I play the market in Guild Wars 2 in spurts. One of my goals is to get a permanent merchant contract eventually, which will set me back a cool 150-200 gold. In cash I have about 15% of what I need. So I’ve been dutifully playing the market every day trying to build that amount passively.
Compared to the so-called Black Lion barons, I am small potatoes. I would say at any given time I am only moving around 5 gold, though that amount is slowly building up. I would guess on that amount I make 30-50 silver per day. I am getting more comfortable with what I am doing as well as getting the feel of the market. I would be pretty happy making 1 gold per day off the market, and I think that is a reasonable goal.
One thing I’ve noticed in the market is how the market responds to information. Some parts are really interesting, such as Karka Shells, which spiked the other night to double that amount. I have no idea why that happened. The market responded and the next morning had created the first shoulder because it would spike against last night. I was sitting on quite a few Karka Shells, but given the puzzling spike I decided to sit on them to figure out why that happened. With the current information it’s quite possible that someone with 1000s of gold caused the spike to incite the market. If the baron buys on the upswing and starts dumping portions of the initial buy, there is significant profit that can be made without worrying about when it will peak. Someone could have also found a new Mystic Forge recipe. It’s hard to tell, and I feel powerless seeing such dramatic movements like that.
What I can do is snipe Black Lion poachers. Unfortunately the selling tab in the Black Lion Trading Post hides necessary information. People can see the top buy order and the lowest sell order. What they do not see that is critical to playing the market are the other lowest sell orders. Poachers will take the top buy order with a meager market wall (100 or so buy orders), and then they will create a small blind with the lowest sell order priced next to the buy order. When Average Joe goes to sell the item, they see that the buy orders and sell orders are incredibly close (usually just 1 copper), and since time is money, friend, they choose to immediately sell the item to the standing buy orders not knowing that the sell order is way too low. Their items were poached. It’s fun to catch these poachers in the act. It’s pretty much free money.
Last morning I was messing around with Mithril Boot Casings. I picked up a few of my buy orders and headed to the right tab to resell them. A Black Lion poacher had set up a sell order of 10 Mithril Boot Casings 1 copper’s difference from a hefty buy order. His sell order was 1.5 silver lower than the next sell order, which is about half the price. So I picked up the poacher’s 10 instantly removing the superficial sell order blind and placed them just under the next standing sell order. I would make over a silver per Mithril Boot Casing on the poacher’s blind, and I got that nice PvP feeling knowing that I had outplayed the poacher.
For most wanted items the market is too strong to allow this to happen. The sell order wall created by the poacher would be removed so quickly there would be no way for the poacher to benefit. But for slower markets, watch out for these kind of traps. Disarm them if you can too because if you do, you will likely profit at the poacher’s expense.
PSA: Be sure to check out Guild Wars 2 Trading Post and Black Lions Profit if you want to learn more about playing the market. They are the two most honest, most informative Guild Wars 2 market blogs out there (and neither promotes any black market gold selling).