There are many ways of acquiring credits. From quests and dailies, to loot, to simply being given money by wealthy or generous players, credits are everywhere. This said, a majority of credits tend to trade hands on the Galactic Trade Network, otherwise known as the GTN. Though not a quick, easy or consistent method of income, the GTN can be very rewarding for those who enjoy capitalistic competition against other players. Hit the jump for pointers on how to make the fickle market work for you.
Pricing and Market Etiquette
Remember that high prices are how everyone makes money on the GTN, not just you. Undercutting is, unfortunately, a necessary evil for anyone who intends to make money on the GTN and wants to have their goods bought quickly. However, significantly undercutting rivals’ prices is considered a bit of an underhanded tactic, especially because excessive undercutting can harm the general health of the market.
When undercutting another price, a good rule to follow is to generally drop the price by no more than 1%-5%. In the long run, small incremental steps are more useful than massive price cuts. Remember, though, that there should be an ultimate floor to price dropping – specifically, the vendor price. While it is preferable to sell as high as possible, sometimes the market simply stays at a low level. You should be prepared to cut your loses and save the money you would otherwise waste on relisting items at a higher, unpurchased price.
Sometimes, the market for a normally high-priced good collapses. This can happen for a number of reasons, most likely by a sudden influx of the good. As a seller, the safest thing to do in the long term is to just wait it out. The market is a self-repairing system, and over time it will fix the damages caused by negligent pricing and over production.
Occasionally, excessively low-priced items can be bought and resold at a higher price, if they are few in number. However, cornering the market like this is risky and requires both skill and knowledge. If the attempt is affordable, and a profit of two to three times the value can be gained by reselling it, then go for it. It is important, though, to know when these natural fluctuations happen, what the normal lows and highs are, and how long such fluctuations tend to last. This is where diehard sellers are separated from the rest: record keeping.
To be able to control the market, you must know both the market and what you are selling. The market changes constantly, and there is far too much information for anyone to remember without having a little help. Price fluctuations, the average cost of commonly sold items, even how many materials it costs to make certain items are all things that need to be remembered to make as much as you can on the market. Keeping records of high and low sales can save a seller both time and money. While records themselves will not directly help in selling items, having a history of how well certain items sell compared to others, and how quickly, can help determine future sales and where to direct your focus.
What to Sell
Knowing what cost-effective goods to sell is often the first question asked by would-be business moguls. Aydrien and Airik, two knowledgeable sellers from the Jung Ma server, volunteered to share their insights with Darth Hater.
Aydrien said that she tends to stick to “materials as much as possible, because those sell well.” Crafters are often in need of supplies, either to make items in bulk to give to friends and guild mates or to simply boost their Crew Skills. Scavenged metals and compounds are especially needed by Cybertechs, Armstechs and Armormechs, while Underworld Trading supports Armormech, Cybertech and Synthweaving. However, this also tends to mean Scavenging and Underworld Trading are the go-to choices for crafters. Should crafting slow, the overabundance of crafter could potential cause a glut of raw materials.
Airik also had a suggestion for what players should sell. “Consumables” he said, “sell stuff that is expendable or consumable: heals or buffs.” These items will be constantly consumed and thus generate an insatiable market. He is quick to point out, “stay away from armor and weapons.” Aydrien agreed that, “unless you’re selling the absolute top of what you can make or you have something in high demand, you won’t sell a lot of any crafted items or things that are commonly picked up in questing.”
This is a simple truth. Crafted armor and weapons are valuable for both players interested in leveling with an edge and for roleplayers who desire a unique appearance. However, at higher levels moddable gear becomes more prevalent. This shifts the need to mods instead of gear and to health packs and stims for Operations and PVP.
How to Sell
Even knowing what to sell, there still comes the hurdle of knowing how to sell it. A good rule-of-thumb is to list sales and items on the GTN in such a way as to explicitly attract buyers. For instance, crafting materials will likely be picked up by crafters who are not out for a profit but who intend to craft items immediately. Therefore, stacking materials in crafting-useful amounts can draw the attention of crafters in need. Most crafted items use components in multiples of two, up to eight. Four is a good number to base sales on, being double of two but half of eight. It is a good balance between what the majority of people will need and thus has a better chance of being bought. However, as with all aspects of the GTN, experiment and see what works, and adapt your strategies accordingly.
Sell artifact-quality crafting materials one at a time, never in a stack. These rare materials demand a high price, and being stacked will inherently push them off the front page, behind single items that are priced lower. Even if your listing is more cost efficient, you have excluded a potential market — the impulse buyer who cannot be bothered to go price shopping.
Airik from Jung Ma again had a valuable suggestion for would-be sellers. He mentioned looking through the GTN and trying to find an untouched market. “Find what’s not for sale, make a few and put them up. Make yourself a market.” If they sell, then you have found a market you can personally dominate — and if not, move on. In many cases where a new market opens up, players are not aware of the new good’s availability. A very cost-effective way to advertise a new market is suggesting in general chat that interested parties take a look.
The GTN is a fickle thing. It can treat you well one day, then provide nothing the next. To make a fortune on the GTN requires patience, time and skill — but if basic rules are followed and simple tactics learned, anyone can make a profit on it.
This said, the market alone is not the best way to make credits. For instance, slicing is easy and takes minimal effort, though at the cost of being slow and taking a Crew Skill slot. The GTN takes time and effort, but provides a challenge against other players, and allows players to get money while getting rid of materials they do not need. It is just one of many possible options to get credits that you can try. Depending upon your tastes, one of them will suit you.