Sell Virtual Gold for Real-World Money on World of Warcraft: Two Newbie-Friendly Techniques


Rookie Wordsmith
Jun 13, 2018
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Okay, I’ll be dating myself here, but I used to be a big Diablo II player. Prior to that, I was more of a fighting game guy. Diablo II (and Neverwinter Nights) was my introduction to role-playing games. I must have spent weeks hacking through hordes of enemies, but what really got me was the customization possibilities. I kept playing, hoping I’d either accumulate enough gold or bag a rare weapon.

That game also introduced me to in-game currency (the aforementioned gold). Although I never found anything worth selling, I knew of players who could conduct in-game exchanges. Player A would meet with Player B inside the game. Player A drops the item Player B is purchasing. Player B then picks up the item and pays the agreed-upon amount in gold. Pretty cool, but I was really blown away, when I heard people were paying real-world money for in-game items! The Diablo subreddit is full of discussion about in-game items selling for thousands of dollars.

Fast forward to present day, playing games to simply accumulate items or stockpile gold (called “gold farming) has become a serious enterprise for some people. Gold farmers try to get as much virtual gold as possible, then sell it to other players for real-world money. To this day, I’m still amazed the people will pay cold hard cash for pretend gold. But that gold can be used to buy in-game weapons and upgrades. So for players, that gold has value that they’re willing to pay money for.

I decided to give gold farming a try. But I fell out of the Diablo bandwagon (sorry Diablo III!), so I turned to my current game: World of Warcraft (Wow). I’m writing this guide for other gamers (as well as beginners) who’d like to give gold farming a try.

WoW, Gold!

One of the most thriving gold farming scenes surrounds the World of Warcraft. World of Warcraft is one of the most popular Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Games (MMORPG) in existence. It makes Diablo II look like a simple, 8-bit RPG.

Gold on WoW is in such high demand that some people have dedicated their time to farming and selling gold. It’s so lucrative a factory in China hired kids to play the game 24 hours a day. That’s insane! But also… tempting.

Virtual gold isn’t subject to the whims of the regular global economy. The in-game economy is its own thing. Also, selling virtual gold is not yet taxable in the US (although some countries such as South Korea have started taxing it). But make sure you check with a lawyer or accountant to get the last word on tax compliance when it comes to this activity.

How to Farm and Sell Gold on World of Warcraft

After some hemming and hawing, I decided to give this a try. I mean, I’m already an avid World of Warcraft player anyways. Might as well see how far I could take this. But I wanted to do it fairly and ethically. This also meant I was going to be a solo enterprise: no hiring armies of Chinese gamers to help me stockpile gold.

Just as a disclaimer, nothing can beat having an army of gamers at your disposal. When you’re farming solo, the amount you’ll be making will be a bit more modest. But hey, you’re selling digital goods for real money. That’s gotta be pretty fun, right? Here are some newbie-friendly methods to accumulate gold.

1. Kill Stuff, and Kill Stuff Often

Nothing beats the direct approach! Go on solo raids or try killing all the opponents in a dungeon by yourself. Keep all the gold for yourself. Rinse and repeat as your gold stockpile grows. This isn’t the sexiest method to farm gold, but it is the easiest. I would spend up to four hours doing raids, and would get around 10,000 gold this way.

2. Sell High-Value Items

Since you’ll be hacking and slashing through so many places and monsters, there’s a big chance you’ll score some high-value items. You can then auction these off for gold. World of Warcraft has a pretty kickass Auction House (AH) where players can sell items to the highest bidder.

Pro tip: sell any herbs you find on the AH. Players are always looking for those for their potions.

The Verdict: Legit or Scam?

Farming gold on World of Warcraft is a legit way to make a few bucks! But beyond the numbers, it’s also a fun activity to do. But there are a lot of scammy places that promise you free WoW gold. Avoid those places at all costs! Do not fall victim to them. The best way to get gold is through solo raids and wheeling and dealing on the AH. Good luck!

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Your Turn

Got any other legit, non-illegal ways to farm gold? Let the Earn That Buck community know about it!

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Bronze Wordsmith
Jun 10, 2018
But I wanted to do it fairly and ethically.
Wow thats rare these days! Good luck in your adventure!! I loved playing Warcraft back in the day lol wow seems like a lifetime ago