Stop Asking How Much Gold You Can Make Per Hour


It doesn't matter how much you make per hour. What matters is that you make X profit from X materials in X auction cycles. By auction cycle I don't mean 12/24/48 hour periods, I mean how long it takes for prices to go from prime selling to prime buying during their daily/weekly/monthly/seasonal cycles. Once you start getting into how much you can make in an hour you hit a wall of random possibilities and variables.

So STOP THINKING ABOUT HOW MUCH GOLD YOU MAKE PER HOUR. Instead, think about how many glyphs you sell on a weekend, or how many you sell on thursday when your most hated auctioneers compete with you. Think about how much gold you make after a week of selling pygmy oils or netherweave bags. Think about how many flasks of endless rage you can sell on a busy raid night a half hour before most guilds raid.

I hope this opens a few eyes. Making gold on the stockmarket or wow auction house are not measured in hourly amounts for a reason. There are just too many variables to decide just how much you can make in an hour. Sometimes you get lucky, sometimes you don't, but if you are persistent you will make a consistent amount of gold doing whatever you do.

12 comments: on "Stop Asking How Much Gold You Can Make Per Hour"

  1. I completely agree, the amount of money I make in both places varies.

    I'm sort of getting the feel for the best days to sell certain items on Bronzebeard (created toons on there almost two months ago) and started actively playing the AH on that server a few weeks ago.

    I logged on WOW this morning and saw that someone in trade was leaving the server. I got a lot of cloth 75% off the normal price, also snagged up a lot of Northrend herbs too for a similar deal. I got lucky in that case.

    I definitely agree that consistency is very important.

  2. An interesting perspective. I think the reason people tend to think of 'gold per hour' is that spending time on the AH directly competes with farming -- mobs, herbs, ore, etc -- the various methods of which are fairly well represented by average 'gold per hour'.

    So, a rational person looking to maximize his income needs to consider the opportunity cost of working the AH, really.

  3. I think Indy explained it fairly good. If people reliably have 3x hour every week to spend at the AH, they want to know exactly how much profit they can expect comparing to the profit they can get from, say, 3 hours of farming. And gold/hour does this very well.

    However, the problem being, as you mention, is that it can vary widely depending on a lot of factors.

    I myself use a gold/hour estimate comparison. From that I know the making and selling rods return me far greater profit/hour than the saronite shuffle. That doesn't mean that I can make more money, but it helps me prioritize when I don't have time to do everything I want.

  4. Wow, I completely disagree. For me, making gold is a means to other ends. So, I want to make as much gold, with as little time investment as possible. I understand your point - that you won't be making a steady x amount of gold every hour, and that at a certain point investing more time (per week or within a cycle) won't yield more gold.
    But that doesn't take away from the fact that determining the optimal use of your time is a simple function of comparing gold_made/time_invested for the different options.

    Even if you have huge swings in your gold/hour, you can still calculate (or give an indication of) how much gold you make per hour as an average. And if you want to hit home the principles that you are really describing, drop a standard deviation and a graph of diminishing returns along with your reply.

  5. I need to disagree- gold per hour is perfectly relevant to traders. If I can increase my profits on enchanting mats by grinding saronite, I'm increasing profits at the expense of my time. If I can buy inks instead of milling them myself, that will cost me money (assuming I can buy herbs for the same price as my supplier), but will gain me time I could be using to craft for another type of market.

  6. Both sides have great points!

  7. I love it when people say they make 3000g an hour grinding mobs after they sell everything on the AH... Selling stuff on the AH isnt instant. You do need to look at how much you make in a cycle. If I put 200g worth of bags on the AH, and they sell, sure, I could say it only took me x minutes to make the bags and logged out, but you also have to take into account that other people will undercut you, so you wont always be "selling instantly". In a business, you don't go by the profit of a good day, you go by quarterly earnings. A quarter being a cycle.

  8. This is the same style of argument against using an addon like GearScore for PUGing raids. The overall argument is accurate, but the application of the argument is not.

    Gold/Hr and Gearscore both give an overview of a situation. They provide information. No, you should not use Gold/Hr as the measure of how good a gold maker you are in the game, just like you should not use Gearscore to measure how good of a raider you are.

    But it still information and it is still useful. The world does not work like Kant's Categorical Imperative. Just because you cannot apply something to all situations doesn't mean it does not have a valid use. Gearscore is immensely valuable when PUGing an instance. The reason it gets a bad rap is because people use it wrong.

    Gold/Hr is immensely valuable when evaluating time spent farming a material vs gold spent buying it on the AH (this is where I use G/hr the most). The reason G/hr gets a bad rap is because people use it as an e-peen. And just like when talking about their real penises, they have a tendency to greatly exaggerate and forget that the size isn't always what matters.

    Wait, did I just take it too far?

  9. Excellent comment!

  10. Measuring gold/hour is like measuring weight loss. Or DPS. Its valuable to understand your gold/hour, as long as you calculate it appropriately. Don't "step on the scale" at the wrong interval.

    All these measurements can assist you in getting better in your given task. You just need to understand what they mean. And over what period.

  11. I completely agree with this, i actually think the same way about real life xD.

  12. Lots of good points were made in this little debate.

    One thing I'd like to add though is that the term gold/hour is somewhat different for different people. It depends mainly on how you play, or how much time you have on your hands.

    For example, I play 3-4 hours a day on a good day. Out of that, I spend 30 minutes sorting out my AH sales (gems, savory fish etc). When I'm traveling, I'll be lucky if I can log on for 10 minutes, let alone go farming. My playtime is not spent on farming, its spent on pvp, heroics with friends or the odd short raid (VoA, Ony). On an average day I could probably get 100-200g sales (revenue, not pure profit) from gems. So with 30 minutes time investment, does that mean I get 400g/hour?

    What some seem to forget is that AH is a way for you to earn gold WITHOUT actual effort. Sure you have to prepare and craft things, but you don't have to be actually *farming* in order to gain that 400g/hour. I can be doing things I find fun (which is purely subjective) while still earning gold. The only dailies I do regularly are the JC daily because it takes less than 10 minutes. I only do argent dailies when I feel bored.

    The good part is that I still have enough gold income to support all my character's needs such as enchants and gems, without farming. So for me, gold/hour is irrelevant, as I casually play my character whenever I can. But I can see how its relevant for more hardcore players who have the choice between farming and playing the AH, so I guess its an important tool for everyone.

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