A Few Thoughts on Tipping and Crafting.

On my server a blacksmith willing to craft something can be hard to find. Oh you can get blacksmiths leveling their trade, but I can see people adverting on trade for days at a time for 245/264 patterns. Apparently either few people have them or few people are willing to respond to calls.

My husband went out of his way to get every Ulduar, ToC and ICC pattern… spending thousands of gold on the AH getting the patterns early for our guild. He responds to trade adverts sometimes, but he also specifically ignores certain ones. After spending 30 minutes waiting for a guy to get mats for two of the 264 pieces, then being given a 50g tip, he has a list of “do not craft for”. He expects in the neighborhood of 100g for 245 pieces, and 150 plus for 264 pieces and 50g for 226 pieces [Guildies – free]. Those are round numbers and falling a little short isn’t a sentence to the “DoNotCraft” list. Some of it depends on attitude. But I also know that the guy who gave my husband a 300g tip on an item will get an instant response should we see him needing something on trade. The guy who gave 50g for 2 of the 264 items? Not so much.

“Well, it’s my mats! Why should I have to tip you at all?”

Quick answer – you don’t have to. But neither must we use our skills for you.

See, tips aren’t mandatory – but neither is responding to requests on trade. I am amused when I see someone who we felt stiffed us on a tip sitting in trade for days begging for a blacksmith’s help. It’s also amusing to watch the tip offer start at 20g, to jump up to 50g a couple days later.

This really applies to any of the professions but Blacksmithing is the one I have the most experience with watching. It is absolutely your right to not pay a tip to a crafter. And yes, they could insist on a fee. Some servers are that way… while ours has a culture of tipping. But it is also the crafter’s right to not use their skills to your advantage.


Author: Askevar

Raid leader and Tank. Also is an altoholic

17 thoughts on “A Few Thoughts on Tipping and Crafting.”

  1. I’m happy to enchant my friends’ gear. I never keep accounts and whether they tip or how much they give me really does not matter. The random stranger asking for an Enchanter in trade is tipping me 100g because it’s a damn sight cheaper than spending 3 months trying to befriend me.

    And the guy wanting me to tailor those 264 legs? If you just handed me 10,000g worth of mats, you can afford 200g more to have them turned into something useful. Bottom line is that you’re coming to me because you don’t have a pocket tailor who can do what I do.

    Paying my fee is what gets you from “random stranger begging in trade” to “valued customer.” You pay it because you want that status.

  2. LOL… This reminds me of those times when people looked for someone to weave them cloth (ebonweave, spellweave, moonshroud).

    If I ever had my CD available, which was rarely ever, I would respond to trade calls with my price – generally 100g (oh yeah stopped working for tips a long time back) and was thrown back a whole bunch of insults for quoting such an atrocious price for “just a cloth weave”. They failed to understand that weaving cloth had probably one of the longest CD in game. On top of that I had to go to Dragonblight to freaking weave it. And also mats for those cloth on our server at that time used to cost around 60g and we could sell our cloth for 350g or more, meaning I was giving them more than 65% discount on profit (not cost but PROFIT) that I could have otherwise made.

  3. I’ve always been rather confused on how to properly tip someone for making me something. I always want to tip, but what each person expects is totally different. I usually just ask what they would like as a tip and give them that or maybe a tad more if I can afford it.

  4. You all seem to be rolling in money. I envy you. I’m lucky at any given time to have 2-3k gold across all 10 of my toons. I remember spending a month straight farming mats to make enough money to get a guildie to make me the 264 legs back when they where new.

    With quite a bit of shame I offered him a 100g tip and was told that was fine since I was a guildie. This left me with 200 gold to my name. I sat out a raid that weekend on a bogus excuse because I knew I couldn’t afford the repair bills till i could do some dailies.

    Maybe the next time you get miffed at that 50g donation you should consider we aren’t all as fortunate as you.

    1. You make it sound as if its the other person’s fault you dont have more than “2-3k gold across all 10 of your toons”.

      “I remember spending a month straight farming mats to make enough money to get a guildie to make me the 264 legs back when they where new.” – I remember spending a month straight farming gold to have enough money to buy that primordial saronite (2500g then) for the 264 legs pattern when they were new.

      “Maybe the next time you get miffed at that 50g donation you should consider we aren’t all as fortunate as you.” – Maybe next time you get miffed at that 500g quote you should consider how fortunate you are that we HAVE that pattern learnt.

      See what I mean? There is that other side that you are completely neglecting.

      1. At no point anywhere do I suggest it’s someone’s fault that I have little cash. My point was, I thought simply enough, that not everyone comes to a crafter rolling in money. Often that small tip was all they had left to give.

        By the way your post just proves that point even more for me.

    2. Meaning no offense, but this is exactly the problem. You were happy enough to spend a month sending thousands of gold toward the AH sellers. Ah, but spending an hour doing dailies to pay the crafter for his services? That’s a rip-off!

      The pink elekk in the room is that paying the crafter *is* part of the price of the item. People just tend to forget about it and assume that once they have the materials together their work is done.

      Without trying to be as confrontational as our laughing friend, here, what I’m saying is that if you only have 50g left after buying mats, you *aren’t ready* to have the item crafted. The polite thing to do is to wait until you have the full price – parts and labor – together before taking your car to the mechanic (or your mats to the crafter, in this case).

      1. I’m not too sure that was a good analogy for you to use. In the real world if my car needs repair I get a free estimate that includes parts and labor. Should I supply the parts, in this case the mats, I am then given a cost for labor. It’s pretty rare to find a person in trade and indeed in these very posts that state an up front labor cost, tip in this case, to a customer.

        If my local mechanic shop left it up to me to decide what to pay them in labor they wouldn’t have the right to complain what I chose to pay. And would quickly go out of business.

        If you refuse to ask for a standard tip when you craft something up front, please, stop going to blogs and forums and whining about what you did/didn’t get.

      2. I no longer craft for the general public for exactly this reason. Everybody wants a free ride. Quoting reasonable fees gets you yelled at and asking for tips gets you stiffed. It’s just not worth it. If you’re a friend you get it free, otherwise find somebody else.

        I might flip that on you though. If you’re too lazy to spend a few minutes doing dailies then you don’t feel bad about screwing the crafter so stop going to blogs and whining about how you feel bad and can’t afford more.

  5. These days I charge a fee, it’s usually just 15-20g and people are welcome to tip on top of that if they want (and sometimes they do). I feel awkward doing it, and sometimes I get a WTF MAN for my trouble, but it’s easier than trying to navigate the social awkwardness of a tip.

  6. I never really craft for others, but maybe I should – I just find it so difficult to know what to charge/get a tip. I of course craft for guildies for free all the time, but I think that’s beside the point.

    When I get someone to craft for me I generally tip them depending on what I’m getting. Because it ends up a lot cheaper for me to have someone craft it for me instead of buying it off the AH already crafted I generally don’t find 100g to be a bad tip (assuming it’s a high-cost item).

  7. I don’t feel comfortable taking money for a button press. I’ll craft stuff but people have to come to me and they need to have the mats ready but I don’t ask for a fee. Sometimes in the mail the next day, I get little gifts from people I made things for though. One mage sent 100 frostweave and someone gave me a frog from the Darkmoon Faire.

    That said if someone is making something for me, I always give a tip of some sort and if they won’t take it, they get flasks or something suitable in the mail the next day. People might not take money, but no one ever sends a thankyou present back.

  8. This is also probably why I never bothered learning high level crafting recipes. I don’t bother answering people in trade when they say “LF Leatherworker” because I probably don’t have what they want or I don’t think making some random person an item will be worth my time. I only make regular, easy to get recipe items for guildies and I never ask for a tip so there’s no awkwardness.

    Also, what’s the point of learning high level crafting patterns when it’s almost just as easy to raid a few times a month?

  9. This past weekend I finally decided to spend some of my frost badges on Vasi and gear up my Lock. It took me forever to get my brainpower to work and figure out how many of the damn cloths I need to make to make the silly 264 pants, and only at the very end realize that I don’t have enough to make them, and instead decided to make boots. Thank you to my guildies, who answered the LF Tailor call, and helped me out with mats, and had the pattern, and were so patient while I was digging through all my pockets for so needed mats. You are so awesome and amazing! Naturally none of them would take any tips. I was so annoyed with myself for being such moron, my head was hurting the rest of the day. I do so admire all of the crafters that manage to have the patience to level their trade and be knowledgeable enough to help with any queries about the items they can make. You deserve all the big tips! I wish I could be like that… My enchanting and tailoring was such a grand fiasco, and never managed to make any gold by making things.

    To all of the other people on the server, if you see me in trade channel looking for crafter to make me something that takes more than 1 mat, please don’t answer my call! I will tip you for it…

  10. My warrior has been a blackmith since vanilla and has over 400 recipes, and it has proven quite lucrative. I never ask for a fee, or even a tip. I always simply put the crafted item in the trade window and click accept, then let the customer add whatever tip they think is fair. I find that you will make a lot more money this way than by setting a “minimum tip,” which ensures that you will get that amount but never one copper more. When you specify the amount of a tip, it becomes a fee.

    In five years of WoW, I have had only three customers offer no tip at all. One even did so after I went from Dalaran to Ironforge for him, and provided a few of the mats he was lacking. Needless to say, I will not craft for him again. However, most people on my server are surprisingly generous, and while the average tip is 100g or so, I have been tipped 250g and up even for 245 items. One kind soul even tipped me 1000g for a 264 piece. I have built up steady base of repeat customers, but I make a fair amount of gold each week by watching trade chat and doing odd jobs between raids. Some tip better than others, but that is the cost of doing business in WoW, and I never accept tips from guild mates. At the end of the day, a little courtesy goes a long way, whether you are the buyer or the crafter.

  11. I have several crafting professions across all of my toons as well, and I too expect to be paid for the time and effort I put into leveling the profession and obtaining certain recipes, and I too will ignore anyone who did not pay me what was asked or otherwise cheated me on a clear, open transaction. However, if any crafter only vaguely requests “a tip” and does not specify how much is expected/wanted (or at least a range), the crafter does not get to feel “stiffed” when the purchaser of my services does not pay me what I wanted. I do not argue with the amounts your spouse expects to be paid for various recipes; I only point out that the crafter should be clear about how much he or she wants to be paid. When I am the one purchasing another crafter’s services, or a mage portal, or anything else from another player, and the player is not up front about how much they want for the service, I always ask how much. If they still do not want to be specific, or just say, “Whatever you feel is a good amount*”, then if they don’t like what I pay it’s their fault.

    *(I hate this statement. The perceived value of any given service might be different from player to player. Just tell me clearly what you want so I can pay or find someone else.)

    1. (Oops — needed to edit part of a sentence for clarity. It should read: … “the crafter does not get to feel “stiffed” when the purchaser of their services does not pay them what they wanted.”)

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