Sunday, May 27, 2012

The Deal with Netherweave Bags

Netherweave Bags. Whether we're discussing the most efficient way to stockpile (bolts!) or complaining about the ridiculously long crafting time, you've probably heard many gold makers discuss Netherweave Bags. These little sixteen-slot goldmines are a favorite among gold makers and rarely does anyone question what works.

I recently got into a discussion on reddit, however, about the value of Netherweave Bags from a gold-makers perspective as opposed to Frostweave or Embersilk, particularly talking about what's going to be important for Mists of Pandaria.  It occurred to me that not everyone realizes why Netherweave Bags are the favorite. So let's go over that right now.

What's the deal with Netherweave Bags?
Netherweave Bags have two things going for them.

#1. They're cheap. 
Netherweave Bags were the last normal bag made with basic cloth and some string. Afterwards Blizzard starting adding in enchanting dust and the like and greatly increasing the amount of cloth necessary per bag. This meant that every bag was significantly more mat-intensive. How  mat-intensive? Well, for a visual aid, here's the raw materials for Netherweave, Frostweave, and Embersilk Bags:

To be honest there's not more more that needs to be said here. One stack of cloth versus 3-4 stacks + dust and maybe thread? It's no wonder Netherweave's so cheap!

Just how cheap is it? On average, in the US, Netherweave Bags will run you 1g21s per bag slot. Frostweave will cost you 11g38s per bag slot and Embersilk will cost you 16g86s per bag slot.  When you consider that you will be paying roughly ten to fifteen times as much per slot most players are willing to drop a few slots for a good deal.

#2. People know they're cheap.
When someone brings their alt to the AH for the first time or buys bags to send off in the mail they usually know just what they're searching for. It's why you'll sell a lot more Embersilk Bags even if your Abyssal Bags are priced cheaper. Not many players really "browse" bags.

Netherweave Bags have been so cost-efficient for so long that they are the known go-to bags to get your alt a lot of space on a small budget. Generally speaking players will want bigger bags for their main and maybe their favorite alt but I don't know many players who are willing to buy humongous bags for every alt they roll. Even players like myself, with several alts outfitted with Illusionary Bags, likely have more bag slots on their account filled with Netherweave than any other type. They're just so damn cost-effective and everyone knows it, keeping the demand high.

I know you see that 200-500g price tag on the larger bags and you get all excited. There's no reason not to liquidate your ShuffleDust into Embersilk Bags. But as far as stockpiling for Mists of Pandaria goes you'll do yourself a great disservice if you're not filling tabs with Netherweave.


  1. Nice read as always, this is exactly what i am doing. I even have a whole guild bank just for my netherweave stockpile.

  2. You know this post makes me want to go on a long spill about Netherweave Bags but I'll try to save that for my own blog.

    Anyways, here is the short answer why Netherweave Bags are better without getting into crafting cost/time.

    Your average wow player (leveling, Raiding, PVP) doesn't need more then 4 16 slot bags. I'm leveling a new toon and I get by just fine on 10 slot bags I pay 2g each for.

    I've been stockpiling Netherweave Bolts since Wrath, I made a good amount of gold early on in Cata and I'm hoping to do the same into Mist.

    To be frank the only people who require more then 16 slots per bag are farmers and gold makers so ever time I sell a 20 slot bag, a 22 slot bag or a few times 26 slot bag.. I know it's someone who is trying to be a gold maker, a farmer or someone who is a pack rat.

  3. I still am very ambivalent to netherweave. I have little doubt you will be able to offload them with at a profit. Just like I have know you can offload glyphs at a profit.

    However, there was no spike in netherweave cloth prices out of the start of Cata. Supply on the whole kept up with demand. For my stockpiles; I want to store 'stuff' where demand will exceed supply.

  4. I would like to share my experiences from a few months back. Normal price was 16-20g but every couple of weeks someone would drop a lot (500+) for 10-11g which cut the profit margin to 1g or less.

    I set about buying out all the netherweave cloth for 10g/stk or less and this actually pushed the price up to 20-25g per bag for a few weeks, while it wasn't sustainable long-term I did make a nice chunk of gold. I could have filled many bank tabs with bolts of cloth the supply did not tail off fact it increased!

    When the bag dumper returned they listed at around 16g/bag so nice win-win.

    As regards the larger bags (i.e. imbued netherweave) they are more profitable taking less time because the demand is less however I made more gold/week from imbued netherweave bags than netherweave bags. Of course I sold both ;)

  5. when i get a new alt i just send them 10-11? embersilk bags, netherweave feels really really small when going from full illusionary/professions bags on maxed toons.

    I sell between 3 and 10 Embersilk bags a day.

  6. It's really personal preference if you want the big bags or not. Looking at the market from the state point of who you are selling 16 slot bags too.

    The average wow player doesn't need 22 slot bags. @farli, yeah it can be but your also not your average wow player either. The average player will never need more then 16 slots per bag unless they are as I said, moving into gold making or they need more space to farm.

    But to someone leveling, 16 slots for 8g-25g isn't that big a deal. Where as Embersilk bags are near 200g and your average player WILL not drop that much gold for bags when in all account they don't need them.

  7. hehe Shuffledust=my new favourite word! Love it. :)

  8. Do the math, my friend. A quick trip to TUJ will show you how long the most recent 30 bags. Information below is for Argent Dawn Alliance. YMMV.

    Netherweave: 3 bags/hr = 12 bolts/hr.
    Embersilk: 0.73 bags/hr = 11 bolts/hr.

    Unless your spare storage : spare gold ratio is unusually high, embersilk is a much better stockpile than netherweave because of its higher price.

    1. 1) How long the most recent 30 bags what? Sorry, I think you forgot a word and it's thrown me off a bit.

      2) The problem with the point you've made here is you've failed to take into account any newcomers to the market.

      Every expansion thus far has seen a "middle of the market" bag (Netherweave, Frostweave, Embersilk) which is what most players willing to spend a bit extra go for. Right now if a player wants larger bags but doesn't want to spend literally thousands of gold per bag their only smart and easily-available option is Embersilk. Well, what if there was an comparably priced bag with 2-4 more slots? I'm willing to bet there will be.

      In Mists of Pandaria we will likely see another moderately priced bag enter the market. It will be 24 or 26 slots and likely take a comparable level of Panda mats, say 10-20 bolts of Panda Cloth and 10-20 Panda Dust. When MoP comes out the market will forget about Embersilk just as they've forgotten about Imbued Netherweave, Frostweave, and Glacial bags. Sure, you'll get some sales here or there, for sure. But the vast majority of buyers are going to go for the fast and easy upgrade of Panda Bag or the tried and true Netherweave Bag.

  9. Profit per time invested is terrible on netherweave bags... sure they're cheap an have low mat costs, but when i can bang out 2 frostweave bags, or more importantly 7.5 embersilk... the return on time investment just isn't there... sure i make netherweave bags, but my profit margin while ~25% over crafting cost is still only 5g. I can get upwards of 50-150g profit and ~40-50% over crafting cost profit from the other bags. The only reason i craft netherweave is to cover the times when cloth supplies dry up on the top tier bags

    Also i completely agree that people forget about older bags, at least when prices are relatively similar... why pay 400g for 20 slots when 550g will get you 22...

    Less time for more gold, and as always time is money friends!

  10. Is it sad that when I read "What's the deal with Netherweave bags?", I hear it in a bad Jerry Seinfeld voice?

    To all the people who are actually making gold from Embersilk, good for you. All I can say is I wish I had your cloth prices and/or bag prices. On my server, the bags are going for about 300, whereas the cloth needed for the bags runs about 310. That's not even counting the dust, and while I do have a ton extra from shuffling, it's not free. If I really wanted to price it to sell, I could, or I could stockpile it for MoP.

    Point is, servers seem to be much more likely to vary on embersilk than on netherweave.

  11. I still fail to get all that Undermine Journal thingy. I.e. today Frostweave bags in my realm are selling for 325 g., mats for each for 191.27 g., hence it's "green" - profitable to make. However the very same page shows that Frostweave cloth sell for roughly 10g, that's 200 g per stack. That's 600g right here, not even counting treads and dust, how's that a profitable craft? (Bolt of frostweave and bolt of imbued frostweave aren't for sale at all). What am i missing?