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Gold Capped: Selling pets for fun and profit

Cat vendor
Every week, WoW Insider brings you Gold Capped, in which Fox Van Allen and Basil "Euripides" Berntsen aim to show you how to make money on the auction house. Feed Fox's ego by emailing him or tweeting him at @foxvanallen.

I will admit, I'm a sucker for collecting in-game pets. Maybe it's because I like having someone following me around, even when I'm soloing content. Maybe it's just because of the obsessive-compulsive Pokemon instinct, where I gotta catch em all regardless of the consequences. Maybe it's just because I like tiny animals that depend on me.

I'm far from alone -- collecting pets in WoW is serious business. There are achievements involved. Exclusive bonus pets. People have even created websites devoted to the hobby of collecting vanity pets.

People love pets. And people will spend lots of money on the things they love, which makes making, buying, and reselling pets a very profitable endeavor indeed.

About that neutral Auction House ...

Whenever I visit the neutral Auction House in Booty Bay, I always assume Blizzard had big plans for it. It seems super-useful in theory -- a way to double (or more!) your pool of potential customers. It doesn't work that way in practice, of course. Since Booty Bay and the other assorted Goblin-run towns are so inconvenient to get to from Stormwind and Orgrimmar, very few ever people visit it. And since it's run by Goblins, listing fees and commissions are incredibly high.

There are really only two reasons why people visit neutral Auction Houses anymore. The first reason, which Basil talked about last month, is to ferry money across factions (an effort not without sizable risk). The second reason is to buy or sell a faction-specific pet. That's it, since Blizzard pulled that awful Green Hills of Stranglethorn quest from the game.

One of the more lucrative routes to selling pets is to use the neutral Auction House . It's quite literally the only source for some pets sold by faction-specific vendors. A couple of things to remember about neutral Auction Houses:
  • There are only four places you can go to visit the neutral Auction House: Booty Bay, Gadgetzan, Everlook, and Shattrath. These all link you to the same Auction House -- list an item in Booty Bay and someone looking at the AH in Shattrath will see it and be able to buy it.
  • The neutral Auction House charges a much higher cut than your faction's Auction House -- 15%, as opposed to 5%. The deposit required to list an item is also five times higher.
If you're going to list things on the neutral Auction House on a regular basis (or even a semi-regular basis), it's worth sending an alt to Booty Bay (or other location) on a permanent vacation for the sole purpose of listing neutral auctions.

Reselling vendor pets from your backyard

Know those boring Black Kingsnakes your Horde character -- and any other Horde character -- can buy from Xan'tish in Orgrimmar? Alliance players can't buy those as easily as you can. They have to rely on Horde players selling them on the neutral Auction House.

By doing the same thing -- buying pets from vendors that only your faction can visit, and reselling them on the neutral Auction House -- you can realize some strong profits. You can often make money selling these to your own faction too, since not everyone knows where to go to get these if they're missing them from their collection.

A lot of these sell very, very slowly. Thankfully, the initial investments for a lot of these pets is very low -- and, by extension, the deposit required to list them on an Auction House.

Alliance-specific

Horde-specific

Reselling vendor pets from far, far away

Collecting pets doesn't require a lot of hard work, but it does require a lot of time. See, different pets are offered by different vendors, many of which are located on other continents (or even different planets). Thankfully, anything in World of Warcraft that you can do to save people time is almost guaranteed to be a profitable activity. Bolts of cloth are almost always worth more than the scraps. Inks are usually more expensive than pigments, which are more expensive than the herbs milled to get those pigments. And, of note here, you can easily buy a pet from a vendor -- even one accessible by your own faction -- and sell it for a sizable profit on your faction's Auction House.

Generally, the harder the pet is to obtain (read: the farther away the pet's vendor is from Stormwind/Orgrimmar), the more money you'll be able to sell it for. Cat Carrier (Bombay) isn't worth a massive chunk of change on an Alliance Auction House, if only because the vendor is so close to Stormwind. An Albino Snake, on the other hand, sells for a lot more because Dalaran is much more inconvenient to get to.

If you're going to play this side of the pet market, there are a few "neutral" vendors you'll want to visit and buy out:
If you do make the trip to visit Dealer Rashaad in Stormspire, check out the other merchants in the area. Many others, such as Dealer Sadaqat, have limited-quantity items being offered under their market value that you can grab while in the neighborhood.

That damned Argent Tournament

I know, I know -- after the 3.2 grind, a heck of a lot of you hope to never revisit the Argent Tournament grounds again. Still, that's the only place to obtain the 10 Argent Tournament-specific pets, which of course means that those 10 Argent Tournament-specific pets are worth a lot of money.

Getting them, if you'll recall, isn't easy. There's a lot of grinding required: Each Argent Tournament daily rewards a single Champion's Seal, and you need 40 of the damned things to buy one single pet. Still, if you're feeling nostalgic enough to revisit the area (or, if you started playing WoW after 3.2 and never wore yourself out on them), you can make a good chunk of money quick. You can get one pet every three days, and those pets can easily sell for thousands of gold each. And if you're level 85, you'll also get another 529 gold just for finishing those dailies.

Alliance players can buy five different pets: Elwynn Lamb, Mechanopeep, Teldrassil Sproutling, Dun Morogh Cub, and the Ammen Vale Lashling. Horde players can buy a different five: Mulgore Hatchling, Durotar Scorpion, Tirisfal Batling, Sen'jin Fetish, and Enchanted Broom. These typically sell the highest on the neutral auction house -- it's the only place Horde players can get the Alliance pets, and vice versa.

Dinosaurs!

There are four select dinosaur pets that spawn in nests on the world map. Simply find the nest, click on the egg, and loot the pet. It's that easy ... except for the part about the long respawn timers and multiple spawn locations.
  • Ravasaur Hatchling nests spawn in Un'Goro. They appear to spawn in five different locations, according to Wowhead, all in the southeast: 68.9, 61.2; 63.0, 63.2; 62.2, 65.2; 62.0, 73.6; and 68.9, 66.6.
  • Leaping Hatchling nests spawn in Northern Barrens in four different locations in the northeast part of the zone: 61.0, 19.8; 62.8, 20.2; 64.1, 23.0; and 65.0, 28.7.
  • Darting Hatchling nests spawn in north central Dustwallow Marsh in four different locations: 46.5, 17.2; 47.9, 19.0; 48.0, 14.2; and 49.1, 17.5.
  • Razormaw Hatchling nests spawn in Wetlands in one specific location: 69.9, 29.1.
The Ravasaur Hatchling seems to sell for the most of the bunch -- about 1,000 gold on my server. The rest sell for around a fourth of that. Of course, your mileage will vary.

If you're feeling even luckier, you can farm mobs for another three dinosaur pets. The Deviate Hatchling is only obtainable in Wailing Caverns by defeating Deviate Ravagers and Deviate Guardians; Gundrak Hatchlings drop from Gundrak Raptors in Zul'Drak; and Razzashi Hatchling can be farmed in Northern Stranglethorn. The drop rates on these are absolutely miserable, though.

Make your own pet (then sell the hell out of it)

If you're an engineer, you should already know that your profession is capable of crafting a number of different bind-on-use pets that can be sold on the Auction House. Enchanters too can create and sell some very unique, faction-specific pets.

Enchanters Only Alliance enchanters can make the Magic Lamp; only Horde enchanters can make the Enchanted Lantern. Because of this unusual faction restriction, you can increase your profits by selling these via the neutral Auction House. (I've also made money selling these on my own faction's Auction House.) As always, though, your level of success will depend on how many other people you're competing with.

To make this pet, you'll need to first get the recipe. Doing so will cost you 20 Hypnotic Dust.

Engineers Engineers can make six different pets, provided they can find all the schematics.
Obviously, not every pet is going to be worth the effort, and there's a chance that the entire enterprise of selling pets won't work on your server due to competition. There's only one way to find out -- head to your local Auction House (and your not-so-local Auction House in Booty Bay) and do some research!
Maximize your profits with more advice from Gold Capped. Do you have questions about selling, reselling, and building your financial empire on the auction house? Fox and Basil are taking your questions at fox@wowinsider.com and basil@wowinsider.com.

Filed under: Economy, Gold Capped

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