When it comes to making transactions with others in Dragon Court, there are many elements involved that players should be familiar with if they want to avoid the stigma of making foolish mistakes. Hopefully, the information in this guide will prove to be useful to any new or returning trader who would like to learn more about how trading is done in Dragon Court. The information that has been compiled in this guide are the result of roughly one year of witnessing and partaking in transactions on the Trading Post board as well as through private avenues of trading such as AIM/MSN or Trader Chat.|
This guide is divided into six sections. The first five sections, dealing with tips and information that should be known by all players who wish to trade, are relevant to the process of buying and selling in Dragon Court. The last section has little to do with trading but is actually quite relevant to the Trading Post.
Buying Weapons/Items from Others
If you're trying to assemble a bid for something, there are several things about buying that you should probably know about.
After placing a bid for something, you may include "sweeteners," which are simply additions to your original bid. To be a little more precise, they're additional weapons/items to what you would normally offer for the things that you're bidding on.
Similar to the act of adding sweeteners, you can add additional weapons/items to your bid in an effort to tempt the seller to end his or her auction immediately and accept your offer.
Offering a Centerpiece
If you're placing a bid for antiques or other valuable weapons, you may have to include what is called a "centerpiece item" in your bid. A centerpiece item is basically the most attractive of the weapons that you're offering in your lot. It's a weapon that should be valuable enough to grab the seller's attention and one that will make his or her decision to sell a little easier.
Offering a Replacement
If you're buying a weapon that the seller is currently using, you may have to supply him or her with a decent replacement for that weapon's slot.
Withdrawing from a Sale
After placing a bid for something in a sale, you can withdraw of that sale if you either decide to change your mind or find out that you can no longer pay for the things that you're bidding on. If the seller has already sent the weapons/items to you, send them back to him or her with a note. You may be accused of scamming if you fail to do this, which is probably the last thing that you want to have happen to you.
Buying Your First Antique
Although many players dream of owning a high-skilled antique weapon someday, it seems that many newer traders severely underestimate the value of such weapons. It will take many weapons/items to buy an antique with a high amount of base skill; one will have to assemble a bid consisting of many high-stat silvers and crystal weapons. In addition, many transactions with antiques involve what is called a "replacement tique," an antique weapon that the buyer provides to reimburse the seller for his or her loss of an antique. This means that a person will have to acquire antiques with at least a moderate amount of base skill before trying to make a bid for high-skilled antiques. One should also consider that many of the best antiques in the game are being held in the hands of the richest players in the game and that transactions involving high-skilled antiques are usually made between this small band of players. Obviously, these players will only want the best for their antiques and it'll take a great offer to impress them. Still, this shouldn't discourage aspiring traders from wishing to own a high-skilled antique. Rather, it should give them a goal that will keep them in the trading game for the months or even years to follow. Many players who own high-skilled antiques today can probably recall stories of how they were able to purchase their first antique after months or years of perseverence.
Selling Weapons/Items to Others
If you're trying to auction off something, there are several things about selling that you should probably know about.
Leave Your Weapons Untouched and Unrusted
Weapons that are in their Untouched and Unrusted (UTUR) form are the most sought after by traders. It's a simple fact that a weapon is worth significantly less in the eyes of most traders if it has been tainted with scrolls of any kind or has rusted. Even weapons with natural enchantments are generally less valuable than their UTUR counterparts. Still, some people may believe that it's senseless for enchanted gear to be worth less than UTUR gear. What must be understood is that many traders wish to collect weapons in their purest form, and applying scrolls to a weapon or allowing it to rust destroys that state of purity. Thus, the weapon becomes less of a collectable and more of a weapon to be used.
Fanning the Flames
One of the most common mistakes that newer traders tend to make is applying Flames/Glows to weapons. Weapons with such attributes are worth significantly less than their UTUR counterparts, and to some players, they're worth even less than weapons that have been tainted with different scrolls or rust. Although it's tempting to add such Flames/Glows to weapons for the purpose of exploiting their stat bonuses, they aren't desirable attributes to have on weapons for one simple reason - many players quest in the Docks or Azteca, places where there are creatures that have the ability to rip off weapons with such attributes. When such a creature rips off that weapon, the base stats of that weapon decreases by a whopping 10%. Some players may argue that this problem can be alleviated by applying oils to a weapon to prevent the loss of base stats, but there's still a very good chance that the creature will escape with the weapon. Many great weapons have been lost due to having those attributes, and many traders are unwilling to take the risk that they may lose a weapon that they had to pay for.
Sales involving unidentified major silvers, crystals, and mass quantities of regular weapons are common, but you're likely to receive varied responses from traders if you're planning to sell them. Some players don't trust such sales since there are at least two methods that can be used to determine the stats of unidentified weapons without ever having to identify them. In addition, some players may not believe that the odds of identifying a weapon with decent stats will justify the action of having to pay more than usual for it.
Patience is a Virtue
If you aren't receiving any bids for your weapons/items or aren't receiving the kind of bids that you've been hoping for, be patient. It may take a while for traders to assemble the kind of bid that you're looking for. You shouldn't leave your sale up for too long but just long enough to give most traders an opportunity to make a bid for your weapons/items. If you aren't satisfied with the bids that you receive, or lack thereof, you can close your sale and repost it later. If you continue to repost your sale and fail to receive the bids that you've been hoping for, it either means that people are uninterested in your sale or they don't have what you're looking for. If it's the latter case, you may have to re-evaluate your expectations to determine if what you're asking for is reasonable.
State the Status of Weapons
Be sure to give information pertaining to the status of the weapons that you're selling; state if any of them have been enchanted, rusted, or tainted with scrolls of any type. If you have such weapons, post their base stats. If such information is omitted from your sale, most traders will automatically assume that they're UTUR and will be angry if they discover that the weapons aren't.
Regardless of whether you're buying or selling something, there are several things that you should always know about.
Get the Recipient's Name Right
Make sure that you know the exact spelling of a person's username before sending any weapons/items to him or her. If you misspell the person's name, the contents of your package will be lost for good.
Oil Your Gear
Gone are the days when weapons didn't rust when you sent them to other players. Hardly anything is more disappointing than finding a rusted high-stat weapon in your mailbox. Before sending weapons to another player, be sure to apply at least one coat of oil to them to prevent them from rusting. Each weapon can be oiled up to five times. If you neglect to oil your weapons and they end up rusting in the mail, it's likely that the seller will either ask for compensation or a tradeback.
Send a Little More
If you're sending items to another player, you may have to send a little more than you bargained for to offset the effects of rust. Sending approximately 0.005% more should be enough to make up for it.
Not everyone has the patience to wait for important auctions, but when such auctions come along, you're going to want to have some weapons/items at your disposal to bid with. For this reason, stocking and restocking for future transactions is important because you never know what's going to be put up for sale.
Communication between players is very important when it comes to trading. Although some players don't bother to take the time to write notes, it's a good idea to use them in your transactions so that the buyer or seller will know exactly what has to be sent along with any other details about the trade that he or she should know about.
Many acronyms are used in the Trading Post, and if you aren't sure what the acronyms mean, be sure to take a look at the Trading Post Terms section for a complete listing of these acronyms.
Although "junk" is one of the most common words that is used on the Trading Post, don't be fooled by the meaning of that word. The original meaning of "junk" was any item that couldn't be sold to the in-game shop owners, but over the years, the term has evolved to refer to any item that can't be used as a weapon. This means that items as useless as Troll Warts and items as valuable as Time Crystals fall under the "junk" category.
Trade at your own Risk
There's always a possibility that your weapons/items will be lost in the mail or that you'll be scammed by another player. While there's nothing that can be done about missing mail, there are some things that you can do to prevent yourself from becoming a victim of a scammer. Be sure to take a look at the Scammers List on a regular basis to keep yourself informed about the actions of scammers. If you've been scammed by a person who doesn't have his or her name on the list, be sure to reply to the list to warn other traders about that person. If you're doing business with a person who has or her name on the list, either have that person send first or consult a middleman to handle the trade for both parties.
You won't have to worry about the possibility of being scammed as much if you make transactions with players who have vouches from other traders to prove their legitimacy. Having vouches is an indication that a person has gained the trust of others who have made successful transactions with him or her before. If a person doesn't have any vouchers, a middleman should be consulted or some other approach should be used if neither party agrees to send first.
For much more information about vouching, the middleman approach, and other techniques of trading that involve credibility, please look at the Avoiding Scammers section.
The Prevalence of Cheated Junk
There's no need to feel discouraged if you see players bidding in excessive quantities of an item that's otherwise impossible to find legitimately through questing and think that you'll never be able to compete with their likes. Mass quantities of items such as Dragon Scales, Time Crystals, Platinum Rings, Enchant Scrolls, and Bottled Faeries are more than likely to be the byproducts of cheated goods that were either brought into the game in the past when it was easy to create such items with third-party programs or created through a bug. Today, the only way to acquire massive amounts of cheated goods is to trade with others for them. Of course, you should probably do this at your own risk since people with very high amounts of cheated goods are routinely under surveillance. If you manage to amass an amount of cheated goods through trading, it all depends on whether or not you like the idea of using them to win auctions, which will give just about everyone else who doesn't have cheated goods next to no chance of winning.
Understandably, some players may feel angry about the free exchange of cheated goods in Dragon Court. Every once in a while, a movement is organized to abolish such goods from the game, but there hasn't been a single organization in existence that has ever completely succeeded due to a few reasons. Among other things, well-respected traders may threaten to leave the game, some people can make an argument that the cheated goods have become a staple to the DC economy, and such movements usually cause legitimate traders to be accused of "hacking." Needless to say, cheated goods will always be an issue until the day that a junk wipe is initiated to remove them from the game. Even then, a junk wipe may prove to be ineffective since it's inevitable that someone will discover a way to introduce cheated goods into the game again.
Since every player has different tastes and preferences, determining the precise values of weapons and items can be very difficult. Even the most experienced players often have a difficult time when it comes to comparing bids to determine the "best" one. Although it'll almost always boil down to personal preferences in the end, there are several things that you should know about if you're trying to determine values for yourself.
If you aren't sure about the value of something or need help with comparing bids for a sale, request the help of veteran traders who might be willing to assist you. Be sure to ask for second opinions as well since they're probably basing their judgments off of their own tastes and preferences. It's very unlikely that you'll receive the same responses from two or more traders regarding the value of something, so be sure to consider their opinions and see if they're helpful to you.
When determining the value of a weapon, consider the alternatives that are available for that weapon's slot. Weapons that aren't among the best of their class, such as Serpent Scales and Foul Axes, generally aren't valuable since the demand for them is too low and there are better substitutes for those weapons. A higher-stat Jaguar Fang is likely to be sold for a lot more than a higher-stat Serpent Scale; that is, if a buyer for the Serpent Scale can even be found. The general preferences that players have when it comes to weapons should also be considered. For example, Spiked Helms are generally more valuable to players than Imacaci Masks are. For some more information about market dynamics, check out The Multiplier Chart.
Determining What Sells Well
Those who have witnessed enough transactions on the Trading Post board probably know that silvers, crystals, antiques, and high-stat weapons sell well. Such weapons are difficult to find, but one doesn't necessarily have to possess such weapons in order to participate in the trading game. Even the less fortunate players can get their share of the pie if they're patient enough to gather mass quantities of weapons. Certain unidentified regular weapons, such as Spiked Helms and Shurikens, sell well in large quantities. CSB-making materials also sell well.
Items such as Bottled Faeries, Dragon Scales, and Time Crystals will always be among the most popular of "junk" items since the demand for them is so high. In fact, just about anything that can be used to sell for marks in mass quantities has some sort of value. Of course, it's fruitless to quest for such commodities since most of the "junk" that's being exchanged in the Trading Post is "hacked" and the only way to get them in large quantities is by trading for them.
No Standard Currency
Some players have wondered if there's currently an item in the game that's valuable to many players and hasn't been "hacked" yet. In the past, Bottled Faeries were the standard currency accepted in most auctions, but they have since been "hacked" in massive quantities as a result of bug exploitations. Today, there's no such standard currency as just about every item in the game has been susceptible to "hacking." However, although it seems that there aren't any large quantities of items such as Jaguar Hides, Diamonds, or Unicorn Pendants in the market, the demand for all three items is quite low in comparison to other items that are sought after.
Market Speculation - Future Values
It's sometimes possible to determine the value of a weapon/item by simply knowing about something that may have a direct effect on the value of that weapon/item in the near future. For example, knowing if any weapons will be affected by the next DC upgrade can give you an idea of what kind of weapons will gain or lose value. For example, just before the 2006 DC upgrade, many players scrambled to buy Silver Jaguar Fangs and old Silver Amini Clubs. Another example is right before the 2002 DC upgrade when quite a few players were in a hurry to buy enchanted Miners Caps and other highly enchanted weapons. Also, before the 2005 DC upgrade, many players were selling or giving away Mandrake Roots in large quantities, knowing that they weren't going to be useful after the upgrade.
Market Speculation - A Hypothetical Situation with the DSJ Market
Discussions about a possible junk wipe have been made numerous times in the past, and if a junk wipe were to occur in the near future, one can only wonder how the Dragon Scale Jacket market will be affected since so many DSJs are manufactured with "hacked" Dragon Scales and marks. It would seem that the abolishment of cheated goods would make DSJs more valuable; however, it's likely that the DSJ market will not take a heavy hit for one reason. Gathering the materials that are necessary for making DSJs isn't difficult when it becomes easy for a player to slaughter dragons. A level 37 character with decent stats, for example, can expect to gather around 1000 Dragon Scales along with tens of millions of marks in one day. Thus, the market will not be hurt significantly since many players will still be able to manufacture DSJs in quantities that are large enough to keep their value from rising. That, and there's already an existing supply of DSJs in the market that will take forever to exhaust. When and if a junk wipe occurs, the only noticeable difference will be that weaker players will not have a chance to make DSJs while stronger players will be able to.
Trade Rates for Weapons
Although it's difficult to calculate the trade rates of weapons, there's a limited rule that can be used when only the same types of weapons are being traded. The rule is that two weapons at one multiplier level are equivalent in value to one weapon at one higher multiplier level. For example, two 27a/d Spiked Helms should be worth the same as one 28a/d Spiked Helm. Making comparisons between different types of weapons is much more difficult, and at this time, there are no such trade rates available. However, you can try to make your own comparisons with the The Multiplier Chart and see if you can come up with any ideas for trade rates.
Trade Rates for Items
Unfortunately, it's impossible to come up with trade rates for items since everyone values items differently. That, and a simple formula for calculating the trade rates of items is nonexistent since the general values of items never stay constant. For example, Bottled Faeries were considerably more value in the past than they are now. Although it was once possible to buy a Silver Gladius for as little as 5 faeries, it may take several hundred or even thousands of faeries to buy one today.
Still, many traders can probably agree that junk items are generally valued in the following order: Time Crystals, Dragon Scales, Platinum Rings, Crystal Crowns, and Turquoise. Bottled Faeries are still the most valuable of the junk items, but they don't exist in the same quantities as other items and are valued differently from person to person.
In some cases, trading is not meant to be a selfish endeavor. Not only does trading foster competition, but it also fosters friendship and provides a chance to establish good relations with other traders.
Adding to Another Person's Bid
Adding weapons/items to another person's bid is one way to achieve positive reciprocity. Such an action is often done to help a friend, a new player, or a fellow clan member who may require some assistance to win an auction.
Some traders believe that it's very disrespectful for a person to "step on the toes" of a fellow clan member by trying to outbid him or her in a sale. An exception can be made if that person really needs the weapons/items that he or she is bidding for.
The Trading Post board is only supposed to be used for the purpose of buying, selling, or hosting giveaways. Any posts that have nothing to do with buying, selling, or hosting a giveaway will be deleted by a moderator. How you decide to respond to this rule and handle your demeanor on the boards may have a profound effect on how you are seen by others and whether or not they will want to do business with you.
Respecting the Rules
As it's strongly recommended that you follow the rules of the Trading Post if you don't want to build a bad reputation for yourself, adhering to the rules is probably one of the most important things that you can do as a trader. If you respect the rules, people will eventually grow to respect you. The most important of the rules is that the Trading Post board is ONLY to be used for trading and hosting giveaways; it isn't meant to be used for any other purpose. The only exceptions to this rule are the Scammers List and Vouchers Thread. Questions about the game, even those that are pertinent to trading, belong in the Tavern forum. Posts that are written to grab the attention of a certain person don't belong in the Trading Post nor does it belong in any of the forums. Also, if you have questions about the value of your weapons/items, don't post a thread asking people for what you can get for them. Auction them off and see what kind of bids you get.
Adhering to the rule that the Trading Post is only to be used for buying, selling, and or hosting giveaways, begging for handouts obviously isn't an act that's sanctioned by the rules. Those who deliberately ask for handouts will always have their threads deleted by a moderator. There really isn't even a need for anyone to beg for handouts considering that there are always giveaways being hosted that they can participate in.
Participating in a Giveaway or a Contest
When participating in giveaways or contests, make sure that the giveaway or contest hasn't ended yet. If it has ended, then don't bother posting in it and allow it to fall off the boards. Many players who host giveaways and contests are annoyed by this practice, and some have felt discouraged enough to not host any future giveaways or contests. If a giveaway or contest hasn't ended yet, refrain from posting with multiple characters unless the giveaway or contest dictates that you're allowed to post with multiple characters. Participating in giveaways or contests with multiple characters is often looked down upon since it robs someone of the chance to get his or her hands on freebies.
Hosting a Giveaway - Limitations to Clan Advertising
Although clan-sponsored giveaways are allowed to be posted on the Trading Post forum, keep in mind that the Trading Post is not the Clan Hall. If you're planning to host a giveaway that's being sponsored by a clan, be aware that there are limitations as to how much you're able to advertise the clan. For one thing, it's technically against the rules for a person to host a giveaway with the stipulation that participants must join the clan in order to receive the weapons/items, nor can one make it a requirement that a participant has to post on an off-site forum to receive said weapons/items. Likewise, it isn't acceptable to "discriminate" against people who have not acknowledged to join the clan by offering to give more or better weapons/items to those who have. In addition, although it might be acceptable to ask people to join the clan, it isn't permissible at all to tell them to join. Though some people have managed to get away with doing these things, you can at least be assured that there are people who frown upon this kind of activity and it will reflect badly on the clan that allows it to happen.
Here are some other things that you might want to know about.
Join the Trader Chat
Trader Chat is a great place to acquaint yourself with other traders in the game as well as to ask questions pertaining to trading. You'll notice that there are players who "lurk" and do not post, but there will almost always be someone in the room to chat with no matter what time it is.