How to Start With Flipping

How To Start Flipping

How to start with flipping is a straightforward question. Well, if that were 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 essential questions when you want to do flipping. With this guide, I hope to teach you how to become a gold maker by flipping in the World of Warcraft.

What is Flipping?

That is a simple question. Buy low and sell high and nothing more. However, it is not 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

It would help if you had liquid gold, and the more, the better. I highly recommend starting downloading and learning the addon TradeSkillMaster. It will be your primary tool to see prices, purchases, 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 going to 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 essential things you need to consider and understand.

Where to Start

If you were hoping for a list of 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 of flipping and change from time to time and 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 straightforward auctioning and shopping operation.

If you are getting its hang, try to expand a bit and try some new markets. Just take it 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. It 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 many high-end guilds and players will have an enormous 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 massive 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 the chances are that prices stay higher, and these realm sizes are easier to control.

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 giant net you use for fishing; the more significant 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 sell finally. Big numbers don’t make a sale.

The image on the left should indicate how long high-valued items may take to sell. For 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 and the time it takes and its profit. 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. You can buy some flips cheaper at night, and you can sell some 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 marked green items can be possible flips. The marked red 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: ‘ buying’ and ‘selling’. If the buy is, then you lost 50% of the game. It’s so important to do your research or know before you’re going to make a purchase.

  • Can I sell it in a decent period?
  • What is the price of the following 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 significant purchase, then you’re halfway there. That excellent investment will generate even more profit or give you more room to play if there is competition.


Another great way to get some lovely 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. Many gold makers avoid it because of their 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 an interest. More about selling on Trade Chat can, 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. 


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

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


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

Cancel Scans and Posting Time

A common 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 cancelling.

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 costly thing, I recommend most of the time not to 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 vital tool to make fast purchases and fast sales without overthinking. 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.

Example: You paid 100 gold for item ‘X’, and you want to resell it 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). It’s a good 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%, it will be 160 gold, which 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). Using the min will pick the lowest value of the 2, and the historical price can be a perfect 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 make them.

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 vast 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. You could do crafting and farming, but the amounts you will make by flipping on other realms will 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 step by step. It’s 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.