Hello everyone--

I wanted to share my beginning journey on the gold game in Warcraft, since I suspect how I got my start is not typical for most people visiting here.

As I entered Cata, I would consider myself a typical raider. I had been playing for over three years, had five level 80s, and had ~15,000g between all of my toons. My professions:
Pally main-- JC/alch
warlock-- alch/skinner
hunter -- mining/engineer
priest -- miner/herbalist
druid -- alch/herb

Yeah, weird bunch of professions, I know. I do like my alchemy CDs.

The one thing that made my guild think I was odd: I loved fishing. Not even for achievement stuff, just liked always having multiple stacks in the bank, being able to provide feasts for my guild, and putting some up on AH. I had 450 fishing on *three* toons.

So as Cata started, I did my gathering (herb/mine/skin) and JC crafting to make a small cushion of gold. I slowly got up to around 25K by the end of March.

Then I saw someone in trade saying "WTB fisher for guild achievement". In chatting with this person to learn more, there was the perfect storm of a small 10 man guild who had LOTS of gold and a roster of players who hated fishing. As of the end of March, they had only managed to catch ~1,500 fish. I negotiated to get my lvl 83 lock (who was still at 450 fishing) into their guild from my bank guild under the following terms:
1) 3g per pool fished, paid in installements after each 1,000
2) 5,000g tip at the end if completed in a month
3) I keep everything I catch for my own use/sale

So my strategy for this: The first night, I circled STV cape multiple times, catching about 1,000 pools in 6 hours. I did this to see what my best pool per hour rate was, but in doing so, I wound up with bags filled with oily blackfish, firefin snapper, and stacks of lowbie vanilla materials from trunks (leathers, bolts, stranglekelp) that I assumed would be pretty worthless. What a surprise I had when I went to the AH to start posting and see the returns that some of this yielded! One full circle of STV cape gave me about 7 stacks of fish, 4-6 green gear, 3-4 stacks of leather (thick, heavy, rugged combined) and almost two stacks of Stranglethorn.

I posted a little at a time--a couple stacks of each item. The oily fish was selling for 20-25g/stack, firefin snapper for 25-70 per stack. The leathers went for anywhere from 30-90g per stack, depending on what type of leather it was. And stranglekelp went for 25-35g per stack. And they sold surprisingly fast, usually before 24 hours had expired.

So I fished. Did Highland guppy fishing...200-250 per stack. Fathom Eel, 150-170g per stack. And waters, waters, waters. Didn't oversaturate the markets with my posting, but did just enough to keep inventory moving out of my bank with space to spare. I'd circle STV every now and again for quick numbers, and go back to Cata fishing to get the big dollar fish.

That was when I found gold blogs. TUJ. And this wonderful site. As of now, I have retooled my hunter to drop mining and pick up enchanting (490 now) and am looking at dropping herbing on my druid to pick up inscription. I've taken my 1,000+ volatile life I got from herbing and am sure to never let a transmute CD go to waste, building up a small stock of volatiles for future speculation, and selling the extra (mostly life-air).

This is a modest tale of a beginning--as of this weekend (when I finish the last 400 pools) I will have around 110,000g. Now that I had a solid chunk of liquid capital and a bank full of consumables I feel confident will hold value well for this xpac, I can start *really* having fun with the AH (hint: I will not be doing more fishing after this!). I will likely dropping herbing on my druid to pick up inscription to further diversify my markets.

This is a small opportunity that people just getting started can exploit--you can literally have not a single profession leveled, but if you can reach STV and can afford a fishing pole, you may be able to find people who could use your services. This is not the best gold per hour, to be sure, but it is a kind of "salaried" approach that provides steady income.

Many, many thanks to everyone who posts here for your creative thinking and sharing so many wonderful ideas.