With goldmaking a recurring theme is that the hardest part is often getting started. So let’s look at what a good starting strategy might look like in TBC.
Sale rate, then large profits
Obviously we need to understand what we want to get out of a starting strategy. Generally when you are just getting started you should prioritize fast sales. Getting your sales back so you can re-invest the gold is paramount. The gold you have available to you is usually the limiting factor, and you need to keep gold flowing in. As you get more gold you want to invest in more expensive markets with more profits per item. The more gold you make per item, the faster you get rich (obviously!).
What sells quickly then Lazy?
Generally speaking items that increase player power are the best sellers. Within this category anything that is consumable, or materials used in consumables are the absolute best bets. This means alchemy consumables, cooking and materials are some of the most obvious options here.
Low initial investment
Starting out you should also prefer markets with lower initial investment. As an example Jewelcrafting is not too great, as you will want to both level it to max, which costs a pretty penny, and get a good chunk of relatively expensive recipes. Cooking is much cheaper to level and the recipes are cheap as well, making it a better entry level choice.
Starting out: Raw gold and learning the markets
Starting out you will get a lot out of doing some farming. In addition you should find some auction house based method to make gold. My #1 suggestion is cooking, as the sale rate is high, items are cheap and recipes are cheap. It’s incredibly important to get on the AH, as you will need to learn from actually engaging with the markets if you want to get good!
Since you will very quickly spend your gold you should supplement with farming. Dailies, farming for primals or anything else you like can work. There isn’t one answer, I’d suggest doing whichever farm you enjoy the most, as you’ll be able to spend more time doing it. Another great early market is enchanting shuffles. Both classic era ones and TBC ones work. So pick one of these methods and get going!
Step 2: Crafting professions
Step 2 will be to get at least two crafting professions fully operational. Depending on what else you do you may not have free choice. For the absolute best potential for goldmaking I think alchemy + jewelcrafting is the optimal combo, but all professions have at least some profitable recipes. Items you want to sell include crafted gear (high-end/pre-raid stuff in particular), high-end consumables, gems and anything else.
Step 3: Add in flipping
Lastly you want to start adding in flipping. You can flip BoEs, if you can find them cheaply, as well as materials. Material flipping can work well early as well, but it’s quite slow going in terms of impacting your liquid gold in the short term, which is why I suggest leaving it for this stage. This is also where you should start adding alts if you have them. Anything from cooldown alts, low level enchanting shuffles or fully fledged max level crafters.
Step 4: Whatever you want
At this point you should already be rich and have more than enough experience to keep it going. Just pick whichever methods you want to test out, and enjoy yourself.
Start out with cheap to enter markets with fast sale rates, either cooking or enchanting shuffles. Next focus on maxing your crafting professions and utilizing any profitable recipes. Then add flipping markets as you start saturating your professions.