic: NPC vendor in the Hinterlands
* Mithril Dragon Schematic: Use the Tarren Mill flight path, then just run around to the
back of Durnhold Keep to the entrance there. Crafting involves either creating new items, or improving existing items. It typically takes an assload of money or time to skill up your crafting, especially if you're going for enchanting. You need a constant and changing supply of raw materials to skill up, and you need a lot of gold to buy new recipes (from vendors or the Auction House) once your existing recipes stop giving you skill points.


Raw materials
Raw materials
You can get raw materials from the Auction House or by Farming. If you buy from the
Auction House, beware of Speculators.


You need recipes in order to advance skill in your chosen profession. You can buy
recipes from NPC vendors or from the Auction House. You can also grind to find a
recipe, but they are very uncommon drops. Beware! Many Auction House recipes are actually available from NPC vendors; they're just in out-of-the-way places far from civilization. Schemers exploit this by camping out vendors and buying recipes as soon as their timer runs down. It can sometimes be difficult to obtain a recipe except through dealing with them.

1. Alchemy
2. Blacksmithing
3. Cooking
4. Enchanting
5. Engineering
6. Leatherworking
7. Tailoring
Speculating is a very lazy and parasitic method of making money in WoW. It can take
many different forms, but the basic concept is: Buy low, sell high. Speculating involves
doing almost no work aside from sitting in IronForge/Orgrimmar and constantly bidding
on auctions. Some people frown on this as unfair, manipulative, and mean. Some see it as a natural extension of the economy.


Price Fixing
Money Makers
Day trading
Crappy Greens and Disenchanting
Faction-Specific Items
Personal Accounts
Ethical Concerns
Price Fixing

One method of speculation is Price Fixing. It is a little risky, especially when the item
you're controlling has a high listing fee at the Auction House, but the profit margin can be extremely high if you're lucky or skilled. Price Fixing also requires a large grubstake in order to take control and maintain it long enough for you to cash out.

The basic method for price fixing is:
1. Choose a market.
2. Choose a price point.
3. Buy out everything below the price point.
4. Start relisting your product at a substantial premium above the price point.
5. Continue buying out other auctions (or raising their bids) to keep your artificially high prices competitive.
6. Profit.


1. Don't list all your product at the same price. Vary it a little. Don't list at exact 1 silver denominations. Take a hint from retailers and list at 99 silver, 99 copper instead of 1 gold.
2. List using two or more characters so the takeover is less noticeable.
3. The weekends are generally a bad time to list, as everyone has the time to grind and find things themselves.
4. Don't buy out product that is very close to your price point. Let it sell and save yourself the trouble of picking it up and selling at a loss (due to AH fees)
5. Enchanting reagents have no listing fee. Within reason, don't compromise on price;
just keep relisting at high prices until it sells.
6. Sell at gradations of price. The higher priced product will make your cheapest
offerings look more reasonable, and when they're gone, the next cheapest will then be
7. When possible, overwhelm the market to push other people's product listings off the
first page.
8. Don't try building up your stock quickly. Spend a few days bidding on items with no
buyout. You'll find that you win a surprising number of auctions cheaply.
9. If someone starts undercutting you, either wait them out, let the market crash and
rebuild your stock, collude with them, or buy them out and start listing even higher.
10. Don't try to control the markets with horrible listing fees. It is almost impossible to
make a profit in the Silk cloth market, since the listing fees are so freaking high.
11. Don't try to control ore or common herbs unless you know what you're doing and
you're willing to risk some cash. Low level ore is too common, and high level ore is
generally too expensive. Low level herbs such as Peacebloom are both common and in
low demand.
12. Looking at other sellers on the auction house as competitors is wrong because there's almost always more demand than there is supply when it comes to lower level trade goods.
13. If the prices get fucked up and nobody is buying what you have to sell at a reasonable (read: high) price anymore, don't give up and list for lower. Keep 4–6 auctions at your standard price and relist if they don't sell. If you do this enough, things will correct themselves. Don't sell for less unless you need money now. And, really, if you have so little money that you desperately need more you shouldn't have been doing this in the first place.
14. Set a buyout price! People hate waiting.
15. Don’t set your initial bid price too much lower than your buyout. That’s a good way
to lose money. Conversely, you can bid on the low bids that other people set, and then sell them back at a profit.


Price Fixing can bankrupt you in several ways.
1. Overestimating demand.
2. Underestimating supply.
3. Insufficient cash to control the market.
4. Lack of patience and dedication.
5. Intense competition at just below your price point.

The only way to really undercut a price fixer is to buy out all stock, and relist at a 5 silver or smaller price diference. If you have enough stock listed at close enough – but lower – than mine, you'll drive me away from that market. Someone did it with Mageweave (which is almost a loss at the best of times due to 30s deposit on listings) and I've since sold off the 50+ stacks I had at an incredible loss. If you list mageweave 10s lower than me, I lose way more than I would stand to gain by buying you out and relisting. --Lukano

Money Makers

Many people have reported great success price fixing the following products:
* Wool
* Linen
* 6, and 8 slot bags
* Ghost Mushroom
* Copper bars
* Greater Fire Protection Potions

Day trading

Some markets fluctuate over a period of hours or days. Before you decide to invest your time and money, learn the pattern of a particular market. It varies per server depending on the size of the economy, secondary economies from large guilds, profession distribution on that server, and other factors.
* Felcloth
* Arcane Crystals?
In an economy with intelligent, informed traders, you would expect two equivalent
products to command the exact same price. Not true in WoW, because most players are dumb and uninformed. Sad, but there is no denying it. Thus, we see strange happenings which are only corrected slowly by the enlightened few. For example, you would expect steel prices to be fixed to iron prices, since it only takes a bit of time and coal to make steel from iron. Not so! For some reason, steel and iron seem to be only loosely connected.

The same applies to many other equivalent products, some of which can be transformed only one way, while a select fewcan go back and forth. You can exploit this without even feeling guilty about it, since you're kinda-sorta performing a service. Kinda. Sorta.
1. Iron + Coal -> Steel
2. Copper + Tin -> Bronze
3. Cloth -> Bolts of cloth (careful, bolts are typically not in demand)
4. Greater Essence <-> Lesser Essence
5. Metal bars -> Engineering parts
Crappy Greens and Disenchanting
One rewarding equivalency tactic is disenchanting. You can disenchant any uncommon
or rare item to get dust, essence, or shards (Rares always give you shards, but the cost of the item is often far more than the cost a shard at the AH). Chance and the level of the item determine what enchanting reagent, and how much of it, you will receive. You can make an absolutely insane amount of money if you know the long-term break even point for a certain level of item. That is, if you buy one hundred items at an average of 1 gold each, and they disenchant into reagents worth a total of 125 gold, you can earn yourself a tidy profit auctioning off the reagents you collect.
1. You need an assload of cash to start with. You need to be able to bid on every single low-priced uncommon (green) item with no buyout in the entire Auction House.
Depending on the time of day and the size of your server, this could mean shelling out 20 gold or 100 gold. Most of it you will get back when you are outbid, but some of your bids will go unchallenged.
2. Patience. If you win only a few items and they all disenchant into a single vision dust each, keep buying! Many of your disenchants will result in valuable essences and shards,
just wait! (Note that the level of the item determines how many dust you will get)
3. A good strategy is to bid on any armor or weapon above level 40 or level 45 which is listed at less than 1 gold. Go through every page in the search results and bid, bid, bid. Librams, bags, and bullets, however, can NOT be disenchanted, so don't waste your money.
4. Items level 45 and above will get you the most bang for your buck, but if you lower
your expectations to 40 you can still make money. You just don't make as much on
average, but you're dealing with higher volume so you may actually make more money
this way.
5. You can combine your bargain disenchantable shopping with price fixing of the
reagent market.
6. Set a buyout price. People hate waiting.
7. Enchanting components have no worth to vendors, which means the Auction House
requires no deposit! Don't settle for less, never lower your prices if you can help it. Just keep relisting until it sells!
8. Use Thottbot to determine what disenchants into what, and AH searches to determine your server’s prices. I sometimes use Allakhazam to estimate how well those prices actually match demand..
9. There are a lot of enchanters who live hand to mouth; that is, they buy what they need when they need it. It's a good idea to list your essences and shards singly, and your dust in stacks of 2 or 3 instead of 10. You can do this by holding down the shift key and leftclicking on a stack, choosing a number in the dialog that pops up, hitting enter, and then dragging and left-clicking to drop that number, splitting the stack into two stacks. The fastest way to go about this is to use the right-hand shift key, left-click, then hit enter right away and clicking an empty inventory slot to drop a single dust. Do this twice intead of typing “2” or using the arrow buttons. If you sell in stacks of 2, make sure you inflate your price far past the typical price/dust of a 10-stack. Don't worry! It will sell.

Many dumb enchanters only want a specific amount of dust, they don't care about the
savings they will get from buying in bulk.

Faction-Specific Items
One complicated equivalency which few people bother correcting is in faction-specific
items: pets. Alliance pets are generally cute: kittens, pandas, parrots. Horde pets are icky: cockroaches and other yucky things. If you're on a non-PvP server, or you know someone on the opposing faction, you can do some dealing in the Gadgetzan Auction House to transfer faction pets. A 50 silver pet can easily fetch a few gold at the opposing faction's capitol city Auction House as long as you don't flood the market and you keep the technique to yourself.

Ethical Concerns

* Speculation cheats people out of their hard-earned money.
Okay, here's the thing: you can go get this shit yourself. All you have to do is to find a place where level 15–25 humanoids spawn and you're golden. Free wool for as long as you care to stay out there. I have absolutely no problem with jacking the prices up on these goods because the people buying them can all go get them themselves.
Leather, for instance. If someone is buying my leather there's one of two explanations:
they don't want to go out and get leather themselves OR they've decided they can
maintain leatherworking without having skinning as their second profession. In the first
case, who cares? They're paying for the privilege of not doing the work themselves. The second case is even worse; why should I do the work and make only a tiny profit because some guy doesn't want to have any gathering trade skills?
Seriously. People make too big of a deal out of AH prices, especially trade goods. No
trade good being sold on the AH isn't freely available, just stop being lazy. Hell, if I
could sell copper stacks for 5g each I'd do it in a second. — Paradoxish

Oh, I guess I can go fucking pick it myself. What a concept.— Nail Rat

Scheming is the most heinous form of Speculation. Most forms of scheming involve
tricking people, either directly or indirectly, into (deliberately or accidentally) buying
your goods at an inflated price.