The Service Side of Crafting

As a habit, I don’t bark my Jewelcrafting services to random folks on my server. I leveled up for myself and my guild, not to be a trade channel spammer (no offense to you folks who like to operate that way). On occasion I will hear some poor sap begging for a JC to cut something, if I’m not busy and they aren’t getting a response I may offer to help. In general I don’t expect tips, for my guildies I refuse tips altogether. I don’t want to make money off my friends and compadres, it just doesn’t feel right to me. Plus the fact that Krystella already has more money than she needs :)

Last week I was puttering around the Auction House when someone started asking for a JC to cut 4 Bold Living Rubies for him. I was thinking “Wow, that’s quite an order” to myself. I waited to see if he got a response, and when he spammed again I sent him a tell “are you tipping”? I figured if he was going to get four gems cut, he should probably be offering a tip. Again, not that I need the cash, but I don’t want to ruin the market for the other gem-cutters on my server by doing cuts for free. So he he messages me back and says he’s offering a tip of 4 gold.

My first thought is, that seems really low as a tip. The uncut gems are worth at least 40 gold each, after I cut them they will be worth 50-60 gold each. So he’ll be sitting on an easy 200g if he sells them, and he’s tipping 4 gold. Now I know with enchanters that the standard tip is 10% of the value of the mats. If you are asking for an enchant that’s worth 100g, you should be tipping 10g. If we apply the same calculation to Jewelcrafting, I think that would be 4-5 gold per gem for Living Rubies.  So by the 10% service fee model he should be offering a 16-20 gold tip for 4 gems, right?

Of course, this guy wasn’t going for that and I noticed a few minutes later that he started whining in Trade chat about crafters always wanting tips for a mouse click. Thankfully, he pretty much got flamed for being a cheapskate by the other folks in Trade who understood that a lot of money goes into leveling a profession and purchasing the various recipes. They tried explaining all this to the cheap little dweeb, but naturally he wasn’t impressed. I stayed out of it, heheh. At this point it was obvious that helping him would have just perpetuated the low cost/no cost service myth for the next guy he tried to work with. Luckily now he knows what to expect, even if he doesn’t agree with it.

So I guess my question is, do you guys consider Jewelcrafting comparable to Enchanting in terms of service fees? I know many folks just let their customers tip what they like and I think that’s a reasonable way to go. Mostly I’m curious what you think a reasonable tip would be for gem cutting? Is it the same 10% that enchanters typically get or is it something else?


15 Responses to “The Service Side of Crafting”

  1. Kosutic Says:

    On Rexxar the standard has pretty much been set at 5g a cut for the blue quality gems. More or less.

  2. Nibuca Says:

    I do consider the activities equivalent.. but I hesitate at setting a number for a tip. By definition a tip is a bit of money given to show appreciation. When I’m leveling enchanting I’ll say “your mats, free, tips appreciated”. I really do mean that. I appreciate the tip.. but the value to me on the enchantment is in the (possibility) of the skill up. Once the recipe is grey to me (or I’m at skill cap) then I set a -price- for enchanting. 10% of the mat price sounds reasonable.

    A price is a set thing. I can demand whatever I want and if I don’t get it I can refuse to do the enchantment. A tip is a gratuity. It’s at the discretion of the tipper.

  3. Nak Says:

    I always tip for any profession: Enchanting, JC, Leatherworking, etc. It’s the same percentage for anything profession, plus I’ll give a little more if it’s an obscure recipe.

    When I’m doing the crafting, I mostly just do it for friends and guildies.

  4. Flashheart Says:

    On Stormreaver EU, recipes for Gem cuts sell on AH for 200 to 500g regularly. Us Jewelcrafters either pay the going rate for ‘recipes’ or don’t get to have any cuts.

    My alt Finella must have spent 4 to 5 thousand gold on blue recipes since TBC started – most of those gem cuts are not farmable (especially as finella is my alt not main).

    If people put the recipes on the AH for what they do – they can hardly moan when they get charged to cut.

    It annoys me when some jewelcrafters undersell their wares/professions – because It would be nice to actually make some of the money back that I’ve spent out. As it is most rare cut gems are on AH for 20 to 40g (and uncut stones for 30 to 60g) ;(

    I do cuts for Guildies for free (and also give them uncommon cut gems for nothing if I have spares) In return they tend to send me uncommons for nothing and occasionally if a recipe drops while on a Guild Raid – I get sent it.

    For people who I don’t know – a cut fee of 4 to 5g is fair imo. I charge 10g to cut meta’s.

    (Cut Meta gem’s are selling on AH for 120 to 200g at the mo – uncut gems for 80 to 100g) – mostly due to season 3 start + Raiders.

    I spent the time getting the recipe’s – its only fair that others pay you for the work you have put in.

    (My main is a raider with engineering – and so makes no money – and as a Guild Main Tank/Off Tank, I accrue repair bills of 30 to 40g per night raiding).

    I don’t get a lot of time for dailies due to the dreader RL/combined with raids – so my Jewlcrafter/Alchemist Alt is about all that makes me some money for repairs.

  5. Wrenzo Says:

    Nak, I’m assuming that you’re a crafter (as I’m assuming that most of the readers here are). I think that because we know what goes into things we’re much more likely to tip. I know I tip when I get free services (someone doing Primal Might for mats for instance). I was recently trying to level my Enchanting for two reasons. I wanted to hit 360 (to enchant my rings) and I wanted to make some cash for my epic mount. I had one person in Shattrath tip me 10g for an enchant where he provided mats. I had one person in Stormwind who tipped me 1g (after I travelled to him…and for a Gray enchant that I received no skillup).

    I tend to not ask for tips. I assume people are kind enough to offer them. If not, oh well…what can you do?

    It’s similar to real life. Everyone I know who’s worked as a waiter or waitress is MUCH more likely to overtip than not.

  6. Talius Says:

    On Lightninghoof (Alliance) the going “Cut” rate tends to be 5g for Rares and 10-25g for Metas. I normally tend to charge that for random people in trade, and will accept tips if it’s a friend or guildie, though do not ask. A common theme in my guild is to flat out refuse tips if the person dosnt’ have their epic flyer yet.
    Since I’m not the only JC in the guild, I tend to get requests depending on what people want and if any of the others are on. My saving grace tends to be that I have both pvp gems, the +12 stam and +9 spell damage gems, and all but 2 metas (destructive and the consortium exalted).

  7. ClemSnide Says:

    One of the things that I’ve done with success (once or twice) is the Skill Swap. I need an Enchant on a BoP item, you do too– no way to mail them to our Enchanters, so let’s one of us enchant the other then vice versa. It works that way for Blacksmithing too, for those Iron Counterweights, Mithril Spurs, etc.

    There’s an old story (back in the 10% tipping days) about a waitress that received such a small tip that she stared at it for a while, and the customer saw her. “I only tithe to the church,” he sanctimoniously told her. “Jesus died for my sins, so it makes sense that I tip him more than someone who just brings out food.” As they were leaving she yelled “If Jesus had to bring both your orders back and get you six coffee refills, he’d have let the busboy die for your sins!”

    But yeah, I’d much rather set a price than do it for tips. I only break this rule when I have been desperate to level up– like when I had a bunch of 300 skill recipes and was at 295, I offered free shield enchants with my materials. (Just Dream Dust. I had a ton of it.) That’s rare. And actually I found so few shield users that I only got to 298. I wasn’t going to multi-enchant someone else’s item, that would just be silly.

    What I’d really like (and have suggested) is that there should be more than one organization structure in the game. You’d have your Guild, as in history, for your crafting. Your Club would be where you hung out with your friends, and your Batallion is where you find raiders and instance runners. Just because no other MMORPG does this is no reason it shouldn’t happen with WoW. And the (Trade) Guild structure would help set practices and prices… just like in our world’s history.

  8. ratshag Says:

    He was only offering 1g / gem for blues? Cheap bastard. I wants those JC’s to be plentiful and eager to respond when I’s looking for business, but I can’t be bothered with the 10% mathifications. So I just offer 8g as part of my LF JC call. Works pretty well – almost always get a prompt response, and it’s faster and cheaper than selling the uncut and buying a cut gem on the AH.

  9. Wayne Says:

    I’m not one to advertise my cuts for sale, but I do spend a lot of time in the AH looking for bargains. As a result I see a lot of trade requests for certain cuts. Usually on the second request I see I’ll reply letting them no I would cut them for 5g each for rares, and usually 15g for metas. I think tipping is a bad idea, because somebody usually winds up upset. If you call out a price ahead of time, you know what you’re getting and they know what to expect. If they don’t want to pay, I wish them good luck and move on. I can make much more than 5g on the AH, but for them to just walk up and hand me the 5 or 15g, it works for me.

    Speaking of money, did you notice the huge spike in gem cut prices after the release of Season 3 last Tuesday? I made a mint! Literally 3000g last week for buying cheap gems, cutting and relisting. Powerful earthstorm diamonds, buy up raw mats for 80g, relisted for 125g, all day long! Chaotic Skyfires, same story, buy raw for 100g, and relist for 150g, all day long! Same went for all of the big DPS-centric cuts on my server. Bright living rubies, Wicked and Potent Topaz, and Shifting Nightseye, all buy for 45g, sell for 60g+!

    I made a killing. I’ve been waiting for your post on this very issue. Now I enjoy playing the AH, but still haven’t gotten my flying mount. I was almost there ~4500ish and decided to take up LWing to get an Ebon scale set, and Crimson Hawk boots from a BoE pattern I bought. That set me back to near zero funds again, and I’ve been bouncing around since then, but only up to about 1000g as of 2 weeks ago. This morning, I logged on and had 5050g! Of course I bought 4 more SKyfire Diamonds for 75g each, but I’ll have that Flyer by the weekend for sure.

    Hopefully some of you got to take advantage of last weeks price shock as well!

    Teneightyp and BluRay

  10. Kestrel Says:

    I’ve both a jeweler and an enchanter. Unfortunately, neither is maxed yet. However, I am also a buyer–and I’m glad to get the perspective of the other readers here. What I’m reading makes a lot of sense. The good thing is, generally what I tip for enchants is in line with the “conventional wisdom.”

    And if/when I get to the point where I can cut/enchant for others, I now have a comfortable baseline from which to operate.

  11. Kat Says:

    Its never easy to figure out what to do is it? I have a few 375 crafters and for the most part do not advertise in trade chat. I do not charge guild mates or friends for cuts/enchant/potions/whatever. Most of the time they provide their own mats. If they don’t, we work something out. Random people find me because of my sales in the AH.

    I did alot of thinking bout things and what to charge. Because I spent alot of time and money in leveling up, I do charge a fee. It is not a tip. It is a cost for my expertise.

    For J/c I charge 5g per cut for the big gems and 10g per cut for the meta.
    For enchanting I charge 5g for the recipes over 300 skill points and 3g for under. For the special ones it is 8g.
    Alchemy? I don’t really do any for other people.

    When I need to get someone else to cut/enchant for me I tend to tip double what I charge, mainly because I want them to help me out another time. And they remember me for it.:)

    All that being said, I am a softie and find myself buying into sob stories. I have a few guildmates who give me a cyber thwap when I do because they have made me realise that my services are valued.

    Thank you kindly,

  12. Furcas Says:


    Here on Uldaman, because we are a low pop server, JC’ers with all the patterns are rare. I still am missing a couple of frequently asked for patterns. But, through discussion with the other JC’ers (and there are very few overall), we’ve agreed that 5g per cut per rare is fair. I cut greens for 1g each, and metas are still 5g if they are using it (I don’t cut for sellers)

    I’ve spent probably about 5kg in patterns (the costliest was 500g for the +12 sta, but that was because a couple of friends talked him into being cheap), and return is nowhere near the investment. I did it because is something of a challenge to get all the patterns.

  13. xcal Says:

    I saw someone begging for some simple gems (his mats), so I went a little out of my way to get to him…we didn’t discuss any price. It turned out that his gems where in the guild bank and he didn’t have access:-( 5min of mine wasted! He /w me the next day saying he had his gems, and I was in the area, so helped him out. He eventually tipped me 10g to cut the 3 gems:-)

  14. Itam Says:

    I haven’t cut gems outside of my guild in months. I was one of the top JCs on the server untill they changed the thorium requirements and now there are about 500 on the server. To this day I still require 10g for a cut… the cash I have payed out for thorium and blue patterns is insane and the uber rare talasite pattern people still want 1200 gold for even though its a worthless cut. I would always cut gems for free for guildies I would ask a very modest price for the gems if they needed them I usually had about 15 or so of each blue in the bank. I’ve since moved them all the blue gems to the GB for whoever needs them. Daily quests grant me more cash than I could possible make from Gems now. To give you an idea of costs on our server if you can sell a talasite for 10g your happy. Most people have given up on selling cut/raw gems and just sell the ore.. a stack of adamantite ore goes for 20g.

    The only time I got close to making my money back is when I was the first person on the server to get the relentless earthstorm. I was selling them at 250 each. The next person that got the pattern started selling them at 140. Last time I looked they were at 80. That was over a period of about 2 weeks.

    I will cut green gems for free if the spam starts to annoy me. Jewelry is very hit or miss but I usually go for 10g if they have the mats.

  15. Feanwe Says:

    I think, unfortunately (and depending on your server and population), that JC has seen critical mass now, and competition has simply increased.

    I had my druid primed to level JC in the early days of TBC, saving up mats for weeks in the months before. Within a few days, and several hundred GPs later, I was maxed out, and then I was able to do cuts that not too many people had based upon faction rep. In the beginning I noticed only a few competitors. However, within the last 4 to 5 months, It became apparent that the “market” is now flooded. Case in point — in the Summer of 2007 I could sell greens for anywhere from 2 to 7gp each, and Blue cuts for 60 to 80. Now greens are almost not worth listing on the AH, and Blues range from 25 to 50gp.

    Where I DO see some profits still are in the Metas. If you are lucky enough to have several lvl 70 toons (I do), you can create a mass production line of transmutes and gathering. I can usually sell Metas for 90 to 125gp.

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