When in game, one of the most frequent topics that new or returning players ask me tends to be around getting gold. It might be to buy something, it might be to be put towards a goal or different ways to get gear they want, or merely because they want to save up a nice hunk of cash for the future. Whatever the reasons, the topic is fairly extensive, and while there are many videos out there declaring ‘x is the fastest way to get cash’, I am very much of the belief that you will make more money by doing things in ways you enjoy, so having a variety is good, and this is what this guide is about.
The Trading Post
No matter what way you may choose to go about making money, the one thing players should understand from the start is that the Trading Post is the way you are going to be making it. It doesn’t matter if you choose to do dungeons, chest farms, gathering, world bosses etc, as you will be primarily be trying to sell a lot of loot of whatever kind to other players, and that requires the trading post. You should take the time to get to know the trading post, and become familiar with it, because not doing so will impact on whatever profit you make.
What will also impact on your profit is what you go about trying to sell, and why. Understanding the reasons why some items will give you more profit than others will help you to pinpoint what activities you feel best about doing.
Trading Post basics
You might think that using the trading post is a fairly straight-forward activity, but you might be surprised to find that quite a number of players are not quite as certain of it at first, especially if they come from a game such as World of Warcraft. Why? Because this isn’t an auction house, it is a trading post, and there is a distinct difference even though the trading post has a ‘place order’ option that players sometimes mistake it for.
Note: Players should always attempt to sell their items on the trading post (other than grey junk items) rather than vendoring them, as you will make significantly more money doing so.
Selling on the Trading Post
When selling an item, you can either right click it in your bags, and select the ‘Sell at the Trading Post’ option which will bring up the Black Lion Trading post UI, or you can open the Black Lion Trading Company from the Menu at the top left of the screen and click on the Trading Post tab there. The other way is to talk to a Trading Post npc in the game, which mostly are situated in major towns, though sometimes in smaller outposts in the world as well. You can see their icon on the minimap.
Note: You can buy or sell items from anywhere in the game, which is useful for keeping your bags emptier, however if you need to collect an item you purchased, or gold from selling items, you have to speak to the Trading Post npc.
So you have an item in your bag, and you have the Trading Post open with your item selected. You now have two options in front of you: ‘Current Buyers’ and ‘Current Sellers’
Current Buyers is sort of like a player instant-sell vendor, where other players in the game have placed an order for an item in the game and given the Trading Post the money for that item in advance, money that they feel they are willing to part with for it. This price will be less than ‘Current Sellers’, however if you pick this option, the money will be given to you instantly. Players will often try to buy using this method because impatient players want instant cash, and are willing to take less money for the item as a result.
Current Sellers is when players put the item up on the Trading post for the amount that they feel the item is worth. This will always be higher than the Current Buyers option, but if you sell it for this higher amount, you will have to wait for a player to purchase your item at this amount. This can take time, and you cannot tell how long it will be as the prices fluctuate. This means that eventually you will get a higher price (assuming it sells) but you will have to wait for the sale.
Once you put an item up on the Trading Post, there is no time limit on that. It will stay there indefinitely until it sells, or you remove it from the Trading Post.
If you look on the image to the right, you can see that on the left (that is highlighted), I could sell the 250 ore for 1 silver 33 copper each, making 3 gold 32 silver 50 copper (before listing fees and sale deductions). I would get this gold instantly at the Trading Post.
However, if I decided that I thought I could get more money for the ore, and was willing to wait a bit for the income, I could put the listing up for a higher price, which would be a listing on the right hand side under ‘current sellers’. If I did this, and put the ore up on the trading post for 1 silver 63 copper, I would make 4 gold 7 silver 50 copper (before listing fees and sale deduction), if/when the ore sold for that amount.
Trading Post fees
As with any game, the Trading post has fees for putting up items for sale, but it also has fees for when an item is purchased. This means that the fee is split, so that if the item does not sell, the seller does not have to pay the full fee.
Note: Buying items does not come with a fee
The Listing fee: 5% of the sale price
The Exchange fee: 10% of the sale price
If you sell the item, you will therefore be getting 85% of the sale price, and you should take this into consideration when working out your profits.
More information on the different functions of the Trading Post can be found here:
Guild Wars 2 Wiki – Trading Post
How much should I sell it for?
This is another question that I get asked quite a lot, and the answer tends to be fairly specific on what you are selling. Some items will sell well and quickly, while others will not have nearly as much demand.
In general, I am not much of a risk-taker. I like a regular and predictable income. When selling items, I tend to always sell items within the top six ‘current seller’ prices, because those are the ones that will sell first. The higher you set your price, the more of that item has to sell before your one gets a chance to, and if the supply of that item is being put up faster than the sales then it may be a very, very long time before you will ever see that money, if ever. I might put those 250 ore up on the trading post for 500g each, but that ore would never sell, and I would have wasted a lot of money on the listing fee. It is up to you what you judge the level of risk you want to work with when trading for this reason.
If you have a lot of an item, such as crafting materials that you want to put up, there are websites that will help you judge what risk is worth it, as they keep track of the listings over time. This will show you on graphs whether the price you are currently contemplating is far beyond what is generally normal for the sale, and thus how likely you are to sell it. If the price has never gone above 1 silver 70 copper in the last month or two, then it is unlikely to do so (except under special circumstances, but more on that later).
While these are useful, if you stick to low-risk strategies like mine, there really is no need to use something like that.
What sells the best?
Ah, the age-old question. It might surprise you to know that while crafting really doesn’t make you much/any profit, almost all of the most in-demand items or items that are sold the most frequently are in fact crafting items or items related in some way to that. Why? Although crafting doesn’t make you money in general, having the best armour and weapons in the game does require you to craft, and those particular items eat resources by the ton. Ascended crafting is a long-term goal for players and the resources it requires echoes that. As crafting resources are consumed in the process, the demand remains high, and Ascended crafting requires not only high level crafting materials, but also low level ones as well.
If you are interested in seeing what sort of crafting materials are needed for Ascended Armour and weapons, you can find the information below. Be sure to scroll down and explore just how many resources each item actually requires. It might say ‘bold of damask’, but there is a lot to go into making that one bolt of cloth.
Guild Wars 2 Wiki – Ascended Armour
Guild Wars 2 Wiki – Ascended Weapons
Selling vs Salvaging
As the economy currently stands you can be fairly sure that crafting materials will be fairly quick to sell, but also other items, such as armour and weapons in vast quantities. Why? People salvage the gear in order to get the crafting resources and luck (increases the magic-find of your account for chances of better loot). This is especially true of any cloth items that will sell for a great deal more than their leather or metal counterparts. Cloth is one of the most in-demand items in the game, because it is by far more difficult to get hold of. In general, I would say you should be salvaging ALL of the cloth armour you pick up (that you do not use yourself) and sell the cloth, rather than the item as you will generally get a better price that way.
Items of a certain level will sell for more than others. In general, leather items will sell for the least and cloth for the most, with wooden items and metal items falling in between. Most of this is to do with the type of resource that will be gained from salvaging it, while sometimes, like with low level gear, it can be because of the demand for new gear for new characters.
In the image below, I have listed the type of crafting resource alongside the level of item it can be salvaged from, and whether it is from Armour or Weapons, or both. More information about crafting materials and how to get them can be found on the Wiki page.
Another good tip is to make the most of what crafting resources you manage to gather. If you have levelled up your crafting a little, you should be able to change ore into ingots, and logs into planks. This will help improve your profit since they will almost always be worth more when done so. Not by a huge margin, but by enough that if you are doing it regularly then it adds up. You would have to judge whether the cost of levelling your crafting professions is worth that small increase in profit overall.
If we look back to the earlier example of 250 iron ore, and we assume that they could be sold for between 3g92s50c and 4g07s50c, however if we smelt those into iron or steel ingots:
250 iron ore = 83 iron ingots = between 4g05s04c and 4g09s19c
250 iron ore = 83 steel ingots = between 4g08s43c and 4g12s58c after coal deduction.
As you can see, even though with steel ingots we require a purchased resource, it is still worth more than the iron ore and iron ingots, so it is in our best interests to smelt it before selling.
Trading Post Flipping
Trading post flipping is when players will purchase items from the trading post at a low price, then sell them for a higher price, making profit. There are some players who spend the majority of their time in-game doing this, but they are in the minority. However if you want to make money in the game, then you could try it.
As when I was talking about selling resources, if doing trading post flipping in any great amount, you should probably take a look at one of the external websites like spidy or goldwars2 in order to not make poor investments. In general though, you will want to be buying things on the ‘Current Buyers (place order)’ to get a lower price, then sell it for a higher price on the ‘Current Sellers’. Remember to take into account the 15% Trading Post fees when working out whether the flipping of an item is worth it.
Note: It is better to purchase during the day when most players are on and the supply is high, and sell at night when late-night players are buying up the items making the price rise.
If you are looking for more information on flipping there are many blogs, guides and videos out there that will likely give far better tips on it than I can, as it isn’t something I do very much at all.
Continue to Part 2 (coming soon)