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In Oblivion, I had two favorite money-makers:

  • Dump all my stuff except some basic armor and potions, and raid an oblivion tower. The armor and weapons was worth lots, and selling it in Anvil made a lot of cash fast.
  • Harvest an entire farm's worth of crops, create 'restore fatigue' potions and sell them.

Skyrim seems to spoil this:

  • Merchants have a max-amount per day/QOD/... instead of per item
  • You can't carry as much (or maybe I have yet to discover the strength/feather spells)
  • Alchemy is a lot harder (most common items go into food recipes now, which don't sell for those prices)
  • On top of that, once a dungeon is cleared, it doesn't respawn - so no 'farming' familiar dungeons?

What are some easy/repeatable money making methods in Skyrim? Which are most efficient effortwise/real-life-time wise?

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I could have sworn we already had a question about this. That said, I can't find it, so feel free to answer in the meantime. –  Raven Dreamer Nov 13 '11 at 23:02
    
@RavenDreamer - I was looking too...It has vanished! –  user9983 Nov 13 '11 at 23:34
    
There was a question about making money, but it was well on its way to being closed as unanswerably broad. I assume it was closed and quick-deleted. –  Ben Blank Nov 14 '11 at 1:19
    
@RavenDreamer It was my question, and I deleted it as it was going to be closed for being too open and hard to answer, with that said, it was more specific than this question, so meh. –  Mr Smooth Nov 14 '11 at 1:46
    
In oblivion, my fav. money making was joining the mages guild. Run around the guild hall and grab alchemy equipment (not counted as stealing when you are a guild member), and then sell them back to the in-house alchymist :) –  Pete Nov 16 '11 at 11:52

26 Answers 26

up vote 50 down vote accepted

I've found the best way to make money is pick up ingredients in the wild, make potions and sell them.

This works best for invisibility, because you can sell it for squillions. It'll also help your alchemy skill and get you loads of restore health and magica potions. I've made around 20k mostly from potions.

Avoid buying expensive ingredients like void salts, fire salts, daedra hearts etc. The return isn't worth the cost.

Win win win!

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+1, alchemy is definitely a huge money maker for me. Along with invisibility potions, paralyze poisons are also great money, not to mention handy on many occasions. –  z ' Nov 14 '11 at 4:17
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Ok, it remains alchemy then. I'll have to investigate which ingredients grow where (do they still regrow after 3 days, or is that 30 now too?) and which make what (haven't found the invisibility makers yet). –  Konerak Nov 14 '11 at 5:36
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@Konerak Through the normal course of play, every time I've revisited an area, the ingredients have regrown. I can't give you an exact in-game time, but it's pretty short. –  StrixVaria Nov 14 '11 at 11:22
    
@Konerak I agree with StrixVaria, they grow back very quickly. If you pick them up in the wild you should be able to get more potions than you can sell. Look into a guide to find out which ingredients make paralyze and invisible –  Coomie Nov 15 '11 at 2:02
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I have to add that you can make pretty good money just from two ingredients you can find around town -- Garlic and Salt Pile. They make a Potion of Magica Regeneration that is worth more than 90% of the potions I've made. –  agf Nov 16 '11 at 10:28

I just loot anything and everything, selling it anywhere I can. Making armor and then selling it is effective as well, as long as your not buying the ore or ingots and you get your own leather.

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Do you have any advice as to which items are most profitable to craft? For me, the cost of ingots has so far exceeded the value of what I can craft with them. –  Ben Blank Nov 14 '11 at 1:22
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i honestly just craft steel or whatever is at hand...go out to the wild and kill animals and use the hides for your own leather...go mine iron ore or whatever you can and use the smelter in windhelm to make your own ingots. –  TombstoneTwo Nov 14 '11 at 1:54
    
@BenBlank From what I've seen, smithing is only profitable if you buy ore rather than ingots or use mined ore. –  thegrinner Nov 14 '11 at 3:20
    
When I had some hides on me, leather and their crafts did sell well, as well as silver jewelry. But I don't think a hide-raid would be efficient money/time wise. –  Konerak Nov 14 '11 at 5:35
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+1 for this. I've never gone out of my way specifically to make money, but I just hit level 20 and already have a house and 13k gold just from doing quests and selling the random stuff I've picked up. Loot everything and search every container! –  dpatchery Nov 16 '11 at 14:20

Method 1: Transmute spell + iron ore + smithing = profit.

Find the Transmute spell (at the Halted Stream Camp north of Whiterun or at the Ansilvund Burial Chambers, northeast of Shor's Stone). I've found it there on 2 characters, so I assume it is static (found on a table/desk, not chest).

Steps to success:

  • Go get tons of iron ore. Easy from several dungeons/mines/etc.
  • Cast transmute, it will create a piece of silver ore.
  • Drop silver ore if you have a lot of lower quality gems(likely from mining all that iron), as you can make silver jewelry that will sell for more than standard gold jewelry.
  • Cast transmute again, rinse repeat until you have enough silver ore to make all the 'gem' silver jewelry with smithing.
  • After that, cast transmute all day and night to create gold ore. Do not drop silver ore, as it will all get converted to gold.
  • Go to a furnace (ex: Whiterun blacksmith), and turn your ore into bars.
  • Go to Forge and create all the jewelry.
  • Move to the 'final' method below.

Note: This is an Alteration spell, so consider wearing some items with Alteration bonuses and mana regen to help counter the cost.

Method 2: Make iron daggers

  • Buy iron ore/bars from anywhere you can, also go mine it if you are a real cheapskate. (the ore is ~5g), also get plenty of leather strips by either buying or tanning.
  • Create iron daggers at an anvil (1 iron bar, 1 leather strip).
  • Rinse, repeat until you have as many daggers as you do filled petty/common soul gems.
  • Move on to the final 'method' below.

Both Methods finale: Enchant the jewelry/daggers with an expensive enchant. Daggers are the better choice.

  • Get a bunch of Petty (common is better for weapons) soul gems. Buy them from merchants, as each item will sell for over 900g even with low speechcraft. So a 300g soul gem is still a huge profit.
  • This works by either getting the conjuration perk to add soul trap to bound weapons (and using the bound bow imo), or adding a short duration soul trap to a weapon.
  • Then just use an altar to enchant each jewelry/dagger piece with you most valuable known enchantment using the filled soul gems. I highly recommend the BANISH enchant(I first found it around level 25, it is the one that banishes summoned Daedra back to oblivion), as it makes nearly anything worth over 1000k, even mining picks.
  • Now run around and sell your items! Most vendors will only have enough for 1 dagger at a time. So I use this as a way to clean out vendors of ore/items I may want. But out their inventory, sell 3 daggers and still make a profit.
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As a side note, alchemy is indeed one of the better money makers that can happen easily. I chose the smith route because the silver/gold jewelry is very nice to help level your smith skill. And I wanted to get my smith skill up. So keep in mind if you have no desire to raise smith. Although you could just sell the gold ore (or bars, as furnace wont raise smith from what I can tell). –  JClaspill Nov 14 '11 at 17:00
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I've also found Transmute there; it must be static. This is an awesome method when combined with pickpocketing -- you can launder all those stolen gems into not-stolen jewelery. Also note there are 3 vendors that stock iron ore in Whiterun, plus the general goods store sometimes has some. –  agf Nov 15 '11 at 23:03
    
Oh, transmute sounds interesting. Where did you find this? You're working late ;) –  Konerak Nov 16 '11 at 14:26
    
@Konerak I added the note on where(name) to find it. Enjoy. –  JClaspill Nov 16 '11 at 16:31
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Saying the game has an "economy" is probably being too generous. ;) –  SevenSidedDie Nov 25 '11 at 0:53

Enchanting is yet another option.

  • Empty petty soul gems can be bought for around 25-30 gold depending on your speech skill perks and can be found in low level dungeons.
  • Buying/enchanting your own low level soul stealing weapon can be done early in the game, allowing you to fill the petty soul stones by killing the various animals found on your adventures.
  • Pick up / craft Iron daggers. These can be found on most low level bandits. (other weapons / armor are effective as well, these just weigh less)
  • Enchant the daggers and sell them.

They sell for around 250 or so, depending on the enchantment. (the game will show you the price of the item before you create it so just pick the enchantment that will sell for the most since the cost to you is still only one soul stone).

This method has a few benefits. You level your enchanting as you make money and you can do it along the way so you dont have to spend hours grinding gold. Most of the things you will be doing are things you already do anyway.

I am not saying this is better/faster then Alchemy as I have not compared them in game, but it works for me.

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"They sell for around 250 or so". You can improve on this considerably with better enchantments. I sell Banish enchanted daggers for over 1000. –  Beska Dec 13 '11 at 15:44

Get a spouse! They open a store to keep them busy... you can ask once a day how their store is doing and they hand you 100g. This accumulates, so if you ask 5 days later, they give you 500g. I stay at home and sleep 24 hours 10 times - hubby gives me 1000g. It only takes a little over 4 minutes for every 1000g.

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Very nice to know, I will be using this! Alas I don't like wasting in-game time, I feel like it's some kind of metric to see how well I'm doing I guess ;) –  Konerak Nov 16 '11 at 14:25

My main method is stealing gold from store lockboxes and doing Thieves Guild sub-missions.

Also,

you get 20k gold on the last Dark Brotherhood mission. The game hints that it's to improve sanctuary but you can keep it for yourself.

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Already been posted, but a little more specific for beginners:

Buy Iron ingots/ore from the two traders at War Maidens in Whiterun (first building on the right when you enter the gate), buy leather/leather strips as well, make Iron daggers and enchant them at Dragon's Reach, the Jarl's palace, also in Whiterun.

I've found the Absorb Health enchant makes the daggers the most valuable, so be on the lookout for an item with this enchantment.

Buy soul gems from either Farangar's Secret-Fire at the enchanter in Dragon's Reach, or the General goods store in Whiterun, and Farangar also sells the Soul Trap spell to fill them.

The profit out-weighs the cost of the supplies easily. Be sure to cast Soul Trap on creatures, not humans, unless you have a black soul gem, otherwise its a wasted cast.

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I think I wrote that in another thread but it was on Undead enchant selling at 350g~ minimum each. very easy –  Layke Dec 3 '11 at 1:53

Warning: This post could contain spoilers. Read with caution...

I've found that buying potions from stores is just as more profitable if not more so when you factor in time. You can literally hunt out the front of the white run store running between the bits and pieces store and the alchemy store selling your potions.

Some potions I like to make:

  • Slow
  • Paralysis
  • Damage stamina regeneration
  • Damage health regeneration
  • Invisibility
  • Fortify carry weight

Buying the ingredients for these potions will guarantee you make a profit even when you buy everything the vendor has to offer. I'm currently camping in white run just waiting 48 hours at a time selling potions and buying ingredients but not making any. I'm going to wait 10 times at white run go to Solitude and then the DB sanctuary and do the same. Why you ask? Not every store has the same ingredients it is better to get a variety of ingredients not to mention the DB sanctuary girl sells Daedra hearts (all the time) which i need for weapons and armor.

Effort wise this is very low, profit wise very high, time wise demanding, I've found that unlike smithing, Alchemy is very demanding. In contrast to dungeons which for me who has 100 in OH, HA and Block raiding dungeons is just a hassle I get very little gain from it and if I go magic then more often than not I'll die if I play Rambo style I'm used to with my sword and shield. On top of the 90% of the time the items you want are too heavy or you don't have enough room. Therefore by utilizing a variety of ingredients from several or more locations repeatedly you'll not only increase your alchemy levels but also your overall level quick enough to please you however not as quick as you'd like and on top of the your coin purse will overflow with gold! I'm literally struggling to sell all my potions and I'm still making crazy returns just by buying more ingredients and more ingredients. I have well over 40k in potions still needing to be sold!

Now this is for alchemy which I think sort of stands on it's own however smithing and enchanting can go hand in hand. An effective, time efficient way for smithing is as you probably know already smithing iron daggers however most people sell them off, store them for later! Fast travel from one town to the other (I go between Riverwood, Solitude and Whiterun) buying iron ingots and making iron daggers. Once you have enough simply enchant them with petty and common soul gems you'll make a slight profit which steadily increases, play around with different enchantments I've found that frost and fire damage gives me about 130 plus gold back for a nice 60 gold profit on each dagger. It's not a lot but it adds up! Especially when you've made 200+ daggers. This is where you weigh experience against making gold by grinding effectively the way I see it loosing money is what you should expect if you make any profit and still maintain a decent leveling speed all the better!

Another bonus to this is using gold to make jewellery which you also enchant and maybe add a gem to it later when your enchantments are more powerful to maximize profit. Ultimately this method is effective because you A) make a profit and B) level quickly however the downfall of enchanting is time you need to either buy the soul gems or fill them yourself which is a pain. I suggests using Azura's star or Black Star for expensive jewellery once you start leveling up seriously. This will ultimately increase your profit and also allow you to make top tier jewellery without having to worry about finding grand soul gems.

Buying the material needed to make Daedra armor is the most effective and efficient way to make money if you could only find somewhere to actually sell the armor.

I hope some of this helped, I know I really didn't state anything new but I hope I just clarified a few things that others have said.

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Wow, that's one hell of a first answer! Would upvote more than once if I could. –  Mana Nov 21 '11 at 15:39
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But... won't after a few hours of playing like this, you'll be level 50 just because of alchemy, speechcraft, smithing and enchanting... and then you encounter a level 50 butterfly and it kills you because your battle-skills were unleveled? –  Konerak Nov 21 '11 at 16:41
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I hate those damned butterflies. –  SevenSidedDie Nov 21 '11 at 19:18

For me, the best source of income is completing the generated missions from Dark Brotherhood and Thieves Guild, after I've completed their main quest lines. They tend to be quite easy and pay well (usually 1000gp for murder contract, for example).

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For easy speech go talk to Unguien in Riften, usually at Helga's Bunkhouse (he might also be found at the Black-Briar Meadery behind the desk). Talk to him about Maven Black Briar and Persuade. Repeat until you reach the desired level, then sell any loot or crafted items for around 200% of normal sale prices. Adding perks to speech makes this much more efficient.

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Once you become thane of Whiterun, you can take virtually anything in the palace for free, and then sell it to merchants for 1000+ cash.

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That's neither sustainable nor very much money. –  SevenSidedDie Nov 25 '11 at 0:50
    
@SevenSidedDie — True, but it can be a fantastic boost to a starting character. It's how I bought my first house. ;-) –  Ben Blank Nov 25 '11 at 6:51

I got annoyed at the feeling that I was wasting my hard earned alchemy ingredients on low-profit potions, so I wrote a web-app that could tell me for sure if I was.

http://www.endoftheweb.se/skyrim

When you search and combine different ingredients in potions, it will indicate in green if this use is the most profitable for this particular ingredient, or if you are better off saving it to some other potion. Now Im instead having problems selling all the potions before the vendors run out of gold...

I read a tip yesterday though, that there is a 25.5 hour diff between Riften and Markarth, so if you jump between them the stores are always restocked. Gonna try that tonight.

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Thanks for the link, that's a really useful tool. –  victoriah Dec 8 '11 at 21:38
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+1 for that webservice. –  insta Jan 6 '12 at 8:12
    
Yes: this is awesome. –  Jason Jan 10 '12 at 15:26

There is a great way of not having to wait 2 in-game days for merchants to restock on money/items by exploiting a glitch.

Save your game in front of the merchant that you want to use the glitch on. After you have saved, kill the merchant. (Warning! Do not save after killing him/her!). Then, simply reload the game you saved before the brutal slaying. Afterward, the merchant will have restocked everything.

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Enchanting, for sure.

Keep an eye out for any weapon with Banish on it (insta-kills Daedra's). Make sure when you do the enchant you choose the highest level with the least charges, it sells for the most.

With my enchanting at around 65 I can quite literally spend 20g on an Iron Dagger, 100g on a filled Petty Soul Gem, and combine the two to make an enchanted dagger with a value of 2400g.

Personally I kept all the Iron Daggers I made while leveling smithing, and put Soul Trapping on my weapon(s). I just buy any Petty and Lesser gems I see (filled or not) and when I get a bunch of filled gems stocked up in my inventory I enchant them all and throw them in my house.

The most annoying part about making money is finding people to buy all my stuff. I've easily got a couple hundred thousand gold worth of daggers sitting in my house.

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I'd suggest going spelunking in caves and dungeons. I did this for a couple weeks in real life and finally noticed I had lots of jewelry. When I sold it all, it put me up to 84423 gold coins.

So go explore dungeons and caves!

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I have found that the easiest way for me to make money is to kill dragons, either by storyline or by returning to dragon locations, and making dragon armor from their bones and scales.

Obtain the effects from The Steed Stone so that you can carry more items at a time. You can make up to 4,000 gold from killing one dragon if you're lucky. This is also a good way to increase your other skills, such as restoration, one-handed, and heavy armor.

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4,000 dollars omg. –  Marcelo Jan 10 '12 at 18:21
    
Hmm someone -1'd this. –  Joe the Person Jun 17 '12 at 14:55

Smithing is the way to go. First, one gets to level 100 smithing by making daggers. Then, you get your speech level to 100 by persuading the guy in Riften to tell the truth repeatedly. After that, you wear as much enchanted armor and jewelry in your possession to further increase your Speech skill. Then, you buy as many ebony bars as you can; make sure all your armor is changed to Smithing-skill enhancing and then proceed to make as many ebony bows as you can. After you do that, upgrade the bows to Legendary, and then switch back to Speech-Enhancing armor and sell all the bows you just made. In each case, you profit 1500 coins for each bow you make, plus, it only takes about 2 minutes to make one bow, so within a half hour, you have already made 50K. I've used this method to make millions; in my opinion, it is the easiest and fastest way to make money, and better yet, you can do it from the start of the game!

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Here are some hints for Solitude:

To be able to buy the house in Solitude you need to do two quests, the Steward's quest and the Jarl's quest. The Steward is the red beard guy named Falk Firebeard and both can be found in the blue palace. Upon completing these two quests you can buy the house in solitude for 25k. It takes you another 10k to fully furnish your house, which I recommend.

You can get the house for free if you save your game just before trying to buy. Look to your Northeast when facing the Jarl, see that cupboard? Right after you click to buy the house then confirm it you will have 6 second window to dash to the cupboard, open it and deposit all your gold, then exit the cupboard. The game continues and you will get the key to your new house without having to have paid any gold.

Then just go to the cupboard again and retrieve your gold. This is not considered theft. This trick works with any house. The Whirlwind Sprint "Shout" is sometimes needed to make it in time.

Solitude is the best place in my opinion to fast level your smithing-speech and making money fast. In your basement you get two mannequins, so you keep duplicating good armor which includes shields. Here's how you do it:

  1. Open the mannequin, choose apparel items you have that you want duped and place the items you want to dupe on the mannequin.

  2. Don't close the mannequin menu, right above there is the mannequin's apparel menu, open it and take all the items you just placed on it and then close the mannequin.

  3. Run out of the house and the items should be there when you reenter the house. This works 100%. Once you have reentered the house and you see the armor on the mannequins you just take it all off in the first screen you see when you activate the mannequins, then run out then in rinse and repeat.

Note: Although enchanted apparel keeps all enchantments, improved armor like, say, Legendary reverts back to normal base values. For example, if you can place, say, a Legendary Bone armor to dupe then take it back, when you reenter the house you will find unimproved base value Bone armor.

This is the fastest way to make money, by selling duped armor to the smith and fletcher when you have invested in both.

For the smithing and speech aspect of this, from your house exiting from basement go right, up the hill then diagonally left, the smith is on the left, the fletchers is on your right. The smith is in at around 10am while the fletcher is tricky, he shows up at around 11am or so, so hit up the smith then hit up the fletcher.

Buy all the iron ingots and all leather and strips the smith has each time you visit after the 2 day rest/wait. For the speech aspect buy them each separately instead of bulk. Make iron daggers and hide bracers.

DAGGERS = 1 iron ingot and 1 leather strip.
HIDE BRACERS = 2 leather strips and 1 leather.

Sell all bracers you make back to the smith but save all the iron daggers and drop them off at your enchanting table for later.

The fletcher usually has around $750 and the smith has around $1200. Rest/wait 2 days rinse and repeat. These amounts can be raised if you invest in them.

There is also a wood pile nook against the wall at the smiths. I use it for dumping a crap load of duped armor. Just make sure those roving kids don't see you dump any or they will ask or might take a piece, otherwise I've never had anything go missing ever, just try to pile it in the nook.

In the house you get your very own enchanting table in the basement, so remember all those iron daggers you made I told you to save. To easily train your enchant skill, simply enchant the daggers with whatever floats your boat because the credits the same for all. When it comes to upping your enchanting skill, I personally use fire damage.

By now you should know of a good place to hunt easy pray. If you would like an idea, this is where I used.

There is an abandoned shack which you find in the Dark Brotherhood storyline called "Abandoned Shack", just east and a little south of Solitude, open your map, and you should you see those little islands to the right/east of Solitude, just south of the open water. The shack can be found at the southernmost island. There are plenty of low level stuff, animals, fish, crabs, baddies and such. This is important because you fast travel from it to the blue palace to get back to your basement fast.

The blue palace is where the Jarl is, where you bought your house, or from your basement door run left. Anyway, bouncing here is fast when filling soul gems. If you run past where the smith and fletcher are and jump down the wall/steps the gem dealer is on your right.

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Here is the best no-risk, battle-free, get rich quick scheme in Skyrim.

Collect ingredients. Buy out the cheap stock of an alchemy merchant. It doesn't matter what you start with, as long as there's sufficient variety for the first "round."

At an alchemy lab, go to your full ingredient list and, beginning at the top, systematically "learn" their uses without wasting a single ingredient by using the following method:

Put your laptop next to you and find your first ingredient on this online ingredient's list and right-click on it. Open in new tab. This page shows all four potions that particular ingredient makes, along with each potion's full ingredient list.

Look for those ingredients with asterisks (*) on the web page, and if you have an ingredient marked as such, add it immediately in your game screen. You now have a potion with 2 effects, and have learned at least 3 uses for the ingredients. Add a third ingredient, ideally from another potion list, and now you've learned even more ingredient effects for one or more of each ingredient.

Go down your ingredient list from top to bottom until all 4 effects of each ingredient are learned. Only use ingredients until you see all four effects are learned, then leave the remainder of that ingredient in your inventory. Go down your list until you can't learn any new effects. Remember, the best potion to make is one in which you learn the maximum ammount of new effects per ingredient used.

Now, sell off your potions and move to the next alchemy merchant. Stay on the main roads and grab every ingredient you see along the way. Don't bother antagonizing large animals, just get to the next town, buy out the alchemy merchant's ingredient stock, and repeat the effect-learning process with everything in your inventory for which you still need to learn effects. One "round" down your ingredient list per town, then move on.

Don't worry about what potions you make, or how counter-intuitive the effects may seem. Even a potion with seemingly opposite effects will net you good money. The point for now is to systematically learn every effect and thus, every recipe. Using the web page to do this will be time consuming at first, but the learning curve rises exponentially due to the cross-referencing of effects. This rapidly leads to a state in which all potion recipes and ingredient effects are saved in your alchemy screen for future use, and you can quickly and easily create the most expensive (or useful) potions with no fuss or experimentation.

Circle Skyrim from town to town buying out each alchemy merchant's stock, creating potions in the store, and selling them back. After a few potion-making rounds, there will be no need to search the game world for specific ingredients; you'll be able to make almost anything with the standard stocks available in towns.

Along the way, your alchemy and speech will quickly increase to the point where you can obtain great alchemy perks and the all-important speech perk allowing you to sell anything to any merchant. Once you have this, you'll never lack willing buyers with money to burn.

Obviously, any enchanted item that increases alchemy or speech is a must-buy.

This is the best method I've found so far to A. make fast cash, B. level up the two most universally useful skills, and C. avoid insane levelling with multiple skills that cause your character to become an "all talk, no fight" character, incapable of defending himself against similarly levelled enemies. As others have aptly noted, this is the main problem with the "clear caves, mine ore, smith weapons, enchant the weapons, and sell them" money-making technique; you simply do to much and level up too many non-combat skills. And in terms of time expended, there is simply no comparison. Stay out of the mines.

Hint: since you will inevitably gain character levels due to your alchemy / speech increases, make sure you train the maximum 5 times per level in a combat or magic skill. It helps to have Faendel along for this purpose with his free archery training, but other combat trainers are available in the towns, and with all your money you'll have no problem paying them.

Of course, for sneaky, archery-sniper characters, there is no better way to start the game. By getting Faendel right off the bat and beginning this process immediately at the beginning of the game, it is possible to have a 50 archery skill (his max training level), speech and alchemy in the 30's or 40's, tens of thousands of gold in your purse, and a near-endless supply of powerful poisons for your arrows (paralyze, slow) and potions (invisibility, health regen) before you even set foot in a cave. Best of all, your character level will still only be in the 20's. Even playing on "Master" difficulty, you'll easily out-match your prey.

Last important tip: Perverse as this may sound, you'll want to avoid The Lover's Stone or anything else that enhances your levelling speed until you bank sufficient funds to really start the game right. How many round-the-board tours you complete before you actually set off for adventure is up to you, but remember, the important thing is to make some money and have a comfortable cushion. There's nothing more frustrating that finding something in a shop that would be perfect for your character at just the right time, and not having the jack to cover it.

Perhaps the best thing about this technique is its honesty; aside from relying on the web ingredient research, you aren't employing any cheats or glitches. Frankly, considering that alchemy is supposed to be an academic art, and you are putting in genuine time painstakingly going through each ingredient on your laptop, I find it a perfectly honorable way to go about learning the effects and recipes. No real alchemist would run around eating leaves and making random potions in order to learn their effects. He would research all available sources first, going about his work in a scientific manner.

As for Faendel's free training, my feeling is this: There are only 3 followers in the game that can train you, and the other 2 aside from Faendel are absurdly hard to obtain. The fact that followers give you free training is logical and was obviously an intended part of the game, not an exploitable glitch. Would a friend who fights at your side in real life charge you money to teach you a skill? I doubt it.

Some may disagree, but in my view, in RPG's (as in life) there is nothing better than having lots and lots of 'effin money. Sleep in the park if you want; I'd rather occupy an OFFICE on Wall Street.

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Make 100K coin in just a few minutes.

I have a way to get rich very quickly.

It involves a few perks and a glitch though.

First, you need:

  • The heavy armor perk to make all armor weigh nothing.
  • The speech perk to invest in a shop
  • Able to blacksmith daedra armor

Steps:

  1. Craft yourself and wear full daedric armor.
  2. Buy the house in Solitude and decorate it with either an enchanter or alchemy station (I forget which one) to get a mannequin in your house.
  3. Use the duplicate armor glitch to make several duplicates of the deadric armor (if you are wearing full deadric and have the weightless perk you should be able to carry an infinite amount)
  4. Go to the Riften trader and invest in the shop. (He will now have 10K coin that refreshes every 48 hours)
  5. Sell him deadric armor until he is out of money, use the wait button to wait 24 hours twice, then sale him more. Repeat until you are as rich as you want.

Once I had the prerequisites I was able to reach 100K coin in a matter of minutes. It takes a while to setup but once you have everything you can earn an unlimited amount of coin very quickly.

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my method which makes about 10k gold an hour at a lazy pace is through alchemy.

I go around the vendors:

  • Arcadia in whiterun
  • General goods vendor right by Arcadia (doesnt sell ingredients but buys potions)
  • solitude for aromatics store
  • general goods accross the street from aromatics (doesnt always have ingredients but buys potions)
  • White phial in Windhelm

at these stores i make the roud by buying everything under 50-60 gold (ingredients only ofc) then i sell my potions from previous times (always have more potions than they can afford hence the general goods added for selling them to help), I do this through every store on the list in succesion, then at the last one i save, and log out to desktop (works on all platforms) as this resets the stock they have in and their gold limit.

Rinse and repeat.

Usually I do this until either I run out of potions, I get the follower to carry half of them as I make about 500 at a time, once out of potions i make another batch with the ingredients bought, make about 10k per round and it takes anywhere between 30 mins to an hour, I'm doing this myself purely to level alchemy but the gold option is clearly a big bonus.

Should be noted when I make the potions, I do damage Regeneration ones first as they are like hundreds and hundreds each, then fortify potions, never health as they sell for nothing, and thirdly resist potions, then quick look at all others for 100-200 minimum selling and then start over selling and buying.

Quick note on mechanics of alchemy, Alchemy grows in level via how much the potion you create is worth so creating potions worth more makes you level faster, it's win win :).

-XaineK

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Just steal jewellery, gold, gems and anything enchanted. Work your way through a town house by house, if you fail to steal something and get caught, reload from the last autosave when you entered and retry.

Thievery is so much fun too, IMO far more fun than making potions, I've even stolen the magic robes one of the mages was wearing, and weapons people have been holding, more for fun than the amount I'd get for selling them.

Join the thieves in Riften, do a quest or two for them, every time you get back check with the vendor that accepts stolen goods, sell, 1000g every time and you're actually questing :)

Remember to train, train one level at a time, save (very important) pick pocket your gold back, reload if you fail. Training several levels at once means you potentially have to steal back thousands at once, and that doesn't really happen...

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Smithing and Enchanting

First, some facts:

  • The amount of value added by enchanting is not based upon the value of the weapon
  • Weapon enchantments generally add higher value than armor enchantments
  • The pricing for weapon effects is based on base cost for a single use, so when you select an effect keep the slider on the far right. The most valuable effects are Banish, Paralyze, Absorb Health, Turn Undead and Damage Stamina in that order. Banish and Paralyze are purely random loot and merchant items, although I've had great luck finding them at Fletcher in Solitude. Absorb Health is easy to pick up in Labyrinthian (Drainblood Battleaxe).
  • Enchanting generally adds more than smithing (in fact, smithing struggles to break even). That means we should smith the weapons requiring the cheapest, fewest and most abundant components. That almost always works out to Iron Daggers (Iron Ingot + Leather Strips) and Leather Bracers (Leather + 2 Leather Strips).

Bottom line: Smith Iron Daggers and add the most valuable enchantment you can.

Passive method

  • Items: Grab all the daggers you can in dungeons and store them in your house. Iron Daggers are the lightest, but even Daedric Daggers weigh less than any other weapon type aside from a Long Bow. Whenever you kill an animal, take its hide to skin later for leather.
  • Enchantments: Disenchant any non-unique weapons or armor with enchantments. Not only will it level up Enchanting, but the odds that even if it's valuable you'll be able to make something equivalent shortly.
  • Soul gems: Make a weapon with 1-second Soul Trap early on. It should only periodically require recharging (which improves your Enchanting skill anyway). Grab all the soul gems you see lying around.

Active method

  • Items: Go to blacksmiths and buy out their stores of Iron Ore, Iron Ingots, Leather and Leather Strips. After buying everything out you can sell your enchanted weapons and get your money back plus whatever additional gold the merchant has on hand.
  • Enchantments: For some reason Fletcher in Solitude (mentioned above) has Banish- and Paralyze-enchanted bows in stock quite often
  • Soul gems: Raid Dwemer ruins and Blackreach for soul gems. In the former, most automatons are powered by soul gems. Empty soul gems can be filled by soul-trapping the inevitable Falmer that inhabit the ruin. Blackreach has around two dozen geode veins that can be mined for all kinds of soul gems.

Alchemy

  • Enchant alchemy gear: Although you can get a modest bonus (up to +32%) to Enchanting above by brewing Fortify Enchanting potions, you can get a huge bonus (up to +145%) to Alchemy by enchanting Fortify Alchemy armor. You can add the effect to a ring, a necklace, gloves and a helmet (or, even better, a Falmer Helmet and a circlet). A maxed-out alchemy will often make it difficult to sell some potions because they're so valuable.
  • Don't overpay: There are only a few ingredients that are so expensive they're worth avoiding entirely: Daedra Hearts, Frost Salts and the almost worthless Void Salts. But in general there's no relationship between how expensive an ingredient and how valuable its effects are.

Here are best alchemical items in my opinion (italics = relatively cheap and easy to find at merchants):

  • Paralysis: Canis Root, Swamp Fungal Pod, Briar Heart, Human Flesh, Imp Stool
  • Damage Magicka Regen: Blue Butterfly Wing, Blue Mountain Flower, Chicken's Egg, Hanging Moss, Spider Egg, Bear Claws, Glow Dust, Human Heart, Nightshade, Spriggan Sap
  • Invisibility: Chaurus Eggs, Luna Moth Wing, Crimson Nirnroot, Ice Wraith Teeth, Nirnroot, Vampire Dust
  • Slow: River Betty *, Salt Pile, Deathbell, Large Antlers
  • Fortify Carry Weight: Creep Cluster, Scaly Pholiota, Giant's Toe *, Hawk Beak, River Betty, Wisp Wrappings
  • Regenerate Stamina: Bee, Fly Amanita, Mora Tapinella, Scaly Pholiota
  • Regenerate Health: Garlic, Juniper Berries, Luna Moth Wing, Namira's Rot, Nordic Barnacle, Vampire Dust
  • Regenerate Magicka: Garlic, Salt Pile, Dwarven Oil, Fire Salts, Jazbay Grapes, Moon Sugar, Taproot
  • Damage Stamina Regen: Creep Cluster, Frost Mirriam, Histcarp, Juniper Berries, Skeever Tail, Wheat, Daedra Heart, Giant's Toe, Large Antlers, Silverside Perch

The ingredients with asterisks are great because they have additionally fortified effects. River Betty has a bonus to Damage Health and combined with a Deathbell makes a quite valuable potion. The Fortify Health on Giant's Toe is extremely valuable and easily combined with Wheat.


Increasing the Selling Price

Like above, you can enchant several pieces of armor with Like below, the Speech tree is full of perks that will enhance your selling price.


Finding Buyers

The biggest constraint here is merchant gold, generally around 500 for alchemists and 750 for most others. In any case, it's not a lot.

To solve it, obviously you can just take perks in the Speech skill tree. But since you'll probably wind up with more gold in Skyrim than you know what to do with, that's not something I'd personally recommend.

My personal favorite place to sell things is in the Thieves Guild in Riften. If you've completed all of the Thieves Guild special quests, you'll have four merchants set up in the Ragged Flagon, all of which have their own gold stores, plus Tonilia should have at least 4000 gold to trade with.


Others

  • Marriage gives you 100 gold per day
  • You get 20,000 gold for completing the Dark Brotherhood missions
  • Although it's a long quest, finding all the Stones of Barenziah lets you find stupid amounts of gems in loot
  • For something to put you over the hump, especially when you're looking for an extra several hundred gold in the early game, just kill a dragon. They'll often drop 3 each of Dragon Bones and Dragon Scales, which has a base price of 2250 gold (725-1125 gold depending on your Speech level, assuming no perks). They can be sold at alchemists and general stores. Plus, dragons will usually have some combination of gold, gems and enchanted/unenchanted equipment.

Exploits

You can decide how game-breaking these are, but they all at least work within the actual game mechanics.

  • Pickpocketing trainers: You can steal any money you pay to a trainer. While this won't earn you gold, it will a) prevent you from losing gold on very costly services, b) level up money-making skills faster and c) level you up faster, enabling more valuable weapons to spawn. Some trainers can even join you, such as Faendal and Aela, and after training the gold will just appear in their inventory, ready for taking back.
  • Loot merchant chests: Ahkari, a Khajiit near the entrance of Dawnstar has an invisible chest between two rocks to the left of Iron Breaker Mine. Eorlund Gray-Mane has one underneath the Skyforge in Whiterun, which requires a bit more finagling. There's another in Dushnikh Yal near the bar by the forge, although the items are all marked with "Steal."
  • Selling books that respawn immediately and infinitely: Grab a whole bunch of copies of The Doors of Oblivion from a skeleton near the Sightless Pit
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What are some easy/repeatable money making methods in Skyrim? Which are most efficient effortwise/real-life-time wise?

This is probably the console command player.additem f x (change x to a number, like 99999). This adds x gold (f is gold's item ID) to the player character.

e.g. player.additem f 99999 will add 99999 gold to the player character.

This is easy (probably the easiest), repeatable and the most efficient effortwise/real-life-time-wise method of gaining gold (if playing on the PC).

(Just putting this here as no one mentioned it yet.)

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Go Dungeon Diving but there is a disadvantage to that and it is you have to look EVERYWHERE for Urns and Burial Urns and Chests to find Gold and stuff to sell. Also go to forts, small dungeons, caves, and camps and sell everything you get unless you want it or think it would be useful. And I think if you have REALLY good Barter skills you might be able to buy stuff and sell them for more than you bought it for. Steal things and sell them to the Theives Guild. The Dark Brotherhood might also buy stolen goods. Mostly just sell everything you don't want. That is very effective (that is how i get over 20,000 gold every 2 or 3 in-game days).

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1  
You can't buy stuff and resell for profit since skill caps out just above and below 100% for buying and selling. –  SevenSidedDie Oct 23 '13 at 17:48
    
Is there a mod on the computer version that makes it so that you can buy and re-sell for profit? –  soulreaper Oct 24 '13 at 16:43

Chop Lots o Wood. 2 wood is 10 gold and it takes 6 seconds to get 6 wood 30 gold 60 seconds in a minute 30*10=300 gold in one minute. AND If you get a mod called for infinite chopping you don't need to keep using the block again after the character is done chopping.

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protected by LessPop_MoreFizz Dec 22 '11 at 13:13

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