Saving and Making Gold for your WoW:Classic Mounts
In Classic, obtaining your mount at level 40 and when you reach (or hopefully soon after) level 60 is a huge landmark for your character. After obtaining your level 40 mount, you will be able to move from place to place more quickly, shortening your leveling time. Obtaining your epic level 60 mount will allow you to arrive on time to raids with the rest of the group, and you will be much more likely to be accepted into PvP pre-made groups. Depending on the competitiveness and timeline of the server, an epic mount can be a requirement for this. In addition to these benefits, a mount, especially an epic mount, is a huge status symbol in the game.
Getting a mount is tough and is why it is such a landmark point for your character. Gold is not easily obtainable in Classic WoW. It is prudent to be frugal with your hard-earned coin and to accrue as much gold as possible during the leveling process and to plan as early as possible for figuring out how to pay for your mounts however you can.
If you’re not entirely sure how to do this, fear not! Over the years that I’ve played the game, I’ve learned a few tips and tricks that will help you make as much gold as possible before hitting level 40 and level 60. This guide outlines the best strategies, in no particular order, for saving or earning money for those hard-to-get mounts in Classic WoW.
Gold Saving Strategies
Always have your level 60 mount on your mind. This may sound outlandish or even a bit elementary to some, however I cannot stress how important it is to always have your mounts, especially your epic mount, in your thoughts. During the leveling process, you will be challenged with costs often: gear upgrades on the Auction House (AH), talents, food, water, etc. The way to save gold in the long run is if you make smart consumer choices. For example, if you can get a mage to make you some water and food for a quarter or half the price of vendor goods, or perhaps even free (but don’t be an ungrateful non-tipper!), always choose that option – even if that means waiting a few moments for a helpful Mage.
Bags, bags, bags. Sometimes, you must spend money to make money. There should be only two money sinks during the leveling process: trainer fees and bags. Bags are very important for one simple reason – the more you can hold, the more you can sell. When buying bags, never buy them from a bag vendor until you check the AH first. To make their bags competitive, Tailors will usually have to sell bags for less than a bag vendor’s price of the same capacity. Use this to your advantage and buy the cheapest bags possible. Better yet, ask a tailor friend or guildie for bags! If you have the coin, you should always upgrade your bags. Also, sell old bags back on the AH if you have no room for them for bank slots. Speaking of bank slots, they can be expensive, so only buy slots when you absolutely need to and not before!
Minimize Class and Profession Training
To train or not to train? Training spells and different ranks of spells costs a lot, and this will most likely be your primary money sink. Therefore, you should only train what you actually use or need. For example, as a Shaman you likely will not use Frostbrand Weapon – ever. So don’t waste money on training it. Another example are resurrection spells. Rank 1 will resurrect fine, albeit bringing your party member back to life with less Hit Points and Mana. Just heal them up another way. If you are a completionist like me, just get those spells and ranks later on. But after you’ve already gotten your epic mount. There are many excellent class guides on this site that will suggest to you what to train and what to skip.
You should use the same logic that you just learned for class training toward profession training. If you can get away with training only some recipes while still increasing your profession skill, do it. If you plan on leveling a profession, there are many well made profession guides on CWL as well as on other sites. Only train the recipes you need to save some serious coin!
You don’t need to know how to use every weapon early on. Before you get significant ranks of reputation with capital cities, weapon training is 10s per weapon (except Polearms and Crossbows). Weapon training may not be a huge issue for casters, but it can be a significant cost sink for melee classes. Only train weapons when you absolutely need to. In other words, as an example, if you are a Warrior and have swords, do not train for axes until you come across an axe that is a significant upgrade to your DPS and not a moment sooner.
Make Smart Profession Choices
Choose the right professions. At the end of the day, any profession has to potential to make you money. But not all professions are made equal in this regard. Enchanting for one, is not a cash cow. Sure, you can make money with it later on after you reach 60 with some rare enchants. However, during the leveling process, it’s not very lucrative since you are going to destroy magical items (worth a lot of vendor cash) and then use the materials to level your enchanting. You can sell some of these reagents, but it won’t ever make up the difference. Each profession exists on a continuum with one end being less lucrative and the other being very lucrative. However, professions can change places rapidly on this continuum depending on what level you are and what recipes you have obtained. But I’m going to suggest a few professions, and profession combinations that are almost guaranteed to make you money.
Everyone needs potions, flasks, and transmutations throughout the leveling process and all the way up through end game. I suggest pairing this with Herbalism while leveling so you don’t have to put money out for herbs. Also, any herbs you don’t need can often be sold for a profit on the AH.
Any competitive PvPer worth their weight in gold will have Engineering, and some players don’t get serious about leveling Engineering until they are 60. Because of this, Engineering items/reagents and metal ore/bars can be sold for a profit on the AH. Also, Blacksmiths may be in need of raw mining materials.
Mining/Skinning or Herbalism/Skinning
Two gathering professions? Why not? You will be able to sell metal ore/bars to Engineers and Blacksmiths as well as sell leather either to a vendor or on the AH to Leatherworkers. Either way, it’s all profit. Generally, I sell my leather to a vendor as there isn’t much profit on the AH and it’s not worth the risk of losing your deposit. If you go this route, you will have a steady income. You can also pair Herbalism and Skinning! Unfortunately, Mining and Skinning is not very lucrative after you hit 60. You may want to pick up a crafting profession at this point instead. Remember that combining Herbalism and Mining is not advantageous as you cannot track more than one thing at a time in Classic!
Cooking, Fishing, and First Aid can make you money. You’ll pick up meat as you level that can be converted into food that provides more health regeneration than raw food. In addition, some food you cook provides a buff. Foods with associated buffs sell for a profit on the AH since they are in high demand for endgame PvP and PvE (for example: Smoked Desert Dumplings). However, if food is not selling well on the AH, prepared food will always sell for more to a vendor than the associated raw reagents.
With First Aid, you’ll almost always make more bandages than you will need. Heavy bandages (i.e. Heavy Silk Bandage) sell to a vendor for more than the associated amount of cloth required to make it. This knowledge also comes in handy when selling cloth on the AH. If there isn’t much profit in selling a certain type of cloth on the AH, make heavy bandages and sell them to a vendor for a profit.
Fishing supplements your cooking and there are certain cooking recipes that require fish. Some of these items, like Savory Deviate Delight, usually sell for a profit on the AH. At higher levels some fish can be worth a lot of money and will be constantly in demand for endgame PvE and PvP. Just one example is the Raw Nightfin Snapper, used to make Nightfin Soup with Cooking.
Rogues, Warlocks, and Mages can make a great deal of money by selling their services in capital cities or out in the world.
If you are a Mage, don’t feel sorry for asking for some coin if you give people food, water, or portals (especially since portals require buying a reagent). Know how much food costs per stack for the player’s level and charge them significantly less so that it’s still a good deal to them. Some money is better than no money.
If you are a rogue, charge a fixed price for each type of lock-box comparable to about half of what a green item of that level would sell for. This way the transaction is still an attractive deal to your potential customer. Asking for a set price to perform Lockpicking service may not be attractive. Also, you really may need the points to level Lockpicking. So, in most circumstances, provide your service for free and hope for tips!
Finally, Warlocks can usually make gold from providing their summoning services to parties eager to start a dungeon. If someone is spamming in chat for a Warlock to help summon party members, it may be wise to jump at the opportunity.
Use your hearthstone wisely. Before you have your mount, you’ll be forced to walk a lot. And walking can get extremely boring, however taxis cost money. I understand that this point may be a bit extreme for some, but if you have the time to travel from place to place while walking or riding, I encourage it. It also provides a way to grind while traveling. This of course will not be feasible from time to time, but if you limit taxi service, even a little bit, you will save money. Along a similar vein, smart usage of your hearthstone and public transportation can be very frugal.
Cash in on Easy AH Deals
Check the AH for items that are posted below their vendor sell price. Yeah, you heard me right. You have no idea how much money I’ve made by buying up auctions that are posted for less than the seller would have made by simply pawning the item to a vendor. There are some addons that scan for auctions like this as well as addons that tell you the vendor price for every item in the game within the tooltips. I highly suggest using addons like these.
Save your money! I see you eyeing that blue weapon on the AH that will increase your DPS by 2 whole points. Don’t do it! Seriously, you’ll out-level that item in no time. I understand that having great weapon progression may shorten your leveling time, but in my opinion, it’s not worth buying anything on the AH unless you are in the market for bigger bags. Try to get upgrades through quests or in dungeons first before even thinking about buying expensive items from the Auction House.
Dungeons are a lot of fun and they are also a source for gathering sellable items like BOE drops, both uncommon and rare (green and blue), and recipes. Some of these items and recipes may be popular and worth real cash. So, check the AH first and then put them on there or even try to pawn them on trade chat. As a bonus, you’ll hopefully win some BOP items that you may not need. These sell for a good amount to a vendor or if you are an enchanter, this can be a source for reagents.
Sell greens and blues wisely. If you weren’t aware, almost all auctions require a deposit that is lost if the item is not sold. Usually this deposit increases with the vendor value of the item. So green and blue items will usually have rather large deposits associated with them. If you don’t want to lose money, I suggest being smart about how you attempt to sell these items. If an item has an irregular combination of stats like a cloth piece with Strength or Agility, vendor it immediately; no one will buy it. This goes for the same for most Spirit gear. Not many people ascribe to the potential power spirit has for speed leveling, so they aren’t commonly sought after. Use your own discretion here.
If you are lucky enough to stumble on an item that as +healing, spell damage, critical strike, hit, or a sought after stat combination like Strength and Stamina, Agility and Stamina, Strength and Agility, or Intellect and Stamina/Spirit, you should try to sell them to another player either via trade chat or on the AH. I recommend always trying trade chat first for items that are widely popular or that you’re unsure of as there is no risk of losing a deposit. Generally, if an item fails once on the AH, I usually vendor it as it’s likely not sought after enough to be worth it. Of course there are exceptions to this. Some blue items and green items with +damage and +healing on them warrant multiple Auction House attempts.
Farm in your off-time. Farming comes in two forms: reagent farming and mob farming. Reagent farming is generally linked to a profession like Herbalism or Mining, but you can also reagent farm while mob farming as many mobs drop usable reagents regularly. When you have free time or want to do something different, consider farming reagents that can be turned into sellable items.
For reagent farming, all classes are generally equal. However, when we consider mob farming, some classes are far superior compared to others. Mages are likely the best mob farmers as they can farm almost anywhere, including in dungeons. This allows them to more rapidly pick up coin, cloth, reagents, greens, and even blues or epics (purples). Other classes that excel at mob farming are Priests (with Holy Nova), Hunters, Warlocks, Protection Paladins, and Elemental Shaman. Some players have even figured out methods to farm with other classes so always be on the lookout for tips in gold farming guides.
Locate and Sell Special Vendor Items
Hunt down items that are on a cooldown. There are a number of recipes, patterns, and items that are available from vendors that offer them in a limited supply. Once purchased, these items will not be available again until after their respective cooldown expires. A good example is the Schematic: Goblin Jumper Cables. These items usually sell for a significant profit. So check the AH for the prices of the items and then track down these vendors and regularly check to see If these items are available. If they are, buy them up and sell them. Since some of these recipes are in major cities, you can use alts to your advantage here by parking them near NPCs that sell the items of interest. Additionally, there are recipes and patterns that are only available as quest rewards. Usually you can attempt to sell these as well, especially on the Neutral AH.
Put White Items on the AH
Sell unwanted reagents. You’ll come across reagents all the time. Generally, these are items with white text but can also be greens, blues, and even purples. They can be meat, herbs, ore, gems, fish, cloth, etc. Chances are that someone is in need of these reagents, so always try to sell these items on the AH. You’ll notice rather quickly that some reagents are not very popular. Just vendor them. As time goes on, you’ll learn what can be sold to the vendor and what you should save for the AH. For example, Wool Cloth, besides its use for Tailoring and First Aid is also in demand due to the reputation increasing quests that are available in major cities that require wool and the overall rarity of Wool Cloth.
Make a Bank Alt and Teach them Enchanting
In Classic WoW, you can disenchant any item you want regardless of your enchanting skill. That’s right! So, if you aren’t an Enchanter yourself, all you have to do is get an alt to level 5 and have them learn Enchanting. Any green or blue your main finds that will likely not sell on the AH or on trade chat can be sent to your alt to be disenchanted. Sometimes the reagent will sell more than the item would have. To be sure, make sure to explore what the current market price is for the reagent and calculate if it is beneficial. This character can also double as your bank alt, which is another strategy I recommend. This is a free way to increase your bank space as well as provide easy access to the Auction House whenever you wish! Of course, sending mail to and from your alt will cost 30 copper but this cost can be easily offset by the potential profit this strategy provides.
There are two ways to discount your mount price and everything you buy from vendors/trainers! Both of these discounts will earn you 10% off your total cost! The first discount comes from earning Honored reputation with your race/home city. This is very easy to do as long as you complete quests while leveling. Usually, you will obtain this discount around level 20-25. The second 10% can be obtained with PvP rank 3 with your Faction. If you are on a PvP server, you can grind this out in the open world. But, if you are on a PvE server, queue up for some battegrounds! This also applies to training costs for professions and class spells/abilities. For example, if you are a Tauren and are Honored with Thunder Bluff, don't buy items and training from NPCs in Orgrimmar and Undercity - it will be more expensive!
There are many circumstances were you can earn/save money more effectively by knowing how to present your goods on the Auction House in attractive ways. The first way is making your asking price attractive. If you have ever bought anything in the real world, you have definitely seen items being sold for $X.99. Do you think retailers like selling items in non-whole dollar amounts? No, they do this because ending a price in .99 is based on the theory that, because we read from left to right, the first digit of the price resonates with us the most. That's why shoppers are more likely to buy a product for $4.99 than an identical one for $5! The item that starts with a 4 just seems like a better deal than the one that starts with a 5. Use this tried and true marketing tactic to your advantage when selling an item. Of course, undercutting a competitor's item will not always make this possible. But, if you can, make sure to make prices look attractive to potential buyers. While on the topic of undercutting, always sell your item lower than other competitors while still making a profit. This doesn't mean you have to drop your price by large amounts. Undercutting the competition by as low as 1 Copper will ensure your item winds up on the top of the list! There are addons that considerably expedite the undercutting process so prioritize getting them if you foresee yourself spending lots of time in Auction Houses.
Secondly, know your item! Is it wiser to sell ore over bars? Is it more lucrative to sell raw herbs over a potion you can make with those same herbs? A few moments of research can both save and earn you gold. Always make sure to check which version or form of a good is selling better on the auction house before posting it. A good example is Silver Ore. Smelting Silver Ore into Silver Bars is commonly used to get some hard-to-earn points in the Mining profession. Silver Bars, on the other hand, are rarely sought after. So, if you can, sell Silver as ore rather than as bars.
Finally, some items are only sought after in certain quantities. This mostly occurs because the item is required to complete a quest. Therefore, selling these items in stacks lower or higher than the required or popular quantity usually results in a failing auction and, therefore; a lost deposit. A great example are the charms required for the Warrior quest chain to get the Whirlwind Axe. Warriors are required to have 8 of each of the following charms for part of the quest chain: Thundering Charm, Cresting Charm, and Burning Charm. If you have more than 8 of these in your inventory, don't just put that amount on the AH. Why would a Warrior spend more money than he/she needs to? Instead, break the charms into a stack of 8 and then auction the rest either singly or in a stack less than 8. Again, researching not only the popularity of items but how items sell will definitely benefit you in the long run!
Farming gold can be hard and tedious and the last thing you want to do is burn yourself out. Make sure to take breaks, go outside, stretch, eat, watch some TV, or just go do something fun in the game not associated with farming. In my opinion, taking a break actually makes you more efficient as you can focus better when you get back into it.
About the Authors
Defcamp and Melderon are two brothers that love Classic WoW and are dedicated to providing high quality guides, podcasts, and other content for the Classic WoW community.
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