We all know this situation: You finished up a quest, look at the rewards and decide nothing in there is worth anything to you so you just want to take whatever vendors for the most gold.
Even though the situation has become rare sometimes we don't have an addon readily available that will tell us what vendors for the most (usually after a patch comes by and makes your addons go up in smoke).
And since I couldn't find a decent listing I decided to simply figure out the basics myself and come up with the below tables of what sells for the most at vendors.
Before we dive into the actual table it's worth noting that the value of an item in terms of gold is mostly based both on stats and on ARMOR value (DPS in case of weapons). Since most quests give items of approximately the same item level it's rarely worth looking at how much value stats add to a specific item.
As a result this leaves armor as primary determination (we'll get to weapons in a bit) and the general rule of thumb is: The more armor, the more gold.
This already pre-determines the first thing you can look at when determining what's worth more. From most to least:
Now besides the obvious list there's another that determines value based on type. I could go into the nitty gritty of things but in the end it's based on observations over a day's worth of auctioning and vendoring and some data I found regarding calculating the armor value of an item. Again from most valuable to least valuable:
In case of armor this means a plate chest is worth significantly more than a mail chest but conversely a mail chest is going to be worth more than some plate boots.
Deciding between close matches is going to stay hard without an addon like auctioneer but in the end it's purely a matter of armor calculations. Generally though if you just cut the table in blocks of 3 (or so) then you can assume that a mail item from block 1 is going to be worth more than plate items in block 2.
It doesn't always work that way but 80% of the time you should get a better result than just picking up whatever plate item is in the list. When in doubt simply look at the value listed under armor and pick the highest.
Weapon gold value is calculated purely on their DPS values. That means the higher DPS the more gold a particular item is worth. And you guessed it: that makes 2handers of any kind top of the foodchain when it comes to making money. Overall the table looks mostly like this from most to least:
guns, bows and crossbows
Thrown and off-hand
Knowing that the only real question remaining is how the weapon gold values fit in with the armor type gear.
Here is what I came up with:
(weapon) 2 handed [staffs are top of the pool here]
(weapon) 1h anded
(weapon) Wands, guns, (x)bows
(Plate) chest, legs
(Mail) chest, legs
(Plate) head, shoulders, feet
(Leather) chest, legs
(Mail) head, shoulders, feet
(cloth) chest, legs
(Leather) legs, head, shoulders
(Plate) wrist, waist, hands
(cloth) cloaks, head, shoulders, feet
(Mail) wrist, waist, hands
(Leather) wrist, waist, hands
(Cloth) wrist, waist, hands
I would like to ephasize at this point that these are ESTIMATES! Working off of this table has worked quite well for me so far but if you really want the most out of your quest reward choices you should probably look into downloading an appropriate addon.
But what about trinkets, shields, rings and other shiny things?
Currently I have no idea. After compiling the armor and weapon table I honestly had enough of compiling the data and I am still quietly hopeful that I'll just find a full list online somewhere.
Generally it seems that rings and necklaces are at the same level as leather legs, heads and shoulders. Trinkets I still have no idea and shields are right up there with other top of the line plate items (And thus generally a good pick).
Well lets hope this will be of some help to someone somewhere otherwise I just wasted an hour or two scribbling down numbers on a piece of paper ;).