How do I make money efficiently?

  • In Oblivion, I had two favorite money-makers:

    • Dump all my stuff except some basic armor and potions, and raid an oblivion tower. The armor and weapons was worth lots, and selling it in Anvil made a lot of cash fast.
    • Harvest an entire farm's worth of crops, create 'restore fatigue' potions and sell them.

    Skyrim seems to spoil this:

    • Merchants have a max-amount per day/QOD/... instead of per item
    • You can't carry as much (or maybe I have yet to discover the strength/feather spells)
    • Alchemy is a lot harder (most common items go into food recipes now, which don't sell for those prices)
    • On top of that, once a dungeon is cleared, it doesn't respawn - so no 'farming' familiar dungeons?

    What are some easy/repeatable money making methods in Skyrim? Which are most efficient effortwise/real-life-time wise?

    I could have *sworn* we already had a question about this. That said, I can't find it, so feel free to answer in the meantime.

    @RavenDreamer - I was looking too...It has vanished!

    There *was* a question about making money, but it was well on its way to being closed as unanswerably broad. I assume it was closed and quick-deleted.

    @RavenDreamer It was my question, and I deleted it as it was going to be closed for being too open and hard to answer, with that said, it was more specific than this question, so meh.

    In oblivion, my fav. money making was joining the mages guild. Run around the guild hall and grab alchemy equipment (not counted as stealing when you are a guild member), and then sell them back to the in-house alchymist :)

    For what it's worth, since a number of answers mention going the "Enchant Iron Daggers" route: the Banish enchant yields the highest profit margins - upwards of +1000 on the value of the dagger with high Enchanting and perks, using only Petty souls.

    This question has 137 Thousand views... I guess some people found it with something else in mind.

    I assume you're either not using the PC version, or have an aversion to the console? Can always just give yourself money with the console...

  • Coomie

    Coomie Correct answer

    9 years ago

    I've found the best way to make money is pick up ingredients in the wild, make potions and sell them.

    Easy to find

    Wild ingredients are easy to find. Or you can buy ingredients from many vendors. Avoid buying expensive ingredients like void salts, fire salts, daedra hearts etc. The return isn't worth the cost.

    They're light

    Most ingredients weigh little. If you make a lot of potions and can't sell them all, the potions also don't weigh a lot - 100 potions weigh about the same as 1 piece of heavy armor. Their value/weight ratio is high.

    They sell for a lot

    I regularly sell a 0.1 weight potion for $200. There are other items with higher value/weight ratios, but I can quickly make 10 of these with ingredients that aren't hard to find. This works best for invisibility, because you can sell it for squillions. I've made around 20k mostly from potions.

    I have seen potions with values in the thousands!

    It's good for your alchemy skill

    It'll also help your alchemy skill, and as your alchemy skill gets higher, you'll make more valuable potions.

    You'll always have potions

    There's nothing worse than getting into a battle without the right potions. Having a few spare potions for health and magika on hand will help you a lot!

    Win win win!

    +1, alchemy is definitely a huge money maker for me. Along with invisibility potions, paralyze poisons are also great money, not to mention handy on many occasions.

    Ok, it remains alchemy then. I'll have to investigate which ingredients grow where (do they still regrow after 3 days, or is that 30 now too?) and which make what (haven't found the invisibility makers yet).

    @Konerak Through the normal course of play, every time I've revisited an area, the ingredients have regrown. I can't give you an exact in-game time, but it's pretty short.

    @Konerak I agree with StrixVaria, they grow back very quickly. If you pick them up in the wild you should be able to get more potions than you can sell. Look into a guide to find out which ingredients make paralyze and invisible

    I have to add that you can make pretty good money just from two ingredients you can find around town -- Garlic and Salt Pile. They make a Potion of Magica Regeneration that is worth more than 90% of the potions I've made.

    Awesome to know Alchemy pays off. It is -costing- me a fortune trying to level it up at the moment ;)

    FYI, some ingredients do not respawn (nirnroot is the only one I am sure of).

    @TM That's just Nirnroot for you. It's a special case.

    Making a few thousand gold worth of potions is easy. But how do you sell them? I've never found an alchemy shop with more than 1200 gold or so.

    @Joren It takes time. I recommend making them and selling everytime you return to town. Or if you have perks to waste you can invest in shops. I forget the name of the perk for that but it's under speechcraft. And don't forget you can sell them to the town alchemist, the town nicknak seller (look for the sign with scales) and usually the Jarl will have a court magician you can sell to.

    A great site to help with this is - it lists ingredients and potions by price, and shows what potions best to make with your ingredients

    I've created a potion "calculator" which you can use to see the result of combining various ingredients.

    I'm always on the lookout for Giants Toe, Wheat, and Blisterwort.

    @Joren there is a speech perk that allows you to sell any item to any merchant, I beleive it is called "merchant". This allows you to sell any item to any merchant, it is good to sell them to the blacksmiths as payment if you ever decide to make a couple thousand daggers. This solves the problem of waiting or travelling far away. You can walk into any shop, sell your potions, and then leave.

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Content dated before 6/26/2020 9:53 AM