As the end of expansion slump has hit many players a lot have branched out looking for something new to do outside of raiding/PvP. A lot of folks have turned to Insane in the Membrane. What this means for Auction House fans is that a lot of old world items are suddenly very lucrative. Most of the grinds involved in the achievement somehow involve something you can buy on the AH, and so we'll go through each section, save Bloodsail Buccaneers because that's just mass, mass goblin killage and Ravenholdt since the lockboxes required cannot be put on the Auction House and can only be farmed by one class.
When this Feat of Strength first came out you were required to maintain your reputation with Bloodsail while rebuilding your goblin reputation. It is now no longer required to maintain both, but some still will. You can cater to both types of players with your sales.
For those maintaining their Bloodsail Rep a very useful quest is The Gordok Ogre Suit. The vast amounts of Rugged Leather and Runecloth necessary to turn in this quest can keep your cloth and leather a very profitable item.
For those who are tanking their Bloodsail reputation, cloth is once again needed. Mending Old Wounds, Traitor to the Bloodsail, War at Sea, and Making Amends are all easy, popular ways of increasing your Steamwheedle rep via Linen, Silk, Mageweave, and Runecloth. With quests like Mending Old Wounds requiring so much Linen it's easy for even a low level player to take advantage of those working on Insane.
Among the more profitable of the Insane grind sections, the Shen'dralar requires a small handful of different items. Each person attempting to finish Insane will require 82 Pristine Black Diamonds, roughly 200 Large Brilliant Shards, and 82 of a mixture of Libram of Protection, Libram of Rapidity, or Libram of Focus.
On my server the Shards are fairly plentiful and cheap, so they may not be the biggest money maker, but there is a huge profit found on my server in buying Librams and Diamonds low and selling them high. Librams drop in Dire Maul and each one is unique, so it is difficult for many to farm them in bulk.
Pristine Black Diamonds are rare drops in upper level old world stuff, such as Dire Maul and Stratholme, making it difficult to farm as well. Because of this there is usually less than 10 of each on the auction house and the price can fluctuate over a huge range. Watch your server's market for Pristine Black Diamonds and Librams, taking advantage of dips in prices to stock up and resell at a higher rate.
[The Darkmoon Faire]
Remember that, other than Inscription Decks, these items can only be turned in during the Darkmoon Faire. It may not be profitable to list some of these items continuously through the month and instead only stock them during the first week of the month.Darkmoon Faire has two phases, the introductory phase where you can turn in craftable items like Thorium Widgets or armor kits, and the grind to exalted with cards. These introductory quests are plentiful, but because of the quests recommended by guides as well as ease of mats, I find these to be most profitable:
- Armor Kits/More Armor Kits: Requires 40 Rugged Leather to be turned into Kits. This is a great way to liquidate your Rugged Leather inventory; have some "uncrafted" leather up for those doing Steamwheedle, then turn some into kits to market to those doing Darkmoon.
- Thorium Widget/More Thorium Widgets: Requires 18 Thorium and 6 Runecloth to be turned into Thorium Widgets via Engineering.
- As mentioned, there are many Darkmoon turn in options, I've just found these to be the best for profits due to accessibility of mats and demand. Here are the other turn in quests.
Many scribes will already know about the profits made when making random Darkmoon Cards. As someone who has just about completed Insane (Only two decks left!) I was usually unwilling to pay the auction house prices for single cards, and so went about looking for other ways of getting my rep, stumbling upon a nice market for the lower level inscription decks.
Don't ignore the value of Rogues Decks. All the materials needed to make Rogues Cards comes from milling Swiftthistle, Briarthorn, Bruiseweed, Stranglekelp, or Mageroyal. Because these cards don't take any Primal/Eternal Life you can get all the materials very easy via the Auction House, and because there are only three cards per complete deck it is very easy to complete decks since you aren't taking a chance at making one of eight cards.
Most mornings I will check for Bruiseweed and Stranglekelp on the AH, buy it when it's less than 1g per unit, buying about 60g worth of herbs at a time. (I'd buy more but it's not readily available all the time!) I turn that into Rogues Decks and can make between 3-5 decks with this. Each deck individually on my server sells for 90g each, and so I've made at least 210g for a few moments of work!
There are many other ways to make gold using this grind, such as rogues offering their pick pocketing services to those attempting to reach exalted with Ravenholdt. These are just the more readily accessible markets I've found when completing my own Insane grind. As the end of the expansion has come many people are jumping on the bandwagon for this achievement, drastically lowering the stock while raising the demand. Take advantage of this incredibly lucrative niche market while you can, as Cataclysm will probably see many put this on hold if not out of the question completely.