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Monday, June 3, 2013

Hitting the Million - My Journey to Gold-Cap by Jules Burt

Today's Hatchery post was submitted by Jules Burt (@julesburt, If you'd like your own original gold-making writing to appear on The Hatchery simply email the post, title, images and your name/pseudonym to [email protected] with the word "Hatchery" as part of the subject line and we'll get it posted.

I finally decided to start gold making towards the end of the Cataclysm expansion. For the two years prior to this I had been like most players, not really actively making gold, but just having enough to get by.

I did do some research before I plumped for my original two professions, skinning and herbalism. My thinking was that I could use these gathering professions and sell what I got on the AH. This worked and was pretty much my only source of gold outside of quest and instance rewards. If I was short of gold, I would just go out and gather some more. It worked, but boy, what an inefficient way to earn some coin. Head past the jump for more.

Around this time, I started listening to some Wow podcasts. As well as the more popular, established shows, there were a couple that focused on gold making. ‘Call to Auction’ and Jim Younkin’s ‘Power Word Gold’ spring to mind, although I found Faid’s ‘The Clockwork Riot’ and a couple of other YouTube channels, reliable and helpful. Tarou’s website and his YouTube videos were a great source to actually see gold making in action as was Jim’s live streams.

Basically, what I was subconsciously doing was preparing myself to go on my gold making journey. I was gathering ideas and information and figuring out how I would apply it to my style of play.

As the Cataclysm was nearing it’s end and there was no new content, it seemed a perfect time to get started, but what to tackle first? I didn't really have a lot of starting capital, maybe 15K, so not really a lot to invest.

I had heard on Faid’s podcast that she had created routes where you could fly across each continent and buy vendor recipes for just a few silver. These recipes could then be listed on the AH for quite a bit of gold. Many players are just too lazy to look up a recipe and see where to buy it cheap so they plump up the gold and get it instantly from the AH. Perfect, low outlay and decent profit, that’s what I was after.

To cover the time taken to compile such a massive list with routes and waypoints, Faid charged a very reasonable $2.00 for her guide. I was more than happy to make the donation and once received via email, started my journey around Azeroth picking up every recipe I could get my hands on.

Now this is not a quick process. Each continent took me about three hours or so at least to get around and these recipes soon fill your bags up. I had to mail recipes to an alt so I could empty my bags and carry on buying them up. Once I had completed a zone, I got back to the AH and listed each recipe at 199 gold a piece, all on a Buy It Now auction, listed for 48 hours.

Pretty much within a few hours I had my first ‘tickle’. Somebody bought four cooking recipes and I had just under 800g, just like that! I was back out getting the next lot of recipes as stuff was selling on the AH. Seeing this gold start to come in was inspiration to carry on buying these up. Within a couple of days I had done every area and had everything listed on the AH.

I was selling round the clock. I would check the AH in the morning and see I had sold stuff overnight and that I had 2000g waiting for me. Within a pretty short time I had doubled my gold and was looking for my next venture. In a similar vein to buying vendor recipes, I started buying vendor pets. I worked out a route and for a modest outlay, less than 1000g, I was able to buy up at least three of every vendor pet and re-list them on the AH. Prices varied widely on these but they were consistent sellers and netted my at least 10,000g before I gave them up as too much work.

By now I had hit about 80,000g which was great. I realised though that my current professions just weren’t cutting it and they definitely weren’t paying their way. It was time to take up a couple of crafting professions. I choose Engineering first and a few months later Enchanting.

I had a lot of fun with Engineering. I built all the teleporters, the Jeeves repair bot, Moll-e the portable mailbox. Fantastic if you’re making gold as getting around the world quick is always a plus. Having Moll-e available as a portable mailbox pays absolute dividends in time saved running to the mailbox. I also invested 20,000g and bought the Traveler's Tundra Mammoth, so I could vendor stuff and repair on the fly.

I started crafting Mecano-Hogs. These cost me 8K a piece to make and I could sell them for upwards of 20K if I got lucky. I never barked in trade chat, just made sure I had one listed on the AH at all times. I sold quite a few of these, still do from time to time if someone says they’re looking to buy one. I also started selling Hunter scopes, steady but sure sellers and the Engineering companion pets.

My second max level toon, a Hunter, took up Alchemy and Mining. I started doing the daily Truegold cooldown and farming old Outland ore like Fel Iron and making a killing.

At around this time, Mists of Pandaria was released. Damn, I didn’t want the distraction of another expansion, I was happy making gold! However, with a new expansion comes new opportunities and it was time to enter the somewhat overwhelming world of transmog items and the daunting prospect of using the Tradeskillmaster add-on.

Tradeskillmaster is an amazing piece of software, truly it is. The amount of options can in fact be a bit overwhelming to start with. There are a number of decent beginners guides on YouTube though to get you started, check out Power Word: Gold again.

I started setting up shopping and selling lists and generally speeding up the time it took to create listings by automating much of the listing process. No more typing in a price for each and every item, just add each item to a group with pre-determined prices and you’re away.

As I started looking for choice transmog pieces my stock slowly but surely started to grow. At it’s peak, I was listing approx 900 items across three toons every 48 hours. It wasn’t all transmog though, I continued to sell my alchemy flasks and the new Living Steel bars. It’s worth noting that my time spent sourcing items, pricing them and listing them would take about 30 minutes to an hour each day. On top of this, I religiously did my farming each day on both my max level toons. I had one farming motes of harmony and one farming herbs.

The new expansion bought those lovely leveling uber-blues. Level 80 - 85 gear with Mists stats and an iLevel of 400+, perfect for twinks. These uber-blues were selling for good money and I created a snatch list on TSM and would make it part of my daily search routine.

Transmog is fantastic, I love it. What a superb idea to be able to get your current gear to look like classic gear from many years back. I chose two outfits for my main toons. My warrior I wanted kitted out in the red heavy Blood Forged set and my undead Hunter in Pillagers gear. Both of these are tricky finds, impossible to farm. I used TSM and created a shopping list with just these bits of transmog on. I would check each time I was on and grab them as they turned up, usually for dirt cheap money. I recently finished my Blood Forged set and need just one piece for my Pillagers set. Certainly not  a quick job but quite satisfying when completed.

I must mention the fortune I made from Engineering in Mists. The Ghost Iron Dragonlings, the tinkers and that pricey mount, have all brought me good coin. Don’t ever let people say Engineering doesn't make you money, it does!

So, for the last four or five months my daily gold making routine would be to start the day emptying my mailbox of the overnight sales. Checking out The Undermine Journal great deals page and the Wowuction bargains page and snagging any good bargains. I’d then run all my normal searches for the more standard transmog gear that I knew I could flip. I’d do my daily cooldown, Living Steel and Sha Crystal and that would be that. Later in the evening I might check my searches again but this would be time to play the normal game, no gold making involved.

The gold has just flowed in, I’ve not broken my back trying to make it. I’ve even spent some when I’ve need to. It doesn’t have to be hard work, just stick with what sells and what you enjoy dealing in and the gold will come. Make sure you’re patient. Sometimes, items take time to sell. The more expensive the item, the longer it’ll take it sell, probably.

Some interesting facts and figures from my journey;

The most expensive thing I sold was the Engineering mount, the Geosynchronous World Spinner for 79,999g followed by a Mechano-Hog for 25,000g. Several items at 15,000g, my favorite being a Skullflame Shield.
Several items were consistent good sellers; I sold four B’jam’s Door Breaker for 9,999g each. The last one selling just after I capped. The Night Blade, sold four of these for between 6,500g and latterly for 9,999g each.

The most profit I made from flipped items were;

Pattern: Robes of Arcana, bought for 1,000g and sold for 15,000g, profit of 13,250g
The Skullflame Shield, bought for 2,850g and sold for 15,000g, profit of 11,399g

It’s worth noting that you may well have to invest a thousand or two in an item and play the waiting game. The eventual payoff can be fantastic and well worth it.

I have made a couple of errors on my way to gold cap. I bought a shield and ended up losing 5K on it. I started a new toon on another realm, almost a guarantee to lose your tradeskill master settings. This happened to me and I had to redo the entire lot. What a pain but a lesson learned. I back my TSM now up to my Google Drive account, sorted.

People have asked, what was the point and now what? Well, i’ll never need for gold again, unless I drop the lot on Mimiron’s Head on the Black Market AH. As for now I’m going to craft a load of Mecano-Hogs and give them away to my guildies, what a philanthropist.

I’ve dropped the price of my stock in a clearance sale, stopped farming and am just doing my Living Steel cooldown now. I’m running my stock down and just keeping the high price items as they will sell in time. I’ll eventually disenchant or vendor the last two hundred or so bits of transmog. That’ll do me. Now time to dive into Patch 5.3, The Barrens are calling!

Well that’s about it. Just time to say thanks to a few of the many, many great people I have spoken to or interacted with over Twitter, inspiration to us all;

Jim Younkin at Power Word: Gold, Ray at WowProfitz, The Drunken Mogul, Erogroth, Shiftywarloc, Elvine, Lowpopwow, The Bitter and Salty Podcast, Faid at Clockwork Riot, Wow Tarou’s YouTube channel, Call To Auction podcast, George at The Mana Cooler podcast, the gold making sites The Undermine Journal and Wowuction plus The Consortium. TradeskillMaster (total grats!). You can hear me talking about my gold making journey on Episode 9 of the Cross-Realm podcast, thanks again Mr Profitz!

-Jules Burt - follow me on Twitter at @julesburt and my website is here

Ready to write for the Hatchery? Submit your World of Warcraft gold-making post to [email protected].


  1. Fantastic post, I really enjoyed the read. I am just getting into gold making and am looking at transmog as the starting point. I have read lots of guides so far, the only thing I am struggling with is how to set the prices. The mogfather thresholds seem high compared to what I see on things like wow unction and tsm database I guess it's because time has moved on the boom missed, any advice?

    Is it actually to late in the day to get into transmogrify? I am using tsm 2.0 and have uploaded the phat lewts tsm 2.0 list (thanks by the way) as a starting point.

    1. It's not too late to sell transmog as long as you know that it works better on some realms than others. Some realms there is very little demand and some realms have established transmog sellers already.

      Either way I'd say give it at least a month of steady effort before you start changing prices. Often times servers need time to realize the transmog item are worth buying.