Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Visiting the Trading Post

For the first time after the launch of Guild Wars 2, the Trading Post seems to be working reliably for everyone, and hence it is an excellent time to cover its features in this blog, including some little but important things one might not easily notice at first.

The Trading Post is very likely the most used service of the Black Lion Trading Company and an essential part of the economy. It is the only secure way of selling items to other players, a lot of money players obtain comes from selling items in the Trading Post, and being able to buy items from other players can help one achieve their goals more easily. The Trading Post is shared by all regions and servers, and most of its functions can be used from anywhere in Tyria. The Trading Post is physically located in every major city as well as some explorable areas. The location can be seen on the map as a round golden icon with an image of an old fashioned scale engraved on it. The icon has a similar style to the bank and guild bank icons, which are also round golden icons with an image of a bag or a chest on them.

The Black Lion Trading Company and hence also the Trading Post can be opened by clicking its icon on the menu in the top left corner or by pressing O on the keyboard. The four lowest tabs of the pane have been dedicated to the Trading Post: Trading Post, Sell On Trading Post, My Transactions and Pick Up.

The Trading Post tab allows one to browse all items available and buy them. On the front page there are four columns that list the most popular items at the moment of browsing: Top Valued Items, Top Supplied Items, Top Demanded Items and Top Traded Items. These columns provide a lot of interesting information; for example crafting materials are the most supplied, demanded and traded items, while weapons seem to have the highest value per unit.

If one wants to buy a certain item, they can find it from the Trading Post by typing its name into the search box on the front page and pressing Search. If there's an exact match, the item page will open directly. Otherwise there will be a list of search results or a blank page if no match was found. After finding the item one needs to decide between the two ways of buying items: buying the already listed items from the trading post with the price the seller has set and receiving the item instantly, or placing a custom offer which is also commonly known as a buy order.

When one buys the already listed items from the Trading Post, they first of all get to see how many units are listed and for what prices. Buying itself is very simple: One only needs to type the quantity they wish to purchase into the How many do you need? field, make sure they can afford the total price and presses Buy. The Trading Post automatically sells the lowest priced units available.

Alternatively one can click on the place a custom offer link next to the Buy button. The advantage of a custom offer is that the buyer gets to set the price, which makes it possible for one to obtain items for cheaper than what the items are currently listed for in the Trading Post. The down side is that it might take a while for someone to come around and sell their item for the custom offer.

Placing a custom offer is just as simple as buying the listed items: One defines the amount they wish to buy, sets the price they wish to buy each unit for, makes sure they can afford the total price and then presses Place Order. One can see the buy orders listed by other players on the right, so it is easy to figure out how much their offer should be.

It'd seem that people most often sell their items to custom offers if the custom offer price is only slightly lower than the price they'd normally list their items for, or if the order is for a large quantity of items. From these two cases it can be deduced that people more often wish to sell their items and receive the money fast, rather than take their time and sell their items for a slightly higher profit.

The three most commonly seen views of the Trading Post tab: the front page, buy listed items, and place a custom offer.

Selling items happens via the Sell On Trading Post tab. All of the items in one's inventory that can be sold in the Trading Post will get listed on the left side of the view. When one clicks on one of the listed items, they can see three options for it: sell the item for a custom offer, list the item for the lowest seller price currently in the Trading Post, or list the item for the lowest price one has already listed another unit of the item for. In addition to these options one can also list an item for a custom price, which happens by editing the unit price on the top right corner of the view. A common practice is to set the price one copper lower than the currently lowest seller price, which automatically makes the listed item the first to be purchased by the buyers while losing as little profit as possible. In addition to choosing the method of selling and the price, one also needs to define the amount they wish to sell to the Quantity field, and press Sell.

There's a couple of things one should pay careful attention to when listing items for sale: the listing fee, the so called tax, and the vendor value. The listing fee is always 5% of the sell price of the item, no matter if it is a buy order or an item listing. The fee is paid on the moment one lists the item and does not get returned if the item doesn't sell. The so called tax is 10% of the item price and is reduced automatically upon a successful sale, resulting the player receiving only 90% of the price they sold the item for. When one is listing an item for sale, they should always make sure that the profit they'll get from selling the item is still satisfying after paying the listing fee and the tax. If the difference after subtraction is the same, less than or close to the vendor value, it'd be better to sell the item to the vendor or hold onto it for a bit longer if one thinks the prices are going to rise in the future.

The vendor value also sets a limitation to the price one can list an item or a custom offer for: it prevents one from selling an item in the Trading Post for less than its vendor value. This limitation was implemented to prevent people from buying items from the Trading Post for less than their vendor value and selling them to merchant for profit.

At this moment in time it is unknown how many items one can put into the Trading Post, or how long the items will be listed for before they are automatically cancelled ─ if these limitations even exist.

One can sell their items either by opening the Sell On Trading Post tab or by right clicking an item in their
inventory and selecting Sell at Trading Post. One can also access the Buy view by
selecting the second last option in the menu.

The third tab of the Trading Post allows one to browse their transactions, more specifically sold and bought items as well as what one is currently selling or buying via custom offers. Via this tab one can also cancel the item listings and buy orders they currently have up by selecting Items I'm Selling or Items I'm buying from the drop down menu and then clicking the Remove button next to the listing or order.

One can for example view the already sold items via the My Transactions tab.

Even though the most of the functions of the Trading Post are available from anywhere in Tyria, one still needs to visit the physical Trading Post locations whenever they wish to collect the money they've got from selling items or the items they've purchased from other players. To collect their newly acquired assets, one needs to talk to the Trading Post NPC, open the Pick Up tab and click Take All. There does not seem to be a way to pick up only some of the items.

The Pick Up tab can be seen on the left and a message that pops up after purchasing a listed item on the right.
The Black Lion Trading Express is an item that can be obtained from the Gem Store and Black Lion Chests.

Because picking up items and money requires one to actually visit the Trading Post, one might need to do a lot of running between the bank and the Trading Post, and sometimes even the crafting stations, when buying or selling items. Because running takes time off the actual activities and is generally considered very tedious, choosing an area with a short distance between the bank and the Trading Post would be a nice thing to do. It'd seem that Rata Sum has by far the shortest distance between the bank and the Trading Post, followed by Divinity's Reach. After these two comes The Grove, which advantage is that the crafting stations are also located near by and close to each other, and there's even a karma vendor on the way that sells ingredients for the chef discipline. Rata Sum also has crafting stations in quite a close proximity, but not all of them are located in the same wing.

From these images one can clearly see that the distance between the Trading Post and the bank
varies greatly depending on the location.

In general the Trading Post is a well planned feature and its layout is very intuitive which makes using it a pleasant experience. There are of course some bits of information that are currently not displayed, but that can easily change in the future. The most important thing is that the Trading Post is finally working and allows us to take advantage if its features and have even more fun while adventuring in Tyria.

7 comments:

  1. Well written! There are also scattered TP vendors in every map area. You can also sell items on the fly. Right click an item and post it to the Tp straight from your inventory while exploring.

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    1. Thank you for your praise once again! Those two things are actually mentioned in the second paragraph and in the caption of the second set of images.

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    2. I really enjoy reading your blog (Pleasant layout, informative, etc ;)). Keep up the good work!

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    3. Well that is what I get for reading whilst wrestling the nephews...*blushes* I end up missing stuff.

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  2. Thanks for the blog, Kitten. There's so much to learn in this game. I really appreciate your information. Keep it up!

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  3. Great post. Very well written. I write exclusively about the trading post and will be linking to this in the future! You are one of the first to get into the trading post in such an extensive way. Excellent job!

    Guild Wars 2 Riches

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  4. Thank you Anon, Jason and Adam! It's great to know that people enjoy reading the blog and find the posts useful.

    And no worries Siadina, happens to all of us sometimes!

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