30 May 2007

Earn Big $$ Now!

With a long weekend, I spent plenty of time in Azeroth. There was plenty to do and a lot of interesting events. For instance, I left my guild, not for any single reason, but just because it wasn't quite clicking for me. They seem like good guys, and I wish them well in their future activities.

I did accomplish some nice goals. Alamein was able to level from 40 to 43 over the weekend, in great part to grinding turtles for their scales, in order to complete the Wild Leather quests. She was able to finish those too, which got her skinning and leatherworking up quite a bit.

But I'd have to say that the focus was to make money. And -- no surprise -- that was driven by reaching level 40. Now, Alamein didn't really have a burning need for a mount. As a druid, she has the Cheetah Form (Travel Form, really). That gives her a 40% speed increase, while a standard mount jacks it up to 60%. So a mount is nice, for sure, but hardly mandatory. But still I really wanted to get Alamein past that hurdle. I knew I'd be better off financially if I could just get the mount out of the way and then figure out what comes next economically.

Starting on Thursday night, Alamein had about 35 or 40 gold in her pocket. Amazingly enough, by Sunday night she was up to 135 gold. It was astounding to me that she could make so much so quickly, as she'd never broken 45 gold before. And this included reaching level 42, with perhaps 10 gold in training costs.

So how did she make 100 gold in such a short time? I was shocked myself, but when I look back, it was a combination of good planning and luck. In fact, it was right about 50% planned and 50% luck. Working from memory, here's an approximate breakdown:

Crafted Items: 25 Gold
Based on what I've read, I wasn't expecting to make a lot of money from leatherworking. So I've been surprised to actually make a good bit of cash from it. The key for me has been to watch for cheap materials at auction. For example, [Shadowskin Gloves] require two black pearls, which have been going for about a gold each on Shandris. But, by watching the auctions closely, I've been able to find several black pearls for an average somewhere near 40 or 50 silver. I've always got a list of the materials I'm looking for -- usually quite a while before I'm actually making the item. This means I can make a pretty good profit on what I make.

Over the weekend, I sold the gloves, the [Gem-Studded Leather Belt], the [Wolfshead Helm], and a few other items. In all, I think that added up to about 25 gold, which contributes to the "planned" category.

Dropped Items: 40 gold
The first bit of luck came on Thursday night. Alamein was wandering through Stranglethorn Vale, working to close out the Skullsplitter Tusks quest. Towards the end of the night, she killed a troll and found a [Speedsteel Rapier] waiting for her. That's a pretty good sword in itself, and it has the blue-item cachet and a glowing enchant. Moreover, there's just not a lot of good weapons in the 35 to 45 level range. All that translates into a good auction value. (It also means I was glad I couldn't wield it; the temptation would have been great.) As it happened, I was able to auction it for about 30 gold. So, 30 gold to luck.

During the weekend, I had a few other decent drops. Not too much that I remember, other than a [Headstriker Sword of Power]. That sold for about 5 gold, and the other drops for about 5 more. About what I should expect for the fighting I did, I think, so I'll add that 10 gold to the planning column.

Reselling Items: 35 gold
There's one source for this income: Bottomscanner. I hadn't used it before this weekend. But I knew I'd need an aggressive strategy to make money, and this seemed like a good approach.

On the whole, it worked as expected. I found some good deals on random things, mostly materials like Essence of Fire or Core of Earth, or consumables like armor kits. I was able to turn those around and auction them, generally for about a 50% profit. A few things took a while to auction but eventually I think everything sold except for one pair of green leather pants, which I eventually sent to my alt Gazala for disenchanting. (Moral: crafting materials and consumables are generally less risky.)

I did have one huge success though. Early on, Bottomscanner spotted an auction for [Schematic: Sniper Scope]. I don't have a high-level engineer, so I didn't know anything about that schematic. But I did know one thing: Auctioneer had seen it a few times at auction for around 20 gold, and it was being offered for a buyout of 75 silver. Needless to say, I bought it immediately.

My 'general' reselling netted me about 15 gold, which I put against the planned income; it was about what I expected. The schematic auctioned for around 20 gold, which I mark down to luck.

There you have it: in the end, it was half luck and half planned. I'm sure there are better ways to make a quick 100 gold, but this worked out well for me. And it's worth noting that the 'luck' was seeded by some solid plans. I knew that I could get some good drops in Stranglethorn, and I knew that Bottomscanner might find some good deals for me.

And in the end? Alamein traveled to Darnassus and introduced herself to a charming black Nightsaber, so she's now traveling around in style. And — of course — she'll continue to look for good auction deals.

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