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How to Invest with Trading Post Fees


"Good Afternoon Christopher,

I’m doing well and hope you are the same.  I’ve been an avid Guild Wars player since Guild Wars 1 came out.  I’ve really enjoyed playing the new game and I would like to start making a lot of gold to get some legendaries.

I’ve read through several of the articles on the trading post and have a subscription to Gold Wars.  (Thank you for making things concise and easy to understand)  I’ve managed to scrounge about 60 Gold so far through the normal grind.  I’ve started investing in container items for flipping but so far only two of ten investments have shown a profit.  Do you lose your listing fee if you pull your items off and then post them back at a lower sell price?  Any other tips you could share as I’m a newbie on the investing side of the game.

Thank you for your help and for the tools.  Have a great day."

Yes you do lose your deposit for a listing (5%). You also lose 10% after successfully selling it.

Try to avoid cancelling listings at all costs! I tend to leave an auction up for a week just to see if it will sell (and thus avoid the cost).

I have found that items which yield a small profit (50 copper to 1 silver) are far more guaranteed than say doubling your investment.

Try starting off REALLY small and going from there, focusing in on leveling trinkets (35 is right around when rares first appear and is a good starting point).

You can also check out my 30 markets in 30 days which attempts to showcase many different types of markets in the game.

How much should I buy on the Trading Post?



My name is Nathan and I am writing to you to express my gratitude for your guild wars 2 gold blog. The tips that you have shared with your readers have been extremely helpful, and I cannot express my thankfulness for how much you have helped me become ’unpoor’ in game.

I was wondering about something. When it comes to flipping, is there a certain limit to the amount of gold that you will invest? E.g is it wrong to spend over (number) gold on one day just for flipping?

Thanks again, once more, you are amazing ^-^


Great question Nathan, and let me just say you don't have to flatter me to get an answer. Just playing, thanks for the email. Getting back to your question, I sent you a very brief answer via email but with today's post I want to flesh out a larger response.

Allow me to rephrase your questions into a single one:

How many buy orders should I place?

When I place a buy order, I assume that the money will not come back to me for several days. That is a very key point for anyone getting into the Trading Post for serious amounts of gold. If you want a quick one hour flip, you won't be making very much for your time. But if you sit on large buy and sell orders, waiting out daily ups and downs of the market, then you will earn far more for your time invested. I usually wait a whole day for a set of orders to get fully bought out, then wait another day after listing for everything to sell.

So if you need the gold you're investing within the next 48 hours, you probably shouldn't be investing quite as much as you are. You should also spend at least some time playing faster markets (like crafting materials) which could flip for a profit within a one hour period. You just won't be getting a ton back for your time. That being said, I still do this kind of flipping when I'm bored just to diversify and pass the time.

Besides the amount of gold you want to invest overall, you also need to consider how many buy orders to place per item. Just because you buy a thousand rings does not mean you'll sell them all in a reasonable amount of time. Especially items at the bottom and top of the spectrum (level 1-10 and level 70-80) you will find it easy to fulfill buy orders fast but difficult to sell just as quickly.

My rule of thumb is to double the amount I buy only after I've fully sold my originally acquired stack of items. So if I buy 20 mighty rings one day and only sell 10 in a 24 hour period, then I wait a week to see if the others sell. If they do, then I try buying 40. If those all don't sell in a week, then I scale back down to 30 or even 25.

Hope that answers your email and clears things up for anyone else having a similar issue.

Flame and Frost Preview Option and Bag Gold Tips


Quickly before I get into today's actual post, here is some interesting news on bag math:

I just read a post, recommended by one of your comments on this blog, that did an outstanding job of showcasing the profitability of flipping bags.

Check this out, the information will surprise you!

Recently I've been trying to reach out and find both new and old bloggers who are doing a good job at covering the economy in Guild Wars 2. I'm adding The Pale Tree and Black Lion Trading Post today but am looking for any others you currently frequent.

Flame and Frost Preview Option and Gold Tips

There's also a new feature coming to the Trading Post called "Previewing". You'll be able to right click on any equipable item, select preview, and then behold what the item looks like on your character.

This should increase the sales of ALL weapon/armor items that look cool. Be on the lookout for any websites advertising the "coolest" weapons and armor for this patch. If you see a popular site gloating about specific items, buy those out and watch the money come in when you flip them.

Speaking of cool factor, some people will opt to craft their own legendaries. That's part of the reason I linked to The Pale Tree's post on the subject earlier.

There's a lot of focus on PvP in this patch, so watch out for PvP runes and sigils becoming popular this weekend. Buy now, sell on Friday/Saturday. If you don't know what items your profession needs to dominate in PvP, then you better start researching forums, google and various wikis. It's too much to write about here, but there are definitely opportunities for those who do their research.

10 Methods for Making Gold Easy


I found a pretty cool blog called Midnight Wolfie's Gaming Blog recently, so I decided to write a gold making guest post for the site.

The only major strategy I forgot was bags, which is the idea of placing buy orders on container items, opening them, and then selling the results for a profit on average.

Be sure to read through that post as it's a great recap of what we've learned together on this blog.

Good luck and have fun,


How to Tip the Mystic Forge in Your Favor


Recently on the blog I showcased a reader's strategy to making their first 100 gold utilizing the Mystic Forge. Obviously, when thousands of people reading this blog tried the same strategy, there were mixed results. Some made 10 gold, some lost 10 gold, but most people acknowledged that this method opened up new possibilities for making gold in Guild Wars 2.

Part of the problem with this blog is its wide audience. While the forum and the secrets members find in there can provide a level of privacy, any strategies I display publicly on the blog need to be viewed differently. So what I'm going to do is use the most recent Mystic Forge development with Runes and show you how to create your own, related method to acquire gold.

So we know that the Mystic Forge can be used to create the next "tier" of items in any category. So armor, weapons, sigils, runes, crafting materials, etc can be transformed at a set cost. The results are also random, so what does that tell us? It shows that several conditions must be right to make money from the Mystic Forge.

1. Since the results are random, you must be willing to spend enough gold to beat terrible RNG.
2. What the mystic forge produces must be worth a significant amount more than what you put in.
3. You can buy one item and split it into four stacks and still use the forge.

Take that information and start investigating the possibility for making gold elsewhere. I have and had great success during any time of change. When the game does change, like a bot ban happens, there are opportunities to use the forge to create materials for cheap. I bought up tier 5 mats for super cheap when 5 and 6 dropped in price, then transformed them into tier 6 for huge profits a few weeks later.

From what I've read online, you have about a 1/16 chance of the forge producing something of the next tier. But that doesn't mean it's going to be profitable, as with runes you could get superior rune of the undead for example. So you need to also look at the results and just tally up how many profitable ones exist. This gives you a better idea of what kind of RNG you have to beat to be successful.

I hope that helps, now go explore opportunities now and future possibilities so that you can react before the majority of players!

Skin Names and Huge Prices


Aly wrote me a very interesting email that I'd like to share with everyone today:

"What really is in a name?

If anyone has them and hasn't checked recently (or salvaged them which is most likely) there is an interesting spike happening in the unusually named weapons from fractals that dropped prior to one of the recent patches.

The stats and skins on the weapons generally are nothing out of the ordinary or hard to find on the TP, they just have simple names such as "sword", "focus" etc.  Due to the supply  being scarce on these the prices are going up beyond reasonable ecto prices or what you can buy the standard version of the skins.  I sold 3 of these overnight averaging about a gold in hand each for a fairly normal rare.  Not all of them have had a price hike yet, such as the "trident", but the "sword" listings are up over 2 gold.  Whether they sell or not will be the gamble and the limited time option is on for the TP previewing coming in in the next big patch.  I expect the prices will probably crash out unless someone really loves the simple names even though you will then be able to see exactly which skin they are.

Happy trading if you haven't already got people in this niche."

How to Make First 100 Gold


Tom sent in this awesome tip on how he made his first 100 gold. Thanks Tom for being so generous and thorough in your information. You're epic and will help a lot of people I'm sure. I managed to make 11 gold in an hour using your method, and I only played for about 10 minutes within that time.

Oh, real quick, before I give this strategy of Tom's away. Make sure that you use buy orders instead of buying things for full price. You won't make very much or even lose money if you try to rush this method.


I have been following your blog the past week very closely. I took your advice and decided to try something out myself. It proved to work and as I appreciate everything you helped me with I decided to share this idea with you and all your readers. I buy ordered several major runes and major sigils. Major sigils were bad, I took a loss of 4-5 gold. The major runes on the other hand, were ridiculously profitable. I put a couple of trials together with the math:



I used all my major runes up except 2 (some come back etc. etc. so I did more than 20 tries obviously)

Superior runes received:
Superior Rune of Balthazar
Superior Rune of Scavenging
Superior Rune of Lich
Superior Rune of Svanir x 2
Superior Rune of Rage
Superior Rune of Thief
Superior Rune of the Forge (soulbound so I cannot sell it)
Superior Rune of the Adventurer

I put in 1.10 gold per 20 major runes.
1.10g x 4 = 4.40 gold
In order to break even I need 4.40 gold.
If I sold all the runes at buy order price I would have gotten: 5.6 gold + Superior Rune of the Forge
If I sold all the runes at a selling price I would have gotten: 6.96 gold + Superior Rune of the Forge

Pure profit (deducted any TP percentages etc.):
1.62 GOLD + Superior Rune of the Forge


21 runes x 8 = 168 runes at 5.50 silver a piece = 9.24 gold

Mixed them all with the following results:

Superior Rune of the Soldier
Superior Rune of Divinity
Superior Rune of Dwayna
Superior Rune of the Afflicted
Superior Rune of the Mesmer
Superior Rune of the Grove
Superior Rune of Earth
Superior Rune of the Necromancer
Superior Rune of Infiltration
Superior Rune of Scavenging
Superior Rune of Svanir
Superior Rune of Rage

In order to break even I need to sell them at 10.8705 gold.

Prices of the runes:
Buy order:
Superior Rune of the Soldier: 1.11 gold
Superior Rune of Divinity: 7.3 gold
Superior Rune of Dwayna: 50.26 silver
Superior Rune of the Afflicted: 97 silver
Superior Rune of the Mesmer: 60.70 silver
Superior Rune of the Grove: 10.10 silver
Superior Rune of Earth: 2.10 gold
Superior Rune of the Necromancer: 17.80 silver
Superior Rune of Infiltration: 33.91 silver
Superior Rune of Scavenging: 3.19 gold
Superior Rune of Svanir: 15.75 silver
Superior Rune of Rage: 81.50 silver

Added together: 17.3702 gold x 15% = 14.7647 gold

Superior Rune of the Soldier: 1.20 gold
Superior Rune of Divinity: 7.88 gold
Superior Rune of Dwayna: 72. 95 silver
Superior Rune of the Afflicted: 1.38 gold
Superior Rune of the Mesmer: 78.87 silver
Superior Rune of the Grove: 15.10 silver
Superior Rune of Earth: 2.67 gold
Superior Rune of the Necromancer: 20 silver
Superior Rune of Infiltration: 50.30 silver
Superior Rune of Scavenging: 3.92 gold
Superior Rune of Svanir: 25.49 silver
Superior Rune of Rage: 89.50 silver

Added together: 20.5721 gold x 15%= 17.4863 gold

Pure profit: 17.4863 - 10.8705 = 6.6159 gold

Hope it can help some others out there wanting to make their first 100 gold !"


Fees and Doing it Right


Got this email today and thought it would be worth a quick post:

"Just to make sure I am doing this right I have bought venom sac at 212 copper and am selling it at the wall of 264 copper which nets about 39 copper per trade, am i doing this right.

Thanks for helping me means a lot !"

First take out your fees:

264 X .85 = 224.4

Then calculate your profit:

224.4 - 212 = 12.4 copper profit

Here's a hint as well. If you just use a decimal point for the copper then things are much easier to read. So in this case it would be 2.64 silver * .85. I tend to do a similar thing with items worth over a gold. If an item was 2 gold 64 silver 20 copper, then I take out the copper and just write 2.64 for my calculations.

7 Gold in an Hour is Bad?


I find it interesting that you do not get all of your gold in one shot when pulling from the trading post. If you have so many items coming in that they can't all fit on the screen, then gold will also be withheld until you start emptying your trading post. My theory is that you can only have a certain number of sales waiting to be picked up at a time, or they count as individual items like anything else. Regardless, it's a good problem to have!

Today I made 7 gold after posting auctions for an hour. I had won so many yesterday that it took 4 gold in investments just to pay for the listing fees. So to only make back 7 gold in the next hour seems pretty crappy huh?

What if I told you that tomorrow I'll likely wake up to another 25+ gold? Is the time worth the effort? Absolutely! And I only spent about an hour the night before posting buy orders. So two hours of effort total. But here's the real question: are you willing to put that kind of time in?

The point of today's post is to bring up two things: consistency and experience. If you want to get good at something, then you must be willing to consistently put effort into building up your experience with the subject at hand. In addition to these two things, you need to be able to stop yourself and say "Hey, maybe there is a better way to do this."

If you're struggling, keep your chin up and try to learn from your experiences. But most importantly, don't give up and don't cancel auctions unless they run for over a week. I made 7 gold in an hour and the rest will likely sell before 24 hours later. If I cancel now and relist then I cut my profits each time!

When do you reveal your secrets?


"Hey Markco,

So my question to you is this, if you've figured out a way to make a good amount of money in the game with low failure / losses, how long or how big of a bankroll would you build with it before you would let anyone else know?  I have no desire for legendaries and all of my toons are already full bag slots and min / maxed out on gear and dyes.  So at what point do you go, well I'll tell other people knowing it is going to screw the market up in the long run?



The moment I discover the market I like to reveal it. Obviously there will be times when I have a backlog of strategies, or I feel that they aren't different enough to showcase compared to previous markets. But by and large I tend to share tips or schedule them on the blog to be posted right away.

Should You Undercut the Highest Buy Order or Lowest Sales Order?


So, when you finish your farming session and have goods to place on the trading post, you probably already know that your best bet is to undercut the current prices. But how do you determine which price to undercut? Is it the Highest Buy Order (instantly sold to a prepaid buyer) or Lowest Sales Order (needs to wait to be actively purchased by someone)?

The answer, in almost all cases, is to undercut the lowest sales order. Although this isn't an instant sale, you will often make 30% or more going this route.

This small change in the way you sell items on the trading post makes a huge difference in the amount of gold you get, and it's something I've been saying on this blog for a long time.

If you take this idea and apply it to say crafting or flipping, you open up new tiers for gold making that others cannot reach.

Phil's Big Breakthrough


A commenter named Phil said yesterday on "Strength in Numbers":

"Having just level both my Elementalist and Mesmer using only Power, then Power, Precision, then Power, Precision, Crit gear I can confirm this.

I also bought my armor at levels 10, 20, 35, 60, and 80. Wonder if others do something similar."

Phil is so very close to making a fundamental breakthrough that I hope many of you have made or will make soon. Here it is:

Your experience with the trading post is an insight into how countless other people use it.

Now, once Phil fully understands this, he needs to make a second leap forward in his journey to trading post mastery. Ready for it? Can you guess it? Here it is:

Knowing how he uses the trading post, Phil can take advantage of how others will purchase items in the same way.

So how can Phil take advantage of the other Phils out there? He can flip level 10-20 power weapons/gear/trinkets, level 35-60 power + precision, and level 80 power + precision + crit.

Just so you know Phil, I was just like you in buying the same items at the same time. Coincidence? Nope, that is when the better gear appears.

Strength in Numbers


To understand what people want to buy on the trading post, you need to first really have a solid grasp on what kinds of rewards players look for in Guild Wars 2. I'll tell you right now, it's the same as most RPG's: players want bigger numbers.

Sometimes game designers don't understand this. They add interesting mechanics for dealing damage that are often better than a higher base damage amount, but we players still favor seeing bigger numbers over efficiency.

Since Guild Wars 2 isn't all that difficult, you can get away with loading might and critical hit chance/damage for the vast majority of the game. It's not until you start doing group dungeons that having a little vitality and toughness becomes necessary.

So it's no surprise that leveling characters buy more of the might focused gear than at level 80. Sure, there are those that value condition damage, vitality, toughness, etc while leveling, but they are in the minority.

That is why I sell more rings with the word "might" in them than any other kind. It's also why "force" weapons sell so well to leveling players. We RPG peeps love us some bigger numbers.

Post and Forget Profits


Is this really all that hard to do? 100 orders times 23 copper equals 23 silver. What do you get back when they all sell? Double your investment after fees. So I just plopped down 1 gold 23 silver and will end up with approximately 2 gold 46 silver from these 5 auctions alone.

It took me literally a few seconds to set this up. Search for level 10 trinkets, place buy orders 1 copper higher than vendor price, done.

You have to start thinking this way in order to make the big bucks on the trading post. Small profits but huge volumes. On a weekend you can make a killing from leveling trinkets like these. Amulets sell the slowest obviously because you only need one of those compared to the other trinket types.

The biggest benefit to this strategy is not just the amount of gold you make, but also the fact that you don't have to baby sit this at all. Log in, create your buy orders, log out. Log back in hours later, take buy orders, list auctions, log out. Log back in hours later and your money is waiting.

I'm Too Rich for the Trading Post... What Next?


This was a very astute comment from yesterday's post on spending 20,000 silver:

"I have followed this blog quite some time now and have tried some really nice short-term money making tips.

However, I figured that I can easily make 5~10g in 35~40 minutes of my time without the trading post. The time I'd spend on the trading post usually takes way longer and sometimes yields less money, since uncountable numbers of people are playing with the trading post.

Also, once I reached a certain amount of money (100g+), I feel like either the invest-earn ratio is too low, as I invest in higher value gears which are not that often resold and thus are usually always flipable with a bit of time but not that much profit either, or it'd take me AGES to invest my money on items that yield me proper profit but are also usually flipped by many, which would again lead me not to play on the TP anymore.

Usually I love playing the markets, and in real life I'm happy for every cent I make, however, after some time and a specific amount of money, it's way too slow for me in the game imo.

I'd love to hear some opinions, or your - Markco's - opinion on high-end reselling. I have read your post about flipping exotics, but the margin is very narrow already.

Also, speculating and predicting future changes is very risky and hard."

The answer to your question, mr. or mrs. anonymous, is the very same excuse you use for not diving into speculation trading. Because speculating and predicting future changes is very risky and hard, the highest profit to be made is right there in front of your face.

Once you pass a certain gold per hour threshold, on both the trading post and farming between items being sold, then you need to adjust your strategy towards high volume, low profit markets. This will take care of your daily growth and make sure that you're not wasting time with the low volume, medium profit stuff that I tend to cover on this website (i.e. 30 markets in 30 days). Beyond day trading, you need to start investing in upcoming holidays and events as best you can. Stay on top of the news, watch for items getting too cheap that have no current uses, guess when the next bot ban will be and buy up tier 5/6 mats, etc. Also be aware of tier 5 mats converting into tier 6 mats at a huge profit margin just after bot bans take place.

Am I making more sense now? Need anything else explained in greater detail? I'm happy to help!

I Spend 20,000 Silver Per Day On...


Recently I had an email from someone who wanted to know if they were on the right "path" with the guild wars 2 trading post. He asked me to point him on the right path if his current ideas weren't the right way to play the marketplace.

It went something like this:

"I buy 20,000 of item X every day and make a three copper per transaction.

I buy a dozen of item Y every day and make 20 silver per transaction.

I buy a few of item Z every day and make 5 silver per transaction.

But I can't seem to find the perfect market to play that could earn me great money."

Do you think that he is playing the trading post correctly? Is he on the right "path"?

Absolutely! But what he doesn't realize is why he's doing so well. The reason for his success is due to the fact that he plays more than one market. Any one day, Item Z could absolutely flop, but there he goes playing X and Y to more than make up for his losses. The right "path" for him to follow is to continue finding similar markets that are consistently profitable, as well as fine tuning the ones he already uses.

Suddenly, this player will have a portfolio of successful markets. Same goes for playing the stock market. You manipulate individual stocks, but you also use them to build a mighty portfolio.

Learning to Quit Certain Markets


I've noticed something recently in the markets I'm not playing anymore. I used to be a pretty regular ecto salvager. But over time the process of winning bids on items worth salvaging has become tedious and too time consuming. It's fair to say that salvaging ectos is a good way to make a lot of gold, but it's too slow for the people that already have lots of gold.

You definitely want to redefine your  markets and always look for ways to tweak your daily activities. Even with regards to great markets like the Underwater Weapons for Levelers, there are definitely stronger areas than others that move fast and pay well. For example, there's this one weapon called "beaded" for the trident, spear and harpoon gun which more than doubles your investment. Those three markets are far superior to searching through dozens of masterwork quality under water weapons below level 30. I save time and make the same or more gold. That's what it's all about!

Continue to learn and evolve people! Don't get stuck in patterns, good or bad, because then you'll never grow.

Don't Forget Your Leveling Experiences


There are lessons to be learned the first time you play any video game. I'm talking about whenever you're thrown to the wolves and have no idea how to overcome an obstacle. We'll turn to google, forums, blogs like this one, etc because the game's creator did not provide enough instruction both inside and outside of the game.

In the case of my leveling experience in Guild Wars 2, I noticed that I did not have enough damage from my underwater weapons. Usually this was because the game rewarded me an underwater weapon 5 levels ago and now the veteran monsters were having a field day with my corpse.

I talked about this market in a email to subscribers of this blog a long time ago (new subscribers eventually get it as well) and I'd like to discuss it on the blog today without any specific details of where the best underwater markets lie.

You would be shocked at how much people pay for them though, especially if they were frustrated like me while leveling up. Here's a screenshot of some really expensive underwater weapons I got for a fraction of their true cost:

A couple of these sold for over 40 silver!

Are you over looking the obvious?


Whenever I'm solving a bug in computer code, I tend to hit walls where I say something like "This has to work, why isn't this working?"

The same verbiage is said by people who are failing to make gold on the trading post. "This has to sell, why isn't it selling?"

After saying these words, I always take a step back and say: "Well it didn't work, so my premise is wrong. It obviously isn't guaranteed to work."

Once you make that acknowledgement, then you can work towards figuring out why assumptions that you based your statement on were incorrect. You run through the most obvious things first, like is the external hard drive not plugged in? Definitely assumed it was, but now I have to go back and check all my assumptions until I find the real problem. Or at least close off some wrong "doorways" until only the correct one is left.

This kind of logical reasoning can be applied to the trading post as well. One thing you should never assume is that you know how to play a specific market before having any experience in it whatsoever.

What's the Secret to Making Gold?


So what is the secret to making gold in guild wars 2?

It's all about your attitude. No, I'm not trying to dodge the question: What's the Secret to Making Gold? I'm actually giving you an honest answer that applies to the rest of your life as well. If you've ever dedicated yourself to a hobby or job, you'll know that having a positive, aggressive attitude does wonders for making you better at whatever it is you're doing.

Let's look at a question that a lot of people ask me:

"What market can I buy and sell quickly for big profits? Which items should I be flipping?"

If I had a sink or swim attitude to GW2 economics, I would just tell the people who ask this question that they need to find markets which are profitable and have higher demand than supply. This is the obvious answer, without the details of which markets fit into this category. Usually I will throw them a bone and say that it's mid level crafting materials or mid level jewelry. For example, here's 30 markets (may not be entirely complete yet when you read this, but scroll down after clicking the link to see them all).

But the core idea here is to get the people who ask this question to look up the answer for themselves. Why? Because that sort of inquisitive attitude will lead them to success.

The secret to making gold in GW2 is not knowing the right item to buy and sell, it's the abillity to learn this information for yourself on a daily basis. Why? Because the answer can change at any moment.

Patch Changes Create Flipping Opportunities


During these trying times, when markets change from new patches and the whims of the player-base, it pays to have a tool that can tell you exactly which items are profitable to invest in right now. That tool has already been covered on this blog, but in case you haven't heard it's called Gold Wars 2.

In a matter of weeks since its release, the Gold Wars 2 coders have added a slew of new features that blow the free trading post scrapers out of the water. It is amazing what a team of dedicated people can do in comparison to the "just good enough" websites that the masses struggle to use. Did you know that you can now data dump a current screenshot of all trading post data, so that you can quickly and efficiently search the same clump of useful information? This allows for much more analysis and I'm sure that the number junkies out there will just love it. There are a host of new features like this one that have been added to Gold Wars 2, but I'll leave the rest as surprises.

If, while exploring the ever-changing markets of the living story patches, you find that you can't discover the right markets to play fast enough then maybe you should consider getting the professional assistance that Gold Wars 2 has to offer.

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