One of the most common ways to sell unneeded items or to upgrade your equipment is to put it in the public autions. The auction contians literaly thousands of items, being sold to the highest bidder.
There are auction houses in all major cities, and most of the Amethera TPs have Service Centres. The auction system works as a standard English Auction. There is an inital seller fee of .50 PEC, which increases as you set a higher start bid. After VU 8 there is a transport fee for transporting remotely bidded auctions (Bidding on an item at Club Neverdie from an auction on Calypso will cost you PED to trasnport the item up, and vise versa. If the auction winner wishes, they may move to where the auction was located to avoid the fee.)
The advantages of the auction system are:
- All offers are centralised and displayed on categories, offers can be evaluated and anybody can bid on the items as long as they have the cash.
- Winner’s Curse and Bid Wars are present in the PE Auction House.
- There is a time extension of up to 5 minutes on ending auctions if another bid is put in place, in order to allow bidders to be notified of the new bid.
- There is also a buyout feature present for accepting the maximum price set by the seller and obtaining the item immediately without having to wait till the auction expires.
- If desired, a player may place an order, in which he/she specifies an amount of an item and cost for a set number of days. If a seller sets up an auction within the specified parameters of the order, it is bought immeditaly, even if the buying avatar isnt online. This is most commonly done with ores and ematter.
The disadvantages of the auction system are:
- All prices are slightly inflated to cover for the auction fee of 50 PEC. If the seller wants to set a higher starting price they may have to pay even more (up to 100 PED). If the item(s) sell, the fee is charged once again to the final price.
- It is also possible to loose PED on a sale if the final bid does not cover the TT price and the auction fee. This usually happens with cheap items such as low level armor and weapons.
- There are different behaviours on the auctions for different items.
- Being a buyer’s market (only buyers take active interest in trade) prices can sometimes be higher on larger quantities. On smaller quantities valued up to 20-30 PED, the prices are very unstable. Some resources sell for lower prices if in higher quantities, mostly because most bidders can only afford to buy up to a certain amount of resources.
- You get what you paid for, receiving the whole quantity of the seller’s goods even if you wanted to buy just a small amount.
Equipment is sold as unitary lots, unlike stackable resources. There are unfair practices such as bidding on every cheap item, TT valued bids, inflation practices, usually by buying items one does not need, increase the price, then sell at the artificially created price the gathered items. The markup on crafted items is always smaller than equally valued items that are looted. This is because crafting balances hunting and mining, and usually crafted items are of lower quality or durability than looted items. Always, the higher the value of an item, the higher the markup will be especially if it is efficient in several areas (all-around protection armors, efficient fast-damaging durable weapons).
All prices in the EU economy and at the Auction House are self-regulating and self-balancing. The price of an item closely adapts to the supply and demand from players. Player-imposed inflation is thus very hard to perform if there is no demand due to the auction fee, preventing people to fix the price on an item.
Very few instances exist where an item is monopolised by one player, thereby allowing this player to fix the price. Until mid 2005, there was only one crafter with a Fi/Ra/Co Dante blueprint. At the time, the 1000 PEDs (100 USD) fixed markup was widely accepted by players that could afford the price. Later, another player looted the Fi/Ra/Co Dante blueprint, but as real world economies go, this new crafter was not obligated to drastically reduce the markup.
- http://www.peauction.com/ – Auction watch site, has all items
- http://www.mytwopecs.com/ – MyTwoPecs, Daily market graphs
- http://pe-trade.net/ – External trade site. Also lists prices on items and has an inventory calculator.