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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!