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What are your most effective way of earning lots of gold in World of Warcraft?

Should I be farming materials for my trades or to sell on the Auction House? Or should I be doing speed runs on the daily heroics?

Any suggestions?

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9 Answers 9

This answer was posted by roguediary on Epic Advice

Markets for Making/Losing Gold

From my experience with flipping items on the auction house, I put together my top 5 and bottom 5 markets that I make my most gold in. Enjoy! :)


Top 5 Markets

5 -Reputation Items

You have to be careful with this one, because some types of reputation grinding, (ie. Sporeggar) is not as easy to sell as, say, Hodir reputation… (btw. Relics of Ulduar is probably my number one selling item on most days… people are desperate to get exalted for the shoulder enchant there… )

4 -Enchanting Materials

You can focus on one or both types of markets, the leveling market, (read, mid-level, such as Greater Nether, Small and Large Brilliant Shards), or high-level, such as Cosmic Essences and Abyss Crystals. Stay away from lower level mats as their profit margins are low and they are easier to come by.

3 – Milling/Alchemy Goods

Still currently a flavor of the month type of skill set… many are taking their alts higher up into the Inscription tradeset, causing a need for many mid-level herbs, (i.e. netherbloom, briarthorn, mageroyal)… avoid lower and higher level herbs as they are easier to come by, (ie. lower levels are easier to pick, higher levels are easier to glut into the market).

2 -Basic Trade Goods

(i.e. leathers, clothes, herbs, ores and bars) This is the majority of where I do my business… remember to fill both short and full stack markets and wait for a good loading time, (i.e. early in the weekend, during the week as necessary)

1 – Middle Level Gems

(i.e. Citrine, Blue Sapphires, Star Rubies, Large Opals, etc)… due to the resurgence of jewelcrafting, many are either respecing their mains or skilling up their alts… there is a level of ignorance with these mid-level gems, (i.e. before Lich King, Citrine was lucky to sell for 1g a piece… now it easily sells for 11g on our server)… while a bit hard to come by, you will feel like you hit a homerun everytime you find these as they sell very quickly and almost always grab top-dollar.


Bottom 5 Markets

5 - Top Level Gear

Dabbling in level 80 gear has been, in my experience a “break-even” type of market in that the number of options available for purchase at lvl 80 is fairly limited due to progression available gear, as well as subject to the leveling of different tradeskills, (i.e. Blacksmithing, Leather-Working). It is hard to corner a market that has a very select group buying and a very large group selling.

4 – Pets

Some people swear by pet selling… and there is SOME gold there as long as you are willing to farm the pets and are also willing to undercut the competition… I hate farming pets, so UNLESS I find a CRAZY deal on a pet, I generally stay away from these. Sure, there are tons of people out there collecting these, but at the prohibitive cost of most of these, the buying is sporadic and slow at best, backing up the market… glut causes lower prices, increasing your chances of losing your profit margin in repeat AH postings.

3 – Glyphs

There are a TON of glyphs being sold online… cheap and available… but the problem here is the market is SO glutted right now with these types of articles it is nearly impossible to make any type of flip profit on the straight glyphs, (there are some that tell me that Inscribers can make a profit on these… however as a buy/sell flipper, I avoid these unless I find a CRAZY deal.

2 – Quest Items

Again, we are talking about a VERY limited number of players that would even NEED this type of item at any given time. Given the almost universal availability of quest items NEARBY a quest hub, running to a AH to pick up something laying on the group nearby is ridiculous and a sure-fire way to lose money… not to be confused with reputation items, (see above #5).

1 – Leveling Gear

Unless you have an Enchanter you are trying to level, stay away from speculative buying of gear under level 80… gear is so specific to each class, so you are limited WHO would be interested in a specific piece of gear… PLUS quest rewards usually are better than anything available through AH, and is “free” considering you are willing to put time into doing the quest, which most people are since you are LEVELING anyways…. PLUS leveling has become much faster nowadays, meaning that while people are needing to upgrade gear more often, they are less apt to spend top-dollar on gear that is going to be replaced in the next few days.

Courtesy

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Just a comment, while the items at the top of the market sell reliably and quickly, they are usually not worth going out of your way to farm. Relics of Ulduar are extremely common because of the number of people doing heroics, but going on a trip specifically to farm them is not the best use of your time. I see them more as something you're going to end up getting anyway and it's just a nice perk to also be able to sell them at the end of the day. –  Lotus Notes Aug 17 '10 at 21:07
    
As strange as it sounds, back when I played WoW, my tailor used to turn crazy profits (for its level) at level 30 or so by selling Robe of Arcana. Robe of Arcana is tradeskill created item needed to get one of the best blue 30-45 Warlock robes in the game, but the recipe is only dropped by Defias Enchanter with a 1% or so drop rate. Of course, that is a pittance compared to the money items sell for later in the game. –  user2974 Aug 18 '10 at 15:45
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I would also add that grinding the Rare/Frostbitten achievements are a good way of knocking the low rated "Leveling Gear" higher into the echelon of sellable items as all Frostbitten (Northrend Rare Elites) kills drop trade mats, and Blue Bind-On-Equips for level 75-78 toons (a group that has money and is desperate to get geared). Those BOEs turn over a decent 40-120g a pop while youre grinding that achievement. –  mfg Aug 19 '10 at 12:35
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There isn't one answer to this. You have to examine the market on your server to be able to accurately judge what can make you the most money for your time spent.

In my opinion, farming collectables (herbs, ore, etc.) is almost never worth it. Why? Because the market on these items tends to be super saturated and the competition is high. Not to mention as the game gets closer and closer to the next expansion, the market will literally crash as those items will no longer be needed. Don't listen to the others, farming common materials is not the best use of your valuable time. 100g an hour farming Saronite is not worth it.

I can share you some of my personal favorite ways to make money, but this may not work on every server. Look for an item that is faction exclusive or difficult to obtain for the other faction. I chose the Black Tabby Cat, a non-combat pet, which drops from a rare spawn off the Dalaran Spellscribe (not killable by Alliance players, only by Horde) in Silverpine Forest. I parked a level 40 or so alt there, kept him logged off, and simply logged in a couple times a day on him (at least 6 hours apart) to see if the rare mob had spawned. For example, once during my lunch break, once before dinner, and once before I go to bed. If it was there, I would kill and loot it, and sell the pet for 1000g on the neutral auction house. There's actually an astonishing number of pet collectors nowadays who want to get literally every pet, so I just took advantage of that. Although the drop is only about 20% chance, I could still make 1000g or 2000g in a day if I was lucky with only literally 5 minutes of my time spent.

Of course, this is just one example and there may already be other people competing for this item on your server, or you simply may not be able to sell it as high as 1000g. But there are tons of similar items/drops and I guarantee you that you will be able to find one that you can claim a monopoly on. You just need to put in a little bit of thought and market research. At a time like this nearing the end of the expansion, people are willing to pay a lot for vanity items since they last forever, while gear gets outdated quick.

If you already have a ton of money and want to invest it for greater gain, consider picking up a high-in-demand profession like Jewelcrafting. Often times you can simply buy uncut gems off the AH and re-sell them for 30g higher which is pure profit. Just choose your recipes wisely. As another answer mentioned, completing quests at the level cap will give you additional gold. It's quite easy to have enough to buy your epic flying training in about a week just by doing Northrend quests at level 80. Your questing speed will increase even more once you do get your flier, if you choose to continue.

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i like turtles. do you have a turtle pet? –  Merritt Jan 28 '11 at 20:45
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There are a lot of options.

  • Grind monsters/quests - Not terribly efficient, but there's an abundant supply. Quests of the kill X variety are the best money makers, because you get loot and quest rewards.
  • Gathering - Again, not the fastest money-maker, but an unlimited supply. It's worth looking at the prices of the various goods you can gather - you may find some newb herb or mid-rage ore that sells for more than the top-tier stuff.
  • Auction House arbitrage - Find items that are cheaply priced, buy them, and relist for more. A related tactic is to buy ingredients that are cheap, produce something, and relist it. This doesn't necessarily require a profession - it could be something like converting eternal fires or disenchanting cheap greens. Use the auctioneer addon to determine average prices for items.
  • Cross-faction arbitrage - Same thing, except you're buying on one side and either using the cross-faction auction house, or passing the items to a character on the other side and listing them on that side's auction house. Beware the higher tax on the cross-faction auction house.
  • Auctioning rare NPC-sold items - Some NPC vendors can be found in out-of-the-way locations, selling things that can't be obtained elsewhere. I seem to recall a guy in Netherstorm who sold certain rare pets, as an example. Get an alt out there, buy some of these items, mail them to another of your characters and put them in the auction house for more than they cost. People are essentially paying to not have to go out into the middle of nowhere to get the item.
  • Professions - When WOTLK was young, glyphs were a money factory. This profession has slowed down, but there's still money to be made. Every profession can be profitable to some extent. Take some time to research the material costs and average AH prices for things you can make with your professions.
  • Expansion Speculation - Keep track of rumors and patch notes, and speculate on how patch changes and expansions will affect the economy. If you figure out something that will be in high demand after the patch/expansion, you can horde now to sell at a profit later.

Greedy Goblin used to have a lot of money-making advice. Check the older posts. Some of it is probably out of date, but there is still good advice in there.

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I reached the gold cap (214k gold) in around 4 months by following the MMO-Champion inscription guide. On my best days I was making 2-4k gold profit in a single day.

http://www.mmo-champion.com/threads/671095-Auction-House-Guide-Inscription/

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I have found inscription a great way to make easy gold even at low levels: Word of warning though: Inscription is nerfed in Cata and will probably not be the cash cow it is now. Also you need a lot of automation to make inscription worthwhile, if you don't like using add-ons inscription is not the way to go. –  Esti Sep 21 '10 at 4:21
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http://www.justmytwocopper.org/ - great blog that covers a lot of ways to make gold. Mostly AH related.

Currently, one big seller I've noticed on the AH is Runescrolls if you've got a max level scribe. The mat costs are pretty low. There's lots of other ideas like this on Markco's blog.

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collect something (herbs, fish, etc.), produce something (flasks, gems, etc.), sell it on AH.

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Doing lots and lots of quests, since they do earn you a fair share of gold (per XP after you hit 80), also you often gather lots of materials you can sell.

Following a leveling guide will ensure you can complete the most quests, the quickest. Also doing heroic dailies can be very useful, because they're more fun than farming and also give badges.

In the end, we often play WoW to have fun, so I would prefer this above mindless farming for hours. You get to follow the lore of the game, enjoy all the different areas and spot nice areas for when you do have to farm!

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If you have maxed out at level 80, then do the daily's as they pay gold in place of XP. Up near the Argent tournament grounds you can do about 4 or 5 dailies for about 50 gold in about 30 minutes with a fast flying mount.

Some of the rewards for the tournament dailies also offer 10g in place of badges. Take the gold, the badges are not much value for the gear you can buy with it.

Farming materials is of limited value as acquiring mats can be quite time consuming to acquire, and it's buggy as sometimes the material just won't appear in it's zone to farm for some time.

Get the Auctioneer addon to monitor values of mats and trade them. During the week, you can get things cheaper than on the w/e as there is less bidding for stuff.

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For a low level character just starting out I would suggest gathering professions.

  1. Mining,
  2. Herbology (gathering herbs)
  3. Skinning

are easy for even a low level character and you can sell the results on the Auction House. You won't make as much as you would speculating on items in the AH but you can't really make a loss either which is important when you are starting out and don't have much gold at all. Note that if you take mining and herbology at the same time you can't see both on the mini map, so you should choose one and add skinning.

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