There are countless strategies to make gold in World of Warcraft. This is mine.
There was a time where I had to consider every purchase I did on the auction house, if it was an investment I could afford or not. At some point I raided so much that I had to fly around in weekends picking terocone to fuel myself with elixirs. It was around this time I encountered my first money-making scheme; selling ZA-bears to randoms.
I had an extremely strong Sunwell-geared resto druid that could easily soloheal ZA. I had a friend who multiboxed 5 elemental shamans, and we had 3 other friends with us. 5 people, 10 characters, 1 buyer, 30 minute run – twice/week. This made me so much gold that I didn’t think about it before Lich King died.
Then i was broke again, and I decided that this is the last time.
I sold 30 something saronite thingys from ICC for a starter capital of approx 20.000g and started reading on interwebs for tips and tricks. I have never bought one of those stupid guides, they are just outright scam, or just common sense written down in PDF for you. Pointless either way.
I quickly learned that professions are the key to steady income, storage space and stockpiling increase the power of your punch, flipping is casino, farming is a big no-no, and competition can not be exterminated.
And addons. They are important.
Long story shortened: Lunchmoney Enterprises has now grown to a business spanning 11 characters with 22 professions, fielding an 8-tab guild bank for shared storage. Current working capital pr. 1.1.2014 is about 3.6 million.
All 11 characters have their own important role in Lunchmoney Enterprises, and some of them actually play the game as well (raid). Those characters should not be hampered by being in the business, but with a little planning that can be worked around. This is how my workforce looks like:
I want to have all professions covered, and professions with recipes requiring raids/rep etc should be on characters that will be more likely to be leveled and played. The goal is also to have as many alchemy transmutes as possible.
So, my priest is my raiding main – and alchemy sucks for raiding, so I use engineering because it rocks, and enchanting because I like to be able to DE stuff on the character i play the most – and the profession bonuses here are as good as the others. My priest also has maxed cooking and fishing, if there are some recipes to profit from in that department.
For the others, there is really no reason to have 2 non-alchemy professions on the same character, so all of them learn alchemy for transmute. I keep 1 potion and 1 elixir master for completeness – and one of those two is also given Inscription, to keep the distribution of herbs to a minimum. Preferably the potion master, but in my case it’s the elixir master.
Blacksmithing on the plate death knight, leatherworking on the leather shaman, and tailoring on the cloth mage – because it makes sense. Jewelcrafting is left for my druid for no particular reason other than him having had it for some years.
Smelting is left to one of the lesser alts, as is Inscription. Prior to 5.4, an 85 scribe was as good as a 90 if you discount the aquisition of Spirits of Harmony, and post-5.4 I still don’t plan to sell glyphs due to the operational hassle vs. reward it gives.
With all professions covered, the rest are irrelevant. Herbalism and skinning has no practical value for me – since I don’t farm due to large working capital. Archaeology … well. Maybe later.
Logistics (Alliance view)
The 3 bankers are parked in Darnassus, due to the short distance between the mailbox and AH. Since they get mailed all the stuff they need, they don’t need daily access to bank and gbank. Darnassus is also deserted, lag-free, horde-free, and generally an awesome place to hang out.
The Janitor needs a bit more flex, so it should be stationed in Ironforge or Stormwind. I prefer Ironforge, but I think Stormwind is a bit shorter distance-wise.
The tailor needs his hearthstone set close to Imperial Silk hangout, so a mage is perfect for this due to the teleporting-abilties.
The smelter should be in Stormwind due to the short distance from mailbox to the forge. Forget Thermal Anvils, 5 minute duration does not cut it when smelting 1500 bars at a time.
The Guild Bank, 8 tabs x 7 rows x 14 columns = 784 itemslots.
I use this for some long-term storage of more valuable stuff (mounts, lightbringer tabards), and as a general buffer for professions that sometimes bloat a bit. While shuffling the guild bank is nice to have to offload rare gems etc, or temporary storage for common ones before you proceed making jewellery of them.
Whatever way you look at it, 784 slots accessable by all your characters is pretty awesome. I once bought this guild for 250.000g, primarily because it had the Stay Classy guild achievement, which is the major roadblock to getting the 8th tab. Even raiding guilds have a hard time with that one.
I used to keep 1 million gold in the guild bank for repairs and stuff, but after TSM_Accounting I had to withdraw it to make it show up on the graph.
Profession-spesific materials I try to keep in the respective characters banks. Some have less available, and some need more than others – so it’s nice to have the guild bank to offset this.
Different markets may have different strategies, but generally – as a business – Lunchmoney Enterprises follows a few general guidlines:
- Efficiency. Streamline everything to require the least amount of upkeep. TSM 2 is the biggest contributor here.
- Stockpile huge. Do you think Wal-Mart buy stuff by the hundreds? No, think bigger. LE can blow 2-300.000g on shopping in a single sitting if its required. Don’t run out of stuff, that’s for amateurs.
- Diversify. Focus primarily on professions, as that’s generally easiest to streamline and gives steady returns. Try to aquire recipes that you could profit from.
- Accept losses and close doors. Some items eventually stops selling. It’s bad being stuck with a large stockpile, but its even worse if that stockpile clogs up your bankers for months to come. Write off the losses and move on. Have the janitor take the trash out.
- Audit yourself. Don’t think you can keep up with your operation when it grows past a certain point. Use the tools available to discover new markets and discard old ones.
- Money doesn’t grow on trees, but it grows on money! Same goes for gold. Put that capital to use, don’t keep it in your bank just to look at. There are no interest rates on WoW savings.
- Prioritize. Certain activities yields far greater gold/effort than others, and they should get focus first. Farting around with flipping, shuffling, and discovering new markets is done after proper upkeep is done.
- Timing. Try to post at least before and after raid-time every day. My own raids start 19, so I usually have posted once or twice by then. Then I do one after, before bed-time. I’m @ work during daytime, so I am not posting then.
- Size is king. I accept low or even negative margins in a market for a while if it makes competition demotivated. If someone tries to buy me out, I feed them until they chicken out.
You can’t get rid of competition, but you can outgrow them. My goal is never to antagonize or make other people angry, because someone focusing all their efforts causing mischief on the AH can actually hurt you for as long as they choose to dedicate their lives to doing so. Short-term, of course.
No, I try to demotivate them. I show them that I just don’t give a flying fart if they think my pandaren’s step is 30g lower than it should be.
Try to buy me out? Get your wallet out, an endless supply is coming your way.
Demotivation works best, crush the little guys. Ignore the big guys, the laws of the marketplace applies anyway.