Friday, August 14, 2009
So Easy A Tailor Could Do It
If you really think about it, there's absolutely no reason to be short on gold in the World of Warcraft. Whether it's questing in areas you have not been to pick up gold from mobs and questgivers, doing a small set of daily quests like the Argent Tournament, grinding elementals and mobs for raw materials, or playing like Gevlon in the auction house, there's always some way out there to up the Azeroth bank account. Like Gevlon, I have a distaste for repeating content over and over, so dailies without a reputation gain attached is not very appealing. I also have Loremaster of Northrend, so killing mobs for quests or to grind is not very efficient either. So that leaves me with professions and the auction house.
Of course every economy on each server is different, and sometimes economies are wildly different between the two factions on your server, in which case the neutral auction house may come into play too. As much money as Gevlon makes and teaches using Inscription as his primary force, I do not have a scribe and I don't want to give up Tailoring and Enchanting on my priest Ekat. So I set out to see what she could do in the big universe of playing the market, to find what is profitable and become a little like Gevlon on my own server.
I knew right away that enchanting was kind of a bust for profitability. Although you can now sell enchants on armor vellums made by scribes, you still don't make much of a profit over your high materials cost except for twink enchants. It is absurdly hard to find the enchanting materials for those enchants though without overpaying, and I have not had a chance to get into the twink universe enough to know what enchants would sell. I'm sure there are a couple, but it's just not worth the investment compared to the business I do take part in. Plus, enchanting for Ekat is just a way to make more money off the dungeon runs and mobs as every green/blue/purple item that drops goes up in value significantly during the first 90% of an expansion's life cycle. So occassionally I will drop a couple stacks of enchanting mats on the auction house, and they always sell to up the bank coffers a bit.
As far as Tailoring goes, there are quite a few options for making money, but the most value or longevity in the mark always comes from providing a service that people always need. Spellthread is one option, but the much more profitable item is bags. Every character needs bags, and most will upgrade their bags as much as they can afford to carry more things because that saves them more money and time while questing or doing their own business. However, with the advent of WOTLK the question has become, Frostweave Bags (20 slot) or Netherweave Bag (16 slot). Well here's a snapshot of the current auction house prices for all the required materials and the bags on a random day on my server for comparison (Netherweave on the top, Frostweave on the bottom).
Let's do the math together. A Netherweave Bag requires one stack of 20 Netherweave Cloth (which costs $6.90) and one Rune Thread ($0.40) for a total materials cost of $7.30. The Netherweave Bags sell for $13.50 apiece, which means a current profit per bag of $6.20 not counting the auction house cut (appx. $0.90).
On the contrary, a Frostweave Bag requires three stacks of 20 Frostweave Cloth (total cost $24.00) and 12 Infinite Dust (total cost $63.60) and 2 Eternium thread ($4.80) for a total materials cost of $92.40. The Frostweave Bags sell for $106.00 apiece, which means a current profit per bag of $13.60 not counting the auction house cut (appx. $6.00)
So you can play either market for about a net gain of 5 gold per Netherweave Bag or 6-8 gold per Frostweave Bag. In addition to how close these profits are, it takes a ton more crafting time to make a Frostweave Bag, and the mats are in higher overall demand because Frostweave Cloth and Infinite Dust are used for other tailoring, first aid, and enchanting. So if you want to make a market of the bag business, you are going to need steady materials supply at a reasonable price. As Netherweave Cloth is not used for anything else these days, there always seems to be a ton of it available. Furthermore, the bag prices actually follow the cloth prices very closely in my market watching of the past 4 months, so the profit margins do not change much. Thus...my banker sees this!
There's something else at play here. The Netherweave Bags sell so much better because at 10-13 gold per 16-slot bag, that's a much better deal per slot of carrying space than 100 gold for 20 slots. Frostweave Bags are only bought occasionally, typically by main characters. Everybody who rolls a new toon seems to buy 4 Netherweave Bag immediately or soon thereafter because carrying around 4-6 slot bags is inefficient and annoying. The market continues indefinitely because there's alwayspeople rolling new toons.
Furthermore, this Patch 3.2 was like christmas for me. I stocked up bags for a couple weeks and could not keep them in stock when everybody went back to their alts or rolled new ones with the mount changes. The prices of cloth and bags were 4-5 gold and 8-9 gold, respectively, before the patch. Now the sustained cloth and bag prices are what you see above, 6-7 gold and 12-15 gold, respectively. But the profit keeps rolling in.
So that's the main reason I've recently hit 10,000 gold and now 11,000 gold. Certainly there is some questing involved once in a while and some specialty cloth being sold as well on my cooldowns, but nothing is more profitable for my main character than the bag business. One might say, it's my bag, baby. (I know, terrible)
Have a fantastic weekend!