Starter Cash: Buy From The Vendors
Markco recently put up a post that deals with this topic, but it’s a good one that new players often don’t realize. It’s very simple: the vendors in town sell stuff (usually limited spawn items) that you can resell on the AH for a lot more than you paid for it.
Capital cities are usually the best place to do this (because that’s where the AH is), but it can work in almost any town. The idea? If you see a rare-spawn item, buy it and resell it on the AH. What kind of items are we talking about? Generally, just raw materials and schematics/recipes.
See this guy above? This is the most famous vendor for this trick, Mr. Kendor Kabonka. He is the vendor in the Inn in old section of Stormwind that sells about half a dozen recipes that you can’t find anywhere else. Buy them there for a few silver, sell them on the Neutral AH to the Horde (or, if you have two accounts, move them over to the Horde AH) for 10-20g each, lather, rinse, repeat, and laugh all the way to the bank.
However, it doesn’t even need to be that complicated. Maybe you’re starting out fresh, without a Deathknight, and the run to the neutral AH is a true hassle. Remember, there’s tons of stuff to buy and resell from vendors: Enchanting vendors sell strange dust and essences. Some of the Alchemy vendors sell herbs. Engineering vendors sell engineering parts (which are riskier because demand is spotty). As you get into the Outland, you’ll find vendors that sell Primals as well. And, as you are out and about, questing and leveling, various vendors stashed across the world are the source for rare recipes: the Engineering vendor in Winterspring, the Alchemist vendor in the middle of the Ogres in the Alterac Mountains, the vendor that hangs out with the pirates east of Booty Bay… the list goes on and on.
So don’t just use the vendors in town as a place to clean out your bags. Look and see what they’re selling. If it’s a recipe or a commodity, chances are it will sell for a lot more on the AH than it will cost you to buy… so buy it!