A few weeks ago I started a little experiment to see how long it would
take a fresh toon to raise 1000g with no external help. It all started
when my realm was down for emergency maintenance, so I created a new
toon on a different realm. I picked a human, because the run to
Stormwind seems to be the easiest/shortest and because Stormwind hosts
a unique vendor that I wanted to utilise for this experiment. After
completing enough starter quests to raise around 4 silver or so, I
made the run to Stormwind, set my hearthstone to the inn next to the
bank, sold off all my gear except my robe (a little modesty doesn't
hurt) and started my assault on the AH.
During my initial questing, I was lucky enough to loot a two pieces of
malachite and some linen cloth, so these were immediately listed on
the AH - 12 hour auction (to minimise fees) and undercutting the
competition. I was after quick sales to kick things off. The next step
was to perform a full scan of the AH using Auctioneer and search for
items to vendor. This enabled me to triple my initial 4 silver (side
note: why do people list auctions for less than they would get from a
vendor?) to a little over 12 silver. Next I ran to the canals and
found the fishing vendor who sells some very cheap (ie, a few coppers)
recipes. I purchased a few of each recipe and listed those on the AH
(again for 12 hours to save on fees) and then finally ran over to Old
Town to find the cooking trainer and vendor where I purchased more
recipes to list. As a level five toon it takes ages to run anywhere,
so I used my hearthstone to zip back to the middle of the city quickly
- hearthstone use can save a lot of travel time as a lowbie!
The next day I logged on to find a few gold in my mailbox from the
first round of auctions. Every auction I posted was priced lower than
the competition (if any) and for only 12 hours at this stage so I
could ensure quick sales and lower posting fees - very crucial when
starting out with next to nothing! At the start of the second day I
did another auctioneer scan and purchased all the vendorable items I
could, this time lucking out and picking up some bargains that I
vendored for almost 2 gold profit! Next, I purchased a few small bags
so I could carry more stock from the vendors I was visiting, gabbing
the cheapest 6 and 8 slot bags on the AH. Equipping these bags I
visited the fishing and cooking vendors again, this time filling my
bags up with recipes to list. I posted my auctions and logged off for
On the third day with a /played time of 1 hr 2 min I now had 22g 57s
13c, so I upgraded my bags (already!) to 10 slotters and posted the
old bags on the AH for more than I originally paid. Taking my new,
larger bags I ran out of the city to the crazy cat lady and purchased
a few of each cat she sells before hearthing back. I posted one of
each cat on the AH and stashed the rest in my bank, then did the
rounds of the recipe vendors again. By now I was slowly filling my
bank with recipes (and now cats) and things started rolling quickly
from there. This continued for a few days, sometimes I logged in twice
a day - morning and evening - and I typically spent 15 to 20 minutes
I slowly upgraded my bags, one at a time, for 16 slot versions. If
this was a toon I was planning on keeping I would have spent a little
extra and purchased Traveler's Backpacks because they can be resold
when you step up to 20-slot bags, but for this experiment I when for
the cheaper Netherweave Bags. I also purchased additional bank slots
so I could store more stock, reducing the number of trips to the
vendors I needed to make. When my bank was looking reasonably
well-stocked with recipes and pets, I hopped the tram to Ironforge to
really ramp things up.
Once in Ironforge I ran out to the Dwarf mount vendor and purchased
some rabbits from the little girl running around out there. Hearthing
back (with IF as my base now) I made the rounds of the vendors in
Ironforge, buying the various Tuxedo patterns, Heavy Leather Ball
patterns and the Engineering and Alchemy recipes available and it was
simply a matter of rinse/lather/repeat. In the space of a little over
two weeks I was able to surpass my 1000g target and I had a lot of fun
along the way - especially when one of the other recipe sellers
started trying to force me out of the market. I was especially
thankful for him when he undercut my recipe prices to such an extent
it was cheaper for me to buy off him than the vendors! (I wonder how
much he made off those transactions?) 8^) A little tip if you are
trying to "make sure your competition doesn't make any gold" - don't
just flood the market with the recipes you sell, it might pay to look
at what other items he/she is selling too! While I was engaged in a
price war with this seller (BTW, my first piece of hatemail came from
him - my main auction toons have never had any hatemail from
competitiors!) I was making a ton of profit selling the pets and other
recipes/patterns. If you really want to kill your opposition you
should maybe target their entire spectrum of products. Or just, you
know, get on with competing.
The final tally was: /played = 8hrs, 45 min for a net return of 1005g
42c 23c. All done with no help from other toons - if I could have
expanded my inventory to include the moths and owls from The Exodar
and Darnassus along with the recipes and patterns from those cities, I
could have made more money in less time. I did make the long run down
to Booty Bay to buy some parrots, but silly me forgot to grab the
flight point before hearthing back, so a return trip would have taken
too long for this experiment.
If people tell you it is too hard to make money, well I have shown
that you can get 1000g in around two weeks without any help and
without a lot of effort. With help and a bit of extra work the sky is
the limit! 8^)
Nice job man :)
I'm curious why you didn't just use resale from start to finish, I had 300 gold in one hours played time using the auction house and starting with around the same amount of silver from questing to level 6. The entire hour I played is actually recorded as part of the gold guide, but I like how in your example you used vendors to help get starter income. I remember that I used the enchanting vendor to get cheap dusts/essences for real easy starter cash but getting recipes from the fishing vendor was a nice call, very good find indeed. Hopefully your story will provide help for other players as well who are just starting out and it really helps those players who don't have a good enough grasp yet of the auction house to find their own deals by just buying vendor products to get things going.
"One reason I didn't use resale was that I wasn't familiar with this
realm's economy. It was a fresh toon on a fresh realm and the prices
for some items were way off what I was used to on my "home" realm.
After a couple of days scanning the AH I got a better feel for the
prices of course, but by then I was having too much fun with the
vendor recipes. Another reason for not using resale was that I was
showing some friends how easy it is to make gold and they are not
comfortable using add-ons (silly if you ask me, but their choice) and
vendor recipes are easy to get and sell if you choose not to use
add-ons. For this experiment I only concentrated on vendor recipes and
pets, but on my main auctioneers I diversify - bags, enchanting mats,
recipes, pets, enchanting rods, gems, flipping, etc.
Enchanting dusts/essences from the vendors are a good way to get some
initial cash, but not really a viable long-term strategy due to the
limited quantities, but yeah, the cheap recipes from the vendors are
phenomenally profitable - coppers to gold easily. The other trick is
the quest recipe vendor in Old Town above the cooking trainer. He
sells about a dozen recipes that are normally only available via
questing (ie Westfall Stew) and not many people know about him. There
is no Horde equivalent which is a bit odd, but I tend to play Alliance
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