Low Population Servers Can't Make Gold

The above title is a lie! Low population servers can make gold in world of warcraft, it's just a matter of how much. On my low population server I can rack in 17k gold in a day, but on a high pop I'm sure I could make 30k easily. There are more materials, more buyers, and although there is more competition the numbers should scale around the same. The glyph market, for instance, has so many items to sell and buy that even on a low pop server I'll see a dozen glyphs sell while I'm crafting and posting new ones.

Certain markets really suffer for low population servers, such as high end epics and expensive pets. The lower number of buyers can be pretty painful and most players will completely ignore these major markets on low population servers. It takes me 48 hours to sell a major 245 epic usually per market, and a 1600 gold pet can take as long 100 hours. My server is pretty low pop, with the alliance side being 1/4 the size of the already tiny horde side.

There are some advantages to being on a low population server and that is finding great deals. When a hundred auctioneers are running their addons to scoop up deals on the auction house it can be difficult to make a quick easy gold on a high population server. However, on a low population server there are usually more deals and they are left out for longer periods of time due to there being less auctioneers. I happily scoop up dozens and dozens of sub 25% market priced auctions daily for resale.

What are your thoughts on realm population and the amount of gold you can make in a day?

17 comments: on "Low Population Servers Can't Make Gold"

  1. Low population servers do encourage to become self-reliant, since you can't be sure there will be a supply of the things you need.

    Low demand and low supply = normal prices.

  2. I am on a low population server. Azshara. And I have 70k, so I don't even know what a high population server is...I can't leave my guild..but would love to see what a full PVP server is like...

  3. Your tactics have to be different. Take Glyphs, most high pop servers this market is useless. 90%+ of the glyphs on my server sell for less then 2 gold(including the book learned ones).

  4. in low made 3k max in a day i think.
    its from mass shitty items not from 1 epic:)
    i mean profit.

  5. I'm on a low population server and just started playing with the AH, yesterday I made 3.2k, demand is low, supply is high, uncommon gems go very cheap, most 7g to 40g, I could go three days without selling a specific kind. Most of scrolls of enchant go under the cost of mats for which I simply don't post. I don't even want to try glyphs market, four days ago I posted one at 30g, didn't sell, undercuts all these days brought it down to 5g, posted it last night at that price.

  6. I think you can't really make a rule about low or high being worse or better then the other. It's completely dependend on the kind of players you get. On one of the older high population servers most people are far more experienced, and you're likely to have a shitload of good competition. While at a low population server, the good players might have left to a higher population server and the competition is hardly a challenge.

    There is luck involved. I can speak from experience, because the horde side on my server is almost empty, but with the one alt I've got there I make about the same amount of money then I do on the alliance side where I've got nearly all professions. The competition is heavy and very persistant. Which makes it fun to stay ahead of them, but sometimes it get's a bit tiring. Especially with the knowledge of how easy it is on the other side.

  7. @rachaels_dad

    roll an alt on high pop server get him some starup gold and see what its like that is the only way to experience it. Unless you transfer and that cost money also you would loose your guild.

  8. I am on a high population server, my best day is right around 70k. I have an alt on a low pop, and there's no way I could do that. Auctions take so long, even as cheapest, and there is no activity in trade.

  9. I'm on a high pop server, about 26,000 players and there are currently free character transfers to 3 other lower pop servers (around 3,000 population) in the east coast.

    Since I live in the east and my server (which is West coast) is unplayable every tuesday for 2 hours because of server overload, I was thinking of transfering.

    However I decided not to for now, my thinking is if one person can already have such a huge impact on the glyph market with 26,000 customers, imagine having 1 solid competitor in markets when you only have 3,000 customers.

  10. I agree w/the first anonymous - low pop servers you have to be self-reliant. I learned my packratishness from leveling my first toon on a low pop server (I have 6 bank tabs filled with stuff, I could probably power level every profession at least once if I wanted to, lol). If you needed anything that wasn't level 70 stuff (when the cap was 70 of course) then you had to go get it yourself because it was unlikely to be on the AH. However, I made gobs of money on that server (relative to my level and gaming experience at the time, anyway. I didn't (and don't) make the kinds of money that you guys talk about, but I'm working on it :) ). Prismatic shards went for 50g each, when we moved to a higher pop sever, they went for a fraction of that (probably 20 I think?). And normal lowbie mats sold for serious bank (10g for a stack of copper, woot!) The mid-level gems also sold for really nice cash. I had to completely rethink how to make a sustainable income on the AH when we moved to a high pop server, heh. That was over a year ago, so I can't say what is different, I just know that is what I found for myself.

    Very interesting topic, I cant wait to see what others think. :)

  11. Mostly I play on high population servers, and I find that there's a lot of competition on deals I get loads of outbid on X mails. So I think it takes more capital to start really rolling with fire and forget strategies. However, it's very easy to diversify in my opinion,as the markets already exist.

  12. Another good tip, but only works when the situation presents itself...server transfers. Maybe your guild is hopping from a high pop to a low pop, or you want to transfer to play with some friends.

    Such a situation begs to be exploited. I've transfered a few toons a couple of times and each time I've collected a few days worth of AH scans to get an idea of that servers market.

    Then, compare that to your home server and look for markets to profit in! I've focused on trade materials such as ore, bars, enchanting mats, and gems from vanilla, TBC and WotLK.

  13. I play on one high population server and one VERY small population server.

    On the high pop. server I have my highest toon at level 47 and on the low pop. server I have two level 80's with 450 crafting proffessions. Yet on a weekly basis I make 2x-3x as much gold on the High pop. server with about half the time spent.
    I think this is because the low pop server has almost zero market for ilvl 200+ epics. They can take weeks to sell (literally) even if you are the lowest price on the Auction House. Also since there is less undercutting I don't see the large up's/down's in high volume markets that I see in the high population server. Therefor profit margins are much smaller.

  14. From my experience, The Venture Co. horde side, was relatively small. I restarted with a bunch of friends and had two characters with dual spec before either one hit level 60, and all through inscription. I think a low pop server makes it easier for profession markets that encourage buy and sell strategies. Buy a stack of herbs and turn it into 5-6 glyphs and make some good profit. I imagine it would be good for Xmute alchs/smiths for titanium, or a flask alch.

  15. Very Anonymous said... January 21, 2010 at 11:15 PM

    I operate on the alliance side of Gundrak... the outnumbered faction on one of the lowest populations out there. (I can't remember exactly what the pop stats are now, but if you don't believe me then check it out, it is dismal).

    I do dream of being able to try out a server with a higher population as I'm sure I'd make much much more gold.

    The disadvantages of an extremely low pop server are naturally that there are a lot less buyers. If only two of any one item sells in a day, and someone undercuts you with four items, then you won't sell anything. I find that I end up relisting a lot of the high end items, losing the deposit fee. They do sell, it might just take a week.

    The other key disadvantage is getting access to rare mats. Some items will simply never come up for sale in the AH. Eg: There are a couple of patterns that I have been wanting to buy for months but never seen for sale. When a new player transfers to the server with a bank filled with goodies then it is a BIG DEAL!

    As a raider it can be difficult to even get the mats needed for raids. Eg: Sometimes frost lotus completely sells out and the five flasks in the AH might be 70g each.

    However there are also some economic advantages on small populations. They don't compensate for the disadvantages enough to make as much gold as players on high pop realms, but can make for a fun AH 'play style' if that is what rocks your boat.

    Controlling Markets This is obviously much easier on low pop servers. Personally I control a number of different markets (I have to if I want a decent turn over). I'm not a monopolist, but often find that I do end up with a monopoly and can set the price.

    Cross-Faction trading I have made a lot of gold this way. Because of the population imbalance it is only natural that there are often bargains to be had from the Horde, or occasionly the small Alliance market might be flooded with surplus which I can offload to Horde traders. Sometimes this is born out of nessecity when I simply can't get an item on my own faction's AH (eg: rare pets or epic BoEs), other times it can be a large trading business. Recently I made an easy 5k by importing the new ICC ammo from Horde players before anyone on Alliance side could make it.

    Less Competition As mentioned in the original blog, there is a lot less competition. This means it easier to snatch good deals. If someone wants to sell several stacks of epic gems then there are a limited numbers of people who can afford to make the investment.

    Price Resets This seems to be rather dramatic on low pop servers. The market is so small that it can easily be flooded and stocks on the AH can just as easily by exhausted.

    My key advice to any gold diggers on low pop servers is this. Think ahead, a long way ahead. A well stocked and well organised player can stay on top of the competition when everyone else is scrambling for elusive supplies.

  16. I actually think that starting out in a large population server will help people get more in tune with the AH, advertising, and most importantly being creative. I play on one of the largest population RP servers (although I don't RP myself) and you would not believe the price people are willing to pay for potions that make themselves smaller/bigger, clothes that look "pretty" or even titles to their characters. I just ran 3 level 20's to get the "Jenkins" title and they each payed me 70G. I feel that because I started on a large population server it forces you to think outside of the box and really grab an opportunity when it presents itself.

  17. I love my low pop server. I am pretty confident I would not make nearly as much money as easily as I do now if I were on a higher pop server. A lot of the money I make is based on my ability to be more active and more aggressive than my competition, which is considerably easier to do when my competition in any market can be counted on one hand. I can easily keep track of them, get to know them etc. I know when they sleep, I know when they post, some I even chat socially with enough to know key things like when they will be away etc. This also enables me to get to know some of the more key players well enough to know rough estimates on how much gold they have in comparison to me.

    I'm very confident I'd still be decently wealthy on a high pop server. I just feel that it'd take more work, be harder and the same amount of money wouldn't go as far as it does now for me.

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