Many WoW entrepreneurs will tell you that one of the first things you should do when trying to master the AH is setting up a daily routine for yourself. It is in fact very important. Today I'll give you a few tips on how to do so, and I will show you my routine as an example.
It is better to repost regularly then doing whenever you have time, or just feel like it. Planning ahead ensures that your auctions won't expire when you can't repost them. If you know that you can repost on the same day, post most of your stuff for 12 hours, if you can only repost the next day choose 24 hours, and if you can't even repost daily, you better choose 48 hours for most of your stuff.
Depending on the amount of time you can spend with it, you may also choose not only to repost what has expired, but to cancel undercut items too, or if you won't be online for some time, you can cancel items with less then "Very Long" time, and repost them too. In this case you will lose some deposit, but most of the time the deposit is nothing compared to the actual prices.
The time it takes to repost depends on how much items we are speaking of, how is your latency, and whether you are doing anything else while reposting. In any case, if you are trading with more then 10 items, you should repost with TradeSkillMaster. This addon is one of the best tools of an entrepreneur, and if you don't already have it or you don't know how to use it, look for a guide, there are plenty online.
Usually you don't need to craft as often as repost. Of course, it depends on how much of the items you are trading with you are crafting at a time. If you craft more at once, you will only need to craft weekly or monthly, but you will need enormous storage space.
The time it takes to craft can also be greatly reduced by the use of TradeSkillMaster. Again, if you are not already an addict of it, look for a guide. However, even with TSM, if you are running several professions, it will take some time to craft what you need. If you are running all professions, and you craft a week or a few weeks worth of stuff at once, it can take hours, simply because the casting times add up. There is no way around it, no addon or anything. Try doing something else while you are at it.
Stocking up with materials, or whatever items you want is something you can also do regularly, or at totally random times. However, I'd advice to check prices regulary, when you are reposting, because you are already in the AH, and it doesn't take long. Sometimes I see people buy their stocks at once, right before they craft, which is bad because they have to accept the current prices on the AH, whatever they are. If you buy smaller amounts, but regularly, you will get to know your server's prices, and after a while, you will know what's cheap and what isn't, and buy your stocks when they are low. Buy low, sell high as they say.
Another thing that an entrepreneur can do regularly is flying around, and buying vendor items that sell well. Vendors with high-value merchandise are all around the world, so you probably don't want to go to every last one of them, every time you do your round, but there are several well-planned routes you can take around major cities, and visit a lot of vendors.
Most days I get home either in the evening, around 8-11 pm, or in the morning around 6 am. After I get home, I do my daily business. On the alliance side, I have 5 characters whom I actually do business with. I have all the professions maxed through the five of them, and I sell items with character A that are made by the professions of character A. I login to my characters, go to the AH, and cancel all that has less then "Very Long" time left and undercuts too, in that order. The order is important, because this way, after I cancelled items lasting not very long, TSM doesn't have to scan as much stuff for undercuts, as it would have to, the other way around. It saves time. After this I go to my mailbox and hit open all. When I'm in a hurry because I'm sleepy or something, I use my /reload ui macro, whenever the mailbox appears empty, but it isn't, and there is still more then 10 second left to reloading automatically (if you don't know what I'm talking about, install TSM, seriously, it is the best). If I'm not in a hurry I just let it run, and I put a record on or start watching a movie or something. After the opening is done, I go to the AH and repost.
This usually takes me about 20 minutes. Now comes the longer part, the horde side. On my server the ratio of alliance:horde population is about 1:3, so the market on horde is much bigger. I post much more items on this faction, so reposting usually takes me about 40 minutes here. On horde, I only have one character which I do business with. I do pretty much the same thing with this, as I do with the alliance toons, except one thing. On alliance I split my business 5 ways, so that the storage in the characters' banks and bag slots are enough on their own (Embersilk Bag everywhere). On horde I have a guild bank (6 tabs) just for the character I'm posting with, and I keep the overflow there. Of course this also means that everytime I finished reposting my mailbox, I have to repost my guild bank too, which usually takes 6 rounds from the bank to the AH.
As for crafting, I craft weekly for the alliance, and monthly or twice in a month for the horde, depending on how much free time I have. I buy the materials over time. Each day when I visit the AH for reposting, I check the prices of the materials, and I buy them when they are low. I don't use some magic addon to tell me when it's cheap, I've been doing this for quite some time, and I know what is cheap and what is not. I keep my materials in 3 guild banks plus whatever storage there is left on my toons (yes, in total I have 4 guilds with 6 guild bank tabs each). When I craft (with TSM) I just get the mats from the bank. For alliance I craft less stuff, both because I do it more often, and the alliance market is smaller, so it takes me about 20 minutes. On the other hand when I craft for the horde it usually takes me about 2-3 hours, plus the getting it over to the other side through the neutral AH. I use a friend's account for this, and I only do this at night or early in the morning (3 am - 8 am) as there is less chance that my goods will be intercepted (has happened though).
So this is my routine. It works well for me, it only takes about an hour most days, and it helped me earn millions of golds in very little time. However, I'd advice you to adjust this to your realm, and your free time.
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