How to Hit the World of Warcraft Gold Cap in a Matter of Weeks
Many popular guides will feed you an exact number, like say 600g per hour. While these numbers may sound good at first, they are often overvalued. These numbers are speculative based upon how many dailies you can do at optimal speeds, how fortunate you are with random drops, or relative material prices that differ according to server economy. Consequently, for the sake of the avid reader following this guide, I will not quantify gold per hour, nor will I tell you that farming and daily quests are a good source of income. Also, 600g per hour would still take over 350 hours to hit the gold cap. This number increases even greater when you figure in that dailies can not be constantly repeated every hour as they reset only after 24 hours. What all this information adds up to is a simple answer to making the greatest amount of gold fastest, the auction house. This does not mean merely just buying and reselling, although that is a big part of it. The avid gold maker will set up many different "alts" all ready to buy and resell, creating the single most dangerous thing in capitalism, monopolies.
In World of Warcraft, establishing a monopoly proves much easier than the real world because of less competition and increased laziness from the consumer base, which increases demand through the roof. These factors are easy to exploit with proper preparation. Downloading and installing the following addons from your most trusted website is the first and most important step in the gold making process.
- 1. Auctionator
- 2. Auctioneer
- 3. Chatter
- 4. Market Watcher
- 5. Titan Panel
- 6. Postal
With these 6 addons, you have taken a huge step in the process of making more gold than you know how to spend! (If you have a computer that will handle windowed mode properly, feel free to set the option in the settings menu to windowed mode, this will make alt-tabbing much easier and less annoying).
Now that you have these addons, it is time to set them up properly to be used as effectively as possible. With the first addon listed, Auctionator, you will get three additional tabs when you open up the auction house: buy, sell, and more. Buy and sell are easy to follow and read, the primary reason why this addon is the top choice and listed as number 1. You can easily set how much to buy or sell, ranging from 1 individual object to stacks of the same good. The most important way to search is by price per individual item. This will avoid both overpaying and underselling, since you can see what one item in a stack is worth compared to what it is worth when being sold on its own. The "more" feature provides an easy-to-follow window of all your auctions up and the details associated with your auction, such as price and time left, in a nice color coded fashion. Without this addon, you will be severely crippled compared to anyone using this efficiently. If you are afraid of addons for security reasons, the rest can be ignored as long as you have Auctionator!
The other addons are a great addition to the repertoire of the gold maker. Some add percentages and buying lists, while others provide price and revenue graphs to the reader. Chatter even allows you to repeat those WTS messages without sifting through pointless gossip and chatter. The in-depth workings of them will come later, as for now, more basic setup needs to be covered first.
The next step on the stairway to the gold cap is the internet. Often times, WoW players forget that various websites can have good information. However, many of them are dangerous and just filled with lies or exaggerations. It is my advice that you stick to three main websites: Wowhead.com, Worldofwarcraft.com, and Mmo-champion.com. On wowhead.com, one can see average prices overall on every sellable item currently in the game. This is a nice start; however, most servers have economies that differ greatly. I played on one server where a +healing red gem went for 100g and another where the same gem went for 55g. Swings like this are just the beginning. Random drop epics, especially those BoEs from newer content sometimes differ by thousands of gold! (Consider this fact especially if you are planning on transferring, as this can be the greatest gold mine in WoW). Worldofwarcraft.com provides a little known list containing the most common bought items on the auction house across every server in an aggregate sense! This means that they average every server before listing the results. Unlike wowhead.com, this presents the reader with a much more accurate portrayal of what they may expect on their own given server. Results will be slightly different, but this tool should not be overestimated.
Finally, Mmo-champion.com provides the latest patch notes in the fastest and most reliable way possible. The information on this site is highly trusted and often sourced with Blizzard developers themselves. By knowing that an item such as infinite dust will drop 50% less, then you would know to stockpile it now while it's still abundant and then mass sell following the release of the patch. The greatest gold makers are the most informed readers! (I can not stress this point enough!).
Now that you have the addons and the websites needed for success, you are ready to make auction toons. You will want two auction toons, one on the same faction as your main toon and one on the opposite faction. Do not use your main toon to make the auctions that get you gold! This is one of the greatest mistakes you can make because after a while, people will get annoyed with your prices and selling quantities and begin to blacklist you from groups and some will even boycott your products. Do not risk this happening to you, but rather, create an orc for horde and human for alliance and get them outside the nearest auction houses in Orgrimmar and Stormwind respectively. (As a personal preference, I tend to avoid names with bank, mart, or sell in the name because when negotiating outside of the auction house, you seem less personal). All the addons we downloaded should be enabled for these characters as well.
While most people reading this guide will want to just skip past making the first few hundred gold, the tips are necessary to those who can not just send gold to their auction toons and need to earn it. I have two huge tips for players just starting out and in need of gold to get the profit flowing:
1. Signing Guild Charters-Many people will journey to Orgrimmar or Stormwind to get their new guild charters signed by alts and bank toons. This is where you can strike quick and fast without any risk of losing the investment! This is the greatest type of opportunity for any entrepreneur. I have seen anywhere from 5-20g per signature on these charters. This beats the heck out of earning that first hundred gold through mining copper or an alternative profession method. If you are on late at night, that is often times when the most people are looking to get this service done. Supply them with your signature!
2. Begging - Many guides will tell you begging is worthless and will not work because people get agitated. This is not entirely true if executed properly. As more players accumulate gold through Wrath and Cataclysm items and professions, the number of casual players with gold obviously increases. These casual players remember how it was to just start off and be poor. They will often donate a few gold to a sob story or a "noobie". Look for the players that are not in full epic sets of the best gear, but rather, the ones in heroic gear or worse.
3. When messaging these players, it is important to remember that they too are people and are looking for emotional connections in their social lives. Having a name without mart or sell is only the first step. Do not approach them and immediately spam them with "need gold plz"! Say hello, ask them how their day is going, etc. After you establish this basic interaction, most will ask you how you are doing. The most successful phrase I have seen has been "I am doing well thanks! I am new to this game but I like the people here very much. I saw I needed to buy skills but I'm not quite sure how to make money. Would you mind helping me please?".
If these tips are not up your alley, feel free to play the auction house as early as you have enough to buy one cheap stack of peacebloom. These low level herbs are fantastic sources of early income with little risk since everyone needs to level professions. Alchemists especially are popular every expansion because of the need for those high level trinkets that soar above even heroic drops. As a result, that peacebloom you bought for 10 silver now can easily sell during peak hours for well over a gold! This is a minimum of a 1000% profit! While 1 gold may not seem much, when you are selling 10 stacks at a time, those few hundred gold can go very fast and get you into the greater profit items. However, knowing prices on peacebloom and other lower level mats can prove difficult. This is where Auctionator finally comes in! Run a scan overnight on all your auction characters. You can now see whether or not a posted item is worth buying because of percentages presented next to the list. The major lesson to take out of this is to scan daily and see which items fluctuate greatly, as those are your rewarding items! Items that jump from 10s to 3g depending on time of day or uninformed buyers are a goldmine waiting to be taken advantage of. You can buy low and sell high, succeeding in the World of Warcraft stock market!
Similar items to peacebloom that are profitable on most servers for people getting started include: Hypnotic dust, Celestial Essences, Relics of Ulduar (and other rep items), and heavenly shards. The same can be said with the earlier wrath enchanting mats, they are still valuable for casual players or those without a lot of disposable income! This list is not the end all be all of making quick money! Check your scan results daily and add to this list and you will be on your way to hitting the gold cap much faster than those who quest or farm!
Once you get to about 200g, the theoretical limit of your profit virtually disappears. You now have enough money to start mass buying and reselling those players' goods who undercut everything by an extreme amount. Enchant mats are still a very good focus during this period, especially essences and crystals. You can now afford to buy several maelstrom and abyss crystals and wait until prices fluctuate to resell for a profit. A major strategy you can begin to employ is the multi-character trading and auctioning. If you come across 5 abyss crystals, get onto one character during peak hours and advertise a price 25-50% higher than average. When no one responds to this, quickly switch to another toon and offer the same 5 crystals for 10% lower than before. This will help to raise the median price because other sellers see what they may be able to get for their good. While they are cancelling and reposting, take this time to undercut their new prices, which is now more than you ever could have gotten before when prices were low. If you master this with BoE epics or more rare items, then you can make differences of thousands of gold.
The old popular example was the http://www.wowhead.com/item=47257. This item differed on my server from a high of 6k to a low of about 3k. When the price was down at 3k, I would buy a few of these and just wait a week. Throughout the week, I would put in trade and the auction house that I wanted 6k for it. I would then immediately go onto an alt and say that I only wanted 5200g. Sometimes, I would get the 5200g and be a very happy man, other times it would take more patience. However, almost always, by the end of the week, the other sellers had reposted for around what I wanted. This gave me a huge advantage. Now, the price ceiling was no longer 3k on the auction house, but 5k. I could now easily sell the few I bought for 4 or 4.5k, which is a huge 50% profit from the 3k I originally invested.
Another question I am frequently asked is when should one use trade instead of the auction house. On most servers, the auction house tends to have a lot posted right after peak hours, say 1am server time. Combine this with the fact that a lot of people are just sitting in cities and not really looking to the auction house. This is where trade chat dominates the auction house. Tired players are looking for conversation to take their mind off of sleeping or boredom. If you can sell effectively, trade chat will make a greater profit then the auction house outside of peak hours. A few tips to polish those trading skills might include:
1. Begin by providing a sell message that is clear and concise. This includes the grammar and punctuation just as much as it does the word choice. Try changing that "Some noob buy my sh!t" into "Looking to sell a ____. Please message me if interested. Thanks!". People would rather see a message that is obviously not from a foreign gold farmer or a younger kid. These sellers are hard to deal with and have the stereotype of scamming the honest player.
2. Once you have an interested buyer, stay firm in your price. This does not mean to never make them feel like they are getting a bargain. You can subtract 5% off the price and not be hurt as long as you still make a profit! Remember this, as that 5% may not be a big deal to you, but the buyer will feel special and might buy the item for the slightly reduced price. I can not emphasize enough that this is not the same as undercutting! Do not drop every good every time or you develop a reputation as a soft seller and people take more liberties in their dealings with you. If you give someone a constant 5% discount, then they begin to want 10% and then 15% until you no longer make a profit. Discounts are used when you feel that the seller may be pulling away and you really want to just profit and move on!
3. Offer to bring the item to the buyer if possible. You can offer to meet them in a closer location to them if you are unable to get to say Dalaran as a level 1. Most of the time, they will shift click to see where you are and just offer to take the portal to Orgrimmar or Stormwind since you are level 1. Common courtesies are a huge part of marketing, people want to feel special!
The steps from section two should be utilized and repeated until you reach about 25,000 gold. Once you hit that mark, two more options become available to you, the neutral auction house and cross-realm transferring. The latter is the single most effective way of making gold, although much planning must be done prior to it. However, the smaller methods you used to hit 25,000 should still be done as regularly as before. Nobody got to the cap with only BoE epics, it takes time and patience!
The neutral auction house can become one of your best friends. Other players are constantly checking both factions' auction houses to find an appropriate price for the good they demand. Often times, goods are cheaper on the alliance because they have more people, thus, the supply increases as demand decreases and price goes down. If you are horde, feel free to transfer gold to your alliance toon through the neutral auction house in order to buy them item and bring it back to the horde side where it is more expensive. The 15%, as of patch 3.3.3 (down from 30%) is well worth the extra 50% or more you can easily make on one item alone. Blizzard decreased the neutral cut for a reason to 15%, that reason is to get trade facilitated between the horde and alliance. Make sure you take advantage of this! Tips when trading between factions:
1. Use the same personalized trade chat messages in the opposite factions trade channel to establish connections and potential buyers.
2. Let them know that you are sorry that they have to go to a neutral auction house, but that you are very happy that you can help another player benefit with your good.
3. Make sure you set it to a price that will not only sell, but still bring 10%+ profit even when the 15% cut is factored in. You need to remember that this is a business and not a charity!
4. Avoid character names that bashes on the opposite faction. People do not want to be insulted when purchasing an item, but rather, feel comfortable talking to you. Names with "allybad" or "hordehoribl" are ones to avoid.
The greatest potential for going from 25,000g to the gold cap of 214748g is transferring servers. However, this also presents the greatest risk and needs the most preparation. First off, transferring costs money. If you go to a server, transferring back as soon as the cool down is up is expensive and impractical. You should look for a server that you can stay on for at least 6 months to a year before transferring back with your huge profit. However, the maximum amount of gold that a max character can transfer is only 20,000. Therefore, you need to purchase goods that are going to net you the most profit when you go to sell them on the new server's auction house. Primarily, these are enchanting mats, but can also be BoE epics depending on the two servers. Before making a risky decision such as transferring, consult the questions below.
1. Are the prices of the goods you found the average stable price, or is it the result of panic from a patch or change to the game?
2. If the prices are stable, can I make enough from the goods to justify paying real money to do the transfer? (When answering this one, consult a few gold sites to see their prices. If your expected profit is less than $25 dollars in gold, then there really is no point in doing the transfer).
3. Is the server populated enough to get a clientele group that can promise steady sales and profits? Those goods you sold all the time on a high population server may not be as easy to liquidate on a low population one. Consider this even if the prices are much higher on the target server.
4. Is there a guild waiting for you on the target server that you are satisfied with? Often times, I have transferred to a server, made a lot of gold and quit the game out of boredom because I was without a guild. Another aspect behind this question is that often times in guilds, you can get free flasks and materials to craft goods instead of spending your own gold. This will add up in the long run, whether it's free repairs or free abyss crystals. Remember, you can always send the crystals to another toon and sell them for gold as well.
If you can answer all of those questions with yes, then you are in a position to make a lot of gold! You can continue doing every step to get to the gold cap as quickly as possible. The security achieved through this can buy you virtually anything you desire in the game, including achievements that would otherwise be impossible on your own, which leads us to the final gold making tip - Selling achievements. If you are the leader or officer in a guild, you can take good acquaintances on your raids with you for achievements like finishing ICC or any other hard raid achievements that your guild finds easy and manageable. I have seen achievements go for 20k+ if you find the right client! This is very situational, however, and is by no means necessary to hit the gold cap, it just helps!
If you are not the leader of a high tier guild, do not worry because you can still make gold off of raids. This is the newly emerging GDKP runs that a respectable raider can put together (See why it is so important to keep a good reputation on your main toon?). Respectable raiders often take a few of their friends they can trust that have a lot of gear and bring random people along through the raid. Whenever a boss is killed, the items are auctioned for whatever base price you establish or more. You then split the money with your friends to keep everyone trying and happy, while you become richer without doing anything out of the ordinary. This seems like a perfect idea that can not fail, but it still has its risks. The tips below will help maximize the potential of the GDKP run.
1. Don't just take anybody with some gold willing to go. Make sure they at least have some heroic gear or better. Bringing someone in greens not only hurts your chances of killing the bosses, but these players often anger those who are in better gear that need one item and then get outbid by some "noob". You are looking again to establish relationships and repeat customers!
2. Make sure to bring a variety of classes, but don't eliminate competition. Competition will cause a bidding war that will increase your profit. Find a healthy balance between classes that will complete the instance while also creating high demand for the "good" items that may drop.
3. Set up a system ahead of time to where recipes or other trade goods can be given priority to the raid leader, you. These can be sold later for even more profit and there is no reason to let them go to somebody else.
Making gold is all about finding the balance that works best on your server between all the above methods. When you find that balance, repeat, repeat, repeat, until you get the results you want. Never make any rash decisions without first consulting the economy. If you do not think you can make a for sure profit, then do not do it! Change only when necessary, because your clients become accustomed to certain practices that keep them buying from you even if under cutters offer a slightly lower price. If the customer is always right, then show that to them and you will be much more profitable!
I am always striving to improve this guide and promote it as the top free WoW gold making guide out there. If you have any comments or concerns do not be afraid to send an email to email@example.com or leave a comment below. I will respond in a timely manner. Thank you for taking the time to read this, and I hope it helped you create a more enjoyable experience in World of Warcraft!
A little bit about myself for credibility: I am a 21 year old college student and have been playing WoW since it was first released. I have three characters at the gold cap and want to share my methods with you in a way that I hope has been more clear and concise than the other guides out there. Thanks again and check back soon for my role-playing guide for WoW as well as other guides for MMOs and RPGs in general.