Beginners, Gold Making Troubles And Trailblazing

Today I'm sharing a few of the reader questions we receive here at Power Word: Gold Central (AKA our email inbox) along with our answers.

I also give a bit of advice for those who want  to ask others questions in the future as well as get a bit into blazing gold-making trails and thinking for yourself.

Read on past the jump for questions about being a beginning gold-maker as well as frustrations making gold. Thanks again to the readers for allowing us to use their questions.

Small Fish In A Big Pond

"Hey Jim,

First of I wanted to thank you for all the time and effort you put into your blog, podcast and live stream.

I have been playing WoW off and on since the 2009 and I have always been interesting in making money through the auction house. I have recently been reading your blog and watching you and I've been inspired to start making some real gold.

So my question for you is this. How does a beginner take on the big guys of the auction house. I notice that I have been posting 80-100 auctions and a the auction house big guns have been posting 600-1000 auctions. How do I stay competitive.

Thanks again "

My Reply

"If you can't have more items than competitors you may have to focus on reposting your items more often.

You may take an hour here or there and focus on reposting your items and being the cheapest.

The other possibility is to focus and learn a market so well that you can find areas your competition may be ignoring (like older expansion crafted items and materials).

Most of all keep working and learning your server's markets.

Keep me updated."

Pressed From All Sides

"Hello Jim,

I am writing this email out of a degree of frustration & desperation.  I am an intermediate level bordering advanced level gold maker on the [name withheld] server.
Pertinent info:
<maxed professions> 2x blacksmiths, inscription, enchanting, jewelcrafting, alchemy (transmute), engineering, mining, herbalism
<low lvl prfs> 350 alchemy simply for essence of water to air xmutes or primal nether xmutes
Liquid gold: 150,000  plus approx 100k+ in assets

I was making decent money from the ore shuffle when ore was 80g/stack, but now that it has fallen below 60g/stack, the cut and uncut gems have fallen below 60g/ea while the blue ring procs and lvl90 crafted rings/necks are simply not selling.  Spirit dust has also dropped through the floor, often reaching prices as low as 40g/stack, (sha crystals hitting 225g this week)

The crafted BS pvp gear was nice for 2 or 3 weeks, but has now slowed to a crawl.  Even as casual competitors have left this market, I have stayed in posting and cancelling twice per day via TSM, with 2-3 sales total per week.

The only place I have been making any decent gold is in the flipping greens market.  With the news of the XP nerf in 5.3, I have noticed a severe increase in competitors buying MY MoP greens in anticipation for players leveling from 85-90 as soon as the patch drops.  I have increased my searching and buying of these items to 3 times a day (5 times per day on the weekends).  These new competitors are re-listing greens at 100-199g where my threshold was at 299g with great success selling these items for 399g over the last 2 months.

I have moved into limited supply routes (which is slow gold making), crafting rare vanilla enchants, crafting items for legendary weapons such as arcanite & dark iron bars, farming bottlenecks such as netherbloom, goldthorn, and flipping infinite dust, illusion dust, and frostweave.

I feel like with the capital I have, I should be able to do more with it.  I am willing to take risks and be patient. But I am frustrated seeing my net gold count go up by maybe 10k per week.  The only analysis I can make is that [name withheld] and guild that I am in has attracted savy, educated [players] that are using all the same tricks as me.  Since the population of the server is dominated by our guild, I am starting to think that there is not enough room for this many competitors and to be victorious, I would have to sacrifice raiding prep for cancelling and reposting.

Thank you for any words of wisdom you can provide.


My Reply

"It certainly appears that you've got all the normal bases covered and know about all of the major markets that I would normally advise.

If you are on a relatively active or high population server you will likely have to spend more time tending your markets and/or work in markets that aren't as crowded.

Off hand I'd recommend looking into Cataclysm crafted gear specifically Hardened Obsidium plate and Tsunami and Darkbrand leather.

Also possibly looking through your Leatherworking, Tailoring and Blacksmithing spell books and making a few items that may appeal to levelers.

I've had some good success with older crafted Agility leather.

Ultimately in your case you may have to go beyond tactics that you read about on blogs and experiment and explore your own areas and tactics specific to your server.

If its a technique you read about on gold blogs and your on a server that has lots of competition they are likely reading them as well.

I know it can be intimidating trying to "think up your own thing" but in your case that may be the solution.

It may be taking something you read and adjusting it or applying it in an unusual way.

That's how I am able to come up with new markets. Lots of observation, thinking and ultimately spending the time it takes to root out new markets.

Keep it up and start thinking a bit more expansively."

It's All About Perspective

In both cases above we have gold-makers scared and a bit uncertain about how to deal with issues they are having in their markets.

I think often times players are striving to have some control in the markets when in reality the markets are made up of people and therefore ultimately unpredictable.

In both cases I think it was good for them to ask for advice. One of the things that can't be aquired easily or quickly is experience.

Those of us who have been making gold for a long time aren't necessarily smarter than newer gold-makers (I certainly am not) it's just that we've been at it longer.

We've tried more things. We've watched more markets fluctuate. We've tried (and often failed) at markets of all types.

"Bad" Questions Are Unasked Questions

I encourage anyone who is having gold-making issues to ask your favorite gold-maker, blogger, pocaster, livestreamer etc. your questions.

Many times (but not always) they will have a bit of insight into your situation.

If you do decide to ask someone a gold-making question please know that they are going on what little information you provide them.

In many cases they are only able to give you general tips and/or advice simply because each and every server, faction and market is different.

Each server has a different population and player-type make up. Each individual market (Jewelcrafting, Inscription etc) has different levels of competition and different competitiors in it.

I don't bring up all these variables to discourage you from asking advice but to show you how complex any given server/faction's market is and let you know that learning that market is ultimately up to you.

You're the one that is "living" there. Spend some time getting to know the "neighborhood" (your server's markets). Take time to observe and learn who your "neighbors" (competitors) are and what they do.

Expecting A "Silver Bullet"

The ability for people to exchange ideas is one of the biggest  benefits we have in the gold-making community.

When you ask for advice from those you look up to in the gold-making community just know that while they are likely giving you the best advice they can there is no "perfect cure" for your gold-making troubles.

They may hit on a possible solution that will get you unstuck. They may not. Don't let that stop you from asking.

If you do ask questions a bit of advice I would have is to make your questions as short, concise and specific as possible. Only include enough information to allow them the best chance of answering you well.

If possible limit your number of questions to just enough to help with the specific situation you are facing.

I love answering questions but an opening an essay-length email with multiple questions spanning a variety of topics can be a bit intimidating.

Respect the time of those you ask your questions to.

In many cases they have busy lives just like you. While most times people are willing to help, don't make them feel burdened.

Don't think that asking someone more experienced will provide you with a "silver bullet" answer that will solve all of your gold-making problems.


I  want to emphasize that learning to think critically about gold-making is something that each and every gold-maker needs to do at some point in their "career".

Don't be afraid to move out past the edges of the current gold-making wisdom. Don't be afraid to adventure out past the already-lit campfires of "established" gold-making markets and techniques.

I put quotation marks around "established" because it's easy to think that markets like 77-79 Cataclysm, 83-84 MoP and transmog flipping markets have just simply "been around forever". They haven't.

They are markets that gold-making adventurers and explorers cut their way though the jungle to uncover. They went into the unknown and brought back knowledge to share with everyone.

No one told them what direction they were supposed to go. They just felt there was something there and worked hard to find it.

The fact that there are now gold-making "highways" covering what were once tiny gold-making trails doesn't change the fact that someone had to initially go out and find those markets.

Someone had to test the waters. Someone had to fail, try again, fail and finally succeed to show that they were viable markets.

My question to all of you reading this is will you be the one to find the next big untapped market? Will you be the one to have that "Ah ha!" moment and then put the work in to figure out how to utilize this new market?


Coming back down to earth a bit, all I'm trying to get across is there comes a point where they road of established gold-making markets ends and the jungle of unexplored gold-making ideas begins. That is where I like to play. Out in the untamed wild.

That's not to say that I don't utilize the gold-making roads and highways I've built in the past but it means that I'm always on the lookout for something new. Always on the hunt.

Are you?

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