Playing the Auction House for profit

Many players who play WoW seriously tells themselves at some point that they should try and buy and sell stuff on the auction house for a profit. Most people don’t try because they are afraid of losing their gold.

I had read Og’s Ledger quite a bit and I was inspired to try flipping items. It has been quite a success for me so far.

Like many players I have a bank toon. When I started this process he had about 1000g sitting in his bag doing nothing. I decided to use most of that as my seed money. I use Auctioneer Classic, and I have been scanning the AH regularly for a while, building up my price database. In my first couple of days, I bought a lot of green items and a few blues. My sales with those were mediocre. What I really cleaned up on were these:

  • Armor Kits… leatherworkers make them to level their skill, then put them on AH for whatever the system suggests. Also, people often sell them in stacks of 5-10. No one needs 10 armor kits at once! I relist them in stacks of 1 or 2.
  • Cooking raw materials… I buy them cheap, cook them into stat-boost food (my cooking skill is maxed) and resell them at a huge profit. I must have made 150g so far from Spicy Hot Talbuk alone.
  • Battleground level greens… twink blue items are way overpriced. But Green items in the “battleground levels” (18-19, 28-29, etc…) sell well for players trying to improve their gear in lower level BG. On my server the “of the Bear” and “of the Monkey” items sell well.
  • Level 40-42 Plate armor – every warrior and paladin gets to wear plate armor at level 40 and can’t wait to dump all of their mail. Find items that are not already overpriced and sell them for a good margin.
  • Low level head slot items… people hate having an empty slot on their character sheet. Head and trinket slots are the last to be filled. People will overpay for them at low levels.

I tend to avoid epic items unless they are a can’t miss deal. I have made big-profit sales on two epic crafting recipes so far… one that I bought for 112g and sold for 750g, and another that I bought for 475g and sold for 850g. The key with those is patience. Remember that Auctioneer keeps track of listings but can’t tell you what the items actually sell for.

With high-ticket items, often people are afraid that they are risking all of their gold. I say that this is impossible. Lets say, for example, that my Auctioneer tells me that an epic item is a bargain at 500g. I buy it. I try to sell for 1000g it every day for three weeks. It doesn’t sell. If I run out of patience, I can relist it for 500g again. In that case, there is someone else using Auctioneer who will buy it because he thinks its a bargain now! I lost the gold I spent on AH fees, and that’s it.

How have I done? I make anywhere from 30-50g a day, and with the help of those few big ticket sales I have made over 1600g in profit in the span of about a month. I expect to have enough gold to buy my epic flyer within the next couple of weeks, and without having to do any tedious grinding.  Sure, You could make that gold by doing dailies, but with this I could flip items and do dailies if I wanted to (I don’t – the dailies got very old for me very quickly).


1 Response to “Playing the Auction House for profit”

  1. 1 arb
    March 18, 2008 at 5:52 am

    This method of making gold is the most time-efficient in the game. Once you have built a reasonable database of items and understand the economy of the server, you can make significant sums. Personally I make ~4000g per week using the tools above, spending 30-40 mins in AH every day. I have 66,000g and nothing to spend it on… hopefully gold will be important in WotLK

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