Making money on Medivh, part 2: Buy, buy, buy!

My early money-making efforts on Medivh revolved primarily around buying cheap vendor-sold pets/profession recipes/shirts and re-selling them for major profit. This is always a nice, safe tactic, and it's great for starting out since it requires almost zero initial funds. Those Hawk Owls and Horned Owls were netting me an easy 30-35g profit for a week or so.

However, this method of making money has some definite flaws. The problem with reselling vendor items is that anyone else can easily do it, and the market can crash very quickly. Therefore it's a good idea to have multiple methods of generating revenue.

In a week these went from 35g to 12g. Still a nice profit, but we want more!

So what did I do after accumulating a comfortable chunk of wealth? I started spending.

The easiest way to make easy, no-effort cash is by snatching up bargain auctions and then re-selling them for a higher amount. It's a simple concept, but it does require a bit of market awareness and knowledge about current "average" prices. Now, I don't mean that you need to know precisely how much a single Elementium Bar costs, down to the silver. But it's good to know the approximate cost for current-content resources: ores, cloth, enchanting materials, herbs, food, etc. Anything useful to endgame raiders, because they're often the ones who will buy your auctions rather than farm it themselves.

There's many addons that well help you accomplish this. Auctioneer will do the dirty work for you and keep track of price histories for all items (as well as doing much more), while Auctionator lets you immediately look up an item and see all currently-listed auctions for easy price comparisons. But even without addons, you should be able to mentally keep track of a few dozen or so general price norms.

I touched on this last time, when I bought two stacks of Deepsea Sagefish for a total of 36g. I knew these fish were very desired for endgame buff food, and a quick check against other currently-listed fish verified my hunch. Within a day of re-listing, this was the result:

Both stacks of fish sold for 160g, as expected. Easy, easy profit.

Another great example is Embersilk Cloth, which is always in high demand due to Tailoring and First Aid. I won a stack for around 40s, and turned around and sold it for 40g.

Somewhere, a Tailor is crying. Despair...so delicious...

The most significant drawback of buying cheap auctions for immediate resale is, of course, reliability. A server's economy can be wildly unpredictable and erratic. You could go days, weeks, months even without ever seeing a bargain buyout auction or being able to nab a last-minute cheap bid win. And sometimes items will randomly skyrocket or plummet in price without any warning. Sometimes it works in your favor (see picture below), while at other times it leaves you high and dry. It's really a matter of luck and how many other alert auctioneers are active on your server.

I've been selling these for 1g, but they suddenly skyrocketed! I'm not complaining. (Sebastien is me.)


Aside: the Neutral Auction House

While we're talking about luck, another tactic you may wish to try is getting a character (any level) to a neutral Auction House and giving them 20g or so. Every now and then, check the neutral AH's cheapest auctions. 99% of the time it will be crap, like a billion pages of The Green Hills of Stranglethorn. But if you're extremely lucky, you'll check the AH just as someone is transferring an item between factions.

Seize the moment! People transferring between factions often list the item for 1c or 1s buyout, to ensure that their alt or friend on the other side will be able to immediately find it by searching for the cheapest price. This is a fatal mistake. If you see a Blue or Purple quality item or a stack of ANYTHING on the neutral AH for under 10s, buy it immediately! If it's complete junk, oh well - you're out 10s. But if it really was a transfer, you've just scored huge. If they're taking the time and effort to transfer something, it's something valuable! For example, one of the most commonly transferred items are the faction-specific Trial of the Champion vanity pets, which will ALWAYS sell for outrageous prices on the opposite side.

If you do happen upon a transfer in action, grab the auction and then immediately refresh the AH and check again. If the person transferring items is sloppy and/or careless, you might be able to grab a bunch of auctions before they catch on. Back in TBC, I once grabbed over a dozen stacks of endgame ores (Adamantite and Khorium! $$$) because the seller wasn't paying attention and didn't realize what was happening.

Now, you may not be comfortable with this, especially if the person messages you requesting the items back. This is a personal decision that you have to decide for yourself. However, every time I've nabbed someone's items their immediate reaction was furious swearing and frothing at the mouth, which made my decision to laugh in their face and ignore their protests much easier. Also, you can safely ignore any threats that they are going to report you or have you banned. You did nothing wrong and are completely safe. Of course, they might hold a grudge and harass your character, and there's nothing you can do about that. Which is why I recommend doing this on an anonymous, unassociated-with-your-main alt.

I've probably caught about 5-6 transfers in progress, the biggest score being the above-mentioned ore cache. (I've also lost an item once while transferring, much to my chagrin! But that's a different story.) It's all luck, but the payoff can be huge. And the time expenditure is minimal, with zero financial risk.


Finding good deals is nice, but it shouldn't be your only tool or else you'll end up at the mercy of the tumultuous economy. Sometimes there's just not any bargains to be found! But you can still rake in easy profit if you know what to look for - namely, items that you can convert into other, more profitable goods.

Sound complicated? It's really not. Remember how I love mass-producing Strange Dust for quick startup funds? It's just this concept, on a more expensive scale.

With Strange Dust, the math is extremely basic:
• Strange Dust generally sells for around 25s each (sometimes more, but 25s minimum)
• A level 16-20 green-quality armor piece disenchants into 4-6 Strange Dusts.
• There's almost always a ton of level 16-20 greens available for under 50s.

There's limitless possibilities. Consider what professions you have available to you, and utilize them! You're a Jewelcrafter? Look for cheap ore and crush it into valuable gems, then sell the gems or make rings to vendor/disenchant. You're an Enchanter? Grab some cheap enchanting mats and make some +stat scrolls and sell them! A Cook? Buy cheap uncooked fish/meat, turn it into nice tasty buff food, and sell for double, even triple the initial cost.

An example: On my home server I regularly buy cheap stacks of Cataclysm ore and prospect it all into mass amounts of gems. I save the green/blue/purple gems for the Jewelcrafting dailies (I have two Jewelcrafters, so they get used up quickly), and craft the orange/yellow gems into amulets, which I then disenchant or sell on the AH. My friend, who also does this, uses his Alchemist to transmute the red gems into Inferno Rubies, but I prefer to craft them into Carnelian Spikes, which get disenchanted into 2-3 Greater Celestial Essences. I then turn each of those into 3 Lesser Celestial Essences, and create scrolls of Enchant Chest: Mighty Stats for 2 Lessers apiece, which sell very nicely.

Now on Medivh, I'm at a disadvantage. I'm only level 14. I can't convert anything valuable yet. Compared to my home server, where I have access to basically every profession, it limits my options.

However, you can always ask others for help! I turned to fellow Waypointer Liala of Disciplinary Action and her wonderful high-level Enchanting skill for assistance, but you could easily ask about in Trade and find someone who will crush ore/disenchant items/whatever for a small fee.

There's an Enchanting perk called Abyssal Shatter, which breaks an Abyss Crystal (created from disenchanting a WotLK epic-quality item) down into (if I remember correctly) 5-10 Infinite Dusts or 3-5 Greater Cosmic Essences. There's no cooldown on this ability, nor does it cost anything extra. It's a perfect method of converting for profit.


I checked out Abyss Crystal prices and was pleasantly surprised, seeing a few stacks at 6g50s per crystal. I then looked at Infinite Dust and Greater Cosmic Essences and grinned. The Dusts were steady at 2-3g each,and the Essences, 10-12g each. I think you can do the math here. This was huge profit potential.

Two stacks of shattered Abyss Crystals, thanks to Liala. :D

I bought both stacks (260g total cost) and got Liala to pulverize them for me. (I'll have to get her a gift in thanks! Maybe a blizzard from DQ or some day-old wine, or something.) Even if the mats sold for bare minimum - say 2g for dusts, 10g for essences - I'd still come out way ahead. But I figured I could charge a little more and still successfully sell them.

And what do you know? I was right.



Simplicity itself.

My next test will be to see if I can do this without the help of a friend. I'm going to dip into Medivh Trade and see if I can find a Tailor to help me turn these:


...into these: (one stack of cloth = one bag).

9 Responses Subscribe to comments

  1. gravatar
    koalabear

    I've been working the netherweave cloth/netherweave bag route for a while. On my server it spikes so much.

    I had prepared for Cata with a large stockpile. I was even selling the bags for 45g a pop and getting the cloth for 5-6g.

    Shortly after Cata launched the market got bloated and prices for bags dropped down to 10-12g with cloth skyrocketing to 20-25g a stack.

    It has just now gotten back to normal somewhat. Bags are back to 18-20g and cloth is around 5-6g.

    Speaking of the Neutral AH transfer stuff. I managed to score 16 Primal Saronites for 1 copper AND a bunch of epic gems for 1 copper each.

    I rode that high for months!

    March 8, 2011 at 1:23 PM

  2. gravatar
    TheGrumpyElf

    These are some good ideas.

    One of the simple ones that works with enchanting materials is the greater and lesser break downs.

    One greater is 3 lesser.

    No matter which level of lesser/greater it is it always seems the a greater sell for slightly more then one lesser.

    Buy greaters, break them into 3, sell as lessers. Make more then double the money with no work really needed, extremely limited time spent and no skill leveling required at all.

    Other great ones, if you have the skills, is buying and crafting.

    On my server I can buy mageweave for a song. Bolts of mageweave sell for 60 gold a stack. I spend 60 gold on stacks of cloth, turn them into bolts, sell 4 stacks of bolts. Make 240 from spending 60. Limited time invested.

    Same works for buying ore and selling bars. Buying herbs and selling inks. Etc. Not big numbers at its base but if you spent one hour doing things like this you can easily make enough money that you can buy anything you want.

    Infinite dust is 150g per stack on my server. So buying cloth, leather, ore, etc, to craft and disenchant is pure profit at it's fullest extent. Heck, buying greens even works.

    Glad I still have nearly an entire guild bank tab full of infinite dusts. I sell all week long and am always making money with them hand over fist without even trying and being I still quest in LK content I am still getting more materials to sell all the time.

    March 9, 2011 at 5:25 AM

  3. gravatar
    Anonymous

    I made a bunch of seed money on a new server recently by the crystallized/eternal swap - buy up crystallized Northrend mats, convert to Eternals, relist and profit. Not huge volume, but a satisfying niche.

    March 9, 2011 at 8:17 AM

  4. gravatar
    Rades

    Greater/Lesser Essence and Crystallized/Eternal switching are GREAT examples of easy money-making! Particularly since you can be a level 1 and do it. Probably one of the purest forms of raw profit out there. :D (I like the Essences especially, since as enchanting mats their listing prices are a mere silver. ;D)

    March 9, 2011 at 9:03 AM

  5. gravatar
    Carlos

    I'm really enjoying reading everything you're doing to earn gold at low levels. It's fun :B

    I'll definitely keep checking your blog every once in a while.

    Kudos!

    March 9, 2011 at 7:34 PM

  6. gravatar
    Redbeard

    Given the Netherweave Bag trade, it's much more profitable than the Frostweave. The time involved for the Netherweave is minimal compared to the Frostweave, and Netherweave Bags are a great price point for just about any toon starting off.

    I just want to know where the hell you're finding Embersilk for 40s. That had to be a goof on someone's part.

    March 9, 2011 at 7:37 PM

  7. gravatar
    Kayeri

    I'm kind of disappointed that you would advocate disrupting the transfer of items cross-faction. I had a friend who was doing this for a badly needed upgrade and was left out the gold she invested to get that item. It's a huge investment to get something cross-faction like that and the loss can be devastating to the person. Sure, the letter of the rules may allow it, but it is extremely rude and very disrespectful to the person who took such steps to secure the item.

    March 10, 2011 at 7:04 AM

  8. gravatar
    Rades

    @Red - The Embersilk purchase was a winning bid! Sniped at the last minute. Gotta love finds like that!

    @Kayeri - Like I said, using the neutral AH like this definitely isn't for everyone. I think many people wouldn't be comfortable with profiting from someone else's misfortune. But I'm just putting it out there as a possible option, and as advice for people who want to AVOID this happening to them.

    I really believe that the Auction House is WoW's hidden form of PVP. It can be a cruel and cutthroat world! That being said, I don't like being a jerk to people. If I grabbed someone's items and they messaged me earnestly and politely, and made me feel sorry for them, I would probably give them the items back. But every time this has happened, the person has flown into a rage and cursed me out, threatened me, and been as unpleasant a person as you could possible imagine. So I felt no shame or guilt in capitalizing on that type of person's grief.

    I've also lost a transfer item in this manner. And even though I was quite familiar with the risks, it still burned me up. But that's also why I now list items for 10s instead of 1c - so they don't show up at the top of the page when you search for cheapest item. Even if you don't want to ever try this tactic, knowing how to defeat/avoid it might be useful.

    Really, it's like leaving a $20 bill under a rock on the sidewalk for your friend. If someone else happens to come across it first and takes it, well...it was fair game. Sure, it'd be nice if they looked for the proper owner, and it'd say a lot about their character were they to do so. But you can't really fault someone for gladly taking a freebie when it's so eagerly presented to them.

    March 10, 2011 at 9:34 AM

  9. gravatar
    Rhii

    Every time I've done a cross faction transfer item I've listed it at a nice high price to avoid being sniped. The highest price I could be sure the person on the other side could pay. So say, I've got a primordial saronite ready to go, I list it for 800g. Someone might snipe it because that's still cheap, but probably not.

    Then, after the successful transfer, the person on the other side lists a pair of lowbie linen boots or something for 900g. I buy them, and the person is repaid, plus tip! Voila, safe(r) transfer.

    March 11, 2011 at 11:04 AM