I know what you want. I know what you need, baby. Gather round the 8-track while the master sings...
It's Melvin B. Gaye time.
He found the Auction House. And when I mean, he found the auction house, I don't mean he's managed to level two chars to 70's without buying gear offa auctions.
I mean, he's playin the ponies baby.
We all know this stage. Hey! If I buy all this "X" at price "Y", I should easily be able to sell it at price "Z."
Easy money. It's how I got Mabd her elite mount. My mage DE'ed for about three weeks, buying crap offa the AH, DE'ing it, and selling it at the right time. My level 50 mage made about 4k in 3 weeks. I'd give details, but I'm too damn lazy. It's not really complicated, and takes about 10-15 minutes a day. But you get burnt out so fast...
But the fundamentals should be obvious to everyone. Buy low... sell high. Well... obvious to everyone but Melvin. Did I mention before that Melvin, like me, works as an economist for the government?
K. Melvin is an alchemist. He specced pots. He RECENTLY discovered that everyone and their brother buys 3-4 stacks of super mana pots a week for the end game runs. Now, he's been doin these runs for months now. But it just occured to him that this is a way to make gold.
The pot spec gives him the chance to make extra pots every time he makes one. So he has an advanage in making cash selling em. How does he explain this?
"I'm making tons of money with herbalism!"
"er... you're selling herbs? Well... sure, but I wasn't aware that it was that much better than, say, mining..."
"No, no, I'm selling pots!"
He honestly can't keep the two things separate.
Now, for the fine print. For the most part... you make money gathering. You DO NOT make money crafting. The reason primal nethers are in the game... so crafters can get these drops in heroics that will score them gold. Otherwise... you spend 100's leveling a crafting skill, then have to compete with everyone else in selling the goods. You will never make that money back unless you are the devil's own salesman. Uber rare patterns help, but again, you won't make up the cost of the pattern easily... hence the reason blizz changed the pattern drop system so that only people with the craft can loot it... more of an effort to reward crafters that play...
So anyway... the given economic law that usually applies... a good usually sells for the cost of mats and effort. In WoW, the cost of effort is negative. Why is this? Because everyone is trying to skill up. A chance to skill up is actually worth something to people, hence all the chanters give chants for "free with mats..." in hopes of getting a skill up they don't actually have to blow 20 gold in mats getting on their own. (Maj is 365 chanting BTW :) )
So... for the uninformed... for the most part... the cost of a mana potion, or most any crafted good, is no more than the cost of the materials for a mana potion, unless outside factors or unusual conditions apply. We do not go into crafting for profit.
Hence the specializations. They allow certain people to make more offa crafting. Melvin can take the mats for 20 super mana pots, and end up with 25 super mana pots. 25% profit right? It's in his interest then, to hit the AH, buy mats, and make tons of pots...
That's not how he's making money offa "herbalism." Really. This is a GOOOOOD Melvin story. I wouldn't make you sit through all that stuff you already know for something that wasn't mind boggling silly...
Melvin makes money offa "herbalism" by going to the AH, seeing stacks of super mana pots for 10-11 gold, buying them all up, and then reselling them.
For 12 gold.
He was BRAGGING about this.
I don't have to spell out the joke here, do I? Wasting hours of time playing the AH, when you could make tons more gold just going out and blowing things up with your epicced out 70 mage...
Oh yeah, his comment on my mage... "wait til she's 70! You'll be able to farm, finally!"
Mabd, MY LEVEL 70 HUNTER, really should kill his entire family, take a screen shot, and send it to him with the caption... "While farming in your backyard..."
BTW.. his personal political philosophy is liberal/socialist. Ima conservative. We were eating lunch one day when he declared that liberals were, on the whole, smarter than conservatives.
I have six degrees, and trophies from my high school debate days. Needless to say, I had fun with him...