WoW Players and You

This post was submitted by Alisha as her application to write here at JMTC. If you enjoyed Alisha's post then please give her a thumbs up in the comments!

Whether this has been discussed or not before, it is a topic that I feel needs to be brought up when a person is thinking about making gold. That topic is your fellow WoW players. Almost everyone who plays this game is looking to make some gold. It is a necessity in the game. There are dedicated herb farmers, ore farmers, fish farmers, etc. Why not take advantage of the opportunity you have to make money without spending countless hours leveling every profession? Why should YOU have to be so hardcore to make money? That’s right. This blog is for you. The person who only has a few hours to spend on WoW and can’t honestly be asked to spend all day Saturday mining, but still wants to bring home the bacon (and never, ever be one of those people asking for gold for repairs outside the AH).

I made my first 50k by starting a small business in WoW. I was new to the server and still gearing for raiding. My tailoring and alchemy were maxed, but I didn’t have time to level another character just for her professions because raiding was my top priority. I saw that gems can make a fair profit and wanted to get into the trade but I was lacking a jewelcrafter and an herbalist. I had only been in my guild for a couple of months, but I already had learned who did what and so I approached a jewelcrafter. I asked him whether he would be willing to cut my gems for 10% of my profits. Normally, I would have asked for it to be free (say if I only wanted one gem, and he would happily oblige me) but since this was going to be a mass producing job, I wanted to be fair. He tried to haggle with me and get 20%! We eventually settled on 15% of the profits going to him, but he also had to mine and prospect the ore.

Each day, I would log on and pull stacks of green gems from my mailbox, buy the herbs, transmute them, and send them back to him outlining what was selling best at the time. At which time he would cut them, return them, and I would list them. Money started rolling in. Within the first week I had earned around 15k just by running this small business deal.  It took nearly none of my time up and since I was a transmute master, there were many times when I would have a free proc and that, my friends, is free money. However, herb prices were rising on the AH, and my profit margin was diminishing so the 2nd week of my business, I messaged three herbalists in my guild, offering them 10% of my profits if they would farm herbs and send them to me.
The first wanted half my cut. The second wanted 35% at the very least. The last said yes. He, like myself, didn’t have all the time in the world to level characters or professions, was spending most his time gearing for raiding, and was more than happy to send me half of his farmed herbs for 10% of my gem profits. Herbs were coming in, green gems were coming in, transmutes were going out and coming back as blue gems. It was insanely easy.

Here’s an example: Brilliant Inferno Ruby (BIR). At that time, the BIRs were selling for around 125g each. A stack of green gems and a stack of heartblossom would yield 6 (without procs) blue gems. So far, I’ve not put out any money. It did cost me somewhere in the neighborhood of 2g to list it on the AH once I received the cut BIR back. BIR sold for 125, AH takes 12.5g (greedy goblins) and I’m left with a profit of 112.5g. Then I take out 25% for my workers (17g to my jewelcrafter and 11g 25s to my herbalist) and I have made 82g 25s on the gem and have done little to no work. My first week I sold around 250 gems in this fashion. My small business continued humming for several months, long enough for me to level a DK and a druid and start doing my own herbing, mining, and jewelcrafting. When it was all over with, I had made 90k in profits and my counterparts made several thousand as well. If you are short on time and patience to level more characters, it never hurts to make an offer. Most times, as was my case, players are herbing and mining anyway and wouldn’t mind getting into another area of the market.

In addition, if you see someone selling something in bulk in trade chat (such as volatiles) for a “cheaper than AH” price, I highly suggest striking up a conversation with the person. I needed volatiles for tailoring and the farmer selling them was undercutting AH prices quite liberally. I made friends with him and asked him to whisper me first when he had available volatiles. Each week, I would get a whisper asking whether I was in the market for “85 Volatile Earth for 3g per” and I nearly never turned the deal down.  Not only will they be useful for tailoring and alchemy, but I can sell them for a nice profit on the AH. Just by talking to him, I made a business contact who still to this day supplies my volatiles.  Never underestimate the things that you can do when you work with other WoW players! 

Do you want to write for JMTC? Send in a post to Markco and if it makes it past the initial screening process then I will publish your submission on the blog. JMTC pays 50% commission to writers on the day that their post goes live. 

27 comments: on "WoW Players and You"

  1. I did not care for this post. It shows a poor understanding of markets and I also didn't like the general style/tone. Not picking on her, just posting in order to help pick guest authors.

  2. You sound extremely lucky to find someone who will mine, prospect AND cut for you, and settle with 15% oO I'm confused why he didn't just put stuff at ah himself instead, unless I misunderstood something here.
    But nice post, I liked it.

  3. Who the hell would mine and prospect for someone to get 15% of the profit, when they could simply mine and sell the ore they got for more gold.

  4. I thought of 2 things while reading this:
    1. Way to abuse guildies
    2. Can I please have the names of the idiots who settled for 15%.

  5. Summerginger said... June 16, 2011 at 10:16 AM

    Start a deathnight and make him into 2 profesions u need. Buy mats on sunday/monday they are crazy cheap (atleast on my server)no mining/herbing required.

  6. When it was all over with, I had made 90k in profits and my counterparts made several thousand as well.

    So if I'm reading this correctly you had your friends / guild members waste hours of their time farming so you could spend minutes of yours converting / listing to walk away with 75%+ of the sale?

    It turns out that scamming your friends is a good way to make gold...

    Thumbs down.
    Morally Bankrupt = You.

  7. You realize they just gave you gold, right? They're giving you hundreds of gold worth of materials and you're sending them a fraction of the value. This will not work for anyone.

    A more practical approach would have been buying the ore on the AH and paying the JC to prospect / cut. You can still take advantage of procs without making someone your slave.

  8. Although the ethics of the situation described in the post can be debated all day, I believe the theme of the post is sound - its a multiplayer game. If you talk to people and ask around you'd be surprised what deal you can get. Be it a miner that will C.O.D you ore at a steep discount cause they know you'll buy it all 5 stacks or 500 stacks. Or a person that will assist with moving items cross faction for a cut of the money, etc.

  9. So if i read that right, your herber's getting 11g for a stack of heartblossom and your Jewelcrafter's getting 17g for a red gem? I don't know how you convinced people to do that for so cheap, but you are really ripping them off. Do they know how much your making off them? It just seems a little underhanded to me. I think the concept of the post is decent as in 'employing' people to do the gathering etc for you, but you should really be offering them a fairer deal.

  10. A lot of commenters so far seem upset that the author was "ripping off" her guildies.

    Consider this: Have you ever bought something for less than it was worth from a player who didn't value it as highly as you? (aka got a GREAT deal) Have you ever snagged something off the AH that was clearly a addon screw up/user screwup and were 100 for the price of 1?

    There's a lot of moral grey area that we all encounter when playing the game in general, and especially in making gold since we deal so much with other players.

    The author of this post found guild members willing to provide her a service. (I'm assuming gender based on name, I apologize if it's incorrect.) She haggled a price with these guild members, they agreed on a price mutually, and she paid them the agreed upon price.

    The other players knowingly agreed to this deal; if they felt they were being ripped off they could have said no.

    While I personally would not have been able to stomach giving my guild members 15% profits for 99% of the work I do have to say if all parties knowingly and willfully agreed to the deal then no one is really in the wrong.

    As for the post from a "How did you like this guest poster?" stance: Meh. Effectively what this post says is "Find people to farm for you, use your professions, craft profitable items, profit."

    This post manages to be at once both extraordinarily banal and ridiculously specific. We would be hard pressed to find anyone else able to find farmers to work at this price and so that portion is pretty much useless to your average gold maker; and the basic concept of outsourcing or looking elsewhere for items other than your own toons is incredibly common and really doesn't need to be rehashed further, in my opinion.

    It's very interesting to read, and if the author had their own blog that was basically "Here's how I make gold" this would be extraordinarily relevant. However, JMTC, I believe, is all about giving help and useful information to the readers, and this really doesn't do that.

    I would definitely like to see more from this poster as she writes well and seems to have a handle on the basic concepts which could possibly prove to mean lots of interesting future posts, but this post specifically was just incredibly meh.

  11. Looks to me like people should read the post closely before commenting. The miner was sending green gems only. The poster was transmuting them into blue gems and sending them back to him to cut. It would seem any blue gems from the original prospecting were not part of this deal. So to determine if it was a good deal or not you would have to look at the value of the green gems (which can vary greatly depending on how much time he wanted to put into processing them, server prices etc.) vs the amount he made from his cut. Herbs as well depend on server prices and what you could make on the AH.

    This example may or may not be profitible for all involved, but it does give a unique approach of ways to make money with limited professions that could be applied to various markets.

  12. I don't feel what you did was as bad as people are suggesting, but that is likely because I more of a capitalist than others bit also because I appreciate what you didn't lay out.

    What you did say was that "YOU" made more money. What you didn't lay out well enough was that each of these people also made more money...that is what you have to show. If person A was having enough time to farm but was always being undercut and had trouble selling their herbs / ore at a profit but working for you guaranteed them X profit each month, then that is a good deal for them... You need to addresss both side of the coin, otherwise you simply come off as a greedy Colin ripping others off and because they're in your guild it appears worse.

    I have three quick examples of where I've done the same thing:
    (1) young college student who doesn't have much time was messaging with me after I sold her something related to inscription - mentioned I was power leveling alchemy and she asked if I need herbs. Given she had time to farm occasionally but not deal with AH she suggested a price (30g / stack) if I would take X stacks / week - Done!

    (2) Blacksmith was advertising his wares and charging 100g / orb + tip. I had him make me a full PvP set as I was coming up to 85 and hardened elementium girdle and hauberk. Suggested to him I might sell the latter and if profitable we could start a venture (my truegold, my HE bars, his orbs and profession)...we negotiated that he wanted 15% but after I fought for a week to sell them and profits were lower than anticipated I suggested 90 / 10 and he came back with how about we just do 150 / orb - Done.

    (3) Recently got my Brother to start playing again. He is lazy with the discipline for a crafting profession so I have told him to simply mine / herb and send me all mats.... Yes, for free. Am I taking advantage of him? Well, since he has come back I have given him 7,500g, will glyph, gem, enchant (BiS) his toons and more, I don't think so.

    I feel all parties are better off in my case and likely in yours - sell that fact.

  13. This poster writes well, but I'm not ready to say I'd like to see her as a regular on JMTC.

    I totally understand that she reached a mutual agreement with a guild mate. I understand that the other person could have insisted on a better deal, etc. etc.

    But it really rubbed me the wrong way. I just can't wrap my mind around doing that to a guild mate. Maybe she doesn't like the people in her guild or something, but still. Yuck.

    Now, the topic of reaching business agreements with other players, and various approaches for working with them, could be a fantastic post. But this writer didn't really tap into the potential of that topic. I just didn't learn anything from her ability to exploit people in her own guild.

    I think there is potential in her posts, but am not convinced yet. Maybe ask her for another article before making a final decision?

  14. This is Stede.

    What made you decide to offer a 10% cut rather than a fixed price to your farmers and crafters? I admire your gregarity, but percentages would inevitably turn into a restriction with all the bookkeeping involved.

    I've personally found that flat rates are percieved as much more fair - they are subject to renegotiation, but aren't as ephemeral - how does your JC know whether you made 20g or 200g off a particular cut?

    All in all, it sounds like a logistical migraine, but if it works for you, then I suppose you've shared something unique - but perhaps not mainstream enough for the JMTC platform.

  15. Hi, I've been asked by the author to post this comment to clearify something.

    I was the one who got "undercut" from herbs. Even after figuring this out, I didn't mind at all. All those herbs I got for her was leftovers from guild cauldron farmings. I've never aimed to have alot of gold for "special stuff", just for repairs. So I really didn't care about the money.

    All the farming I did for her, took around fifteen mins (4 stacks) and I was too lazy to list and relist items in the Auction house.

    Frankly I felt like we were doing a decent transaction and didn't mind the extra gold for repairs. (didn't have to do my dailys anymore)


  16. This post brings out my ADHD! It's extremely verbose, and kind of blah.

    I do really like the percentage fee twist instead of the standard flat rate one though. :)

  17. While I did not particularly care for this post, I do find it a completely viable strat for starting out. I thought it was well written and I'd be interested to see more by this author in the future (though hopefully shorter)

  18. If I got this quest in my guild to farm for 15%...


  19. Ripping off guildies? Bad form, in my opinion. There are a lot of people in my guild who are struggling to make ends meet in game. I don't take advantage of them, I share my knowledge with them. They are my friends. If I were going to split a batch of cookies with a friend, especially ones we made together, it certainly wouldn't be 85%/15% or 90%/10%.

    I also have to question whether this person is a "one trick pony". They spend the entire first paragraph trying to sell the post to players who don't have much time, then close out the post by saying that they leveled three more professions. That alone makes me feel they doubt in the profitability of the actions they wrote about to be sustained.

    So far I prefer the other guest writers.

  20. Velvet here.

    I dont get all the negativity this post has generated. I enjoyed the way it was written, and the ideas it cobtained. Where better to find business partners than your own guild? Her guildies had the opportunity to say no to the deal, instead they said yes, and all parties profited.

    Whilst I generally give my stuff to guildies, a business arrangement like this could help out some of the time rich gold poor guildmates of mine.

    Thumbs up

  21. People should take a look at what the farmer actually thought further up rather than making all these sweeping generalisations about ripping guildies off.

    The posts are generating thought and discussion so can't be all bad.

  22. I don't think I can let it go without responding a bit to some of the comments on the blog...^.^

    For starters, I completely agree with Caidenn that I should have highlighted more the way that this small business profited my guildies. Did I make a lot of money off the deal, yes, but they did as well specifically because both of them were rarely using the AH to sell their goods. As one of them has already commented on here, he was just supplying the gbank and half of the herbs he sent to me and made gold off of. My jc guy wasn't able to play often due to his job and therefore didn't have the time to put into the constant shuffling of gems on the AH to get a sale off. The three of us were able to divide up the work, each doing something the others didn't want to do.

    It's like any other business principle: I have something I want to sell but I need suppliers. I want to pay the suppliers as cheaply as I can so that I can make large profits. I opened up negotiations with both guildies for their percentages. It was an open and honest agreement with them and had they wanted it a different way they had options (such as renegotiating the percentage or pulling out of the deal). This post is meant to inspire people to look beyond giving their lives to the game and see that sometimes working together with other people can free up your experience in the game. The percentage I gave them is relative because if you were to do this same thing with a guildie and divide the profits 50/50, the concept still works! There were no questionable ethics in this business because they knew exactly what they were getting, and I paid up.

    Lastly, I am counted as one of the most generous people on my server. I have made a lot of money and most of it I have used to help my guildies, my guild, random strangers, etc. I do have many tips I am willing to give and things I'd love to be able to share with other people, but I completely understand if I'm not the one for JMTC. :) Good luck to the other writers!

    P.S. Controversial posts FTW!

  23. I think the majority of people are not getting the true point. Have you ever bought something, used it, and then got bored of it. Mentioned to your friend you wanted to sell it and your friend said they were interested. You wouldn't charge your mate the same rate as a stranger . . 'mates rates'.

    Hence I provide a google definition of guild: An association of people for mutual aid or the pursuit of a common goal.

    Mutual Aid. Common Goal. Mates. Stop the flaming!

    Artose @

  24. While Alisha's later points defending herself are valid, stronger writing in the first place would have made the situation clearer and (more importantly) made for a more interesting post.

    I'm still not convinced I'd like to see this author as a regular on JMTC -- a post that's only 'controversial' because it wasn't clearly written in the first place doesn't qualify as a great way to engage readers. Maybe ask for another article and see how that goes.

    And Caidenn should submit something! His response was creative and informative, and provided good examples.

  25. I liked her follow up. I think I'd be interested in reading more from her. :)

  26. I agree, I would want to read more too.

  27. Seriously, how hard, and how much time does it take to post green gems or ore. Ore is better to sell because of lower posting fees, but just vendoring the raw gems could have made them more money than what they're getting. You can't get any easier than vendoring. THe most time consuming part of the whole process is the farming. Farming sucks! She took advantage of stupid lazy people the end.

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