Goblin Mindset: Total value, the way to measure progress

Goldmaking success comes in fits and starts. Sales are not constant and will vary from day to day and week to week. The same goes for what items you purchase. Some materials will be cheap one week, some other the next. 


It is extremely common for beginner goldmakers to be “stuck” at their initial gold for a while. You will get sales, then immediately spend it on more items to craft with or flip. Your liquid gold (the gold you have in your bags) does not increase. It may be that you are still making great progress, or it can be that your approach isn’t working. So how do we figure out which it is? 

In the long run your gold total is the only measure that matters. If your gold total is going upwards then you are doing it right. 

Measuring total value

Since we can’t rely on liquid gold in the short term to tell us if things are going right in the short term we need something that is more stable. Usually you will have a significant portion of the value you own in items that are either for sale or in your inventory. So by adding the value of your items and your gold you can get a measure of the total net worth or value you have in game. 

How should you value items

There are two main things we could base our valuation of items on, either the total inventory value you have, as shown in the TSM ledger, or the total value of your auctions as shown in TSM AH UI. Personally I prefer using the AH value. This is what you have for sale and what you can actually hope to get money from in the short term. Inventory might also include consumables you keep to use in raids and other items that introduce noise. 

Obviously the item is not worth exactly what it’s posted for. It’s probably worth at least 5% less due the AH cut and expires. As we want to sum your liquid gold and the value of items we need a measure of the expected value of your auctions. It depends on vendor sell price and deposit costs, but for the most part 94% should be a good estimate. This is very important as if you don’t do this, you’ll overvalue your auctions and might paint a too rosy picture. 

Simple math

To use this you obviously need to track your gold total and AH value. These are just two numbers though, so it would be extremely easy to write them both down on a daily basis. I included a link to a super simple google sheet for tracking your total value that includes the calculation to add it together. If there is an increase since the last time, you’ll get a green number, otherwise a red. A red number can be a cause for concern, unless you know that you for instance have not posted auctions or just mailed gold to an alt, or something similar. If it’s green then you are in the green and can keep going!

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4 thoughts on “Goblin Mindset: Total value, the way to measure progress

  1. Hey just wanted to thank you for your whole blog, I came back from Cata, so tokens weren’t even a thing. I’m trying my best to get one as well as having fun with my friends, but it discouraged me a lot the fact that the AH just changed and most of the tips and things I studied went right out of the window ‘:D. Anyway, from 0 to 50k in 7 days and it’s all thanks to the community and your teachings, I hope to goblin as well as you lot do soon.


    1. Awesome! Great work getting to 50k in 7 days. I’ll be starting the 30 days to a token challenge again next week, so we’ll be at roughly the same progress point then!

  2. I changed your code in column F to the following: =If(D3=0,0,D3-D2)

    This way it doesn’t show the negative value if you haven’t entered the next row of data yet, keeps any charts you can make with the data nice and clean 🙂

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