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 The Trading Post, Complete Guide

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Fluttershy
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Join date : 2011-06-17
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PostSubject: The Trading Post, Complete Guide   Sun Jun 19, 2011 9:59 pm

Below is a guide detailing how the Trading Post works, what types of topics can be held here, and the basic terminology of the area. This post is intended to help you make the best trades possible, and is not a set of rules.

Auction information and basic terms were originally provided by buddahboy43 of the SWG forums. You can find the original thread here.

Basic Terms: Click "Spoiler" to view.
Spoiler:
 

Selling/Trading Formatting:

Topic Title: Make a clear, specific, topic so people know what you are immediately selling.
Good Example: "LTS: E-11 Carbine"
Bad Example: "LTS: Blaster"

Item Name: At the top of your post list the exact item name again for easy reference.

Item Description: Add anything important to the item's description that would help the buyer. Item stats, appearance (if no screenshot is available), requirements, and etc...

Selling Price: State the price you are looking to sell it at, or just ask for appropriate offers.

Trading Requirements: You could also state whether or not you are accepting trades. Make sure to specify what you are exactly looking to trade for.
Good Example: "Willing to trade for a Red Lightsaber Color Crystal, or a Green Lightsaber Color Crystal."
Bad Example: "Willing to trade for stuff too."

Contact Info: This is where you would state how you would prefer the player to contact you. Whether it be by email, private message on the forum, or in-game. Remember, if you are looking for in-game contact, make sure to state your in-game name!

Looking to Buy/Trade Formatting:

Topic Title: Make a clear, specific, topic so people know what you are immediately looking for.
Good Example: "LTB: Single-Handed Old Republic Lightsaber Hilt"
Bad Example: "LTB: This stuff"

Item Name: At the top of your post list the exact item name again for easy reference.

Item Description: Add anything important that you want your potential sellers to know what you are looking for. Stats, appearance, or requirements for the item.

Buying Price: State the price you are looking to buy it at, or just ask that sellers make appropriate offers. Sellers typically price high expecting a barter, so set a low initial offer or try to pull down the seller's price to the best of your ability.

Trading Requirements: You could also state whether or not you are accepting trades. Make sure to specify what you are exactly willing to trade.
Good Example: "Willing to trade a Red Lightsaber Color Crystal, or a Green Lightsaber Color Crystal."
Bad Example: "Willing to trade some stuff too."

Contact Info: This is where you would state how you would prefer the player to contact you. Whether it be by email, private message on the forum, or in-game. Remember, if you are looking for in-game contact, make sure to state your in-game name!

Auction Formatting:

Topic Title: Make a clear, specific, topic so people know what you are immediately selling.

Item Name: At the top of your post list the exact item name again for easy reference.

Item Description - Obviously this is needed to tell your potential buyers what they're bidding on. The more detailed description the better, and if possible a screenshot or wiki picture of your item will help your buyers determine what they are willing to pay. Including things like Resource stats and a Quantity are key to a successful auction.

Auction start date/time - Very basic, buyers now know when they can start bidding.

Auction duration - 3 to 5 days seems to be a good number for the trade boards. Any shorter may not give enough time for gathering enough attention, and any longer is usually unnecessary

Auction end date/time - Very key to auctioning. Buyers want to know exactly when the auction will end, typically so they can watch and see if they got outbid.

Minimum Bid (Min Bid) - This is the minimum credit amount you will take for your item, or where you want the bidding to start.

Minimum Inc (Inc) - This is the minimum credit amount you set for bidders to raise the bid. No one wants a bidding war going up 1 credit at a time.

Buyout (B/O) - This is the credit amount, if any, that you are comfortable with an outright sale of your item. Some auctions are better off without a B/O option as a credit value may not be accurate and your auction may exceed your B/O.

Sniping Rules (SNP) - Sniping is when a bid is placed just before the close of an auction in an effort to get the last bid in so no one else can bid. A suprisingly effective method to thwart this is to an a "Sniping Rule" which extends the end of the auction by a period of time, usually 15-30 mins, giving other bidders the chance to get their final say in.

Contact Info - Don't worry about this section for auctions. The only person who you need to get into contact with is the person who wins the auction, and that you should do in private with the winner. For example, through private messaging via the forum.

**Tip** Most of the action of the auction will happen in the last moments. Don't be discouraged if you are not seeing many bids in the first few days of your auction, especially if its as long as a week. Most of the people who are willing to bid on the high end items have done this a time or two and like to snipe, hence adding a sniping rule. If you have multiple people interested in a very high end item you can guarantee they will be watching it until its last moments.

Here are some examples of bad business, things that will turn current and future bidders away from your auction(s):

Reserve - This is usually a hidden amount that you "reserve" the right to end the auction or nullify any bid not meeting your reserve. Typcially this is not a good method to use in forums auctions as most bidders want to know that their bid will not go in vein or be turned down because it did not meet the hidden reserve. Remember that the more your bidders know about the sale the better. No one wants to get screwed, even if it is just pixels.

In-game bids - These are frowned upon, and rightfully so, because it does not show an actual bidder increasing the bid. This is an easy way for people to negate an auction that isn't going their way, or to bump up the bid on an item that is not gathering the attention they initially thought it would. If you plan on accepting in-game bids be sure to make your potential buyers aware of it so you don't get chastised later.

Changing Auction Terms - This is one of the worst. No one wants to bid on an item and have the conditions or terms changed in the middle of the auction. Make your auction rules and stick with them.

Ending Auction Early - Again no one wants to bid on an item and have it pulled out, randomly, or for any reason. I know this is not ebay and no one is commited to selling anything, but this is a community and if someone constantly negates deals or makes poor acts of business, they should be prepared to be shunned by the majority of potential buyers.

Shop Formatting:

This section will brief members on setting up a forum shop where they can list items that they are selling, looking to buy, or trade.

Topic Title: Make a clear, specific, topic so people know what the name of your shop is.
Good Example: "Fluttershy's General Apparel"
Bad Example: "My stuff"

Shop Name: At the top of your post mention your shop title again for reference. This would be the best place to hang a banner if you have one.

Shop Description: Add anything important to let the buyers/sellers know what your shop is about.
Good Example: "Fluttershy's General Apparel specializes in all your clothing and armor needs."
Bad Example: "We sell lots of things."

Contact Info: This is where you would state how you would prefer the players to contact you about specific items. Whether it be by email, private message on the forum, or in-game. Remember, if you are looking for in-game contact, make sure to state your in-game name!

Selling List: List all items that you are willing to sell for a flat fee.

Buying List: List all items that you are looking to buy.

Trading Requirements: You could also state whether or not you are accepting trades. Make sure to specify what you are exactly looking to trade for.
Good Example: "Willing to trade my Red Lightsaber Color Crystal, for a Green Lightsaber color Crystal."
Bad Example: "Willing to trade my stuff too."

Shop Tips!: A banner makes a larger impact on your potential customers than you think. It displays a higher level of professionalism. Having a nice banner at the top shows that you have put a lot of effort into your shop, and that you are someone to take seriously in the business that is SWTOR trading. A quality looking banner doesn't take that long to make either. An appealing one can be done in less than ten minutes easily with the right tools. I like to use Paint.Net and BoltBait's Plug-ins (specifically the Outline tool). Not only are both free, but are far simpler to use than tools like Photoshop.

When selling items it is always good to have a screenshot, but when you are selling many in one place it tends to clog the topic. Hyperlinking to the images is the best way to go. It allows for better organization, easier appearance, and clarity for the customer. Linking to wiki articles is also a great way to provide an extensive amount of information on a specific item without having to do a lot of typing or screen-capping yourself. If you do want to screenshot your own images though you will need an image website host. My favorites are Imageshack* and Imgur. Imageshack provides quick and simple point and click uploading while Imgur provides a far higher level of organization and display.

The thing I can't stress anymore is keeping your shop updated as much as possible! Now I am not saying to remove or add items exactly at the point of time you make a transaction, but set aside a time every day or every other day to update your shop. Creating a section for sold goods and crossing out the names (using a strikethrough) would provide a great reference for buyers who were pondering over an item. This cross-out method would also be good for items that you craft but are out of stock currently. If you have multiple offers on a single item make sure to inform the person not receiving it that it was already sold. Remember, a disappointed customer is the last thing you want on your hands. If you are going on vacation, taking a break from the game, or can't access it for a time make sure you update your shop so players know that you won't be able to contact them for a time. It is crucial to keep all shoppers well informed on all topics.

Managing a shop is a lot of work, but can be your first step into becoming a renowned trader in your server, and then across the galaxy. It has the ability to drum up more business than any other medium, gives you a base of operation offline, and is a great reminder on staying organized. Make sure to treat it as you would when crafting a high quality item. Appearance is one thing, but the best goods at the best prices, as well as great customer service, is what truly gets you devoted customers.

*Note: Imageshack does not support animated .gif images without a paid Premium account. However, Imgur supports animated .gif images with their free account.

Thanks for reading, and I hope this helps you with all of your economic exploits! If you have any questions, requests for additions, or just want to leave a nice comment, please feel free to reply below.

~Fluttershy

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