Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Where to start?

Kammler recently wrote that it seems most of us are writing mostly for each other. In other words each entry is more of an "advanced only" level of understanding and doesn't offer much in the way of help for anybody really getting into (or back into) the AH game. Lets be honest, if you read my last 10 gold posts you won't really know what I'm going on about more often than not if you aren't already experienced in it to some degree.

Today I'm going to give a handful of tips for people that already are familiar with the AH game, but only on a smaller scale. So if you're literally just starting out this will be useful to you, but still requires a small amount of knowledge of the AH game. Or if you happen to just be returning to the game this will be perfect. The idea here is to write up something that can be useful now and not something that requires large amounts of planning ahead.

If you're already having success working your market of choice but want to improve how well you run it or just want to expand, read on. I will be covering not only what to do, but how and why as well. Note that the how's and the why's are the most important in the long term, but the what's are the things that you can do now to make gold now. Now mind you, I'm not going to say go sell this and that because if you haven't figured out that you should sell something, I'd venture that you're beyond help. If you need some suggestions on things that are profitable, check out the list. It has everything that I sell for a profit, just pick something that you can craft and see if you can turn a profit on your server with it.

Diversity is king.
Getting the most obvious out of the way first. More markets means more gold. Period. You want to have access to as many different crafting professions as possible so that no matter what happens to one market you'll have another to fall back on. Right now the best ones to have are JC, enchanting, and xmute spec alchemy. JC does the shuffle, alchemy makes the meta gems, and enchanting is plain awesome on it's own in addition to having a place in the shuffle. Do note though that currently, alchemy is 99% worthless if you don't have access to meta gem cuts from JC.

Patience is a virtue.
When supply starts to thin out, don't jump ship immediately or raise your buying price just yet. Give it a day or three to see if it returns or evens out and you can save a lot of gold.

The hardest part of making gold is not spending it.
I think that about sums it all up. You may read of other big time AH barons talking about buying 40 boe epics for their alts off spec and donating 200k into their guild bank from time to time. I know I'm guilty of doing my (more than) fair share of wasteful spending on stupid things I don't need. The simple version is this: you are not us. You do not have a million gold to throw around as you please.

Don't take this as an insult because it's not, just something very important that you need to realize. If you want to make gold for the 100 mounts achievement then go for it. Just don't spend your bank total of 50k on three mounts because then you'll only have to start all over from the beginning. And starting up is the hardest part. Spend your money as you wish, but spend it wisely and always keep a decent sized reserve to keep making more.

Keep learning more.
Obvious point is obvious. The more you know and the more you learn, the more you can open up new markets and gold making opportunities that you didn't have before. If you're reading this, you're already in the right place.

Above all else, know your resources. Check out all of the gold blogs out there, a lot of them either have a list of everything they sell or talk once a week on what has been selling well for them. Look into them and pick out what you're able to craft. Then go through the AH and see if there is any profit to be had for you in that market.

Craft everything.
Once you have a decent amount of gold saved up, you can start to invest into certain items that have high profit margins but low rates of sales. Not necessarily things like a mechano hog as that's a very large investment, but things like twink enchant scrolls or crafted mini pets. These different niche markets all sell consistently for great profits but they tend to take a while to go through. But when somebody with a lot of loose cash is looking around for a mini fel reaver, don't you think that it should be you selling it to them?

Take it one day at a time.
If you're low on gold and you can't bank roll a massive stokpile and the ability to plan ahead this is what you really have to do. Only buy materials as you need them to craft only what will be turning a profit today and tomorrow, not next week sometime. This is the best way that you can save up money and avoid investing in the wrong thing at the wrong time.

The main idea here is to keep making gold in multiple markets without extending yourself too much. If you only have 20k or so then the last thing you want to do is invest 20k into enchanting mats. Even though you'll eventually make a profit on them, all of your other markets will come to a halt because you can't fund them any longer. This will also give you the added benefit of learning your markets inside and out which is absolutely imperative for when you really want to go big.

Profits margins > big sales.
When deciding on what to sell always go with the highest profit margins. That is, the total sale minus the price you spent on materials. If you buy a raw gem for 50g and sell it for 60, that's a 10g profit margin so you would be better off selling a 10g gem for only 30. This is the best way for you to start off when picking a market.

Farming is not free!
This is something that you need to get in your head right now. Here's a link to a perfectly written post by Gevlon that sums it up completely. If you do not agree with this or are just unable to get through to yourself that the flower you just picked up is not worth zero gold then there is no way that you'll ever get a decent amount of gold together without spending your entire week farming. Fact. I cannot emphasize this enough, everything has a price even if you didn't pay it. The point of playing the AH is so that you don't have to work at a very boring and repetitive task for 5 hours for a meager 400 gold. And if you want to counter with "well I didn't spend any gold to get it so how is it not free" you are still wrong. You're wrong, wrong, WRONG!

Thanks for stopping by!


  1. Nice post. I think these points are all excellent for new AH players to learn right at the start. They are also helpful for more experienced but still fledgling goblins.

    I'm not sure about Stede's post you referenced, but I did one in April about how bloggers seem to write for each other. My April 15 challenge to help newbies only had one submission other than mine, and it was from you. Muchas Gracias mi amigo!

    New content brings new players--4.1 has already seemed to drive up the number of beginners on my server, and I'm sure 4.2 will as well. I'm not sure why this is--the content is for high end raiders. Maybe they get more excited and talk it up, so friends and family pile on?

    In any event, great tips and thanks for always providing great content.

  2. IMO don't feel too obligated to change your posting style if you want to attract new players. You were definitely my "gateway" blogger, I read yours for weeks before discovering any others. I didn't understand everything you talked about, and some of it I did but just wasn't in a position to be able to do the same things.

    I guess I feel that if someone needs dumbed down gold strategies they won't get very far in the gold game as it is; the point is to read even the most advanced of strategies and think "How can I apply this to my setup?"

    Anyways, regardless of how your write or who your target audience is, I'll always love your blog. :)

  3. Kammler and Faid, both make solid points...

    First I add in to any reasonable gold making. Choose your Systems... ADDONS... Time is money friend and they can save HUGE volumes of time after the initial setup investment and then the occasional maintenance session...

    What do C.S. Lewis and Stephen King have in common? They are autors, and they have an audience.. but their material is hugely different, and in many cases so are their READERS...

    And thats the point, their READERS.. they go find the books, and READ THEM... I

    MO the Non AH players or beginners are not reading on our blogs.. they are not reading ANYTHING about the game unless its happens to catch their eye in guild chat.

    Anyway, Not sure who the post was, but I Know I commented somewhere and maybe even made a post about "Our" collective Audience as well as writing to them... We, the gold bloggers write about what we do.. by doin that we all have grown our audience... To overly change what you write about, I have to question why I started writing, and why I changed and then the questions of the audience and loyalty and then do I really care anyway... NOT really...

    GREAT POST THOUGH... one off on a tangent... an introductory or portal post, a gateway or tip of the spear post... of sorts... I love you for that, its interesting, refreshing and different. Short sweet and to the point... and just one post... :-)

  4. I'm pretty certain that at least 75% of my readers are the other gold bloggers... So I definitely agree. I personally, don't believe that the blogging platform lends itself well to hand-holding and "dumbing" things down, which is why I don't really write that way. I'm sure there are a number of people that don't really understand the implications of some of my posts, but I've tried to make sure I point them in the right direction.

    As far as Stokpile is concerned, I would tend to agree with what has been written already - the people who read your blog are here to read what you already write. If they were looking for something else, they would have gone somewhere else. So, if you are looking to diversify your readership, that's fair, I would just be cautious of not alienating the people who are already here. Make sense?

  5. @ Kammler
    Thank you! It must have been your post that I was thinking of. As I said earlier, I could be wrong I just remembered the subject matter.


    @ Faid

    Though it's not trying to dumb it down, it's more like giving the essential theory first so that when we write about the advanced pricing theory it's a lot easier for them to grasp it. Not due to stupidity but inexperience. You have to understand addition to understand multiplication and that sort of thing.

    I don't intend to change my style what so ever. But what I write I want to be useful as well as entertaining, hence a few posts here and there for beginners.

    And my target audience is anybody that happens to stumble upon my humble home here on the interwebs.

    @ Achieve
    A beginners post always has a use to the AH baron as there's a ton of small little details that you lose sight of as they become less necessary which can bring a fresh breath of air into your fun on the AH. That as as I mentioned earlier, My audience is anybody that comes here. They may not understand everything, but merely by being here they're in the right place so I do what I can to enlighten them in practical ways.

    @ Kathroman
    I agree. I'm not changing what I write about, I talk about making the wow gold. For science! Who do I write for isn't going to change either, people that have a legit interest in making gold and want to learn more. You can ask any friends that I have on game and they'll tell you flat out that hand holding is the last thing I'll do. The only "expansion" this blog will ever get is what I get from other readers and bloggers talking about me.

    I'm not writing for the total newbie and giving a 2 sentence tip and calling that content like the most popular blogs out there. That's why they're popular, they write for the largest audience: the clueless.

    I just write for myself, not for the readers per sé. If you like the blog great! After all, this entire thing started for fun with zero desire to become "successful" at it. And even if nobody reads a single thing I say I'll still be around for as long as I play wow.

  6. Also as a general purpose response, I'm definitely feeling the love here. The short version fo every comment thus far has been "we love hwo and what you write now, don't change that dammit!"

    Don't worry, I don't intend to. The day I write for people that are convinced farming is free is the day I'm making so much of ad space that I won't give a shit.

    And since I gave Marcko essentially a "fuck no" about the whole coaching nonsense he has going on I don't see that happening any time soon.

    So rest assured dear readers, Stokpile will remain his angry gold making self until the end of time. I'll always be pissed off at someone or something and talk to you all about how to make a profit from it!

    ...and I'll always be well dressed and love all things shiny of course.

  7. very nice article...any recommendations for a TSM start-up article/guide? That goddamn addon confuses the ever loving shit out of me. Having said that, considering I am in about 6 different markets at any given time, I see the necessity of it - I'm just too fail to figure it out. Any TSM for idiots guides you guys know of?

  8. I love this post. I'm about halfway to my second cap, and I don't feel at all like this is dumbing anything down. I think it's great to summarize on occassion, as it helps to refocus on the big picture. For example, I sometimes get caught up in trying to dominate something specific (i.e. Chocolate Cookies, or crafted PvP gear), and forget to maintain my diversity. I might have made 5k on cookies since 4.1, but in the big picture, that's a very small percentage. The profit margin point is also very valuable, and something I am not always cognizant of. (I spent a bunch of gold on shadowspirits last night, realizing later that my low threshold on the cut gems was really only about 10% more than what I was paying. These reminders are short and sweet, and pretty basic, but they are still excellent.

    As for gold blogging in general, I was first introduced to the gold blogs by two blogs that I never read anymore -- one because he's just an egomaniac who rarely blogs about gold anymore, and the other because the tips are often just one liners about something supposedly obscure, or are advertisements or summaries about a blogcast or meeting that I am never going to listen to.

    Your site, on the other hand, is valuable every day (even today), and it's the first (and occasionally only) blog I read religiously. I was very bummed when you stopped blogging for a while before Cataclysm. I just hope that your 3rd million keeps you interested in WoW long enough to keep you blogging! :)

    @Wahlmart - Alto (I think) once started to create a guide on TSM, and after he was most of the way done with it, he realized there's a PDF created by the TSM developers, which is copied into the Interface folder for TSM. It's actually pretty good! I'd start there if you're having a hard time getting started with TSM.

  9. @ Wahlmart
    Check out trading with zoxy. They have a very well done guide on how to set it up and use it. I'm fairly sure it's a video guide as well which is awesome.

    @ Michael
    Thanks a ton for all the kind words. And I'll still be around having fun on the AH until Blizz remakes kara. The main reason I left the game during wrath is that it was so face roll simple that even raiding wasn't fun because there were 2 good guilds on the server and that was it.

    Good point on the summary part, I hadn't thought of it that way before. The short basic tips that I give do serve as a friendly reminder to the accomplished AH player as well as a great starting point for anybody that's new.

    I do try to keep my writing as diverse as my markets.

  10. I just wanted to say 'I agree' to almost everything ahead of me! lol But I do have a proviso - I'm making good gold & don't need beginner tips per se but I've stumbled into it & worked a lot of things out for myself. This means that I don't necessarily have the underlying theory worked out or even understand completely what I'm doing so theory type posts for novices will probably help me a lot too.

    Stokpile, you know I love your posts even if I do get a bit lost sometimes :) I keep coming back & reading older posts just to see if the light bulb pops for me on a 2nd or 3rd read! Not that your posts are difficult to understand or anything, just me not getting my head around stuff.

    @Wahlman I did a 2 part post on TSM for glyphs if that is your interest but it was Zoxy that got me going so I recommend his guide too :)

  11. Your blog is entertaining to say the least and I love to be entertained.
    So just be yourself, and do what you love to do,and do it for you, for no one else and in the end all will work out.
    If you do not like what you write,there is no point and keep doing it right?

    Best regards