I decided to play on my Mage yesterday, one of the characters I have yet to level through Cataclysm. My Mage is an elixir master and herbalist. My Alchemy was already maxed out because I had so many extra herbs from my Hunter leveling first that it was enough to max out my Scribe and my other Alchemist without ever leaving Stormwind.
I did nothing special at all. Just leveled and picked herbs while I was doing my quests. During that time I picked enough herbs to make roughly 100 flasks. Each flask sells for between 120g (strength one) to 220g (intellect one). The strength one was the one I made the most of, their herbs seem to be all over the place. Either way, in about 6 hours of leveling I gained a level and a half and had to make trips back to Stormwind 4 times to empty my herb bag out.
Each time in Stormwind I would make what I could and list it on the market. I made 3K nearly instantly. Made another 5K when I checked before logging out. Made another 3K this morning when I checked before heading to work. All that and I still have about 40 flasks left.
That is 11K made selling flasks that I made from just picking herbs while leveling. I did not even need to go out of my way for them. No farming was involved. Just picking them as I passed them and I would do that even if I were not making money. Heck, it is great experience and they are materials I could use for myself.
It makes me wonder how people can get to level 85 and complain they are broke. One person in my guild, with an 85, was telling someone else that they have never even seen 15K after they had bought a chopper for 15K gold.
Do people really neglect their professions that badly? Admittedly the Alchemy/Herbalism combo right now is a powerful money maker but any profession can be a potential windfall of cash if done correctly.
I did some mail box cleaning this weekend and relisted all the unsold enchants I made while leveling my enchanter and that character made 2K just selling junk enchants made from leveling. No quality enchants there. Just junk.
A guild mate got one of those new meta gem patterns and gave it to me for free saying the guild would get use out of it instead of having to pay 500 per gem. I told them when the time comes I will deck them out in gems for free as payment. They are a part time player now, they don't like Cataclysm much so they only play once a week now, I can relate, it seems there are more and more of those types now. People that where hardcore raiders that now barely ever play.
I made a whole mess of the strength meta gems and put them on the market. Spent 2K on ores, prospected the ores, sent the gems to my transmute master, made the shadowspirit raws, cut them, sold 12 of the 18 I had already for 650 gold each. Still have 6 more to sell and that is not to mention the extra uncommon gems I got and the 19 rare gems I got in the process, 5 of which here rubies, which are 120g each on my server. So for 2K gold I spent I've already made over 7K from it and still have lots of materials left over. It's not exactly rocket science is it?
Mind you, I do not make any effort to make money what so ever. I am not into the money making game. It is fun sometimes but it is rather boring and way to easy to find as fun most of the time. Not to mention, I know when there is something I want to buy I can spend an hour bouncing through characters and using my professions to make as much money as I need in no time.
Getting another of those jewelcrafting recipes was my inspiration for leveling my Mage this weekend. I was hoping for a drop so I could get the agility one that my hunter who so desperately needs. See, for each and every gem I sell for 600g I would never pay that much for one myself.
Anyone that pays 600g for a gem is either buying gold from a gold seller or has no friends that can make it or is really impatient. I make the strength gems for my guild mates now, no charge what so ever. I would not pay 600g for a gem even if you offered to pay the 600g for me. I consider it wasted money and I would not let you waste your money that way. I'll wait until someone is advertising in trade that has it and tip them 50g to make it for me. Hell, for a 50g tip I would have them make 30 for me and sell them for a massive profit.
Maybe that is why I always have so much gold. I do not waste it and I look at everything as a chance to make money, not a chance to spell money.
Creating a new character? Take herbalist and mining. You can always switch your professions later. Both herbalism and mining offer two things that will help you. Experience and gold. The money you will make off of them while leveling will easily pay to power level any profession you might want later when you reach max level and the experience is something you can not over looked. One node offers at least equal to the amount you get from killing a mob. So selling what you gather while leveling is like getting paid to level. Can't beat that.