I decided to post here instead of woweconomy because this post is really aimed at the kind of person I was in 2019, a person who thought that subreddit was for robber-barons and AH PvPers only. Back then I thought it wasn’t “worth it” to chase hugely expensive items and mounts. But then I learned how easy it is. I’m going to spill everything and if you have any questions you can comment or DM.
2020 was a nice year for me. In the span of two months near the 8.3 launch, I made 5 million gold for the Oribos AH (err, Brutosaur). Since shadowlands dropped, I made another 2 million, much of it in the first month. In the other 8 months, I made “only” 500k. This encompasses the main point of my post: gold-making can be accomplished rapidly when new content drops, but you must change your mindset.
Simply put: when new content drops, there are new gold-making opportunities. They aren’t secrets, you can find them everywhere on the internet, and I’ll explain how to find them later in this post. If you TEMPORARILY sink 90%+ of your playtime into gold-making, you can make serious bank, and your character will easily catch up when you feel done. If you do it the other way- focus on player power and then start goldmaking a month or two in when you are bored – you will make so much less money.
How did I ACTUALLY make the gold?
Enough preamble, what did I actually do? First I’ll give the what (you’ve waited long enough), then I’ll explain how to find these strategies.
Strat 1: Skinning
Skinning is the gathering profession that feels good to me, but you should find the one that feels the most chill to you. When new skins are available, or new flowers/ore are available, it’s so easy to make bank. You can go out into shadowlands right now and make 20k-60k per hour depending on your server. Yes, you. But the first week of the expac? It was 50k-100k. And the first week of 8.2/8.3? It was the same. Make sure you have the Shadowlands Gathering glove enchant. So what did I do in the first week of Shadowlands? I leveled to max as fast as I could. Then, I immediately started skinning. I didn’t even pick my covenant. I read woweconomy and watched youtube (channel links at end of post) to supplement the skinning spots I observed while leveling to 60. You don’t even need to pick some kind of “meta” best-skinning spots. My first skinning spot was actually just from
https://www.wow-professions.com/guides/wow-skinning-leveling-guide , and it’s still totally fine today.
Shadowlands Skinning you can do right now (20k-100k / hr depending on your server):
Strat 2: Crafting with Soulbound items (BFA Junkwatt Depot)
This was a thing in Legion and BFA; not so much in Shadowlands, but who knows it could return. With my “casual” playstyle, this worked out really really well. Probably half of my brutosaur was funded by 2×4 farming Junkwatt Depot (more on 2×4 farming below). This farm was amazing because it had several income streams. You could sell springs/gears/platings to high-end raiders on the AH in the pre-8.3 period (they used them for rep on their alts / new 8.3 mains), and you could craft soulbound Spare Parts into raid F.E.A.S.Ts. It’s over now, so I am not going to get into it much, but suffice to say, if you are the kind of player who would like to kill mobs to earn gold, keep your ear to the ground for farms that drop valuable Soulbound items. Junkwatt Depot was not a secret, people talked about it all the time on woweconomy and Samadan mentioned it in his wowhead “weekly economy wrapup” posts sometimes. (See links at bottom of post)
Strat 3: 2×4 Farming
Ok first thing’s first: 2×4 farming is not TOS. Botting is. Creating a group of 7 druids and 1 monk to kill mobs quickly is not TOS. Multiboxing with certain 3rd-party multibox software is. If you join a 2×4 farm group, you needn’t worry about being banned, and you needn’t feel like a cheater, as long as each of your party members are separate, real, human beings. And it’s pretty easy to know the difference.
What is 2×4 Farming?
If two groups of four players are all standing together pulling and tagging mobs, all eight of them can loot the same mob. Any 2×4 farm could be done as a single group of 5. And any 2×4 farm could be done with any classes. But WoW players like to minmax, and the most efficient way is 2 groups of 4 people, preferably with a monk who throws down Ox Statue, and with classes great at pulling and AOE’ing, such as balance druid, mage, etc.
In early Shadowlands (like, day 2 or 3), people were making 100k+/hr in 2×4 farms. They got tons of cloth, which was still selling for a lot of money, and an epic BoE every 1-2 hrs. Blizzard nerfed the floor for cloth and also BoE drop chance, but you can still 2×4 right now in Shadowlands (see below after the next section).
How to 2×4?
Druid is my main class anyway, which is handy. It may not be yours, but consider making and gearing a druid alt. Druids are such a fun class, and in demand. Monk is in even more demand. Despite each group needing 7 dps and 1 monk, it was the monk that was in more demand in early-shadowlands. Monks could shop around for the best groups. They didn’t even need high iLevel. It was crazy.
To get a 2×4 group, just search “2×4” in groupfinder. Go to where they groups are before you apply (zone will be in the title). And then apply to groups. That’s it. It helps to be monk/druid/mage but you might as well try regardless of your class. Watch some videos below to understand more about what to do in the group once invited.
The only other thing I’ll say to NA players is that you will come across a lot of South American players in these groups. If you hear Spanish or Portugeuse in these groups, or if you get booted from the group so they can fill it with their friends, try to have compassion rather than frustration. These players farm gold because their nations are in a real rough spot, and they need to eat and provide for their families. They don’t get to buy fun mounts like I do. They are farming for IRL food/housing. What is going on there is much worse than what is going on in the USA/Canada/etc. So don’t rage, and try to understand. If you don’t want to group with them, you can always make your own group with your own friends! But, many of the groups in group finder are organized by them. Generally most of my experiences with them have not been troubled ones. Every once in a while someone complains about Spanish being spoken, and it’s like, dude grow up.
Shadowlands 2×4 Things
I actually havent done this in weeks, so I don’t know how nerfed it all is,but search 2×4 in groupfinder and see what comes up. Get a group, try it for an hour, see if its still worth it and report back to me if you like 🙂
(possibly outdated info)
(very outdated, this has been nerfed, see for historical purposes only)
Strat 4: Flipping (50k-100k per successful flip)
Everyone knows on a high/fullpop, the real money is here. Buy low (Sat/Sun/Mon) and sell high (Tuesday). You can also flip epic BoEs. I didn’t do this at all during BFA, I was too scared. In Shadowlands I have been doing this with leather. I made 150k this week flipping, but it was stressful, and IDK if I liked it. You can find lots of info about flipping on woweconomy; I am not an expert. I’m more of a farmer. Farming is 100% profit, and flipping feels just a little slimy 😀 The #1 rule of flipping is: Don’t flip with gold you aren’t prepared to lose. The #2 rule is: do extensive market research (
http://oribos.exchange is new and awesome). I’ve read too many posts along the line of “I bought a wow token and bought 100k of herbs to reset the market. But the market crashed again. WTF! Is it the fault of botters?!” Yeah, don’t be that guy. That is not how it’s done. I observed markets for a year before I felt comfortable stepping in.
How to find gold-making opportunities in the early days of a patch/expac
Are you still reading?? Good. The above info I felt I had to put first, but the real jewels are down here. This is the “teach a man to fish” knowledge that will make you rich forever.
My TLDR is already spilled above but I will reiterate. Blizzard doesn’t design their game in a way in which you can’t catch up. If you are ACTUALLY a top 100 guild mythic player, who must hit the ground sprinting, then you are making truckloads of gold from carries anyway and don’t need this post. For everyone else, yes even you heroic raiders and wanna-be mythic raiders whose guilds end up 3/10M at the end of the tier, YOU CAN SPEND A WEEK GOLDMAKING. You’ll be just fine!! And you’ll make so much money. The longer you put off the player power grind, the more you’ll be making.
Now look, you can grab the lowhanging player-power fruit. At the start of any expac I leveled-up first. Sure some people don’t level up and immediately start crafting. But that isn’t me. I did the quests on beta to read the quest text and take my time, and then when it dropped for real, I didn’t read quest text and I did whatever AAP told me to do. But once 60, I didn’t pick a covenant for over 24hr. I didn’t rush into mythic0s. I gold-farmed. And that was just fine!
When 8.3 dropped, I did the 3hr quest chain for the legendary cloak. But I didn’t start visions, m+, farming corruption, or whatever it was people did. All that time that others are spending increasing their ilevel by 5-10 levels, you can make gold. You can get those 5-10 ilevels just a bit later. You can start the Blanchy-type work-every-day-for-a-mount quests later. You can start the rep grinds later. You can get your frog mount later. ETC. Just do the very simple and quick time-gated things, such as world bosses, torghast, etc. And do those things as late as you can in the week.
How to find good gold-making strats
There’s not a ton of posts. So once a day before a new patch and during a new patch sort by /new/ and read everything new. Yes, all of them. Pay particular attention to the “Goblin Success Stories” threads. And come back to interesting threads later to read comments. There’s gold in those comments! A word of warning. Some people will be making way more gold than you. Shelve your jealousy and don’t let it discourage you. I made 2M in 2 months. That may sound like a lot to you. But in the first week of Shadowlands, was I jealous of the guy who made 10M in a week doing darkmoon cards? Yeah, obviously! But he is a more experienced goldmaker than me. Maybe I’ll try that next expac. But probably not. It’s a game, I play it in the way that is fun to me.
I love youtube, I can’t focus on TV shows or movies but I consume hours of youtube on the second screen while I do stuff in WoW. Here are some of my favorite youtubers.
- WTBGold. I don’t make gold the main way he does. Maybe his way will be good for you. But I love his attitude. He gave me the confidence to pursue the Brutosaur with his repeated assertions that “You can do it!”. And, his videos about skinning are always great. Sample video:
- Solheim. Wow this guy has been Shadowlands MVP. Pumping out multiple vids per day with goldmaking methods he finds. There’s so much content, there is sure to be something here for you. See skinning videos above.
- Archvaldor. I’ve included him here for his LFR RAW GOLD GUIDES, which are SUPERB. That said, the strats I outlined above are always going to be better than chain-running old LFRs. Still, it’s a good way to get started if you hate the AH. Sample vid (still works as far as I know):
- ModestMillions: Wide array of goldmaking strategies. Sample Vid:
- Hazelnuttygames. Not a gold-youtuber, but she’s great. When there is a goldmaking video it’s always great. If you are vibing with this guide, you are going to vibe with her too. Sample video (outdated, just a sample of what to watch for):
Pay attention to what content is coming! Be an expert on the next patch’s content! Is there new raidfood or not? Are there new mats or not? Is there new armor or not? What are the mythic raiders going to hit the ground doing? How can you service them? Are there any easy-to-get pets that you might sell in the early days for 50k after doing just 30 minutes of work? Samadan posts weekly goldmaking posts here too and they are worth reading.
Appendix: A note on your Server
Different servers have different economies and different levels of competition. Ultimately if you are serious about gold you may decide that your server doesn’t fit your playstyle. But unless your server is super dead, I think you should give your own server a serious look before you decide it's worthless for goldmaking.
Notes on fullpop: This is where I am and its brutal in many ways, but incredible for others. Any mat I post sells easily. So it’s very rewarding to farm something up, post it (NEVER UNDERCUT), and be immediately rewarded. That said, I make less on an individual skin than I would if I was on mediumpop. Fullpop servers are decent for farming, incredible for flipping,and incredible for BUYING. Sure I may make gold from raw skinning a bit slower. But am I buying mounts on AH with that gold? The mounts are going to be way cheaper! If you craft on a fullpop, expect to have to relist frequently. People will post their wares underneath you within 5 minutes. Understand which days (Tuesday, usually) are the best days to sell by market observation. Vendor flips, which I didn’t cover, also become a real possibility on fullpop. See Solheim’s youtube for more details (but be aware that blizz nerfed vendor flips that were popular in early shadowlands. Don’t buy from AH until you have triple-confirmed there is real profit in the current recipes.)
Also, this is where the most real high-end mythic raiders are, so take advantage of that too (See Soulbound Crafting strat above). Top 100 Guild Mythic raiders are flush with carry-cash and many will spend it to avoid even simple tasks that don’t fit their playstyle (which is fine, obviously).
Also launch night was a nightmare.
Notes on highpop/mediumpop: It could be that somewhere in here is the sweetspot. You can make money just by buying mats, crafting, and selling the finished product (See WTBGold channel for details). Farmed mats will be great to sell here, they will sell decently well but at much higher prices than on a fullpop. But, stuff is going to take much longer to sell. You will have to avoid flooding the market on mediumpops. Diversity is everything. On fullpop you might need just one or two methods, but on mediumpop you may need to branch out further. In my humble opinion, making money with crafting is much better on high/mediumpop than it is on fullpop. Since I am on fullpop, my strats don’t cover this. Again, see WTBGold’s youtube.
Notes on lowpop: I’m not an expert on this. But on lowpop you really can create a total monopoly in multiple markets. Hello, Legendary Base Armor. IM SURE there’s profit there. You can also buy cheap pets on fullpops, sell on lowpops, and buy account-wide mounts/pets from vendors with the profit. I’m not an expert on this, which is why I didn’t cover it above. See woweconomy (use search function) if that sounds interesting to you. Don’t be afraid to mail your competition to talk pricing strategy.
Well… I think that’s it. Hopefully this is useful. Special thanks to TaliesinAndEvitel and WTBGold and Hazelnuttygames for their videos which motivated me to get into this. I could write a whole additional appendix about the top reply I know I’m going to get, “Bruto is worth $500 of real money, I’d never buy it”, buy maybe I’ll save that for the comments. When you see a wowhead post about a new 9.2 mat, or a new 9.1 feast, remember my words 🙂 Detamble out!
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