Why do players get stuck making gold?

 Picking briarthorn is better than sitting around picking my nose!

Many readers here send me messages, tweets, make posts on the forums or find some other way to get in touch with me because they are stuck at a certain amount of gold. It could be any amount really, I swear I've heard everything from 5 gold, 1,000 gold, 20,000 gold, 140,000 gold, etc. They all say the same thing even though they are at completely different levels of success.

How can someone who is at 140,000 gold join in saying the same complaint as a person struggling to break 5 gold, namely "I can't get higher than my current amount"? Let's look at the factors involved which could cause someone to conclude that they are "stuck" at a certain level of gold.

Living Within Your Means

Living within your current means is an important part of the game. Just like everyone's gold intake is different, so too is the amount of money they can spend without losing gold. There are definitely a few ways you can curb the excessive spending and start living within your means:
  • Don't upgrade gear you know you will replace soon.
  • Ask guildies to make you gear, enchant items or cut gems.
  • If you must upgrade something that will not last a long time, ie outland/northrend leveling pieces with gem slots, buy uncommon gems instead of rare or epic ones.
  • Go pick up vendor items instead of buying them on the auction house, even if it may take some time to go get them.
  • Avoid using the same gear for multiple purposes and having to constantly switch gems and/or enchants.
  • Pick two specs and stay with them. If you do not have dual specs be sure to make that your first priority if you are wasting money on respecing.
  • Avoid spamming potions and eating feasts when it is just not necessary (ie when learning a pve fight for the first time or when you out gear instances).
Doing Everything You Can to Make Gold

The issue of living within your means is but one reason why a player might make the comment that they are "stuck." Another reason could be that they are not doing everything they can to make gold. There are several simple things you should do while leveling, questing and instancing.
  • Loot everything and sell what you can on the auction house instead of to the vendors. If you are a tank try to still loot mobs that are yours without running ahead. Figure out the loot order of the mobs and know when you can run to the next pack since none of the current mobs on you will drop loot.
  • Find a way to add dailies into your gaming experience. This could be to get rep with a certain faction or succeed at some sort of achievement. My brother got lore seeker and made probably 25,000 gold from item drops and questing income.
  • When posting on the auction house, don't just use whatever value the game puts in for you or even auctioneer. Manually set the price after shift clicking on the item and pressing enter to search the current values.
  • Don't just post for the lowest value, if you know the market then post what the item is worth and allow demand to take out the undercutters.
  • Use all of your professions to make gold, in fact you can simply search under the profession's name and find dozens of tips on this blog for each I'm sure.
If you address these two areas, living within your means and making efforts to get the gold you should be getting from your normal play experience then you should be well on your way to slowly increasing your current income.

For the comments, what is your current "wall" that you're "stuck" at and can't get past?

21 comments: on "Why do players get stuck making gold?"

  1. I'm currently 'stuck' around 60K.
    Due to investing into 'cheap' battered hilts but not being able to sell them yet, stacking up massively on saronite ores/bars & inks.
    In the long term I'll be able to get past this 'milestone', just not at the moment.

    Oh and the overly annoying pvp&farm bots are back on my realm ruining the JC market for every rarity of gems.

  2. I think this quote is huge, "Don't just post for the lowest value, if you know the market then post what the item is worth and allow demand to take out the undercutters."

    This is something that I wasn't doing early on. I would just undercut some of the ridiculously low prices instead of just posting at normal prices. Once I realized that demand would take over I started making much higher profits.

    Plus if they undercut low enough I could just buy their product and flip it at market value.

  3. My wall was at 20k. But my issue was something Markco talked about in Call to Auction - buying up mats. I thought I wasn't making any gold, but that was around the time I took the next step to just buy up my snatch list regardless of how many I already had in stock. My liquidity wasn't rising, but my mat supply was. Once prices on mats started rising and my snatch list was coming up dry, I broke through the ceiling.

  4. Two things that will always unstick you.

    1) you need two accounts to cross faction trade..be it buying a 2nd account or a guildie/good friend who will help with cross faction trading..you simply will not believe the consistent price differences in mats, crafted, and pet prices on both horde and alliance sides.

    2) you simply need more professions..its a shame but I truly needed every profession except skinning and engineering to truly maximize profits...Try leveling a 2nd JC or get that Blacksmith that you don't have...The wow economy is dependent on every profession..To learn the pinch points to learn what recipes are important..level that next character..

  5. After taking 6 months off the game, I dwindled my cash flow to regear my main to raid ready with my guild again, and now I'm stuck at about 5k right now, but I've also been leveling up the professions on my alts to diversify my portfolio, and buying up everything on my snatch list each day, sometimes multiple times a day.

    I don't think of it as being stuck at 5k gold, I think of it as maintaining 5k liquid cash while building a back stock of supplies and inventory.

  6. My goals in the game are not to be gold-capped or a millionaire, but chasing various achievements.

    I have been chasing the Insane title, I am currently under 2k gold (which was painful last night when I found an herb farmer dumping cheap icethorn in trade chat and ran out of cash before he ran out of stock-- he dumped 50+ more stacks into the AH after I logged off). I do actually spend a lot of time devoted to making gold, but currently it all gets sucked up into rep items, inscription mats, or Darkmoon cards that are only converted to cash once a month (I will likely be closer to 20k+ after next Faire).

    P.S. WTS 200 stacks of runecloth, 100 stacks Ink of Sea

  7. my wall atm is 59k..

    but.. spent lots of gold on stuff and then bought an epic mount for a friend

    so it's not rly a wall

  8. I think a lot of walls people in the know hit are just at times when they are buying goods. I know I was stuck at around 70k liquid for a week until last night. The reason? I was constantly buying more and more materials. When the market for the end products was more favorable to my bottom line I was able to unload the product. Now I am sitting at 84k liquid. The key thing is this though, my own personal wall was just psychological. I was stuck at 70k liquid but my gold was NOT going down; even though I would buy mats like crazy. I was still selling enough auctions to essentially pay for all my investments.

  9. When you are about to post something for auction, be sure to look at the deposit fees -- Auctioneer shows this on the far right pane. Sometimes the right answer is not to list it-- use Trade Chat if it is particularly worthy or consider vendoring it. If you do list it, maybe a steep discount will make it more attractive to buyers.

    If you repeatedly post a high-deposit item and you fail to sell it, you are ~losing~ gold by the bucket!

  10. I've been stuck at around 120k for about the last 3-4 weeks. I think it's mainly because I've still been snatching up cheap mats even though I've got 6 full bank tabs (and more) of materials, and I usually spend 7-10k a day, or every other day, on buying more.

    I want to hit the gold cap soon, so I think I should probably concentrate more on leveling my shaman for alchemy/mining. I have a lot of uncommon gems and eternals stocked up which I can turn into meta gems, and lots and lots of saronite bars that I could transmute to titanium, and smelt into titansteel. I already have a blacksmith and jewelcrafter to take advantage of these items, so I just need to get to the point where I can put some of that stock to use.

    Also, my two biggest money makers have been enchanting and jewelcrafting, which have been a bit shaky over the past couple of weeks. So I've had the raise my purchasing threshold up and down for different things, depending on the supply and my current stock. Epic gems in particular have been all over the place, while Abyss Crystals have been drying up and going for 40g each on up, when just a month ago they were flooding the AH at 30g each.

  11. It's not necessarily a bad thing to be stuck at a certain liquid gold amount, depending on what else you're doing.

    I've been "stuck" at 270k for nearly a month now - but my stock of mats has grown greatly (I had none left after the farmer disappearance), I've finished skilling up my LWer, and I'm stockpiling mats for a Blacksmith and a second tailor.

    You're on the right track so long as your liquid wealth, your resources, or your potential to make gold are increasing. If one of the other things is happening and your gold count isn't moving, so be it. Eventually you'll sell those mats, or those new professions will start making gold rather than costing it, and your gold count will go up.

  12. Its interesting to see some of these comments. If your stuck at a level and you keep buying...watch how much of a stockpile you have. We are nearing the end of the current game and will be into cata in a couple of months. Some items will have little value or if they have the same value will sell so slowly. In my view you are better off watching your gold level to ensure it is on an upwards trend. I stockpile when items are very cheap. If my buy level is 20gold....and items are at 18-19....I am in no rush to buy unless I am low. If the price drops to 10gold, then sure it is a good time to buy....but even then I watch how much I buy. On my server eternal prices have plummeted....and many items are just being dumped....you need to carefully evaluate how much you can sell as in many cases the number of people playing and raiding is on a significant decline.

  13. I am "stuck" at 50k, at least that is the amount in my money-making-alts-guild's bank :) My playing chars all have money on their own... like around 5k, depending on how frequently I play them.

    BUT I don't feel like being really stuck at 50k, I just got lazy and stopped flipping ah/vender-stuff regularly. I just lost the fun (probably just for now) to make money. I do not need anymore right now.

    I do not need money to buy achievements (like LK Hc runs/loots, raid-dragons etc), cause I mostly do/did them on my own. I do not need money to buy stuff for my alts, cause they are all 80 or already equiped plus they have epic/northrend flying. I do not need money to buy any expensive mounts, cause my main already has the chopper and the mammoths.

  14. My wall is 45k.

    But like most people here that's just the gold coin, not the total value of all assets.

    My server economy seems to be very erratic right now. Maybe the school holidays affecting things as more youngsters are playing and farming during the day forcing prices of mats down at times I can't buy meaning my competitors that can play WoW during the hours I work are able to sell stuff at prices I can't without making a loss.

    Hmm maybe I should invest in a months worth of remote AH, only just thought of that.

    Anyways, still able to turn in a profit just my supplies are rising faster than my gold right now.

  15. I'm stuck at below 40k. Trying to get every BS recipe in-game has been my biggest drain, but cross faction trading has enabled me remain above 35k. I don't have Alchemy or Inscription of any useful level so my gold making has been a bit stunted. The big 100k+ amounts people speak of seem impossible to me. Mind you, I'm a bit lazy and find farming and dailies tedious.

  16. I'm currently stuck at 130k gold, but that's mainly due to heavy investments. I've got about 4000 netherweave bolts and there are still more on the way. I've also stocked up on quite a lot of Mithril Ore (always seems to be a barrier), Truesilver ore, Green-quality TBC gems, Fel Iron, Adamantite, Silver Ore, Pre-TBC midlvl gems, runecloth, weapon enchants for leveling people (crusader, spellpower, +agi, Fiery) and a lot more.
    I'm breaking even at the moment, but in the long run I'll probably make a killer.

  17. I´m stuck at 20k...
    But I don´t hold myself on buying things I want.
    All my alts > 70 have epic fly and 80´s have expensives 264 boe´s.
    My guess is: You are stuck on your effort limit.
    You can always push further, but you stop at your real goal.
    Much as in real life: Make your goal and plan how you get there = profit.
    Don´t people classified some as 'Casual Raiders'?
    I´m a Casual Money Maker!
    20k makes me feel confortable, when I got under that I always work to get it back! :)

    PS: And I read this blog everytime to stay with my tools sharp!

  18. I've been "stuck" between 250 and 300k for the last 2 months. However, in that time I geared out 4 alts in all possible best available BoEs and have been playing the heck out of SC2 which has seriously cut into my AH time. I'm content =P

  19. I hit my "wall" in the 50-60k range, but it was more due to me not keeping track of one very important thing: valuation of material assets. I am supplied by a pretty top notch farmer (whether he bots or does it by hand I'll never know, though I have my suspicions) and roughly every 2 weeks he unloads a couple thousand stacks of herbs/lotuses/eternals onto me. Despite what some would see as staggering costs to actually purchase all this inventory, I am able to turn it around for quite a bit of profit. The thing is, prior to expanding into cross-server trading, I was only able to barely keep up with the pace of purchasing all the goods from this farmer. so I'd make it to 60k, drop 15-30k on a shipment, sell some of it, make it back to 60k, drop 15-30k on the next shipment, sell some of it, rinse and repeat.

    I started to get depressed looking at my bottom line of liquid gold because it never seemed to go above 60k, however what I failed to take into account was the fact that not only did I have 60k sitting pretty in my bank, I also had thousands upon thousands of icethorn/lichbloom and hundreds of lotus/eternals waiting to be sold.

    It's silly that I did not realize this before, but even if I were to unload these herbs for less than I bought them for, I would still be in the black due to the great profits I was able to make w/ flasks. So I valuate my tangible assets at 5g/stack of LB/IT and 5g per for FL/EL and come up with what my assets would be worth in the event that I needed to unload them incredibly quick.

    This puts me well over 100k even though only 60k of it is liquid gold.

  20. Stuck at around 300k atm which is pretty good going i think with only Ench and tailoring as profs. my wall atm is purely down to the school hols i think and hence the sudden mass availability and drop in ench mat prices on my server "except for some reason dream shards which have tripled in value".
    Still even with the competition im finding my usual undercut till the competition gives up or price drops below my production cost and then buy all and reset market is working well for me and i find that atm even tho my gold level is pretty static i have had to buy a 2nd guild bank for storage

  21. Wow, I don't even know where to start. I gold capped 3 times, two seperate characters at 214k, and once at a million. I currently have about 950K and the one common item in all the gold capped players is SPENDING! It must be controlled.

    DIVERSIFY YOUR PROFESSIONS! You can make money from different sources, USE THEM! I have inscription/mining/herb/JC/Enchanting/LW/skinning. I work all of these professions. If one starts cooling off, concentrate on another. My son is having great results with tailoring and alchemy.

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