(For more resources related to this topic, see here.)
You need to spend gold to make gold
The adage “You need to spend money to make money” holds true in World of Warcraft as well. A lot of your income will come from manufacturing processes: taking raw materials (or mats) and turning them into finished goods for the end user. To expedite this process, we will be mostly buying the materials from the Auction House, and so you will need a sizeable supply of gold when you’re starting out and building inventory.
Unlike in the real world, where you can get investors or loans to start up a business, in World of Warcraft you will need to collect every bit of copper yourself. It’s not until you have built up this starting capital that you can truly start making significant amounts of gold. There are a few ways to go about this and some players may be able to build capital while playing as they usually do, but most players will have to work at building this capital. All the methods in this section are designed to earn you gold, with time being the only investment; no gold needs to be invested. Once you’ve built your starting capital, you may find yourself moving away from these sources of revenue to focus on more lucrative markets.
Reselling vendor pets
There are many items that you can sell on the Auction House but vendor pets will be your best bet when trying to make gold. While your mileage may vary depending on your server’s economy, there are certain vendors and items that are usually profitable. As with any other tip, you will have to confirm for yourself that this is pro fitable on your server.
Even before Mists of Pandaria was announced and launched with its pet battles, pets were in great demand. There are several vendors scattered throughout Azeroth that sell pets; you can then resell the pets on the Auction House for a profit. There are two reasons why pets from these vendors can typically be sold for a profit over the vendor price:
- Players are too lazy to venture out into the world themselves to visit these vendors and buy the pets
- Players don’t do their research and, when they see these pets on the Auction House, are unaware that they can get these pets from the vendors
We’ll take a look at some examples of where you can get pets from a vendor to sell on the Auction House.
Always make sure you’re selling these pets for a profit. As with most methods we will go over, this tactic’s effectiveness is largely determined by your server’s market. Be sure to check market prices for these pets before you go out and collect them (The Undermine Journal (https://theunderminejournal.com/) will help you with market research).
Players from either faction will be able to access these vendors and resell their wares on their faction-specific Auction House.
One of these vendors is Dealer Rashaad at the Stormspire in Netherstorm and he can be found west of the flight master at Stormspire.
The following screenshot shows the map of Netherstorm, and the player icon marks the location of Dealer Rashaad:
Dealer Rashaad is marked with the
- Parrot Cage (Senegal): Purchase for 40 silver
- Cat Carrier (Siamese): Purchase for 60 silver
- Undercity Cockroach: Purchase for 50 silver
- Crimson Snake: Purchase for 50 silver
- Brown Rabbit Crate: Purchase for 10 gold
- Red Moth Egg: Purchase for 10 gold
- Blue Dragonhawk Hatchling: Purchase for 10 gold
- Mana Wyrmling: Purchase for 40 gold
Dealer Rashaad has associations with the faction The Consortium, and so these pets will appear cheaper, depending on your reputation with this faction (up to 20 percent off if you have Exalted reputation).
Another pet vendor you should visit is Breanni (tagged as
Breanni sells the following pets (listed in order of appearance):
- Cat Carrier (Calico Cat): Purchase price 50 gold
- Albino Snake: Purchase price 50 gold
- Obsidian Hatchling: Purchase price 50 gold
Breanni also sells accessories for pets but, since these are Bind on Pickup items, you will not be able to sell them on the Auction House.
There are several vendors that sell only one or two pets; while you can sell many of these on the Auction House as well, you will have to determine for yourself if the profit margins are worth your time spent in collecting them. The following is a list of these pets and their vendors. Only those pets that can be purchased for gold (or silver) are included in this list as there are several that can be purchased for other currencies:
- Ancona Chicken: Plucky Johnson in Thousand Needles
- Tree Frog Box: Flik at the Darkmoon Faire
- Wood Frog Box: Flik at the Darkmoon Faire
- Winterspring Cub: Michelle De Rum in Winterspring
- Parrot Cage (Cockatiel): Narkk in Booty Bay
To make the most of these pet vendors, buy multiples of each pet (at least three to five of each) and store the spares in a bank while you are selling them. Doing this limits the number of repeat trips you have to make and makes it more worth your while. Be sure to empty your bags as much as possible when going out to fetch these pets.
While being at Friendly reputation or better with these vendors can fetch you a discount of five to 20 percent, the amount of time it takes to reach these reputations is not really worth the discount. That being said, if you have a character that you know gets a discount with these vendors, use it to collect the pets and get the five to 20 percent discount on the purchase price.
If you have trouble finding any of these pets, you can go to http://www.wowhead.com, which is a database of all the items, vendors, achievements, and more. Wowhead has every vendor listed and a map of where to find the vendors.
Pets from in-game events
During most in-game holidays, there is a selection of pets you can buy with the holiday-specific currencies (typically tokens). While it’s likely that it won’t be worth your time to gather these currencies specifically to buy these pets, only you can decide what is worth your time; you might want to have these currencies anyway. Note that these pets are related to specific events only and are not available all year round. These pets are as follows:
- Captured Flame:
- 350 Burning Blossoms (Midsummer Fire Festival)
- Purchasable at vendors in every major city for every major faction during the course of the Midsummer Fire Festival
- Feline Familiar:
- 150 Tricky Treats
- Purchasable at vendors in Undercity and Elwynn Forest as part of the Hallow’s End festivities
- Sinister Squashling:
- 150 Tricky Treats
- Purchasable at vendors in Undercity and Elwynn Forest as part of the Hallow’s End Festivities
- Spring Rabbit’s Foot:
- 00 Noblegarden Chocolate
- Purchasable at various vendors outside every major Alliance or Horde city as part of the Noblegarden festivities
- Pint-Sized Pink Pachyderm:
- 100 Brewfest Tokens
- Purchasable at vendors in Dun Morogh, Durotar, Ironforge, and Orgrimmar as part of Brewfest Activities
- Lunar Lantern and Festival Lantern:
- 50 Coins of Ancestry each
- Purchasable at vendors in Moonglade during the Lunar Festival event
- Truesilver Shafted Arrow:
- 40 Love Tokens
- Purchasable at vendors in all major Alliance and Horde cities during the Love is in the Air event
These pets are available in plenty during and shortly after the events, so to get the best price out of your hard work, hold on to the pets for a month or more after the event ends. Some of these pets do drop (not significantly, though) as part of the incentive for Call to Arms but the largest supply comes from the events themselves.
The currencies for these pets are obtained through quests and achievements related to the event and can thus only be obtained while the event is active. Many players choose to do these events anyway (for achievements or for the sake of completion), so you might find that selling these pets is an easy way to make extra gold. If you have any problems with the quests or achievements, the posts on Wowhead will typically have advice and the writers at WoW Insider (http://wow.joystiq.com) put up guides every year for the events.
Faction-specific vendors and pets
Each faction, Alliance and Horde, has a selection of pets that are specific to it. While you can sell them on your home Auction House, you can often get much better prices on the neutral Auction House, where you can sell to the opposite faction because this, and faction transfers, which cost money, are the only ways for them to get the pets. Keep in mind though that the neutral Auction House charges a higher fee—they charge a 15 percent cut on sales — so be wary when selling and adjust your profi t margins accordingly.
As with the faction-neutral pets, these pets are broken into two categories:
- Purchasable with standard currency (gold, silver, and copper)
- Purchasable with other currencies
The list of Alliance vendors with pets available for standard currency is as follows:
- Donni Anthania
, Elwynn Forest:
- Cat Carrier (Bombay): Costs 40 silver
- Cat Carrier (Cornish Rex): Costs 40 silver
- Cat Carrier (Orange Tabby): Costs 40 silver
- Cat Carrier (Silver Tabby): Costs 40 silver
- Yarlyn Amberstill, Dun Morogh:
- Rabbit Crate (Snowshoe): Costs 40 silver
- Great Horned Owl: Costs 50 silver
- Hawk Owl: Costs 50 silver
, The Exodar:
- Blue Moth Egg: Costs 50 silver
- White Moth Egg: Costs 50 silver
- Yellow Moth Egg: Costs 50 silver
- Lil Timmy
, Stormwind, rare spawn:
- Cat Carrier (White Kitten): Costs 60 silver
The White Kitten especially commands a good price on the Auction House as it’s difficult to get even for Alliance players, so always keep an eye out for Lil Timmy when you are in Stormwind.
Finally, for those who are champions in the Argent Tournament with the playable races on the Alliance side, you can buy pets at the Argent Tournament for 40 Champion’s Seals. All the vendors can be found in the Alliance tent on the north-east corner of the Argent Tournament grounds.
The following screenshot shows the map of Icecrown; the player icon marks the location of the Alliance team:
The pets available to Alliance players are as follows:
- Teldrassil Sproutling, Darnassus
- Mechanopeep, Gnomeregan
- Ammen Vale Lashling, Exodar
- Elwynn Lamb, Stormwind
- Dun Morogh Cub, Ironforge?
- Shimmering Wyrmling, Silver Covenant
The Argent Tournament champions do well on the Alliance Auction House as well since no one plays the Argent Tournament any more and unlocking the pets requires a significant amount of work.
The list of Horde vendors with pets available for standard currency is as follows:
- Black Kingsnake: 50 silver
- Brown Snake: 50 silver
- Crimson Snake*: 50 silver
- Prairie Dog Whistle: 50 silver
- Jeremiah Payson
- Undercity Cockroach*: 50 silver
- Jilanne, Eversong Woods:
- Golden Dragonhawk Hatchling: 50 silver
- Red Dragonhawk Hatchling: 50 silver
- Silver Dragonhawk Hatchling: 50 silver
Pets with an asterisk (*) next to them can also be purchased from a faction-neutral vendor and so may not get the same price on the neutral Auction House.
Champions of the Horde’s main races can get pets from the Argent Tournament for 40 Champion’s Seals. To be able to buy any of these pets, a player must be a champion of the race that the particular pet is associated with. All the vendors for these pets can be found in the Horde tent at the Argent Tournament on the south-east corner of the grounds.
The following screenshot shows the map of Icecrown; the player icon marks the location of the Horde tent:
Fishing, one of the original secondary professions, is a convenient way to make gold with no real start-up costs. You don’t need to level Fishing to make gold with it; you can train it and start fishing up valuable fish straightaway. Without max fishing, you can still fish from pools around Pandaria; the fish can then be sold on the Auction House to players looking to make buff foods. Make sure to only fish from pools if you don’t have max fishing as a lower skill level in Fishing makes it almost impossible to pull any fish (except Golden Carp) from open waters.
The following screenshot shows a character fishing from a pool in Pandaria:
The Tillers, farming, and Sunsong Ranch
Every player, over the course of leveling, will come across the Sunsong Ranch. The ranch is an excellent source of income for those who don’t have the capital or professions to start the gold-making methods discussed later in this book. The ranch is basically 16 plots of soil (you start out with four and then unlock an additional four at every reputation level with the Tillers) where you can plant seeds for vegetables and other items such as Motes of Harmony. With the vegetables, you can either create buff food (requires 600 Cooking) or sell them on the Auction House to other players (who will more than likely be using them to create buff foods themselves).
A copper saved is a copper earned
A surprising amount of gold can be saved by nickel-and-diming everything in the game; when you’re putting so much work into building up your pile of gold, you don’t want to waste it!
To keep inflation in check and the economy from getting out of hand, World of Warcraft has several gold sinks to try and keep the gold that is leaving the economy balanced with the gold entering it. One of the biggest gold sinks is armor repair, and an untold amount of gold is lost to this necessity every day. Luckily, there are ways to minimize how much gold is syphoned out of your pockets and into the repair vendors’. Vendors that are associated with factions (typically displayed in the way a player’s guild would be, that is, in brackets under the name) give players discounts if they have a reputation with the faction. Discounts start at Friendly with 5 percent and continue all the way through to Exalted, which offers a 20 percent discount; and yes, this discount applies to repairs as well. What this means is that players can save up to 20 percent on their repair bills by repairing only at vendors. Obviously, you can’t always get to a vendor you have Exalted reputation with but simply paying attention to where you repair can save you some serious gold. Make sure to repair before you go out into the world or get into a raid and resist the temptation of repairing between every wipe.
Guilds can give many perks that provide you with ways to save gold. Guilds level 9 and higher have a perk that reduces the durability loss your gear experiences when you die or take damage. This means you need to repair your gear less often, which in turn means you have to spend less gold to keep it in good condition.
Also, look into items before you buy them as sometimes, even though you can find them on a vendor, you can find them cheaper on the Auction House or vice versa. As we discussed in the previous section, there’s a whole market for buying items from a vendor and selling them on the Auction House, so be an informed buyer! Similarly, there are some items, such as Disappearance Dust, which are often sold cheaper on the Auction House because it’s cheaper to produce them through Inscription than it is to buy them from the vendor.
Costs associated with the Auction House
There are several places where you can reduce the amount of gold you lose when posting items on the Auction House. There are two ways you lose gold when posting items in the Auction House:
- Auction House cuts on sales:
- 5 percent is cut at Alliance and Horde Auction Houses
- 15 percent is cut at the neutral Auction House
- Lost deposits on expired or cancelled auctions
When using the Auction House, it will benefit you greatly to be diligent in how you post.
Don’t use the neutral Auction House except for selling faction-specific items (the items that only players from one faction can obtain). Attempting to use the neutral Auction House for any other items will be futile; the few sales you actually make will be cut heavily and you’ll waste way too much gold on deposits.
On that note, it’s best to limit how long you post auctions for as the longer the auction, the higher the deposit required. When an auction expires or is canceled, you don’t get your deposit back, so if you know you will be canceling a lot of auctions, don’t post your auctions for 48 hours; instead, post for 24 hours, if you don’t have a lot of time to dedicate to the game, or for 12 hours if you can check the Auction House more frequently.