Everyone has always said that you need to be high level to make any gold in the World of Warcraft. Pfft. Now, it’s true that high levels have daily quests, which pay nicely, and there’s lots of stuff that they can farm in area which now lowbie will every be able to access. Certainly there are a number of high levels who have enough gold to be able to easily afford those 15k motorcycles and three-man mounts. You also will have to be at least level 80 to get your crafting beyond 525 (in Mists of Pandaria,) so high levels clearly have their uses.
But you can make more than enough gold to get by if you’re low level. You gear doesn’t cost much and you don’t have to pay any 5k for Artisan Riding (and another 1k for the mount.)
So this page is for those who are brand new to WoW or who are starting new characters on a new server or who, for whatever reason, seem to have too little gold when starting out. Check out the other pages under “more gold guides” above for more details.
So what’s low level? 20 and under, for the purposes of this page. At 20 you get your first mount and it should be pocket change, not “wallet emptying.” How much can you earn if you get a litte more serious? Here’s a blow by blow description of starting from zero and hitting 6,500 gold in 30 days. A lot more is possible. From zero. See here. That’s the same character as above, though I have a couple of lev 85 crafters.
The Auction House
Even if you don’t get into buying and selling you should download and install the Auctioneer addon. It modifies the auction view to show more items in the window and it sorts by buyout price, rather than bid. Auctioneer just makes it easier to browse the AH. If you seriously get into buying and selling then it (or something like it) is indispensible.
Auctionator is another addon that I find to be very useful. Among other things it allows you to make shopping lists, so you can easily look for certain items or groups of items (eg: various cloths.)
The basic idea is that you’re going to look for items that are priced too low for their own good and then buy them and immediately repost them at a higher price.
Pricing - What I look to do is browse certain group of items and look for prices that are way too low. For example, someone posts Large Fangs at 3 silver each. I buy them up and repost at three gold each.
Another posts a hot glyph at 1g a pop. Buy those out and repost at a much higher price.
Say Copper ore is going for 7-10 gold per stack. Someone post theirs for 1g/stack or less. Guess who buys it all up and reposts at 7-10g/stack? Yep, me. Or the other guy. Don’t shoot yourself in the foot. It might as well be you getting that 7-10. However, if you want to price it really low, that’s fine. Saves me the bother of gathering it.
Naturally you’ll want you items to be the lowest price, or near it, you just don’t want to be way lower than the next guy.
Don’t post in stacks of one, please. People actually skip over those and buy the larger stacks (yes, I do.) My opinion is that you’ll make more with your gatherables by posting them in full stacks even if you price them above the single item prices. As an example: Doofusdumb posts 35 copper ore, as singles, at 33 silver each. Lots of buyers will skip right over the singles and buy your stacks of 20 ores, which are priced at 40 silver per ore (8g per stack.)
Why? Almost no one has use for 1 ore or 1 herb. They’re bought in large stacks for leveling (or production) crafting. Scribes buy tons of herbs for Inscription (and they buy more since Cataclysm because they’ll need 3x the herbs to to make each glyph.) Blacksmiths buy tons of copper bars when leveling their craft. Miners will buy lots of ore to smelt, which levels their mining skill. Singles are useless, despite what some guides say, and they’re annoying enough that they’re often skipped by the buyers.
Scribes need herbs in stacks of 5, so if youi’re herb selling then sell stacks in multiples of 5, or just sell the whole stack of 20.
Alchemists often need large quantities of specific herbs. Blacksmiths and Engineers and Leatherworkers and all the other crafters all need stacks of raw materials. Your job is to provide those stacks.
Ores and Skins and Flowers
Just do it. Get Skinning and either Herbalism or Mining. (If you’re a Night Elf then skip mining, there’s no ore in your area, though there’s plenty on Darkshore. You need to be in your teens for that area.) Don’t forget your mining pick and skinning knife. Send stacks of 20 to your banker (and a bit of money to pay for the auctions.)
The Blood Elf area is great for skins, ore, linen cloth, small eggs, and lynx meat (also makes a buffing food.) Spend an hour or two there and you should be able to gather enough to get by for a while.
By the way. when you get higher level you’ll often find the best prices for your gathered stuff will be for the old world stuff. Everyone will be looting the new zones and the lower level ones are forgotten. You’ll occasionally see 40 stacks of 20 of one herb from the new zone and 13 total of one herb from the old world.
White items - Would you believe that white titled items, such as armor and weapons, actually sell on the Auction House? Not for much, but what they do sell for is a lot more than the vendor will give you. Send them to your banker and post them at 5 – 10 silver each. It’s not much, sure, but they’re free for the gathering and when you have nothing…
Grey items - Vendor these until you have enough that you aren’t interested in copper. Vendoring these will get you enough to buy your starting skills and a bit of seed cash to send to your banker, especially in the Blood Elf area.
Eggs - Some areas have plenty of low level flying critters. These drop Small Eggs which you can cook up into a +2 Stam food or sell for a nice price, especially on certain WoW hoidays
Cloth - Linen cloth doesn’t usually sell for much, but it sells quickly. Humanoid and Undead humanoid mobs drop the stuff. Collect stacks, get your first aid skill up, and send the rest to your banker.
Meat - Raw foods that be be cooked up into a buffing food, such as the Small Eggs into Herb Baked Egg, will sell for more than those that can’t be made into such things.
Limited and Hard to Find Items
Many vendors have only one or two of some items in stock. Once gone it will be a few minutes to a few hours before they restock. Look into these. Also look into items sold by only one vendor.
Herbs - your Alchemy Supplies vendors often has a few herbs available. These are great if you’re just starting on your gold acquisition. Pay a few copper for each herb and sell then for several silver each.
Recipes - most recipes will go for more on the AH that what you pay for them from the vendor. Buy the for a couple of silver, sell them for a gold or two each (or more, if they’re uncommon.) As an example, this guy, in Stormwind, sells cooking recipes. Buy a few at his low prices, post them for more, see what sells, then buy more of those.
Skip all crafting professions until you have lots of surplus gold. Cooking is the only exception since you can easily gather the mats and the buff is handy. You can make plenty of gold with the crafts, it’s just that you have to be able to level the skill till you hit the sweet points.
That said, your level 1′s can certainly profit from the mistakes of others. If a crafter posts her wares on the AH for a very low prices, basically dumping them, then you buy them out and price them much higher. Glyphs are my favorite example, but all of the crafting profs have items that are valuable to certain classes and specs.
If someone posts +Agility leather items for pennies, then you buy them and post them, one or two at a time, for gold. As long as they keep selling you keep bumping the price up. If you’re scanning the AH regularly with Auctioneer or Auctionator or Tycoon you will have a pretty good idea of what’s in demand and when some person generously posts stuff too cheap for you to pass up.
You don’t need any gathering skills here. Just as with the crafted items, you keep your eyes on the raw items that are needed to make items. When they’re low enough you buy them up and resell them.
You can use Auctionator to make a shopping list of herbs, for example. Select a number of herbs that you want to keep an eye on and add them to your list. Make a mental note of what price you’ll buy them at. Everytime you log into your bank alt you check the prices. If they’re at your “buy price” then you do just that. Report them at a higher price or wat until prices climb.
You don’t need to be any higher than level 1 to play the “buy and sell” game with the Auction House. You don’t need to be higher than level 10 to mine a lot of copper. Level 15 lets you get endless light leather and some decent herbs. You’ll be able to collect tons of cloth from humanoids and piles of “small eggs” from the bird things in the starting zones. Misc other items can be found by low levels that sell quite well.
Level 1s can get from capital city to capital city without much fuss and then buy all the limited items.
Of course, if you’re a female Undead or Worgen you can dance in the cities and beg gold from people…
Learn More, A Lot More
I started a set of characters on a brand new server with nothing. I didn’t by gold, join a guild, transfer 80s, or do anything like that, just a fresh start. The goal was to see how much gold I could aquire in 30 days and the initial goal was 1,000 gold. The end result was about 6,500 gold. Along the way I leveled a Rogue to 30 or so and a mage to 20. Just the thing to mine Deepholme, right?
Believe it or not, I focused on leveling them and any gathering was incidental, except at the start. A couple of stacks of copper ore, some small eggs, and some skins provided some started money. Most all of the rest was working the Auction House. You can see the post series here: 1k gold in 30 days.
Now, if you’re giong to find the deals mentioned above then you’re going to have to do some Auction House study. You’ll need to look through several pages of stuff and find the deals or just gather stuff and sell it. If you’re crafting you’re going to have to do a bit of study to see what’s hot on your server.
Or you can check out an addon which automates all of the research for you and finds the hot deals and what the market wants. Wouldn’t that make the job of acquiring a nice gold stash that much easier? Such a thing does exist. Go here to get yours and then get rich!