While ESO is technically a player-run-economy, the means of distributing wares is set up in a way that’s often unfamiliar to long-term MMO players. I’m talking about the lack of a global auction house (bless you Zenimax for this). While this means there may be a little more effort involved when searching out specific items, it also means that the wealthiest players can’t easily control the market by monopolizing supply. Let’s take a look at the mechanics of trade within ESO.
The Birth of a Guild Store
All it takes to open up a store is simply hitting the 50 member milestone in a guild (and staying above that number lest the store close). Once any guild hits 50 members, all members with selling privileges may immediately start listing their items in the guild store. This store, however, is not open to the public. Trading can only happen between guild-mates until such a time that the guild manages to secure a trading stall.
Imagine how many stores are out there, closed to the public with giant treasure troves of poorly priced items. :'(
Kiosks and Bidding Wars
If a guild really wants to start moving some inventory, then it’s imperative that they enter the competitive world of trader bidding. Scattered throughout Tamriel, you’ll find various kiosks sporting different guild names and selling that guild’s wares. In total, there are 140 stalls: usually 5-6 in each main city, 2 wilderness, and 1 refuge. While only members of the guild currently holding the stall can sell in that location, every single player on the server can stop by and buy from it.
In order to purchase a trading stall, a guild must first place a blind bid. This can be done by approaching the desired trader and clicking on “Bid on Trader.” Guilds may only bid on one stall per week. This bid can not be retracted. It can not be reduced. But it can be increased. Funds to bid on the stall must come directly from the guild bank. These funds are withdrawn and enter a sort of limbo until traders change over Monday morning, at which time any losing bids are refunded. As this is a blind bid, no information is provided as to whether a.) any other guilds are bidding or b.) the amount that has currently or previously been bid. Come Monday morning, the highest bidder wins the stall for the week. Any stalls that did not receive a bid become hirable for only 100g, and are usually claimed within 10 minutes in a game of fastest fingers by losing guild GMs.
The average cost of stalls is variable, simply because not all stalls are created equal. Traders in location with higher foot traffic require much higher bids to win. The major 4 trading hubs (Mournhold, Elden Root, Wayrest, and Rawl’kha) go for multi-millions, while wilderness stalls can often be picked extremely cheap.
Taxes and Fees
Here’s some simple but important numbers to keep in mind when buying and selling:
- Every item you list in the guild store costs you an upfront 1% listing fee. You must have the gold on hand to cover this fee. If the listing sells, you will be refunded the amount in your sale. However, if you remove the listing, the fee is not refunded.
- Items sold through guild store are charged a 7% sales tax. Of that amout, 3.5% is taken as a house cut for the guild. The other 3.5% is lost in oblivion. For example: You sell a tempering alloy for 10k, but you only receive 9.3k for the sale after taxes – of which, your guild collects 350g to the guild bank.
- Items sold via COD are charged an upfront, non-refundable postage of 5%. Even if the COD is returned to sender, the initial postage is lost.