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Insider Trader: How to profit with tailoring

Basil Berntsen

Tradeskills are the best tools for making in game gold. Every single profession can be made profitable. Insider Trader, when Basil writes it, is where you can turn to find tips and tricks to using professions in a profitable manner. That or rants about arrows. Really, mostly rants. Honestly, I'm still trying to figure out where the blurry line between Insider Trader and Gold Capped is, let alone what direction it runs. Have something to say to Basil? Feel free to email him! He strongly encourages all mail. Even the angry letters! He'll read those out loud dramatically to amuse his friends.

Tailoring is not the profession most people think of when they think of gold making. Most people will find inscription, enchanting and jewelcrafting are the big money-makers, but what do you do if that's not the path you've chosen?

When you select your profession, there are a lot of reasons to choose one over another. Tailoring has a cool mount and some awesome end game bonuses. If you've taken it for these, rest assured that you can still find a niche in the marketplace if you want to make money with it.

Tailoring, like many other professions, has a built in, cooldown based profitability machine. The Glacial Bag is the best non-profession specific bag available in the game at the moment, so there's always good demand for it. The Moonshroud and Ebonweave it is made from used to have cooldowns on them, however in patch 3.3.3, those cooldowns were eliminated and were replaced by a 7 day cooldown on the bag itself. Make this once a week, and generally you will find that since the supply is fixed, you will be able to turn a decent profit. In general, in fact, bags are awesome for making money.


Making bags is the cornerstone of tailoring's profitability. Tailors have the largest selection of bags available to make, and every time someone makes an alt, they have to buy them.

  • The Frostweave Bag costs, basically, 60 Frostweave Cloth and 12 Infinite Dust. It has no cooldown, and is only slightly smaller than glacials. You might not find much profit in this, however, because every tailor can make them. Keep a few around for when your competition gets bought out, and be firm on price.
  • The Netherweave Bag is still in demand. A small sacrifice of storage space leads to a much lower price point, which is very attractive to players with low level alts. Getting the mats isn't hard either.
  • The Runecloth Bag is also still in demand. Same logic: less space, less money. Lower cost means more demand -- lots more.
  • If you have a source for the slightly more annoying to collect mats, you can try selling the 18 slot Imbued Netherweave Bag. It requires Netherweb Spider Silk and some Outland enchanting mats, though. This might make it unprofitable, if you have to farm for these.
There are also a nice handful of 32 slot bags that only hold certain types of items:There's slightly more of a barrier to entry for people wanting to make these, so in theory that should mean lower supply. At this point in the expansion, however, the reputation requirements are probably not much of an issue for your competition.

Selling bags is a logistical hassle. They don't stack, some of the mats are from older content, and it can be fairly competitive, with frequent relisting and undercutting. These barriers for entry are in fact more serious than any rep requirement. Well, if something were easy, it wouldn't be profitable! Get good at AH tactics, and you will find that the bag market falls over for you. Here's one that I call the market reset:
  • Your competition needs the same stuff you do to make bags, so discourage them (and new entrants to the market) by choking their supply. Set a new price point for the mats: buy out the AH twice a day of all mats below 140% market price. Go directly to cloth farmers for CoD deals, and once you've emptied out the AH, relist the mats you need for 150% market price.
  • Buy your competitors' bags and relist them at a price consistent with the new value for cloth.
This won't work if the supply and demand for mats and bags isn't already a little tight. Luckily, unlike herbs or ore, there don't seem to be many botters farming cloth these days. Unless someone carpet-bombs the auction house with 1000 stacks of cloth at half price, you should be able to keep on top of supply by adding your own demand. Personally, when my blacksmithing market got carpet bombed by 6g Saronite, I just bought it all. Thousands of stacks of it. I'm still smelting, and it's been three months.

Making greens for enchanting mats

In addition to bags, all tailors can profit by turning cloth into enchanting mats. Several types of cloth make nice greens that turn into several types of enchanting mats. For Northrend mats, the Duskweave Belt produces Greater Cosmic Essences and Infinite Dusts, and costs 35 Frostweave Cloth and a vendor thread. If, like on my realm, Frostweave is going for 22 silver each, that makes this green cost about 8 gold. If your dust is above 1g, and your essences are above 14g, this is moderately profitable.

Additionally, look into disenchanting:These are the most popular disenchantable items for tailoring. There's a vibrant market for some of these older enchanting mats, so check prices and yields carefully.

Lastly, spellthreads and bolts

Tailors can make spellthreads which can sell fairly well. Also, like many other items, cloth can be turned into bolts of cloth. While most serious crafters will do this themselves, there's always people picking up mats without the profession who will buy the bolts of cloth. Take a look at all the bolts available, add the mats to your snatch list and watch list, and add the bolts themselves to your watch list. Buy mats when they're cheap, and sell bolts when there's little supply or a high price.

[Photo credit: Flickr]

bringin' sexy back!Being an auctioneer is like being able to print money (or gold, as it were). Wait, that doesn't make sense ... You can print on gold, but you can't print gold. That would be closer to transmutation? I can transmute titanium, but that's only worth it if the price of saronite is low enough to justify the time spent making it. I need some sort of analogy here. ... Whatever, I'll figure it out later. Making gold? Every time they let Basil write Insider Trader, he will endeavor to teach you the tricks of the trade.

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