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Buy orders are supposed to be used to make gold on the Guild Wars 2 Trading Post. But how can they possibly make you gold? I tell you what, I'll show you three easy ways to make gold with buy orders and then you can decide which of these strategies will work best for you.
Before we get started making gold with buy orders, I want to explain why these work so well. The reason is remarkably simple: buy orders take time to create. We're talking a few seconds once you know what you're doing, but just take a look at the number of buy orders on items and you'll see that there are far more people selling than buying. This isn't because demand is low, on the contrary, it's quite high. The problem is that it's far easier to click buy then it is to create a buy order and wait for a seller to accept it. With a global economy like the Trading Post, you need to invest a little time in order to separate yourself from 95% of the rest of the gaming world. That's where the buy orders come in.
1. Flipping with Buy Orders
You can take the lowest seller price and multiply by .85 to determine how much you'd make from selling at that amount. Then place a buy order for .60-.80 of the lowest seller price. When you win the auction, flip for the lowest seller price and you'll make a quick profit.
2. Salvaging with Buy Orders
First off, get a handle on what salvages into what raw materials by testing while leveling. Next, place buyout orders on blue gear in a particular leveling bracket for a few more copper than its vendor cost. When you win the auction, salvage and profit using the crude salvaging kits. Make sure that the item you're going to salvage is valuable by first buying one and testing the results. If you end up with logs then the item is not worth buying! But things like ore will sell fast and for far more than your buyout order.
(You'll notice very quickly that the items are being priced for around the cost of whatever valuable item they can be salvaged into. This is why you have to use buy orders to find deals. The trading post is global after all, and there are far too many people who can do basic math these days.)
3. Crafting with Buy Orders
Take an item you can craft and multiply by .85. That's what you'll get after fees. Then take the components and place buy out orders so that you will spend less than the number you just figured out. I try to make at least 30% profit per crafted item. For things like bags that sell super fast, I go with an even smaller margin of profit. As you win the auctions, craft away and then list your auctions to make some easy money. Remember that "highest buyer" is not necessarily the best selling option. I tend to take the lowest seller and subtract a few copper, depending on how much competition there is at that level. If there are 10 selling at 50 copper and 2,000 selling at 55 copper, I'm going to post for 54 copper instead of 49 copper as an example.
4. BONUS: Opening Sacks
Items like the Sack of Booty can be purchased with buy orders and then opened for random profits. So far I'm making around 20 copper per sack of booty on a tuesday morning. Just go on the wiki and look up the different items that a sack can contain (or other similar, consumable items). Then check the trading post to make sure that the vast majority of them sell for more than the buy order you're going to create. Don't forget about the associated 15% fees for each sale!
When creating buy orders for any of the four examples I just gave you, be sure to check both the selling and buying tabs for the item in question. Yes, I actually expect you to type the name of the auction into the buy tab in order to compare prices. Pay close attention to how many people are selling at varying prices, especially to see if the item is currently selling for far too little (you'll see like 5 people selling 50 of an item for price X and then 100 people selling 50000 of the same item at price X + 5 copper).