An Introduction to the Trading Post

#1 Edited by plague102 (128 posts) -

Trading Post-

1.The Basics

-Listing Fee

-Selling Fee

-Selling to highest buyer

-Selling at lowest sell point

2. Advanced Techniques

-Buyout Inflation

-Undercutting market value

-Market Influences

-Predicting the Market

3. Theory

-Bots

a. Seller vs Buyer Relationship

b. Manipulating Bot logic to influence market values

-Raw Materials vs Materials vs Finished Product

1. The Basics-

In this section I will briefly go over the very basics on how the Trading Post is used for simple trades and how it affects the money you get from trades.

-Listing Fee

When posting an item to the Trading Post, a tax of 5% is required for the post. If the item is ever taken down that 5% listing fee is lost and never returned to the seller. Upon selling the item the 5% listing fee is not returned to the seller. The reason the Listing Fee exists is to dissuade people from using the Trading Post as a bank. Another way to solve this problem would be to include a designated listing time; however the Trading Post does not utilize that method instead relying on a Listing Fee.

Ex. Selling price 100g00s00c / listing fee 5g0s0c

-Selling Fee

Upon selling an item a tax of 10% is applied to the selling price and taken out before the seller receives their payment. The actual amount that the seller receives is calculated and displayed for the seller just under the sell price before the seller engages the sale.

Ex. Selling price 100g00s00c / Selling Fee 10g00s00c = Seller Receives 90g00s00c

-Selling to highest buyer

When creating a new sale two options are listed to the seller. The first which is by default always highlighted (unless no buy orders are available) is the sell to the highest buyer price. This option will guarantee the player money by selling to a buyer’s listed price directly. By selecting this option the seller will always be guaranteed a sale and therefore will not have to worry about losing their listing fee in order to repost their item on the market

-Selling at lowest sell point

The second option on the sale screen is the lowest sale option. This option lists the seller’s goods in the general market place at the lowest price available to buyers. It is important to understand that when this option is selected the seller’s goods are listed into a queue at that given sale price. The queue is depleted from back to front in other words if I decided to sell something AFTER YOU at the same price and the item is then bought by another player MY ITEM WILL BE SOLD FIRST. The reason this system is in place is to discourage players from undercutting (see undercutting in advanced techniques for more information) each other on the market and driving the price of the goods down below true market value.

2. Advanced Techniques

This section explores various techniques players use in an attempt to make gold off of the Trading Post market as well as the forces that influence the price of goods.

-Buyout Inflation

Buyout inflation occurs when an individual attempts to monopolize a specific good causing the price of said good to be inflated well above its true market value.

Ex. Lets say I want to attempt to buyout charged lodestones. Charged Lodestones cost around 4g and usually there are not many on the market. So if I were to buy out all of the lodestones on the market I could then theoretically control the price at which Charged Lodestones could be sold whether or not they are truly worth that price.

In order to combat the monopolizing and inflation of goods and their prices, the Trading Post deals with goods cross-server, essentially making it near impossible to completely buyout a good without significant gold and man power due to the large amount of players constantly trading on the market.

-Undercutting market value

Undercutting is the act of selling your item for slightly less than the current market value in order to appear more attractive to the buyer and have a better shot at completing a sale. The Trading Post while setup to combat undercutting with its queue buying functionality (see selling at lowest sell point for more information) still occurs due to two major reasons. First reason is that many people don’t know that this functionality exists on the Trading Post so continue to undercut the lowest sell price. Others do it because they are afraid of getting “out queued” aka pushed to the back of the line by a large wave of sellers, so they list a lower price in the hope that it sells off quickly.

-Market Influences

There are a variety of things that influence the Trading Post prices.

a. Sensationalism – The use of third party outlets in an attempt to raise the price of a specific good so that the individual can make a profit from the raise in price of others buying up the item.

Ex. An individual posts a thread on Reddit saying chocolate will be used for all recipes during the Wintersday Event (whether its true or not). Prior to posting the same individual buys a large quantity of chocolate at a low price. After posting the thread others then wanting to jump on the bandwagon to make money buy up chocolate inflating its price and allowing the original thread poster to sell his chocolate for a large gain.

b. Developer – Whether through introduction of new recipes, items, or content the game developer’s changes drastically affect the market value of various items.

Ex. With the introduction of the Mystic Chests, developers were able to raise the price of a stick of butter from 1-2c to 15c+ causing many to make money off of the butter and the actual recipe for the Mystic Chests and its components.

c. Bots – Bots are automated “players” who farm for raw materials and flood the market causing the materials market value to drop.

Ex. Armored Scales after Bot bans -> ~15s / With the introduction of underwater Bots -> ~4s50c

-Predicting the Market

Analyzing data over a period of time and being able to determine trends and interpret those trends allows one to be able to make smart investments. The Trading Post is the same as the Stock Market in this way. There are many third party tools which allow individuals to make smart decisions when determining if goods will be profitable to invest in (gw2spidy.com is one website that shows the sale and buy prices of all items on the Trading Post in almost real time). Using these tools is crucial for an individual who wishes to make money from the Trading Post.

3. Theory

-Bots

a. Seller vs Buyer Relationship

Bots are an important part of the Trading Post economy. To the Seller of goods bots heavily decrease the value of goods preventing the Seller from making the true market value of the good he is selling. On the other hand Bots are just as important to the buyer providing them with a cheaper resource and better buying market. As the number of bots fluctuates so does the price of many raw materials on the Trading Post and it is important in making money that individuals predict when a large Bot ban wave will hit so that a profit can be made, while buyers need to be aware of it so that they can get their goods cheaply before the price returns to its true market value.

b. Manipulating Bot logic to influence market values

(Note this is theory and has not been tested) Because bots use the default sell options of selling at the lowest market value, it is theoretically possible to crash a material market through player influence. If a player buys a decent amount of materials and re-lists those materials and a very low price and those materials stay around long enough, Bots will theoretically begin posting those goods at the new low price. Players may want to do this because they need a large quantity of those materials and rather than buy them at the higher price attempt to crash the market in order to buy them at the lower price. But won’t the player lost money because they are forced to resell a large quantity at the lower price? Yes and no, yes in that immediately the individual will see a loss in money due to the sale at lower prices but if the player is buying enough of the item at the new low price they could save way more money. Another way to alleviate said burden is to organize a large group together to share the burden of cost and post a large quantity of material at the lower prices.

-Raw Materials vs Materials vs Finished Product

Theoretically raw materials should be equivalent in value to their finished product or even less due to the effort of actually making the final product; however, since this game grants experience for crafting raw materials can in fact be more expensive than the finished products. So when buying materials make sure to check out both the raw and finished products and compare to ensure you are getting the cheaper of the two.

#2 Posted by Dark_Lord_Spam (3308 posts) -

Fantastic guide, though I'm ashamed to admit I just don't have the patience necessary to analyze market trends on the TP. Your note about LIFO listing is a revelation, though. By default, I had just assumed the system was FIFO.

#3 Edited by plague102 (128 posts) -

Thanks, and since the game doesn't explain much especially about the trading post I would say many people don't realize its an LIFO system and not an FIFO.

Also Tip of the Day- Keep an eye on T6 crafting mats. Other than Powerful Poison Sacs, all other T6 mats appear to be trending downwards signaling a good time to buy soon.

#4 Posted by shinboy630 (1140 posts) -

@plague102 said:

Thanks, and since the game doesn't explain much especially about the trading post I would say many people don't realize its a LIFO system and not a FIFO.

Also Tip of the Day- Keep an eye on T6 crafting mats. Other than Powerful Poison Sacs, all other T6 mats appear to be trending downwards signaling a good time to buy soon.

They changed (read: increased) the drop rates of some T6 mats from the bags that contain them, so I will be curious to see if the downward trend stops any time soon. I'm sure bots also have something to do with it, but it will be interesting to keep an eye on.

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#5 Posted by RadixNegative2 (522 posts) -

Wow this is great, just what I needed!

I have one question however: why is there a selling fee?

#6 Edited by jesterroyal (351 posts) -

@RadixNegative2 said:

Wow this is great, just what I needed!

I have one question however: why is there a selling fee?

Arenanet has placed a number of gold sinks into the economy to keep gold "valuable" this is one of the ways that they can remove excess gold from the economy and also insure that players don't constantly list an item, pull it down, list it at a slightly different price, pull it down, etc. It also takes away a fair bit of market manipulation because you have to manipulate the market or flip items on a very large scale to overcome that listing fee.

But mostly, it provides a gold sink while dissuading the same type of behavior that the listing fee also tries to discourage.

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