Dateline Azeroth: For the Love of Money

Dateline Azeroth

Cash money. Much like in real life, your character in World of Warcraft is going to need it. While it isn’t as important for a starting character in WoW as it is for a higher-level toon, you’ll find that starting to amass a sizable stash of gold right out of the gate will make things a lot less stressful as you move on. Having enough cash to pay for training, flight masters, repairs, the occasional piece of gear, and ultimately your first mount (and the training required to begin riding around Azeroth) is important. It’s also not that difficult if you follow a few simple rules.

1. Resist purchasing from the Auction House. Like the Force, the Auction House can be used for both good and evil. Especially when starting out, there is a very strong temptation to improve your gear quickly and often. Savvy players of the Auction House game know this and will gleefully overprice low-level gear, banking on the theory that most low-level players have high-level alts that can fund such outrageous purchases. If you don’t have the luxury of a high-level sugar daddy (or mommy), stay clear of these!

If you must replace some truly old and decrepit gear, look for crafted items. You’ll be able to tell which are crafted by the sheer volume of that particular item listed on the Auction House. Those items are usually sold in bulk by people trying to grind their crafting, and they aren’t all that interested in making big money on their wares. You can buy some very serviceable gear for a reasonable price.

2. Gather! When starting a character that is going to need cash fast, forgo any “manufacturing” professions in favor of two gathering professions. I would recommend Herbalism and Skinning or Mining and Skinning. Herbalism and Mining may be a good way to earn a lot of gathering income, but Skinning fits in more easily with questing. It happens completely organically: you kill a beast, loot it, and take another few seconds to skin it. Progressing in skinning also increases your critical hit chance, which is just invaluable. Skinning has a lot going for it and I’d strongly consider it for a cash-starved low-level character.

While it’s unconventional, some consider Enchanting a gathering profession as well. The ability to disenchant rare items your toon acquires into their component magical materials can be a moneymaker, but I have always found it less profitable than the other three gathering professions until much higher levels.

3. Mod up! Whether you go for a full-functioned and robust add-on like Auctioneer or something a little more lightweight like Auction Lite, a mod that will help you set ideal prices on your sales items (particularly materials and dropped rare items) is a must for the financially ambitious. If you’ve never used an add-on before, I suggest the FAQ at Curse also provides a small, free, easy-to-install program that will update and install your add-ons for you.

If you’re familiar with mods and have embraced your inner gatherer, you might look into one called Gatherer. Gatherer marks all of the herbalism and mining nodes on your map. When you’re out grinding for cash, you can plan your route around a given area using Gatherer to maximize your returns.

4. Sell EVERYTHING. Nearly everything you loot has value – sell it. While a serrated tooth might only sell for two silver, a stack of 20 sells for 40 silver. If you’re questing in an area with lots of tooth-bearing beasties, you stand to make a few gold with very little effort.

5. Instances: Get by with a little help from your friends. While this does require the assistance of a higher-level friend or guildmate, hammering out an instance (which, for them, should be a walk in the park) will net you cash, items to sell, and some new gear for yourself. If you keep an eye on your quests, you can pick up some more experience, gear and cash from quest givers as well. There might even be an achievement or two in it for you and your guildmate. Ask politely and it shouldn’t be difficult to find a benevolent guildie who’s happy to run you through.

Earning money today in World of Warcraft is much easier than it used to be. Items are much less expensive at lower levels and the trickle-down effect from wealthy higher-level characters has never been more lucrative for the baby toon. A little restraint and cagey auctioning combined with some diligent gathering can earn you a lot of money fast.

Selama ashal-anore.” (Justice for our people.) – Thalassian proverb

Dateline Azeroth updates every Tuesday. Join us next week when we don our armor, gird on our swords and take to the Battlegrounds.



  1. I agree that gathering professions are the way to go, but i know that bores a lot of people. Inscription is by far the best and most consistent money making profession out there end game. Its great because even at low skill you are making items that people at the end game are using unlike almost all other crafting professions.

    With the help of 4-5 add ons, you can craft and post fairly easily (used to be easier before Cataclysm though). Every morning as I wake up I repost about 400-500 glyphs in ~20 minutes. Make new ones on the weekend. Every morning when I am picking up my unsold auctions, I also send off 4000 – 10000 gold to my main (Today was 6308g). Thats 20-50k a week, every week.

    A lot of sites have guides and stuff for inscription now, but most of them are out of date though thanks to the add-on changes that came with Cataclysm. is one of the better ones at the moment.

  2. It sounds like am shill-ing for the website, but it really was that helpful. It was nice to find out about the flying taxi mount (Sandstone Dragon) and be able to immediately go out and buy up the mats for 45k and get to play with it.

  3. Since they have become permanent, eventually the market might slow down a bit as people stop needing as many glyphs, hasn’t happened on my server yet, but be wary.

    I was lucky and that site warned of the changes to glyphs before 4.0. I made 35k on the first day of the cataclysm with everyone buying full sets of glyphs on their mains.

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