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How can you make gold from crafting?

"Hi Markco,
 
I've just recently subscribed to your e-mail list, but have been reading the blog for several months. I feel like I thoroughly understand flipping and have experimented with the techniques. I also play the exotic market. However, I'm still not understanding crafting to make money. When I check GW2Spidy and the other new website you sent us, it seems that ascended inscriptions are the most profitable things to craft. However, that doesn't take into account the "cost" of dark matter and the time gating of lumps of mithrillium, so I'm undecided about that market (not to mention it doesn't seem very active).
 
Bottom line, I'm trying to say I don't really understand how to craft and make money in GW2. Would it be possible for you to highlight where to find the information? Or perhaps to make a step by step guide like you did for flipping? That guide is super helpful, I like how it guides you through the thought process without actually telling you "buy 300 bulbs of garlic."
 
Thanks!
Shannah"
 
The most popular methods for making gold often involve some sort of time investment outside of the trading post. Whether it be farming (most common by far) or prepping for crafting something (ascended gear). There are also people who convert their skill points to gold, like I show in the forum or with runes. For anyone who has time to play this game every single night, these methods are often the best because they can be worked into your regular game play instead of being a separate activity from your regular adventures.
 
But if you only want to stay in a major city to craft, without any farming whatsoever, then you need to approach this entire situation differently.
 
What do you need as a crafter to make stuff? Items like bolts of wool. Actually, let's look at that item in particular.
 
A bolt of wool currently costs 1 silver 24 copper. Wool scraps cost 57 copper. If you were to buy 2 wool scraps for buy orders (around 50 copper cost each) then you would be able to produce a bolt of wool for 1 silver. You could go ahead and sell your bolts of wool for 1 silver 24 copper, which would net you  5 copper every time. This is certainly one method for making gold from your crafting professions. I like to call it "converting materials." In most online economies that I've seen, these conversion processes often get overlooked by the masses; which in turn creates opportunity for those smart enough to look closer at the math behind it.
 
(When I wrote this, the buy order for bolt of wool cloth was above 1 silver 5 copper, but had it been lower you could have just flipping bolts of wool cloth instead of taking the time to make your own.)

Here's a better idea though. You know that you can create a bolt of wool for 1 silver, not the going rate of 1 silver 24 copper. As long as you can't get wool for less than 1 silver 5 copper on buy order (I multiplied 1.24 by .85 to get that amount) then perhaps you could go to the next step in the crafting process: creating item components. These item components are what we use to create finished products (armor, weapons, etc). One other option you can try is creating insignias, which is my favorite way to make gold with tailoring.

Try exploring a little bit more, and not just focusing in on the top tier of your discipline.

Hope that gets you on the right track, and thanks for the great question!

~Markco

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