Started 15 Nov 2011 with 2,500 Gold on hand
716 days later
Reached my goal on 31 Oct 2013 with 1,002,144 Gold on Hand
Average made per day
Read my interview with Nev Jones on the Auction House Addict Blog
I'd like to use this page to write about what I have done and continue to do to make gold in an effort to help anyone else who wants to increase their wealth. There are many different ways to make gold in World of Warcraft and you may have read about some of these strategies and systems on the many websites and forums dedicated to the subject; Now you get to read about mine.
"Time is Money, Friend!":
This quote from our little goblin friends says it all when it comes to making gold. As with anything worth while, it is going to take a lot of time and effort to be successful. I expect that there is only a fraction of people with huge sums of gold on each server because it takes much more time and effort to accomplish than people are willing to devote to it. Most people would rather do something more "fun" like quests, dungeons, raids or achievements than trying to make gold. I think making and having lots of gold is "fun" too, but i don't dedicate a majority of my time to it.
I must admit though that gold making "chores" are more work then fun and they do take time away from other activities, but if you want to make a lot of gold and are willing to devote at least some of your game time to reaching that goal, it can be done. I probably only spend about 25 percent of my "in-game" time on gold making activities. That's only 1 hour of time doing "chores" out of every 4 hours I play. So I guess you could call me a casual gold maker, kinda like a casual raider, lol. If you can set aside a quarter of your game time to gold making activities and take advantage of some of the resources that exist "outside" of the game, like the Mobile AH and AH Data websites, you could make a small fortune too.
A little background about how I got started and my motivations for making gold:
These are some posts I made on Kuja's Gold Mine Forum when it was started back in June 2012:
"My RL name is Jon, but i decided to register for the forum using my Bank/AH Alt's name "Simza". (She has all my money, lol) I've been playing WoW since mid 2009, but didn't start seriously getting into gold making until about 8 months ago. I started with about 2,500 Gold and the most I have made so far is just under 180,000. I would have a lot more then that if i wouldn't keep sending gold to my main to buy pets and mounts and gear, lol. I look forward to participating in and learning from this forum in my quest to reach my gold making goals. Maybe i can help other players to achieve their goals as well."
" What motivates you to make gold? "
"For me it's the challenge of seeing how much gold I can make and accumulate by working the AH on my Bank/AH alt, and to have the gold to buy whatever I want, when I want, for my Main. I started with about 2,500 Gold and had worked my way all the way up to about 180,000 gold. It was at that point that I decided that my Main needed 3 or 4 more rare drop pets ($$$) for achievements and a few other high dollar items like a traveling tundra mount (ouch expensive!!) lol, so I'm back down to the mid 140,000 but working my way back up. "
As you can see from my running total at the top of this page, at the time of this writing (just over a year), I have been able to make and hold on to over 450,000 gold, despite the fact that I sometime splurge on items for my main toons.
If you are interested in finding out how i do it, or would like to do it yourself, then keep reading. Below you will find my thoughts, strategies and lessons learned in my on going quest to make 1,000,000 Gold.
What you'll need:
Bank/Auction House Alt:
If you don't have a Bank/AH Alt you need to make yourself one. Why? To make you Gold of course.
The Importance of having a Bank/AH Alt
One of the first things i learned when i started researching how to make gold in World of Warcraft was the importance of having a Bank/Auction House Alt. This Alt is just a level 1 toon that you create and then use to handle all your item selling, storage and Auction House functions, instead of doing it all on your Main toon. By having a Bank/AH Alt and using him or her properly, you will see a great increase in the amount of gold you have, without much effort on your part.
Just follow these 7 easy steps:
1- Make a new level 1 toon, just make sure it is a race which can leave their starting area at level 1 and is close to a Major City because they will have to travel there by foot. I choose a human because their starting area is close to Stormwind.
2-After you run your Bank/AH Alt to a Major City park them next to a mail box that is also close to the AH and the Bank and some sort of vendor who you can sell junk too. I park my Alt next to the mailbox in Stormwind in the trade district outside the bank which is close to everything.
3- Once your Alt is parked in the Major City, log to your main and mail your alt the biggest bags you can afford so she will be able to store and carry all the items that you will mail to her. When you send the bags also send her some gold which she will need to cover initial expenses. I sent mine 20 gold.
4- After your Alt is set up, get on your Main and do your normal thing - Quests, Raids, PvP, Dailies, Achievements whatever; but when you are done, before you log off for the night, get your Main to the nearest mailbox because here's where the magic starts!
5- Before logging off your Main for the night you must mail everything in your bags that you want to Sell, Store, or Auction to your Bank/AH Alt. It is important that you do this every night to free bag space on your Main and to send stuff to your Alt so she can make you more gold.
6- After mailing your Main Toon's stuff to your Alt, log off your Main and onto you Alt, who is patiently waiting at the mail box for your items. Collect the items you mailed, run to the vendor and sell the junk grey items, then run to the AH and post the items you want to auction, and then run back to the mail box and log out for the night.
What you have effectively done here is free up bag space on your Main, sold all your junk and posted items on the AH without ever having to take your Main Toon to a Major City. All you had to do was get to a mailbox. Without a Bank/AH Alt you would have logged out for the night with your bags full of junk and items that could have been sold on the AH overnight. I know because that's what i used to do before i learned about how important having and using a Bank/AH Alts.
7- When you log on the next day, log onto your Bank Alt first so you can collect any money you might have made on the AH overnight, then log back to you Main toon and do your thing for the rest of the day/night, just remember that before you log out for the night repeat steps 5 and 6 above.
8-Remember that in order for this system to work your Main must mail all the stuff you want to sell and put on the AH to your Alt, and your Alt must sell and AH everything you sent that day before you log out for the night. If you are disciplined enough to do this every night it will become a normal part of your routine and you will be amazed at the amount of gold your Bank/AH Alt will start to accumulate.
We've established that in order to make money you will have to use the Auction House. My first question when I started out was " Ok so i have all this stuff that i want to sell on the AH, but how much should I try to sell it for? What is this stuff really worth"? I didn't want to list my items for too much and they never sell and I didn't want to list them for way less then they're worth and miss out on making a profit. Knowing ahead of time what each and every item in the game is worth is the only way to know how much you should post your items for on the AH. Without this knowledge you will not be successful.
In order to find out how much items are worth on your realm you will have to use an Auction House Add-on (a separate program that you download and run while playing WoW) that you use to scan the Auction House and record and store price information for everything that's on the AH. The Add-on will save and update this data every time you scan the AH and will display that information on the "Tool Tip" that pops up when you hover over an item in the game. The more times you scan the AH with this Add-on, the more accurate the information will become because the data it collects is reported as an average of all the scans. They say that you should scan the AH at least 2 or 3 times a day for at least a week to get a good history of data built up so that your average prices / values are most accurate. After that first week, one scan of the AH every other day should keep your data pretty much up to date.
Once you have this add-on installed, whenever you mouse over an item in the game, the tool tip that pops up will now include price information about that item so you will know what it's worth and what it should sell for. Most AH Add-ons will also display how much a vendor will buy that item for, or how much that item is worth if it was disenchanted.
If you are looking for an AH Add-on go to www.curse.com (the only safe place to get your WoW Add-ons), and search of auction house add-ons. I have used both Auctioneer and Auctionator in the past. I like Auctionator much better because it is easier to use and it scans the AH very quickly. I also like the interface a lot better than Acutioneer, but they are both very good at what they do.
Another Add-on I would suggest you get is a Mailbox Add-on. The one I use is called Postal which allows you open all your mail automatically and places items you receive into your bags instead of you having to manually open each one and moving things one at a time. This will save you a lot of time and effort especially when your bank alt is receiving lots of items in the mail, which she should be if you're doing it right.
Alright so you have a Bank Alt, an auction house add-on, and a mailbox add-on. You are following the steps above and mailing all the stuff you want to Sell and Auction to your bank alt, and then at the end of your adventuring day log onto your bank alt to Sell and AH everything you received in the mail, before you log off for the night. First thing the next day you log onto your bank alt and collect any gold you might have made from the auctions you posted the day before. All is well in the world.
I want to talk about this process in a little more detail and touch on some points that I think are important to increase success. When running on my Main toons I carry the largest bags I can afford and my bank alt has the same. The more I can carry the better. I always loot everything, even junk. I leave nothing behind. Whenever my bags get full I'll find the closet mail box and send everything to my bank alt. The way I see it the more I loot the more I can sell or AH. It all adds up.
So, after you log onto your bank alt and you have a mialbox full of items from your main toons, what should you sell and what should you put on the AH? Obviously everything that is a grey item (junk) is sold to a vendor. I use the one in Stormwind Trade district at the inn between the AH and the Bank since my bank alt lives right there at the mailbox. After I sell all the grey items I look at the tool tip for each of the items I have left in my bags. What I'm looking for is the market value of the item (what that item should sell for on the AH). As I mentioned above this information is added to the tool tip by the Auction House add-on you are using. I compare what it should sell for on the AH to the price a vendor will pay for it. If those two amounts are pretty close I will just sell the item to the vendor. I'd rather just sell it right away if the values are close then to waste time and money trying to auction it. The rest of the items in your bags should now be put on the AH.
The Auction House:
Here are some things you should know about the AH:
There are fees for using the AH. You will pay a small Deposit Fee up front to the AH for each item you auction based on the value of the item and the duration of the auction. If your item doesn't sell, or if you cancel your auction before the auction ends, the AH keeps your deposit fees and mails your item back to you. For items that do sell, the AH will refund your deposit fees, and send you the money you made on the sale of your item minus their Cut Fee (a 5% cut from the amount your items sold for).
You put an item on the AH to sell for 100 Gold, and you pay a deposit of 1 Gold. One of these two outcomes will occur.
1) Your item doesn't sell or you cancel the auction before it ends: then the AH mails your item back but keeps your deposit.
Invest: 1 Gold
Lose: 1 Gold
2) Your item does sell: the AH mails you your deposit back and the money you made from the sale minus the AH's Cut Fee of 5 %.
Invest: 1 Gold
Win: 95 Gold
When you post your auctions it will ask you to choose how many hours you want it to last: 12, 24, or 48 hours. The longer you list your action the more your deposit fee will be. Just remember that the deposit fee is the same for each 12 hour period whether you do a 12, 24 , or 48 hour auction.
Here's an example using 15 Silver as the deposit fee for an item you want to auction:
Duration: Deposit Duration Deposit Duration Deposit
12 hour auction = 15 Silver
12 hour auction = 15 Silver 24 hour auction = 30 Silver
12 hour auction = 15 Silver
12 hour auction = 15 Silver 24 hour auction = 30 Silver 48 hour auction = 60 silver
Totals: 4 x 12 hours = 60 Silver 2 x 24 hours = 60 Silver 1 x 48 hours = 60 Silver
You might be asking "if I want to sell something on the Auction House and the deposit fees are the same for each 12 hour period, does it really matter how long I list my auctions for"? The answer is yes.
If what you are auctioning is something that no one else is trying to sell and you don't think you'll be undercut by a bunch of other people in the next two days, its best to list your auction for 48 hours. If it doesn't sell your deposit was the same as if you had posted it four times for 12 hours each or twice for 24 hours each. If it does sell anytime within that 48 hours you will not have lost any deposit money as you might have if you did 12 or 24 hours auctions.
Let's say that other people are trying to auction the same item you are and will undercut you so their items sell instead of yours. If you get undercut you have two options; Cancel your auction and re-post it to undercut the person who just undercut you, or wait for your auction to end and then re-post it if it doesn't sell. Remember if you cancel your auction before it expires you lose your deposit. If you are auctioning items in a competitive market and are getting undercut you'll want to go with 12 hour or 24 hours because it is less expensive to cancel them or less time to wait to re-post them if you decide to wait until the auction ends.
I personally never do 12 hours auctions because I'm not logged in the game that often. If you posted a 12 hour auction at 8 PM you'd have to be logged in again at 8 AM in order to re-post your auction when it expires. When I log out its usually for 24 hours or longer. So for my auctions I do 24 hour auctions for my competitive items, and 48 hour auctions for non-competitive items.
Using your Add-on to Post your Auctions:
The good thing about Action House add-on, besides providing the market values of items on your realm, is that they take all of the guess work and manual labor out of posting your auctions. They will automatically post your items on the AH for a price that is less then the least expensive items currently on the AH. ( Undercutting everyone else). This will ensure that your items sell first since they are the least expensive. If you post a item on the AH and there are no other of the same items currently on the AH, the add-on should suggest a listing price that is close to the historical market value of the item. This way you wont be listing your auctioning for a price too low or too high. You don't want to sell something for 10 Gold that is worth 100 Gold (you lost 90 gold in profit), and you don't want to try to sell something for 100 Gold that is only worth 10 Gold (your item will never sell).
Remember that AH Add-ons are only as good as the information they have to work with. That information comes from scanning the auction house with the add-on so that it can record items and prices and build a database that it will use to determine values. The more you scan the AH, the more accurate the average market value of items will be.
Different ways people make a lot of Gold:
We covered a lot of information and if you put it to good use you will be well on your way to increasing your wealth, without much effort. So far we've only talked about selling or auctioning items you loot from mobs or get from completing quests that you don't need, etc. You can make gold doing this, as I have explained, but if you want to make a lot of gold on the AH you're going to need to sell a lot of stuff. There are a few different ways to go about it:
The Safe Way : Professsions:
One of the best ways to have a lot of stuff to sell on the AH is to farm it and/or craft it yourself. This is where your professions and skills come into play. Your profit potential is only limted by the amount of time you are willing to spend gathering materials and/or crafting items to sell on the AH. You'll have to choose which way you want to go about it. Some people just have a maxed level gathering profesion like herbalism, skinning, or mineing and they spend a lot of time running around farming these materials and then sell it all on the AH. Others also have maxed level crafting professions like alchemy, blacksmithing, or inscriptionist that use the mats they farm themselves and then make items that they sell for profit. Then there are those of us who are lazy (don't want to spend time farming mats) who buy all their mats off the AH to craft the items they make and sell.
The Risky Way : Working the Acution House:
This is basicaly just using the AH to make gold instead of going out and gathering items to sell. Working the AH is a bit trickey and carries some risks of loosing gold if not done carfully. One way to do it is what some people call "flipping". Basically you look for items on the AH that are underpriced, buy them and then immidatley relist them at a higher price in hopes of making a profit when they sell.
Buying gear and weapons off the AH and then dis-enchanting them to get the enchanting mats to sell on the AH is another way you can work the AH for profit. Some of the AH addons will show in an item's tool tip window the value of the mats that item can be dis-enchanted into. Again you may have to front a lot of gold to purchase the items you want to disenchant and you may suffer some losses if the enchanting mats you post dont sell for more then you paid up front for the gear.
Buying base materials off the AH like herbs or ores and then useing those mats to make potions or bars to sell is another way to work the AH for profits. As long as the items you make sell for more that what you paid for the mats to make them, you'll be ok.
Another way to work the AH is to buy up every auction listed of a peticular item, lets say mageweave cloth, or the herb green tea leaf for an example. Once you buy every auction of that item off the AH, you basicaly control the market and can re-post it all back on the AH at a high price. This is what people call "re-seting the market" for that paticular item. Trying to re-set the market price of an item usually requires you to spend a very large amount of gold up front and could result in a significant loss if you are unable to sell what you bought at the higher price you set.
How I turned 2,500 Gold into over 500,000 Gold in 16 months:
16 months may seem like a long time to make half a million gold, but if gold were dollars and you broke it down like a job where you worked 8 hours a day 5 days a week, it would be equal to making about $280.00 an hour. Of course I didn't spend 40 hours a week ,every week, for the last year and a half of my WoW time making gold, but i have invested the time to do what I needed to in order to get to where i am today.
As I said at the very top of the page in the "Time is Money, Friend!" section, i'm a "casual gold maker" who only spent a few hours a week working twords that 500,000 Gold goal, and here's how I did it: Making and selling Glyphs, buying under priced items on the AH to re-sell at fair market value, and buying and selling Transmogg items on the AH for big profits. Of those three activities, the Glyphs are the only thing I work on when I'm logged in. I "Work the Aution House" buying and selling under priced items and trangmogg gear when I'm not logged in through the use of online AH data websites and the Mobile Auction House.