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Recently a forum post over on Guild Wars 2 Guru mentioned this blog. The context of the discussion was how to make 2-3 gold quickly with TP only strategies that did not involve speculation.
First off, everything we do on the trading post is speculation. You could make the argument that things like combining scraps into cloth, opening containers, or transforming planks into dowels are not speculation methods, but I would still contend that you really don't know if the market will still favor your choices from moment to moment.
But if we restrict "speculation" to just buying up items that we believe will increase weeks or even months from now, then there certainly are a lot of methods to make your first 2-3 gold.
To start off, you need to understand what to sell that you do pick up while playing the game. Unidentified dyes are something you should always sell without opening. White items often salvage into valuable loot, so only check their value on the trading post before selling your whites to the vendor. During different leveling brackets additional item qualities are introduced. Prior to rares appearing, green weapons and armor are expensive items. But introduce rares and those masterworks become one copper higher than the vendor price.
OK, while leveling those tips should get you to 2-3 gold, but let's say that you just blew all your money away on a shiny new sword. You're level 80 and dreading having to go farm for a few hours. Maybe you're even preparing to buy gems. STOP. Here's a surefire way to make back your gold with a minimal amount of money to start with.
Globs of Ectoplasm. Salvage with a master's salvage kit any rares 68-80 that are worth less than .85x bid price on a weapon or armor. Just place bids (no more than 2 per item) and go farm for a half hour. Come back and you should have a random assortment of items worth salvaging. The average globs of ectoplasm you get back will be about 1 per item salvaged, so you should do a little better than breaking even from that alone. But add in all the random materials and runes/sigils to really maximize your profit. There are some tips to finding the best items to salvage for globs of ectoplasm, but I keep them for forum subscribers only.
Last tip: you really should start reading this blog every chance you get. When I mention a new market to flip or trade in, it tends to explode in value overnight. Look at Sigils of Generosity, which went from 3 silver to 10 gold a piece after I mentioned them.