Many alts = slow leveling, but the potential for lots of fun and gold.
How can you make gold with Enchanting? Compete with yourself, with Enchanting mats. There’s no post price for enchanting mats, so you are free to play with the market! If it doesn’t sell, no harm no foul NO CHARGE. I’d recommend having a mage be the enchanter (Blood Elf mage FTW!, passive levels in Enchanting), because if you ever get to the point where people actually pay reasonable prices for enchants, you want to warp right to them, so you don’t waste time traveling.
The thing is, people are as lazy in-game as they are in real life. If they can buy the items from the auction house instead of spending time disenchanting for the mats themselves, they’ll buy it. You can either post items at cut-your-own-throat prices to compete with the people who drive down the market, or you can inflate prices by using alts, thereby ensuring that your reasonably priced items sell out.
I made quite a killing on my Horde account by bidding/buying on full 20 stacks of Mageweave cloth for 1.2 gold, making White Bandit masks (1 bolt of mageweave + 1 bleach + 1 heavy silken thread = best disenchanting item out there, hands down) and disenchanting for either 2-5 Vision Dust/1-2 Lesser Nether Essence/1 Small Radiant Shard. I sell Vision Dust at 2.4-2.65 gold for a 5 stack, with my alts posting at 2.75-3 gold and higher.
Lesser nether essence could be combined into a greater nether essence, but they don’t seem to sell as well, and you usually have to give a bulk discount to make them sell. My main seller will post Lesser Nether Essence at 2-2.1 gold, with my alts around the 2.5 to 2.75 area. Small radiant shards should sell for around 4, maybe as high as 6 gold apiece. Post your alts higher for competitive pricing. :)
Selling mats on the AH with my first enchanter got me to 700 gold at lvl 35, after buying 4 bag slots in all of my characters banks, and powerleveling a 225 Blacksmith, 225 Jewelcrafter, 300 Alchemist, 225 Leatherworker, 300 Tailor/Enchanter, and 2 x 225 Engineers.
How do you get mats? You could stockpile them on a weekend, or just take up enchanting. On my first enchanter, I would bid on linen cloth, and make tons of Brown Linen robes, and disenchant them. Not worth it, as I soon realized. Bid on Uncommon (green) items in the AH. Select level 1-19 Uncommon Armor, and don’t bid/buyout for more than 10 silver per item. A Heavy Copper Ring (JC) will disenchant to 5 Strange Dust regularly, and you can usually buy it for 10 silver or less. There actually seems to be less competition at lower levels of mats, so this is a decent place to make money.
For example, I’ll send a 20 stack of Strange Dust and a 10 stack of Greater magic essence to an alt or 2. Alt 1 will post four 5 stacks of Strange Dust at 75-99 silver for 24 hours, and Alt 2 will post four 5 stacks at 70-85 silver for 24 hours. Do the same with the greater magic essence, posting them individually for 1-1.5 gold on Alt 1, and 99 silver to 1.25 gold on Alt 2. Break some down into lesser magic essence, posted individually for 45-55 silver and in a 2 stack for 75-85 silver. Breaking it down into lesser magic essence is sometimes a good thing, remember, people will pay more for just what they need, rather then pay a bulk price for a large stack. Either that, or they’re too lazy to check the price of the Greater essences, which can sometimes be lower than the lesser essences, even though you only have to right click it to break it down.
Ok, now you’ve primed the market. Make sure to have stocked up on the items you’re planning to sell, because they’re going to go thru the roof (a good way to do this is by buying out the low sellers, or look for deals like: 10 Greater Magic essence for 1 gold on the weekend. Now, on your main selling character, post the items at a reasonable price, with an 8 or 24 hour time limit. I sometimes post my main seller’s items at 8 hours, because it creates some urgency when customers see it won’t be around at that price for very long. Also, when I log back on the next day, my main seller’s posts have been bought or fallen off, and people have been slightly undercutting my overpriced alt’s postings, making it easy to undercut them. J
On the main seller, post X number of 5 stacks of Strange dust for 50-55 silver, and greater magic essences for 75-99 silver, with lesser magic essence going for 30-35 silver for one, and 60-65 silver for a 2 stack.
Sure, it’s annoying when stuff comes back unsold on your alts, and you have to re-break the stack apart, but just think about the fact that you’re NOT losing money on posting prices. It takes a few minutes to repost the mats, and whenever you log into your main, you’ll have money waiting for you. You’ll probably even have money waiting on your alts, since they’ll be posted for longer.
Edit 2/12/08: Post for 48 hours with all enchanting mats. The AH will take 5% no matter how short you post it for, so you might as well have it around as long as possible.
You’ll make money, people will be buying stuff at a reasonable price, and you regulate the economy by raising the average cost of enchanting mats. Left to themselves, other players will undercut each other to the ground, making it pointless to try to compete with them and still make money. Raising the prices might even make other players aware of how annoying it is to have people not want to tip you for enchants when they provide the mats. “You just have to click a button!” You have to spend a lot of gold to level up enchanting, and you have to waste most of your early level enchants because nobody wants to pay for them. It’s even hard to find someone to GIVE them free to.
It’s really irritating to sit in the trade channel and spam what enchants you have available, fly or warp to the customer, and get little or no tip. No thanks.
I’ve had a person ask me for a Fiery Weapon enchant when I already had the skill grayed out, provide 5 small radiant shards (it only needs 4) and an essence of fire, and even though I corrected him and told him to take 1 SMR back, thus saving him around 4-6 gold, he still didn’t tip me. I’m not going to rip someone off, but I’d like to be appreciated for the time and effort I put into a profession. So, after that, I decided to enchant for my 10 toons, a couple of friends, and make my money by selling the enchanting mats, and not the enchants.
I started the Ally account on Daggerspine a little while ago, leveled all my characters to about lvl 10-15, and decided to play with the AH for a while so I could afford to buy 14-16 slot bags and 24-slot engineering bags for all of them. I now have about 150 gold on my main seller (60 and 90 gold on my alt sellers), all my alts have 14-16 slot bags on them and in the bank, and I’ve bid on and collected most of the level 1-300 engineering/blacksmithing/enchanting (including Fiery,Icy,Unholy, Demonslaying)/leatherworking/tailoring recipes to give to the characters that have those professions.
It’s nice having an AH alt. Give them the biggest bags they can buy (get bags that don’t soulbind, so you can send the bags to your other characters if you decide to delete the alt), and start collecting recipes. You’ll never buy a duplicate, you can look for bargains on mats you know you’ll need, and there’s no pressure to go out and level them. In my opinion, Stormwind has the easiest access to ore, so after you’ve scanned the AH, go out and make a copper run. If you want, level the alt to about lvl 10, so you can kill the Defias outlaws if needed, but you can make a quick foray from the city, warp back, and have a full stack of copper to send to a character that needs it.