I may be a bit biased, but I think gold making is very simple. It might feel hard, but on a conceptual level it is quite simple, and if you don’t find it simple you should try to change your mental approach.
Sell items for more than you got them
At it’s basic it really is this simple. Everything else is just various techniques of efficiently finding items and finding ways to maximize the gold you get for selling them.
“Which items?!” you might ask as a follow up. The answer is yet again pretty simple. Whatever helps other players reach their personal in-game goals.
If you play the game, you can find markets
It really is this simple. Just look at what you are willing to spend gold on. Anything you need or want is likely something you can make gold with, assuming of course that it can be traded on the AH. Finding markets may seem like it’s daunting. Just focus on finding items that other players want or need. The harder they are to obtain, or the fewer other players are working to get those items on the AH, the larger the profit margin will usually be. Examples include rare recipes, items from old expansion and any other factor that would make it harder to get and sell.
Only do simple research
The only research you need to do is to figure out how the easiest way to get an item is. If you are flipping materials, it will help to know how players farm them. The same holds true for crafting. This will help you more easily figure out if the price is low. Even if just using the built in price sources in TSM will usually do the job.
Looking at price data across weeks or stuff like that is interesting, but will not help you unless you have the basics down. So just focus on consistently selling items for 20 % more than you paid.
30% is the typical long term profit margin
I have been doing gold making for years and what I found from the gold cap challenge is that my long term profit margin was in the 30% range. My minimum prices aim for 20% and on average I get quite a bit more. So if you use my approach you should be making back 30k for every 100k gold you spend on average. It will not be instant, but that is the typical range.
It’s a marathon. Don’t beat yourself up. Work to maintain a positive attitude, have fun and find some way to enjoy the journey. Otherwise there really isn’t any point to it.
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