WoW Money Making Guide

In this game there are serveral ways to make money, I would like to introduce a few of them in this guide.

Step 1 - Change from Crafter to Gatherer

Change your tradeskill into two gathering skills if you see that your tradeskill doesn’t bring much profit, in fact
tradeskills mostly bring very few profit because there is just too many high level crafters with the time progressing.
Leveling tradeskills or gathering skills in this game is really not hard, at high level it requires maybe 2-3 days of work to max a skill. If there was really some big profit to make with enchanting/leatherworking/smithing/tailoring, don’t you think that other people who can spend more time than you online each day, would have already long ago maxed those tradeskills and started to flood the market with items?

In fact they did; actually shortly after people start to hit 60 on a new server people start to exploit all possible ways to make money to the maximum, so you got two possibilities to make money. You can find a niche, a little secret way of making money, which is extremely profitable but which is not known (well) by other players. As long as your secret stays one, you will continue to make nice money, but be sure that you wont find such a secret on any public forums as spoiling it would also ruin the profit from it. (As soon as people know a way to make money, many start to provide the same sort of item and flood the market with it = decrease of demand = decrease of price = no profit for you)
The second way, which is the interesting way for us, is to provide the market with items that are needed on a large base and that are always demanded. What are those items in general? Right! Ingredients for tradeskills.

Step 2 - Choose your Gathering Skill

Almost every tradeskiller wont, at some point, be able to provide himself with all the ingredients he needs. The more people there are who stick to their tradeskills and don’t want to give them up, the better the profit will be for you. This is why you should choose two gathering skills (cannot choose more than two).
People will ask themselves now… but wait, if I give up my tradeskill I won’t be able to make myself armor anymore? For that problem there is a simple solution, use mostly drop/quest items. If you use items that drop instead of crafted items, you wont be much behind (difference between items you can make and items you find at your level while questing and hunting are mostly very small) and also you will be able to concentrate fully on gathering ingredients which you will sell on the AH. This way you will - in a short and fast way - make a lot more money than any crafter and will eventually be able to buy yourself any crafted item (if you
should really want one).

Now there is only one problem, which gathering skills to choose?
Well this is really your choice and depends on the economy of your server, but I will try to make a general list of the gathering skills, ranking them by how much profit they generate, helping you to get an overview.

1) Mining - Mining is maybe the most profitable gathering skill. Why? It’s used for 3 different tradeskills => Weapon/Armor Smithing + Engineering. Also some ores/metal bars are used for potions and other tradeskills. You can mine several ores from one
mining spot and you can melt the ore yourself to bars.
The other VERY important fact is that you get rare gems from mining spots which are needed for tradeskills and other things. At high levels these rare gems start to pay off a lot, as one arcane crystal for example can be sold for a lot of money on the AH, because it is needed for making Arcanite Bars the most precious and rare metal there is.

2) Skinning - Skinning is also a very profitable gathering skill as you get all your leather while hunting. You have to kill beast type of mobs which can drop different sorts of leather. Sometimes you get rare scales and quest items which are also extremely precious. Skinning is so profitable because you can do it while killing mobs, that means you go into a cave with beasts and kill them for a certain among of time which brings you extra loot + exp as well as loads of leather.

3) Herbalism - Herbs are a bit hard to find, but if you know the spots it becomes actually easy if you have no competition. Herbs sell surprisingly well on the AH and are not offered often. If you really search good spots in high level zones, with not too many people you can make nice money out of this. Especially because you can get up to three herbs from one plant.

4) (Dis)Enchanting - The last and certainly least profitable gathering skill is disenchanting items. You take blue/green/purple drop items and disenchant them to get ingredients for enchanters, who then can enchant armor with stats. This is by far the most
pricy skill to raise as you miss out on all the profit from dropped items which you could sell.
Enchating ingredients can be sold for nice money on the AH, but keep in mind that you will not be able to sell any good item that you see dropping if you take this skill serious. Also you will have to ask and beg in groups to get not needed armor/weapon drops in order to disenchant them, if you dont play in a guild, you will certainly not be successful with your requests often.

Step 3 - Organised Gathering

Now you need to start gathering items. It doesn’t matter if you raise your gathering skills while leveling or as a high level, you will always want to keep these things in min:

  1. Ingredients drop according to zone level. That means, the higher the level of the ingredients you need, the higher level the zone gets in which you have to search.
  2. Always keep up your tracking. If you do mining or herbalism, make sure to ALWAYS have the tracking for those items switched on,
    after dying for example it turnes itself off and you wont see any yellow dots anymore on the map.
  3. Find the good zones. There is certainly better zones than others for gathering skills and good spots for finding beasts to skin, you will have to find your very own favorite spots which are not too crowded, but there are already people who found out about the good zones for gathering. On our forums here you can find a complete compendium of the best zones for each herb for example and there is more to come about this shortly. In the meantime you don’t have to go and search through all zones, you can simply use and check where the ingredient you need can be found most frequently.
  4. Make dots on your map. Either use the dot system (from cosmos or insomniax) for making dots where you find certain minings spots/herb locations, or use a mod that will do this for you automatically; you can find one in our download section.
    This will allow you to go directly - without losing time - to the possible spots for ingredients and check if they are up. The longer you do this and the more different paths you take through a zone, the more dots you will get and the faster/more efficient you will become while gathering.
    For skinning its slightly different; here you will most likely find caves with a lot of beasts (like the ape cave in Un’Goro or the Yeti cave in Winterspring), but make dots anyway so you can quickly go to another skinning spot if there is already someone hunting at yours.

Step 4 - Use all Your Options

You will have to combine your gathering skills with a few other things to really make the biggest profit.

  1. While searching ingredients or while waiting on the respawn of your mining/herb spots, KILL THINGS. Kill things as much as you can on your way. Don’t kill any trash like Oozes for example, but kill stuff that drops cloths (humanoid mobs) or mobs that drop other useful stuff.
    If you really don’t get the time to kill mobs on your way then go into instances from time to time. Make sure to find a rule for the loot that is distributed and make sure to always ask if anyone needs an item, if not everyone should roll on this dropped item.. Eventually you will win stuff and be able to sell in on the AH.
    Additionally, in instances you will find a lot of cloths from mobs which you can sell in stacks on the AH.
  2. Always empty your bags before going to gather stuff or before going to an instance. This is extremely important, bag space = money. Therefore try to invest early in 14-16 slot bags to carry as much loot as possible.
  3. When you do quests, and when you don’t need any of the items that are offered as reward, make SURE to always pick the biggest Axe/Sword/Plate Armor. Those sell for a much nicer money than cloth items at the merchant.
  4. Friends who do tradeskills can help. If you got friends who do tradeskills PROFIT from their knowledge and ask them about how the economy goes for ingredients, what do they need the most right now, what is the hardest item to find currently etc.
  5. Make Mules. If you lack bank space don’t buy pricy bank slots, just make a mule and log it in when needed, using the postbox system or a friend or a second computer (if mule is on second account) to transfer items.

Step 5 - Auction House is Your Friend

Now we get to one of the most important factors for money making, the Auction House in short AH. Almost all ingredients/gems/armor pieces can be sold for a bigger money at the AH than to the merchant. Even if the price difference is only 1 gold, it pays off with the time coming. And there we already get to the most important rule about the AH - PATIENCE.
You will have to get to know the AH, it’s prices and it’s moods, it’s times and it’s secrets. Don’t mind studying the AH for a lot of time, it’s well worth it. There are UI mod’s that write down automatically on item windows the prices that they were seen for last time on AH, this makes your work much much easier.
A few things that you need to work out about the AH:

  1. Get to know the prices, play with the prices. Get to know the going prices for items that are offered on the AH. This will allow you to estimate the best prices for your own items and will allow you to even play with these. This means, if you know exactly how much an item is worth normally, why not offer it for a slightly higher price when there is noone else offering the same item?
    Right, this is where the actual profit comes from, knowledge about prices and the AH.
  2. Offer all your items. Even if it might be a bother at the beginning and even if it might take a while, you will get used to it and find out eventually which items sell on the AH at all and which not, allowing you to sell the ones that don’t sell well at all to the merchant immediately.
    You will pretty quickly get the drill and become a pro, you will be able to memorize prices and use them quickly to set values for your goods in order to move on faster to more farming.
  3. Watch the AH. This will allow you to detect certain leaks and holes. Sometimes items like ores are offered in a huge amount and prices drop, you might want to keep your items and sell other things first while waiting for a moment when there is less of these items for sale.
    You might EVEN consider (if you find cheap merchandise on the AH) to buy up all of it yourself and sell it for a higher price afterwards, people will be forced to buy from you and forced to pay the price you set because there wont be any other source for this item, than yours.
  4. Whatever you do, DON’T UNDERBID. People tend to make the prices for items lower in order to sell them faster and to underbid competitors, this however is very narrowminded. It will hurt you in the end and cause you to have to sell your items cheaper and cheaper, getting less and less money in the long run.
    Look at this example: Mostly tradeskillers start off selling crafted items for a big profit, then when competition comes they have to lower the prices and at the end they end up selling their stuff for slightly more than what it cost to make it.
    So if you can prevent a price decrease, rather be patient and leave your items at the same price, eventually they will get bought, even if it takes several tries.
  5. Look at what times items sell the best. This sounds easy but it’s actually something you always have to keep in mind.
    If, for example, you hunt in an instance and get a blue item, you will want to put it on the AH fast. But lets assume that you are playing at a very late time, like 3 am. If you put the auction for your blue item now with a 24h duration, the auction will expire at 3 am the next night, not leaving many people the chance to overbid each other at the end. (most bids are made at the last moments) So always look what is the best, 8h duration or 24h, always check if you shouldnt maybe wait for the next day rather to offer your item for sale, etc…
  6. Always put up buyout prices. Never make auctions for items without having a buyout price. Many people who want to raise crafting or want an armor piece fast don’t want to wait 1 day in order to know if they won an auction or not. This is especially true for crafting ingredients. Imagine you are a crafter, would you want to bid on one stack of mithril bars and then wait like 1 day just to know if you won, although you need the bars now? Most likely you wouldn’t, so always put a buyout. Also there are many people who have a lot of money and really want an armor piece, those will gladly pay the buyout price if they really desire what you sell and if your buyout price is not way too high.
  7. Last point is.. what to put as buyout and what to put as base bid? This is something you will have to find out yourself but a general rule that you can apply at the beginning is, don’t ever go lower than the default base price that is given to you as starting bid. Also if you are not sure what to put as buyout, look at other auctions selling the same item, if there is none, put the double of the base price (+ a bit more maybe) until you get to know the economy. But beware, this is only a vague rule for beginners, getting to know the prices of your AH is OBLIGATORY.

That’s it so far, I hope this helped and if you have any suggestions, please post em.

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About Author

I will list all the guides that I use pretty much on a regular basis, rated, and would recommend to my mother (if she played WoW), so you will not have to go through the trouble (and cost) of buying a bunch of guides that simply do not work. So I guess this really is what I would consider a guide of the World of Warcraft guides.


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