Once you hit Lv30 you can buy in aven (493;439) gathering tools for 2g each. There are 3 types of tools that collect different kind of materials: Pickaxe (Mine) Crystall Ball (Altar) Gardening Gloves (Farm).
At lvl 45 you can buy expert tools that gather lvl 45 materials.
Each tool has 180 charges: once you start gathering it uses automatically 1 charge every 10 seconds. So you can AFK for 30min and when you are back you'll find the mats in your backpack.
You can stop the gathering and resume it without loosing the tool or the charges. But you can keep only 1 tool of each type in your backpack: so if there are less than 20 charges left and you have to leave, I suggest that you destroy it and buy a new one to keep in the backpack (always keep one tool so you can quickly afk and gather, even if you are in a field hunting mobs).
Since these mats are used for racial crafting (in particoular glyphs and trophy enchant) there's always a good demand: you can easily sell them in Auction House (under Related Cities
you find the Farm, Mine and Altar Section).
I suggest to buy each type of tool and then try to sell the mats to see which one has the highest price and sells faster.
How to use Gathering Tools
Every time you are not in an instance (Dungeons, Territory Wars, Player Houses...) you can press G
then Go to Guildtown
. If you don't have a guild or your guild doesn't have a guildtown you can go in any other guildtown.
I've added to the map of Eden Glen (forest type guildtown) and Eden Peak (mountain type guildtown the icons of the tool in the corresponding site.
Once you are on the site right click on the tool and it will start gathering. If you get the error Unable to use the item. Wrong Place
move around a bit and keep trying till you find the right spot; the boundaries of gathering areas aren't really clear.
To Sell the Materials
In Auction House use the search function in the correct category to select only the item you plan to sell; then check the prices of the ones already auctioned. If you are in a rush for gold (or you don't want to risk expired auctions) put the lowest price available at that moment. Though I suggest that you use the average price at that moment (stack of 50 or 100 are a good reference for that).
Stacks of materials tend to sell easier than odd quantities: so use multiple tools and then sell stacks of 100 white mats and 20-50 green mats.
IWith ONE crystal ball I got 77 Magic Shine and 20 Light Effects. I checked lowest price in AH: 300s each MS and 1.5g each LE. So I would have earned 53g from the sale - 2.6g of AH fee and 2g of the gathering tool = 48.4 gold in 30min of AFK.
Note that the quantity of items gathered varies from time to time as for the prices of the mats (that are usually pretty stable though).