Tips for Traders


The Power of Diversification

posted Dec 20, 2016, 5:51 AM by SaSa The Singing Skeever

You’ve gone to those stores - there are 10 of the exact same thing listed in a row. Your eyes glaze over as you scroll past those listings.

Look - we’ve all got a lot of something that we’d like to get rid of. The problem is, when you list a bunch of the exact same thing, it sends a message to the buyer that said thing is plentiful. It makes it easy to put off that purchase unless it is needed for something immediately. Here are some ways to get around this problem.

  • Consider selling wholesale to someone else in the guild. They might be able to sell it in other guild stores. You provide them with inventory AND you get some of your storage slots back.
  • Break up the amounts. Instead of putting up two stacks of 200 - consider putting up different increments: Perhaps a ¼ or ½ stack (50 or 100) in addition to the full stack. Consider giving a price break for buying in bulk. Charge more per piece for smaller increments.
  • Spread out your items amongst other guild stores. If you have 5 stacks of rubedo ingots, put 1 stack in each guild store instead of putting all of them in one. (Of course, this is assuming you are part of five guilds.
  • Become an ESO Prime member. The crafting bag is worth the money.
  • Create character mules. For those of you who are new, consider creating the other characters that you might play later. Use their pack slots for overage storage.
The more diversified our guild store listings are, the more buyers we will attract.

And don’t forget - please keep your 30 sales slots filled! 

Know Your Market - Updated for One Tamriel

posted Dec 19, 2016, 10:40 PM by SaSa The Singing Skeever

As you immerse yourself into the selling game, there are many variables to take into account when trying to maximize your sales.


We’ve all heard the old maximum, “Location! Location! Location!” and that is true in ESO as well.


If you are lucky enough to have five guilds all with guild traders, you may notice that all stores are not created equal - AND that merchandise that flies off the shelves of one store, languishes in another. This is because, unlike Auction House systems, guild stores DO have a certain clientele depending on where the guild trader is located.


First - what zone level is your guild trader in? While all players can travel anywhere they want with One Tamriel, you will also have a larger than average clientele based on the zone level. So if the guild trader is in zone 3, most of the characters are somewhere between level 25-35. This generally means that materials, foods, potions, etc, should probably be skewed to your largest clientele base. That is not to say that you can’t sell everything in your store - you can and should! (Diversification is good! And your guildmates are also part of the clientele base.) But you may want to give some attention to the clients who will most likely to access your store given its location. You will have the widest customer base in Rawl'Ka and the capital cities. The capital cities are popular because the Undaunted pledges run through there. And Rawl'Ka seems to be the undisputed prime location - mainly because the wayshrine, guild traders, and bank are SO close together. I've found our trader in Coldharbour is particularly good for selling Level 40-50 gear. Of course, because it's a looting zone and because we're right beside a wayshrine, we get a lot of general traffic as well.


Location can also determine the rarity of an item. Some items are more rare in particular factions. So, offering those rare items in a store within that faction can also lead to more sales, because it’s less likely that the character will run across it. (I’m think Dwemer items are more rare to AD, out of faction recipes sell better than inner-faction recipes, etc.)


While some items may have near universal sales potential, it can also be helpful to consider just where your guild traders are located in order to meet the specialized needs of that market. You might find that your sales go up when you do!


Happy Trading!

Standardizing Your Selling

posted Jun 13, 2015, 5:27 AM by SaSa The Singing Skeever   [ updated Jul 18, 2016, 5:02 AM ]

Maybe I’m just a bit too anal, but I like selling items in standard amounts. Standardizing amounts makes buyers feel more comfortable and confident buying from you because they will have a general idea (without extra work) about what you are offering for a per unit cost. Before some of the add-ons were available, I would go through the guild stores with a calculator so that I knew just how much I was paying per item. I really hated having to do that and always appreciated seller who sold in standard amounts.


Also, think about what the item will be used for. While lots of folks want to dump inventory by putting up 200 stacks, you probably should be giving a discount per unit. (Unless it’s rare.) I generally find I can get a better unit price if I sell in amounts that more closely match what the customer needs.


For any stack amounts that you sell that are larger than the listed recommended stack size, you should give a unit price discount if you want it to move quickly.


I don’t recommend smaller stack sizes, simply because you have a limited number of selling slots. It doesn’t make sense to fill up valuable selling space by selling odd, small stacks that won’t give you much of a return.


Item

Recommended Stack Sizes

(for highest unit return)

Sanded Wood

10, 20

Metal Ingots

20, 25, 50

Runes

1, 5, 10

Refined Cloth

20, 25, 50

Raw Clothing, Rough Wood, Ore

Any multiple of 10

Water

10, 20

Food/Drinks/Potions

5, 10, 20

Style mats

1, 2, 5, 10 (very price dependent)

Trait stones

1, 10, 20 (very price dependent)

Tempers

1, 4, 8 (purple or gold)
10, 20, 50 (green or blue)

Alchemy mats

1-10




Of course, there are always the odd exceptions to this rule. Sometimes I will vary the stack size by a little bit to meet the 99 rule. For example, if a stack of 25 would put the amount just over a 1000g, I might sell a stack of 20 for 999g. Also, you should NEVER list an item in the guild store for less than 99g! That might mean that you will need to vary the amount of merchandise that you are listing.


With more and more people using Master Merchant, I think that using standardized stack sizes might not be quite as important as it used to be. However, before listing an item for sale, think about how the buyer will use the item. It is pretty ridiculous to sell BS, WW, and C mats for less than 10 in a stack. Rather than use their selling space wisely in order to get the most out of the guild  store, many folks just dump random inventory into it to make pack space. Please don’t do this! Save items until you have enough for a decent stack. No one wants to wade through pages of crappy listings in order to find what they need.


If you want to make the most of your inventory, you might need to take a little bit of time and care - but the results will be worth it!

Acquiring Sales Stock

posted Apr 6, 2015, 5:52 AM by SaSa The Singing Skeever   [ updated Jul 25, 2016, 5:31 AM ]

So you’ve been selling in the guild store and the gold is rolling in. But now you have a whole new issue - keeping your guild stores full. There are a number of ways to acquire sales stock.


Questing/Crafting Writs/Pledges/PvP

You can get a large number of quality items by just playing the game. Make sure to loot the bodies as you go. You can sell the items as is. Although as a crafter I am a big fan of deconstructing, sell those dropped set items! If you do deconstruct, you can also sell the mats that you get from the deconstruction as well.


Hirelings

Yep, Put some skill points into obtaining crafting hirelings. Everyday, mats will show up in your mailbox ready to sell!


Farming

I have certain farm loops that I’ll run in order to acquire specific items for sale. Farming is a term that has to do with going from resource node to resource node. Don’t forget to include chests in your farming runs. They can contain good items as well.


Crafting

You can create the items yourself and sell them in the store. This is good if you’re working on leveling up a crafting area. For a little extra money, try crafting set items and put those up for sale instead of just standard items. It will cost you travel time, but you will probably find it worth your while.


Looting & Stealing

Looting is taking stuff from containers, crates, bags, etc without having to worry about guards. For example, Hollow City is an awesome looting zone, as there are no guards and you can take to your heart’s content. However, in most places you have to steal the items. The trick here is to not create a bounty that is worth more than what you are stealing. You can steal items from various containers, pickpocket or by murder. Launder stolen items to create sales stock for the guild store. I find looting to be much faster than having to steal, because with stealing you have to sneak and with looting you don’t have to take any extra steps before selling stuff.


Flipping

Flipping is buying items from other players and then reselling those items at a higher price. You can buy items through guild and zone chat, but more commonly by shopping other guild traders. Of course, you have to find really good deals in order to make any money, and don’t forget to calculate that you will have to pay a listing fee and taxes on what you resell.


Hopefully reading this article has expanded your repertoire of obtaining sales stock!


Happy Selling!

The Rewards and Dangers of Cornering a Commodities Market

posted Feb 17, 2015, 11:04 AM by SaSa The Singing Skeever   [ updated Feb 20, 2015, 6:56 AM ]

One of the aspects of ESO that many people overlook is the buying and selling game. Most people join trade guilds to get rid of excess inventory and they want some extra gold in order to have the best equipment, more pack spaces, horses, etc. This is pretty much what the majority players do. However, playing the game to “get rich” can add a completely new aspect to the game dynamics.


One of the ways you can make more gold is to corner one of the available commodities markets. This can be really risky, but it can also give you a big payoff. Cornering the market means that you are acquiring and controlling the sales of specific items.


Now, if you can actually acquire the majority of specific rare items, then you can control the price and drive it up. It’s much harder than it sounds. You must be diligent in keeping other sellers from price cutting you. To do this, you must buy up all of their stock. This can take a whole lot of money. Also, if an item happens to flood the market, because say a whole group of new players are going through zone 3 and the item you have cornered is a zone 3 item, then it is very likely that those items will become plentiful and the price will drop. The danger is when you try to protect your market past a certain point. You can end up in a situation where you are broke and have hundreds of a given item that you can’t sell - even to break even. If you choose to play the market in this way, you must stay on top of selling trends and know when to pull out or switch markets. The biggest possible mistake you can make is trying to corner the market on plentiful items.


An example….


I had been selling clear water for months at 10 for 199g. Clear water is plentiful and this price had been set for a long time. On items that are really stable price-wise, I don’t go back and check for market fluctuations. It would be a waste of time. One way to know if the price is going up is if you start selling out of an item as soon as you list it. If a price is heading down, the item will languish in the store. For me, that can trigger a gradual price increase, decrease or a decision to pull out of a market.


But, in this case, whenever I sold the water, I automatically replaced it at the standard price. And then suddenly, my 199g water started selling like hotcakes. I couldn’t keep it in the store! I wasn’t worried, because I had over 1000+ units of clear water in my inventory. (This is what I mean about it being a plentiful commodity. It’s one thing to make people pay for rare items, another to try to charge them unreasonable prices for things that should be cheap.) Unbeknownst to me, a new person had joined the guild and had decided that the price for clear water should be more. She was the one who was buying my water and trying to re-list it at twice the price. And honestly, I wasn’t looking, at that point, to see who was buying the water. This other seller then wrote me, berating me for selling clear water at too cheap a price and accused me of undercutting her. (Gender assumed based on name, which probably means that I am wrong.) In any case, I ended up slightly increasing the cost of my water temporarily, until the other seller figured out that clear water was not a good item to try and corner market on. In fact, I know of a number of sellers who tried to corner the market on specific items - however, many of them lacked the self-control needed to know when they needed to stop because the market became flooded with that item. (That’s another danger - once people see what you are making money on, they will try to jump in. Once too many people try to do it, it’s pretty much game over in terms of that market.)


So, if you want to try and make some big money, you can try cornering the market. I’ve been able to do it on a couple items with fairly good success. It can add a new dimension to the game. And it’s fun being rich - at least in ESO.


Happy Trading!

Be a Good Guildmate: The Painful Realities of Undercutting

posted Jan 28, 2015, 8:12 AM by SaSa The Singing Skeever   [ updated Jan 28, 2015, 3:53 PM ]

One of the things that can destroy a guild’s cohesion, particularly trade guilds, is undercutting.


What is undercutting? This is the act where fellow guildmates go into the guild store and deliberately price their goods just under yours in order to steal your sales.


Nothing can make you feel more alienated or angry at guildmates is this insidious practice and it also has the added effect of artificially lowering the price of goods.


Look, I know that we all want to make some gold, but when you start making economic war on your fellow guildmates, it can be really unpleasant. People leave guilds over this.


Added to this problem is that officers don’t want to spend time trying to mediate these fights or price wars. And for the most part, they won’t. It is too time consuming. And while certainly this is a free-market system you are sending a message to your fellow guildies that you don’t care about them and that you are willing to screw them over in favor of your own interests. This does not make for a happy guild.


So here are some guidelines as to undercutting, because it isn’t quite as simple as it seems…


  1. Try to have an idea of the fair market value of the items you are listing. Check out what is already listed in the guild store! (Most problems with undercutting would be solved by taking this one step.) If you are looking for a quick sale and you’re willing to dump the item for a price well below market value, offer it for sale in guild chat to a fellow guildie who would be willing to add it to their inventory. You get quick money, they get inventory. Win-Win.

  2. Say you know the fair market value, but someone has listed the item for WAY over that. This happens quite frequently. The best thing to do is to wait until the other person’s item has been listed for at least two days. If it hasn’t sold, then feel free to list your item at a fair market price. I know this is a pain, but at least you’ve given the other person a couple of days to sell their item. If you have a relationship with that person (or otherwise feel comfortable doing so), you could write to the lister and tell them what the going price is. I have done that on occasion - in cases where items were both underpriced and overpriced.

  3. It’s never a problem to list an item higher than what others have listed, because then you aren’t undercutting. If someone has listed an item that’s way lower than market value, I have no qualms in buying it and adding to my inventory for future re-selling. After all, they set the price.

  4. It’s not undercutting if you are using the 99 rule. Say someone lists an item for 500g. If you’ve read previous articles, you know that it is better to sell the item for 499g instead. Listing something for 499g when someone else has already listed it for 500g is not an act of undercutting. What is? Well, listing it for just enough under that you couldn’t buy it and resell it would be. So a listing that’s 5% - 20%  under the original listing is an act of egregious undercutting.


One more caveat about undercutting….and this really happened to me in another guild….


Sometimes, when you’ve sold something - in the intervening space of refilling your store, someone comes in and puts up the same item for a higher amount. If it’s something that you sell regularly, you are not going to be checking the current price if it is a stable commodity. All you can do in that case is try to make the other seller understand that you have been selling the item for a long time at that price and that you aren’t intentionally undercutting them. Unfortunately, there is no way to get around those misunderstandings except to communicate with the other guild member.


For the most part, undercutting is something that can be avoided. Remember, as a guild we are working together as a community. This is something the really huge trade guilds have lost sight of. If our goal is to help each other succeed, then it shouldn’t be a problem to take a little bit of care when listing items in the guild store.


Happy trading!


Rotate Your Stock

posted Dec 11, 2014, 4:12 PM by SaSa The Singing Skeever   [ updated Dec 11, 2014, 4:26 PM ]

So now that we’ve been up for a couple of weeks, I bet some of your stuff hasn’t sold. And it’s been up for 10 days or longer.

 

There can be many reasons that stock doesn’t sell.

 

1.    You may have priced it too high. It simply won’t sell if that is the case. (And I would ask you to please not use the guild store for extra bank space. Create some character mules for that and max out their packs.)


2.    The market may currently be flooded with that particular item. It happens. Stuff that was selling at a good price all of sudden quits selling. You have a couple of options here - either drop your price to the current market or pull it until the price stabilizes. I’ve had some cases where the prices came back up and others where the price permanently dropped. It’s all part of the buying/selling game.


3.    The natural ebb and flow of selling. Sometimes things just become popular and then just as quickly, the fad moves on to something else.


4.    Changes in the game affect market price. The most recent example of this was the effect of crafting writs on material prices

 

5.   And in case you haven’t noticed, there seems to be a psychological barrier to buying stock that’s been in the store too long.

 

An example…

 

One of my guilds lost their kiosk for a couple of weeks. Because of that, not much sold. So when the kiosk did come back up, I was puzzled that much of my “normal” stock wasn’t moving. So I tried this experiment. I took down everything that had been listed in the store for more than 10 days and replaced it with the exact same thing at the exact same price. As a result, it all started selling again. Was I annoyed to pay the listing fee twice? Absolutely! But my goal was to sell and leaving those long-term listed items in the store wasn’t working.

 

So rotate your stock. Check out what other people are listing and think about filling in the gaps. I think you’ll find that your sales will increase.

 

And don’t forget - please keep your 30 sales slots filled!

The Psychological Power of 99

posted Dec 6, 2014, 4:45 PM by SaSa The Singing Skeever

When listing items for sale, you are better off listing 499g instead of 500g. This is because the buyer will unconsciously connect the 499g price with 400g. In the end it makes them more likely to buy it.

But you might be wondering, "Won't I be losing money by consistently selling it for 1 gold less?"

Aha! Not so!

When using this method, you actually pay 1 gold less in the listing fee, so you are making the same amount of money. Likewise, your customer is going to get it for 1 gold cheaper - a win-win for both of you!

So, try using the power of 99 in your store listings and see if that doesn’t help you sell more.

And don’t forget - please keep your 30 sales slots filled!

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