TBC Goldmaking: How time-efficient is actually material flipping?

This question was asked in the youtube comments of my video on material flipping in TBC. Since then I’ve been doing some light experimentation, to try to figure it out, and we’ll take a look at the preliminary results today!

The experiment

I moved all my TBC classic materials and 1000 gold to a new banker. Then I started posting all my materials and spending as much gold as I could on materials. I have recorded all 9 sessions I’ve done so far. I tracked my gold, AH value, sales and time spent.

I only logged in once per day, and I have slacked off and not even done it every day, but we do have 9 log-ins worth of data.

Time spent

A session which included shopping and reposting would take between 5 and 11 minutes. 11 was the typical time when I was actually doing a lot of shopping, and the AH throttle will really kill your time efficiency, so picking big stacks is necessary.

10 minutes for a full round per day is pretty nice, and you do not have to do this every day, so the overall time commitment is low. The obvious flip side is that you can’t really effectively increase your intensity either, which limits the top end potential.

The results

In the graph above we see my gold, AH value and the sum of my gold and AH value over the 9 days. We can see that things went flat for a while, and then it exploded upwards. My sales per day, shown below also followed a similar type of trajectory, hitting some nice peaks on the last to days. In the middle I did have a day where I ran out of gold to repost my auctions, that’s the dip in total value, where a lot of my stuff was just sitting in my inventory.

Overall on day 9, I was back to 800 gold and 4200 gold posted on the AH, where I started with 1000 gold and 2365 gold worth of auctions. (and I made an incredibly costly mistake with some Khorium bars that have outrageous deposit costs, so never flip those)!

Break even takes 2 weeks

Breaking even if you start out will take at least two weeks. This is a market where you can easily find enough deals to max out when sitting at 800 gold. Getting to where you make more gold in sales than you can find in deals will take a little while. I’m not actually quite there, as I can find more deals, but the AH throttle would kill my time efficiency.

Time efficient?

According to my TSM resale summary I have made a profit of about 684 gold on the materials I have bought and sold over these 9 days. I have spent a total of 77.5 minutes logged in. That would imply a gold per hour of about 530 gold so far. I think I can push that up, and I will continue to record my results, but so far this is looking pretty good from a time efficiency point of view, as 500 gold per hour is good gold.

Best materials

Here is my resale summary, and we can see two materials really stood out for me. Thick Clefthoof Leather and Fel Iron Bars. Some of this is of course what you can find cheaply. Overall I really like enchanting materials and herbs, as the low or non-existent deposit costs really helps out. Leather is also good, at least TBC level materials. Cloth is generally not profitable as the price is too low relative to the vendor cost.

Overall my favorite categories are: Herbs, enchanting materials, TBC era leather, Bars, Ore and cooking materials. This is a wide group and will give you a ton of potential items to flip.


Material flipping seems to me to be well worth the time. It’s an incredibly easy way to spend 10 minutes generating very good profits every day. I’d grab my TSM settings and get going!

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