Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Fresh start: tips for a new gold maker

img : fewyn@wowhead
Another in a series answering select questions from Nev's 20 Days of Gold Making. In this piece I dish out some things I wish I would've known when I first embarked on my gold-making journey.

So, "gold maker." You want to get rich fast, do ya? You want to be part of the one-percent. You think you have what it takes? Are you prepared to sweat and toil day in and day out in the ripe air of the auction house? With the gnomes and/or goblins making those funny faces at you? Are you prepared for the auctioneers to lobby accusations at you, calling you LOITERER, LIAR and THIEF! In the words of Illidan, no, you are NOT...

Sorry. I get carried away sometimes. I blame it on great coffee. But I digress...and since I've wasted enough of your time with this intro, what follows are bits of info I wish I would've known right from the start of my gold-making journey. Be forewarned that these tips are meant for a person who actually likes to play the game and not spend the majority of their time camping auction houses. This doesn't involve speculation, flipping, or farming. This is for the noob. Let's start slow and work our way up.

Establish Goals
Why is it you insist on making gold? Or, asked differently, what is it you are after?

Regardless of your reason, it can be helpful to establish goals if for no other reason than to remain focused. I guarantee that once you've earned a nice chunk, the allure of spending it on crap you don't need will increase exponentially...and that's OK. It just mean's you'll need to adjust your goal.

Get Bags
The character(s) you'll be utilizing on your gold-making journey should be outfitted with good bags. I prefer 24-slot Embersilk's. The materials aren't usually too pricey for these, and chances are you'll find a tailor willing to craft them for you.

Lowbies: If you don't have money for bags...you can always steel yourself and ask for bags in /Trade.* I come from the school of thought that believes those with means should help those without.

*The Feckless Leader cannot be held responsible for any emotional turmoil caused to those who follow this advice.

Save Everything
Everything. Even grey items. Everything in your bag is worth something, be it gold, silver or copper, unless of course you destroy them---we want to avoid that. Once your bags are full, clear out the space by vendoring---yes, vendoring---the grey items.

Lowbies: this is especially important for you since I'm assuming you won't be starting with a large amount of capital.

Highbies: the stuff you come across while questing has the potential to carry a significantly high value.

Soon, you'll find yourself with bags full of common (white) items and above. While not every one of these will be worth selling on the auction house, once your bags are filled, send your excess items to someone. Preferably your own designated banker toon. Which brings us to...

Get a banker
For many gold makers, the bank alt comes in the form of a level 1 character parked near the auction house in a capital city. Instead of trekking to the nearest city to auction the items filling your bags, send them to your banker and deal with the lot when you feel like it.

Get Addons
Addons will make your gold-making life easier. Period.

This addon's creator bills it as the auction house addon for casual users. It makes some very basic, yet impactful changes to the default auction house UI that anyone who uses the AH regularly will appreciate. Essentially, buying and selling made easier. Also, this addon allows the user to "scan" the auction house. This is valuable because when used in conjunction with another addon below, it allows you to see the market value for items you have in your bags when away from the auction house.

For instance, it will tell you that since Coarse Stone is selling for 11s, you can safely vendor it to free up space. However, that low level green pair of pants that just drop is currently listed for 150g. Might want to hang onto those.

Does what it says. Whenever you interact with an NPC you can sell to, there will be an extra button appropriately titled "SELL JUNK," that will sell all of your grey items to the vendor. Gone are the days of hunting and clicking your way through full bags. Customizable in that you can add any item you'd like to the Selljunk list, causing that item to be sold at vendors as well. Features an option to auto-selljunk at the vendor.

Required if you'd like to share/display data (item prices, item counts, etc.) regarding items.

The go-to, daunting mother-of-all addons for the serious gold maker. I passed on learning this addon three times before finally forcing myself to understand its basic workings. And just wow. I'm deliberately detaching the next sentence from this here paragraph because it's that important.

Going from not using TSM to using TSM is like the difference between walking to your destination or driving there in a car.

Once you learn how to drive, you will rarely, if ever choose to walk again.

Learn Professions
If you haven't already of course. Look into what profit you might make utilizing your professions.

Lowbies: Look to gathering professions like skinning, mining or herbalism.
Highbies: I find jewelcrafting combined with mining to be profitable while leveling.


You shouldn't have to farm
I'm a firm believe in the notion that players should never have to farm mats to make a profit. Of course, SOMEONE needs to farm in order for us to be able to abstain...but in most situations, you should rarely, if ever have to farm to make a profit. By simply saving everything you run across when questing, you will slowly accumulate gold.

Once you have a small chunk of capital (I suggest 500-2000g), starting looking to the AH for mats you could profit from with your professions, or items to flip. The latter, of course, is riskier unless you're familiar with the markets. 

Advertise Professions!
If you do have a max level profession or two you can use to produce in-demand goods, do it! And more so, advertise in Trade that you CAN do it. Sure, you may not get a lot of activity this way, but it doesn't take much time at all to make a macro to hit every time you're in a major city.

Vendor pet/mounts
Questing in the middle of nowhere? Grinding a dungeon for a prized drop? A pet or a mount offering a vendor option will be extremely valuable to you. Instead of cruising to the nearest town the vendor your trash, pop out that mount and do it on the spot!

The Argent Tournament companion pet allows a player to access either a bank, mailbox or vendor once every eight hours. For gold makers with some change to spare I recommend splurging on the Traveler's Tundra Mammoth. The time it will save you in the long run will eventually make up for the cost.

Choose highest value quest rewards
Often times when turning in a quest the player will be given a choice of a reward items. Sometimes the vendor sale value of these items differs greatly from one to another. If you can't use any of the items as an upgrade, mouse over each of them and choose the one with the highest resale value. There are instances where you can choose a staff to resell for 24g rather than one of the other items offered that only sells for 6g. This adds up quickly.

If you have any questions about my method or these tips, please ask away!

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