On the real money auction house pictures floating around the web, there is a tab for “Gold”. This means it is legal to buy and sell gold. Great news, everybody! This makes it easier to make money off this game! There is also a “Characters” tab, but Blizzard have stated, that that feature won’t be in at launch, but might be added at a later point. They might as well do this, or that extra money goes to the gray market and not down Activision’s pockets!
If we factor in gold buying in making money off of Diablo 3, a lot depends on the exchange rate of gold. Most likely you would be able to buy gold, and buy the item on the gold money auction house cheaper, than if you were to use real money and buy the item directly on the real money auction house.
This is because there will most likely be professional people goldfarming, working under sweatshop conditions, getting a low hourly wage, so the gold can be sold cheaper than you can get it yourself. In addition to farmers, you have your average Joes selling gold for real money.
So most likely, you will be better off buying and selling on the gold money auction house! That is not half bad, because you can buy gold with real money without getting in trouble with Blizzard. If that is the case….THEN HOW THE HELL DO YOU MAKE MONEY OFF THIS STUPID GAME?!
A money making strategy off the top of my head, would be to focus on scarcity. There will be a lot of people selling items and gold, but there won’t be a lot of people selling ultra-rare stuff. The lootdroptables automatically limit these people. So you would be able to get a decent price for these items on the real money auction house. Then how do you get these items? First and foremost, focus on selling 95% of your stuff on the gold money auction house. Even go so far as to buy gold, if the exchange rate dips. With the gold you acquire, you buy highlevel items and sell them on the real money auction house.
A lvl 7 rune sells for 20 USD or 5000 G. If you can buy 5000 G for less then 20 USD, you are better off doing that. Maybe you can buy 5000 G for 15 USD, which means you can buy the rune for 5000 G and sell it for 20 USD, netting you 5 USD profit.
Mind you, it isn’t riskfree; you will incur transactionfees and the risk of not selling the rune at 20 USD.
Depending on the buy/sell price of gold, the current exchange rate of gold/real money and the price differential between the real money auction house and gold money auction house, this strategy might also only work one way. In the above example, to do it the other way round, we would buy a rune for 20 USD and sell it for 5000 G, and then sell the 5000 G for 15 USD, which would incur us a loss of 5 USD. Instead, to make money, you would need to able to either sell gold expensively or buy the rune cheap with real money. If you could buy a rune for 10 USD, sell it for 5000G and then sell the gold for 15 USD, you would again make a 5 USD profit.
All this will change a few months after launch, but I am saving that one for another post!