This is perhaps an obvious tip for many of you, and sadly not available to Alliance, but if you are Horde, you need to get a goblin.
Why do I need a goblin?
If you have not looked at racials then you might not know why you need one, but goblins have a racial that let’s them ALWAYS buy items from any reputation based vendor for the maximum reputation discount. This means that anything sold by a vendor that belongs to a reputation will sell you their goodies at a 20% discount.
So many vendor mats
Shadowlands has an incredible amount of vendor materials. Regardless of profession you will be spending significant amounts of gold on vendors. All of the Shadowlands materials are available from reputation vendors out in the zones. This includes the Orboreal shards for legendaries. getting 20% off on all of them can literally save you millions of gold.
My goblin saved me 4.6 million
The screenshot below shows my purchase data for Orboreal Shards. As you can see I get them all for 100 gold rather than 125. Over the course of Shadowlands I’ve saved over 4.6 million gold, just by having a goblin alt. It will also stack up for the smaller stuff. For instance I’ve saved about 100k on Malleable Wires for my jewelcrafting rings and necklaces.
Setting it up
You only need a goblin to get into Shadowlands. As soon as you pass the maw intro you can pick treads of fate and head to one of the zones. I keep my Goblin in Heart of the Forest, as the vendor there covers jewelcrafting and blacksmithing which I have on my goblin, but any zone will do. You can find the list of vendors for each material on wowhead to get the best match for your needs.
If you don’t have a level 50 goblin you’ll have to get leveling. Using an addon like Azeroth Auto Pilot will speed you up. You class doesn’t really matter, for this, but mobility will get you there slightly faster. There are speed leveling guides out there, or you can just take your time with a new class.