Some professions are well-known as money-makers in WoW. Making money with WoW Jewelcrafting, for example, is pretty darn simple. (As opposed, I’m reliably informed, to real-life jewelcrafting, which is apparently horribly hard to make a living in). And then there are the others – the money-sink professions. Of all of them, blacksmithing’s probably got the worst rep. So, can you actually make any money from blacksmithing? (Or at least any, you know, Internet Dragon-based gold)?
Yes, you certainly can.
How to approach making gold from blacksmithing
There are basically three major routes to making gold from blacksmithing.
Route the first: Selling Consumables. Anything that players have to re-buy for each new item they get. The best-known blacksmithing item in this category is the Ebonsteel Belt Buckle, which we discuss below – but other ones worth considering are Pyrite Weapon Chains and even the Northrend recipe Eternal Belt Buckle. They don’t sell in huge quantities, but they do sell. Get the Blacksmithing recipes for any consumable you can.
Route the second: Disenchantables. These only make you money if one of your alts is an Enchanter, or you can persuade a guildie to do it. However, remember that you don’t need to be at 525 Enchanting to disenchant Northrend mats – a comparatively low 450 or so will do it. If you CAN do the disenchanting, this is arguably the best way to make money, not least because people tend to assume that the costs of blacksmithing are too high for disenchanting to be profitable. Mostly, they’re right. Sometimes, they’re very wrong.
Route the third: Selling crafted gear. Firelands recipes are the highest-profile right now, but frankly unless you’ve already done the grind and do a lot of daily Heroics they ain’t worth it. However, PvP gear is comparatively cheap and easy to create, and sells well. Levelling gear also sells surprisingly well, particularly tank gear.
You’ll be alternating between selling popular goods, which you’ll need to frequently re-list, and goods where, with any luck, you’ll be the only provider. The latter are better for the lazy seller, but won’t give that much of a regular income stream.
It’s worth making belt buckles and weapon chains. Bear in mind that aside from the Ebonsteel Belt Buckle, these items won’t sell fast – to minimse the time you spend re-listing them, it’s best to set up an addon like Trade Skill Master to automatically re-list and just inform you if you ever need to make more.
Ebonsteel Belt Buckles are a special case. They’re only available at 525, so blacksmiths never make them in the course of levelling – only for profit. This keeps prices high – hovering around 190g according to WoW Econ. However, it also means competition will be extremely fierce, since they’re well-known as the best source of income for a blacksmith (as every blacksmith guide on the Internet will tell you, sadly).
In a quiet market or one where there’s high demand, you may simply be able to list belt buckles once a day or so at about the lowest current price, and have them all sell. If that’s the case, congratulations, you have a steady income stream. If not, there are two tactics you can use to profit with Belt Buckles in a busy market.
First, you can undercut frequently. To do this, list small quantities of belt buckles for 12 hours near to peak time on your server – around 6pm to 8pm and around 10pm to 12 midnight, most likely. Keep WoW running, in the background whilst you’re doing other things, and check the other Ebonsteel Belt Buckle auctions every 5-10 minutes. If your buckle sells OR if someone posts below you, immediately post another one or two at the lowest AH price with a 12-hour window, again. This maximises the chance of people looking to buy buckles seeing your auctions and buying them up.
Alternatively, if you have unusually low costs for production for whatever reason, you can mass-list Belt Buckles at a price that makes you a profit, but is way below other sellers. This will either result in them being snapped up by a speculator, who will then attempt to resell them at a higher price – great if you can’t be bothered to camp the AH – or will result in your competition giving up. Sometimes, though, you’ll just lower the price across the board as other sellers follow you – in that case, it’s time to give the market a rest.
It’s worth noting that the latter tactic is only a good idea if you have a fairly thick skin. People find it upsetting.
The key disenchantables in the current market are Enchanted Thorium Blades, which disenchant to Greater Eternal Essence, and Stormforged Shoulders, which disenchant into Heavenly Shards. Other disenchantables may be worth it if the price of the mats drops low enough on your server, but it’s pretty rare.
Stormforged Shoulders are an excellent Blacksmithing moneymaker – the market for Heavenly Shards is comparatively inflexible and very high-volume, meaning it’s often possible to sell 20 or more a day. However, beware = it’s also surprisingly high-effort, with getting the ore or bars, then creating the shoulders, sending them to your alt, disenchanting one by one, and then listing them being pretty darn time-consuming.
Level 85 PvP items are the primary sellers, being used both by PvPers and people who want to artificially inflate their iLevel for getting into Heroics.The Bloodied Pyrium set is by far the fastest-moving of all the PvP sets, but don’t disregard Ornate Bloodied Pyrium, the healer set, though – they don’t sell often, but almost no-one sells them for that reason. Remember to learn the recipes for the entire set and list everything at once – many sellers will just list one or two items, which means you can often find a single item no-one else is selling and make a killing on it. Don’t be tempted to push the price too high – people aren’t THAT desperate to buy these sets, and you’ll make more money in the long run by selling in the 300-500 range than the 1000+ range.
Levelling PvP sets aren’t really worth it unless you’re on a VERY busy server. However, levelling plate sets for both DPS and tanks are very worthwhile. Again, unless you’re on a very high-population server, they probably won’t sell too often, but they will sell – and if you’ve not overpriced them, you’ll sell an entire set at once.
And that’s it!
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