Thursday, April 9, 2009

Leading a horse to water...

Or in this case, leading a tailor to profit. A little while ago when I was reading a bunch of old Greedy Goblin posts looking for some hidden bit of wisdom on making money via the Auction House, I came across one of his (Gevlon’s) businesses of making bags. He doesn’t make the really expensive bags that sell for 700 gold each. Gevlon doesn’t want to sell Ferraris or Lamborghinis. He’d rather sell Corollas. In this case the Corolla is a 16 slot Netherweave Bag. Yea, they’re old school and smallish, but there’s a demand for them from players who want bags for alts and bankers.

Here’s the business plan. It takes a stack of 20 netherweave cloth plus a Rune Thread to make a bag. Stacks of netherweave can go from 3 to 6 gold on my server and the thread is 50 silver from a vendor. The bags usually list from between 8 and 10 gold. So, the Tailor simply buys mass quantities of Rune Thread and cheap stacks of Netherweave cloth and makes bags – lots of them – for around 3 gold cost each. Then the bags can be sold for an undercut price that will keep them moving and bring in a small profit. The key here is volume and the fact that it would take no more than 5 minutes to make more bags than could fit in your inventory.

I don’t have a tailor and the markup isn’t really large enough to justify paying a tailor to make them for me, so I decided to be a nice friend and told one of my real life best friends about the possible Netherweave Bag market. He has a lvl 70 tailor mage who is gathering dust as he slowly levels his warrior. I told him about the bag business and was hoping he'd find a nice niche business for himself that would help pay for his epic flying skill. Unfortunately, he didn't do a thing with it. After a week of him doing nothing, I told a guild mate tailor who was trying to sell Ferraris (Glacial Bags) about the potential Netherweave Bag market. After a few minutes of going back and forth about the virtues of this potential untapped market, he told me that a few gold per bag just wasn’t worth it to him.

I know there’s a chance that the bag market on my server isn’t anywhere near as good as on Gevlon’s server, but given the cost of finding out, I just don’t understand why someone wouldn’t try. Maybe it’s time for me to risk the cost of paying someone to make bags and start a Netherweave Bag Factory.

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