Obviously there are about a bazillion things to sell on the Auction House, but how do you tell what people actually want to buy?
Certain things are easy. For example, there’s always a demand for cloth due to First Aid and Tailoring and a few other uses. Most all of the ores and herbs and skins you gather will have a pretty fair demand. Basically, anything that another player can use will have someone willing to buy it, but it may be hard to find that someone.
We want items that have a lot of someones wanting to buy them, preferably across several classes. An Int gem, for example, is usable by any caster. A Glyph of Renewing Mists is only of interest to Mistweaver Monks.
Server population is a factor here. If your server is a ghostland (eg: Detheroc) then there just won’t be much demand since there is no one to buy anything. Illidan, on the other hand, has a far larger population and almost everything is in some demand. Still, you have to make due with where you are and the same rules still apply. Cloth will be in much higher demand than, say, two handed Agility Swords (fDecimation.)
Also see our gold guide for more tips.
How to Know What’s in Demand
It might not be what you think it is. For example, the green gear you get while leveling is Mists of Pandaria. It used to be that the demand was higher, because it was better than what was available through questing. Now you have vendors in Pandaria who will sell you complete sets of decent leveling gear for very little gold. Blue quality gear is often available for not much gold and it’s better than any of the green gear you’ll find. Once you hit 90 you can loot chests in the Timless Isle and get item level 496 epic gear, so why would anyone buy the green stuff? Some do, but you’ll likely do a lot of reposting.
One would think that the high level crafted gear would be in demand, except that these pieces are so expensive to make that few are willing to buy them. Still, If you can get the materials cheaply enough and if there are enough people on the server then it might be worth your while.
So what do all of these people need, regardless of gear? Glyphs, gems, and enchants. You can either make them or buy them at a lower price and sell at a higher price.
Which Glyphs? Which Gems? Which Enchants?
Here are a few ways to find out.
- Know the skills involved. If a particular bar is used in 50 recipes and another is used in one, then that’s a clue. You can check WoWhead to see what an item is used for and take a starting guess at it’s demand. A Tin bar isn’t used for much, but it is used to make the Bronze bar, which IS used in many recipes.
- Low and mid level items sell, some rather well. As you level a crafting skill keep a spreadsheet of what sells. Post what you make on the Auction House and see if it sells for a decent price. Make a note of that item on your spread sheet and have a slot for the number sold. Keep notes of what actually sells. By the time you have maxed you skill you might well have a number of lower level items which sell well, especially if they are particularly good for their level or they are popular with the transmog community.
- Take a look at WoWpopular.com. This site will show you the most popular glyphs, enchants, and gems. If you can make (or find, cheaply) those items then that’s a good place to start. You might discover that Delicate Primordial Ruby is far more popular than any other gem for a given class. Can you make use of that info?
- Grab the Auctionator addon. This will let you make “shopping lists” of items what you can scan through and see what’s going for decent prices. For example: Warrior Gyphs, red bold gems, recipes, ores, etc. You might find, as an example, that steel bars (used in many recipes) often sell for a good price, and quickly. Enchanted Thorium bars (not used for much,) not so much. Buy the steel cheap and sell high, or make ’em and sell high.
- The pieces used to make something will be in demand, perhaps far more so than the items that they make. Take cooking recipes. Materials than make buffing foods will be more in demand than the foods themselves or those that create foods that don’t provide buffs.
- All of the crafting professions will need endless stream of materials, both to power level the profession or if the crafter is doing production work. That is, she’s making a ton of items to list.
The Auctionator Addon
Picking one of the items is my “blacksmithing” shopping list, all bars. Most of these bars are needed by Blacksmiths and some by engineers. You then click on any listed item to see all the items of that type for sale, neatly organized. It will also scan the Auction House, so you can develop an idea of trends on your server.
What Else is in Demand?
- Reputation items used to be in some demand, mostly prior to Mists of Pandaria. There are still a few people who want these items, but they are few and far between. Examples are Arcane Tomes. There’s an Insane in the Membrane achievement that some are working for. Card decks can be used to help get the Darkmoon Faire rep.
- Transmogrification items. Find a piece that looks interesting/sexy/cool? It might well go with a transmog set and you might find that prices are shockingly high. Ditto for certain hats, costume items, and so on.
- The introduction of Pokemon Battle Pets in Mist of Pandaria has created something of a pet market. The rare ones can easily sell for 5 figures. If your server has an active battle pet community you might be able to make some gold. Check on the Auction House for the prices and then go collecting.
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