There are five basic ways people make
money in the world of warcraft:
1) Gather Leather/Herbs/Ore/Fish - supplies
2) Farm for loot/gear
3) The Crafter
4) Buy low/sell High
5) Control the market
PLEASE NOTE: This is a
basic guide, it can get you starting making gold much easier, with
less confusion. If you are serious about expanding your
knowledge in this area, please check out the
Valkor's Gold Making Guide
1) The Gatherer
There are many things to be gathered in the game. This includes
leather, herbs, ore, fish, linen, wool, mageweave, stones, gems, and
so on. Moreover, there is much gold to be made here.
There is something to be said for those that gather - they spend a
lot of time making their money. Many players begin to make their
money by gathering - and I encourage it. And, later on, finding a
rare vein or herb can bring in several gold alone. There isn't too
much to say here but to get the gatherer mod (works wonders) and go
check out the resource maps.
The benefit of being a gatherer is that you don't ever have to buy
supplies. Moreover, you may just find the things to mine/gather
while leveling. This is especially true with leather (tradeskill is
One thing to note - you cannot pass level 225 in your skill until at
least level 35.
Note #2 - ALWAYS sell your gathered items at the auction
house - always. It costs next to nothing to put them up for auction
even at 24 hour durations. If they don't sell, just put them up
Note #3 � Constant Buyers � find them, they are out there.
Read on into the crafter section to learn more about constant
2) The Farmer
This is a profession usually taken on by those of higher (level 40+,
usually 55+) level characters. To do this, you simply do instance
runs or kill named bosses multiple times or do multiple runs through
the instances in the chance of getting a drop. Before the patch that
came out today (this was written the day the honor system came out),
this is what almost all level 60 players did (since then, many lvl
60s have taken up pvp � attacking the crossroads for example � and
then with the battlegrounds patch, they go to the BGs).
Things to note:
This takes more time than being a gatherer - and the payoff *may* be
higher. The *may* is the 3% chance, or .03% for some items, that an
item worth x amount of gold at AH - I repeat AT THE AUCTION HOUSE -
will drop (check
to see the drop rate of items). So, with this type of way to make
money, you may make 20g in a day or 200g or 2000g depending on what
drops - pure chance. Now, some like this idea for the high
Like I said, always sell the item at the auction house. If you don't
know what it is worth, look at items similar to it and price
accordingly. If you still don't know, put it up for some absurd
- there's a chance someone may buy it. I suggest putting what you
want as the base price, and an absurd number for the buyout at 24
hour bid time - do this on the weekend as well as more people are on
3x) during the weekends.
Example: The Deviate Scale Belt Recipe is a quest reward from
the wailing caverns. My fiancee decided she would sell hers at the
auction house. She wasn't sure what it was worth, so she put
it up for 50s base and 6 gold buyout, 24 hour time period. If you
don't know, there's no way it should be worth more than 1 gold due
to the fact that it is an easily obtained quest reward. Guess what -
it sold! I guess whoever wanted it didn't want to wait the 24 hours
to get the item (as most don't) so just bought it out.
It costs a lot to put those items up for bid. And if it doesn't
sell, you have lost that money.
To compensate for this - first, always sell on Fri/Sat/Sun. Keep the
items you get in the bank until the weekend. Also, put the item up
around 7pm on Friday evening with a 24 hour bid time if you can.
Repeat on Saturday if you still have it. This will ensure the most
people see it. Advertising isn't a bad idea as well - once every 30
minutes (once every 5 � 10 mins if you are on a high population
server). You can do a /2 [item][item][item] at AH. People will click
on those boxes to see what they are, just out of curiosity, almost
always. To make the [item] that people can click on, shift + click
the item when you already are entering text in the chat screen.
Last note - sometimes going for the lower level item may be more
profitable than the higher level item. The higher level item will
definitely be worth more - but you will be able to do more runs
through the lower level area.
3) The Crafter
This is one of the players that says forget the gathering, I want to
make things. To do this, you better have at least 10 - 20 gold ready
to spend. The first 150 skill points into any craft, you will most
likely lose money. In fact, I can almost guarantee it. The items
below 150 aren't worth much or in demand enough to make serious
cash. This can be said even with items up to level 225. However,
past 225, it is pure gold. Be it Leatherworking, Blacksmithing,
Alchemy, or Tailoring (note engineering and enchanting are not
listed); there is money to be made. Reasons why:
Leatherworking - there are three paths. You can only choose one.
Someone will want what you can make due to only 1/3 of the people
being able to make it.
Blacksmithing - same as leatherworking, but two paths.
Alchemy - getting those high level herbs is no easy task. And
now that the honor system is in and potions can't be dispelled ...
yeah, permanent buffs will be worth a lot.
Tailoring - bags, bags! Everyone wants a 14 or 16 slot
container. Of course, a perk you get is the 18 slot container - bind
on pickup sadly. Also, often missed items are shirts.
So, how do these people get their supplies?
One of two ways -
Either at the auction house or from a supplier. Often times, the
crafter will find a gatherer and work a deal with them to constantly
have incoming supplies. The gatherer will often times send the item
through the mail system with COD, cash on delivery. This works well
for both parties. And, sometimes one gatherer can supply several
crafters with what they need. The gatherer and crafter also set a
standard price for a stack of a certain item � this never changes
once set in most situations. Having a constant buyer/supplier is
more important and convenient than getting the most for your copper.
I suggest you try to set up a system like this - either if you are a
gatherer or crafter.
To contact them, use the mail. Go to AH and see who is selling alot
of a gathered item or crafted item, depending on if you want to
supply or want to craft. Write down their name. You can try to send
them a message, but more often than not, they will not be online.
So, just go over to the mail and send them a nice letter. Perhaps a
subject of 'Need a supplier?' or 'Can you gather x for me?' (x being
herbs, leather, whatever it is you need) In your letter, basically
say you saw them selling a lot of a certain item at AH and you'd
like to become a constant buyer. This is VERY attractive to the
gatherer as suddenly gathering x item becomes a constant reliable
income for gold.
It is also VERY attractive to the crafter as they can normally
negotiate for it to be cheaper than AH and they have a constant
supply to make their items.
The downfall - at level 60, many crafted items become
obsolete. Now, this doesn't mean crafted items won't sell. Plenty of
lvl 59s and down still need those items. But, what it means is that
they will never sell as highly or as well as a farmed item - epic
The two that cost you more than you make:
Enchanting - This really can be a great tradeskill. I made tons of
gold with it ... by selling what I disenchanted to other enchanters.
Rarely, and I mean basically never, will a player be willing to pay
as much for an enchant as it cost you to enchant that item. Surely
it can't cost that much - you say
Well, factor in the cost of what you didn't make. That is, factor in
your potential earnings. In order to get enchanting ingredients, a
item Uncommon (green) or better must be disenchanted. A blue item
can easily go for 10 gold or up depending on your server (some 200
and up). Now, lets say every green and blue item you find and can't
use gets disenchanted - the losses add up pretty quickly. In fact,
they add up so quickly that the aspiring enchanter finds it hard to
And, what is worse is that you don't always get the ingredient you
need. There is a random chance it can be any number of ingredients.
Even worse - to enchant something, it usually takes at least 2 - 3
ingredients. Let's say you disenchanted 3 blues to get the exact 3
ingredients you needed. If you had sold those blue items, you could
have made 15g, assuming worth 5g (yep, a low estimate here). No one
in their right mind will pay 15g for an enchant - unless it is a
high high, well above 225, level enchant. And, if it is one of those
enchants, then those blues certainly could have sold for well more
than 5g each. If you want to be an enchanter, find a good guild that
will supply you with 'trash items' - items they tried to sell at AH
and didn't sell, so they send it to you.
One thing to note: Enchanting has the *potential* to make money
through disenchanting. Throw-away green or blue items (ones that are
really bad, no one would use) will sometimes disenchant into
something worth considerably more at the auction house. Also, you
can disenchant any of your old bind on equip or pickup items. Most
players have to sell these to the vendor to get a very measly amount
for them � you could disenchant something worth several gold from
Engineering - well ... sadly ... you have to be an engineer
to use engineering items. And, if you can use the item, it means you
can make the item (except for high levels - goblin/gnomish). Yes,
there is some money to be made in engineering, but certainly not as
much as the other trades. The main place money can be made is in the
items required for quests.
4) Buy Low / Sell High
This is getting into the more complex of the ways to make your gold.
To be able to buy low/sell high, you will need an initial
I suggest at least 10 gold if not 50 - 100 gold. But, 10 gold will
get you started.
The strategy is simple - buy an item at a lower price than it is
worth or can be sold for, and then turn around and sell it for that
To do this, many players will watch the trade channel in their main
city. They watch for WTS (wanting to sell) [item]. Players selling
like this want to sell their item now and not wait for AH - this is
the perfect opportunity for the low/high buying player. You simply
send them a private message asking how much or by saying I will give
you x gold for that item. From there, you negotiate. The idea is
that you try to get the item as low as possible. Make sure you
always buy lower than it can sell for - this means watching the
auction house like a hawk. You have to know what is worth what and
how quickly it sells. Supply vs. Demand.
So, now you have your item. Let's say you were able to buy it for 2g
and it can sell at the auction house - ON the weekend - for 10g.
You've just made 8g. Now, all you have to do is wait until about 7
pm on Friday to put your item up, or any time will do on Friday.
Just do the same thing here I suggested for the farmers.
Someone doing this may turn anywhere from 1g - 2000g in a day
depending on how much they buy and sell. However, a rough way of
figuring it out is that you can only make twice as much as your
initial investment. Sometimes you may make less, sometimes more -
but never expect any more than twice what you invested.
One last note: If you see an item up for less than it sells for, you
know this by watching the market, IMMEDIATLY buy the item without a
second thought. If you don't, someone else will.
5) Controlling the Market
This is by far the most involving way to make money in the world of
warcraft. In this, you have to have a monopoly on the market - our
example will be large glimmering shards. To start off, you will need
a good bit, at least 10g if not 200g, of initial investment.
What you do is identify a market, large glimmering shards for our
example, and start to up the price on it.
Let's say a stack of one large glimmering shard is selling for 90
silver. And, there are 10 shards up at the Auction House. To control
this market, what you would do is completely buy out all of the
shards- every last one of them. Then, you would go back and sell
them for any price you decide as you are the only supply for large
glimmering shards. Let's be reasonable and only sell them for 1 gold
Now, people are used
to them being 90 silver and will not buy them for the first week.
Also, you *must* have at least 3 - 5 items up at any given time for
the price you have set. If they are not yours but are at 1 gold 80
silver, no problem. If someone puts them up for less, immediately
buy them out.
After about a week of doing this, people will start to accept that
the price of a large glimmering shard is now 1.8g. Also, the people
selling the shards will think that they have been selling at 1.8g,
so they will put them up for that amount as well. Now, all you have
to do is sell off all of your large glimmering shards at 1.8g - you
just made twice what you invested.
Now, it may seem that the buy low/ sell high would work better -
but, where it differs is that you set the price. Make sure to no
more than double it at first. But, once the price is accepted at
90s, then you could do the same thing, this time at 3 gold. All the
time, you have more and more large glimmering shards. Sell those,
and you have made 3x what you invested in the beginning.
Also, control more than one market. If you only control large
glimmering shards, then you will only sell at a certain rate.
Instead, control several markets. It can be anything - fish, herbs,
items ... You could even decide to control the market for items
level 30 - 40. That is, you buyout every item within that level
range and then double the price.
The people that level will need items, and they will have to buy
Two things to note:
First - other people will see the rise in price in that market and
decide to start selling the item as well. If too many people do
this, which ALWAYS happens, abandon the market - sell what you have
left for more than you bought it for and be done with it. A way to
identify if there is too much supply is if there are 20+ of that
same item at the auction house. So, you will be controlling a market
for roughly 2 - 3 weeks before you move on to another market due to
increase in supply.
Secondly - people will NOT like you for doing this. In
America (in the corporate world), this is considered illegal. You
ARE monopolizing a market and giving people no choice but to buy
from you. You WILL get a negative reputation if you do this long
enough - especially if you stay in a market for too long. So, you
may not necessarily do this with your main character.
One Last Thing - this method eats up a lot of time. You will
have to check the auction house at least twice a day to make sure
everything is fine and at your price. You may end up doing this over
leveling even. So, only go for this method if you want a challenge.
Remember, you cannot just buyout all of a market and expect the
worth to change in one day - it takes at least a week of monitoring.
A note to those trying to fight the monopolizers - if they are doing
it correctly, you can't beat them by selling for less. Instead, sell
for more. If the price of an item goes too high, then the market
will crash. Suddenly, the prices will be within reason again. You
can force this by having a base price at a price you think it should
be and a buyout higher than what the monopolizer is selling for.
This way, someone gets the item for the right price OR the
monopolizer must buy the item at a loss. There you go; there is your
ammo for fighting the fight. Monopolizers - easy way to beat this
is� (can't tell you, trade secret).
you are serious about expanding your knowledge in this area, please
check out the
Valkor's Gold Making Guide