For all items, in order of increasing quality:
- gray names indicate poor safe to sell these directly to a vendor.
- white names indicate common quality; these items generally have a use in 1 or more professions or quests.
- green names are uncommon. You will occasionally find these as you do battle against some monsters.
- blue names are rare; these items are usually stronger than most uncommon items. These items also generally sell for large amounts of gold on the auction house.
- purple names indicate epic items, generally found on high-level bosses in Endgame Instances.
- orange names are legendary; these are extremely rare and of very high quality. There are only a handful of these items in the game.
Some items in World of Warcraft can become soulbound to one particular character, making it impossible to trade them or sell them to other players. There are two types: those that will bind when first equipped or used, and those that will bind when they are looted or picked up. When looting, you will get a warning dialog telling you that looting the item will permanently bind it to you when you either equip or loot such an item. Once an item is bound to you, it will indicate in the tooltip that it is soulbound just below the name of the item. You can sell soulbound items to vendor NPCs, but not to other players. Destroying these items, selling them to a vendor, or disenchanting them (if you are an enchanter) are the only ways of getting rid of these objects; you cannot mail them, trade them, or sell them in the auction house.
Items are acquired in several ways:
- Killing monsters
- Completing quests
- Getting them from other players
- Making them yourself
- Buying them from vendor NPCs
- Most vendors sell stuff appropriate for the level area they occupy. Equippable items found at most vendors are much worse than what you should be wearing if you do many quests.
- Buying them from an auction house