The Art Of Gold Making: Setting Up Shop

Okay guys, so you may have read my last gold post and thought, “That’s great and all, Jae, but, where exactly do you expect us to start? What are the most helpful mods? Any quick tips? What are the best professions to use?” Well, don’t worry, I didn’t intend to leave it there. I was in the same position as those of you who are just starting out at some point, not knowing where to start, and I fully intend to help you get to a point where you are able to make enough income to play comfortably, how much you end up making purely depends on how much time and effort you put into it. You can spend an hour here or there and make enough to cover raiding costs, and then some.

I think it’s best if I start from the beginning. If you’re looking for professions, the best ones will be any that you can use to craft things. That would be: Tailoring, Blacksmithing, Leatherworking, Jewelcrafting, Alchemy, Enchanting, Inscription, Engineering. Gathering professions are a nice bonus if you want them. Personally, I like having them, but they aren’t the best way to make gold strictly speaking. However, I really believe it’s down to personal preference. Every profession has its’ own way to make a bit of gold so choose whichever you prefer and I’ll cover how to use them effectively in a later post.

Bank Alts

The first thing I do, regardless of my level, on any server, is to create a bank alt. I give it a name that I might give a character (rather than Jaedialt, or Wgrtdf) or perhaps recycle an alt I don’t play anymore, run it to the nearest city (or maybe I’ll create a Blood Elf and make my way to Undercity or Orgrimmar. I personally think that Undercity is the best for Horde bank alting, and Ironforge for Alliance), and leave it near the auction house. I make sure it has some gold, buy all of the bank slots, and fill them and every bag slot with either 20 slot or 16 slot bags, depending on how much gold I have and then log out.

This character is there to enable you to mail any useful items you might want to keep or sell to stop your bags from clogging up too much while you’re questing or grinding. You can always return the mail later on if need be. If you have a lot of auctions, you might even consider putting a guild together purely so you can have access to the guild bank to store anything you don’t have space for, you can let your friends join to use the guild tag, or keep it purely for guild bank purposes. My personal guild bank currently has 4 tabs, and I’m considering buying a 5th. The extra space is just too awesome.

Auction Mods

After your space is set up and ready to use, you may want to look into getting a few mods. They aren’t a necessity, of course, but they do make auctioning a lot simpler, and make it a bit easier to contend with the people who seem to sit there doing their auctions all day, and all night.

Personally, I like to use Postal, Auctioneer, QuickAuctions, Market WatcherAuction Profit, and Skillet on my crafting characters. I only use these mods (except for Postal, which is useful anyway) on my bank alt as it saves memory on the characters that don’t need them.

Very often, I will have a few hundred mails in my mailbox. You’re only able to open 50 every minute, and Postal really helps with that. With its’ ‘Open All’ function, you can leave it to open those 50 mails while you alt tab or read a book for the minute. It has a countdown as well on the mail symbol so if you choose to watch the mailbox, you’re able to see when it’s ready to be refreshed. Emptying the mailbox is possibly the most tedious part of doing your auctions, thanks to Postal, it’s just a tiny bit less tedious.

Auctioneer has many useful features. One of its’ main uses is of course scanning the auction house, if you scan regularly enough ((every 12 hours is ideal, but whenever you get chance works, you can do a quick scan with the double arrow but if your PC can’t quite take it, the longer scan does the same job, just might need 10 minutes of AFK time)) you will be given an average market price for each item. These average prices are particularly useful when working out how much an item should go for if it’s perhaps too low, or too high, or if there isn’t any of that item up at the time. BeanCounter can be used to search for an item to see your sale history. It can tell you your past sales and buyouts, which you might find useful. This guide will help you to use Auctioneer to check for items selling below the vendor price, and also for items that may be worth buying to resell.

I like to use QuickAuctions3 as well as Auctioneer. Once you’ve set it up, adding different groups and price settings for each of your regular auctions, you can basically use the ‘post’ and ‘cancel’ buttons, and the most work you end up doing is waiting for the mailbox to refresh. The ‘cancel’ button cancels any of the items you’ve added to QA3’s groups which have been undercut, so that you can put them back up as the lowest priced auction. This is particularly great if you’re in the glyph market, but don’t knock it for any others you might dip your toes into. Follow this guide to help you set it up.

AuctionPrice tells you how much gold your current auctions are in total. Of course, if everytime I put up auctions they sold I’d be very very rich ingame, but it’s nice to see roughly how much gold is sitting there, this is purely there for my own curiosity and isn’t really important.

Market Watcher as well is nice to scan for particular items and watch the market trends. I tend to watch for raw materials, mostly uncut gems, cloth, herbs, Frozen Orbs. Anything you might buy a lot of is useful to keep an eye on.

Skillet is basically a change to the default crafting UI. I’m not a huge fan of the way Skillet itself looks, but it’s very useful if you’re crafting a few things. I only really use it on my Inscriptor and my Jewelcrafter, as it allows me to queue up whatever I want to craft, and then make it, which is nice when I’m checking which gems I’m low on, or which glyphs are selling well at that point in time.

Aphroditi’s guide to the auction house, and more auction tips are very decent posts which have been very helpful to me in setting up Auctioneer and Market Watcher, I recommend you take a look.

Starter Cash

We all need to start somewhere, and there are many different ways you can get yourself a bit of starter cash. It all depends on how you’d rather spend your time doing so. If you want to, you can start off by using the vendor and resale options of Auctioneer, but if not, here are a few more options.

Vendor Items

One of the often overlooked methods of gaining a bit of gold, though it’s something people have been doing for years, is to buy vendor items, and resell them on the auction house. A lot of people don’t want to go trekking around looking for everything they need or want, and will pay a little extra to buy them from the auction house instead, saving them a bit of time. My favourite post detailing which vendor items to grab, along with maps for where to find them all, is this one. It is well detailed and easy to follow. People are willing to pay as much as 60g for certain patterns. Take the cooking recipes from the wandering caravan in Desolace, it’s a pain to find, and when you do the recipes are all ‘rare spawn’, only costing a few silver to buy. Don’t forget vendor pets – if you are able to grab pets from the other faction to sell on your faction’s auction house that’s brilliant, if not, don’t worry, same faction pets will sell as well ((Stormspire Netherstorm, Shimmering Flats Thousand Needles, Org, Eversong Woods, UC, TB, Darn, SW, Elwynn Forest, Exodar, Dun Morogh, Tournament)).


Personally, I like to complete quests. You can gain a fair amount of gold from completing your Northrend quests ((Grizzly Hills, Zul’Drak, Scholazar Basin, Storm Peaks, Icecrown)), and if you have more than one character at max level and a lot of patience, that’s a few thousand gold you can get, guaranteed. While you do those, you can work on opening up a few daily quests, Sons of Hodir and the Argent Tournament ones especially. If you enjoy, or at least can tolerate, questing for money, 25 daily quests per day will get you a few hundred gold per character, it all depends on how much time and patience you have to spare. Don’t forget the weekly raid and Wintergrasp quests, not only do these give a fair bit of gold, but the emblems and honour they give are useful for gold makers (see below).

Gathering Professions

If you use gathering professions, be sure to pick up any materials you see while you’re flying around, even if you don’t have any crafting professions yet, selling these raw can get you a bit of starter gold, or perhaps you’d prefer to save them to use to level your professions or craft into things that will make a little more gold than the raw materials themselves. If you happen to be a miner, Titansteel bars are still profitable as well.

Random Dungeons and PvP

Another reasonable way to get some starter gold is to do a few random dungeons. The first one you do each day at level 80 will give you 2 Emblem of Frost and 26g, after that they grant 2 Emblem of Triumph and 13g. Remember to check the average price of Dream Shards on your server in order to know which blues are worth disenchanting, and which are worth greeding. A lot of the things you’ll pick up while doing the dungeons can sell, and if you don’t need the gear, you can turn 20 Emblem of Triumph into 20 Emblem of Heroism and then into Cardinal Rubies/Majestic Zircons/King’s Ambers. These you can either sell raw for around 100-130g each, or cut them and sell them for a little more. 10,000 honour can be traded in for gems as well. If you have any spare Stone Keeper’s Shards that you don’t need, make sure you turn them into honour (30 shards = 2,000 honour, and the tokens you get are BoA so you can send any from your alts to your main and vice versa), and of course you can do random battlegrounds too, you’re able to queue from anywhere in Azeroth, so perhaps grind a little while you queue (this also counts for random dungeons).


If you really want to, there are plenty of good grinding spots, you just have to find the best ones. I find the Fire and Air Elementals on the Elemental Plateau in Nagrand are brilliant, on my server I could sell Motes of Fire for about 6g each, and Primal Air is still going for about 60g each, it’s useful for a few enchants, Cat’s Swiftness is still the best raiding enchant for a lot of physical classes without Engineering. Check other economy blogs for posts giving tips on the best places to farm.

Selling Professions

Finally, while you’re idling in cities chatting to people, reading blog posts, or whatever you do while you idle, remember to offer your professions in trade. Usually a crafting fee will be about 10g per craft, I stick to this for epic gem cuts, however, certain crafts might get you a bit more, so for some professions you might find it a little better to ask for tips, because some people might tip for a little more than you might be expecting. You will get people tipping 5g, but it seems to be quite rare, and therefore worth trusting in people’s generosity. For example, I have the Blood Draining recipe and I tend to get tips of anywhere between 50-250g for it because it’s fairly rare, or at least difficult to find people who actually respond. I still sometimes get 100g tips for crafting the Death Chill Cloak, for which I’d probably ask for about 15g if I put a fee on it. Just make sure you’re polite, people are less likely to tip if you refuse to pop to Orgrimmar/Ironforge (you can politely say that you’re waiting for somebody in Dalaran), if you’re rude and demanding, chances are they won’t be so generous. If they try to trade you without tipping, gently remind them, sometimes they forget, sometimes they’re just testing their luck, most often they will apologise and give you a little gold for your help.

Stay tuned for whenever I get off my arse to write another one!

18 thoughts on “The Art Of Gold Making: Setting Up Shop”

  1. Pingback: Breaking the Silence Barrier « Fun in Games
  2. I said this to you on MSN, but thought should take the time to post it here a well…

    THANK-YOU for making me get off mah ass and actually try out QuickAuctions3, it is such an amazing addon once you have it setup to cover the markets you wanna cover. Between this and setting up a snatch list, my AH time has become *SO* much more productive. (Perhaps I should do a post in turn to help you with the snatch list thing!)

    So yes indeedy, awesome addon. Grab it everyone! … Unless you’re horde on Black Dragonflight (US) in which case don’t.. It’s actually really quite terrible. >.> *cough*
    Naithin recently posted..The Cataclysm of Talents

  3. I’m always looking for gold making ideas. I tried breaking into the AH biz with Gems and Glyphs but I have people on my server that sell thousands of gems and glyphs a week. So I’m always looking for new tips and tricks on how to make gold. As always I can’t wait to read more.

    Anslym recently posted..Joys of bein’ a shadow priest

  4. I´ve been trying to make a bit of gold the last few months and went from 12k to now 60k. I´m definitely no expert though and I think a lot of people who play the AH a lot more than I do (like.. at all) would make a lot more, and quicker. I´ve mainly been selling off stuff I get when doing HCs and questing, as well as regularly posting my gems from my JC.

    I like reading your tips, and maybe at some point I should try a bit harder to do some of the gold making strategies that require a bit more than just posting gems.

    As a side note, I used to prefer IF for my bank alt, but after they put a mailbox right outside the AH in SW I´ve actually moved my business there.
    Saga recently posted..Comments &amp Replies

    1. Yeah, I’ve heard Stormwind is better.. thinking about it my Alliance bank alt is in Stormwind! I just prefer the straight runs in Ironforge, it feels faster to me.

  5. Great tip Jaedia, been enjoying the gold talk. :D You may want to mention just how good an investment it can be to snatch up a guild with tabs already purchased. Every now and then you’ll see one in trade, and I always drop everything to get it if it’s a good price.

    Starting out (as Horde), my favorite way to make some early gold was to grab the Recombobulator schematic for sale in Ratchet’s engineering shop for resale, and to fish up Deviate Fish, which in my opinion are one of the most reliable, steady sources of income you can get. It’s not the fastest, but you can get them at low levels AND they will always, always sell…eventually.
    Rades recently posted..A Friend Avenged

    1. Ah yeah, “novelty” items will always sell well. I have the Deviate pattern on my Priest, which is even better, though on my server I’ve found the prices to be so random I pretty much dropped the market. Good tips :)

  6. I shall comment. \o/
    Good stuff here, actually. (Not that I wasn’t expecting it to be good. I’m tired) Shows even someone like me can learn stuff. Certainly all sound advice for people to follow. If anyone asks ‘But how do I make teh moneys in WoW’ i’ll link them this :)
    Zal recently posted..The Arathi adventure continues

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  8. Wow…everytime I read posts like these I feel like such a noob =/ I’ve never organized my moneymaking in wow at all, never played the AH game really, never made use of my profession besides for myself or guildmates. I didn’t even know there was so many mods for using the AH more efficiently! I’m impressed by all these tips!
    What do you do with all the money? ^^

    1. If you wanted to get started, then you know how to now! :D

      Personally, I like to see how much I can make, it’s kind of a game in itself. Though I’m not so stupid that I won’t spend it. I’ve bought 2 Traveller’s Tundra Mammoths, 2.. no wait.. 3 motorbikes, I have epic flying on all 7 of my 80s (3 servers, but still!), I’ll buy gear and stuff for alts, and so on. I just like to see the number go up, but it’s also pretty awesome to have such a big cushion if I ever go on a spending spree. That’s just me though ^^ you can use the same methods to make enough for whatever you want to use the gold for, and stop at an amount you’re comfortable with.

  9. what are your thoughts on making a bank alt if you are playing on one server hardcore? like you have 8-9 chars that you want to level? or does it no longer become an issue when you reach that point?

    1. It’s even more useful the more characters you have, in my opinion, you’re more likely to gather a stockpile of things you’ll need to store then. A bank alt is basically the easiest way to store everything and to streamline where you do your auctions, so everything you want to sell will go to that character. The more characters you have, the more profession spaces you have to accommodate your gold making :D

  10. This is all really good advice!

    On the subject of professions—are you assuming we’re goldmaking from an established base? I feel like you can only really make money from crafting professions if you have a reliable source of materials. I’m able to make good money by crafting things on my home server, where I have alts with all the gathering professions at maximum. On a new server, though, it’s often hard to get enough materials to craft effectively without going broke! Maybe your experience is different? I’ve definitely seen a lot of variation from server to server in how “rational” the AH is.

    When I start up an alt in a new realm, I almost always begin by taking double-gathering. The materials you get from mining, skinning, herbalism, and even fishing may not sell as steeply as a well-timed crafted item, but I’ve found them to be a steady and reliable source of good income. Then too, once you get to high level, it’s easier to switch to a crafting profession, if you already have the complementary gathering one (like Inscription or Alchemy to complement Herbalism).
    Lara recently posted..A Case for Retribution Tanking at Low Level

    1. I actually plan to talk about professions more in a future post, but no I’m not assuming that at all :) It’s entirely plausible to have crafting professions without matching gathering professions if you have a little gold to spend, but more on that later :D

      I do that as well on new servers, usually end up taking mining first out of habit.

      1. f you have a little gold to spend

        Well, that’s really the trouble. :) To be fair, it’s not too hard to raise a bit of starting capital with gathering and then switch back; I generally find I can have a couple of hundred gold by the time I reach level 20 even if I have to buy some gear. But I’ve had trouble affording crafting mats with that kind of income.

        Maybe you’ve already answered my questions in the upcoming installment! I’ll just wait and see what comes next. :)
        Lara recently posted..A Case for Retribution Tanking at Low Level

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