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Guide to making money

world of warcraft how to make money fast


Discovering ways to make money in World of Warcraft is an important part of getting the most enjoyment out of the game. There are many different and effective ways to make enough money for repairs. consumables. equipment. and other items.

Some players attempt to purchase gold from third party gold sellers. This form of making money is against Blizzard 's terms of service and may lead to a permanent ban on an account. It may also lead to real world identity theft or theft of the purchaser's WoW account depending on the reliability and intentions of the gold selling company.

There are four major money making strategies: farming. crafting. daily quests and playing the auction house. The amount of gold earned depends on the dedication of the player, the economy of the auction house on the server, the server ratios of casual, serious, and hardcore players, and time periods surrounding a major patch.


This guide covers many of the ins and outs of both making money, and spending it wisely. Many players have "secret" strategies for making money that they wouldn't want to put in a public info site, since it gives them their edge in the marketplace. If you can gain the trust of a successful WoW tycoon, you should ask them some of their techniques. However, this guide covers many of the more common strategies.

Quick guide

If you don't want to read this entire article, but you're primarily focused on how to get your mount at level 20, follow these steps. They will work for anyone, require no grinding sessions, and generally offer a high reward-to-time ratio:

  • If you do nothing else, do this: Learn to use the Auction House. both for buying and selling.
  • Consider installing the Auctioneer addon and use it to your advantage in the Auction House.
  • Bargain hunt, do not pay full price.
  • Always post a buyout price on your auctions - many players will not bid on an auction with no buyout, unless the item is heavily discounted, and then it usually sells for a fraction of what it could have gotten. You will have more sales at a higher price and get your money more quickly if you post a proper buyout price.
  • When you have saved around 5 (and you will quickly, due to having taken gathering professions), you can start investing. Buy cheap items on the AH and then re-list them for a profit. Only buy and sell what you know, and test your theories in small quantities.
  • Take one or (better yet) two of the gathering professions: Mining. Herbalism. or Skinning. All of them are surefire moneymakers. Mining is said to bring in more money at the cost of being slightly more difficult to farm, while skinning is simple but time-consuming and can fill your bags very quickly.
  • While you don't have to Fish (and fishing is not to everyone's taste, as it involves a lot of sitting and staring at a bobber), fishing can become a good source of income as you level.
  • Wait until you are level 40, or even level 70 to take crafting professions—they can be money sinks and you can buy the items you would have purchased with the extra money from gathering. Raw materials are usually worth more than a crafted product.
  • If you do craft, learn what sells - large bags are astonishingly valuble when an update is due to come out.
  • Generally, do not craft white items unless you know there is a demand for that item.
  • Learn what stats are useful and craft items that appropriately enhance those stats.
  • Do not overproduce; increased supply depresses price. You will get a better price per item if you sell fewer of an item.
  • Be frugal upgrading your gear.
  • Every bright, shiny new piece of gear is going to be old and shabby in a level or two. If you socket gems, you'll lose them when you upgrade your weapon.
  • Learn what stats help your character, and stick to that gear - avoid having to replace gear.
  • You do not need to upgrade at every opportunity, especially while leveling.
  • Does the gear you are thinking of upgrading to offer a significant improvement? Think in percentage increases.
  • Plan on getting gear from quest rewards, drops, or instances.
  • Remember that as you level, you will be replacing your gear soon, no matter how good it looks now.
  • When leveling, avoid investing a lot in high-priced gear, especially blue or purple gear. You do not need rare or epic gear to level.
  • Remember that the demand for blue and purple gear is driven primarily by twinks and alts. These are players that have substantial financial resources already, and can afford to pay a premium. As a result, you will not find many bargains in such gear; they tend to be vastly overpriced.
  • Participating in raid groups into instances can get you the same gear.
  • If you're a first-time player, learn first. Research. Ask. Test. Try, wisely. And above all, always spend cautiously--you'll need that money later.

If you follow this basic advice you should have no problem at paying for the mount at level 20, and you will always be able to afford skill training, food and potions along the way.

Cold booting your economy

You've started a new character with no alts for support, and you are dealing in the coppers level. How do you get your financial engine rolling?

Most of these should sell for silvers each in the auction house:

Harvest Small Eggs and sell them.

Harvest Linen Cloths and turn them into Bolts of Linen Cloth or sell them directly.

Train and get tools for two gathering professions. Do this even if you plan on taking different professions at higher levels - this can give you orders of magnitude more cash in just one run:

Invest in Apprentice Level Mining Profession Training, mine copper, and sell it. You may get 10-30g for a stack of 20 bars on an established server.

Invest in Apprentice Level Skinning Profession Training, skin leathers, and sell them. Low level leathers will sell for a bit of silver each, making a stack over 1g or more on some servers.

Invest in Apprentice Level Herbalist Profession Training, gather herbs, and sell them. Low level herbs will sell for a few gold for stacks, with Briarthorn going up to 20-50g a stack on some servers.

Detailed guide

For those interested in more details on spending wisely, and generating good cashflow, we cover a number of topics in more detail. Please note that this guide represents the accumulated wisdom of many people. You don't necessarily have to do all of these things--there is no one "right" way to make and manage money. However, these pointers will give you ideas on how to establish a firm financial foundation for your character.

Saving your money

The most important step in being able to buy a mount and make other large purchases should be self-evident: saving. Economize as often as you can, and don't buy anything unless you absolutely have to. You can burn through hundreds of gold even before level 20 by visiting the auction house for new equipment at every opportunity. If you do so, over the long haul you will be left with very little to show for it. Before level 20, keep your eyes on the prize: getting that mount. The mount helps you move faster. Faster movement means faster killing, faster questing, faster quest turn-ins, and faster leveling. It is the most important tool to fast leveling you can get at level 20, and infinitely more important than getting your hands on that Left-Handed Vorpal Cleaver of the Zipswitch that you could have purchased at level 23. Stay focused.

The same goes for the level 40 mount. An elite ground mount means still-faster leveling. Not only that, but you'll get knocked off considerably less often by mobs while getting around inside zones, meaning you'll die less often as well. Remember, as the goblins are so fond of saying, "Time is money, friend!" So it behooves you to get an elite ground mount as rapidly as possible.

Once your character makes it to Outland and beyond, cashflow frees up considerably. The quest rewards are much better than in Azeroth. In fact, a typical character will earn from 1000-1200 in quest rewards and vendor trash while leveling 60-70 in Outland, and perhaps 1400-1600 from 70-80 in Northrend. The tendency is, therefore, to spend more freely after one hits 60. However, it is important for players not to go crazy on their spending once they make it to Hellfire. One thing is, training costs, repair costs, and consumable costs are also higher. More important, there is a large purchase that you are going to want to make at some point after level 60, your first flying mount and skill. The "bird" costs 40 . the skill will cost you far more. Not only that, but if you want to fly it in Northrend at level 70, you'll have to shell out another 400 for Cold Weather Flying. And for those characters who will be 'farming' herbs or ore in either Outland or Northrend, an elite flying mount is almost essential, as it helps you gather almost twice as fast. That's another 5000 you'll be looking at. Therefore, budgeting carefully during the 60-80 leveling process is essential to ensuring you have sufficient cash on hand for making those purchases. Saving your pennies early makes that bird appear that much sooner.

Here are some things to consider when budgeting your money:

Bank alt

An alt (low level or no) in a capital city is an effective way to not only cheaply increase your available bank space, but to be a simple savings and auctioneer account. This character can serve as your bank, an auctioneer, bag-space creator and a time saver. Get one. (There may or may not be Item Recovery issues with characters below level 10, in cases where one's account is hacked.)

To use it as a bank, figure out how much you want to have on-hand on your character based on how much you normally spend on repairs, food, ammo, etc. and send the rest to the bank alt. The principle here is "Out of sight, out of mind.". Money "you don't have" cannot be spent, requiring you to log out of your character, and then to log into the alt.

To use it as an auctioneer, send all your auctionable items from your alts to your bank alt, and organize all your auctions from this character. This saves your time spent on auction house management, focuses all your income to one character and allows for easier overview of your cash flow. Consider using an alt management addon to be able to access all information about your alts from your bank character. One such addon is Altoholic

To use it as a bag-space creator, simply send excess items to the bank alt whenever you're near a mailbox for a low price of only 30 a slot. Even if you accidentally send the wrong item to the bank alt, it can be returned-to-sender for free. It's very quick, due to the fact that sending mail between characters on the same account is always instant.

Altogether, focusing all these activities on one character saves large amounts of time. Do consider leveling it above level 1, though, because a number of player use addons that block messages from level 1 characters. Usually level 5-10 is fine, and that only takes a couple of hours to reach.

Economizing on professions

Improper leveling of your production profession skills can cost a small fortune. Heck, even proper leveling of some production skills can cost a small fortune. And keep in mind that equipment you produce using your profession will typically be slightly worse than equipment otherwise obtainable at your level via the Auction House and/or instances. It is therefore strongly recommended not to take on a production trade skill until you hit at least level 30, or better yet, level 70+. However, if you are determined to take on such a profession (particularly under level 30), read a suitable leveling guide in order to gain whatever skill level you desire for the least amount of money.

Getting good gear without breaking the bank

The most important part of saving is to never buy equipment unless you're positive that it will increase your earning potential, or significantly speed your character's leveling progress. While it is true that gear is important (particularly for melee combat characters), it is also true that an overemphasis on having great gear before maximum level is dumb. Who cares if you're wearing a green sword at level 43? If you're advancing well, you aren't going to be level 43 for very long anyway. The only gear that currently "counts" is max level gear.

The two best ways to get good equipment are:

  • Finding quests with rewards that will be useful to you. If you can get yourself in a good guild, or team up with some higher level players in group quests, you can often get higher level quest equipment that you couldn't get on your own.
  • Using the Looking for Group interface, or joining a good guild, and doing instances that are around your level. You'll learn valuable grouping skills, and the level of loot in an instance is typically much better than what you could find on your own. If possible, concentrate on instances with humanoid mobs, since selling the cloth that they drop is a good way to make money.

A common mistake of new players is to upgrade their gear at every opportunity, paying for a new piece even if it will only add one or two new stat points over an existing item. Likewise, investing in headgear, neckwear, trinkets, and rings at the earliest available levels can also consume valuable cash. While it might seem foolish to leave an available slot empty, you will eventually find something to fill it. Blizzard will see to it via the quest rewards you'll get along the way. In the mean time, the 1 or more you save will serve you well if you invest it wisely. The bottom line is that one can easily level all the way to the maximum relying on just quest/drop greens. The gear you get from regular questing can help you perform well in dungeons, which gets you even better equipment.

This is not to say that you should never buy gear. Having equipment that is reasonably current while leveling allows you to kill enemies faster, and die less often in the process. Faster leveling = sooner to higher levels (where the real money is to be made). Likewise, death = loss of time. And, as we all know, "Time is money, friend!" So, players should not hesitate to make well-considered equipment acquisitions during their leveling up, but only if they represent a substantial improvement over their existing equipment and if the price is right. Try to find good deals. It should go without saying that you should never purchase any equipment from vendors; always use the Auction House. Look several levels above and below your own for bargains. Don't buy items that you won't hold onto for at least 4-5 levels. And don't always use the buyout option at the AH. Some of the best deals come from bidding and being patient - it'll be two days at the most. Of course, if you play too hard you may have surpassed that weapon by the time you win it. In which case, you may want to auction it again. If you know there's an item that would be great for you, say, five levels from now, keep your eye out for it and bid on it, several times if need be. When you get it, stuff it away for later. That's why you have a bank alt.

Note that these general principles do not apply to blue or purple items. If you are a first-time player, there is absolutely no reason to purchase these items. None. Sub-80 rare and epic items are only for the alts or twinks of established players that have money to waste (because that's what it is) by showing off their Staff of Jordan (or whatever). Blues and purples are completely cost-ineffective for first-time characters. Within a few levels, you will find green gear that is roughly comparable, or you'll get better blues from instance runs at the same level. So, do not buy these items, under any circumstances, if you are a first-time character (no matter how cool they look). And even if you're reasonably well-off financially, think twice. This is especially true as your character gets closer to levels 58 and 68. Even the most basic quest-reward gear in Outland will have substantially better stats than anything you can buy off the AH for a level 56 character. The same is true of Northrend gear at level 68 vis-a-vis the stuff you'll get in Outland at level 68. As such, smart players stop making AH gear purchases by about level 54 or so, and then just gut it out until level 58. The same is true at levels 64-68. Within the first several quests in Hellfire and/or Northrend you'll have replaced half of your gear in any case, guaranteed.

Buying items on the Auction House

The Auction House is always the best option for getting good equipment at a good price. The only items you should be buying from Vendors are basic consumables: food, drinks, arrows, bullets, vials, dyes, etc. Most other things should come from the Auction House, as they are generally cheaper. Keep these tips in mind when buying items off the Auction House:

  • Always check each of the prices of the item, and look over a spread of several days. This is not so important on small items, but anything that you are spending hundreds of gold on you need to check prices carefully. It is also a good idea to check a website such as Allakhazam. Goblin Workshop. Wowhead or WoWuction to see what an item normally sells for.
  • Make sure you have an idea of how much you should be spending on an item. Don't be afraid to ask for a price check on the Trade channel, or from members of your guild. Other players may have the item, or may have seen it on the AH before. This can prevent you getting ripped off.
  • Be warned that players will occasionally list items in the Auction House that are sold by vendors. This typically applies to limited sale quantity items or items in remote, harder to reach locations. Items from Outland that advance certain skills (such as books for training Cooking or First Aid past a skill of 300) are typical. These items are notoriously listed for 2, 3, or even 10 times their vendor purchase-able price. Using an add-on such as Auctioneer Advanced can forewarn you of such a tactic. You should ONLY buy such items if your server is so full and busy that you simply are unable to acquire the item on your own. Otherwise, wait for the vendor to re-stock (usually takes about 20 minutes to 1 hour depending upon the vendor). You'll save yourself a considerable amount of money. See Buying Items from Vendors for Resale below for more on this.

Anyone who is

serious about using the Auction House should consider getting the Auctioneer addon. Auctioneer assists players in the auction house by automatically gathering price information for your server. Among other things, Auctioneer offers the following useful features:

  • The normal auction house window is augmented with additional functionality to search current auctions for cheap deals and buyouts
  • By using the BottomScanner module of Auctioneer, it is possible to have an alert displayed when an unusually cheap item is listed in the AH -- the item can then be bought for resale or disenchanting
  • Several convenience functions for searching, listing items and displaying past transactions have been added
  • Auctioneer displays statistical data on the rarity, historical and recent pricing for your item, as well as vendor prices, the stack size for the item, and what trade skills it is used in
  • Note, however, that recent versions of Auctioneer have become increasingly complex. Some would say too complex, in that the addon now has a myriad of options for searching for and/or auctioning items. Be prepared to spend some time with the tool to become acquainted with options.

Maximizing training bang for the buck

There are a lot of skills and spells you can train as you progress, each of which costs money. When you can afford to, you should train all the abilities that your class trainer offers. If you're completely broke, it's fine to put off upgrading abilities you rarely use for a level or two so that you can upgrade your most-used abilities. If this happens, you should ask yourself whether you are spending too much money on buying unnecessary equipment upgrades or leveling production trade skills. Be sure to save enough for class abilities and riding training before spending money on other things. This assumes you're earning money at a rate where buying skills makes a difference at all. If you have a hundred gold from two gathering professions by level 20, those skill ranks costing a fraction of a gold won't make any difference to your purse.

If you are dead set on leveling a production trade skill instead of taking two of the gathering skills, remember that not everything your trainer offers is worth buying. While it might be nice to have a long list of colorful shirts and dresses to produce as a tailor, for instance, the truth is they offer very little in the way of potential revenue. Also keep in mind that, generally, whatever items you craft at lower levels will not likely sell for more money than you could have made by simply selling the raw materials used to make them. For this reason, two gathering skills are highly recommended until you get closer to 80 (70 if you don't have the WotLK expansion or 60 if you don't have the TBC expansion).

  • EXCEPTION: If you are leveling trade skills while advancing, review the materials requirements of every recipe, pattern, plan, or formula that are planning on purchasing from a trainer. For example, some of the shirt patterns for tailors use very few materials and thus yield a more efficient manner of leveling the trade skill. Check profession leveling guides here on the wiki, ask a guild-mate or friend, or check out information on other web sites to help in this area. A little pre-planning and fore-thought can save you huge investment costs in the long run.

World of Warcraft offers a lot of ways to make money (gold). There is no one "right" way to make money, although there are some definite wrong ways! Some people like to play the Auction House, some people do their daily quests, some people tend to farm, etc. Many characters do a combination of all three of these along with other activities. Below is a compendium of money-making methods.

Selling vendor trash

Any item with a grey name is considered vendor trash or poor quality. White items have some use such as tradeskills. spell reagents or reputation raisers, so you may want to check to see if they're worth more than the vendor price. Keep your eyes out for regular quality weapons, as even the worst of these tend to sell for several silver, or several gold at high level. Always check the tooltip for the vendor price before discarding anything. Also, white (or even grey) shoulder armor under level 20 sells regularly on the auction house, mainly because there is nothing better available at that level.

Unless low quality items have some known quest use or are coveted by other players, you should try to sell it as soon as possible to create bag space. Always (or almost always, see above exceptions) keep things like cloth, leather, herbs, or large stacks of white/gray items over other loot when you have to decide what to keep when your bags get full. It might be worth your while to invest in larger bags (10-20 slot), especially if you know a tailor.

AutoProfit is a particularly handy addon if you regularly bring home several bags' worth of trash all mixed in with the rest of your inventory - it allows you to sell all gray items to the vendor with a single click.

In general, if you have bag space, you should always pick up whatever vendor trash you can, particularly weapons, even if they are grey. Don't be too proud. This stuff may not sell for much, but vendor trash can easily pay for your repair bills, and as you level past your 60s that's not an inconsiderable amount of money.

Playing the Auction House

The Auction House (AH) is a brilliant way of making money if you know the tricks on how to do it. The basic strategy with the AH is to buy things cheap, re-list them on the AH, and then sell them for a profit. Even better, of course, is to get good items from drops and then sell them on the Auction House for pure profit. Many players generate most or all of their cashflow simply by speculating on the AH. So a good understanding of the it, as well as some time to invest, is essential to turning it into a money-making proposition for you. It is also highly recommended that you get the Auctioneer addon for quick listing auctions, and knowing the average price of items.

Your server population may determine how much profit you can make. Lower population servers generally have lower prices in the AH as there is less demand, but rare items or recipes can really make a profit as they are harder to come by. Higher population servers have a higher demand. However, they are more likely to have a flooded market, which makes items hard to sell, especially in the case of low-level gathering professions.

General Tips
  • Know the price of your items and how much they are worth; make sure you check this as the more accurate the price, the more sales you will get. Auctioneer can help with this, but also use your own common sense.
  • Always post a buyout price on your auctions. Don't think that "They'll just bid it up anyway." Many players will not bid on an auction with no buyout price unless the item's bid price is heavily discounted to begin with. This can lead to bidding wars, but in many cases the item will sell for a fraction of what you could have gotten if you had posted a buyout price in the first place. You will have more sales at a higher price and get your money more quickly if you post a proper buyout price.
  • When selling, make sure that you are not pricing way above the others; the best bet is to aim higher if you know it will sell before it expires, or at the same price or lower if there is lots of competition.
  • Don't gouge your customers. You can make plenty of money on the AH without charging exorbitant prices. Demand is price sensitive, and people tend to have a good feel for what an item is really worth. If your items don't sell, you are probably charging too much.
  • A tactic for guaranteeing the sale of your auction is to "underbid" the current auctions. Create a low bid price, but a value you will be happy with. This will make your auction appear at the top of AH searches, and make it unlikely the item will return to your mailbox, meaning you have to list it again.
  • Be aware of the seasonality of items. Check what items are used in seasonal achievements, such as Delicious Chocolate Cake or Small Egg during Children's Week. When the Darkmoon Faire is in season, Darkmoon cards and decks (Furies, Elementals, Lunacy, etc.) tend to sell well, but prices also tend to get depressed. When the Faire leaves, prices return to normal, but sales volume decreases. The same is true of things like Snowman kits, Red Holiday wear, etc. Holding onto that Snowman kit for a few months, and then listing it in July, can net you a significant profit.
  • Be patient. If you are trying to sell an item for a large amount of money you might have to post it for several days in a row, or post it then wait a week and post it again.
  • Be aware that the listing costs of items are very important. For instance, Armor and (especially) Weapons have high listing costs, meaning that if you're going to buy them on speculation, you had better be darned sure they will sell within a few listings, or the listing cost will destroy your profit margin.
  • Recipes, plans, etc. have lower listing costs, making listing them over and over again less painful.
  • Be cold-blooded about admitting that you've taken a bath on an item. If you bought that sword for 5g, listed it for 10g, and the listing cost is 2g50s each time, after two times it had better sell just to break even. Once you hit that point, don't keep listing it over and over in desperation trying to make something off the AH. D/E it, or vendor it, and move on. Lesson learned. Don't get trapped in the fallacy of sunk costs.
  • Some of the best things that can be sold in the auction house are special items or pets (see making money with companions ) that can only be found in certain areas. For example, the Savory Deviate Delight recipe can only be found in Horde areas, and for this reason sells really really well on the Alliance AHs.
  • If you have Auctioneer, run it for several weeks before beginning to speculate. That will give you a well-populated database to work with, which will have enough historical data to make reasonable purchasing decisions.
  • Keep track of the median disenchant value of the items you are selling. In some cases, if an item doesn't sell after a listing or two, simply D/E'ing may be more profitable than trying to sell the item at fire-sale prices just to get rid of it.
  • Don't put all your eggs in one basket. It's a lot better to spend your working capital on buying forty items for auction, each with the potential for profit, than to take all your working capital and invest it in that one purple leatherworking recipe that you hope will make you several hundred gold. If that puppy doesn't sell, or doesn't sell for what you want, you've just wasted all your working money, and deprived yourself of a lot of flexibility. Leave speculating on purple items until you have a few thousand gold squirreled away.

Buying items for speculation

Buying items for speculation means buying item cheap in hopes of reselling for more. This works, this works well, but this works only if you know your market. Stick to what you know. Make cautious forays into unknown areas to test the waters.

Items to speculate on are not merely cheap; there must also be a demand or you will end up with a lot of cheap items sitting in your inventory. Items that are always in demand are:

  • Quality gear. These can be greens, rares, whatever. However, always think, "Who needs this?" Items that have stats like Stamina are typically useful to all players. Items with stats like Spirit are only useful to a subset. Items that combine two highly sought-after stats, like Stamina and Intelligence (which all casters need) will sell for more than items that combine two stats like Agility and Spirit (which practically no class needs).
  • Materials ('mats') - items that get used in professions. This is driven more by use than by source; for example, copper is very easy to mine, but it is widely in demand, and you can often find bargains in copper, bargains you can profit from. Contrarily, some very scarce mats may have low demand, may only be used in one mediocre recipe, and may not sell.

Recipes - provide in-game capability to create more kinds of items, and so are always in demand, BUT be careful; if the ingredients are obscure, and the benefits marginal, or the recipe is too common, this is not a good option. Some otherwise very good recipes drop far to often to hold value - Copper Chain Vest comes to mind. This produces an excellent entry-level item, but the recipe is available for low silver at the auction house.

Pets - Reasonably good for speculation, but track demand a bit before you invest.

If you make a mistake in speculating, admit that you made a mistake and move on. Sell the item for what you can to recover as much as you can.

Twink items

Many players who already have higher level characters create alts that they level to a certain point and then stop. Often, these twinks are level 18-19, 28-29, 38-39, etc. for the purpose of going to battlegrounds at the top of their tiers and kicking butt. Since these twinked characters are owned by higher level players with lots of cash, they usually outfit them with the best gear available at their level. Thus, items that require level 17-19, level 27-29, or any other items around this level, with good stats or dps, often sell for much higher prices than they normally would. This is especially true on an older server, and also especially true of blue (rare) items. In general, "good stats" include Cloth "of the Eagle" (for mages, warlocks), Leather "of the Monkey" (for hunters and rogues), and Mail "of the Bear" (for warriors/paladins)as well as weapons with these suffixes that can be used by the right class.

Neutral Auction House

The goblins of the Steamweedle cartel have set up several neutral auction houses about Azeroth. Gadgetzan, Booty Bay, and Everlook all house neutral auction houses. The neutral is useful for making money, as commodities that Alliance players can get easily can be sold at a cheap price to Horde players (or vice versa), and then sold at a higher price at a major city.

Buying items from vendors for resale

Although you usually don't want to buy items to sell from vendor, some items can be sold for much more than you pay for them from the vendor. There are a few reasons people will buy a vendor item for a higher cost at the AH. They vendor may be hard to get to, the recipe only sells in limited stock, or the buyer simply may not know where the item is from.

Some players even turn this into their profession by systematically "plundering" vendors in the game world and then selling the items on the auction house at a significant markup. The reason why this works (even for items which are on unlimited supply at vendors) is, that many players don't want to spend time traveling to specific vendors to get hold of a recipe or skill book. They would rather pay a slightly higher price at their local auction house. In some sense, they use the auction house as a "super market" or "convenience store". So it is completely reasonable and legitimate to be the supplier for this convenience store and make money out of it.

This scheme works particularly well with items such as:

  • Vanity Pets
  • All kinds of recipes (cooking, alchemy, tailoring, etc.)
  • Limited stock items from almost any vendor (eg. Strong Fishing Pole, Aquadynamic Fish Reactor)

Players wishing to avoid spending vastly over the odds on a vendor pattern should consider using Adspace. which will add information to tooltips for patterns, books and similar items detailing their vendor cost and location.

Using Your guild

Guilds are perhaps one the most effective ways of progressing your character, and in turn, making money. Most 'high-end' guilds have a guild bank where members donate items for other members. This may range from potions, reagents, and craftable plans. Usually you will have to donate to a guild bank in order to receive items as well as stay active in your guild, but receiving potions that will aid your progression and craftable plans allowing you to profit off selling the products will benefit you in the long run. Also, donating to your guild bank may mean donating something you cannot use in turn receiving something you can use. Sometimes, additional services such as VoIP servers are provided and play a key role especially in end-game content; communication is paramount to a the success of an efficient group. Efficiency results in receiving gear faster, running more frequently in a shorter amount of time, and in turn making more money from runs. In a well put together guild, members become a close knit community including financial and questing support, which are among the most profitable benefits. If you have not considered joining a guild as part of your strategy moving through the game, you may wish to strongly reconsider.

Soloing Instances

If you can Solo an instance. you have two options. The first is to take the place apart yourself and sell all the drops on the Auction House. For level 80 characters, Scarlet Monastery. Uldaman. and other mid-level instances are easily soloable, and are a very popular source of cloth and marketable blue and green items. If you're reasonably well-geared, and feeling more adventurous, Scholomance and Stratholme are also soloable, and can be extremely lucrative as a source of auctionable items.

Soloing an instance can be all the more profitable if your character is an enchanter. During any solo instance run, you'll end up with some items which can be sold or traded, and some that are bind-on-pickup. Non-enchanters can only sell these soulbound items to a vendor, but an enchanter can disenchant the bind-on-pickup rare items, and then sell the shard/dust/essence instead of just selling the blue item to a vendor. (A side benefit of selling enchanting materials is that they do not require a deposit to list in the auction house, allowing you to list endlessly until the item sells.)

Alternately, you can offer to run people through the instance for a price. Some people get so desperate to run a certain instance for whatever reason, be it rep. a quest. or specific loot. they're willing to pay a pretty penny to go through it. You can turn that desperation into a tidy profit.

Video guide for soloing instances

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