Expensive crafted mounts are great ways to make money. I have already elaborated on why Vial of the Sands is the single best recipe in the game because of it’s rarity and high capital requirements. Vial of the Sands is however not the only great mount recipe in the game. There are several other crafted mats that also require expensive vendor materials and has a barrier to entry. The jewelcrafting panthers from Mists of Pandaria are a great group of mounts for moneymaking purposes.
The jewelcrafting Panthers are a group of recolors of the same basic model. It is a good looking flying mount. It does not have wings so the screen real estate is small and the models look very sleek. They have been quite popular since release in Mists of Pandaria. There are 4 basic versions and then the Jeweled Onyx version which is crafted by taking one of each of the 4 basic versions.
The basic versions all require one Orb of Mystery which costs 20 000 gold and can be bought from Big Keech in Vale of Eternal Blossoms. This is an important part of the value as the high vendor price means that you need quite a bit of capital to craft these mounts. This limits your competition.
I have sold 6 mounts the last week, for a total of 198k. The crafting cost is around 28k each, so I have made 30 000 gold this week on jewelcrafting panthers alone. So just selling these panthers would pretty much cover a WoW token per month by itself.
You need level 600 in jewelcrafting to be able to learn the recipes. All the recipes are reputation rewards from the Mists of Pandaria faction Order of the Cloud Serpent. The recipes are sold by San Redscale. The green and yellow panthers unlock at Honored, the red and blue at Revered and the Jeweled Onyx Panther at Exalted. For gaining rep you can do the daily quests offered at the arboretum and fly around and collect onyx eggs.I suggest referring to the Wowhead guide and the comments there for the most efficient way to get reputation.
Getting materials cheaply
The panthers all take the same amount of materials. One orb of mystery, 4 Living steel, 2 Serpent’s eye and 20 of the uncut rare gem in the correct colour. Getting cheap materials is a very important part of maximizing your profit on this recipe. The most obvious way to cut costs is through an alchemist that can use transmutes. Living steel can be profitably transmuted on some servers, especially if you have transmutation specialization on your alchemist.
You can also transmute rare MoP gems from the uncommon variant by adding a Golden Lotus. On my server at least this will often cut the cost of gems in half. This is equivalent to 1000-2000 gold difference in profits.
Another source of MoP gems is from prospecting. Ghost Iron ore is usually quite expensive (EU Median Price: 12.85g). Kyparite however is very cheap (EU Median Price: 3g) and has the same drop rates as Ghost Iron Ore. This is another way of cutting down heavily on the material price of gems. You could obviously consider the opportunity cost of just selling the gems straight up. The panthers will usually be profitable even if you buy all materials straight up, so I strongly suggest crafting them. They also have a much wider market than the gems.
The margins on the panthers are usually not amazing, but the profit hovers between 3000-10 000 gold on my server so it is very well worth it to keep them in stock.
You can find my TSM group and operation for the panthers here. I usually restock these manually to make sure I always have 3 of each. I dont suggest crafting a ton of these if you don’t have that much liquid gold as they can take a bit of time to move. Demand usually is a bit spiky. Demand has been strong over time for me, and I expect it to continue to be. Personally the jewelcrafting panthers are my favourite mounts and I just have them all set to favorites so I can randomly switch between them.
I dont need to do cancel scans to sell these at a fast enough rate for me, but your mileage may vary here, so do test it out.
Good luck guys!
Spreadsheet error corrected
I found a mistake in my Excel-spreadsheet today, that prevented it from correctly updating prices. Please redownload it to make sure that your version is working correctly.