Last night we had a brief discussion in Mumble about making money in GW2. During the last week I've started to experiment with playing the trading post, and the results have been startling. Admittedly I have put a lot of time into it -- but I've made almost 100 gold without too much difficulty. I think this is an easy way to make money if you know where to start. The barrier to entry is low, and the risks are minimal. I thought I'd share some basic beginner's tips, and we could have a discussion about the most efficient way to go about it.
The easiest way to make money from the TP is by "flipping"; that is, buying low and selling high. You place buy orders for a good, then when they are fulfilled, list the goods for sale at a higher price. Now the TP takes 15% when you sell a good, so this only works for goods where there is a significant gap between the buy price and the sell price. But where these gaps exist you can often you can make profits of 15%-40% on your investments very quickly. The idea is that you're making money from the laziness of buyers and sellers -- lazy sellers would rather have their money now than get more for their goods, and lazy buyers are happy to pay more to have their goods instantly.
Here are some beginner's tips OTOMH, anyway:
1. Peruse websites like http://www.guildwarstrade.com/ and http://www.gw2tp.net/ to figure out which goods you can make a profit from flipping. The latter site is my favourite.
2. Find some reliable markets. The ideal ones are for goods which are in large supply, so buy orders get fulfilled quickly. Here are some good ones to look at where profit can often be made:
> Raw cooking materials: e.g. spinach, oregano, parsnip, potato.
> Raw gemstones: e.g. Carnelian, Topaz, Peridot, Amethyst.
> Intermediate crafting materials: Settings, filigrees, chains; sword blades, etc.
> Low-level (sub-40) jewellery.
> Low-level (sub-40) weapons.
> Salvageable junk: e.g. torn garment, hard leather strap. (I expect these to be especially good markets in the next few days as people finish up their salvaging monthly.)
Some markets which are profitable but more competitive:
> Superior/major sigils.
Money can be made in these markets but you'll find yourself getting outbid more often. Dyes especially have incredible margins (usually upwards of 50%) but are very competitive.
In some cases you'll only be making a few copper per transaction. But if you buy 40 silver worth of gemstones, and sell them for (e.g.) 55 silver regularly, you'll be amazed at how quickly the money adds up.
3. Start small. Buy a bunch of cheap mats (e.g. raw cooking mats) or a few sigils and flip them. Once you are confident with how to make money, begin to buy more widely. At this point, don't keep all your eggs in one basket.
4. Relatedly, be liberal in your buy orders. These are without risk, since if you cancel them you get all your money back. (This is not the case with sales, since if you cancel a sell order to reduce the price then you'll have to pay the 5% listing fee again. But in most cases this won't eliminate *all* your profits.)
5. In faster moving markets (gemstones, trohpies) it's realistic to flip hundreds of items at a time. For slower markets like dyes and sigils, you'll realistically be limited to 5-20 at a time.
6. Best practice for getting your buy/sell orders fulfilled quickly: order at 1 copper above the current bid, and sell at 1 copper below the current bid. In the low end markets, however, you'll have to be careful to make sure this doesn't eliminate all your profit.
7. Don't fret if you get outbid or someone undercuts you on price. Lots of markets move quickly enough that your orders will get fulfilled/goods will get sold relatively quickly anyway. Wait some time before cancelling buy orders or relisting goods at a lower price.
Any idea what should be added to this list?