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Gold Capped: TradeSkillMaster basic guide

Basil Berntsen
Every week, WoW Insider brings you Gold Capped, in which Basil "Euripides" Berntsen aims to show you how to make money on the auction house. Email Basil with your questions, comments, or hate mail!

edit: This is the basic setup guide for TSM. The advanced guide assumes you've read this, and you might want to read the basic description of what the addon does.

So you've decided to up your game and install an addon that lets you manage more types of auction house business in the same amount of time. All I've done so far is tease people, so I figure it's about time I wrote a TradeSkillMaster guide.

First things first: The addon on its own does nothing. You will need to download every one of the modules separately.

  • Crafting This module allows you to create a queue of crafted items and automatically tells you what you'll need to make them.
  • Auctioning This is module that lets you list your items on the auction house. It's the direct descendent of the Quick Auctions code, but a little more evolved and integrated.
  • Shopping This module takes your mats list from the Crafting module and lets you buy for them automatically. It does other cool stuff, but that's all I use it for.
  • Mailing This module lets you specify certain items to be automatically mailed to your alts (like sending all your enchant scrolls to an alt with enough bag space to handle it all).
  • AuctionDB This is a module that's used by other parts of the addon. It keeps track of all your searches and provides market prices for tooltips and other modules like Crafting.
  • Gathering This doesn't do much now except keep tabs on inventory on other characters and guild banks.

Getting started

Once you've installed the addon and all the modules, the first thing you want to do is set up some of the basics. Let's go and choose the recipes we're willing to craft when they're profitable. Click on the purple scroll icon around your minimap to open TSM's config panel, then click on the trade skill you are going to be using. I've chosen jewelcrafting as an example.

Now to choose which recipes you want to be queuing automatically, you simply have to select them from the list you see when you choose a sub-category. I'm only willing to cut Inferno Rubies in my red gems list:

First, I clicked on Disable All Crafts. Then I clicked on all the recipes I actually wanted (although it might be faster for you to just uncheck the ones you don't want to sell). Then I clicked on Create Auctioning Groups and got this window:

There are some concepts in here you may not have yet: groups and categories. Let's make a quick segue and talk about them.
  • A group is a list of items that are all priced the same way. For example, I have a group for all "low rent" Cataclysm blue gems (anything made out of a yellow or green) that will all be posted in batches of four auctions with a heavy undercut and a very low minimium price. I also have a group for all glyphs made out of Ink of the Sea, which I am willing to undercut down 5g per re-list, and I post five at a time with a minimum price at three times the mats cost. Sometimes, you just can't group items like that, though. Every single one of my enchant scrolls has its own group. It's just easier that way. To add each of your checked items into their own group, use the All in Individual Groups option.
  • A category is a list of groups that all have the same default options. If I added hundreds of enchant scrolls to their own groups, I'd go blind and mad trying to price each one. If, however, I created a category before I came into this window, I'd be able to place each scroll into its own group and automatically put each of these groups into the same category. That means that unless I override certain scrolls' groups, they will all have the same default pricing. Any of you who have experience with older versions of this type of addon, go put gauze in your ears. No, I don't have each of my scrolls listed at the same threshold. I've got category default set to 100% of Mats Cost, which defaults each group to the proper value.
Okay, so now we've got a couple of recipes added to groups. What I am going to do next is show you how to add them to categories. Click on the Auctioning Groups/Options button, then click on categories/groups, then click on create a category.

Name it, then click on it in the window to the left. What we're going to do now is set up the pricing for this category and then add all the groups to it. Setting up the pricing is done in the Category Overrides tab. Some very important options will be hidden if you don't choose to show advanced options, and this checkbox is found in the first tab when you click on Options on the left window. Most importantly, you'll want to modify the following:
  • Post settings Auction duration, number of auctions, quantity per auction. The defaults are fine for a lot of different markets.
  • General price settings How much you will undercut by, as well as whether you want a lower bid (and no, you don't want a lower bid).
  • Minimum price settings This is the point at which you stop undercutting. The most effective option is % of Crafting Cost, and I always set it to 105%.
  • Maximum price settings This is what you will post when there's no competition.
  • Advanced price settings This is what you do when someone undercuts below your threshold. Half the time, mine is set to post at the threshold; the rest of the time, it's either posting at fallback or not posting at all.
The next part is where we add the already created groups to this category. Click on the tab named "Add/Remove groups", then click on all the groups we created in the first step and click add.

Let's go see what one of these groups looks like now. In theory, since we haven't changed anything but add them to a category with overrides, they should all have the same type of values:

Okay, it's looking mostly okay. Even though our threshold and fallback seem to think they're fixed gold amounts and not a percent of the mats cost, the numbers to the left look good. Oh, also even though the numbers in the text above are wrong, the addon will post correctly. Speaking of which, how do we post? And how do we craft now, for that matter?

Get crafting

First, we need prices. Go to the AH, click on the fifth button, select at least Full Scan, and then hit the Get All button. If you have an SSD and 30Mbps internet connection like me, you'll be able to get to work in 10 seconds. Otherwise, go grab a coffee.

Done? Great. Open your trade skill and click on the hovering button just above it. Now click on the subcategories you've added, and it will look something like this:

I'll go over how to set up your automatic queuing some other day; for now, you can click on a recipe on the left to queue it, and click on it to the right to craft the item you just queued. Your needed mats are on the bottom left; they'll be listed in red if you don't have any in your bags or bank. When I explain how to use the queue restock features next time, I'll also explain how to count stuff in other characters' banks and bags as well as guild banks you have access to.

What say we go and sell these now?

Go to your favorite auctioneer, click the top right TSM button, then click Post Auction as many times as it asks you to.

OMG, there's so much you haven't talked about yet!

I know, but I can't post it all in one mega post, or 90% of my readers would go blind and the rest would get brain cancer. This is a basic 101 guide to taking TSM out of the box, updating the firmware, and plugging it in. With a little more effort, though, you can make this thing stand up and do tricks.

My personal favorite is "make the other guy play dead."

Maximize your profits with more advice from Gold Capped, plus the author's Call to Auction podcast. Do you have questions about selling, reselling and building your financial empire on the auction house? Basil is taking your questions at

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