Saturday, June 25, 2011

The Over-Looked 4.2 Goldmine

4.2 is rapidly approaching, and I'm sure most of you are well on your way in stockpiling everything you'll need to get rich. Nearly every gold-blog out there has touched on what you should be stockpiling, and for the most part it's all solid advice. However, in my cursory glances at everyones' suggestions, I'm seeing something missing that I assumed would be a quite obvious money-maker. In fact, this market is the one I'm sinking a good 90% of my stockpiling recourses in to, and I believe it will pay off handsomely.

What is this mysterious market that a good majority of bloggers seem to be neglecting? Why, PvP gear, of course! Come 4.2, all current PvP gear recipes will automatically be upgraded in our spell books. No new recipes to get, just a free upgrade! Even better, the mats will stay the exact same. And in case you have forgotten what those costs are, WoWHead has made a very convinient page summarizing the mats for all the new craftable gear in 4.2.   Just find the set, and it'll tell you what you need total to buy the recipes and what a full set will take to make. Makes stockpiling a sinch. I'm hoping to make five to ten full sets of each to sell throughout the week.

Of course, blind stockpiling is rarely a good idea, so here's why I think this will be a solid investment. First, iLvl cheaters. New PvP gear has an iLvl of 358, more than enough to get you in to H ZG/ZA. It ought to even be decent enough to let you run through normal Heroics without being a drain on your team too. Mainly though, it'll be great for new people looking to get in to PvP without being stomped by those who have already played through last season. This gear is better than current honor gear (sans sockets and with a bit less resil, however), so people who never got around to doing arenas or rated bgs will likely want to upgrade. The majority of consumers will likely be people new to PvP, however. And if they're even remotely serious about trying it out, they'll want to get on this gear in order to stay competitive.

So there you have it. My scheme to get even more gold in 4.2. I haven't even mentioned the new PvP relics / rings / cloaks, mainly because those are bits of PvP gear others have already covered. Of course you should be stockpiling for those as well, as they'll sell well for the same reason the regular gear will: new players, or casual PvPers, looking to stay competitive in the new season.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Musings Post-Cap: Gold-Making Universal Truths

So it's been over a month since I hit 1mil, and just about a month since I wrote for my blog. You may have been wondering where the hell I went. Well, aside from exams, journal write-on, and starting an internship, I've just really had nothing to write about.

I more or less stopped the gold making grind after the cap. There wasn't much point to it. After basking in the glow from that huge mount of gold, I went to work spending it. Bought all the vendor mounts for my main, and a Traveler's Tundra for my lvl 40 druid. Started working on the pet achieves too, which cost a fair amount of gold to do. Almost have all the Argent Tourney pets, on both sides, as well as the rather rare Hyacinth Macaw, Disgusting Oozeling, and Firefly pets. Still keeping an eye out for the whelplings, but haven't seen many. Gave away a ton of the shiny stuff too, to various people for various reasons.

On the gold making aspect, I've done little else than glyphs, which I now love for their relative ease. I have a huge stockpile of glyphs and inks that I'm working through. Also selling off some some random items on my main bank alt that I got either pre-cata, or through snatch lists. I am, however, gearing up for 4.2, which I'll likely write about in a few days. I've been largely silent because, as you can see, I haven't been doing much gold making myself. I like to write about what I do, and my thoughts on such, so if I'm not really doing anything, there's not anything to write about.

I have, however, been thinking a lot about making somewhat of a meta gold making post. Just a few observations on making gold that I've come across on my way to the cap. So here they are, the universal truths about gold making:

Making Gold is Really Easy
Some may argue with me on this, but they're wrong. Making gold is easy, making tons of it is a little harder (and will segue in to the next universal truth). When people ask how I do it, I always condense my answer in to this little sentence: "I buy stuff, do something to it, then sell it for more." That's all we do. That's the very essence of gold-making. We take stuff from the AH (or vendors, or players, or from farming, but  that's less likely), run it through our professions, and then sell the completed product for more than the sum of its parts. Nowhere is this principle more easily illustrated than with Jewelcrafting. JC was the reason I got in to gold making, and it's still my favorite. The easiest way to make gold from JC is to buy a raw gem, cut it, and sell it for more. Doing that is how I got my start. None of the silly "shuffle," just going in to the AH with auctionator, checking the prices of raw gems, checking the prices of cut gems, buying the raw gems, and making profitable cuts to sell. It was absurdly easy gold. And it still can be. JC is the perfect example because it's so obvious how it works. Barely takes any math at all, just a simple understanding of which of two numbers is higher. Any other profession is really just a slightly more complicated version of this with a few extra steps. What they all come down to is taking something, making something new, and selling the new thing for more. Easy as that. If you can sell the finished product for more than the sum of its parts, you've made gold. It's as simple as that.

Now, you can make it more complicated by trying to squeeze out extra coppers. Buying from suppliers instead of the AH. Watching trends to buy when supply is abundant and sell when it's low. Selling on raid nights, buying on the weekends. Dealing with competitors. Etc. But again, in the end it's all about selling for more than you paid. If you can do that, you can make gold and reach the gold cap.

It Takes Money to Make Money
I think this is the most important thing to realize. Like I noted earlier, making gold is easy, but making tons of gold is a little harder. A week or so ago, a guy on the Consortium Forums made a post lamenting his inability to rake in thousands of gold a day like some of us could. He was doing everything right (aka, selling for more than he paid, see supra), so why wasn't he fabulously wealthy? Well, because he only had about 20k to work with. The thing is, the only reason some of us can pull thousands from our mail each day is because we're spending thousands in the first place. I could make thousands a day from JC, but I'd likely have to first spend many thousands on ore or raw gems. If you don't have that kind of gold to invest, you're not going to see that kind of return. Rather than focus on the raw numbers, you should be looking at your percent return of investment (ROI). Myself and our friend could have a 50% ROI, but he might not make the same as I can simply because he's not spending as much as I can. For example, we can buy widgets at 100g each and sell them as gidgets for 150g each. He can only buy ten of them (spending 1k), but I can buy a hundred (spending 10k). He'll make 500g, I'll make 5000g. But we both made the exact same 50% ROI. The sole reason I made more was because I spent more. Not because I'm "better" not because he's doing something wrong, but because I had more I was willing to spend. And hey, now I can buy more, and make even more! But so can he!

So how do you get to the point where you can make thousands in a day? By starting out making a few hundred a day. Again, it takes money to make money. That could easily be amended to say, it takes more money to make more money. You're not likely to make thousands daily if you're just starting out. You have to build your way up. Focus on one market, start a steady income, then start expanding. As long as you're getting decent ROI, you'll start to see more and more gold come in each week. The more you have, the more you can spend, and the more you can get back. Simple as that, which leads to the last universal truth.

Gold Making Takes Time
It's very very unlikely that you'll become a millionaire overnight. But it's not an impossible dream by any measure. It'll largely depend on how much time you're willing to put in. Not just in having enough toons to have a huge crafting army, or time spend leveling those skills, but in how much time you want to spend playing the AH. Things like milling and prospecting are time consuming, but the more time you spend on them the more you'll make. This is tied in to "it takes money to make money." If 10 stacks of ore nets you 500g, 100 stacks should net you 5000g. But you have to do the rather tedious shuffle to get through it in the most cost effective manner. There's also dealing with the AH itself. If you're able to spend tons of time babying your auctions and almost always being the cheapest seller, always replenishing your stock, you'll likely make a lot more than those who set and forget. But you'll also spend a lot more time to do so.

The time factor isn't just about the day-to-day AH activities, it's also about how long you've been at it. Back to "it takes money to make money," if you start out small, you can only make so much in a day. But as the days go by, you'll be able to make more and more as you keep reinvesting your profits. Eventually, you'll find a nice nexus between time spent earning, and gold earned. After that, you can basically calculate exactly when you'll hit the gold cap, barring unforeseen circumstances.

In Conclusion...
That's pretty much it. All gold making is is selling for more than you paid, but it takes time (and gold) to start raking in the big bucks. Just find something profitable, start small and work big, keep doing it, don't get frustrated, and eventually you'll start pulling in thousands and hit the cap.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011


Last Sunday, at approximately 5:30 PM EST, I collected the last bit of gold from my mailbox to hit the elusive one million gold!

Here are some screens from my MS stats to show you more or less how I did it. I haven't cleared MS since I installed it mid-January, so this is basically all of what I've sold.

Sorted by Number Sold:

Sorted by Money Made:

Sorted by Money per Sale

So yeah! That's kinda it. I think what pushed me past the cap was a few days of really great glyph sales. The market had more or less reset after my little experiment, and the insane amount of cheap herbs meant my profits were huge. And having my main competitor who seemed to pretty much camp the AH go MIA meant I basically controlled glyphs for a few days. I kinda slowed down on gems, mostly because I had prospecting (but milling's alright for some reason...). But I've been getting more and more in to the twink scroll market. Charging about 1k per scroll for the BiS weapon chants, and they sell. Cheap Maelstrom Crystals means cheaper to produce Landslide enchants, so I've been messing with that a bit too. Other than what you see on these screen caps, I can't think of anything particularly important. 

Where do I go from here? Not really sure right now. I'm kinda done with the whole gold making stuff for now. I've more than I really know what to do with, and it's been getting more and more tedious to keep up with things. I'm thinking of slowly going through my stock, not buying anything more, just using what I have, and then retiring to a fancy island off of Azshara. Though I'm sure the goblin in me will bounce back around 4.2 to capitalize on new PvP gear.

The dilemma I'm facing now though, is whether or not to actually start spending all this gold! On the one hand, I'd like to get all the vendor mounts now, but on the other, I don't really want to go back below one million. Doesn't make much sense, that's for sure. What's the point in having all this gold if you don't spend it? I'm assuming once the initial novelty of being a WoW millionaire wears off I'll start dropping gold left and right. But for now I think I'll just revel in it.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Flipping Rare Weapons

Hiya friends! I'm using this study break to bring y'all a random tip that you might find useful. Something I've recently taken up on my odds'n'ends bank alt is flipping rare weapons. Pretty simple tactic to do, and tends to bring in a semi-decent amount of gold. A nice supplement for established goblins, and a great way to earn some extra coin if you're just starting out.

So what to do? Just go to your local AH, go to the default search UI, limit the search to "rare" quality weapons level 70 and below, hit search, and sort by lowest bid amount! I'll usually buy any weapon that's listed at 20g or below, and bid on anything with a 10g bid or lower (if it's not within my buying threshold, of course). I've set up a little TSM group for all the weapons I snatch too. 48hr post, 100g fallback, ~30g or something threshold (not sure on that, rarely matters anyway). As vendor prices on most sub-60 weapons are pretty low, you're not losing much in deposit costs. The 100g default is a pretty fair price too, as that's a pittance for most players right now, and you're mainly catering to people leveling alts who want some nice blue gear.

I was a bit skeptical that this would work when I first started it. After all, doesn't everyone have BoA weapons now? Well, apparently not! I'd say I sell ~5 weapons a week. Not a huge amount, but certainly worth the negligible time and effort it takes to do this! You'd be surprised at how many people sell world drop rares for next to nothing, or even better, don't understand how to price the bid (I often find weapons with a 50g+ buyout, and a 4g bid). You can also do this for epic weapons (I'll buy almost anything for 100g, post for 500g minimum), though they move a lot slower and the deposit costs are higher.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

All Sorts of Goodies Datamined on Wowhead!

Short, but sweet, update for today. Exams start next week, no time for lengthy posts!

If you don't obsessively check Wowhead for the latest news, you might not have noticed nearly a thousand new additions to their PTR database. Mostly just a bunch of new armor sets, but there are some spectacular gold making opportunities buried within.

Most notable are the new entry level PvP armor sets. I'd expect great sales from these at the start of next season as new players try to catch up their gear. A very interesting new addition is the availability of crafted PvP rings, cloaks, necks, and relics. Oddly enough, these accessories are listed as BoP. I don't see the logic in this, so hopefully they'll become BoE by the time the patch rolls around (not like Scribes and JCs need MORE ways to make gold). Material costs for the new garb don't seem any different than the current gear, so plan accordingly. The costs for the new accessories are fairly low too (a few rare gems and some volatiles for the jewelry, for example).

There are also new BoE epics, though for the casual auctioneer they're likely to be out of reach. Each take eight Living Embers which presumably drop off 4.2 raid bosses and might be purchasable by VP (note that current VP are likely to become JP next patch, so hoarding them won't help). Though that doesn't seem too bad (just buy them off the AH or other players!), each piece requires 3 Chaos Orbs or 8 Dream Cloth for tailors, which still seem to be BoP.

And finally, we have new bags! Best of all, there's a 36 slot JC bag! Less exciting, a 36 slot Inscription bag and a 36 slot Mining bag. Tailors can make the JC and Scribe back for 3 Dreamcloth, so stockpiling a few will probably be worth it. The mining bag costs two Pristine Hides and twenty Volatile Earth. Personally, I don't think the mining bag will get much love, but I'd expect the JC bags to sell like crazy and the Scribe bags to be up there too.

Suspiciously absent is any indication of Epic Gems.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Warcraft Econ Hall of Fame!

My interview with WacraftEcon went up today, go check it out!

Nothing else really new and exciting going on as far as gold making is concerned. With exams coming up, I haven't been on as much lately, so I haven't been making as much as usual. Still up over 750k as of now, and hopefully I can rake in a lot of gold tonight. I will, of course, update as I find interesting things to write about.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Messing with Glyphs

About a week ago I finally followed through on my threats to crash the glyph market. It was something I had wanted to do for quite some time, but never really got around to doing. So after a few weeks of stockpiling cheap inks, I sat down to craft a boatload of glyphs.

I will admit, I got cold feet at first and started posting at normal undercuts for a few days. Interestingly enough, it was actually profitable. I stalked my competition through The Undermine Journal, saw that most of them didn't post early in the morning when I woke up for classes, and took advantage of that window of opportunity. I made a decent amount of sales for a few days, but quickly grew tired of it all. So I crashed the market.