When I started writing this post, it was to be a follow-up to my Low Level Leatherworking post but as I delved deeper into the numbers, it became quite obvious to me that Leatherworking on it's own is not quite as profitable as I'd originally thought! If you've been reading this blog for a while, you'll know that I dropped mining & picked up skinning again on my leatherworking pally as I was finding it expensive to max my skills using bought leather.
Now I'm guessing but I think a lot of players dropped skinning as they neared Wrath max LW'ing because the top level items didn't actually use that much leather. With the release of Cata, top level LW recipes once again increased the need for Savage leather but I'm not sure many players went & relevelled skinning.
The other change that seems to have affected leather supplies is the ability to track herbs & ores at the same time - the old advice was to put 2 gathering skills on a new alt - usually herbing/skinning or mining/skinning but with the ability to track herb & ores at the same time - most people now recommend herbing/mining for a new alt - further reducing the number of skinners out there.
My original post mentioned 4 low level recipes you could make for profit but I've since added a few more to my repertoire, including :-
White Leather Jerkin - 8 light leather
Swift Boots - heavy leather, swiftness potion & thick spider's silk
Black Dragonscale Breastplate - 25 rugged leather, 25 black dragonscale & 1 cured rugged hide
Shadowskin Gloves - 8 thick leather, 8 shadow silk & 4 cured heavy hides
Blackstorm Leggings - 10 rugged leather, 2 cured thick hides & 8 breath of wind
Warbear Harness - 28 rugged leather & 12 warbear leather
So I've added thick spider's silk, black dragonscale, shadow silk, breath of wind, warbear leather & swiftness potion to my snatch/dealfinder list & I pick them up for silvers whenever I see them. Breath of wind is probably the most expensive but as a rule, I've not paid more than 4g each for them over the last 2 weeks. I'm not able to find all the mats at my prices all the time so I buy them as & when I see them cheap & let my stock build up a little. Once I have enough mats, I craft a few items & post them for sale.
But this week I've been having trouble getting rugged & thick leather - there's been virtually none on the AH most times I've looked & if there was some, it was at silly high prices - as high as 8-10g per piece!
This is where your scavenging skills come in! It's perfect if you have low capital too as the only outlay is time & perhaps a few flight path fees if you don't have flying yet.
If you haven't found it before, wow-professions.com is a wonderful resource for levelling any profession - it's also great to give you an idea of where to find each type of leather - I'm not suggesting to go out to kill stuff just for the leather mind you, oh no - we're gonna be a bit sneaky! Say you need borean leather - well, we both know that Sholazar Basin is full of creatures being killed regularly so type in /who sholazar basin & if there are more than 2 or 3 players of the appropriate level there, it may be worth following them around as they quest to tidy up behind them. If you're lucky, they won't be skinners themselves or you may find some opposite faction players levelling there too - it's all 'free' leather for your scavenging pleasure :)
The one tip I would give is to hang back a bit though - I've found that some players leave a bit of trash loot on the carcass once they realise you're skinning their kills - it makes the carcass un-skinnable :(
The most obvious place for scavenging is Tol Barad just after your faction wins - everyone dashes over there to do their dailies & you can easily pick up 3 stacks from the crocs in 10 minutes or so if you don't have much competition.
I'm currently working on some reputations & my Loremaster achievement so I pick my zone depending on what leather I need. You could do the same or you could pick your zone & skin whilst waiting on the dungeon queues. Either way, you're not standing around in Stormwind or Orgrimmar wasting time, after all 'Time is money, friend'.