Farming gold on the gold auction house by flipping
Let me preface this article by saying that, the market is still very much developing, prices keep dropping as more and more people go further and further in the game, and the real money auction house is not even out yet! However, there are a few things you can do to make money, or rather gold as it is. I still think, you are much better off using your time leveling up to 60 before you become focused on farming items and farming gold. Boring, I know, but onwards to the guide!
Guiding principles for making money on the AH
Since the markets aren’t fully developed, because the game hasn’t matured yet, no one knows exactly what is going to happen. However, there are a few truths that will shine through in the endgame:
The most popular class in D3 will have the highest prices for sellers
This is simple economics. The most popular class will have more demand. More demand equals either higher prices or more supply. Given that supply is pretty much fixed right now, since the drops are randomized, you will have higher prices. If you identify the most popular class, you know which items you can actually sell for a good price on the AH.
From what I have observed, Wizard class and Monk class are very popular, Barbarian class is starting to become less popular as people find, it isn’t that good on later difficulties (YMMV). Demon Hunter is middle of the pack, since it isn’t as iconic as the Wizard and the Monk, but isn’t as troubled as the Barbarian class. Witch Doctor just isn’t very popular, because it is a caster, and people wanting to play a caster are choosing Wizard. This is my observations and yours may differ. Please chime in below in the comments to broaden everyone’s horisont!
The most popular build in each class relies on a certain stat
Diablo 3 is still in its infancy, so there aren’t any “best build” or “most popular build”. However, a few things are starting to become very popular. This is especially the case with Wizard as seen in my post about the wizard build that soloed Diablo. Here a passive lets you stack intelligence without thought of vitality for maximum damage. So naturally intelligence items will be very popular and the prices higher.
Gems and sockets are hot
Sockets are a must-have on an item. Of course with the randomization, you can get an item that is spot on for your exact build or someone else’s, but this is very rarely the case. With sockets you get some wiggleroom in which items are desirable. An item with decent stats, but two sockets works for so many builds and classes, so you can get a higher price for it.
Gems are a necessity, and everybody needs them. Currently prices keep dropping for them, and this will continue for quite a while. The hot gems vary depending on the most popular class builds, but generally dexterity gems work really well for demon hunters and monks and intellect gems work really well for wizard and witch doctor. Rubies are also very popular for all classes and on top of this, it’s the best gem for head pieces when you are leveling.
The best place for farming will have a predominant mobtype and damage
Now this is most likely only a minor influence in the overall market. The best way of farming Diablo 3 is at the highest difficulty you can handle without dieing all the time. Simple as that.
Most of the maps are randomized and the later chapters all have the same quota of ranged to melee mobs. You get the best loot from random elite and champion packs and the only time it really pays off farming bosses is with a full Nephalem valor buff….which get from killing elite and champion packs. So you are forced to play the game!
How to make money on the auction house right now
With the prices all over the place, you can’t reliably make money on the auction house. However, you can do a few things to earn some gold:
Use the auction house features to their fullest: Start with one class and get to know what works for it. Start using the AH for this class. Set the level of items to within 5 levels of each other. Set sockets to 1+. Set your “money stat” as well. This would be dex for monks and intellect for wizards. Rarity is rare and above. Legendaries aren’t necessarily better than rares, it’s all random and luck. The auction house has a “maximum price” feature. Set your max price low and trawl the bottom. Do this before and after you start playing. Then relist the items for whatever is a “fair” price for that level of item.
Gems are combined in threes. The next level up is usually much more than three times higher at quare and up. If you have a jeweler that can combine gems, buy gems, combine them and relist them. Your jeweler is going to make you money, not the blacksmith.
Magic and gold find items are going to be hot. As the game matures, people hit sticking points or just start to farm gold out of boredom. Right now you are better off vendoring your blues and maybe salvaging your yellows, this is probably not going to change. So whether you go for gold find for your farming purposes or magic find, it is going to be the same amount of gold you end up farming if you vendor your thrash blues. By using the first method mentioned, and using the auction house to its fullest and focus on cheap, level 60 gear with gold and magic find you will make a pretty penny if you hold on to it for a while.
Gold will flood the game as there are few gold sinks. The only gold sink in the game are the jeweler and the blacksmith. The blacksmith is more or less useless, because A) drops are usually better and B) randomization on the high level recipes means you can get a lot of junk before you hit gold. The jeweler lets you combine gems, but few people will bother leveling him to max, because you can just farm gold and buy high level gems on the auction house…so why should you level that guy?
What I am getting at is, few people will spend all their gold on crafting, so instead they spend their gold on the AH. The majority of that gold is then NOT spent on crafting, but on the AH again…and again….and again. Sure, Blizzard takes 15% each time, but that is nowhere near what the crafting would suck out. So if you buy good, appropriate level 60 gear and hold on to it for while, inflation will work its magic for you and you will be able to sell the same item in the same market for a much higher price, since there will now be so much more gold in the economy.
So in short, use the price feature on the AH, bottom trawl the market for relevant level 60 gear, wait a few weeks and work on your jeweler to be able to combine high level gems and get to max level.
Just remember, right now the markets are extremely unstable and that will also be the case on the real money auction house. So have patience and get to know your market before you commit fully.