This is a personal guide, if you disagree with anything feel free to leave comments on the talk page, but please don't remove, change, or add anything.’’ All the information provided here has been tested 1st hand by the author: IconicIdea.
If you only want to skim this tutorial, and have a vague hope that you’ll spontaneously explode into wealth, then I can’t teach you anything. But! If you have a teaspoon of patience, and can learn some basic market trends, then you’ll make money hand over fist.
The methods you learn here are not a "Get Rich Quick" scheme, this is a "Patience and Intelligence Makes You Money" strategy.
No major money maker in FFXI or real life gets far by ignorance and luck. You will be constantly learning new things, you’ll be a better seller than me, easily. Understand that you’ll have competition in everything you sell, and that shouldn’t discourage you. Competition creates a healthy economy (digital or otherwise). You'll find some markets will fluctuate, others will disappear, and new items come on the market with monthly updates. Highly successful sellers are successful because they like success. They study easily, because attached to their genius, comes money. Oddly enough, you don’t have to be a genius, you just look like a genius. Making money in FFXI is an easy way to feel successful.
- Q: Everyone knows that crafting just isn't profitable any more, no one can really 'get rich,' so what's the point?
- A: LIES! You sir, are a liar pants! The truth is, anyone can make millions of gil on a monthly or weekly, even on a daily basis. Players are convinced that the Auction House is a waste of time, because they haven’t seen immediate success. Most sellers innocently believe anything they make (whether it’s in demand or not) should explosivelysell. When they don’t make money, they get discouraged, thinking the system is against them.
- For Example: If a player floods the market with Bone Subligars and Wax Swords they will make little to no money, then be a bit heartbroken. That’s exactly what I did, it took me a long time to figure things out. With patience and a bit of homework (30 minutes should be enough to start) you will get profits within a couple sales.
- Q: Every time I've tried to sell something, everyone undercuts me! It doesn't matter if the product is selling like crazy, why can't I ever make a sale?
- A: At most, this make the process slightly more challenging. It doesn't matter if "they" can undercut you, you can still make money by the truck-load. Undercutting sellers is a very valuable tactic to make sales. This tactic is used in Real Life constantly. Believe it or not, you can use strategic undercutting to your advantage, without destroying the market value of the product.
- Q: Players with 100+ crafting skill can make High Quality items at a massive speed, for almost pure profit. How can I compete with that?!
- A: Become 100+ skilled and make the HQ3 profits yourself. If you're dedicated, and have saved up a nest egg of crafting capital, you can level a craft from 0-110 in a weekend. There is nothing difficult in becoming 100+ skilled in any craft. You can even making money while doing it.
- NOTE: Some crafts require more money to level than others, so the size of your nest egg should reflect that. I recommend starting with an affordable craft.
- For Example: Cooking is the most affordable craft, and it’s very profitable. On the other hand Goldsmithing(my favorite craft) will be ten times more expensive. You’ll literally spend millions levelling it, and you’ll make hundreds of millions using it.
- Q: There was a time when I had Smithing up to skill 110 and Leathercraft also to 110 on my mule. I made, and tried to sell, the best armor and weapons in the game. No one bought them, it was awful. I invested all that time and money, and what did I get out of it? Nothing! If you can't sell the best armor and weapons in the game then the system is broken right?
- A: The system isn’t broken, and I’m sorry you went through that. I wouldn’t recommend leveling Smithing or Leathercraft past skill 70. Sadly, these two are only useful as sub-crafts for other profitable crafts. The weapons and armor you tried to sell, don't sell for a reason. Players can earn better gear through quests. Let me tell you what does sell: Food, Ammo, Ninjutsu Tools, Potions, etc. Gear doesn't sell, the only exceptions are Jewelry and Fishing items. If you have your heart set on Smithing, great! Start synthing/selling Darksteel Ingots they sell quickly for good profits. Darksteel Ingots are one of the few products Smithing is good for.
- NOTE: You should only advance a craft to 110, if the craft has numerous profitable items.
- Q: Ok... well my friends Cooking skill is 110, and he doesn't make any money. He makes the best Food/Consumables on the market! He doesn't even break even. If he's not successful, why would I be?
- A: If your friend broke themselves, this is not your fault. Your success starts with you. Something beautiful breaks when you no longer try. The failure of others is not inspiring, your successes are. BE POWERFUL.Your friend may have genuine skill, but do they have real "know-how?" Follow the tactics and strategies below, change them to suit your needs, experiment. Find out if it works or not.
- Q: Can you give me a list of things I can sell?
- A: Sure, the materials to make these are cheap, and they do sell at the Auction House - but a bit slowly.
- Copper Ingots: sell for 20,000-30,000 per stack, buy the Copper Ore from the Goldsmithing guild.
- Beeswax: sell for 6,000-10,000 per stack, buy the Beehive Chip's from the Alchemy guild.
- Grass Cloth: sell for 10,000 per stack, buy the Grass Thread from the Clothcraft guild.
- Q: Crafters have a methodology that they only tell their friends. There are tricks to the system that I don’t know, can you give me your most helpful tips? I feel like a puppy lost in an evil thunderstorm.
- A: I understand, it took me a long time to figure things out. I’ve listed the 8 most helpful tips I know below. By the way, there are no “magic” laws, only helpful advice.
1. I recommend using any guide by Ctownwoody, his guides are a little outdated but still better than the others.
2. Any sub-craft(s) you train shouldn't progress past 70. Your preferred 110 craft will start losing points if you break the 70 mark.
- NOTE: Synergy, Fishing and Chocobo Digging are excluded, as they're hobbies not crafts. You can level these to 110 without adverse effect.
3. As you skill up, be aware that post 50 skill-ups come slowly. This is why I use Kitron Macarons, they help you skill-up faster (but they're not useful until after 50).
4. In any craft, the moment you hit level 28, turn in your cap test and start earning Guild Points. They are invaluable.
5. ALWAYS get Synthesis Image Support, the cost is very low and the benefits are tremendous. This helps when the gap from one bridge synth to the next, is greater than 5 levels. It can also increase your skill-up rate.
- For Example: Advanced Synth Support adds 2 levels to your effective crafting skill, which makes 7-8 level "jumps" attainable and less expensive.
6. Don't underestimate the value of Moghancements. Most players don’t understand what Moghancements do, or understand that only one Moghancement can be active at a time. Additionally, the Moghancement needs an aura strength of 100, or it’s not very effective.
- For Example: If you're leveling Goldsmithing, you’ll want the Fire Moghancement. This Moghancement grants more synth successes, and minimizes losses when synths breaks (when using fire crystals). The easiest way to get this Moghancement, is to purchase seventeen cupboards. Cupboards are aligned with the fire element, and each have a fire aura strength of six. Seventeen cupboards times six, equals a total fire aura power of 102. This will make your Moogle declare, "There is an overwhelming amount of fire energy Kupo!" This is an effective Fire Moghancement, if it’s less than 100, it’s not very effective, but anything more than 100 is redundant.
- NOTE: You might consider putting non-essential furniture away, as their auras can interfere with an existing desirable Moghancements.
7. If you’re interested in the days, directions, and moon phases for optimum crafting, go here: Days and Directions of Synthing. Personally, I don't follow the philosophy, but I've no problems with those that do.
8. As you craft, I'd recommend using the following Macro:
/lastsynth /wait 25 /lastsynth /wait 25 /lastsynth /tell YourCharacterName blarg
Tapping the Records of Eminence Money Keg
The gateway to gil in the Hundreds of Thousands.
- Selling items purchased with Sparks to NPC Merchants is a decent way to make money. 1,000 Sparks will convert roughly to 10,000 Gil. Whether you're a high or low level player, earning Sparks isn't difficult. Running through "repeat" quests can be very profitable: Kill 200 enemies, Crystal acquisition, etc. Players can typically make 5-10 thousand Sparks per hour, which equals 50,000-100,000 gil. High level players can get even better results.
- You may find this method alone to be enough for your needs, and not bother with the Auction House. It's certainly an easy method, but it feels a lot like grinding and gets old. However, this is a phenomenal way to save up a nest egg of crafting capital, then skill-up to 110 on your favorite craft in a couple of days.
Be an Auction House Boss
The Auction House: Making gil in the Millions, stacked with Millions, padded with Millions, swimming within Millions...
- NOTE: Don't forget the list of items in the Q&A section - it's beginners who craft them, more advanced crafters are busy synthing other advanced items - but they (Copper Ingots, Beeswax, Grass Cloth) are valuable and sought after.
First You Must Choose a Craft:
Creating healing potions and deadly poisons. Enfeebling weapons, and a variety of Ninjutsu tools.
Work with bone to create moderate to heavy armor and a wide variety of weapons, ammunition, and jewelry.
Use as a Sub-Craft only. Not worth taking to 110. Work with natural fibers to craft lightweight armor and capes often used by magicians.
Combine ingredients to make a wide variety of tasty and enhancing meals.
Work with precious gems and metals to create beautiful jewelry and glittering armor.
Use as a Sub-Craft only. Not worth taking to 110. Work with animal hides to craft moderate and versatile armor.
Use as a Sub-Craft only. Not worth taking to 110. Refine raw ores into usable material for the forging of heavy armor and weapons.
Very useful Sub-Craft, this canbe profitable with some items, but may not be worth taking to 110. I leave it up to you. Work with lumber to craft weapons, tools, shields, ammunition and Mog House furniture.
How To Research Your Target Product(s):
- Don't forget the list of items in the Q&A section - it's beginners who craft them, the more advanced crafters are busy making much more difficult things - but the products (Copper Ingots, Beeswax, Grass Cloth, Sheep Leather) ARE valuable and sought after. Open any of the aforementioned crafts in another window - such as this one: Alchemy. Now, scroll down until you see Alchemy/All Recipes (It will be towards the bottom). Click it! & you will be rewarded with a list of Alchemical Recipes, from basic, to the most advanced. Now open www.ffxiah.com in another window - in the upper left hand corner make sure your server is selected. Take at least 30 minutes and look up items according to your skill level. You will be searching for the following trends: How Quickly the items sells, & How Much they sell for.
- For Example: stacks of Holy Water tend to sell 'Very Fast' for 10,000 while single Quake Grenades sell at an 'Average' rate for 20,000-30,000. Both of these sell quickly enough, and would both be profitable enough, to synth & sell. Find at least 5-10 items like this (it's advisable to have a pool of 14-21 items, [more on this below] but this is enough to start on for the moment).
- Note: Holy Water requires Alchemy level 51 and Quake Grenades require Alchemy 58, with Smithinglevel 29. If you're not this skilled yet yet, shoot for lower synths, there are many that are easily as profitable, if not more so.
- Note: Don't just research potential money and speed of sale, look up the materials and find how much each of them cost. A product may be selling like Hot-Cakes... but can you afford to make it? Or spend all the time running around to get all the materials? If not, move on to another product.
- For Example: Marinara Pizza's are a decently popular item, they sell quickly, usually around 10,000 or better, but they're made of PURE EVIL to synth. 1rst you have to make the Marinara Sauce (it require anchovies which you'll have to synth from Sandfish or Icefish which you'll have to catch yourself, as they are rarely for sale) and Pizza Dough (which requires Semolina, an expensive product: 1,500-3,600). Then you have to make the Marinara Pizza itself (which requires Chalaimbille cheese, retailing for 600-1,900 gil). Then if you decide not to cook Marinara Pizza but Slice of Marinara Pizza, instead (also good sellers) you'll need to synth your own Pizza Cutters as they, also, are never for sale. Oh.. and Marinara Pizzas don't stack, they hog a lot of storage space. Does This Seem Like A Run-Around? It IS! Do you really want to do all that work for something worth just 10,000 gil? Sadly, some people do, because it's the only thing they know how to sell. Research your products before committing, or they will bite you.
Why You Should Diversify:
- The 1rst, and foremost reason you want to have a diverse product line is this: YOU CAN MAKE MILLIONS of Gil, consistently. Now, there's nothing wrong with having 3-4 highly profitable items in your pool of products, as long as you have a diverse range of products selling. Meaning a handful of "Quick Small Sales" tempered with your "Slow Big Sales." You need at least 14 different items (preferably 21) on the market. This gives you consistent small sales (3,000 - 6,000 - 10,000 selling a couple times a day) tempered with the slower "Big Sales" (50,000 - 100,000 - 250,000 that can sell once per day, or once every 2nd-3rd day). If you don't have a -solidly diverse- product pool, it's very easy for "Vapid Seller's" to crash your income party.
- Vapid Sellers Are those who give nary a 2nd thought to the market, they attack the Auction House with the single minded spunk of a Suicidal Lemming... Just -SPAMMING- the market with quick (filthy dirty, stupidly cheap) sales. I pray to all the Holy Pagan Gods Of Science(!) - after you read this guide, if you've been a Vapid Seller? That you'll stop! Now, and -never- Vapidly sell again; but that you would be filled with beneficence! And sell with decorum and grace..! With goodwill to all.
- You may be tempted to choose just 3-4 highly profitable items ranging from 40,000 to 200,000. There is a danger in doing this. If you specialize in a limited pool of products... It's only a matter of time before someone crashes your market (more on how to deal with this below). Dun! Dun! Duuuuun! And what was making you money Hand-Over-Fist, is now bringing in nothing...! Leaving you in a financial famine, mentally distraught and foaming at the mouth with impotent rage! You are unable to feel powerful at all! Nor are you able to complete your taxing fiduciaries! Oh! The Feels!! Bottom line - Don't Specialize. It's what the dumb people do.
How To Keep 14-21 Items On The Market At All Times:
- I sell 21 DIFFERENT products simultaneously with three characters: My Main - Grumplstiltskin (Cooking 90) and his two mules: Hezekia (Alchemy 87) and Victory (Goldsmithing 75). I research the products I want to sell per Character/Crafting Skill; and I have each character place 7 items on the market at a times, equaling 21 items all for sale in concert. Selling thusly - is very tidy, isolated to different chars with different skills, and separate storage. To invest further clairvoyance on the usefulness of Mules - I suggest reading The Theory of Mules: Guide by Ctownwoody. There is a lot of good advice there.
How To Undercut (Without Upsetting Other Sellers or Destroying Product Market Value):
- This is the whole point of diversifying your product pool. Pick any ten products that sell "Fast" or "Very Fast," - it's likely there is a queue of "15 to 100" of them for sale at any given time (typically, these are smallish items selling for 2,000 - 10,000 - 30,000). They sell quickly, it's fast money, and people want to cash in. This is a good thing! Undercut them. You only have 1-2 of these to sell today, (NO MORE THAN TWO, EVER otherwise you'll crash this item market right down around your ears) they probably have 7, and possibly more on the market with a Mule. Your item will sell before Theirs, and you'll likely get a tidy profit. Selling limited, -daily- amounts of "Best-sellers" guarantees you quick, consistent sales across your product pool. This keeps the market (for each item) from crashing - If You Do It Right (again patience, intelligence, don't sell like a Lemming).
- NOTE: Please understand though... while this method is designed to cause minimal harm to other sellers, and the market, any time you undercut: It-Is-A-Gamble, there will be times when you do not make money.
- Sub-Note: In the long run... I always make money. I make Millions in fact, but there are always bad days, and devious buyers. I myself am a devious buyer. I once bought 20 stacks of Dark Crystals for 1 gil each. Experiment with different undercutting prices, and different prices when buying. Be a Brilliant Seller and a Devious Buyer.
When NOT To Undercut (Because it will upset other sellers AND DESTROYProduct Market Value):
- A Brilliant Sellers is a gracious seller, Don't Crash Markets. You'll make sellers swear at you. I'm not kidding. It's not a fun experience having 4 random people sending you /tells, trying to convince you that you're an idiot. It makes for a bad day. You can undercut ONLY when it's a "small," quick selling product that has a queue between "15 to 100". If the product has a high price tag (50,000 - 100,000 - 250,000) and only sales "Average," or "Slow," with a small queue between 1-5. Don't undercut, or... if you do undercut, don't (For The Love Of The Scientific Gods!) undercut by much. If you repeatedly undercut these "Slow Big Sales," (by a lot, or a little) the public will catch on quick; and the market can come crashing down.
What To Do With a Crash:
- So... You, or someone else, just crashed your market (try really hard not to swear at people, I know... it stings, but Be Magnanimous. If you act like the guy you wish you were, pretty soon, you'll be almost something like the guy you want to be). If you believe the product still has value, store it for a few days. See if buyers restore confidence in the material. Then toss 3-4 back on the market at incremental values. Let's say it was originally worth 80,000. Price the 1rst one at 30k, the next at 45k, the next at 60k etc. Stepping stones to slowly bring the price back up to normalcy (or an even higher level, sometimes a crash can be a good thing). If the product is of smallish respect (between 2,000-6,000), consider liquidating with an NPC merchant. Otherwise it's horking storage space that could be used for product that DOES sell, and HAS value.
Key Items - & How To Make Them Make You Money:
- Key Items can make piles of cash, some Permanent Key Items work best paired, most work fine all by their lonesome. A good "paired example" would be Anima Synthesis (Alchemy) and Bone Purification (Bonecrafting). Together, they synth Vivified Coral, a nice money maker. Research each Key Item from your preferred branches of crafting - find which ones complement each other.
- For Example:
- Coral Fragments go for 40,000 a stack. Purchase a stack and synth them into Vivified Coral.
- Vivified Coral goes for 120,000 per stack. That's a good return on your investment... alternatively, if you've the skill, synth the Vivified Coral into Reraise Hairpins.
- Reraise Hairpins sell for 50,000 - 60,000 gil each, these sell slowly, but they DO sell. This comes to a total of 600,000 - 720,000. That's good money (just don't expect it all at once).
- NOTE: You will always have competition in everything you sell, these numbers are idealistic but also possible, if the cost of a valuable item goes down, hang onto the product and sell it when it's rare. You're more likely to get the price closer to what you want.
Selling to NPC Merchents, The Tenshodo, & Guilds:
- There are items in every craft that can be sold to NPC Vendors or the Craft Guild for a profit. Keep in mind the Guilds & the Tenshodo often purchase items in limited amounts per (game) day, & the Smithing Guild in Bastok may purchase items that the Guild in San-Doria won't (this is true of every guild). Most of the time, these items sell just above the "break even" point for the materials. But there are some... that can make you extremely good money. I'm not going to tell you what they are, you're going to have to find them yourself. Yes, I'm very mean, but I'm also smart. If I slap a list of money inducing goodness - how quickly do you think Square-Enix will nerf them? Maybe not quickly... but they would be nerfed eventually.
- For Example - There was once an item that sold so well that "Real Time Sellers " were going nuts crafting it in the hundreds of thousands. They'd sell the product to vendors, then sell gil for real money to cheating players. This item was Remedy - these days it sells for a tiny 480~492 gil, but it used to command a very high price, it crippled the virtual economy and enabling illegal activity. Millions of gil was deleted from all servers, & a couple thousand accounts were banned (Players and Real Time Sellers, and some just caught in the cross-fire) I don't want to be a part of that. If you want to go this route you'll have to figure it out on your own, & keep it to yourself.
Farming vs. An Outright Purchase:
- Most of the time, Farming isn't worth it. Farming is extremely expensive, because it eats your TIME. When I have to farm, I always do two things: I earn copious Sparks by tapping The Records of Eminence Money Keg, and I stockpile; so I don't have to Farm the item again for a VERY long time or never again. This is the only reason to Farm. Making money two different ways at the same time. I'd rather buy something from a vendor or the Auction House. If I have the materials now I can make the item immediately - and sell stacks of them quickly.
Gardening - The Smart Way
- Arcane Flowerpots - These are the only Flowerpots you should want. They increase profitable gains and decrease junk products. Without them, you're burning time, and gambling randomly. It takes forever to grow anything, and if you get nothing but stacks of Rock Salt when you were shooting for hoards of Sonic Death Monkeys... it causes Sadness. Arcane Flowerpots are hard to obtain, and are very expensive... and they're worth every cent. They sell for 250,000 at the Auction House, you can also get them from the The Chocobo Hot and Cold Game (see more on Chocobo Digging below) and randomly from Strange Apparatuss.
- Tree Cuttings & Tree Saplings - You can buy Tree Cuttings to grow Tree Saplings to sell if you want; but I personally find they take too long to grow and the profits for them are a bit low. I grow several items for several reasons... at this point, I leave it to you. Research it out, you'll make money.
- The Gardening Moghancement - I've found everyone thinks moghancements are great and many people have several and don't realize how they work... You can only have ONE moghancement active at a time (excepting a very few high tier crafting moghancements) and you need it to be very powerful to have any effect.
- For Example: Buy or syth a Maple Table ("Elemental Alignment" is Earth "Aura Strength" is 8) and you will get "Moghancement Gardening!" Yay. Good for you. It will be nearly useless, as the Moghancement doesn't have much power ("Aura Strength" 8 is rather small). Now buy 15 Maple Table's, you now have an "Earth Aura Strength" of 120 powering the moghancement - with your Moogle reporting "An Overwhelming Amount of Earth Energy kupo!". This is what you want. Put your other furniture in storage according to the moghancement you need active.
Chicken Lizard digging can be profitable - but, like HELMeting, it is a Hobby. I don't do it for making money, mostly I do it for fun, and the occasional Arcane Flowerpot. Understand though, it takes a very long time to level Chocobo Digging to max, sometimes years. No... I'm not joking, I wish I were.
- How To Train a Digger - There is no reason to feed your bird-monkey any skill enhancing food. These skill enhancing foods have a negligible effect at best, and I consider them a waste of money. So, go get a Chocobo Egg, gaze upon it rapturously until it feels loved, to maximum affection. As you raise the Turkey, keep it's affection for you, maxed at all times, this increases skill gains. When the Yellow Beast (Color has nothing to do with an effective Digger, so.. pick YELLOW.) hatches, force it to Listen to Music constantly; this raises Discernment and Receptivity, which are the two dominant traits in raising a great Digger. When the Ostrich Chicken Bird Thing becomes older, have it Dig for Treasure and Act in a Play alternating week to week. Forever... until it's done. Teach your Yellow Pig Lizard Bore and Treasure Finder or Burrow and Treasure Finder. After a short eternity, the bird will be ready for Christmas Dinner, I mean... to dig up a bunch of money making junk... on command.
- The Chocobo Digging Guide - A good resource that will show you all the "ins & outs" of Chocobo Digging.
- The Chocobo Hot and Cold Game - Another great resource, I highly recommend reading it.
- Why Chocobos Taste Like Chicken. - It's a known fact that all birds are, are evolved warm blooded reptiles with mutated scales, that grew as feathers. So... they're nothing more than feathered lizards, & all feathered lizards taste like chicken! Ask Anyone! Even scaly lizards taste like Chicken, for instance: Alligator, Crocodile, Iguana, Komodo Dragon, Rattlesnake, Python, Horny Toads, Brontosaurus, and Cats - they all taste like Chicken! It's True! They're all delicious!