One of the things I love in World of Warcraft is the concept of trade professions. You can learn skinning and leatherworking, for example, and make all sorts of items, primarily armor. You can learn mining and blacksmithing and make armor and weaponry. You can learn herbalism and alchemy and make potions. You can learn tailoring and make armor and bags. Then there’s engineering, and enchanting.
Enchanting is a tricky one. I’ve always been told, “enchanters are always broke,” and that’s often true. Why? Because in order to get the reagents they need to cast enchantments, they need to disenchant other magic items. Normally there are two major ways to make money. One is to sell the fruits of your trade, and the other is to sell the magic items you collect while adventuring. Low-level enchantments are so pointless you can’t really sell them, and you end up disenchanting all the things you’d normally sell. There go your major sources of income. You also have to understand when you take enchanting at low level that you aren’t going to see many magic items as drops, most likely, until your mid-teens or so. This means that if you want to level your enchanting earlier than that, you’ll need to do one of two things: take something like tailoring as your other skill and disenchant the results, or buy items to disenchant.
If your character is a cloth-wearer, then the tailoring option can be a good way to go–spend some time farming up as much cloth as possible so you can not only make armor for yourself but also make items to disenchant. If your character isn’t a cloth-wearer, you’ll have to decide whether you’d rather farm up cloth and d/e your products or do the following.
You see, there’s been a shift in the game economy of late. There are more and more people using the trades, and fewer of them who want to actually go out and collect the resources they need to engage in them. This means you can collect things and sell them at the auction houses for a fair amount of money if you get the right things. Enchanting is one of the few production trades that doesn’t rely on a specific resource trade, which means you can take any other resource trade you want.
Go to the auction house on your server. Spend a day or two determining which resources sell well (for example, on my server it’s metal ores that sell for a fortune right now) and take one of those gathering trades. I took mining. Try to log into the game for an hour here or there during off-peak times, when fewer people will be competing for those resources, and go collecting. Sell them at the auction house. Be smart–sell these resources for less than you think you could squeeze out of them. That way your sales are more or less guaranteed, they’ll sell faster, and, well, it’s nice for the buyer to be able to find things a little cheaper.
Use the money you get from that to bid on uncommon items with a low initial bid price. I started out extremely low–5 silver or less. Sure, I got outbid on most of them, but it was worth it for the ones I got. This does mean that you’ll be spending some quality time in the auction house. Depending on whether having money or raising your skill is more important to you, you can raise or lower your maximum bid. Also as you go up in level and have greater cash reserves you can raise your maximum bid. I highly recommend using Auctioneer to make this easier on yourself–you can use it to scan the auction house while you go eat breakfast, then come back and search for things with certain parameters.
Disenchant these items. When you get full stacks of reagents, turn around and sell them at the auction house again, at least until you start getting useful enchantments and you can’t gain skill points via disenchanting any more. These, too, often sell well, and allow you to buy still more green items at low bid prices. (Once again, sell them for a little less than you think you could probably get for them.)
You blow some time in the auction house bidding and getting outbid, and collecting stuff, but it’s a sure-fire way to raise your skill level while not only not going broke, but actually having extra money to spend if you’re careful. Now if only I had enough time to play that I could really go crazy with this!