• Rare Recipe Flipping - Does it Really Work?

    Note: This article is targeted at beginners and young goblins. Accomplished WoW entrepreneurs; you have bigger fish to fry.

    This post is a response to Bangkok Bill's blog post (Is Selling Uber Rare Recipes Really Profitable?) and in response to several players claiming that flipping rare recipes is not a viable and profitable venture. I've been flipping rare recipes for years, so hopefully I can clear up some misconceptions and provide guidance for newer players seeking to enter this market.

    First and foremost, I realize that some readers might not be too familiar with flipping recipes. The following links should get you up to speed:

    Onto the big question: Is this profitable? Absolutely. I've been doing this for years and it's easily one of the most mindless methods of making gold. The hard part is actually the research and building a solid snatch list. Luckily, you've found The Consortium, and all of the hard work is done for you. Flipping items, on the other hand, can be a little trickier for beginners, whom are often bitten by the data-poisoning snake. A general rule of thumb is to know an item in and out before committing an investment to it. Otherwise, you run the risk of getting PBD'd ()ed. But I'm a little off-track, back to recipes!

    "But most of these recipes are useless... who's buying them?"

    Most players take part in the game to complete something; gear sets, dungeons, pet/mount collections, achievements or PvP milestones. In some cases, completionists (right click -> add to dictionary) seek to fill out their professions book by acquiring every single recipe in-game. This is no simple feat; World of Warcraft has been evolving for over 6 years, recipes come and go and often disappear for good (). For this reason, rare recipes hold great value, even moreso if the produced item is of some value (see ). You may be skeptical of some sales reported in, say, the Latest Deals thread, but I can assure you these sales are real (though some are probably fabricated/exaggerated). I rarely do this, but here are some screenshots of my own sales that should convince you:

    5000g & 4000g
    5000g & 4000g
    3000g & 1500g

    There are plenty more, I just happened to screenshot these instead of auto-looting my mailbox. I estimate my profits from recipes alone between 300,000 to 500,000g. Redundant disclaimer: Recipes move slow. These sales were made over the course of several months.

    "This recipe won't sell at I've had it at the AH for a WHOLE WEEK! What gives?"

    Patience is your friend. 99% of recipes you post will expire. There's no rush to sell assuming you have capital at hand. Rare recipes are very illiquid when priced correctly. What is "correct pricing"? This is the price at which only ONE buyer will pay your asking price. Most players will scoff at your "outrageous" prices - ignore these people. Your prices may indeed be "outrageous" to them, but it doesn't really matter if 99.99% of the populace thinks your goods are overpriced. After all, you're only looking for a single buyer for a single recipe, right? Often, recipes will sit at the auction house for months before selling, just remember that the longer it sits there, the more your prices will seem average.

    It's also a good idea to stay out of trade chat. You'll end up getting flamed, and there's something magically impersonal about the Auction House that just screams "this price is firm".

    A Safe Buying Strategy

    Most players get burnt from buying too aggressively. Bangkok Bill's example was perfect; may certainly sell for 20,000g in the next couple years, but it is really worth it to spend 10,000g on it? Probably not, especially if you're low on capital. Within 2 years, that 10,000g could grow tenfold if invested elsewhere!

    At the tail end of WotLK, I was buying recipes very aggressively, knowing that inflation would be my best friend down the road. Most of my purchases were indeed profitable, but there was still some risk involved. is a good example, at 2000-6000g apiece, one could lose his shirt should the investment go south. The safe alternative for beginners? Never buy at 50%, 25%, or even 10% market price. Pick up recipes only when they're given away (which is very often the case). This way, you can't get burned. hasn't sold in 6 months? Doesn't matter if you paid 20g for it!

    This may all seem very obvious to most goblins/readers. I recently had the pleasure of coaching a friend in the ways of the goblin. You would be surprised how foreign some of the concepts I've covered may sound to the average WoW player. is worth 9k? What? These lessons aren't always intuitive!

    Hope this clears things up. Recipe flipping is definitely profitable, but it takes patience. Sterling beaming out!
    This article was originally published in forum thread: Rare Recipe Flipping - Does it Really Work? started by Sterling View original post
    Comments 5 Comments
    1. Traumatic's Avatar
      Traumatic -
      Good post. I've made thousands of gold flipping rare recipes as well, but my returns on recipes are minuscule compared to what I make, say, selling belt buckles, PvP sets, or enchants on a regular basis. If you can keep it in perspective that recipe flipping is a fun side-market and not a get rich quick scheme, you will be better equipped to take it in stride when that super-rare recipe sits on the AH for a few weeks without a buyer.

      Here's a way that I like to think about it. Have you ever seen the show Pawn Stars on the History Channel? Its a show about a pawn shop in Las Vegas that sees all sorts of rare, historical items move through it. The owner of the shop, Rick, gets a huge kick out of selling items of historical worth in his shop, even though he doesn't "own" on a permanent basis any of the stuff he sells. Ultimately, Rick's a business man, and even though he appreciates the stuff he's selling for its own intrinsic value, he also wants to find a buyer and cash out on them.

      When I'm selling rare recipes and other old stuff, I like to think of myself as a WoW pawn star. I've been playing this game long enough to appreciate a lot of the old Vanilla rare items, and even though I'm not using them or having them be soulbound to me, I enjoy the fact that I have them in my inventory and am hawking them (for sometimes outrageous prices!).

      If this doesn't sound like you and if you're not willing to be patient, then flipping recipes probably isn't the market for you.
    1. DoubleO's Avatar
      DoubleO -
      I can attest to the profitability of this market. I have collected a large amount of rare recipes. The collection has its own AH toon that does pretty much nothing else but list those recipes. The best part of all though? I don't care if a single thing sells because I got most of them for practically nothing. I'd rather vendor my lesser block recipe than sell it for anything less than an extreme amount.

      The above posters are right, don't get into this market for fast sales. Get into it if you like hoarding stuff.
    1. Cold's Avatar
      Cold -
      Patience is definately required in this market. You can go weeks and weeks and sell none and then 1 day sell 3 or 4 patterns at once.

      There are some rare recipes that are far more profitable when learned instead of flipped, like +4 stats to chest, Rich Purple Silk Shirt, Whitesoul Helm, etc.

      I have a post that discusses rare recipes and whether to learn or flip that may also be of help.
    1. Bangkok Bill's Avatar
      Bangkok Bill -
      Nice post Sterling. You've obviously had great success with this strategy and I think your emphasis on patience is a key point. I would still emphasize, however, the importance of doing research into the market on your own realm first before you buy any recipes to resell on the AH. This is one market that I believe can vary a lot between realms. The difference in sale price on different servers is often thousands of gold.

      As an example I play on a Roleplaying realm. Because of the desire to see old content, further RP storylines, and to get "RP armor/clothing" many of the old instances/raids are constantly being run on my server. This means that many of the "rare" recipes people say can be sold for a profit really aren't that rare on my server. I know this and always make sure to know about/investigate any "rare" recipe before I buy it on the AH to flip it, but someone who doesn't do this prepurchase research could get burned and end up purchasing a rare recipe that won't sell for much on their server.
    1. Sponsor's Avatar
      Sponsor -
      I've found that rare stuff sell better during the weekend, since there is more players online, and a bigger chance of finding that 1% of your targeted market. But I suppose it could be said about any market really, everything sells faster during the weekend.