Refining is definitely one of the most profitable businesses in the game, with the right crafting skills, a little patience, and a bit of socializing with other players — you can make tens of thousands of gold within a day, although reaching the skills for doing so will require a bit of time and gold. Now that I’ve explained a little about refining, I’m going to give an in-depth guide on achieving, and making profit from it.
What is Refining?
Refining is the process of turning Raw Materials into Processed Materials, for instance — refining Iron Ores into Iron Ingots. However, their is a by-product from the process of refining that makes it so profitable… Extractions.
The Primary Extraction you will be seeking is the Improvement Materials. Blacksmithing (Tempers), Clothing (Resins), and Woodworking (Tannins) are extracted from their relevant materials, which are then used for improving the crafted equipment. Each craft has a green, blue, purple, and yellow quality material which can possibly be extracted from the Raw Materials, such as Ores occasionally yielding the valuable Tempering Alloys.
In order to extract the more valuable improvement materials, you will need to skill up your selected craft(s) to the right level and spend skill points in the Extractions Perks (3/3) to be able to extract the highest (yellow) materials.
How to get Raw Materials
Obviously, you can harvest Raw Materials by simply walking up and mining, picking, or chopping them and looting it into your inventory. But how do you get LOTS of Raw Materials? Remember, working smart will surpass working hard. You will save a lot of time by looking to buy Raw Materials (typically in bulk) from other players, you may search in Zone Chat, in your Guild, or have others you know to “keep an eye out” for your Raw Materials and sell them to you. (usually by mail COD)
Also remember, new players need gold… and they typically don’t really know how to make it early on, rather than just questing and looting. So a little guidance and help of a newbie may convince him to farm Raw Materials for you that he/she comes across and sell to you, which benefits both of you because newer players need gold to purchase a mount and bag-space early on.
Do not take advantage of them by paying very low amounts, try to keep the prices consistent and similar with the market. This does not mean you can’t make it slightly lower than average, gold is more valuable to newer players — but do not rip them off. Most Raw Materials sell between 10-20 Gold per unit.
Keep in mind that all levels of Raw Materials will provide all qualities of materials (from green to yellow), however the higher level materials may have a higher chance of yielding the higher quality items.
Selling the Goods
Now that you know the ropes of Refining, you will want to look for buyers of your Tempers/Resins/Tannins, a typical way is to advertise in Zone Chat (where lots of players are present of all levels, such as Wayrest) and you can receive quick gold without any taxes of COD or Guild Stores. Although, if you would rather do other things while waiting on your goods to sell, I would consider just posting them in your Guild Store for competitive prices (or push them higher if there is little to no competition), people DO pay more than average pricing for things in ESO.