The inspiration for this post comes from a recent vent discussion with a guildie. He lamented the constant struggle to accrue gold. He wants Epic Flight but can't afford it. He has one L85 toon with Mining and Blacksmithing but he hasn't maxed either and doesn't have any other professions available. He is still in the Cobalt phase of leveling Mining and Blacksmithing.
I suggested making a circuit through Northrend for Cobalt or even Hellfire for Fel Iron as a quick fix. Both types of ore are selling well. Since he hates to mine he would prefer some way that minimizes the time he uses that fancy pick-axe.
So the question that seems most relevant for him is 'how can I best earn gold in this situation'?
New Tanks All Day Long
We all know tanks are hard to find. Many players are getting tired of waiting for queues. DPS are waiting in excess of an hour for non-heroic instances, especially below L75 or so.
Players who have never tanked are rolling or speccing new tanks to get the "Tank Insta-Queue" buff.
New tanks means new tank gear. That spells opportunity.
The Cobalt tank gear is a nice upgrade at L70 for up and coming tanks. At that level they can't beat the affordability and functionality until they get some dungeon drops. There have been some very good posts on Cobalt Tanking Gear. Markco over at Just My Two Copper did a nice piece on Why Cobalt Tanking Gear Sells So Damn Well. Other bloggers have written about Cobalt armor too. (fellow bloggers, feel free to link your previous posts and I'll put em up).
Here's a Twist: Tempered Saronite
At L74 there is a nice option for tanks ((and us Goblins)) with the Tempered Saronite set. By L74 the Cobalt set has lost most of its appeal. It might have been fine for Utgarde Keep and The Nexus, but by Violet Hold and Gundrak tank's gonna need some new gear.
The Tempered Saronite set offers two pieces each at L74, L75 and L76. There are also two pieces available, one at L77 and one at L78, but I caution anyone against making them for the simple reason that at L77 players can get Cataclysm greens with better stats for just a few gold.
The Tempered Set includes:
Tempered Saronite Legplates at L74
Tempered Saronite Belt at L74
Tempered Saronite Boots at L75
Tempered Saronite Shoulders at L76
Tempered Saronite Helm at L76
The materials to make all six of these items are just under 237g. You will need 20 Cobalt Bars, 47 Saronite Bars and 3 Crystallized Earth.
The market value of the mats differs for each server. I have roughly 180 stacks of Saronite Ore from Wrath end-times so that cost is lower for me.
How Profitable is Tempered Saronite?
When I listed these in the AH there were no other Tempered Saronite items. I was able to set the market at my chosen value.
I selected the following:
These prices were not scientifically determined. I searched the AH to see what other gear was available for that level and the 3 levels prior. That gave me a sense of what else might be out there to buy, or, what prospective customers might be wearing already. Where there was a competitive item, my prices are lower. Where there was no item close to the stats on this gear, my prices are higher.
My thought was to just test this and see how the market responded. In the first 4 hours I sold the Legplates, Belt, Breastplate and Boots--all to the same buyer. That's 713g. I quickly re-crafted the ones that sold and re-stocked the AH. This morning when I got up I had sold Shoulders, Helm, Boots and Belt--471g more. Total in 12 hours: 1,184g in sales less 307g in materials is 877g net profit.
Epic Flying in Just a Few Days?
So far, so good. The markup is great. These are easy and fast to make. Even if I had to buy mats on the AH my snatch list will help me get cheap mats to help drive profits.
I'm passing this info on to my guildie. If he decides to get in this market I will get out for a while. I want him to get his Epic Flying.
Hope this helps someone else. If you have other new niches please let me know.