After letting my subscription lapse for a few months, for personal reasons1)You can read about it here if you’d like, I once again started playing Warcraft. What brought me back? The Auction House. I wanted to see how much gold I could make. I read several articles, although finding updated ones was a bit more difficult than I expected. Still each one had a slightly different approach and even the outdated ones gave me some insight into how I could approach my new endeavor. What follows is a half review, half guide, outlining my take on making gold in Warcraft. It’s a how “How to Make Gold” the Apathetic way.
My goal was simple. I wanted to make sure that I always had enough gold on hand to buy two WoW Tokens. Any money beyond that was expendable. By setting my goal as two WoW Tokens it made sure that if there was any drastic flux in their cost that I wouldn’t be stuck without enough gold to buy another month of Warcraft. My secondary goal, of course, was to do it without much effort.
There are two basic ways you can save yourself a few bucks a month; gold farming or buying and selling Auction House commodities.
The Rural/Urban Divide
Farming for gold is a choir. If you do it right farming is a repetitive task more akin to an endurance test than playing a game. Simply put, I don’t like it, I’ve tried it and I won’t do it. On top of the repetitiveness you still have to familiarize yourself with the Auction House so you can gauge the going rate on items so you can best target what you should farm.
With commodity trading you cut out the farming all together. You find goods on the auction house you think you can buy cheap and sell at a higher price; you are a commodities broker. In principle it’s very simple, buy low, sell high. However the reality of it is more difficult. In fact, for many it’s a rather daunting task. How do you know what to buy and when, when do you sell it, at what price? What happens if it isn’t selling? It’s that uncertainly that stop many people from attempting the commodity trading game.
For me the choice between the two was simple, commodity trading. With Farming you still had to deal with the commodities game so why even bother farming? The only downside is your reliance on others to gather and sell items but after months of using the auction house that’s never been a problem.
The first thing I needed to do was find some tools to make my auctioning experience quick and easy.
I use two tool sets, Auctioneer2)You can download using Curse: https://mods.curse.com/addons/wow/auctioneer and the add-on TadeSkillMaster3)You can download this using Curse https://mods.curse.com/addons/wow/tradeskill-master as well as their desktop application TradSkillMaster4)You can download this from their website: https://www.tradeskillmaster.com/install. I will be honest; there is a lot about Auctioneer I don’t know how to fully utilize. It has a massive amount of information gathering power. However, my goal was to make the experience easy and learning all the bells and whistles wasn’t something I wanted to take the time to do. Where Auctioneer is complicated, TradeSkillMaster is not and perfectly fits in where the complicated details of Auctioneer might start to become useful.
- It tracks what you sell.
BeanCounter is part of the Auctioneer suite and keeps track of what you buy, sell, and how much gold exchanged hands. It does this through scanning your mail. It takes all that information and crates a searchable data base so you can easily see how much you’ve spent and how much you’ve made.
- Auction House sort options.
It gives you options to how you sort the auction house. There are two key aspects that Auctioneer adds, the first is Value Percentage. This value lets you know if the items being sold are either cheaper or more expensive than the average. The second is the ability to show the price per unit on stacks of items. This saved me so much time and effort. No more math!
- Selling Options.
The add-on creates a tab called Appraiser. It’s very useful, you can easily set item prices, size of stacks, number of units per stack and most importantly it saves that information for the next time you try to sell one of those items. The tab also has tons of other features concerning how you determine how much an item is worth but it’s a lot of work and frankly I found another, easier way, using TSM
This is the tool I used to gather data to determine what price I sell items at.
- Automatic Auction House Data Mining.
If you take the time to go to their website5)https://www.tradeskillmaster.com/install and install their independent auction house scanning application it will save you tons of time. With Auctioneer you have to go to the Auction House and click a button to scan the data, with TSM it automatically does it every 15 minutes. On top of that you can have it set to do it for several realms.
- Item statistics that help determine an items worth.
The add-on uses all the data it gathers to give you some very useful tool tip information when you hover over items. Average Minimum Buyout, Market Value, Region Market Value Average, Region Sale Average, Region Sale Rate and Region Average Daily Sold. All of which is very useful in determining how much an item is worth.
You know the tools I use; now I’ll explain how I use them. Keep in mind I’m going for the no hassle approach. I spend less than four hours a week doing this and hit my gold target each month, with extra to spend on in game goodies.
Determining Your Auctioning Philosophy
There are two basic ways you can approach making money on the Auction House. If you have the skills you can be a producer. You can buy individual items cheap and then resell a finished product for a profit. This approach requires you to have said skills. The two that I found most applicable were Cooking and Enchanting.
The second basic method is buying low and selling high. This is by far the least time consuming approach and can net you the most in the long run. For the casual person this amounts to checking the auction house once or twice a day, buying items someone is selling at a low price then relisting them at a higher, but still competitive price. It relies on nothing but your ability to sort data, gauge prices and a little luck.
If you want to put in the extra time and effort you can use the second method to make a crap ton of gold. Provided you have enough gold on hand you buy not only the cheap deals you see, but even the normal priced ones. Then you resell everything at an inflated cost. However, do this takes a lot more time and it isn’t the focus of this article.
For the first month or so I used a combination of the two methods but the extra work with producing items became boring and I stopped putting in the effort and stuck to buying low and selling high. It saved me time and I didn’t see a drop in my revenue. I will be focusing on method two.
- Determine Item Types.
You go to the Auction House, open up the UI and now what? You have hundreds upon hundreds of different things you can buy and sell. So what’s worth your time? When I first started I looked into gear, consumables, gems and trade goods.
Gear: It didn’t take long for me to take gear off my search list. It’s a very imprecise commodity to determine its worth and frankly I rarely made a profit. The only measurable amount of money made off gear was when I bought something to disenchant and resell the materials. I suggest you ignore gear
Consumables: There are so many consumables and most of them are not worth your time. If you want to add consumables to your search I would limit it to Flasks and Food items. Most of the other consumable items are no longer all that relevant. I stuck with these for a few months but I eventually stopped checking them every day. I still check occasionally but chances are you will only find a good deal every few days.
Gems: Similar to consumables, gems are sporadic money makers. You can find a deal here or there but eventually I stopped checking the market. It’s still worth your time, but it’s especially important to make sure the gems you purchase are still relevant, otherwise you may lose money in the end.
Trade Goods: This is where the money is. I stick with looking at leather and cloth but that’s because I know those markets well. For my method I suggest keeping trade goods a primary focus.
- The Search and Sort
To maximize your time it’s important to gather as much information as you can at a glance. I do this by first sorting my results by the time left, front loading it with the shortest auctions first. Then I sort it using Pct, the percentage added by the Auctioneer add-on. Make sure to have the results sorted by the lowest percentage first. When you sort via Pct it sorts just the results on the individual pages so each page is still basically organized by length of the auctions.
Doing this causes the best deals to be near the top of each page.
You should also have your UI set so that it shows the price per unit, this is very important when dealing with Trade Goods. It will save you a lot of time. To do this there is a little box at the bottom of the search UI you click.
- Spotting A Good Deal
Now that you have your results sorted it’s essential to spot good deals at a glance. At this step it’s not important for you to know if you can make money off it. The goal is just to reduce your choices to the few deals worth checking.
For this step you look at the Pct Percentage. In my experience Auctioneer quotes a higher price than what the market can actually handle so if it says 100% then it’s actually being sold at a higher amount than you could probably resell it for. I normally don’t look at anything unless it’s at 50% or below, however I suggest you start by checking anything that’s 75% or below first until you become familiar with the items you plan on selling. Remember we will be using the information from TradeSkillMaster to determine an items actual worth. The Pct from Auctioneer is just used to quickly narrow down results.
- Determining Worth
This step is where it starts to become a bit more technical. There are several factors you need to consider. You’ll see a lot of information on the tool tip when you hover over an item but there are only two basic statistics I use to determine if an item is worth my time or not; Region Sale Avg and Region Avg Daily Sold
The Region Sale Average is a good indicator of how much money you will be able to resell the item for. By comparing this number to how much the seller is asking for you can get an estimate of your profits. Make sure you keep in mind that there is a deposit for listing an auction and then a 5% fee for auctions once they sell. You need to take that into account.
The Region Average Daily Sold gives you an indication of how likely you will be able to sell the item. There is a big difference between an item that only sells 5 a day and one that sells 3,000. The higher the volume the more likely you will be able to sell an item at market value and the more likely you won’t have to sit on the item. I typically I don’t buy anything that sells less than 100 a day unless the profit margin is so high that I don’t mind listing the item multiple times before someone purchases it.
- Selling The Goods
Selling your items is relatively straightforward. You have already done the hard work. When you open up the Action House UI ignore the standard Selling tab and use the Appraiser which was added when you installed Auctioneer. I usually sell items slightly below the Region Sale Average. That helps makes make your items show up first when people sort them by their prices, it’s a minor tweak but it can help.
You might also find that some items don’t sell, even if there is a high volume. Don’t be discouraged, it happens. Typically I relist the items with the same price a few more times, adjusting them if there was a statistical change in the average price. If they continue to not sell I slowly lower the price to be more competitive, making sure I still make a profit.
If you forget how much money you spent on an item you can always look up the transaction by going to the Auction House UI Tab BeanCounter. It keeps a list of all your purchases and sales.
If everything goes well you should see profits within the first week but that will depend on how much money you invest in your initial purchases. Whenever you retrieve items or gold gained from the auction house from your mail it will be recorded in BeanCounter. This will help you keep track of how much money you’ve invested and as well as your profits. Keep in mind that if you buy an item from the Auction House and then use that item rather than sell it it will stay on your ledger as a permanent loss. This can cause the final number to not always reflect your overall profit and losses but you can still use it as a good indicator of profits.
If you want to maintain perfect ledger using BeanCounter you can dedicate one of your secondary characters as a dedicated Auction House Character. That way all the items you buy from the Action House with that character are bought specifically to be resold. You then use that character to resell all the Auction House items. I don’t do this because it adds more time and effort to the endeavor but it is still worth noting.
Hopefully this guide has given you some idea how you can approach the Auction House without having to devote much time. If you have any questions or I would be happy to answer them or make any clarifications.
I will continue to use the Auction House to pay for my Warcraft and in doing so I am sure to learn more in the process. I am starting to experiment with price manipulation, which is a bit beyond the scope of this basic guide but I can say that so far it has gone well.
In the future I’m sure to have more tips to share. When I post them I’ll make sure to add links to them to the bottom of this article.
Links in the Post [ + ]
|1.||⇑||You can read about it here if you’d like|
|2.||⇑||You can download using Curse: https://mods.curse.com/addons/wow/auctioneer|
|3.||⇑||You can download this using Curse https://mods.curse.com/addons/wow/tradeskill-master|
|4.||⇑||You can download this from their website: https://www.tradeskillmaster.com/install|