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GeneriKB's Guide to Making Money
Originally copied from Generikb's Guide on the WoW Proffessions Forum.
Last updated November 27, 2006 @ 9:00:55AM
Viewed 3229 times

(Originally from this thread.)

The original was written by somone called "GeneriKB", but it was back before the forum version change. It's lost into the nether of the internet, so I'm glad we captured it. (Thanks goes to Mareyn for originally pointing us to it!)


Okay well 32 pages and over 85,000 page views later?the official ?GeneriKB?s Moneymaking Guide v1.0? thread is broken! I want to thank all of you for making it a success!

I never thought this would take off the way it did?I wrote the original guide in about 10 minutes because I was bored, so some stuff might have been a little unclear or needed to be expanded upon. Here?s my revised guide for your enjoyment?hopefully you?ll all become at least a little richer by reading it!

Again, this is how I made my money. I?ve been playing this game since the first week it came out and I?ve never made an alt?this guide is truly the path I took from lvl 1-60 (with a few modifications here and there as lessons learned from my mistakes!) There?s hundreds of ways to make money in this game. You be a gatherer the entire time, selling mats and make money. You could do nothing but manipulate the Auction House and make money. You could grind areas that are known to drop rares and epics and make money. There?s tons of ways, this is just my way. Enjoy!

Phase One ? Levels 1-40 ?Hunting and Gathering?

So you?re just starting World of Warcraft, you?ve picked your race and class (gnome rogues ftw!), and you?re at the point where you get to pick two professions. You might say to yourself ?oooh I?m a rogue so I?ll get leatherworking so I can make my own armor!? or ?I?m a warrior so I?ll get blacksmithing so I can make my own weapons!??OK just stop right there n00b! Lemme tell you a little secret about all those cool crafting professions?

With the exception of a handful of items per crafted profession, you won?t make money! And hey guess what, those few items that are profitable are pretty much unattainable at lower levels!

I hate to rain on your parade so early on, but it?s better I tell you up front than watch you waste what little gold you earn trying to level up your crafting profession. The problem with crafting professions is that you fall into the trap that I like to call ?Skill Leveling Fever?, where you will do whatever it takes to raise the skill of your profession. Some of you will say ?Ya Gen, but that?s why you take a complimentary gathering profession so you can farm your own mats?. This is true, but you will VERY quickly reach a point where the materials you require will be unattainable at your character?s level. And what are you gonna do, wait until you can farm them yourself? Hell no, I know you better than that! You?re gonna go run to the AH and start buying materials for the sole purpose of leveling your crafting profession. Welcome to the poorhouse!

So instead, pick two gathering professions. The cool thing about gathering professions is that you start making money right away?walk up to a mineral vein or a plant or a dead animal and grab those mats! It?s 100% profit! And since you are going to be spending a LOT of time running around doing quests and killing animals?it only makes sense to take advantage of gathering professions. Mining and Herbalism are the biggest moneymakers, but since they share the minimap, I usually will pick mining or herbalism and then pick up Skinning.

The one negative thing about gathering professions is you?ll find your bags fill up VERY quickly. Don?t worry, the first thing you?re gonna buy are 14 slot bags. These things cost like 2g50s on my server, which you?ll have after selling like 4 stacks of whatever you got. Buy 4 of these 14slot bags, you?ll need the space! At this point some people make alts that sit near the Auction House and they mail all their mats to the alt. This is a good idea for some?to me it would drive me nuts having to mail stuff all the time J

Also, items with grey text are vendor trash, meaning you sell them to a vendor. ALWAYS pick up the vendor trash?at your level every little bit counts. If it?s WHITE text, that means it?s used in a profession somehow. Hold onto it and see what it?s worth on the Auction House. If you can sell it to the vendor for 25s but sell it on the AH for 50s?you?ve just doubled your profit! Don?t laugh at 50s profit either?do that 1000 times (which you will do this 1000s of times in this game) that?s 500g!

You should be making more than enough money to pay for new skills, updated armor and weapons, gryphon flights, stupid noncombat pets (hey I love em too!) etc. But keep in mind you are working towards two things when you hit lvl 40:

1. Buying your mount, which is going to cost you 90g
2. Preparing for your first crafting profession, which will take money to level and buy schematics/patterns/recipes/etc.

You cannot enter Phase Two until you have purchased your mount and have like 100g in savings. Trust me on this one :D


Q: Gen, you are a god among gnomes, and handsome to boot. But if you tell everyone to take up gathering, who will buy the materials we?re gathering?! If there?s no money in crafting, nobody will buy our materials!

A: It actually makes a perfect circle??lowbies? gather the mats, while ?highbies? buy the mats and make crafted items (we?ll discuss highbie strategy in a bit). These highbies in turn sell their items (for a profit) to other highbies and lowbies who NOW have money to spend (because they?re not wasting all their money trying to level up crafting professions!) It works really well like this.

Q: Gen, you are kind, intelligent, and have abs you could wash clothes on. My character is lvl XX, and I?m a lvl YY Crafting Profession and a lvl ZZ Gathering Profession. And I?m BROKE! Should I drop my crafting profession and take up a second gathering profession?

A: It depends on several things. If you are already close to lvl 40, you might as well keep the crafting profession?UNLESS it?s really low level (like <125 or something) then ya drop it like a bad habit. If you are relatively low level but have a mid-level crafting professions, I would still drop it and take up a second gathering profession. You?ll end up making much more money by the time you?re 40, which is the real goal of this guide.

Q: My materials aren?t selling! The market is flooded with them and I keep getting them returned in the mailbox!

A: Ya that?s going to happen from time to time. Some days you can sell a stack of something for 1g, the next day the entire AH is flooded with stacks selling for 20s. It?s what I call the ?Retard Factor?. The best thing you is get a general idea of how much stuff is selling for at that time, price your materials a little bit less that that, and hope for the best. Don?t throw your hands up in despair when someone undercuts you?it?s gonna happen. Just take your unsold mats and put them back on the AH?someone will buy them, trust me!

Phase Two ? Levels 40-59 ?It?s fine?learn 2 craft?

You?ve hit lvl 40, you have your mount (sure beats walking huh?), you?ve learned all your new skills, and you?ve decked yourself out in some fancy new duds. Now what?

Well, you *could* stick with your two gathering professions. They will still make you a lot of money, actually more money than in the first phase because you?ll know have access to higher level materials. If you don?t feel like busting ass trying to make money with crafting professions, stick with gathering by all means. You could stop reading this guide right now and have enough money to make you happy.

Still reading? Okay good let?s talk about your first crafting profession :D

Pick a crafting profession that sounds fun to you. Don?t worry, it?s going to make you money (except maybe Alchemy?I?m sorry I *still* haven?t seen proof that you can make lots of money off of Alchemy). What your going to do is drop the gathering profession that doesn?t complement your new crafting profession. For example, if you want to take engineering, drop skinning and keep your mining. The one profession I do not recommend you take at level 40 (besides Alchemy) is Enchanting. Enchanting is a great profession but it?s not for the faint of heart, and it?s a #@%$! to level up. If you are dying to be an enchanter now, welcome to the poor house?otherwise try to hold off until you?re level 60 (we?ll be discussing that in the next phase).

Now that you?re level 40, it should be very easy to powerlevel your new profession to a certain point. Do everything possible to farm your own mats while leveling, it will save you a ton of money. This is important because you need your money for?

SCHEMATICS, PLANS, FORMULAS, RECIPES, ETC!!! These are what separate you from all of the other people taking up crafting professions. I see twenty new threads every day asking ?how do you make money in leatherworking? or whatever, and people usually reply ?you don?t take herbalism it?s a goldmine?. I?m going to let you in on a little secret.

It takes hard work and a LOT of time and gold to make money in crafting!

You will NOT be rich from a crafting profession just by learning what the trainers provide! You have to spend gold on schematics/formulas/plans/etc to make the stuff that people really want to buy. I?m not saying that every plan on the AH is going to be a moneymaker, but the ones that ARE moneymakers you?re going to have to pony up the cash. Don?t bother farming for them it?s a waste of effort just pay a reasonable amount for it on the AH.

Guess what? You?ve just put yourself above probably 75% of the other crafters out there! Why? Because 75% of WoW players either don?t have the gold to buy plans, or they refuse to spend money on them because ?people price gouge on the AH?. Now instead of competing with 1000 engineers, you are competing with 250 of them?and out of that 250 there will be quite a few that aren?t as aggressive in making money like you, you sly dog!

It?s important to remember that crafting professions are a long term investment. Unlike gathering, you actually have to spend money for crafting professions to make money. On my server sniper scope schematics go for 100g. 100g is a ton of money, but as soon as you pay it off (you can make 2-3g profit off of each scope), you?ve got another weapon in your arsenal of moneymaking!

The questions I get asked all the damn time (people even create alts on Malygos to bug me during my Molten Core run lol) is what items sell for a profit, how much do you sell them for, etc. And the answer is ?find out for yourself?. Make a spreadsheet or list of everything you know how to make. Then for each item list out how much RAW material it takes to make that item. What do I mean by raw material? It?s the total amount of uncrafted items you need to eventually make the item. For instance:

Hi Impact Bombs x 8 = Mithril Bar x16 + Solid Stone x16 + Mageweave x4

Notice that Hi Impact Bombs really take Mithril Casings, Solid Blasting Powder, and Unstable Triggers?but the RAW material list is as stated above?get it?

Ok now that you have that for every item you can make, figure out the UNIT PRICE for each raw material. UNIT PRICE is how much it costs if you buy one Mithril Bar on the AH. Don?t look at the prices for just one Mithril Bar though?look at how much a stack costs and divide by 20.

Got that? Great! Next step is to find out how much you can sell each item for. Do a search on the AH to see what the going prices are?it might take you a few days to get an accurate number due to the ?Retard Factor? of people putting up items for ridiculously low or high prices. If the items just don?t show up on the AH, determine if anyone would actually *buy* the item first, and if you think they would just take a guess of how much you could sell it for.

You know what the final step is right? I sure hope so. You know how much it costs to make the item, you know how much you can sell the item for?do some simple subtraction to see if you can make a PROFIT off of your items! You will be surprised how many items will make a profit. The obvious choices are items needed for quests, items that need to be purchased several times (such as armor kits, sharpening stones, scopes, potions, etc), and blue items.


Q: ?Gen, you really expect me to make a spreadsheet of all my crafted items, with materials, and costs of mats etc etc? that seems like a lot of work can?t you just tell me which ones sell best??

A: Get out of my forum! If you can?t do the legwork and put the effort into it?go pick flowers and collect rocks.

Q: ?Gen, why do I have to make a spreadsheet based on cost of mats in the AH? I can easily go farm my mats and make 100% profit!?

A: Ah HA! This is the statement that is the death of crafters everywhere. I?m going to make the next statement in all caps not because I?m angry, but because I want it to stick out so much you can?t help but read it and remember it:


Seems so simple yet time after time again people will say things like ?yeah of course you aren?t going to make money if you buy your mats on the AH you have to farm the materials?. Well, if the materials are worth more than the finished product, why would you bother making it? Just sell the materials for a larger profit! The purpose of the spreadsheet is to help you identify what items you can make a profit on.

The next logical step is to realize that if you can buy the mats on the AH and still make a profit, why would you spend all that time farming materials? In the time it takes you to farm the mats to make one item, you could buy the mats to make 10 items.

You should be making more than enough money to pay for new skills, updated armor and weapons, repair costs, stupid trinkets (I love my Orb of Deception!) etc. But keep in mind you are working towards two things when you hit lvl 60:

1. Buying your epic mount, which is going to cost you 900g
2. Having nearly all of the schematics/plans/etc for your crafting profession, and being able to make a steady income off of it.
3. Having at least 100g (preferably more) saved to help you level up your 2nd crafting profession

Do not bother with Phase Three until you have the above three items complete. Patience is the key?if you rush into this stuff you will have more expenses than you do income.

Phase Three ? Level 60 ?Farming is for suckers?

Ok so you?re sitting pretty at level 60, congratulations! You?ve got your epic mount, you?ve completely owned your crafting profession, and you got your nest egg of gold. And your entire time spent in WoW now consists of you either in a high-end instance or sitting in Ironforge trying to get a raid group together. And that means you?re not running around gathering! Plus by now you?ve probably said to yourself ?Man, I don?t even need to farm mats anymore?I can buy them off of the AH and still make a sweet profit!? Welcome to Phase Three :D

Now Phase Three is 100% optional. Some of the gathering professions are useful in high-end instances. With mining you can get Dark Iron Ore and Blood of the Mountain, which both sell well AND help you raise your reputation with the Thorium Brotherhood. With Skinning (plus an enchant and a finkle?s skinner) you can skin Corehounds in Molten Core and The Beast in UBRS. Both have their uses for sure. But this guide is about how I made money?and since I HATE FARMING (farming is for suckers!) I dropped my gathering profession and picked up a 2nd crafting profession (in my case enchanting).

You level the 2nd crafting profession the same way you did the first, with the exception that you don?t have a gathering profession to assist you in the leveling process. So that means you?ll be buying your materials from the AH (yeah you could make alts or whatever?I just don?t like making alts). The key is to level as cheaply as possible until you can get to the point where you can make a profit (or even break even) on the things you create as you level up. Again, same thing as the first crafting profession?buy up all the patterns/plans/etc that look like you could make a profit with, make a spreadsheet, etc etc. This will be a slower process than the first crafting profession, but you already have your epic mount, and you?re hopefully getting good weapons and armor from instance runs?so there?s really no rush anyway.

There?s one more thing you can do to make some extreme money, but keep in mind that everything requires an investment of time and money?and this will require a lot of both. There are lots of faction based patterns/plans/etc recently implemented in WoW. Some of them are as ?simple? as killing tons (and I mean thousands) of Furbolgs until you are honored/revered with the Timbermaw Furbolgs, some as daunting as turning in thousands of Dark Iron Ores to the Thorium Brotherhood. We?re talking a couple thousand gold worth of investment right there if you don?t mine it yourself. 99.9% of the players in this game wouldn?t touch this with a 10 foot pole, simply because they either don?t want to waste their energy to achieve this level (which is totally understandable you have to be crazy to do this), or they don?t understand the benefit of knowing how to make these epic items. It?s basic logic though?let?s say you invest 2000g to become revered with the Thorium Brotherhood. You learn how to make the revered epic items. Congratulations you?re probably one of the .01% of the people on your server than can make them. And you know what? 99.9% of the people on the server want those items because they?re some of the best gear/weapons in the game! There?s one guy on my server that makes weapons for 4000-5000g each. It doesn?t take a math genius to see that the return on investment can be very lucrative! :D Some of you will say ?Oooh but Gen how in the hell am I supposed to get 2000g to invest in this?? Well, you could either plan ahead and mine the dark iron ore yourself (for Thorium Brotherhood, for the others anyone can do it), or do what I did and sell what you can sell like a madman and save save save! :) Others will say ?Yeah but Gen all of those high end materials come from Molten Core and they cost thousands of gold to buy the mats!? This is true, but as I said before this is the upper echelon of making money, and it takes big money to make big money. You don?t go to Las Vegas with 20 bucks and expect to win thousands of dollars do you?

Phase Four ? Any Level ?Oh you crafty bastard!?

So this isn?t really a fourth phase, it?s more of a ?bonus chapter? of things I did/do to make money. There?s no real rhyme or reason to it, it?s just the extra things I?ve done along the way that aren?t really profession related. I never mentioned them in my first guide because A) I wanted to keep it legit, these things aren?t anything you can do to depend on an income?but if they happen look out! And B) I?m still making money on several of these so I didn?t want to spill the beans just yet lol! I won?t go into super detail here because I want you to use your brain?not to figure out exactly what I do, but to figure out things I haven?t even thought of! :D

?Oh I?m a poor guy!?
On rare occasion you will see someone selling an item in the trade channel. If it?s something you know is a hot seller, msg them and ask the price. Sometimes they will flat out be stupid and give you a low price. Buy it, wait one day, and put it on the AH for what it?s really worth. If they reply with a price that?s pretty much what it?s worth, say ?oh gee, I can only afford ?I doubt you?d sell it for that. Oh well thank you I appreciated it?. You will be surprised how many times they will sell it for that amount or close to it. I?ve done that at least 20 times with sniper scope schematics alone! Am I proud of myself for doing it? No, I am not. Am I happy to have the extra gold? Hell yes!

?Wholesale Materials?
If you find yourself crafting the same items over and over, you?ll start to pick up a trend of certain materials that you use in large quantities. The best thing to do is to buy them in bulk for a cheaper unit price. Sure, you?re eating more money up front, but your profit margin will be way larger (what, you weren?t going to pass those savings onto your customers were you?!?!) There?s several ways to do it, but my two favorites are the AH and goldfarmers. On the AH you might see 100 stacks of heavy leather, all with 2g buyout, with a 1g min bid. Bid them all at min bid. Chances are you?ll win a percentage of them at half of what you would normally pay! For goldfarmers, if they can understand you (LOL), strike up a deal with them to COD the materials to you for a reduced cost. I have many farmers constantly working for me!

?WTF is that????
Troll the AH for items people auction, and browse thottbot and allakhazam?there?s tons of items that you can buy, do something with, and resell for a huge profit. I personally know of a few items that I can make 50g+ profit on every time, and a buddy of mine has found another completely unrelated item that does about the same. What are they? Not telling!!! But do the research and you?ll find several little nuggets of moneymaking!

?Hey hey! I got blahblah on the AH!?
I?m not condoning spamming like a fool, but a well crafted funny msg every 10min or so about something SPECIAL you?ve put on the AH will really help sell your product! Do not do this for everyday junk like light leather and copper bars?this is something you use for rare/epic items or things that are in HIGH demand. Be witty and funny and people won?t be as annoyed by you. Hell, ask people in Malygos, I spam stuff and say ?pst the gnome in the wedding dress!? cuz yeah I wear one?and a Goblin Rocket Helmet?and two Cookie?s Tenderizers?and I?m a male gnome?you got a problem with that?! :D


I think that?s about all I?ve got for version 2.0?we?ll let this thing run 31 pages and break, just in time for version 3.0. Hopefully by that time I?ve learned new ways to make money for you guys!

Good luck and stay wealthy!
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