I put together a google doc to track the prices of everything I need to make a set of medium Ascended armor. (I don't have any pieces yet - long way to go and this keeps me focused. Or busy at least)
One thing that strikes me as out of whack from this look is that it costs me much less to buy an Elonian Leather Square than it does to buy the individual components and craft one. That's not new to this situation but it always amazes me.
ELS Buy Now: 3g 55s 38c ELS Buy Order: 3g 25s 48c
This is with buying all base components: ELS Buy all components and craft one: 5g 33s 99c ELS Buy Order all components and craft one: 5g 4s 15c
This is with buying the second tier components (cured thin leather square instead of thin leather section, etc): ELS Buy all components and craft one: 5g 62s 89c ELS Buy Order all components and craft one: 4g 95s 35c
Oddly - it's cheaper to buy order all tier 2 components and craft than to buy order all base components and craft.. but buy now is more expensive the other way.
Actually - looking at the data like this gives me an idea for the TP...
The sheet I put together for Ascended has updated prices for all mats. As I was looking at it yesterday I saw that tier 2 components were selling for more than the total individual base components.
Today I started putting together a sheet to show base component cost and then each of the next tiers. I'll add cells for supply/demand as well and hopefully I will find some markets where it makes sense to buy lower tier components->craft them to the next tier->sell.
I've been having decent success with flipping high demand items on the TP. But I've only just started and I don't have a go-to market yet. I think that the build-up to HoT is causing some chaos so I don't think I will be able to settle anywhere just yet - but it is also providing some opportunities.
It might make sense to craft/sell the elonian leather if you already had the mats and wanted cash quickly. If you sold at the current 4g15s98c -15% = 353.58 -53s for reagent+thread= 300.58. If you just sell your base mats it would currently be 374.11 -15% = 317.99.
So you end up with 17s41c more by selling the individual mats - but you need to wait for them all to sell. Probably better to just sell the one Elonian Square.
But if you don't have already have all of the mats and need to buy them... it doesn't make sense.
Part of the reason components are always more valuable than the assembled item is that their value includes the potential crafting XP you get when you make the assembly. People will assemble the scrap items they have for the XP and then sell the assembly they really didn't need in the first place.
Unlike most assembled items that have no real value, ascended components still retain a decent amount of their value. Try looking at something like a green piece of armor :*(
Also, if you farm the items and salvage they have little cost other than time. That is how I have collected enough resources for nearly 10 pieces of ascended gear. Gives me something to do too. Takes a while though, I am not fast.