This post has been specifically written for the February edition of Cold's Gold Blogging Carnival. Cold asks us "What 3 Pieces Of Advise Would You Give A Little Goblin? (3 Top Tips For New Auctioneers?)". Well, I've got three tips which I'm hoping are useful for starting auctioneers.
I am however going to start with a requirement instead of a tip, consider this a small bonus on top of the three tips ;)
If you want to start making serious gold in World of Warcraft it's going to cost you a lot of time, time you're not going to be able to spend on other activities like running heroics, pvp'ing, raiding or whatever else you can imagine. You can of course still do those things but it's going to cost you more time. If you're not willing to spend the time needed to start making serious gold, these tips might still be worth reading (I hope they are) but please don't expect major profit for minor effort.
Tip 1: Research
In order to start selling and start making a profit you need to identify the markets you can be successful in on your server. Spend some time doing research into what these markets could be while keeping in mind whatever limitations you have.
For example when I started out two and a half month ago I had two max level characters with both professions maxed out. I had a Jewelcrafter / Enchanter and a Herbalist / Alchemist, one of my characters also had Fishing and Cooking maxed. I started doing research on how to make gold with just those four professions and the small start capital I had available. I listed all available markets I could enter with just these two characters, which were:
- Twink / alt Enchants
- Flasks and Elixirs
- Supplying raiders with Fish Feasts
- High level Enchants
- Rare and Epic gems
I quickly decided Herbalism was too time consuming for my liking, Flasks and Elixirs or Fish Feasts wouldn't be worth the effort at the end of the expansion. I had just returned from a several months long break so cutting Rare and Epic gems wouldn't be feasible since I had just a few cuts and no Jewelcrafting tokens. This left Enchanting and Transmutes so I started doing a more thorough research into those markets.
A spreadsheet listing the costs of the materials and calculation potential profit based on current Auction House prices is an excellent resource for this. I'd recommend creating one yourself since you'll get a better understanding of what you're actually going to sell. If you don't know how or don't want to create one there usually are good spreadsheets available at gold making forums like The Consortium or The JMTC forums.
After you have researched each potential market pick just a single one to start selling in, make sure you really understand this particular market before moving on to the second tip.
Advanced tip 2: Expand
You've succesfully started selling in your first market and making some profit on a daily basis, now is the time to start expanding. Re-use the research you've done before and enter the second best market. After you've succesfully entered the second market and are making some profit on that market as well it probably time to move on to the third step.
The idea behind this tip is quantity beats quality. You're also going to become more resilient, being active in a lot of different markets means you're less vulnerable to short-term changes to the economy.
This tip remains valid no matter how many markets you're currently managing, always keep on the lookout for new markets to enter. After having entered some or all markets identified during Tip 1 you can start expanding your horizon. Research the markets you currently cannot enter, with the gold you've already made leveling a new tradeskill just to make more gold might be a viable strategy. You won't know unless you've researched and by doing your research properly you're minimizing the risks of investing in an already lost cause.
Advanced tip 3: Automate
Listing a couple of items can easily be done manually, checking for undercutting, cancelling and relisting isn't too much of a hassle either. Now imagine doing this for dozens of items, you're going to spend more time at the Auctions House or the mailbox than anywhere else. Fortunately there are some excellent addons which take care of the most time consuming aspects of making gold. I'll give a short description of the addons I'm using and why I use them.
Auction Profit Master
Auction Profit Master is the addon I use to automatically create auctions, check for undercutting and cancel if needed. This is all based on previously defined groups.
For a small introduction to configuring APM see this Inside Trader article by Basil Berntsen.
I use this addon to collect all mails with just a couple of clicks, not having to worry about opening hundreds of mails and collecting hundreds attachments a day is pure bliss.
Auctioneer I use for the occasional full scan of the entire Auction House and regular scans of the items on my Snatch List. Auctioneer is a very extensive addon, take the time to understand it's functions and then decide which of those functions you would like to use.