Material flipping is one of the most consistent goldmaking methods in the game, and it works especially well in TBC, as the old classic AH is fantastic for this method.
Get the basics right
Flipping materials is all about taking advantage of players laziness and the weekly reset cycle. You want to buy materials when they are cheap and in various small and weird stack sizes, then repost them at a slight overcut in nice even large stacks making them easy to buy and use.
What materials work well?
The main things you are looking for is a low deposit cost and high sales volume. Herbs and enchanting materials are usually some of the best options, particularly as the price and demand usually very closely follows the weekly reset cycle. Demand is highest after raids reset and the deposit cost is low. Herbs in particular are used in massive volumes by alchemists, making them very attractive. Ores, primals and most other materials can also work well, it all depends on the server, although Netherweave cloth is usually too close in price to the vendor price, making the deposit cost too high.
Make your gold when you buy
It is imperative that you make the right purchase decisions if you want to be profitable in this market. The screenshot below shows a result list for Khorium ore. This is in theory a great opportunity, as there is some good volume in weird stacks, and then a large gap up from 2.6 to 3.6 gold just after buying out everything below the maximum shopping price.
The next screenshot shows the results page for herbs. Here there’s just one herb to consider in the Ancient Lichen. Everything else is sadly too expensive and we will just ignore those.
You don’t have to be cheapest
You can often get sales without being the cheapest one on the AH with materials. Materials are usually bought in bulks, and the price can change quickly. In addition to this players will often prefer to pay slightly more for larger more even stacks to get the items they need as quickly as possible. This makes it fantastic to flip materials at volume as you can store it on the AH until you get sales. I’ve done this very successfully with vision dust so far in TBCC, but you will also be able to do it with TBC era materials.
My TSM setup for material flipping is the most fire and forget ever. It has remained virtually unchanged for years and it works very well. You focus on buying anything that shows up at less than 100% when you run the shopping scan included. Then you repost the items. The idea is to buy at less than 80% of the market value, and post items at full market value.
Good luck and happy goldmaking!