How To Start Flipping

How to Start With Flipping

How to start with flipping is a very simple question right? Well if that was the case, then I wouldn’t make this guide on flipping. So how come it ain’t that simple then? Because flipping is all knowledge and data.

What to buy, when to buy, how much to buy, does it need a reset? What did the price do last week or last year? What will the price do next week? When to sell, what time to sell? What price to sell, how much to sell?

These are all very important questions when you want to do flipping. With this guide, I hope I can teach you how to become a gold maker by flipping in World of Warcraft.

What Is Flipping?

That is a simple question. Buy low and sell high and nothing more. However, it ain’t that easy. You have to start learning the market, check sources, and understand them.

Flipping should become like a sixth sense to you as a gold maker and trust me, you won’t become a gold flipper overnight.

Luckily there are gold flippers and gold making resources out there for you.

What Do I Need To Start With Flipping

You need liquid gold and the more, the better. I highly recommend starting downloading and learning the addon TradeSkillMaster. This will be your main tool to see prices, your purchases, your sales, and lots more. This way you can compare the price on the realm you’re flipping on and compare with the region price. You can even compare the prices with a historical price (60 days old data).

Knowledge is the 3rd best thing you are gonna need. Learn to understand how your realm works, learn when to soft or hard reset a market, what items are selling fast, what items will sell better at certain moments, what items can give me the most profit. All very important things you need to consider and understand.

Where To Start

If you were hoping for a list with items to import into your TSM, then I’m sorry to disappoint you. The idea of this guide is to make you understand what flipping is and how it works. Flipping is not something you do from a list of “the best flipping items”, because there are no “best” items. Some items may have a higher probability for flipping, but also that can change from time to time and from server to server.

The best way to start with flipping is to do something you are already familiar with like materials or crafts from a profession. Even like something you farm and sell often. Make a group to put the items in and make a very simple auctioning and shopping operation.

If you are getting the hang of it, try to expand a bit and try some new markets. Just take it to step by step.

No Realm Is The Same

Every realm is different from one another. Even if the size or type is the same, but some do share specific qualities.

A ‘Role Play’ (RP) realm works very differently from a ‘normal’ server. Transmog, pets, and mounts will sell better on an RP realm than on a normal realm. This has to do with the needs of players on that realm. Not saying that they don’t need consumables to raid, but they will have a bit more need for cosmetics.

A realm with a lot of high-end guilds and players will have a bigger appetite for consumables, gear, enchants, and gems. They need to improve their gameplay and care less about cosmetics.

Size Does Matter

The size of a realm can make a huge difference in gold making. In most cases, there are always more items on the auction house than needed and that’s because there are more sellers most of the time. The more sellers there are, the more competition there is, the bigger chances are of undercutting in prices.

Low and medium pop sized realms have lesser competition, so chances are that prices stay higher and these realm sizes are easier to control.

This might soon change because all the low pop realms are getting linked with another low, medium, and high pop realms.

Diverse Your Market

To have a better chance of getting an income from flipping is by having a diverse assortment. You don’t want to sell only consumables or only gear and you don’t want only items that give little profit or only large profits. See it like a big net you use for fishing, the bigger the spread the better the catch.

Also with time, don’t try to sell items that only have big profits but take a lot of time to finally sell. Big numbers don’t make a sale.

The image on the left should give you an indication of how long high-valued items may take to sell. As an example, materials may sell faster, but have a lower price, while transmog may take more time, but have a higher price.

Diversity isn’t only the type of item but also the time it takes and the profit it will give. The best would be of course to have fast-selling items with a good profit margin.

What Items to Flip

All these factors decide a purchase or sale and that is why doing research is so important. I don’t mean you have to study it day and night, but get an idea of how the realm or the item works.

On the right, you see a shopping search and there are a couple of things I check before I buy;

  1. Posted amount
  2. Price and profit opportunity
  3. Type of item
  4. Possibility of a soft or hard reset
  5. The time it may take to sell it

It’s not always what you need to flip, sometimes it’s what dropped the most in price and has the best chance to go up in price again. Some flips can be bought cheaper at night and some can be sold better in the evening and that all has to do with the kind of item and the people on it.

There are so many variables that can decide a buy or a sell;

  • Type of item
  • Amount posted of the Item
  • Amount of sellers
  • Reset point
  • Farmers
  • Crafters
  • Flippers
  • Time of the day
  • Day of the week
  • Event
  • Timeline of the expansion

The green marked items can be possible flips. The red marked ones are the ones I don’t see as a fast or profitable enough flip.

Buying is Just as Important as Selling

A common thing that we don’t talk about a lot is ‘buying’. A flip is made out of 2 parts and that is ‘buying’ and ‘selling’. If the buy is, then you lost 50% of the game. It’s so important to do your research or have the knowledge before you’re gonna make a purchase.

  • Can I sell it in a decent period?
  • What is the price of the next item when I buy it?
  • How many are there posted?
  • Do I need to make a soft or hard reset? Do I even need to make one?
  • Can I buy it cheaper on trade chat?

If you make a great purchase, then you’re halfway there. That great investment will generate now even more profit or will give you more room to play if there is competition.


Another great way to get some nice cheap items is by using the sniping function in the TradeSkillMaster addon.

  1. Use it in the background while you are doing other stuff on your pc.
  2. Get a second account so you can still make gold or play World of Warcraft while the sniper runs in the background.

Soon there will be a guide about sniping.

Use Trade Chat

One of the overlooked ways to buy and sell your flips is through trade chat. A lot of gold makers avoid it because of their own reason, but this is the place to make deals and don’t pay deposit costs or the 5% auction house cut. Use things as an advantage to make a purchase or sale.

Another great thing with selling on trade chat is that you give your items a bit of a spotlight. Maybe you link the amount you’re selling on trade chat and some see it and triggers his or her interest. More about selling on trade chat can be found here.

Also when it comes to buying, trade chat can be a lot of help to get lower prices. You can use arguments like the 5% auction house cut and use it to your advantage. Find out if the seller requires gold and use that to your advantage. All great ways to get a better deal than on the auction house. 


Maximizing profits is the name of the game and that also means to watch your expenses. Expenses love to eat profit and you want to minimize that. Selling through trade chat is a way to avoid those costs, but if you are a TradeSkillMaster user there is another way.

Take the Robes of Tirisfal. It has a selling price of 7 gold 97 silver if you would sell it to a vendor and that price determines the deposit cost of the item when you want to put it on the auction house.


  • 12 hours = 15% of the vendor sell price = 1 gold 20 silver
  • 24 hours = 30% of the vendor sell price  = 2 gold 40 silver
  • 48 hours = 60% of the vendor sell price  = 4 gold 80 silver

Now at first, it doesn’t seem that much, but when it comes to multiple transmog, gear and gems it will add up and eat out of the profits. Let’s also not forget the 5% auction house cut you have to pay for every auction house sale.

In another guide soon, I will explain how to encounter these kind costs so you won’t be flipping items with a loss.

Cancel Scans and Posting Time

A common thing that is asked with flipping is how often to do a cancel scan. That depends on the activity on your realm and the items you sell. If you’re on a high or full pop realm, the chances will be you have to cancel at least once a day, but not everything you sell. For bigger servers, it’s better to post short, which will cost less and you won’t have to do the long canceling.

Now let’s say you are on a low or mid-pop-sized realm or you are flipping on multiple realms, then you want to go for longer posting times and especially for slower moving items like pets, mounts, and transmog. Because posting transmog can be a very expensive thing, I recommend most of the time to not cancel scan them. It’s not worth it, especially on a low or medium pop realm.

TradeSkillMaster Buy and Sell Strings

The addon TradeSkillMaster is a very important tool to make fast purchases and fast sales without thinking too much. Make a profile for just flipping and set up different groups with items. Try what’s best for you and you can always make changes if needed.

For selling you want to use smartavgbuy, this price source records every purchase you make from the auction house or trade. You want to sell for a profit so adding % to it will make it work. 100%smartavgbuy is already the price you paid for so making it into 120%smartavgbuy will give you a 20% profit of the price you paid for.

Example: You paid 100 gold for item ‘X’ and you want to resell if for more. 120% of the 100 gold you paid for is 120 gold and makes you a 20 gold profit (if we don’t calculate the AH cut of 5% and the deposit cost). This is a nice minimum asking price, but more is even better. max(120%smartavgbuy, 80%dbmarket) means it will pick the one that has the higher value ‘max’. If the dbmarket price is 200 gold of item ‘X’ and it’s set to 80%, that means it will be 160 gold and that is higher than the 120 gold of the smartavgbuy.

For browsing (shopping) you want to have a simple string that is a bit on the greedy side like min(60%dbmarket,133%dbhistorical). By using the min it will pick the lowest value of the 2 and the historical price can be a very good indicator to check how much the price dropped from 60 days ago and now. You could also use a simple 70%dbregionamarketavg if you flip on a low or medium pop realm.

It’s all up to you, but keep in mind that TSM string’s don’t make the flips, you do.

Soon there will be a guide on TSM strings and functions.

The End Game of Gold Making

Flipping is almost the end game of gold making, there is almost a no bigger or better way to make huge amounts of profits. But there is 1 step further you can take and that is gold flipping on multiple servers. That’s the final step that will only max out your gold income and that depends on how many servers you can visit in the time you can and want to. There is no other step beyond this to increase your gold income. Now you could do crafting and farming, but with the amounts, you will make by flipping on other realms will actually become a gold loss because you could better spend that time on other servers making flips.  

Final Part

If you are new to flipping, then take it to step by step. This is not something you learn or understand fast (for most people). Also don’t invest all of your gold at once. Sometimes you have to wait to get the best deal and you don’t want to miss out on that.

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