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What is a reasonable tip for high-end crafted gear?

VOTES

3

I'm looking to have the Crusader's Dragonscale Bracers crafted, with my materials. There appear to only be about a half dozen people on my server + faction with this recipe at this time.

Currently, the pattern auctions for about 5k, and the items themselves tend to auction for about 8k -- which is about 3k above market price for the mats. (1000 for orbs, 200 for dragonscale, 300 for furs, 150 for water.)

What is a reasonable tip for this item, if I'm providing the materials? For normal stuff -- flasks, bullets, etc. -- I figure about a 10% tip is reasonable. This is less than could be made on the auction house, but more than nothing. I don't know how that scales to high-level crafting.

I'd rather not spend 500g on them if that would be seen as excessive, but have no problem tipping 100g for the item. Since there's a limited amount of work -- I always go to the crafter, and I bring my own mats, so all they need is bag space and to open their spellbook -- I feel like this would be fair.

What is the right amount to tip for something like this? How do you pick out what that amount is?

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In the case of these bracers, the price was set by the market. I looked in trade, saying first "will tip", followed by "100g tip", and got no bites. I went to "200g tip" and I got 3 whispers in 15 seconds. Thanks for all the advice and discussion. – Christopher Schmidt (Nov 6 2009 10:43 AM)

6 Answer(s)

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VOTES

1

This varies wildly depending on the rarity of the pattern. When only one or two people on the server have it, I'll often tip 2-500g for a craftable like that (as I did for my bracers).

When I bought bracers for my alt 2 weeks ago though, the patterns were sufficiently widespread that half a dozen people were spamming trade volunteering to make them, so I tipped 50g. This will, again, vary wildly depending upon your servers economy.

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Thanks, that's about what I figured. I've been asking in trade for a couple days re: the bracers and not gotten any bites, so now I've been trolling the auction house and adding people who are auctioning them to my friends list. Some of them may not actually have the pattern, but can hopefully tell me who they got the bracers from. :) So I'm probably towards the higher end of the curve on our server, currently. Thanks! – Christopher Schmidt (Nov 4 2009 11:07 AM)

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3

Depending on the number of people who know the pattern, it may be a situation not of how much to tip, but of how much they charge. Often for rare patterns like this, the people who know it just have a set crafting fee.

In this case you can haggle a bit, but it's up to them. You could offer to trade another service, like an epic gem transmute or two if you're an alchemist, that might sweeten the deal.

For what it's worth I have seen crafting charges of a few hundred gold for the craftable 245's on my server. The crafters may try to undercut each other, but then again they do know they have a rare recipe and want to make a buck for it, so 100g or more is likely.

VOTES

-5

The answer to this is simple.

Here are the conditions of the event:

  1. You are supplying all materials, including fuels (vials, threads, etc).
  2. You are going to the crafter, wherever that may be.

Given the above conditions, the crafter isn't losing any money or losing any travel time or being inconvenienced due to travel limitations (hearth cooldowns, teleport costs, etc). Therefore, no charge should be indicated for these conditions.

The crafter is giving up the following:

  1. The time to reply to you agreeing to craft the item.
  2. The time it takes to trade the mats to the crafter.
  3. The time it takes for the crafter to locate the recipe and combine the mats.
  4. The time it takes for the crafter to return the finished product in trade.

If we were to assign general estimates to the above time losses to the crafter, we may consider 10-20 seconds for someone to reply, 30-60 seconds for the crafter to receive the materials, 5-50 seconds to locate the recipe, 5-60 seconds to combine the materials into a product, and 30-60 seconds for the crafter to return the finished product and receive a "tip".

This results in 80-250 approximate seconds that the crafter gives up in time costs. These are opportunity costs, where the crafter may have been doing something else during these seconds, other than crafting the item for you. Reasonably, the average amount of coin a player may gain from killing a mob at level 80 would be about 30 silver; if this player kills a mob every 10 seconds, they could make 1g 80s every minute. Thus, if it takes 250 seconds to interact with you for the crafting of an item, the player could have theoretically made about 7g 50s, or we could round it up to 8g.

As a result, I declare that 10g as a tip is more than fair for any crafted item, no matter it's level, type or rarity, given the above conditions.

Things to consider:

  1. Some crafting requires physically located objects such as an Anvil. This adds additional time, because the crafter must go to that Anvil.
  2. Some crafting requires the sub-crafting of materials before the main crafting occurs for the final product. This adds additional time for the crafter.
  3. Some crafting requires charges/cooldowns that may limit the crafter from performing the function again for some time. You may want to tip more for this. However, a good crafter dealing in popular items will burn these cooldowns each time they are available, with or without a customer and have them on hand.
  4. Nobody told a crafter to obtain a rare recipe. Nobody held a gun to their head and told them that they had to obtain some rare recipe. Therefore, the rarity or possession of the recipe itself bares no logical weight on the tipping factor.
  5. Obviously there are things that may affect the tip you (as the customer, remember that factor) give. For instance, if the crafter responds clearly and directly, doesn't act confused, knows up from down, etc you may want to classify them as a 'good crafter' and give them more of a tip than average. However, if a crafter acts overly confused, massively delays in response, acts like they just don't care if they have you as a customer or not, etc, you may want to give them less than the average tip, if you even deal with them at all.

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*cough*cheapskate*cough* – Wridel (Nov 4 2009 12:57 PM)

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This is ignoring the time required to obtain the recipe, either through raiding or purchase. This also ignores the basic economic premise that the scarcer or more difficult to obtain an item is, the more it will cost. Those ideas are always factored into cost. – Julanna (Nov 4 2009 1:01 PM)

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Again.. Nobody forced them to obtain the recipe in question. – Unknown (Nov 4 2009 1:09 PM)

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Also, nobody forced them to spend a load of gold on buying the recipe. – Unknown (Nov 4 2009 1:09 PM)

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You said "Therefore, the rarity or possession of the recipe itself bares no logical weight on the tipping factor." I think this is totally untrue. I expect to pay more for anything that is less common or above and beyond the call of duty. Crafters with the 245 patterns have currently gone above and beyond, either by raiding, purchasing the pattern, or in some other way. Rewarding their efforts seems to me to simply be expected. (I also argue with your gold-making premise. Making 400g an hour is trivial in many ways, which would mean the tip should be closer to 50g for opportunity costs.) – Christopher Schmidt (Nov 4 2009 1:11 PM)

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Rarity is just not an issue. You're saying that the customer should pay the business to exist. If the customer pays the business to exist (paying for the rarity of recipes) and pays the workers (the crafter clicking a button) both, then this is the same as the customer owning the business. – Unknown (Nov 4 2009 1:18 PM)

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Nobody is forcing you to buy it from them either. This isn't Reservoir Dogs and you aren't Mr. Pink. By having someone craft it for you, you save a load of money vs buying the item directly from Trade or the AH. Quit being so stingy. – Wridel (Nov 4 2009 1:24 PM)

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Sebz: I think that rarity is an issue. It is an issue because the market is otherwise limited; therefore, the market value of the item is higher. Look at it this way. The crafter could say "I've already made one of those, and put it on the Auction House. You can buy it from there." With a limited supply of recipes, this is easy -- a handful of crafters could completely control the market by doing this. "Overtipping" (as you might see it) encourages crafters to continue crafting for others directly. "Why do crafting when I can just quest?" would be a bad question for crafters to need to ask. – Christopher Schmidt (Nov 4 2009 1:37 PM)

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Rarity /is/ an issue though. Most crafters think of a rare pattern as an investment. I paid 2000g for a rare pattern that nobody else has, and the reason I did so is that I know, by crafting 20 of this item for 100g tips, I can make my money back. Think of it as the R&D costs that a real world company might bear. You pay extra for more advanced technology, even when the cost of the raw components is low, because the skills required to make the item you'd like to purchase are few and far between. – Feist (Nov 4 2009 2:01 PM)

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Overtipping is overpaying, it's not about the gold, it's about the principle of the issue. If you let them feel too godly, they'll just treat you like a subject. You are the customer. They need customers. The customers don't necessarily need them. There are other ways and other crafters than some snooty jerk who demands X amount in a 'tip'; it's not even a 'tip' then, it's a price demand. This is just like a crafter I came across the other day, they were advertising and then entered into arenas; I told them I'd wait for them to get out and did, only to have the jerk queue up again and leave. – Unknown (Nov 4 2009 2:15 PM)

VOTES

3

For rare recipes that only drop in current high-end raids, require rep farming to get, or are rare BoE world drops that cost thousands to buy on the AH, I usually offer at least 100g tip, even with 100% my mats.

Considering the market value of the mats for a crafted ilvl 245 piece, esp the Crusaders Orbs, an extra 100g is about 1%-4% of the mat cost. Most people tip 15%-20% the cost of their dinner or service, so even 100g is a stiff.

Also, gold is easy in Wrath. As a crafter myself, it's never worth interrupting whatever I'm doing for a measly 20g tip, even if I'm just sitting the Dalaran Visitor's Center waiting for Arcane Magic: Abjuration to spawn. 20g is just pocket change.

Finally, not only did the crafter have to commit to developing his profession, but also his gear and raiding skills enough to get into the raid and succeed at downing the boss, then farming it till the recipe dropped. Or he spent weeks grinding rep w/ mind-numbing dailies or repetitive 5man runs, or farming gold to buy the thing on the AH.

Hence it's generally not worth it to me or most other crafters to interrupt what we're doing, even for a few seconds, for a total stranger, for anything less than 100g.

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0

I tend to charge 300g for ToC recipies (pre3.3) and 100g for ulduar recipies. I think I'm only missing one of the leatherworking recipies from those two raids. And I bought them all from the AH, with the purpose of selling the products and making a profit.

VOTES

1

I would think about 10% of the cost of the Pattern would be a reasonable amount to pay for the crafting of an item. Perhaps higher for unusual (not rare in the wow sense) or trained recipes (which are artificially cheap and so require compensation for the time spent waiting). This way, a crafter is likely to get any recipe which they envision selling more than 10 times. If the recipe is a drop from a dungeon, the cost of that recipe is the cost of a dungeon run (consumables, repairs, etc.) times the number of times it needs to be run to get the recipe.

I think the idea that paying someone for crafting is a 'tip' is a bad idea. It leads to inappropriate expectations on both sides. You should 'pay' for crafting, and the amount should be agreed upon beforehand (i.e. before anyone has traveled). This just seems likely to promote more happiness to me.

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