The "secret" of the goblins revealed: You can leech on the idiots but not forever. They either run out of money or patience. Do something useful. For profit.
The social people consider business lowly and essentially evil, or at least vulture-thing. You feast on the stupid, the ignorant and the desperate. It's not true. Making a prospecting business need you to create useful product. It's about working. The difference between a successful business and the endless farming is the profit/work ratio. Being rich needs you to create something useful - what other people gladly buy - with little work. How can it be done?
Find a work opportunity that few people think or capable of. So you won't have many competitors and can keep your prices high. This move is called: innovation.
My current job is glyph manufacturer. Glyphs are created from inks, which are created from their respected herbs. In the goblin science of economics, the glyph is called refined product while herbs are raw materials. The creating is therefore a value-adding procedure. So glyph prices are always (except for rare and short market swings and non-market factors like skillup glyphs) higher than its raws.
Glyphs are needed by everyone. Can only be created by scribes. Since not all glyph-users are glyph-creators, there is a market need for glyphs.
So there is need and there is a value adding procedure available to me (since I'm an scribe). All I has to do is buying herbs in the AH, take a walk to the inscription supplier for parchemensts and start crafting. It's a quick job. When ready, I take a walk to the AH again, check the prices and put 5-10 stacks to sell.
One thing has to be kept in mind: by making a production, you always work against your profit margin. By buying herbs I elevate their prices. By selling glyphs I lower their prices. If I would do nothing than buying raws, crafting 24/7 and selling products, their prices would soon reach each other and no further profit would be available.
How does it affect the world?
- By lowering the glyph prices I help the non-scribes, so they are happy.
- Since the glyph prices drop, more people can afford to buy them, (they are happy). More profit for the same price: happy me!
- By increasing the raw prices the herbalists who pick the raw from the fields get more money for their hard work. Happy!
- Since the herbing became more profitable, more herbalists will go to a mining tour. Herbs, that would otherwise be left alone, are collected. More raw materials for the whole industry. The whole industry is happy!
- In Azeroth, the herb nodes just magically reappear. In a world where the resources are limited, this increased industry would deplete them and increase the pollution of the environment, making it unhappy.
- Those who use herbs have to pay higher prices for their raw material. They are unhappy, and so their customers.
- My competitors, who made the same business also affected by the price difference decrease, making their industry less profitable, and them unhappy.
The last unhappy group makes no one cry. The problem of the other herb users is definitely smaller, than the profit of the lots who made happy by the industry. The environmental and depletion issue is a bigger one but luckily not in Azeroth.
One more thing: if I alone would be the one who craft glyphs, I could be very rich by only doing this, limiting my output. For example I could say I sell glyphs for 50G and not for cheaper. People would be forced to pay this price. However there are competitors who will definitely undercut my price and force me to lower it. This price war continues until someone says, "this profit is too low, I don't run back and forth for 15s/stack". He leaves and the profit increases a bit. So don't expect to be rich by any single business. After a while your competitors force you to find a new field.
In order to make profit, you always have to seek new ways to create useful products, making people happy. Happy people for your profit. Fair trade.