First and foremost, there are no 100% sure ways to get lots of gold. There or no solid tips or tricks which will always work. If you expect something like that, you can forget about it right now. The amount of gold you will make is directly dependant on how much time you are willing to invest and how well you streamline the process.
I started actively trying to make gold around the end of last year. At first, I started slowly, following the tips on various sites to the letter. It worked to a degree, but I made much less than I was hoping. Then I started to farm for a bit, again according to tips from other people, but I have found that the farmable items usually didn't sell so well on my realm or it was just to boring. In the end, I realized there are no quick ways to do it. If you want to make it by farming, you will invest allot of time in it. If you want to do it on the auction house, then you simply can't expect big, quick profits.
I started tracking items on the auction house. At first, I did it with excel. I was following all the popular Northrend items, like ore, bars, eternals, cloth, herbs, basically anything that has a solid supply and sells fast. After about a week or so of doing this, I started to notice regular price fluctuations. Now i had about 6000 gold at this time, mostly made through farming and dailies, the two things I now hate the most about the game. Once I started to recognize which prices are low and which are high, I simply started to buy low and sell high. I made mistakes sometimes, but all in all, my gold supply started to increase. I did this for a while, and i got to about 15 000 after a few weeks. Yes, I know this is slow, but it took me about 20-30 minutes a day to do it.
Pretty soon, though, I wasn't to happy about the amount I was making. My first alt was an alchemist, so I decided to try and make use of that. I made him a transmute master and started making epic gems. As you know, you can only make one a day, so it was a limited profit, but it was a sure 60-80 extra gold per day. I realized it worked so i tried my luck on flacks and potions, but I couldn't get a steady herb supply so I gave up on that. On Larthas, I started making belt buckles and those sold quite nicely. I also tried to do some enchanting, but I was focusing on a few scrolls like Berserking and +10 to all stats on the chest, so it didn't work out that well. By that point, I've found an addon called Market Watcher and, thanks to it, stopped wasting my time on excel tables.
Some patches came out pretty soon, and I've found that the market has changed to much so I won't have a reliable income for a while, until the new prices stabilize. This is when my death knight, which was supposed to be my banker finally got to 80. I decided to make her a jewelcrafter. At first, i tried to sell some blue gems, but I didn't have any of the popular recipes and those that I had sold like crap. I started stockpiling my epic gem transmutes and doing the jewelcrafting dailies to learn epic cuts. I used wowpopular.com to determine which recipes to buy and pretty soon, I started making some minor money from that.
I was at about 30-40k when some raw gem prices dropped madly. I decided to risk it and spent about 10 000 to buy them all out. At first, I thought it was a horrible mistake. The prices stayed low and, for a wile, the cut gems also dropped in price. I kept my raw gems though, and sold other colors which still had a decent price. After a week or two, to my luck, the prices got up again and I sold most of them for about 70-80% profit. I ended up at about 50-60 thousand. It was then, that I realized that the mistake was not to keep buying them when the price was low. Now, at this point, I had a whole bunch of recipes and it was getting tedious to make all of them every day. This is when, tanks to some other bloggers, I discovered two amazing addons.
The first addon was Kev's Tool Queue. What this addon allows you to do is make macros like:
- /ktq queue 2 cardinal
- /ktq queue 2 king's amber
- /ktq queue 2 majestic zircon
Another amazing addon was Quick Auctions 3. In this one, you can define item groups, determine the minimum amount you want the sell the items from a group for, the maximum amount you want to sell and the amount you wish to undercut for. Then you add items to that group, go to the auction house and click post, and the magic happens. It will check the AH for every item on the list, see what's the minimum price available and, if it's above your minimum, it will undercut that price and post your item. With just one click and about 30 seconds of wait time, it will smartly post all of your gems. In addition to this, you can make the addon undercut the second lowest item on the AH inf the first one is to low, you can make it post at a default price is the lowest one is to low or skip posting the item at all. These features are awesome for a profession like jewelcrafting, since I already basically have just six item groups - one for each gem color.
With these two addons streamlining my gold making process, I started making loads of gold pretty soon. To increase it all, I used both of them to start an enchanting industry on Larthas. It was a bit harder, as I was forced to make a separate item group for each and every enchant I wanted to sell, but it payed off soon. Right now, I also started making money with leatherworking on my rogue, but this will go on hold until my laptop is back to health. I also plan to research elixir mastery and inscription on my shaman, but I'm having a hard time with those, because herbs always have a weird price fluctuation on my realm. With Larthas, I'm also selling enchanting rods, titanium plating, basically anything that's in a somewhat high demand. On Auriaya, I tried selling some blue items, and it was making money, but pretty soon I was having a hard time storing all my mats, and I didn't want to waste to much of my time on making money instead of playing the game. Basically, at this point, I feel my profits are high enough for comfort, so I'm not looking into expanding to much. In the future, who knows.
Well, there you go, I hope my experience will help someone. The best tip I can give is "keep at it". When I started jewelcrafting, it started out slow, but I was posting twice a day, kept watching the market to buy cheap uncut gems and tried to give the lowest prices I could afford. My minimum price wasn't at 10 go profit or anything like that. It was the price of the uncut gem plus 5% plus the price of the posting fee to account for canceling and items not selling. Yes, I lost a gold piece every now and then, but pretty soon, being the one buying most of the cheap mats and the one selling most of the gems, I pushed other people of the market and it became much easier. Just make sure to try and post once or twice a day, at least. Otherwise, people will get back into the market and you will have to wait a few days again before you get back to your old profits.