Welcome to Sandralene's Class of Advanced Tailoring. This is not for beginners or bumbling fools, only the most dedicated and knowledgeable seamstresses will have any profit of what is being taught here. To practice these techniques will require *very* hard work and great skill, and if you think you haven't got it or if you're simply too lazy to work hard enough - well then - just get out of my class room - thank you! Some of you will never be able to grasp the finer techniques of business in general and tailoring in particular anyway, but are cut out to chase drakes, or, more likely be chased by drakes. Very well, go to Covetous then, just don't expect me to cry when PK:ers loot your lifeless corpse. Now I will talk about making real money. Anyone else wants to leave before I begin?
Ah much better, it's so much easier to teach when you have an attentive auditorium. First of all, I *do* assume that you are an Expert tailor or better. No? Long time Journey-woman then? If you're not you really should have left earlier. You see what will be discussed here presumes that you actually know which end of the needle is the pointy one, and that you get your tailoring right much more often than not.
Before getting in to details, a short rehearsal from the basic class. All profit is to be calculated per hour, not per fold or bolt. This lamentable misconception of calculating per fold instead of per hour is what has spawned the popular but horrendously misdirected mass-productions of skull caps. You all know this, but just to give an analogy. If you were to choose between two projects, one which would net you (we *are* talking net profit here) 5 000 $ and take 1 month to perform, and another one which would net you 10 000 $ but this one would take you 4 months to complete. Which would you choose? The first one without a doubt, since your monthly wage in the first case would be 5 000 $ but in the second one only 10 000 / 4 = 2 500 $, we all know that in Real LifeÔ . But in UO *everybody* goes for the latter project, and manufacture skull caps, rather strange don't you think? Stay away from skull caps, they are *not* worth the trouble.
Let's start by examining the market. A tailor shop usually holds two tailors and two weavers. Well, forget about the weavers, we all do that, don't we? The weavers are just a couple of persons running around distracting you; let's stay focused on the tailors shall we. The first thing you do when you enter the workshop at the beginning of your session is to check the market. This means that you ask both the tailors to buy. You don't *have* to actually buy anything at this point if you already have folds in your backpack, just look at what's for sale from both of them. If a particular item you plan to make is found in their inventory in higher numbers than 12-14, then be certain that the other players present in the workshop are busy manufacturing just these kinds of items, and that the market will be flooded in a minute. Now even if it hurts not being able to sew all those plain dresses and fancy shirts you've expected to, don't give up, go to plan B. You may also find out what other players are doing simply by asking them, but don't take their words for the truth. They might be lying you to throw you off track, or maybe simply because they are mean and obnoxious - always check the market yourself if possible.
Now assuming that other seamstresses are creating fancy shirts and plain dresses, then you just calmly start to make fancy pants and robes. Always do what the other players don't. The robe / pants combination is usually a very good one, but since it takes 16 + 8 yards of cloth and a fold only holds 25 there is no margin for errors since we must have at least one yard left to sell back. But we all agreed that you are good tailors, didn't we? Always start by making the robe, if you blow it somewhere down the line (shame on you), you can always create the half-apron as the second item. Nobody creates half-aprons; they will always sell but don't expect too much profit from it.
At some point, even the slowest of the other present seamstresses, or perhaps another woman who has attended my class, understands that there is no point in making fancy shirts and plain dresses anymore, and starts making robes herself. This will usually lead to the situation where the robe market also drops below zero, but don't panic; you can still make good money. To understand when this moment comes up, you have to check the market continually, preferably each time you sell all what you have manufactured. Now since you would like to check pretty often, don't buy too many folds at once. My own preference is five, five folds are easy to track in your backpack, and it's very quick matter to transform five folds into useful clothing. When NPC tailors seem to fill up with robes in their inventories, switch to making a cloak as your big item. Cloaks don't fetch quite the same price as a robe, but they only take 14 yards to manufacture, making your error-margin a little bit wider. You still go for the fancy pants as a second item. Now, a master seamstress as myself often manage to squeeze out the odd skullcap from that fold as well, just to give away as brown-nose notoriety points, adding up nicely 14 yards + 8 yards + 2 yards still having that one yard to sell back.
Selling back folds is another critical issue. Here you can influence the market for yourself. When you buy folds the tailor, yes the tailor - I told you to forget all about the weavers, didn't I? Anyway, the tailor usually has four rows in her selling inventory with folds. Always buy from the top row as long as they only cost 37 gold pieces. You see the price *you* will get for your near empty fold when you sell it back, is directly related to the top row in the NPC tailors inventory. And if you nearly buy out that top row then the price of folds in that row rises, and you'll be sure to get most of your money back. If you can create a situation where you buy folds for 37 gold pieces and then sell them back almost used up for 27 gold pieces, you're really making big money. Note, everybody else profits on this too if they understand how it's being done. And the buyback price will stay this good until the market resets.
Lets talk about the market reset for a while shall we. At some point everything that has been done to NPC inventories by players buying or selling suddenly clears, leaving you with a fresh new market. Never announce to other players when this reset occurs. If you do, the stupid and the clueless floods the market immediately with all the fancy shirts, plain dresses and god knows what they are carrying in their backpacks. Always keep reset information to yourself. Always! No exceptions! Of course if someone else announces this fact publicly, then by all means, profit from it as much as you can. If you hear guild-member A - let's call him "Stupid" shout to guild-member B - let's call him... hmm... ah, well let's call him "Stupid" too. Now if you hear Stupid call out to Stupid: "Cool dood, now ah can sell da stuff", then break off from what you do, run to the spot and sell that odd robe you couldn't sell yourself previously when you didn't watch the market close enough. Mean? Heaven's no, you bet that others would do the very same thing to you if you were - ehm - stupid. If we are to mention a *mean* thing to do just after a reset time, then purchase every set of needles in the shop and deny other players to re-supply when their needles break. This trick usually only costs you 60 gold pieces and is guaranteed to cripple your competition severely after just a couple of minutes. But as I said - *that* would be a mean thing to do. Yet, even though you may be above using such obnoxious methods, other players might not, always keep an extra set of needles in your backpack.
This brings us to our last subject, the moment of buying and selling. Keep track of your surrounding when you buy and sell. Good thieves know that good tailors are rich, a tailor shop is a great place to hang out for a thief. Use that all-names macros from time to time just to see if there are any unsavory characters inside the shop. When you buy and sell, move that darned inventory list a little bit out of the way so you can see if someone's sneaking up on you, you are *very* vulnerable to theft when your avatar is hidden behind that huge list. Some thieves are so good that you will not notice them when they rob you, the only protection you have is to stay a few paces away from them, and move out of their reach if they come too close. Never let the pile of money that's in your backpack become too large, you can lose half an hours work on one successful thieving attempt or if the server goes down. Go, or Recall, to the bank to deposit every now and then, I recommend walking though, it's good for your health and it builds character.
Now, if you follow these advices closely you are guaranteed to make a lot of money and become a successful seamstress. Then you can go out there and buy a boat or a house or even other skills or anything else your heart desires. Just stay calm and confident even when the lag is bad and the market is shaky. And, of course, never ever mass-produce skull caps.
I didn't understand this at all, I want to fight drakes... take me back to the Main Page.