I recently found a pretty cool way to make some gold. In classic there are some materials that drop at lower levels than max, but are used in recipes that are useful for max level content. This makes them a great item to flip.
Why it works
Players leveling will generate these items and sell them right away as they desperately need golld for mounts and skills. Most realms will have a sizeable max level population, so they have gold to spend, making it great. There is a huge mismatch with the amount of gold the players selling these have relative to the players willing to buy this which is just great!
Characteristics of the items we are looking for
This works best for items that drop below level 50 as these are less likely to be farmed by max level characters. The other requirement is of course that the item is useful at max level in some fashion. This is generally going to be crafting materials used in either consumables useful in raiding or high level crafted gear.
Let’s look at some example items. I have done this quite successfully with Small Flame sacs, as you can see from the screenshot below and I expect it works with other items. DBMarket will probably not be stable enough yet though, so I use auctionator and manually consider pricing. This means a little more risk, and you will have to figure out yourself if something looks like a good deal or not.
Small Flame Sac
Small Flame Sacs drop from whelps and dragonkin, starting at around level 24. I got them from grinding the Whelps in Direforge Hill in the Wetlands. They are used in the regular fire protection potions that are useful in Molten Core to mitigate fire damage. They sell pretty well and the only use is pretty much at high level.
The demand for Fire Protection pots right now is pretty high as everyone jumps into MC for the first time where the potions are most useful.
Wicked Claw is another potential item. It drops from beasts and it starts dropping around level 40. There may be a lot of players trying to sell these to get enough gold for their mounts if they are lacking the gold. The claws primary use is in the Lionheart Helmet which is pre-raid BiS for warriors and ret paladins.
The recipe is a random drop, so it will not be very widespread yet, but it is great and the recipe and item will be very highly in demand!
Always check your items
There are a huge number of different materials and recipes in Classic. Much more diverse than in BfA. As such you should always check all the tradeskill items you in case they are used in a popular recipe. Check the price if you have an AH pricing addon, or look it up on wowhead to consider whether or not it is used in any good recipes.