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Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Crafting And Selling Netherweave Bags by fenjayminor

Today's Hatchery post was submitted by fenjayminor (Twitter: @fenjayminor). (If you'd like your own gold-making post to appear on the Hatchery email the post, title, images and your name/pseudonym to with the word "Hatchery" in the subject line.)

Crafting and selling Netherweave bags is a good background or startup gold-making activity. These bags are nothing new - they were introduced almost three expansions ago. But they have not stopped flying off the shelves since the days that Illidan ran Outland and we all lived in Shattrath City, showing off our nether drakes. Head past the jump for the reasons why.

Some advantages of crafting these bags include being able to calculate your profit potential at a glance, the simplicity and ready availability of the mats, and the fact that you don’t have to level a tradeskill to maximum in order to take advantage of this strategy. There is always a demand for these bags, and the crafting process is easily done AFK. This makes this market especially useful to the player without a lot of spare time or who doesn’t have the desire to make the auction house the focus of their gaming.

This is not an advanced gold-making strategy: you will not get gold capped solely from selling Netherweave Bags. At 5-10g profit per bag, the return on investment is good, and the volume sold is, on most servers, enough to make it worthwhile. But as they require a small investment, their payoff is equally small compared to other activity, such as glyphs, gems or enchants.

So what are we selling, exactly? It’s a 16 slot bag that was introduced in the Burning Crusade expansion. As such it takes four bolts of Netherweave Cloth and one Rune Thread to make one. It is the simplest crafted bag, not taking any enchanting dust like Frostweave or Embersilk bags. A Tailoring skill level of 315 to craft them.Though this requires an initial investment to get to this skill level, the cost can be offset or eliminated if you farm your own cloth, either while leveling or via running low level dungeons at max level. The pattern is taught by most tailoring trainers.

These bags are very popular with players starting alts, because they are comparatively affordable and a big step up from any bag dropped by mobs or sold by vendors. At an investment of 40-80 gold for all four slots, for most players they can afford to lose the money if they decide not to play the alt, while the extra bag space allows them to spend more time “in the field” rather than having to return to town to vendor items. As such, the markets tends to be best in times when people are starting new alts, such as the end and beginning of expansions or between raid tiers.

A major advantage to this particular item is its extreme simplicity to find the profit potential at a glance. Crafting them requires four bolts of Netherweave Cloth, which happens to equal one 20-stack of raw cloth. The only other material needed is Rune Thread, available from vendors for one gold before faction discounts. So this allows you to see that your cost will be one stack of Netherweave plus one gold (conservatively). Subtract this from the current price for Netherweave Bags on your Auction House, and you have your profit - no spreadsheet required.

The other advantage of this market is, as I mentioned before, these bags fly off the shelves. A quick survey of shows that anywhere from 50-200 are sold per day on a given server, depending on server population. However, that also means that on most servers, competition is moderate and more are posted per day than are sold. However, competition is not so great as to keep profit margins overly slim.

In order to ensure sales, the best method of posting is to either post in small batches or cancel and repost regularly. Personally, I prefer to post four or eight at a time and check back over the day using the Mobile Auction House. Often, due to the high purchase rate, if you post in small batches, you will probably find that all your bags have sold and you will have few expired auctions.

The reason to post in multiples of four is that people buying a full set of bags for their alts buy four bags. This is the natural number in which bags are purchased, so it leaves you with the least number of remainders.

Another option is simply to post all your bags at the beginning of the day and let the market take its course. Due to the large volume of this market, you can expect a good number of your bags to sell, though generally you will get more expired auctions this way.

One drawback to making these bags is the length of time to craft them. They are simple to craft, with only two steps: making bolts from Netherweave Cloth, and crafting the bags themselves. However, the crafting process takes 15 seconds for each bag, so you may be there for a while. For that reason, it’s best to click Create All and then do something else when crafting a large number of bags.

Crafting Netherweave Bags can be a very good “background” or fallback way of making gold. It requires minimal time, provides a steady profit stream, is low risk, and doesn't suffer from massive competition. If you’re serious about getting gold capped, you should certainly look into other, more high-risk and high-profit ventures. But this market can help you bootstrap your gold empire, provide you with a steady stream of income even if you aren't a hardcore auction house baron, and it doesn’t require a hefty up-front investment.

Twitter: @fenjayminor

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1 comment:

  1. Well written post about a tried and true method to make some pocket money.

    Should be worth noting that the Netherweave Bag market is one you should never try to control. I've seen it go wrong for many, many wanna be goblins. Even if you were smart enough to buy all the cloth off the AH (most aren't), you can't stop people from chain running BC dungeons or a quick Kara run which can pretty easily ruin your attempt.

    Set a ceiling you're willing to buy cloth at (7g/stack for me) and a floor you're willing to sell bags for (mine is 18g) then enjoy your piece of the pie. Weekends is when you want to shoot to have the most stock. That's when the casuals come out to play. I'm on a "medium" pop but mostly dead server and still move more of these than I care to make in a given week.