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[guide] Crew Skill money making strategies

STAR WARS: The Old Republic > English > Crew Skills
[guide] Crew Skill money making strategies

psandak's Avatar


psandak
03.26.2014 , 02:09 PM | #1
In this forum there is another thread that goes into "How to make 20 million credits a week". In fact you will find the OP and my first comments on the second page. DarthTHC and I are mostly on the same page. One problem is that his OP is now out-of-date: most of his item values are inflated. Not that big a deal because the message is still accurate.

The primary point where he and I diverge is that of time spent. DarthTHC said that he tries to logon every 90 minutes or so throughout the day. For most players this is an impractical goal; most players cannot or do not want to spend that kind of time working the GTN in this game. Therefore the goal of "20 million credits a week" is all but unreachable.

Does that mean one cannot make a fortune of credits in this game? ABSOLUTELY NOT!!!! It will just take longer.

The intent of this post and thread is to give general information regarding my own time tested strategies to create that fortune. The basics will cover what translates to ALL MMOs. I will go into some specifics regarding SWTOR, but to give away all my secrets would be foolhardy...it would give my competition a leg up .

DarthTHC had a lot of things right:

Don't spend credits if you do not absolutely have to: saving credits is as important as making them. Before you buy something on the GTN think to yourself: "Do I really NEED this?" or better yet, "is there a way I can get this without spending credits?"

People do stupid things with in-game currency: be smarter than they are.

Make credits not stuff: be aware of the values of materials and crafted goods because many times the materials are valued higher. And do not be picky about what in fact makes credits. Just because you thought item X would be profitable and it is not, and items A, B, and C are profitable but you thought they would not be does not mean that the crew skill is broken...just craft items A, B, and C for profit.

Making credits at the level cap is much easier than while leveling: Because of having all your companions, and the ability to do dailies, and the fact that you no longer have to spend credits on training, and many other factors that are slipping my mind, waiting until a character gets to the level cap is an excellent strategy.

Taking slicing with every new character: Lockbox nodes are free credits plain and simple and running early lockbox missions is a profitable venture too.

Now I would add:

Patience is as much a commodity as credits: starting from nothing, if you try to make millions overnight you will probably fail. Yes, there are plenty of exceptions, but they are just that: exceptions. Assume you will be the norm rather than the exception and you are already much better off. This means starting slowly and letting your credit making snowball over time.

Related to both Patience and Making credits not stuff is quantity over quality: Players see those 1+ million credit items being posted and want to get in on that. What they fail to realize is that the materials to craft those 1+ million credit items are valued at 900k to 1+ million (not to mention how hard it can be to get the schematics in the first place: http://www.swtor.com/community/showthread.php?t=715016). OTOH, as a function of percentage lower level items are MORE profitable. But because of their lower overall value, it takes more sales to get to the total credit value. But fear not, those lower level items tend to sell faster for the simple fact that they are cheaper; most players will think long and hard about spending 1+ million credits, but hardly think twice about dishing out 20k credits.

And what helps with quantity, with 4.0 Companion Influence Rank matters and is easy to raise. While Influence Rank 10 and what was formerly known as max affection result in the same base crit chance, there are no more companion specific bonuses. So in order to get the equivalent of a +5% companion specific bonus you need to raise influence rank to at least 20. But do not fret, for 60k credits per companion you cant get up to influence rank 25. Companion gifts generate a LOT more influence and a single stack of grade 1 gifts from the vendor on fleet will get a companion with a love gift to about rank 25. Companions with no love gifts are harder, but the expense is reasonable.

Diversity is a key to success: if you only craft one item for sale and that item no longer sells or the market crashes, you are screwed. Whether you have one character or a dozen, diversity in what you sell will calm the ebbs and flows of the GTN supply and demand markets.

You need to market watch. Simply crafting stuff because you can and hope that it sells (at a profit) is not good business. Tracking of data in a document is one way to handle this but it is time consuming and IMO unnecessary. Before you jump into a market, take a look at what the item is selling for over the course of a few days to a week.

Lastly, Pricing. All too often, I see items posted at either the default value or at values well below the rest. Why does this happen? I can only surmise that the players are not bothering to check what the current market value is. But why not? With (not so) recent improvements to the GTN, it takes all of five seconds:
  1. open the GTN (which will open your inventory too)
  2. Shift+Left Click an item in inventory and text populates the buyer tab text search
  3. (optional) set other search parameters (i.e. when researching augment pricing I will set the "rarity" filter to Prototype in order to avoid the littany of schematics [that are green quality]).
  4. Click search
  5. Sort by price or unit price (selling stackable items you are better off sorting by unit price)

And there you have it the lowest current price of that item

BUT WAIT! Take a look at the first page of items listed. Is the lowest price close to the next or the next? I have found that one need not always undercut the absolute lowest price to generate a sale (especially on items that are bought en masse, like many item modifications). Put a little thought into your pricing. If item X's lowest price is 10k and there is only one or two of them and the next lowest is 20k, why post under 10k when the item will most likely sell at just below 20k?

Which brings me to how much to undercut. 99% of the time, buyers are going to buy regardless of what the lowest price is; whether you price at 1 credit or 1000 below the next lowest, the buyer will most likely buy. So why should you undercut by more than a handful of credits?

I hope this helps all you budding crafting czars. Questions and contributions are always welcome.
The Ortzid Legacy on The Harbinger
Car'beerd (Guardian) Dalkery (Scoundrel) Blairnah (Sage) Daellia (Merc) and 11 other characters
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JordainVentura's Avatar


JordainVentura
03.26.2014 , 03:50 PM | #2
Great Post
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Hoshkar's Avatar


Hoshkar
03.26.2014 , 07:32 PM | #3
Looks pretty much like what I do already. I refuse to undercut people, most of the time it is 1-2 newer players who just happen to come across the items I tend to make / sell. They get bought out pretty fast, almost always under the price it costs to even make the items (that is if I don't buy them out myself and relist).

Best advice ever though, never flood the market.

JamieKirby's Avatar


JamieKirby
03.28.2014 , 12:13 PM | #4
Very good post indeed, the problem with the GTN and its player driven economy, crafters tend to control the pricing, screwing over gatherers, so they can buy materials for as low price as possible and sell their crafted items as high as possible, even when its not worth it.

I mean, i have seen level 17 armorings being sold for like 20k each, i mean thats just insane, you can make a level 17 armoring for like 500-1200cr, depending on how well your Underworld Trading missions go, so why sell it for 20k? it makes no sense to me, maybe they just see an item and just try to put as many 0's on the price tag as possible.

which in itself ruins it all.

Trevormortis's Avatar


Trevormortis
03.28.2014 , 02:03 PM | #5
Nice post and thanks for not giving anything too indepth away Hopefully, if anything comes from this, it would be that people would stop the insane undercutting that happens. I'm on Harbringer also and see some crazy things sometimes.


Quote: Originally Posted by JamieKirby View Post
Very good post indeed, the problem with the GTN and its player driven economy, crafters tend to control the pricing, screwing over gatherers, so they can buy materials for as low price as possible and sell their crafted items as high as possible, even when its not worth it.

I mean, i have seen level 17 armorings being sold for like 20k each, i mean thats just insane, you can make a level 17 armoring for like 500-1200cr, depending on how well your Underworld Trading missions go, so why sell it for 20k? it makes no sense to me, maybe they just see an item and just try to put as many 0's on the price tag as possible.

which in itself ruins it all.
Isn't the problem also the solution? If someone is overcutting in an empty market and no one is buying, can't you just reset the market by putting them up for what you feel is an appropriate price? Who cares if one person puts it up for way more than it's worth... simply do not buy it. If it never sells he/she can a)either keep posting it at absurd prices and never make any credits from it (in which case it doesn't affect anyone but him) OR b) realize it won't sell that high and lower his price so it does sell. Either way, that doesn't really affect anyone in a negative way. I don't see how that would be a concern, yet alone "ruin it all". Maybe I'm missing something.
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psandak's Avatar


psandak
03.28.2014 , 03:34 PM | #6
Quote: Originally Posted by JamieKirby View Post
Very good post indeed, the problem with the GTN and its player driven economy, crafters tend to control the pricing, screwing over gatherers, so they can buy materials for as low price as possible and sell their crafted items as high as possible, even when its not worth it.

I mean, i have seen level 17 armorings being sold for like 20k each, i mean thats just insane, you can make a level 17 armoring for like 500-1200cr, depending on how well your Underworld Trading missions go, so why sell it for 20k? it makes no sense to me, maybe they just see an item and just try to put as many 0's on the price tag as possible.

which in itself ruins it all.
You've been asking the same question for as long as I can recall.

The answer is simple, you just refuse to accept it: The GTN is a symbiotic relationship. Therefore items posted invariably fall into a specific price range that is acceptable to buyers and sellers alike: buyers are OK buying, and sellers are OK selling within that range.

You feel like buyers are forced to buy at those prices when in fact that cannot be farther from the truth. Buyers have options:
  • Don't buy at all: there is NOTHING on the GTN that cannot be acquired through normal play.
  • Scour for deals: they do exist, one just has to have patience.
  • Make it themselves: Anyone can take up any crafting skill they want.

But you know what all of those options have in common? They take TIME! Those who buy do so because they want what they want now. So the question for each individual player to ask is: "how much is time worth?"
  • How much is my time worth to me to not have to level that crafting skill and do all the REing to get that item I want?
  • How much is the seller's time worth to me? He did what I refuse to do.

You don't like the GTN's totally free market system; you have said many times that Bioware should set limits on maximum pricing. But why should they when the buyers have done it for them? Again, I get it, you don't like the pricing. Well that's your problem, not the system's.
The Ortzid Legacy on The Harbinger
Car'beerd (Guardian) Dalkery (Scoundrel) Blairnah (Sage) Daellia (Merc) and 11 other characters
Understanding Crew Skills / High End Schematics / Best Crew Skills / Crew Skill Money Making / Reverse Engineering Rules / SWTOR Story to date

Grayseven's Avatar


Grayseven
03.28.2014 , 10:22 PM | #7
I agree with almost everything.

What I don't agree on is under cutting. To me, this is leaving credits in the pockets of your customer that could have been in your own. I'm not saying sell for the highest price, but never sell to lose money. If a market is saturated and the undercutting is fierce put those items into storage until the storm passes and give something else a shot.

To an extent I also disagree that you can't make credits while leveling. My current leveling project has made over 5 million credits while being entirely self-sufficient. I agree that you should wait to level a crafting and mission skill until you hit end cap and that you should always take slicing for the free credits but by taking 2 additional gathering skills you can earn credits by the bucket full and have enough credits at end game to level a craft and mission skill as well as fully augment some gear.

Like anything worthwhile you have to learn your subject and make the effort.
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Grayseven's Avatar


Grayseven
03.28.2014 , 10:31 PM | #8
Quote: Originally Posted by JamieKirby View Post
Very good post indeed, the problem with the GTN and its player driven economy, crafters tend to control the pricing, screwing over gatherers, so they can buy materials for as low price as possible and sell their crafted items as high as possible, even when its not worth it.

I mean, i have seen level 17 armorings being sold for like 20k each, i mean thats just insane, you can make a level 17 armoring for like 500-1200cr, depending on how well your Underworld Trading missions go, so why sell it for 20k? it makes no sense to me, maybe they just see an item and just try to put as many 0's on the price tag as possible.

which in itself ruins it all.
I wish, oh how I wish, this were true.

The truth is that items are often sold for less than the materials used to make them will sell. Why? Because people leveling crafters at end game and who have the credits increase the demand on the materials price. And on some items, the chance to proc two of them for the cost of one set of mats is enough for people to buy the mats and make the item themselves instead of buying one of them.

Ultimately, the GTN (like any MMO economy) is self-regulating. As P said it earlier, no one is forcing you to pay those prices, there are always other options.

And never forget, there is a research cost in Prototype and Artifact level items. To get to that level, many iterations of reverse engineering could be at play increasing the cost because someone put the time and effort into getting to those Artifact level items. Not to mention the Artifact level materials taking many failed missions to return the crit that returns Artifact level crafting materials.

20k for an Artifact level 17 armoring is a fair price. Mostly because not many people are running Tier 2 UT missions for the Artifact level mats to supply a market. You can also include the fact that an Artifact level mod will take you farther along the leveling path than a Prototype mod which means you buy less of them over the course of leveling your character. 20k for something that lasts 6 levels is much better than 10k that might only last 2.

In short, you are too narrow-minded in your understanding of how crafting and selling really works. To understand requires that you look at the entire process instead of just seeing a shiny you think is over-priced and railing about it ad nauseum.
"50 Grades of Shae", a heart-warming novel about a Mandalorian that delivers beat-downs and assigns grades to her victims.

psandak's Avatar


psandak
03.29.2014 , 08:25 AM | #9
Quote: Originally Posted by Grayseven View Post
I agree with almost everything.

What I don't agree on is under cutting. To me, this is leaving credits in the pockets of your customer that could have been in your own. I'm not saying sell for the highest price, but never sell to lose money. If a market is saturated and the undercutting is fierce put those items into storage until the storm passes and give something else a shot.
I completely agree that if a market is saturated one should just walk away for a while instead of continuing to undercut. But if the market is good, undercutting a decent price by a credit or ten so you are the first person people buy from (to me and many others) is good business (not really different then RL store X price matching and little more).

Quote: Originally Posted by Grayseven View Post
To an extent I also disagree that you can't make credits while leveling. My current leveling project has made over 5 million credits while being entirely self-sufficient. I agree that you should wait to level a crafting and mission skill until you hit end cap and that you should always take slicing for the free credits but by taking 2 additional gathering skills you can earn credits by the bucket full and have enough credits at end game to level a craft and mission skill as well as fully augment some gear.

Like anything worthwhile you have to learn your subject and make the effort.
Never said you can't make credits while leveling; I said that making credits is easier at the level cap than while leveling. And again, I completely agree with you that gathering+slicing while leveling is a great money making strategy.

and on JamieKirby's attitude toward the GTN, I've said it before, he reminds me of the Karemma from the TV series ST: DS9: Materials and Labor have a set value throw in a modest profit and the price is determined.

Then there are those he is probably talking about who treat the GTN like the Ferengi: Trying to rip off as many as they can before getting caught.

Then there's the rest of us who fall somewhere in between because we accept the "rules" of a free supply and demand market
The Ortzid Legacy on The Harbinger
Car'beerd (Guardian) Dalkery (Scoundrel) Blairnah (Sage) Daellia (Merc) and 11 other characters
Understanding Crew Skills / High End Schematics / Best Crew Skills / Crew Skill Money Making / Reverse Engineering Rules / SWTOR Story to date

DarthTHC's Avatar


DarthTHC
07.24.2014 , 08:56 PM | #10
Thanks for the credit. Wouldn't mind you removing the link to my original. I think it's all but dead now.

================================================== ====================
EDIT: This post was written before details about crafting in 2.9 became available. It is now out of date. Read on in the thread for a better approach based on the 2.9 schematics.
================================================== ====================

Here's what I'd do if I were starting today, with a character already at 55. I only add some details here to compliment your OP.

My goal is easy profit, not maximized profit.

1) Slicing on every character. Work it up to 450 via lockbox missions. At 450, chain run "Unsliceable?". Sell the Bio-Mechanical Interface Chips for 16,985 per stack of 99 (never less, but more if your server supports it) and the Thermal Regulators in stacks of multiples of 4 for the going rate. Read the OP for pricing strategy. It's right on and better than what I wrote originally.

2) Spread the following skills around based on +Crit for companions: Bioanalysis, Scavenging, Diplomacy.

3) For Bioanalysis, run the Rich and Abundant 450-level missions. Sell in full stacks of 99.

4) For Scavenging, favor the mission that grants Tricopper Flux over the Rich and Abundant missions that grant Turadium over the Rich mission that grants Mythra. Sell 'em all in full 99 stacks.

5) For Diplomacy, run the 450-level Rich Medical Grade Injector missions and the 400-level Companion Gift missions. Sell the MGI's in full stacks and the gifts in stacks no bigger than 10.

I would literally use only those skills. The other skills all require more work than the ones I listed. Remember what I said at the top - my goal is quick, easy profit; not maximized profit.

Maximizing profit involves a lot more work. You need to work up manufacturing skills, reverse-engineer to get the most desired items, watch the market closely and more frequently, and some even burn a bunch of commendations to get hilts or barrels to reverse-engineer, which fails very often. Is it worth it? I suppose if your goal is to have a massive pile of credits, sure. But if your goal is just to consistently make more credits than you need while minimizing effort required to get it, no, maximizing is not worth it.