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Playing the Trading Post Like It's Poker

Been a little too busy to post lately but I have been answering all of your emails. Ever since I pushed for the newsletter the number of emails I'm getting has shot up to like 50 a day (which is awesome). 

I've been getting a lot of newer players to the trading post asking very specific questions, like:

  1. How much gold should I invest in flipping every day?
  2. How many items should I be buying?
  3. How do I purchase around walls of items?

well since you asked, I wanna know if flipping more than 50% of gold in inventory is a good idea? i do have a lot in investments but i ensure i have at least 200g in the inventory all times.
is it good if i got 2 stacks of unidentified dyes on 17s?

I am doing good from you rune advice.... rune of strength just rocketed! will it come down or is it gonna stabilize there? Wish i had bought more :P

Also that made me realize how Jon Smith can make you rich.


These are all terrific questions, so I'm going to do my best to answer them with a broad stroke.

Playing the trading post is like playing poker, albeit a little slower. You must sum up your position of chips (inventory), determine the risk (chance for making money), and lastly calculate the potential for profit (payout). The one thing you don't have in poker that is a big factor in the trading post is time. How long you wait for a buy order and sell listing to complete is technically lost gold since you could have put that gold to use elsewhere.

I always analyze how much gold I have tied up in buy orders, inventory of my bank, etc. This must be figured out before I begin analyzing new markets to invest in. My general rule of thumb while analyzing a market is to start off with understanding how quickly the price goes up and down throughout the week (if at all). Then I determine how much profit can be made if I compete with the masses (undercutting one copper) compared to undercutting heavily for faster sales. Risk is measured in online news coverage of the item, if the price has recently changed in a big way, etc.

If you need more specific advice, do the following:

1. Analyze in GW2spidy the past month's performance of the item.
2. Purchase less than a gold's worth of the item to test it at a time when the price is low (why task #1 is so important). If you're poor, keep it to 5-10 silver at most.
3. Sell and see how long it takes to complete.
4. Buy more and more until you find a point where it's too difficult to get 100% of your items sold.
5. Keep experimenting until you have a solid foundation in the market. This will enable you to buy and sell based on the things I've talked about in this post (inventory, risk, payout, time).

While we're sticking with the poker analogy, you should almost never go "All In" on the trading post. The only time you go all in during a poker match is when you're sure you're going to win or pretty sure you'll bluff the competition. There's no bluffing in GW2 and the economy can change at any moment, so avoid going all in.


  1. Anonymous said...:

    I bought 8000 dyes for about 21,27 S each. Right now, price is about 25,98 S each, my profit would be 65 G now. Anyway: I wait, until it's at round 40 S -> 1000 G profit then! TY Markco

  1. DanSneider said...:

    If I look at gw2spidy right now, it seems that the Unidentified Dye price isn't going much higher than it is right now (lowest sell offer: ~26s). Both sell and buy price even dropped a tiny but in the last 12 hours.
    What do you think Markco, is the price really stopping now or is this maybe just a normal after-weekend-drop or even random?

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