Every single content patch, Blizzard turns the tables on gold makers and, for a brief period of time, allows any player to make tens of thousands of gold by selling valor point-bought BoE gear. We’ve all seen the ads in trade of people looking to buy them or sell them, but most people focus on their own gear first and only think about selling them once they’ve gotten a few upgrades. Is this unwise?
What if I told you that you could get several thousand gold and still have as much valor gear at the end of the month as your guildie who didn’t sell a single BoE? It’s all about timing. The valor point weekly cap is 1,000, and in the beginning of the week that valor BoEs are available for purchase, the prices are extremely high. They stay high for a few weeks but quickly plummet as people start to use more points to buy gear for selling. They bottom out eventually when people stop having upgrades available for valor.
Easy gold for everyone
So how do you have the same gear as your guildie but have a few thousand folding gold? It’s simple: You delay your boots and bracers until last. The first boots and bracers you buy are sold to someone with more money than patience, and then you save some of that money to buy “back” a pair of boots and bracers for a fraction of what you made once you had everything else you needed. In the meantime, you were two upgrades behind everyone who bought pieces for themselves … but that’s also two more slots you could conceivably get a raiding upgrade for.
Every single level 85 character, even if they don’t raid, can cap their valor points each week. If you do raid, selling them will result in a slower progression of your average ilevel. If you take advantage of this early rather than later in the month, you can get some easy gold. And easy gold can buy you other, potentially more desirable BoE gear. Heck, with the price of enchanting mats and cut gems these days, you might get the best bang for your buck simply using the money for best-in-slot raiding enchants and gems.
AH or trade channel?
So you’ve decided to sell a BoE or two. How do you even go about this? The obvious way would be to advertise in trade channel with your price and the gear that you can access. This is popular because it’s risk-free and everyone else does it. Because of its popularity, though, you will find prices are lower here than on the Auction House. The advantages of trade are still pretty convincing, though:
- Risk-free You have points until you get the gold. If you don’t find a buyer, you can still buy an upgrade for yourself.
- Efficient It doesn’t matter if your buyer is a tank, a healer, or buying for an alt. All specs’ gear costs the same: 1,650 points for boots, 1,250 points for bracers.
- Cheap You don’t have to spend money to advertise in trade, and you don’t have to pay a 5% trade chat tax.
That said, when I want to get as much money as I can from a BoE, I never sell it in trade. I use the Auction House. Sure, it costs 5% of the sale plus deposit fees if you have to relist, but for one reason or another, people are willing to pay more on the AH. Your auction is there for as many hours as you paid for, and even if some insomniac raider is shopping for BoEs at the ungodly hour of 7 a.m., they’ll see your listing.
That said, there’s risk and inefficiency with this way of doing things. You have to choose the item you’ll be selling before you know the buyers for it, and if you’re unlucky with your choice, you risk having no gold, no points, and no equippable gear.
Mitigate the risk
There are a few things you can do to reduce the negatives of selling your cash cow on the AH:
- Bark your price in trade for a DPS queue or two before committing to the Auction House. If you get any offers that overwhelm you, take the money and run.
- Analyze the AH prices for all the different pieces of gear you could sell. This is particularly well done at the Undermine Journal. There is a lot more demand for plate, leather, mail, and cloth DPS gear than, for example, tank gear. But there are a lot of tanks, and if the market for the DPS gear you’re looking into is completely saturated, it may not be for a less common type of gear.
- Once you’ve listed the piece on the AH, bark a link to it in trade whenever you remember, and tell people that you’ll give them 5% off the posted price if they give you a chance to cancel it and trade them manually.
Auctioneers, watch out
One of the most satisfying things you can do while making money is actually buying low and selling high. It’s risky business normally but potentially very profitable in the beginning of a patch where large amounts of money are being spent. In this case, the best way to make money flipping valor-bought BoEs is to watch trade for good deals and sell them when trade is less busy or on the Auction House.
It’s risky business because the value of every BoE will eventually plummet. Riding the brink between trade and the AH always runs you the risk of having the risk of your entire stock being devalued from under your feet — especially because the increased prices paid on the AH are usually really only paid when you list the item for long enough, which goes directly against the requirement of a fast turnaround.
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