Friday, November 30, 2007

How Runescape Grand Exchange Works

The Grand Exchange in Runescape is set to become the most prominent marketplace in the game. Many players have listed large quantities of items at minimum price and forced the market price of most items downwards. This should not cause players to panic sell and further exacerbate the downward price spiral.

A basic overview how the grand exchange works can be summarized below:

1. Runescape members have 6 grand exchange trading slots while f2p players have 2 exchange slots available to list items to buy or sell.

2. Any items listed to sell on the grand exchange will be able to be bought by players on ANY runescape world - either member server or f2p server. Obviously, players on f2p worlds will only be able to buy f2p items.

3. All bids will remain active even when a player has logged offline. This means players can make money when they are asleep, provided their items make it to the front of the queue.

4. Once a batch of items reaches the front of the queue, they will continue to sell in bits and pieces until the entire listed amount is sold - or until the player aborts the bid.

5. The item prices are revised each day and will either increase or decrease depending on the average price of each item sold. Prices will never fall below what a general store will pay for them and will increase if players are willing to buy higher than the listed market price at the time.

The process:

1. A seller chooses the lowest price they are willing to sell for, a buyer chooses the highest price they are willing to spend.

2. If there are no buyers for the price the seller wants, it is placed into a queue until there is a buyer willing to meet the sellers price.

3. If there are no sellers when a buyer submits their bid, that is also placed into a queue until there is a seller willing to match the buyers price.

4. Items in the runescape grand exchange will therefore sell immediately on some occasions but not for several hours (or days) on other occasions. It really does depend on the supply and demand for each specific runescape item.

5. Each time a player alters their bid on the grand exchange, either by removing it to price it higher or to price it lower, their new bid will be put at the back of the queue. If an item is slow to sell in general, this could mean a very long wait before being able to sell it. The best strategy is to place your initial bid and either wait for a seller to match it or if you are selling an item, wait for a buyer to match the price you listed at.

6. If the runescape market price of items change by +5% or -5%, then a player should look at altering their list price in order to be considered a valid bid (IF their bid price was outside the market range).

7. The buyer price will determine who gets items first, while the sellers will be queued in the order they listed their items. For example, if Player A listed items for sale at minimum price, Player B at maximum price and Player C at market price. Then player D bid on those items at maximum price, the items would be bought from Player A as they had placed their items on the market first. In this case, Player D would receive the item they wanted PLUS change as the actual price paid was lower than the price requested.

Similarly, if Player D had opted to buy at the lowest price, they would still buy the item from Player A as it was the first listed on the exchange. However, no change would be due in this scenario.

The market price of the items sold in the first example (Player D bidding maximum price), could result in prices for that item increasing, while in the second example (Player D bidding minimum price), would result in the market price being lowered when it updated.

Overall, it is the average buying price bid by a player that will impact on the daily updating price as players may not be able to sell items even when they are listed at minimum price if there is no demand for that item. It is basic economics behind the runescape pricing system, the law of supply and demand.

There are several mechanisms built into the runescape grand exchange system to prevent price manipulation and therefore in the long run, runescape prices should find their natural price.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Party Hat Prices

The prices for party hats in runescape have recently lowered with the exception of the white party hat. It is currently very difficult to predict how the planned grand exchange market system will impact on the long term merchantability of all rare items in runescape and especially the party hats.

The grand exchange system will definately open up trading within the game, although it is still too early to say how the overall pricing of items will be impacted as nobody outside of Jagex has a clear knowledge on how the system will work exactly.

This uncertainty has caused many price fluctuations for various items - with some merchants getting rid of items they deem to be at risk, while other players stock up on items they need for skills or are wanting to risk the impact of the grand exchange.

Obviously, the most desired items in terms of rare items are still the party hats and it is these prices that most merchants base their investment decisions. One of the best ways to keep track of item prices for runescape is the grand exchange in EoC or via 07 runescape marketplace. This is a database that is updated daily to reflect a price guide of items, although it is not a price bible, it certainly helps many thousands of players get a more fair price than if simply bartering ingame.

The grand exchange may well have a large impact in prices and many players may opt to use the exchange system, however, there will still be a place for the other price guides and street price guides to help people who wish to trade outside the of the exchange system.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Tabbed Shop and Unlimited Stock

Runescape shops have undergone a facelift and have been updated by Jagex to attempt to limit the imbalance that macro users have had on the overall runescape economy. Players are now able to buy an unlimited amount of most items from most shops in the game. However, the price of the basic items has generally increased so that merchants are still able to compete.

The idea of an unlimited stock in the shops is so that players can purchase the more expensive option from the shop directly as well as sell their junk to shops that accept them. The dust has settled somewhat and the overall improvement is positive - although frustrating and annoying for some items.

My advice is for players to first check the prices of the new unlimited stock items before paying any inflated prices to merchant players. I hope to get the shop prices updated on the main runescape help site - along with getting respective guides online for each of the main shop types that are likely to be used by players.

This update was not made to harm honest merchanting, but it was made as a way to try and limit the impact of the cheats and macro accounts that have plagued runescape for many months.

I'd like to hear any feedback about the shop update to unlimited stock and be able to answer any queries people may have. All I can do is give my view on how it has affected runescape - both in the long term and the short term. Feel free to comment on this post and I will get back to you. Comments will not be edited if I approve them, but I am unlikely to approve any comments that are blatant advertising for runescape gold or money selling sites as I am trying to ensure all Jagex rules are applicable to this blog.

Rare items or items that cannot be obtained from shops should have their prices unaffected. Although there is always the possibility that runescape rare item prices may be indirectly affected by this update.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Resource Prices Bouncing Back

As previously mentioned, runescape price stability is likely to return due to Jagex having banned almost 30,000 accounts in recent weeks. The main bulk of banned accounts were bot accounts that were created with the sole purpose of harvesting resources to sell for runescape gold that was later sold for real cash.

Prices for sharks had dropped down to 500gp just before the large scale banning of bot accounts. Gradually, the price has risen and is now at around 700-800gp range. This has come due to the market being less flooded and demand still remaining constant.

Other affected goods have also seen their prices rise slightly - although not quite back to the pre-bot problem era, it does help people make a better return for the time they invested in gathering the resources.

In addition, merchanting items has gained due to more price stability - many merchants could have lost millions due to panic and selling when prices had bottomed out. With price stability returning to more expected levels, merchants have been buying up stocks ready to cash in at a later date when price rise back to their original trading price.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Market Price Stability to Return

After Jagex wielded their mighty sword and banned over 19,000 runescape bot accounts and banned a further 2,300 players who bought runescape gold online, there is hope that price stability will make a return to the market sooner rather than later.

If price stability returns, merchanting will become a more reliable and less risky method of making money on runescape. However, if price fluctuations continue with the uncertainty in the marketplace, merchanting will retain a high risk.

It is assumed that 19,000 or so of the banned accounts were simply money farms - gathering resources to sell ingame for gold that was later sold via websites. The 19,000 bots caused 2,300 further players to be banned due to having been guilty of buying runescape gold for cash.

I can understand players wanting to get things within the game, however, buying runescape gold is really defeating the point of the achievement - it is wrong, it wasn't earned it was bought.

Hopefully prices within runescape do return to normal levels where skill based players can be rewarded for having high skills and merchanters can be rewarded for their patience in gathering up resources from a string of suppliers.

Overall, the amount of accounts banned is likely to increase over the next few weeks and until the bot users move to a different game, there will still be some instability and uncertainty in the runescape marketplace.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Runescape Shark Prices Crash

Shark prices in runescape took a massive dive recently as the market became flooded. Speculation was rife was to the reason for such a sharp reduction in price - almost 50% reduction on the price of raw sharks. An unprecedented fall in prices and one that shook the merchanting world.

Today, 1st May 2006, Jagex make a post about bots and real world item trading and the fact that they banned 8000+ accounts last week. The reason for the bans was centered around bots and the fact that 6billion runescape gold was confiscated and taken out of circulation.

6billion gold from the proceeds of selling materials collected up by bots. In this case it looks like the shark market got affected quite badly and put many honest players effort of accumulating the sharks via traditional fishing pretty much to waste.

The fact that 8000 or more account were banned should be good news, alas, that is not the case. The 8000 appears to be only a fraction of the bot infestion that has laboured over runescape for a good few months now. Though Jagex have now publicly announced the impact these bot users are having on the overall runescape economy.

In the short term, as many 1000s more accounts will be banned for similar bot abuse, my advice is to not be too hasty in selling off your shark stockpiles just yet. Jagex need some time to clear out more of the cheat accounts and may well find a way to prevent the serial abusers from infecting the overall runescape economy. Shark prices may recover, but they will not recover overnigt - it will take time.

Eventually, when the bot abuse is curbed and the damage reversed, the runescape economy will start to revert back to market forces rather than bot abuse distorting things.

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Runescape Items Databases

Zybez have recently launched a new runescape items database to complement their market priceguide and their shop database. This latest introduction adds a large amount of information to the overall help site and can be compared to the offerings of other sites.

On my own site, I still need to get some specific databases designed and implemented to add much greater usefulness to the site. However, currently there is no rush on developing one as there are several runescape item databases on multiple different fan sites. If I get around to it, I would be looking at doing it a bit different so that all the factual information was included but also some additional information. At this stage there are simply too many other things to get done.

Anyway, with the latest items database currently in beta stages, it will be interesting on how this works out compared to other established item databases. One thing runescape seems to love is to have many virtually redundant items that serve little or no purpose. I wonder if Jagex just want to see how many people will fill their bank with junk.

Back to runescape item databases. I have checked around a few of the top runescape fan sites and have listed some of the item databases that virtually provide information on every item in runescape that exists. Obviously each database will also be updated when new items are introduced.

A reference list for runescape items database:

The above list is some that I cam across and I know it is not an extensive list of runescape item databases, however, it covers the largest and most popular sites that have an RS Item database. If anyone has a site that also has a decent sized item database, I guess I can include it on this list - afterall, it can only help people if they see what is available as people may prefer one style of database over the other.

Eventually I will look at getting some individual databases on my own site to cover various aspects - including an items database. For now, I just thought I might as well list the more known about information sources as it is relevant to the runescape market - afterall, it is items that are traded that predominantly make up the marketplace.

All runescape items will have been included at some stage in some of the databases and this enables players to browse through the lists and check what might be worthwhile merchanting or what the normal steady prices for some items are. Item databases will therefore be very beneficial to help with making money in runescape as well as preventing price scams.