WildStar Commodity Exchange Basic Guide
WildStar Commodity Exchange Basic Guide by Matatooki
After spending quite a bit of time using the Commodity Exchange for fun and profit, I’ve decided to throw together a basic but hopefully helpful guide to some of the things I’ve learned over a few hundred transactions on the Commodity Exchange (hereafter referred to as CX).
What it is
The commodity exchange is essentially a player run auction house specifically for crafting materials, consumables and other odds and ends that don’t fit the Auction House. Here you will find leather, meat, cloth, runes, crystals, ores, food, medishots, runes, bones, relics, catalysts and other such items. It is divided into four separate tabs which we will explore individually and which can be used to accomplish a number of different tasks. This can be your best friend whether you’re trying to find materials for crafting, make some money from gathering, play the market or simply make a bit of extra money from questing. In this guide we will cover how to buy and sell items in the CX, what buy orders and sell orders are and how to use them and a few tips and tricks to get the most out of your encounters with the CX.
The buy now tab is the first tab on the CX. It’s primary use is to buy items quickly. This is the fastest way to obtain any of the items available on the CX. It is also the most expensive. The Buy Now tab displays items that have been put up for sale by others. The price displayed shows the lowest price for one item of that particular type. Mousing over the i icon will show you the price of the cheapest item, the average for the cheapest stack of 10 items and the average price for the cheapest stack of 50 items. This does not mean that there are 50 items available at that price, but rather the average you will spend per item if you were to buy 50.
When you make a Buy Now order, you will be charged a buyer’s fee. This fee is 2% or 5 silver, whichever is higher, per order. An order is a purchase of any quantity of that item, from 1-200. This means that buying 10 orders of 1 item that costs 1 silver will have a fee of 5 silver per item, or 50 silver total, while 1 order of 10 of the same 1 silver item will be 5 silver total. As you can see, buying items is cheapest when you buy the entire order in one go. This is incredibly important knowledge if you want to get the most out of your money when buying items, and even more so if you are trying to make a profit from items purchased at the CX.
When you input an order, there are two different numbers that the CX needs to know. It needs to know how many of an item you want to buy (by changing the number on the left) and what the maximum you want to pay for any item in that order. For example, if I want to purchase 50 Aurin Tails, with a price of 5 silver as my maximum, the order will only go through if there are 50 Aurin Tails available at that price or lower. If there are 49, it will give an error that the order could not be fulfilled.
In order to make a successful Buy Order, you must input the highest price you are willing to pay for a particular item. This is generally closer to the average price for 50 items, often times higher. If there are 50 items available total of a particular type, chances are that the last few of those items are set at a much higher price than the lowest price displayed. If there are 10,000 items available of a total particular type, chances are that there are many items available at the lowest price displayed or close to it. The best way to go about deciding how much your maximum buy price should be depends on several factors. The first is why you want the item. If you are looking to craft one item, for example, you can keep your price fairly close to the minimum and be pretty sure it will go through. There is no penalty for failed order. However, you still want to buy as close to the number of items you need in one order due to the fee associated with Buy Now on the CX. If you are looking to craft many items, it gets slightly more complicated.
Let’s say I want to craft 10 Exile Corpse Piles as an Architect. Looking at the Auction House, I find out that they are selling for 1-2 gold pieces each. Checking on my crafting window, I find out that each Exile Corpse Pile requires 3 Exile Corpses. Checking on the CX, I find out that each exile corpse is selling from 30 silver at the cheapest to 70 silver at the most expensive. So my decision is this: How much money do I want to make on each Exile Body Pile, and how long am I willing to wait for it.
Buying 30 Exile Corpses at 30 silver a piece gives me a profit of 10 silver to 110 silver (or 1.1 gold) per Exile Corpse Pile (3 Exile Corpses per craft x 10 Exile Corpse Piles = 30 Exile Corpses, at 30 silver each, coming to 900 silver (or 9 gold)) selling each at 100 silver (or 1 gold) for a total of 1000 silver (or 10 gold which comes to 1 gold total profit) or each at 200 silver (or 2 gold) for a total of 2000 silver (or 20 gold which comes to a 11 gold total profit)). It is fairly straight forward math, but this is still a bit inaccurate. Next, we must calculate our CX fees.
If we were to buy all 30 Exile Corpses in one go, at 30 silver each, for a total of 9 gold, our fee comes to 18 silver (or 2% of 900 silver). This means that our potential profit shrinks slightly to 82 silver to 1082 silver (or 10.82 gold).
Of course, the later option is far more attractive, but seeing as that is the highest price the item is selling, it will take much longer to sell. Factors like elasticity of a product (i.e. how well this product sells at various prices), general demand of a product (i.e. how popular an item is), availability of a product (i.e. how many sell on a daily basis) and best times to sell (i.e. when a product is most likely to sell) are beyond the scope of this guide, but should all be considered when deciding how to price a product.
Nevertheless, this is a best case scenario. This is assuming that we can purchase all 30 Exile Corpses at 30 silver, which is the lowest price available. The highest price available is 70 silver. Let’s say for this thought experiment that there are 50 Exile Corpses total for sale, ranging from 30 silver each to 70 silver each. So suddenly, our golden opportunity begins to shrink a bit further. But making a profit regardless of the availability of products at a good price is what playing the CX is all about.
So let’s say we decide that we want to make a profit of at least 10 silver for each corpse pile we sell, and we are okay with waiting just a little bit to make that happen. 10 silver is our bottom line. We decide that we are going to sell our Exile Corpse Piles at 150 silver (or 1.5 gold) each. There are several ways to go about this calculation. This is my way.
If we divide the total cost I want to sell Exile Corpse Piles for (in our case, 150 silver or 1.5 gold) by the number of Exile Corpses it takes to make an Exile Corpse Pile (in our case, 3) we come to a total cost of 50 silver as our maximum price at which we will make 0 profit, or cut even. However, we aren’t just making Exile Corpse Piles for fun (this time), we want to make money. So we divide our expected profit (in our case, 10 silver) also by 3 (the number of Exile Corpse required per item), which gives us a total of 3.3 silver. This is the price difference between buying an Exile Corpse for profit and buying one for no profit, which puts our highest price we are willing to pay at 46.7 silver. However, there is also that CX fee to worry about. This next step is a bit more complicated and my math is far from perfect, but should give you a rough idea on wrenching the most out of your CX purchases. It is not necessary, unless you really want to make as much profit as possible and are willing to do a bit more leg work for it.
The magic number I use for the next step is 250 silver. This is the point at which a buy order will charge 5 silver as a fee because 2% of 250 silver is 5 silver. Anything higher than this will charge more than 5 silver. So I multiply my highest price I am willing to pay (in our case, 46.7 silver) by the number of items I want (in our case, 30). This gives us a total of 1401 silver. This means our total fee is 28.01 silver (or 28 silver 1 copper) if we were to make this transaction in one go. If we were to buy our order separately, at our highest price, we would be buying the corpses about 5 at a time (233.5 silver total for 5 corpses at 46.7 silver), we would need 6 transactions to get our 30 Exile Corpses. 6 transactions with a 5 silver flat fee comes to 30 silver. In this case, the better deal is to take the 2% loss than to pay the 5 silver flat fee.
So finally, we get to the good part. We divide our fee (28.01 silver) by the number of Exile Corpses we are buying (30) which gives us .93 silver (or 93 copper). This is the fee per item. We subtract that fee of .93 silver from our highest price we are willing to pay of 46.7 silver for a grand final total of 45.77 silver. This is the highest price we are willing to pay to make the profit we want from Exile Corpse Piles, sold at 1.5 gold.
At this point, we input 30 on the quantity and 45 silver 77 copper for our maximum price and click Buy Now. If the order goes through, we can make our desired profit. If it does not, there are currently not enough items to make the money we want. At this point, we can decide to make less profit, or wait until more items are available at the price we want. However, there is an alternative, and it is our next section.
Buy Order is the second tab of the CX. A buy order is essentially an open order in which we determine the number of items we want to buy and the highest price you are willing to pay for them. The number on the left determines the quantity we want to purchase, the number on the right determines the highest price we are willing to pay up to the quantity we want. In our previous Exile Corpse example, let’s say that our Buy Now did not go through and there weren’t enough of these items to make the profit we wanted. So creating a Buy Order for 30 Exile Corpses at 45 silver 77 copper will mail us any Exile Corpses available for 45.77 silver or under and leave an open order for anyone willing to sell this item at 45.77 silver or under.
Buy Orders will display the highest price someone is willing to pay for one of whatever type of item. Mousing over the i will show us the average price people are willing to pay for 10 of an item and the average price people are willing to pay for 50 of an item. How quickly a Buy Order is filled is determined by how close our price is above or below the average selling price for an item. If an item is being purchased for 10 silver, a buy order for the item at 11 silver will be filled fairly quickly as it is the best offer on the market, while a buy order for the item at 9 silver will be filled when all of the buy orders for that item above 9 silver are fulfilled. Buy orders are filled in the order they are received.
Buy order sniping is the process through which an individual will constantly check Buy Order pricing and try to be the highest paying buyer by a small margin. This practice is fairly repetitive, underhanded and generates profits rather randomly. It is not a best practice for creating a stable economy, and more often than not involves a lot of deleting e-mails and creating new buy orders on a constant basis. It is not the view of the creator of this guide that this is an effective way to make money, particularly as prices for items continue to stabilize. Your mileage may vary, but it is far from being a magical way to print gold.
Creating realistic buy orders where both the gatherer and the crafter make money is the fastest way to success in the market, stability to material prices and a generally fruitful experience with the CX.
Sell now is the third tab of the CX. Sell Now is a transaction in which someone who has an item sells it at the highest possible price as dictated by the existing Buy Orders for that item. If we use our earlier Exile Corpse example, someone who had 30 Exile Corpses that wanted to sell them immediately would receive 45.77 silver from our Buy Order, provided no other higher orders existed at the time of sale.
Sell Now displays the highest price someone is willing to pay immediately through a buy order for one of whatever type of item. Mousing over the i will display the average price someone is willing to pay through a buy order for 10 items of that type, and the average price someone is willing to pay through a buy order for 50 items of that type. This price is not necessarily above vendor price, and care should be taken to check the vendor price of an item before putting it on the CX. Again, this price is not necessarily above vendor price, and care should be taken to check the vendor price of an item before putting it on the CX.
The reason I repeat this is because there is a large influx of materials on sale on the CX below the vendor price. This is generally due to players not being aware that materials can be vendored. In order to vendor a material, opening the Tradeskill Bag and right clicking the item will move it to your regular inventory. This step is necessary in order for the item to be sold to vendors.
Mousing over an item’s icon on the CX will display the vendor price for an individual item. Mousing over an item’s icon in your inventory will display the vendor price for the item stack. This means the cumulative price for every single item in the stack when sold at once to a vendor. It is a key difference that must be noted. If the Sell Now price for an item is lower than the Vendor price for an item, a player is losing money by selling that item on the CX. If this is the case on your server, do not exacerbate it. Simply vendor your items for profit at the vendor if you need money now, or wait until the Sell Now price is higher than vendor to make a bigger profit.
Sell order is the fourth and final tab on the CX. A Sell Order is essentially an offer to sell a quantity of items at a price set by the seller. The number on the left determines how many of the item you wish to sell. The number on the right determines the price per unit you wish to sell at. This is not the case in the Auction House, where the price you set is the price for the stack.
The prices displayed for a sell order is the lowest price one of whatever item is being sold at. Mousing over the i will display the lowest average price that 10 of whatever item is being sold at and the lowest average price that 50 of whatever item is being sold at. Creating a successful sell order depends on two factors. The profit you wish to make on each sell and the time you are willing to wait to make it.
Let’s say that after seeing our crafting friend make a mint from selling Exile Corpse Piles, we decide to get in on the action.
There are two scenarios that can happen. Let’s say for our example that we have 200 Exile Corpses to sell, and that the vendor price for Exile Corpses is 25 silver.
In scenario one, there are 100 Exile Corpses for sale total on the CX, ranging from 30 silver to 70 silver (as per our previous example). In this case, we have twice the number of materials than all other sellers combined. This puts us in a rather favorable position. We can crash the market by selling our 200 Exile Corpses for 27.5 silver, meaning that anyone who buys an Exile Corpse will buy it from us until every other buyer lowers their price to beat ours. This is a fast way to make money, but it is also the least effective way to make money. However, because we essentially have cornered the market, it is in our power to sell our Exile Corpses very quickly, either to crafters who wish to get a cut of the profits from buying this material at low prices, or by marketeers who wish to make money by re-selling our materials at a higher price. We could also sell our 200 Exile Corpses at 70 silver, which is the biggest profit margin by far, but will take the longest as it requires buyers to exhaust all sell orders for under 70 silver before they will buy ours, and that is only if no one else creates a sell order for less than 70 silver during this time. In reality, this sell order could sit around until it expires without making a single sale. Alternatively, we could sell our 200 Exile Corpses at 30 silver, and make the smallest possible profit but do so very consistently. The range in between is dictated by the popularity/demand of an item, and again, is a bit beyond the scope of this guide. However, reading the market and finding the “sweet spot” is what making a profit on the CX is all about. A good rule of thumb is to look at the median price (the price between 30 silver and 70 silver in this case, 50 silver). Anything below this will move an item that is slow moving faster. Anything above it will make more profit from an item that is moving quickly. This will fluctuate depending on a number of factors, including supply, demand, potential uses for the material and ease of access to the material by gatherers.
In scenario two, there are 1000 Exile Corpses for sale total on the CX, ranging from 26 silver to 60 silver. In this case, we have a fraction of the number of materials that all other sellers are offering. In this case, selling lower than the lowest price is going to barely make us more of a profit than vendoring the item. If we are looking to make fast money, it is generally a better option to vendor our goods, take the loss and walk away. If we are looking to make good money, we look at the median price of the item (the price between 26 silver and 60 silver, 43 silver). A good rule of thumb is to then take the median (43 silver) and subtract it from the highest price (60 silver) which gives us 17 silver, which in this case is our potential profit if we want to move the item quickly. Determining our price thus comes down to finding a price between 26 silver (the lowest price in which we barely profit) and 43 silver (the highest price in which our profits do not exceed the median). How quickly we wish to move our stock will gauge how close to the median we sell our item.
I would like to say thanks for reading the guide, or any part of it. I hope you have found it helpful. I am not an economist, a math wizard, a stock broker nor am I the richest player on my server (or any server, as far as I know). This guide is based on my observations and general practices with which I’ve had success on the CX. There are many variations to techniques to buy and sell from the CX. I have covered the basic uses of it. I believe that the fastest way to consistent profit is to run an honest business and that a healthy economy is good for everyone. Exploits of the economy will always exist, and those in the know will generally profit greatly for spurts of time until the kinks are all figured out. I believe that printing money hurts everyone, but being broke makes the game rather difficult. It is possible to make a profit and keep the economy going. Best of luck in all of your endeavors.