Disclaimer – this is NOT a post telling you what items you should snipe.
If you’re familiar with Tradeskillmaster in any form you probably remember the older version of the addon when you could constantly run ‘sniper’ to find deals on the auction house that people had miss priced (this still works if you’re playing classic) but at the end of BFA things changed. Using shopping lists in TSM will get you results faster than sniper will (depending on how many items you’re trying to search through sniper). Personally, I still think there’s room for both depending on the situation.
If you’re running a second account while you’re doing something else, sniper may still have its use. Instead of searching the last page of the auction house scanning for constant deals (this doesn’t work) you create a group in TSM with very specific items you’re looking for (remember, you CANNOT assign a sniper operation to the base group). The smaller the group, the faster the search. In my case, I still search for current tier reagents this way. My operations are simple, whatever the maximum amount is that I’m willing to pay for something is what I assign as an operation. It’s usually a static number rather than a big string. There might only be 10 items I’m looking for, so sniper can happily run searching for those items and nothing else. Simple, right?
Then there’s shopping lists. These are usually groups you’ve created with numerous items in them, categorized in some way like ‘transmog’ ‘recipes’ ‘mounts’. You’d assign a shopping operation to these groups and run a shopping scan on them. I usually just scan one group at a time so that things keep moving. They’ll slow down if you have too many items in the groups or you select too many groups at once, but they’re still much faster than sniper. I know there are other addons that reportedly do this function faster (Auctionator) but I personally have no experience with it. The very basic formula would be using dbregionmarketavg and buying something that is cheap and re-selling the item or using it. You don’t have to use that price source though, /tsm sources and check for what makes sense in your situation.
One last thing – in the screenshot above you’ll see that TSM includes a handy list of recent searches, as well as favourite searches. You can create strings of things to search for and then save them if they’re items that you search for frequently.
My suggestion to new goblins is to start small and don’t get complicated with your strings until you’re ready for it. Don’t randomly import other peoples strings until you understand what they do – that’s an easy way to lose gold. I know it looks impressive when you see an operation that includes ifgte and a billion custom sources but you can get there with time. You also absolutely can still make plenty of gold not using any of these addons or methods. The key point is finding something you enjoy doing that you’ll actually stick with. The rest will fall into place.