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2.03.2012

The Problematic Possibilities of Leather Mogging Item Sales

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Like many of you I've been bitten by the mogging bug and have been making good use of Keelhauls Plate, Mail  and Cloth mogging lists. Unfortunately that left us fumbling around to figure out what to do with Leather. Keelhaul has stated he doesn't even touch leather at all.

That left it up to us to figure Leather out for ourselves. I decided it was time I looked more into the possibilities of selling Leather mogging items. What follows after the jump is my initial research into what Leather items may sell and whether Keelhaul was correct in simply skipping them.


The Big Picture

Yeah. That big picture at the beginning of the post. It's big. It is my visual positioning chart and it is what I'll be basing the rest of this post on. Don't worry if you can't read all the small green text. I'll be sparing you the need to zoom in and will be breaking each section of the chart down and discussing if in detail.

This post is going to be in three main sections. Monks, Rogues and Druids. The reason I chose to title this post "The Problematic Possibilities of Leather Mogging Sales" is that each of these sections has it's own issues and reasons leather, while not totally devoid of profit potential, might best be described as "tricky" to navigate.

Monk Leather is going to rot in a bank and may not even sell. Rogue leather has to mainly be sold to male characters and is mostly overshadowed by tier sets. Druid leather is all but non existant and only one out of four possible Druid specs (restoration) are in "caster" form all the time. Druid tier sets also often overshadow the sets I'll be discussing today.

The last real issue I have with Leather mogging sets is that we don't have someone like Keelhaul who has been out in the trenches selling leather on a regular basis who can share their experience with us. I have tapped a few tweeps to help with that today and will be sharing their recommendations.

As far as how the chart was pot together, the closer a set is to the classes name "Rogue", "Monk" and "Druid" the more I thought it would appeal to that class. The Images were cropped from a great Leather Mogging Set Wowhead search I was given while doing my initial research.

Information for the sections showing the top three races/classes for Rogues and Druids was coalated and calculated based on information as of 2/2/2012 found for the US realms on Realm Pop. (Realm Pop us a fascinating new site created by the same person who build The Undermine Journal.)

Grab a nice cup of tea and slip into your comfy sweatpants because this is going to be a long post.


Pandas Eat Bamboo

I may be jumping the gun a bit here but when I thought of building a visual positioning chart I couldn't help but include the upcoming Monk class into the chart. The World of Warcraft Mists of Pandaria expansion may still be a long way off but imagine if we are able to pick up great looking "Monk Leather" now when no one wants it and save it for when MoP launches and everyone and their dog are rolling Monks?

It has the potential to be a huge windfall for anyone with a few extra guild bank tabs open and a lot of patience. Now I want to stress that speculating on Monk Leather mog flipping is something that I wanted to explore but I don't want everyone one out there to blindly go out and buy all these items and then come to me when MoP launches and say "You told me these leather mogging items would sell to Monks and they aren't.".

Don't tell me you won't do it. You will. All I am doing is starting the discussion on what items *may* sell to Monks in MoP. May being the key word. With that caveat firmly in your minds I am pretty excited about the potential for Monk Leather mogging sales in MoP. I was pretty excited about the potential for mogging sales back in August of 2011 and that seemed to turn out alright. #humblebrag

So I personally wanted to know which items had the best potential to be desirable to Monks and start picking them up now for cheap prices. I only want to store a guild bank tab or two with them so I only want to stock up on the best of the best.


The Monk Chart

"Monk" Section of Leather Visual Positioning Chart
In this cropped section of the chart the closer a set is to the word "Monk" the more I feel is will appear to the Monk class. As you can see from the chart I feel that the Monk class will likely favor the more "plain" brown leather sets possibly branching out into some green.

Luckly for us this is one area that the Leather mogging sets is strong in. There were some sets that I am very excited about. I am going to be including Auctionator-importable shopping lists in this article but only for the top-5 item sets for each class. If you'd like to build your own Auctionator shopping lists the process of adding more sets is fairly simple.

The reason I am limiting it to the top 5 sets is that I I am still not comfortable recommending the masses go out and buy all of these sets. In the case of the Monk class all I'm working on is my hunches and gut instincts which may turn out to be completely wrong.

That said, I will be looking for these top-5 potential Monk Leather mogging sets and squirreling them away to sell in MoP.

Top 5 Monk Leather Sets  Auctionator Shopping List

*** leather_Monk
Armor/Leather/Superior
Armor/Leather/Robust
Armor/Leather/Adventurer
Armor/Leather/Insignia
Armor/Leather/Wanderer


Top 5 Possible Monk Mogging Set Visuals

Top 5 Possible Monk Leather Mogging Sets

The sets above to me have a very strong "Monk" feel to them. While these are my top 5 I'll be keeping my eye on some of the other sets in the full Monk section of the visual positioning chart. The reason I chose a mail Draenei for the model in the above image is that I feel they are closes to the visual physique of the Pandarens and while other races can be Monks (Alliance - Draenei. Dwarf, Gnome, Human, Night Elf. Horde - Blood Elf, Goblin, Orc, Tauren, Troll) I wanted to see how a Pandaren monk would look in one. (Just visualize a big jolly beer belly on the above images for the full effect.)

So stocking up on some of these potential "Monk Leather" sets may be a good idea if you have the extra space, the patience and the temperament to prepare properly. The nice think is that as long as you grab the items cheap (5-10g each) filling a guild bank tab or two won't be a huge investment.


Dirty Dirty Rogues

Rogues are one one of the classes that I feel gets mogging items overlooked for a few reasons. First off the characters build for rogues are overwhelming male and if I've learned one thing in my mogging sales experience is that the vast majority of sales are made to female characters.

As part of my research I took the time to get empirical evidence on what races/sexes the actual rogue population is made up of. I calculated the statistics based off numbers I gathered from Realm Pop and came up with the following chart. The numbers beside the images are the number (in thousands) of Rogues 1-85 on all US realms.


Top 3 Rogue Races/Sexes

From the chart above you can see that only one female (Blood Elf) shows up at all in the total top three. On the Alliance side the top three Rogue races/sexes are all male and fairly evenly split between Human, Worgen and Night Elf.

On the Horde we have Undead males at nearly doubling the next place help by a near three-way tie between female Blood Elves, male Blood Elves and male goblins. What this tells me is that in a business where we are predominantly selling to female characters the rogue class has very few female characters playing with the Blood Elf female being the one stand out. That's not good news for moving large quanities of mogging items.

Secondly I feel that the leather items in this chart don't really offer anything overwhelmingly unique to buyers over tier and/or bind on pickup (BOP) items. For plate the mogging items sold offer (mostly female characters) the chance to have skimpy "tankinis" and other looks that almost all tier sets/BOPs fail to offer. That said I did my due diligence and think I turned up a few sets that might sell.


The Rogue Chart

"Rogue" Section of Leather Visual Positioning Chart

In the chart above the Leather sets that I felt were more "Rogue-like" were placed closer to the word "Rogue". These tended to be darker sets that had a "ninja-like" feel to them. As you move out from the main items the sets start to take on a bit more color as well as branch out into a few "themes".

Overall I found the sets to have very few that would appeal to females which, while disappointing, may not be such a bad thing as I stated above that so few female rogue characters exist. Below are the top 5 possible rogue mogging sets put into an Auctionator list. If you would like to add other sets that are on the chart that you want to flip adding them is fairly easy.

Top 5 Rogue Leather Sets  Auctionator Shopping List

*** leather_rogue
Armor/Leather/Bandit
Armor/Leather/Scaled
Armor/Leather/Scouting
Armor/Leather/Supreme
Armor/Leather/Nightshade


Top 5 Possible Rogue Mogging Set Visuals

Top 5 Possible Rogue Leather Mogging Sets

The top 5 Rogue mogging sets in the chart above are based solely of my visual interpretation of what I feel a "Rogue" set should look like. I have no sales data to back them up. I simply chose what I felt was best. Again I want to reemphasize that I feel most of the possible leather mogging sets that could appeal to rogues are overshadowed by tier and BOP items.

That said, given the male-centric nature of the the rogue population I feel the above sets will appeal to them. The two that are shown on a female are done so to show that they may have potential to be high sells despite the lower number of buyers because they offer something (in this case the "halter top" look) that tier/BOP sets don't offer.

Keep that in mind. While there are more potential male characters out there to buy, the female characters have classically been the ones to spend top dollar on unique looks like the Supreme and Nightshade shown above.


Druids, What Will We Do With You?

I have to say this exercise gave me the least hope in being able to sell mogging items to druids. Not only do druids generally have some of the most beautiful tier armor but as you will see in the Druid section of the chart mogging leather has the least to offer Druids.

Again I calculated the statistics below based off numbers I gathered from Realm Pop and came up with the following chart. The numbers beside the images are the number (in thousands) of Druids 1-85 on all US realms.

Top 3 Druid Races/Sexes

First off lets talk about what races/sexes are playing druids. The outlook for the male/female mix for Druids is a bit more encouraging as long as you play Alliance. Of course the increase in females in the Alliance side is pretty much off-set by the fact that only one (Restoration) of four possible Druid spec are in "caster" form all the time.

A break down of druid population shows that Horde druids are lead by male Taurens who have nearly twice the number of the next on the list which are male Trolls. Female Taurens come in a distanc third with almost exactly half as many characters as the next highest. If you are on the Horde side you'd do well to tailor your leather mogging sales towards male Taurens.

On the Alliance side things get a bit fascinating with male Night Elves barley surpassing female Night Elves for tops spot. Also the female Night Elf population is not that far behind the male Tauren population. We know female characters like to purchase mogging items. In third place we have male Worgen with an impressive number of characters.

Looking at the top 3 race/sex cominations on both sides we have 4 male and 2 female. The horde side has male Tauren dominating and Alliance have male and female Night Elves nearly identical in numbers. Looking at this it seems that if there is any real room to sell mogging items to Druids I'd put my money on Alliance gold-makers taking aim squarely at the female Night Elf Restoration Druids.

But here is the bad news. There is almost nothing in the leather mogging items that really appeals to the female Night Elf Restoration Druid. In fact, there is hardly anything in the sets that I can see appealing to Druids at all. While I may be wrong, and have tried my best to put sets I felt might appeal to Druids in the appropriate place, the chances of selling to druids seem pretty bleak to me. At least in the kind of large sales and large prices we've seen in the Mail and Plate mogging markets.


The Druid Chart

"Druid" Section of Leather Visual Positioning Chart

Looking at the chart above I have to think I am either really oblivious to druid fashion (which I may totally be) or there is just really nearly nothing to appeal to Druids. I know if I was a druid with some tier/BOP items mogged I'm not sure I'd dump them to mog into any of these sets. That is the thing about the plate and mail mogging sets, they are good enough to make you not mog other items.

That said I'll continue on and trust in my visual sense to guide me. Below is the Auctionator lists for the items I feel have some possibility to be sold as mogging items. While the lists has 7 items on it there are really just 5 visual looks as some sets are visual duplicates.

Top 5 Rogue Leather Sets  Auctionator Shopping List

*** leather_Druid
Armor/Leather/Bristlebark
Armor/Leather/Ghostwalker
Armor/Leather/Boneshredder
Armor/Leather/Wildevar
Armor/Leather/Taunka
Armor/Leather/Ghrino
Armor/Leather/Archer

Top 5 Possible Druid Mogging Set Visuals

Top 5 Possible Druid Leather Mogging Sets

Just looking at the above graphic makes me uncertain. I feel the least comfortable with my choices for druids. Perhaps is it that that class is so many different things (cat, bear, tree, chicken) that is is really tough for me to pin down single visual style. Perhaps it is that I haven't played much horde and therefore have a pretty poor base of knowledge to draw from as far as what they wear.

What ever the case may be I feel fairly certain that if I can get this confused while I did so well on the Rogue and Monk classes it probably has a lot to do with the fact that in the case of the Druid you are really selling to 4 disinct types of looks. You have the more visceral "feral" feel that Feral Druids may choose as well as the more "nature/flowing" feel that Restoration Druids may want.

You also have the fact that one large population of Druids is Tauren and the other is Night Elf who both have their own distinct visual themes and if you then include male and female Night Elves then you're getting into a few different visual directions you can go. For myself I am going to do more research on Druids as well as focusing my leather mogging item buying on the Horde side exclusively to male Taurens and my Alliance mogging buying to female Night Elfs.

Again, I am most uncertain about how to really go about breaking this Druid market down which leads back to my original point about Leather mogging items being a very difficult nut to crack. I wouldn't really put much faith in my above Leather choices as far as Druids go. I'll likely be doing a follow up post that relates exclusively to the Druid mogging market.


What do the experts say?

As part of the process of writing this post I reached out to twitter to offer they Leather sets that they had had actual success in selling. I'm proud to say we got some responses from actual players selling actual Leather mogging items to actual players. Below is the Auctionator list of sets that @EpicPennyPouch@SerrinneWoW, and @farli_wow gave as leather sets selling right now in-game. (Also, a special thanks to @AltosGold who gave some great input at the early stages.)

While there is no guanatee that all the items for the sets listed here will sell it is a good starting place. Just be sure to use your own judgement when it comes to which of these items to pick up to try and flip.

Auctionator List Of Selling Leather Mogging Sets

*** leather_Selling
Armor/Leather/Bonechewer
Armor/Leather/Boneshredder
Armor/Leather/Glyphed
Armor/Leather/Bandit
Armor/Leather/Bard
Armor/Leather/Prospector
Armor/Leather/Swashbuckler
Armor/Leather/Serpentskin
Armor/Leather/Tribal


WHAAAAT? No Pricing Tiers/Full Lists?

No. I have not included any pricing tiers for any of these leather items. The reason is simple. I don't have enough experience selling them to know. Circumstantial evidence from those I've talked to seem to feel that the Leather mogging items that are selling are selling at prices below what other mogging items are selling for.

That said, each and every server/faction/item is different. You're going to have to use some brain power and elbow grease to get the pricing on these items correct yourself. I;ll be working the mogging Leather market much more as time goes on and if I ever end up with more concrete tiers of Leather mogging items and/or pricing for those tiers you will be the first to know.


Conclusion

So now we come to the end of this journey. Well this is really the beginning of my journey into exploring the viablility not only of the Leather mogging market but also the possibility of stockpiling certain leather items that will appeal to the Monk class being introduced in World of Warcraft Mists of Pandaria.

This is an exciting area to play around in because it is really unexplored. It could turn out that the Leather mogging market really is completely flat and unprofitable. It could turn out that Keelhaul has been right to ignore the market completely.

That said, as competition in the mogging markets heats up we have to start mining new areas that haven't been researched, cataloged, priced and publicized. This is the time to figure this market out and I encourage all of you to go out exploring and do your own research.

It's easy for all of us to wait around for others to put together pricing and buy lists but that isn't really thinking. That is just regurgitating what others have done. I've always tried to stress that people become much better gold-makers when they take what others do and build on top of it.

Now go out there and hammer the Leather mogging markets and gt back to me with your reports. Typed. Double-spaced. In triplicate.


Additional Resources

If your new to the mogging market below are a few links to help you get started.




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7 comments:

  1. I enjoy your blog, and podcast. I *just* started working on Mog Market to expand, on the strength of Keelhaul's analysis, and stuff you've posted.

    This Leather market is of a particular interest to me, as my main is a Druid (Feral main/Resto OS), and another rogue at 85 on a mid-sized Alliance server, where mogging market is somewhat sluggish as far as I can tell from the few days of working on AH.

    I have to agree with the Druid gear. I'm having some tough time trying how to dress my Druid, as the Resto (Caster) form finally forced me to look at how my character actually looks in gear. Now that I am looking at it, nothing really screams to me. Most likely, "leafy/organic" things are the ones that comes to my mind, and I'm afraid there aren't much/any (Archer's set has some green), but my guess is MoP is where those things will show up.

    As for the rogue gears, I'm personally collecting Clefthoof's set (the blue/turquoise cousin of Bandit/Bard set) as I wanted to avoid the whole Black/Red Archtype, and he's a nightelf, so they go better with the hair color. I have been keeping eyes on Bandit/Bard gears however, and noticed they are rather plentiful. Plus, there is a bit of annoying issue with "Bandit" search, that shows all the "Of Bandit" gears, and I might that annoying search UI quirk might lower the market (I might just be over-thunking).

    Thanks for pointing out on potential Monk mog gear angle. Didn't even think of that one. I think I'll at least make another toon to get leatherworking to 85 to get ready, and will casually browse to see which sets are rare, at least...

    -K

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    1. Yeah I've noticed the "Bandit" problem and sort the auctions by title to keep the "Bandit Chest of the..." items at the top.

      This is a market I'll continue to try to crack because who ever does will pretty much have what ever market there is to themselves.

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    2. Yeah, I'm a bit worried about the potential impact to the buyers, who might end up missing some of the sales due to the UI issue with "Bandit". As I said, I might be over-thinking, however.

      Also, "eyepatch" should be on the people's list (Noticed Swashbuckler's set, and found there are many items with that model). I mean, come on. It's an eyepatch. Just flipped that from 10g to 125g in 1 day turn around in sluggish Mog market. I shoulda charged more...

      -K

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  3. Thanks for the breakdown, I actually found this post when I was doing a google search to get ideas for my rogue. My rogue toon is an undead female. lol the amount of outfits that look good on that toon make-up, are horrifically few. :)

    I have decided that the replica darkmantle set from the DMF vendor is going to be my best looking option. I'd like to mix n match some of the miscellaneous parts, like gloves and feet. Any suggestions?

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  4. Also from a buyers perspective since I am going for the dakmantle replica set, I was so wishing some LW would have had one of the "same model as" the chestpiece on the ah before I spent my tickets yesterday.

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  5. I have a druid (healer) main and a rogue alt, so leather is a very important market segment to me. My druid is one of the main healers in my guild and I consider it a top priority for her to look good. One of the nice things about druids is that they can mog a different look for each of their gear sets. That creates an opportunity to sell more than one look to a druid who regularly plays multiple roles.

    My feral off-set is currently mogged into the Bonechewer pieces (which you neglected to include - it's a very attractive set). My heal gear is mogged into the "feathered" set which includes Windhawk pieces and Ironfeather pieces. I added the Earthborn Kilt as a neutral bottom. As a healer (and a female player) I prefer my druid to look like a caster/priest, so that's an angle you might want to explore in your research. There are a number of BOE kilts that may be good to add to snatch lists.

    Another good set of items you didn't cover is the "stylin" hats that Leatherworkers can make. I see a number of leather moggers using these items to jazz up an otherwise boring set. The hats are so eyecatching that you almost don't need a flashy set with it.

    I would also like to second Krem on the clefthoof/bard/bandit thing. I've been dealing in Bard for awhile and it's my most consistent selling leather so far.

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