I am always being asked how to make money. I've turned people in my guild from paupers to princes by teaching them how to turn over ore with jewelcrafting, alchemy and enchanting. I've taught them the time investment only way of gathering to those without crafting professions. I've helped a lot of people make money but some people just do not have professions so they can't do any of those things.
I know what you are going to say, how can someone not have professions. Some people just don't level them. While it makes no sense to some for others it is how they roll. So for them, I am going to give a few tips on how they can make money with a little work and even without professions they can make a little gold to get by.
1) Daily Quests
Yes, it is as simple as that. Quest. Do dailies and you will make money. Not only do the dailies give you gold for completing them but by doing the dailies you can also get drops. You will always get cloth and greens but there is the rare chance to get some blue or even purple drops. I know a few lucky people that hit the jackpot with drops at the beginning of the expansion and made a mini mint with purple drops.
Doing daily quests can bring nothing but good. Even if the best thing you ever get is cloth, it sells well enough to make a little extra gold and cloth is one of those things that there is always a demand for and you don't need a profession to gather.
2) Loremaster Quests
Go get yourself loremaster. The quests will be super simple for a max level character and you will not only get some sort of monetary reward for doing them even if it is low but you get items to sell as well. Always pick the most expensive item and sell it. Even if that is all you ever do you can easily make upwards of 30K, perhaps even more if you did not quest a lot while leveling.
Add to that all the things you will get while questing. Boar meat, wool cloth, essence of air, anything that has an after market can be sold. Some of these things sell for a lot. Most meats on most servers, even the low level ones, can sell for 20 gold a stack to people power leveling their cooking. So sell everything you get while going for your loremaster. At the end you have an achievement not many have and a lot more gold. Not all that bad for someone with no professions.
3) Cooking recipes
There are a few places where picking up cooking recipes and reselling can make you a nice little sum of cash.
Visit Vivianna (A) or Sheendra (H) in Feralas for a few recipes that people seem to like to buy. Feralas is one of those areas that neither horde or alliance seem to visit all that much which means these cooking recipes get over looked. Unless you have a few recipe sellers on your server you can make a good living on these.
Some servers have people that buy and sell recipes to make money and they do it all the time. There must be a reason right? Yes there is and the reason is that you can make a fair deal of cash on them. For things that will usually cost you less than 2 gold you can sell them for 30g-80g easily depending on server economy.
Another great place is in BC content. People seem to want to get in and out of there so quick they forget that there are recipes to be had there and they sell nicely. Visit Dopa, Sid and Mills alliance side and Gambarinka, Cookie and Grilka on horde side for some recipes. Juno Dufrain sells to both sides with one very good money maker too. Blackened Trout and Blackened Sporefish seems to sell the best of all of them, probably because those fish is always super cheap on the AH house so it makes it a great option for people leveling up cooking. It also means they are willing to pay a fair deal for it being the fish is dirt cheap. Don't get me wrong however, they all sell well.
Also, there are a few recipes that are only available to one side or the other. Check the list here at wowwiki instead of me doing the work digging it up myself. Buy these and sell them on the neutral auction house. Depending on your server economy you could easily sell these for upwards of 200 gold each. Even on bad servers 50 gold is not unheard of for them.
A bonus for alliance only mostly is the Vendor-Tron 1000 in Desolace. He sells a nice selection of horde only recipes as well as one that can only be purchased from him on either side. One bad thing is he has a limited stock of 1 each. Good luck getting it and finding him. He moves around all the time.
4) Argent Tournament & Other Pets
Okay, I could have put this under quests because of the need to do quests for the pets but it deserved its own area for what it does and what else it could teach you.
Doing three days worth of dailies, which at 85 is super easy and super fast, not only gets you a nice little sum of gold but enough champion seals to buy a pet. You can then sell that pet on your side, usually between 1K-5K depending on server, so lets call it 3K average or you can sell it at a neutral auction house so the other side can get it and that could net you from 6K-15K depending on server, so lets call it 10K average.
Depending on where you sell it you could make yourself 3K or 10K every three days. Not bad for someone with absolutely no professions don't you think? With the new pet battles coming expect those numbers to be closer to 30K and 100K every three days, depending on how well that part of the game takes off.
At the start, I can see the prices being slightly higher, so if you start collecting them now and sell them at the start of mists you could very well gold cap all 10 characters on one server in less than a day. Screw not bad for someone with no professions, how about freaking awesome for someone with no professions. Gold capping in one day with no professions? Impossible they say. I say collect AT pets and sell them when mists comes out and you will gold cap in day one with no professions. Nice right?
Now lets take a note from the whole pet thing and see if you figured it out on your own.
Ready for a hint now? Faction specific pets, things like owls for alliance and snakes for horde. Buy them and sell them on a neutral auction house. More so, sell them as soon as mists comes and instead of putting them on for 50g each you could be putting them on for 5000g each. Okay, that might be wishful thinking but they will surely be a fair deal more than 50g.
5) Auction House Flipping.
Buy low and sell high. Simple as that.
But is it really? I've given that advice to a million people it seems and while all understood what I meant none of those people could figure out how to do it and what to do it with. For the people that know, saying buy low and sell high is common sense. For those that know how to do it it does not need explaining but for those that don't I might as well be speaking greek saying that.
I could, and might, make a post just explaining how to do it for those that don't understand it. I will try to give some simple examples on how you do that, for the people that do not know better.
First is you need to watch your own market, not all servers are the same. If I say buy cloth on weekends and sell on weekdays I would be wrong. Your server might be different.
On my main server a stack of mageweave cloth goes for roughtly 4-6g per stack during the week but on weekends it could be upwards of 20-25g per stack while on another server I am on I can buy mageweave on the weekends at 7g a stack and during the week it goes for 50g a stack. The same item, in the same quantities, two totally and completely different sales patterns.
That is the problem with giving people blanket advice on how to buy low and sell high. You need to teach people to watch their own market first and teach them how to read it. Buy low and sell high is a concept but how it is handled will be different on every server.
So seeing that information to do the buy low sell high thing what we would do, after looking at the trends, is on my main server I would buy for 4g during the week and sell for 20g on the weekends and on the other server I would buy for 7g on the weekends and sell for 50g during the week.
That is the concept of buy low and sell high. Track the trends of popular items, things that are used often, like crafting materials, enchants, gems, flasks and the such. Once you see the trend, bend it to work to your advantage.
On my server you can buy flask of the winds for around 80g all day long on the weekend and on tuesday nights it sells for 180g. Even by thursday it is still selling for 120g. That is flipping. That is buy low and sell high.
A good trick to the buy low and sell high is to keep track of the game as well. If you could buy out the AH of the top enchants and gems the week before a patch it released you can make a fortune. Before 4.3 came out the chest enchant was selling for 150g, the week after, 2500g. Before 4.3 came out red raw gems where selling for 75g, the week after, 600g. That is an example of flipping.
There is also the new beauty of the flipping market, the darkmoon faire. You can get the quest items for a song the week before the faire. The three PvP items will usually always be 20g or less before the faire but the day the fair starts, 250-350g is the norm for them.
You have to be quick however, because by the third day of the faire they are usually back to a more reasonable price and your profit margin drops. The people that buy them that high do it to get the stuff done that first day, so you need to have yours listed that first day. Even for someone with no professions you could easily make a nice sum of money just dealing in the PvP based quest items alone for darkmoon faire. The others usually stay a little higher, but there is still money to be made with them, but the PvP ones will always be dirt cheap during the off weeks. There you go, another case of flipping.
Well, that is all for now. Have some fun and go make some money. There will be a lot of things you will want to buy come mists.