Avoiding Some Pitfalls of Flipping

A thank you to Vahdis for actually starting this discussion with a fellow WoW Economy & TSM discord member, it’s what spurred on the motivation for this post.

Continuing this week with our discussion about battle pets – let’s take a look at one of the pitfalls that potential gold making goblins can fall into.

In the screenshot above, you’ll see a search for ‘Emerald whelpling’ – and there are two different items that show up, because they’re identified by two different ID in game. One, is the uncaged version of the battle pet (the first one), and the others below are the caged version. Collection wise there is nothing different about these pets unless you’re going after a specific breed because you can’t see the breed of the one that has never been caged before. It ‘looks’ like a better deal on paper, because there have been so few for sale. How to tell? When you mouse over a pet it will show stats like level and breed. When you mouse over an uncaged pet it will say use: teaches you how to summon this companion.

When you’re looking at deals on the auction house for potential flips, you have to keep things like this in mind. What might SEEM like a great deal, might not actually be one.

Another tool in deciding which items might be actual deals to flip and which ones may not is the addon AllTheThings (ATT). This addon will tell you where the item comes from and more importantly, it will tell you what items out there have the same look. If there’s a long list of similar looking items, chances are, you don’t want to take a chance on flipping it.

Take the replica armour above. You can see that it comes from the Darkmoon Faire, that there are four other items that have the same graphic – but – that red icon in the front of their names means those items have been removed from the game. Currently, nothing else shares the same graphic.

Finally, spend some time lurking around other goblins. I highly recommend joining the WoW Economy & TSM discord as well as the Reddit, and just observing for a while. See what others are selling, what people are avoiding, and learn to formulate your own lists on what you value and don’t for your own servers. If you have questions, try using the search function first to see if anyone else has already asked. Chances are, they have, and there’s a nice answer just waiting for you.

Remember that making gold isn’t filled with a lot of absolutes, so when you ask if ABC123 item will do well on your server, or what craft makes the most profit, or are looking for others to tell you specifics other gold makers are not trying to be elusive and coy. There are just a lot of variables to take into consideration, and what works and sells on one server may not work on another.

Unpopular Opinion – Why Gold Making Guides Work

Time to share an unpopular opinion – and it’s one we’ve all heard discussed time and time again in the WoW Economy discord. Lots of people have some pretty strong ideas about clickbait videos, guides, and other methods that streamers use to boost their views and get people looking at their content. You know the ones, “make 1,000,000 gold by doing this ONE thing!” Or “I sold two pieces of transmog and hit gold cap!” One gold maker in specific, Studen Albatroz, comes up almost every conversation – and my unpopular take is that his methods work – but not for the reason you might think.

I am a firm believer in raising your fellow gold makers up and being encouraged by them and using them as motivation and inspiration rather than seeing them as competition. When Studen came out with his gold making book, I bought it. I also support goblins on Patreon, I donate to TSM, and I support addon developers. I understand that not everyone can do this – but I can, and I believe in it, so I do. Anyway. I purchased his gold making book curious about whether or not it worked – and it absolutely does. You might not find it especially useful if you’re already an established gold maker, and yes, the information is definitely already out there for free if you’re going to go looking for it, but Studen offers something that is almost essential to any gold maker, and that I find beginner goblins tend to struggle with.

His book tells you specific goals to aim towards, and how long to work towards them. It gives people with zero direction a specific and detailed list of items/places to go, along with videos. We (as humans) spend so much time just wondering what we should do and how to spend our time. This book is a neat and tidy ‘to do’ list. Will everything sell? Heck no, but if you pick 30 farms out of the ones listed, SOMETHING is going to stick. It would be almost impossible to make ZERO gold by doing the suggested farms. Doing SOMETHING is almost always going to net you more gold than doing nothing. Some times, I spend a lot of time doing nothing.

That’s all there is to it. It’s not some magical theory that gold makers haven’t heard of. It’s simple good habits and organization. That’s why things like doing your mission tables, halfhill farms, and garrisons are popular methods of passive gold. They are habits and rituals built over time that reward you. Maybe not millions all at once, but slowly.

Obviously take videos and farms posted with a grain of salt – the chances of you making millions from a publicly posted RNG type farm are not guaranteed and with Blizzard cracking down on raw gold farms and vendor tricks at the end of BFA, you’re going to have to put in the effort to make gold this way. That doesn’t mean you should instantly discount everything, though. Eventually, something sticks.

Deep Dive – Flipping Pets

An easy entry level market to get into when it comes to making gold (and by easy, I mean relatively hands off) is selling battle pets. These items have a few things going for them – low auction house fees (1s per pet), and the ability to swap them easily between servers. There are tons of ways to profit from this method but here’s the details on mine. Before we get into it I have to note that selling pets is a SLOW market. You need a large stock to see a few sales each day. Some pets also sell better than others. Learning what pets are desirable would be considered your homework.

First, I’ve set myself up on a high/full population server where pets are pretty cheap because there’s tons of players. I use this server to purchase pets. I then scribe them, and bring them over to the two low population servers that I actually play on. I use a handful of addons to help make things easier. I use:

  • BattlePetCageMatch (used to cage pets, you can create all sorts of profiles and conditions to caging)
  • Rematch (used for actual pet battles, I get strategies from xu-fu listed below)
  • Rematch – TSM Pet Values (not required, but lets me see pet values from the journal UI)
  • tdBattlePetScript (used for actual pet battles, it’s a script that will run a fight with human input for each stage)
  • TradeskillMaster (used to actually put my pets for sale on the AH)

I also use Xu-Fu for pet battle strategies and to learn which pets might be used in popular fights.

I created a new profile in TSM and simply called it pets. Under general options, I have ‘filter group item list based on the following price source’ set to DBRegionMarketAvg. You can type /tsm sources to see what other pricing you can use for TSM, but the reason I use this is because it’s fairly static and will help me make sure that I buy pets for one price on one server and that price will remain close to the same on another server without having to manually check every purchase.

In my case, I don’t really worry too much about the price of pets, because while some people are sniping/flipping/buying the most expensive and sought after ones, I am doing the opposite. I buy all pets that display as 20% dbregionmarketavg or lower by typing /battle pets into the ‘search the auction house’ filter.

Some are a few silver, some a few gold. I look for specifics that are used in pet battles (I am an avid pet collector myself, so I have a pretty lengthily list) and I keep some variables in mind like ‘where does this pet come from’ so that I’m not purchasing pets that are going to continue to plummet. I also keep the server I’m transferring TO in mind – is there a lack of M+ being run, do some of these pets come from there, that sort of thing.

I then take these pets over to my home servers, and I level them up to 25. I do this for a few reasons but the base reason is because I don’t particularly enjoy shadowlands, and this is a really easy way for me to level my alts. It’s not fast, but it is easy.

Back in TSM, I have groups set up – one group for level 1 pets, and 1 group for level 25 pets. You can do this a few ways, you can manually add the pets you’ve purchased that are in your bags, or you can import pet strings. If you don’t know how to make groups in TSM there are tons of videos and instructions out there. Since this is a post about pet flipping and not the functions of TSM, I’ll save that for another time.

In the TSM operations tab I create a new operation for level 25 pets – and you can set your numbers at whatever you want, but ideally, you want to be earning MORE than you’ve paid for the pets – mine is set to 500g + 50% DBRegionMarketAvg as my minimum price. That means the least amount of gold I’ll accept for a pet when someone else has one listed (ie: I’m undercutting) is 500g plus 50% of the dbregionmarketavg. Since I buy my pets at 20% that’s a profit, plus I slap on the 500g for the pet being level 25. I adjust these values for maximum and normal price. Remember, NORMAL price is the price you will use when there are NO OTHER PETS that match for sale.

While I do these pet battles I also tend to get those little tokens that change the rarity of a pet, and using them can increase the value. Let’s take ikky, for example, a very popular pet to sell. The base pet is uncommon, using one of these tokens and boosting it to rare will up the value and the stats.

Once I’ve got an operation set up and assigned to my groups, it’s time to cage pets and put them for sale. I recently started using BattlePetCageMatch for this – the addon is fantastic. You can set options for caging, like only caging between a specific level, if you have more than one, and other nifty options.

I don’t like to do cancel scans, so I put my pets up for 12h at a time. I check them twice a day and just leave them to do their thing. There is of course competition out there, that’s just the nature of the game.

This method is NOT one you want to use to make hundreds of millions in gold – but it is fairly easy to get into and will give you a handful of gold here and there for what I consider to be very little effort. You could certainly expand on your pet flipping empire by looking for amazing deals, transferring the most expensive pets, branching into TCG pets, and using trade chat to find potential buyers instead of relying solely on the auction house. Whatever method you choose, I hope I’ve helped give you a little bit of information towards starting. Go out there and make some gold!

Welcome, World!

Goldmaking 101

I am no stranger to the world of gold making (or World of Warcraft, as it happens) and after much contemplation, I’ve decided to share my goblin thoughts with the world. I consider myself to be an incredibly casual player, and my hope is to show you that you don’t have to be any particular ‘type’ of goblin to make gold. Anyone can do it and you can be as casual or hardcore as you want. There are a number of methods out there, and I’m hoping to help anyone who might be straggling a bit to find their niche. Or at least to help explore those niches with you so that you will find your own gold making passion.

Things I want to cover include delving into TradeSkillMaster (an addon that I consider essential in my own personal gold making habits), farming, crafting, other goblins, building good habits, and everything in between. I am contemplating offering premium content in the future at some point, and adding things like streams and YouTube videos – but for now, we’ll take things slow (mostly because my internet is 5mb/s with .03 upload and my tin cans can’t handle the bandwidth).

Right from the get-go I will say I have a pretty low tolerance for disrespect. Just because we love to make gold doesn’t mean we can’t be nice about it and I am much more interested in fostering good community skills than I am trying to get a jump ahead of someone in a video game. I am absolutely NOT hardcore. That might mean that I’m not the gold making goblin you’re interested in following and that is perfectly OK. There’s lots of other content out there for all sorts of people.

Who am I outside of gold making? I’m a former community manager for Carbine Studios (a-la WildStar), now turned full time Mom of two littles, with a side of school (I’m taking French, hoping to get my BA). I love playing World of Warcraft and supporting fellow community members. I have been playing WoW in one form or another since release, but certainly not only WoW, I’ve played…a lot. I have a long history with video games (let’s face it, who doesn’t these days) and writing about them. I used to write for Beckett Massive Online Gamer (magazine in the US that is sadly no longer produced) as well as MMORPG.com. I live in the far North of Canada at an isolated post, hence the horrible internet and surplus of free time on my hands when my littles are down for the night.

Questions? Comments? Things you’d like to see covered? You’re welcome to drop me a message, respond to a post, ping me on discord, or twitter. I’ll do my best to respond.