You've saved for weeks. You've farmed for mats; you've farmed for gold. You've scoured the Auction House and nabbed every last, hard-to-find component. You have everything you need for that Big Cool Crafted Item. The final question remains: How do you know the crafter to whom you've just handed your precious trove of materials won't simply turn around and log off?
The best insurance against hit-and-run crafting is an ounce or two of prevention. The safest methods, of course, are to make your item yourself or to use a crafter who's able to provide all the necessary materials. If those options aren't on the table, however, you'll need to track down a reputable maker. We'll show you how to cover your bases.
Select a known crafter. Ask friends and guildmates for recommendations - heck, don't forget to check and see if your friends and guildies can get the job done for you first! If not, choose a crafter you've seen doing business over Trade over an extended period of time. Membership in a respected guild can also be a good sign. If you're still unsure, take a peek at (/inspect) their own gear; if you don't see any signs of their specialty on their own gear, use caution.
Invite your crafter to a group. Grouping makes it easier to meet up and see what actions he or she is performing with your mats.
Verify that the crafter can make the item you need. Whisper, "I want to make sure I have all the correct mats. Can you link me your profession, please?" They'll respond by sending you a gold link referring to the appropriate profession. Clicking that will open a window showing all the recipes that player knows. Make sure the item you want is listed.
Click it right. It's easy to get caught waiting impatiently without noticing that the Trade window isn't green. Learn Trade window basics.
Use the No Trade window when possible. Some effects and services can be performed by putting your item in the No Trade window (the very last, bottom slot in the trade window). When you use the No Trade window, there's absolutely no risk that the other player can acquire your item, even if you both click "Trade." Services that can be performed from the No Trade window include:
Hand over your mats. Crafters can't make an item from mats in the trade panel; they have to have the materials in their inventory before they can craft. It's time for the hand-off.
Report theft. If the worst happens and the crafter "disappears" with your materials, file a ticket with a GM.
WoW Rookie walks you through all sort of new-player concerns, from game lingo for the beginner to joining your first guild as a mid-level player and on to what to do when you finally hit level 80. Visit the WoW Rookie Guide for links to all our tips, tricks and how-to's.