In both PF1 and PF2, the general rule is that you can sell an item for half its listed price. And yet, if you're going to craft the item, half its listed price is the minimum cost to craft it. It may cost you more. So how is a poor crafter to make a profit? You can hand-wave it ("the GM can let you sell it for more") but that seems a bit unsatisfactory. Also, it doesn't take into account the condition of the item. If it's crafted, it should be in tip-top condition. If it was a reward for a job well done, it ought to be. If it's found it might not be. Granted if you're selling to a vendor, he's going to want to make a profit too, but...
Some will say "don't bother with this" because to them, the essence of the game is what happens in encounters and all the rest is "fluff and nonsense". Others will (I hope) say "wait a minute. What if I want to play a swordsmith, or an armorsmith, or a basketweaver? You may say "Boring!" but I ought to be able to do that if I want to.
Good News! You can be a swordsmith, or armorsmith or basketweaver!
It's called Practice a Trade, which you do during your downtime. See page 151 in the rulebook for details.
I read that. I don't see how it alleviates the problem.
Okay, let's say you are a level 1 crafter, trained. Someone commissions you to make a dagger, and is willing to pay full price (2 sp). You pay 1 sp for raw materials (let's assume you already have the artisan's tools you need, even though they are 50 sp). It takes 3 days for a level one crafter to make a level 0 item. Afterwards, since you want to make money, you check the chart on page 148 to see how many days it takes to reduce the cost instead of using sp to just complete it. A level 1 crafter can reduce the cost by 1 sp/day. So, after 4 days, assuming you don't fail, you make a dagger that earns you a sp. If you do fail, start over.
If you are making a longsword, it works out the same except it costs 5 sp up front, and takes 8 days, earning 5 sp.
Now looking at practice a trade, you see that as a level 1 trained crafter, you make 1 sp a day, don't have to pay upfront costs and don't technically even need to pay for artisan tools. It's the same 1 sp/day you were reducing the cost by for crafting, just abstracted out. You even make a few copper even if you fail the roll.
As you go up a level, the amount earned is still comparative. The amount you reduce the cost by per day for crafting matches what you would earn for practicing a trade, without worrying about buying the materials or finding a buyer for the completed item. All that is abstracted out to make it simpler.
If I was the GM, and you wanted to go through all the effort of finding a buyer and making the item, I'd let you, but would point out you would make more just by using the practice a trade rules.
What if I just want to make daggers for the local arms dealer? If he's re-selling them, he's not going to pay full price for them. How do I make any profit?
Actually, crafters have an even nicer deal than most professionals, in that they have hypothetically easier times finding higher level jobs. A crafter has the option of asking the DM "hey, can my level 4 alchemist find a job making [insert level 4 item] for [organization]" instead of "hey, I have tea lore, can I get a job in town?"
Crafting as a job is mostly abstracted out to the same rules as practicing a trade, so theres no real need to worry about the specifics like how long the item takes to make or w/e
There seems to be a greater emphasis on "downtime" in PF2E than there was in first edition. Personally I think that's a good thing. It does mean that there's at least an opportunity to explore things like crafting beyond the abstractions. Some may think that's a waste of time. I don't.
There's nothing saying you can't delve into the details of you want.
You selling at full price means that YOU are the one selling the dagger to the adventurer, not selling the dagger to an arms dealer to sell to an adventurer, and this is supported by the craft skill description. Using craft to practice a trade means that you are working for the arms dealer to make weapons for them to sell.
RPGs in general make poor simulations of a real life economic system, because game economies inherently works different than real ones. In games, you just have to accept that money can be spontaneously created (via loot distribution and practicing a trade) and disappear spontaneously (by making purchases), because there's no way a single DM can make a living world economy on their lonesome.
If you want, you can always apply the concepts of supply and demand to adjust prices, like having times were weapons are more pricy due to a war driving up demand, but situations like these are beyond the scope of a core rulebook.
For what it's worth, you can use Bargain Hunter to get deals on crafting materials. Hell, my merchant alchemist does this, along with using merchantile lore to get a feel for in demand items,nso I can craft cheap, sell high