If you think back to your first character, you will probably cringe at the memories of some of the mistakes you made. At the time, I remember things being very confusing; later, it just seems silly.
One of the most common mistakes made by new players is spending money where they shouldn't, or spending more than they could have. This may not be of consequence to a level 70, or to those who have level 70s funding their lower characters; but for anyone leveling for the first time, getting swindled can severely eat into your wallet.
When leveling professions in particular, which is a very expensive endeavor, one must take extra care. The various recipes you can purchase in the auction house are sometimes overpriced, and other times, are scamming you out of figures such as 80x more than you would have otherwise paid. How can this be? The main way in which you'll see players getting away with this is through selling patterns that are white, as opposed to green, blue or purple.
White patterns are vendor-quality items, which means that there are vendors out there, somewhere, that are selling them. Often for 25s-1g pre-Outland, and 4-6g in Outland. These same patterns often sell on the Auction House for up to 20g. In fact, many players go out of their way to hunt down white patterns and sell them at marked up prices. Here are some ways to determine whether the player selling your item is a reseller:
- Is that player selling multiples of the same pattern?
- Does the player have other white patterns for sale?
Head over to a website like Thottbot or Wowhead and find the search box. Simply type in the name of the pattern or recipe, and you will be given information about which vendors sell the item, as well as locations and prices. If the vendor is out of your way, consider asking a guildie or higher level friend to stop by. If this is not realistic, check the Auction House and see if the prices being asked are worth saving you the trouble of heading to the vendor yourself, or waiting. Often, they are not.
Our friend Tuscansalami over at the Khorium Toolbox has been kind enough to list white engineering schematics, complete with links and information regarding how and where you can acquire them. If you have compiled lists of white schematics for other professions, or know of some good ones, feel free to drop a line in the comments and I'll update this post.
As a final note, I would like to point out that green, blue and purple patterns, like all items, are also subject to being marked up. Because they tend to be drops and not vendor items, the prices will be considerably higher than white patterns; but, a quick search through a WoW database site is your best bet to avoid overpaying.