Are you focusing on the right methods and markets? It’s easy to end up focusing on irrelevant factors, let’s look at what you realistically need to do to reach gold cap.
What this post is not
This post is not a specific recipe for reaching gold cap. Every realm and player will have slightly different results, so there is no one size fits all. WoW is a huge game and there are tons of ways to get there, but they all optimize for the same thing, and that’s we will be looking at today.
Optimize for total profit, not margin
Before we go into the details I need to set the clear ground rules. To reach gold cap, you need to optimize for total profit per hour. It is objectively better to make 10% profit on a 100k item than 100% profit on a 1k item. In the first case you are earning 10 000 gold, in the second 500.
Breaking it down
Gold cap is 10 million gold, this is undoubtedly a lot, so let’s look at what it takes to get there. Let’s say you only had enchanting. On my realm the most profitable enchant is selling for a 200 gold profit right now. This is in fact abnormally high, it’s usually around 100 gold. At 200 gold profit I would need to sell 50 000 enchants to reach gold cap. That’s an absolutely staggering amount. If I were to swap it out for legendaries that I can sell for an average profit of at least 4000 gold, then suddenly I “only” need to sell 2500 items to reach gold cap. Even if we assume you only need to spend 2 seconds per item, the enchants would take a staggering 26 hours more, just to repost once on the AH. If we did the math for legendaries at launch or early in 9.1 when margins were as high as 10-20k per item it gets even better!
Higher price is (almost) always better
Raw profits usually scale with the cost of an item. Profit margins generally do not go below 10 % in any meaningful long term market in WoW. That means that the more expensive an item you can sell the better. This is why BoE flipping used to be such a fantastic goldmaking method, as the raw profits were wild, hitting as much as 500k up to millions for corrupted items during BfAs 8.3
Volume can make up for it
The other potential play is to go for volume. The main issue with pure volume is the time commitment, as crafting and selling huge quantities of potions or enchants will take a lot of time. Alchemy is generally the only real volume profession, as demand is effectively infinite, you can sell a huge number of items throughout and expansion.
High end gear, the holy grail
High-end gear is in my opinion the holy grail of goldmaking. This has been the strongest market for 3 expansions running, with BoE flipping in Legion and BfA, and the crafted legendaries dominating goldmaking completely in Shadowlands. Nothing is as valuable to players as getting their characters stronger. So this should always be your focus if possible, if gold cap is your goal.