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Thread: [Guide] The Successful Trader

  1. #1
    Original Serf Wardein's Avatar
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    Lightbulb [Guide] The Successful Trader

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    The Successful Trader
    Wardein's guide to the Trade Tab




    This guide is no guarantee for success but it will help you understand the basic principles of how trading works in online games and how you can claim your piece of the cake. Please note that you need to be level 17 and own a ”Branch Office” to start trading in Settlers Online. Also note that supply and demand is a living organism and participating in trading includes a risk of losing.


    Analyse the Market
    The first thing you should do is to take a long look at what is going on under the ”Trade Tab”. What items are people requesting? What are they willing to offer in exchange? This is a version of ”supply and demand”. They need something and you got the opportunity to provide it in exchange for something they can supply you with.
    A small list of popular items:
    * Weapons
    * Beer (during christmas it's wine)
    * Coins
    * Hard Wood boards
    * Marble
    * Tools
    Please note that this may change with time but I will try to keep it updated.


    Specialised Production
    To be an efficient trader you need to specialise in producing one or more of the items desired by most players, supplying the consumer's demand. Focus on one production line to begin with.
    Costs
    It costs a lot of resources (and building licenses) to set up an entire production line from scratch, make sure that you have enough before you start or this could literally take days.

    Time consuming
    It takes time to build up a solid production line. If you have done your homework when it comes to analyzing the market it will be time well spent, but if you misinterpret the market you will have wasted both time and resources. Be careful not to end up on this train to nowhere.
    Storage
    Don't forget to increase your storage areas to have enough room for your production. You never want your storage to become full, that is a waste of resources, time and trade value.

    Trading
    Mastering different techniques of trading is the key to cash in on your production. Here are a few things that can be good to keep in mind when being a good trader.
    The right amount
    Finding a good balance in the amounts of items you put up for trade is important. Rather than putting up huge amounts it usually is more effective to find an average. Very few players have huge stocks of the desired items, but most players have a couple of them. I usually stick to numbers around 50-100 to make sure as many as possible can afford my offer. This increases the number of potential ”customers”.

    Try to find the amount that works best for you, this is something that may be different depending on what the market currently demands and what item you are producing. Some items are after all more rare than others.

    You can also use this calculator to see how ”good” your trade is. I usually ignore what it says and go down my own road of common sense (and what I currently need) but it is good as a guide line on what your material is worth.
    See Opportunities
    Keeping an open mind and seeing opportunities is a good thing. For example you may find an offer to trade something you do not need in return for your items, but maybe someone else want that item... You see where I'm going here right? Keeping an eye on the demand of the market is a great way to know what items may be worth trading even if you do not need them yourself.
    Ups and downs
    The activity of the market will always vary (see ”Prime Time” in this guide) and you will more than likely experience that the demand of your item will rise and fall. When the falls happen you might not get a trade for an hour or a day but do not despair, this is perfectly normal for a healthy market. A rise will, in most cases, come and hopefully you will be online to take advantage of it.

    Prime time
    The best time for a trader in Settlers Online is when the highest amount of players are logged in. In online games that time usually is 17:00 to 22:00 (5 PM-10 PM) on week days and between 13:00 and 22:00 (1 PM-10 PM) during weekends.

    Stay Alert
    By keeping an eye on the market every now and then will let you find bargains that some people put up for trade as they desperately need your item.

    Upgrading the production line
    Don't get stuck with just one production, it is always good to have a back up plan. Upgrade some of your buildings and remove the rest, then start building up another production line. If you can constantly stay in tune with the market you should easily be able to get what you need only from trades instead of a sluggish production on all items.


    I did it my way
    This is just my way of trading and it has worked for me in several online games including World of Warcraft, Runescape and Dreamlords: Resurrection. There may be several different opinions on how it should be done (feel free to post them in this thread).


    Best of luck!
    //Wardein



    Ps. If I win guide of the month prize I want a title that is ”Brewmaster” instead of anything guide related. Thanks.
    Last edited by Wardein; 12.12.11 at 11:49.
    --> On my spare time I work on a "Free 2 Play" quiz game for Android devices, it's called bClever. Be sure to check it out. <--

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    Original Serf Wardein's Avatar
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    Part 2: The Smallscale Producer
    When being a small scale producer you usually increase the production of items that you already produce to create a surplus which you use for trading. Upgrading your buildings or building one or two extra of the same sort is the way to go. Remember that this is not a large scale production so you might need to be a bit of an opportunist as well (see Part 3: The opportunist).
    Last edited by Wardein; 12.12.11 at 11:45.
    --> On my spare time I work on a "Free 2 Play" quiz game for Android devices, it's called bClever. Be sure to check it out. <--

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    Original Serf Wardein's Avatar
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    Part 3: The opportunist (Bargain Master)
    This trade tactic requires no increased production in your settlement. As you progress through the game you will notice that you have a surplus of items from time to time. These items are different depending on how far you have gotten in the game and how you build your settlement. The opportunist tactic is to take this surplus of items and trade it either for what you need or for something that others need. This tactic requires good knowledge of what people may need and also a good eye for bargains.
    Last edited by Wardein; 09.12.11 at 10:35.
    --> On my spare time I work on a "Free 2 Play" quiz game for Android devices, it's called bClever. Be sure to check it out. <--

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    Nice guide. If I can add some lines:
    - Trade calculator will give you the exchange ratio between goods based on resources invested in creating them. It will not take in consideration the current supply and demand for these goods. As Wardein said, Market is like living organism.
    - Make sure to provide sufficient storage space for your supply line product and/or opportunist trade goods.
    - Resource converting (hard plank door, lonely marble block etc. ) will give you half the actual exchange rate so think twice before using them. It may be better to trade your surplus instead of converting it. Cheers!

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    nice guide thx

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    Original Serf Wardein's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vileteen View Post
    Nice guide. If I can add some lines:
    - Trade calculator will give you the exchange ratio between goods based on resources invested in creating them. It will not take in consideration the current supply and demand for these goods. As Wardein said, Market is like living organism.
    - Make sure to provide sufficient storage space for your supply line product and/or opportunist trade goods.
    - Resource converting (hard plank door, lonely marble block etc. ) will give you half the actual exchange rate so think twice before using them. It may be better to trade your surplus instead of converting it. Cheers!
    Great addition! I completely forgot to mention the storage space issue I was having myself in the beginning.
    --> On my spare time I work on a "Free 2 Play" quiz game for Android devices, it's called bClever. Be sure to check it out. <--

  7. #7
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    nice guide there, definitely worthy of a spot of mention in the useful guides sticky.

    although, nothing is perfect, and sadly this is not an exception.

    I'd like to see mentioned: no matter how weird the trade, someone out there is willing to trade with you, you just need patience and a little bit of luck. for instance, say... 400 fish for 50 gold, somewhere out there is a person in desperate need of fish and with an abundance of gold. Second, in trading, you only get (without spending gems that is) offer 1 trade per 10 minutes, so use this time constraint efficiently and use lower quantities (I personally as low as 20) use so you will use your trade offer longer and so you will have to decline less trades (for me kind of a tiny sad moment). another advantage of this the fact that you can level your inventory better and keep better control over the resources you're trading, allowing you to stop trading when you feel you have had enough/traded enough. A third effect of this low quantity trading is the thought that people can easily trade away without thinking it will cost them much and frequently it is an amount they have in stock allowing them to trade with you.

    Don't trade anything with a worse trade factor then when using your provisions house. For instance, don't trade 400 fir wood planks for 50 hardwood planks, you can make 5 hard wood planks for only 250 fir wood. Sure you can be nice, but that doesn't require you to be a fool... Even if you can't reach the amount you need to actually convert the resource (for example the 1000 beer for 10 gold coins), the conversion ratio is still the bottom line (and saves you time in the progress).

    If only we could have some sort of a index for the trade market. And I would like to see a sorting option in the trade window so the searching for your wanted product becomes easier...

  8. #8
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    Popular items include bread, coal and horses as well (granite, exotic wood too)

    One tiny tips I want to add is: Patience.

    I notice at certain timing, people are willing to buy certain things at a higher price. If you want to get the best deal out of your product, you need to wait and wait and wait.

  9. #9
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    Nice job Wardein. This forum was in a need of a good tradingtips and FAQ.
    Since you started this thread, I would like to add some of my thoughts on how to be a better trader.

    Speed

    If you have allot of stock and you want to get other resources out of it. Make sure you are the "cheapest" trader to offer this. This will make sure
    your deal is attractive for others, and will get you what you want the fastest. So the less you ask for your resources the faster its going to trade.
    On the other hand, if you are an opportunist you can wait longer and get more resources.

    Best value offers

    It's come to my attention that allot of trades out there are quite expensive. Offers in trade channel seems unfair sometimes, keep an eye open and think before you click. I believe it's almost always better to put your own offer instead of waiting for offers to come along. You decide the price,the speed,the amount,value etc.
    Since you have only 1 trade in 10 minutes this will not go very fast either, but gets you better trade ratio's.

    Good offers

    Since the supply and demand can change overtime, it's wise to always update the trade list before you are going to make an offer. It will tell you what resources are already in the demand list. See if you can find an popular item with the least amount of offers. Then look at their price tags, they are often expensive because the demand is low and supply high. Making good offers based on the current update of your trade channel, will guaranteed that many people trade your stuff.

    This is it for now, I am willing to update this if new things come to mind.

  10. #10
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    well, you can have only 1 offer per 10 minutes, the offer could trigger multiple trades, for instance, I traded 28 bronze swords for 30 bows, and got enough trades to completely dry sell my stack of 400 bronze swords, the great thing is you can indeed control the speed and have a better net gain.

    Also, this might be a Cptn. Obvious remark, but use the sorting algorithm since it will help you spot the best deals and save you scrolling for a long time.

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