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Make Money in Diablo 3

Updated on February 9, 2014

With the much anticipated launch of Diablo III set for May 15, 2012, many gamers are looking for a way to capitalize on the implementation of the Real Money Auction House that will be available and allow them to make real money playing Diablo 3. Buying and selling virtual currency has been a part of MMOs (Massively Multiplayer Online Games) since the days of Everquest and Ultima Online, but it has almost always been against the games terms of service (TOS) and had to be done in a black market environment, resulting in shady business deals and players accounts getting banned. With the launch of Diablo 3, Blizzard plans to bring the virtual black market to the foreground and allow players to buy and sell items and gold for real money, which in turn lends to the idea that players could make money playing Diablo III. This Hub will discuss how and why players will be able to make playing Diablo 3 into a profitable online business.

Real Money Auction House Transactions Fees

When you sell an item or gold on the RMAH, you will have two options. You can either put the money into your Blizzard ( account and use it on the RMAH or for other Blizzard games like World of Warcraft, or you can cash it out straight to your PayPal account. Depending on what region you live, your transaction fees will vary. Here are the ones we know now.

North America

  1. Blizzard transaction fee
  • 15% from gold and commodities (gems, crafting supplies)
  • $1.00 for armor or weapon auctions.

If you cash out straight to PayPal, these additional fees apply.

  • 15% cash out fee

Why Did Blizzard Make a Real Money Auction House?

Blizzard may have hit the nail on the head with their business model for Diablo 3. Instead of charging a monthly fee like they do for World of Warcraft, players will only be required to purchase the game for $59.99 and they never have to give another dime to Blizzard. Considering the people are still playing Diablo 2, which came out in 2000, players are getting a very good value on their purchase. Enter the Real Money Auction House (RMAH).

I would predict that nearly every player who picks up the game will try their hand at posting items or gold on the RMAH and try to make a little cash back to either use to buy other items or gold on the RMAH or to put in their pocket. Blizzard will charge a fee for each auction that is put up on the RMAH. The fees will vary based on item type (gold, commodities, armor/weapons) but each time an auction sells, Blizzard will make a small amount of money. With most of their player base trained to pay at least $15 a month on gaming, Blizzard's speculation is that most players will use the RMAH for both buying and selling items. Basically, Blizzard is taking money out of the third party black market sites that deal in virtual gold and currency and putting it straight into their own pockets. Genius if you ask me.

Gold Auction House

Blizzard is not entirely replacing in game currency (gold) with real money. Most of the buying and selling in the game will be done on the Gold Auction House (GAH), where players can buy and sell items for gold that they get from killing monster and completing quests. Most players will only buy items for gold from the Gold Auction House before they even think about spending real money on the RMAH.

Having two separate auction houses presents interesting opportunities for savvy players who are looking to make money playing Diablo 3. Players who learn to make profits on the GAH will be able to trade on the GAH and then put their profits up for sale on the RMAH. They will also be able to look for under priced items on one auction house, buy it, and then re-list on the other auction house to make a profit. The only way to get good at spotting these types of situations is by spending time every day watching the markets and learning what type of items sell well, how much they sell for, and how you can make money from playing the auction houses.

Making and Selling Gold

The hottest item that will be traded for real money will be gold. Players will be more willing to pay real money for gold than they will for armor and weapons. Many players that will play Diablo III are going to be gamers who played World of Warcraft, Everquest, Ultima Online or some other type of MMO that they had to pay a monthly fee to play. The average will be willing to spend a little money each month buying gold on the RMAH. Knowing this gives you an advantage if you are looking to make money playing Diablo 3. If you want to make real money playing this game, you need to learn how to quickly and efficiently make gold to sell on the RMAH. Personally, I invested in Marcko's Gold Secrets guide and also subscribe to his forum, which has been insanely active with players who all have the goal of making money with Diablo 3. You can check out a link to his site on my blog, which will soon be online. If you are serious about making money in Diablo III, then sign up for this forum and learn from dozens of other gamers who are planning on making piles of gold and converting it into real money.

Blog or Write Hubs about Making Money in Diablo

People have always been fascinated by people who are making money by doing something that most consider a hobby. Diablo 3 will be no different. Writing online is one of the best ways to make an income. I will personally be chronicling all of my Diablo 3 money making adventures in a blog and also posting a few different Hubs as guides. Who knows, I may even turn my experience into a book like Julian Dibbell did in the book Play Money. Play Money is a book about a gamer who quit his day job and traded gold in Ultima Online. I highly recommend picking it up and reading it if you are interested in making money playing Diablo 3.

If you're interested in writing about Diablo 3 and making money online, check out my Hub about my online writing here.

Do Your Research

There are several different blogs out there written by people who are planning on making a business out of this game and making a good side income by playing the auction houses, crafting, and farming in Diablo III. I'll post a few links here, but always be on the lookout for more guides and blogs as they will be popping up soon after launch on May 15th.

What Character Do You Play in Diablo 3?

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    • profile image


      6 years ago

      I've been absent for some time, but now I remember why I used to love this website. Thanks , I will try to check back more often. How frequently you update your site?


    • bydojo profile image

      Ramona Jar 

      7 years ago from New York

      Excellent ideas and advice. Just as other mentioned, as long as there is a market (and there's always one), making money from such games is not a bad idea.

    • profile image

      Stefan Krawietz 

      8 years ago

      Do all you people forgett that Diablo 3 is an ARPG not an MMO, so there is no real reason to think that the RMAH is instead of a monthly fee, this game has barely MP and till now just coop, the only reason why this game has always online DRM is becouse of the RMAH, and saying that the reasonfor having RMAH is because of the need to maintein the servers is ridiculous, the other reason whas the blak market, but when you legalice something it is to make it more controled and prevent exploites, but how RMAH is a solution when they charge you $250 and the black market in D2 wasn't over $10 a overpowered item that wasn't really to necessary to end the game, was more for the PvP, turning a Single Player game in "Pay to Win" when you already charged $60 for an incompleated game, that is ridiculous and just milking becouse the only one that alwais wins in the transactions is Blizzard, the buyer will get a nerf on his Item a month after and the Dealer will have luc if he is able to use part of "his" money outside Blizzard market.

    • profile image

      anonymous.. :P 

      8 years ago

      It's a good concept, now at least those gamers will get hassle free $$ and legal too. Also the game makers, the blizzard entertainment makes money side by side with the Pro, hard working players. This is the best thing that could happen to MMO world, however i still don't benefit from it coz they have no real money platform for india. sob sob. :P no one has to comment. i say PLUS +1 to RMAH.

    • Chad Maxwell profile image

      Chad Maxwell 

      8 years ago from Cairns, Queensland, Australia

      Really informative piece, well written and easy to read. Thanks for putting this together.

    • profile image


      8 years ago


      Blizzard always seem to crack down on those douchebags, so don't worry mate. From what I saw just today, there were weapons for only a couple bucks each. Tbh, gear would be the best "supply and demand" strategy for casual money-makers on this game. Personally, I make plenty of money from my job, but if I could make some extra free cash from playing this game (and having fun playing it at the same time), I'm not complaining about a couple extra bucks in my pocket! I LOVE this new feature from Blizzard. And corithna made a perfect point on the whole "money for pixels" thing, LMAO! Exactly! Movies: what the hell are you paying for? Pixels. When you first bought this game, what did you pay for? Pixels. When you buy a magazine, what are you paying for? More pixels. What you're paying for isn't pixels. It's what you always pay for: satisfaction, entertainment and time. The RMAH is absolutely no different.

    • cheetah786 profile image


      8 years ago

      hnmm, thanks for the links, i am exploring your blog as well..

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Can we really make money playing games. Are there person that have made considerable income using games. I am little bit boring to play games to make money.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      I've made $250 to date. Not a ton but more than any other game ive ever played. It help that the rmah was delayed a month. Was able to gear a room and beat game then sell the gear

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Think you'll be able to make any real money with the RMAH?

      Think again. When you have asian farmers running bots 24/7 on thousands of accounts, it kind of ruins it for the individual.

      Thousands of accounts making 100k+ gold per hour fully automated, billions of gold per week...most people in my recently played have only picked up 2 mil gold at the most.

      A quick check at gold selling websites further solidifies it, a few days ago 1 million was 8 dollars, they are now selling 2 million for the same price.

      This massive inflation will forever be in bills/potions? Please...that's nothing on this scale.

      Blizzard is not banning these people because they have no reliable way to check for it.

      And the whole "make money doing something you love " argument is really lame, come tell me you love running the same thing over and over and over again for hours a day only to make 25 cents.

      From what I've seen, you would literally be better off just picking up soda cans. At least then you can get some fresh air and exercise.

    • profile image


      8 years ago


      1. If you rely on other people for observations, you are one step behind. In stock markets that means you're already too late when news hit the press. This is no different.

      2. If you can make more than minimum wage of your occupation/country doing this, do it. Otherwise, do it as a hobby if you love it.

      3. There are really easy ways to make money in real world and they are far more easier and stimulating than grinding your brains out. Everybody loves the idea of playing for money, but it becomes work and you lose something you love.

    • BraidedZero profile image

      James Robertson 

      8 years ago from Texas

      When you invest in a game you're investing your time into something. It's just like going out and buying a book. You buy the book and then you use your time reading it. The only difference is that now this book will have a million other people inside it changing the story as you read it.

      This was a great article. I have known many people to make lots of extra money playing video games. And I think it is great that they have finally created a system to allow people to buy and sell in game items, kinda like Eve Online. Keep up the good work.

      And also, Hank, sure it's pissing away money on pixels, if you want to look at it that way; if that is how someone makes a living, then that is how they make a living. You should feel ashamed for trying to degrade someones hard work by putting stuff like that in their comments.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Money for pixels, retarded right? You believe that someone must get something tangible for their hard earned cash.

      How about money for piss?

      I mean how much do you (or a lot of people) spend at the bar? People blow $16 for a pitcher of beer which they just piss out an hour or so later. When I was young $150 at the club Saturday night was the norm. So why do they do that?

      Fun, experience, addition, whatever. You are still spending a lot of money on nothing.

      Its the same with gaming. I could invest 4 hours trying to get x item or x amount of gold... OR I could spend $5 which I make in 10mins of work. hhmmmm.

      There comes a time in games like diablo where if you decide you want to compete on a certain level you have to grind the gear or whatever you need to do that. Grinding is usually not the most fun thing in the world but people do it so they can then have fun doing something else in game.

      Time is valuable. It doesn't take a monkey to figure out that your time is better spent if you pay for gold or an item that costs you minutes at work instead of days in game.

      Also see League of Legends f2p micro transactions business model. The game is free but a lot of people who play have spent more on it then if it was 59.99 at EB.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      LOL, money for pixels. Case in point another type of entertainment media that routinely sells bits of light on the silver screen just released a film that in it's first weekend alone grossed 200 million dollars, and in four days made 500 million and it only cost 225 million to make the thing! It is a reality that the public will pay for the intangible. Walk out of the movie theater and the only thing tangible you have to show for it is what's left of your overpriced bag or bucket of popcorn. But if you've enjoyed the experience then it's worth the price you've paid. I don't see much difference here in the RMAH, the sellers are the theaters selling popcorn and soda's at inflated prices. Now as far as blizzard taking a cut of all the action you really don't have to look any further then Las Vegas to see the ultimate success story for that business model! Personally I have all the time in the world to put into this thing so I'm hoping my own acumen to prove sufficient to provide me with some sort of profits. Now of course I'm hoping those profits will be sky high, but anything really will be well worth the effort. Anyway have fun guys.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Fanny and Hank, the "trinkets" and "pixels" that people will end of buying and selling on a market that is using real money to do virtual things is lot like the stock market no? It's how the entire currency system works now if you think about it, everything is online, and the commodities you buy for real off ebay and sell for a higher price later on ebay is just increasing that number on the computer screen. Providing a mechanism to connect the another virtual market to the real world market is all the D3 auction house is doing; real business acumen if you ask me.

    • profile image

      Finnigan Fanny 

      8 years ago

      This is a completely foreign concept to me. Buying digital armor / weapons / trinkets / gold.

      The justification used by those that participate in this activity is ludicrous. Yet, it's their money and if they want to spend it on pixels, all the power to them.

      If this activity is required to do well in the video game, then that video game is not for me.

      Many of you have forgotten the basics here. We're talking about a video game, nothing more, nothing less.

    • PBody5205 profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago

      Thanks for stopping by Markco. I had intended to write up a post to go with the topic of your carnival, but some opportunities came up that took up all of my time over the last couple days. Thanks for including this one! :)

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      This was a great article. I especially like the point that money will not totally replace gold. In fact, I expect that people will only go to the real money auction house when they simply don't have enough gold to buy what they want (or it is not actually present on the gold auction house).

      I will be including it in my monthly carnival tomorrow.

    • PBody5205 profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago

      Thanks for reading and for your comments Hank.

      I will have to disagree that the concept of making money in Diablo 3 is pathetic. Trading "pixels" for real money has been part of the MMO culture since the first MMO games came out in the late 1990s. Everquest, Ultima Online, Runescape, Diablo 2, and World of Warcraft have all had multimillion dollar black markets. Zynga has created dozens of games that players willingly dump their paychecks into to upgrade their in game experience (Farmville, CityVille, Zynga Poker, etc). The RMAH is Blizzard's way of capitalizing on players that are willing to spend a little money to avoid farming for hours. The concept is that a lot of players have more money than time, especially players who were fans of Diablo 2 which came out 12 years ago.

      Many of the gamers that I have chatted with that are interested in monetizing their experience in Diablo 3 are people who grew up playing games are now in the "real world" with careers, families, and responsibilities. Many of these individuals are also active in communities like HubPages or run their own blogs. Writing about making money in Diablo 3 is probably going to be way more profitable than actually doing it, and there are several players out there who are going to be making solid incomes as a result of their entrepreneurship.

      Anyway, thank you again for your comments and I hope that you enjoy the game. The RMAH is completely optional and I am sure that there will be thousands of players who never even open it up...but I guarantee that you will buy an item or gem from someone who makes hundreds (if not thousands) of dollars a month trading "pixels."

    • Danieljohnston profile image

      Daniel Johnston 

      8 years ago from Portland, Oregon

      That seems rather narrow minded, Hank. People pay for what people pay for, some things are more ridiculous than others but people can buy what they want. Furthermore this is not talking how to buy, it is talking about how to sell.

      Even further, economically time is money. If someone want's an item that will take say, a day or two to work for, I would think that 5 dollars for 24 hours work would be a logical purchase. I wouldn't personally buy because the game is about getting it yourself, but if I wanted to brag about something or have a free ride and did not have the time because of work I might consider it.

    • profile image

      Hank Hillingbone 

      8 years ago

      Full stop.

      This is a video game first and foremost. I pay for the product and the buck stops there.

      I will not have anything to do with this RMAH.

      So many of you seem to have forgotten what you're buying.

      An Omega Pi Sword of Glory for 5 bucks etc.? Are you kidding me? Pixels, all pixels.

      If you cannot play the game at all difficulty levels, without dipping into the RMAH, then that would be a real travesty, yet not a surprise in the least.

      This is rather pathetic and you should feel ashamed that you've sunk to the level of buying / selling pixels.

    • Danieljohnston profile image

      Daniel Johnston 

      8 years ago from Portland, Oregon

      I think that if this works well they may seriously think about trying it with WoW as well. Most of the annoying AH changes have been to stop gold farmers/sellers. I did not realize they were going to slice so much off of the transaction if you try to export the money. 15% seems a lot on big ticket items, however with the vast amount of people that will play, I wonder if the prices will deflate horribly from the money auction house or be stable like the WoW AH.


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