A lot of newbie goldmakers believe the way to finding the right market in WoW is primarily analyzing the Auction house or pricing data. It’s not.
Anyone who has ever installed Tradeskillmaster or looked at oribos.exchange will know that there’s a ton of pricing data, graphs and numbers to look at. Now I don’t bother with the numbers at all. Even as someone with a literal degree in Financial analysis I think they have fairly low value for the vast majority of players looking to get in on the economy.
By far the biggest driver of significant price changes is patches. The game changes and we do not know what Blizzard will do or how players react. The past is NOT a good predictor of the future in WoW, so stop staring at it.
Keep it stupidly simple
My mental model is dead simple. Players in WoW mostly want to get strong and look cool. Anything that can help them do that is an item that will sell. If it also is hard to acquire then it will be profitable.
Dracothysts are a great example. EVERYONE wants these for their max ilvl crafted gear. This means they will sell quickly. Then you have the fact that you can only craft 1 per 16 hours per alchemist. This means it’s hard to flood the AH. The upshot is that this recipe has consistently been profitable since it was added.
This was in fact very obvious even before 10.1 launched, and loads of people rushed for the recipe (including me). I’ve been selling them steadily ever since.
So what are you looking for?
Powerful items will be mentioned in guides and by content creators. I follow a bunch of raiders and M+ players on twitter, read the r/competititewow subreddit and I’m in a lot of class discords. Together with PTR news you can figure ouw what items are likely to be strong so you can focus on them. The stronger it is, the more players want it and the more profitable it is.