Method One: The Slide-Grab - There's actually a bit of logic behind this one. (I know, you usually don't find that word on a D2 site). Observe this picture:
What you do is you walk in a straight path, and pick up the item while moving. The end effect is that you will probably continue to move for a least a little bit. In the picture, the purple arrow is your line of travel and the green circle is the item you want. There are two reasons you want to do this rather than click on the item, pick it up, and stop right there.
1. If you try to pick up the item directly, you will have to move your cursor over it and make sure you don't accidentally click some other junk (as the picture details). This takes time. However, if at first you simply click in some random location past the item, you will immediately begin moving, and you can use the time between your current location and the item to click it. The result is that you get to the item faster.
2. No one but you can really see yourself doing this unless other people are paying close attention, but it looks soooooo cool when you pull it off.
In the end, it will save you a second at most, but to the elite, milliseconds matter. This particular technique takes a bit of practice; however, eventually you will begin to reap the benefits:
Err...let's try that again. Eventually, you will begin to REAP THE BENEFITS:
Method Two: The Teleport-Grab - This obviously is the easiest to do for Sorceresses. Unless you are, for some reason, wearing teleport jewelry, or you're lucky enough to have an Enigma, you probably won't be able to teleport with another class. In any case, the tactic here is very simple, and almost all of you probably use it; teleport, snatch, run. The loss of Telekinesis for picking up items from far away is barely felt, since this is the next best thing. I use this almost exclusively, even if I'm just checking to see if a rare has some nice mods for upgrading:
Method Three: The Huge Drop-Grab - Usually associated with Act Bosses. (Actually, always associated with Act Bosses.) Ever despair that you can't kill Baal alone, but you can't grab the drops with a full party? Try changing your tactics. Here you see me wearing Baal down like a normal party member...
Now, first a lesson on HP meters. This doesn't apply to all Act Bosses (like Mephisto), but Baal's HP bar will always contain at least a tiny bit of red in it. It's kind of hard to see, but it's there. After a few runs you will be able to tell when this happens, although you should be preparing well before that. I'd say when Baal has three slivers left, you get into position. The grey shows where you should stand:
Why stand there? Well, that's the easiest spot to stand in and pick up Baal's drops. It's hard to visualize, but the 3D sprite of Baal actually touches the "ground" right above the grey. Of course, you can't stand on top of Baal, so the grey is the next best thing. Standing left, right, or above of Baal will mean that you will have to walk to the items, and they'll be long gone. Another obviously yet important thing to note: get good at grabbing the gold, green, and yellow, in that order. I don't know if this ability is genetic or not, but I think I'm pretty good at it. All I can advise to you is to keep a steady hand, HOLD DOWN ALT as Baal gets to his last sliver of health, and keep your eyes open. Of course, as good as you are at this, sometimes there's simply nothing to grab:
Method Four: The Once-in-a-Lifetime-Grab - In 1.09 these items were distinct. They were: the weapon, helmet, and shield in Griswold's set, Immortal King's Armor, Bul-Kathos' Mythical Sword, and Stormspire. In 1.10 ALL weapons and armor in TC 90 were bumped down to TC 87, joining the ranks of such items as Windforce and the Grandfather. I know, not much better, but it's something. It's safe to say that TC 87 contains the hardest-to-find Uniques and Set items in the game. This method is the hardest to practice for obvious reasons, and it simply is this: GET IT. GET THE ITEM, no matter what it takes. Teleport there, turn on Vigor, quaff Full Rejuvs. If you are UNABLE to get it (if it is in the middle of a bunch of Fanatism Might Extra Strong Styigan Dolls) PLAY DIRTY (in that case, if a Barb is trying to get it, kill all the dolls FAST, let them blow up, and laugh as the Barb dies). Do ANYTHING you can. You know you will kick yourself if you miss it, so go all out. Personally, if I were #1 on the ladder at level 98 and was 1 million exp away from 99, I would risk my character's life to grab a Windforce. There's no guarantee that I will get it, but there's no guarantee that I will die either, is there? Actually, there are a few exceptions to this. Some of the new Elite Uniques are in TC 87, and some of them are so BAD that it's not worth it unless you are a collector. Getting general knowledge of the new uniques is recommended. If you are lucky and do get the item, the other people around usually have funny responses. Here's a snippet of me grabbing a M'avina's True Sight from under a Paladin's nose (he made the kill, too!)
Method Five: The Hopeless-Grab - Ever been in a situation where you are sitting back, letting Barbs tank for you, and then !!! a Stormshield drops. You're about half a screen away, you're an Amazon so you can't teleport, and you just KNOW one of the Barbs will get it. GO FOR IT anyway. I've gotten Griswold's Helm, Vampire Gaze, and many lesser items doing this recently in 1.10. Go for it quick, and you just might get it. It NEVER hurts to try. Another variant of this is when you JUST CAN'T SEEM TO CLICK THAT ONE ITEM that Baal dropped. I was in a game where a Facet fell, and it was the LAST item that was picked up; just because you picked up other random things doesn't mean you can't still go for it:
Method Six: The Fake Unique-Grab - This is something you should do if you're REALLY good at timing and know exactly when Hell Baal or something is gonna die. Grab a quest item, preferably something very easy to get like Mephisto's Soulstone, and keep it in your inventory. Then, time it so that you drop it just as Baal is about to expire. In the mad rush for items, someone is bound to mistake it for a unique and grab it, earning you a little more space. This is very funny to watch, and even moreso if you grab something good.