The 80/20 Rule

Have you heard of the 80/20 rule? It states that 80% of your results will come from 20% of your efforts, and it holds true across a number of areas, even World of Warcraft.

When I first discovered how profitable the auction houses in World of Warcraft could be, I started selling almost any item (white quality or better) I could find. Some would sell well, while others just ended up in my mailbox. I found myself spending a lot of time relisting items that never sold. That’s when I decided to optimize my trading, i.e. focus on the 20% of my effort that brought in 80% of the gold:


  • Greatly reduced the number of items I looked at each day, focusing on goods I knew would sell fast.

  • Items which had little value at the auction house above the vendor sell price, I started selling to vendors. Things like common recipes and formulas worth 1 g 50 s at the AH and 60 s at a vendor.

  • Lowered my starting bids and buyouts so I would be at the cheap end of the scale to sell things quicker.

  • If something was just occasionally in demand, saved it in the bank until someone wanted to buy it in the trade channel.

  • Started using an alt for the purpose of only selling and trading the AH. Doing so saves a lot of time.
These changes gave me more time to grind, quest and raid, which can also be profitable and above all, fun. So keep in mind that 80% of your gold will probably come from 20% of your auctions, and you should focus on that 20% and not spend too much time fine-tuning and trying to sell less profitable items.

2 comments: on "The 80/20 Rule"

  1. This comment is not so much to do with the 80/20 rule even thought, that also makes a lot of sense. I just really wanted to thank you for doing this. I wouldn't say I have had trouble making gold, I had a level 39 with 3000 Gold, but that is only dealing with Rare and Twink items, this has really opened my eyes to the bigger picture! Those items were on a new server with mostly naive people, on older more established servers it is much harder to accomplish that ammount of money unless you are lucky! Again love finding this new way to make tons of gold in WoW!!! keep up the good work!!

  2. You're very welcome and I shall :)

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